Potomac Forum The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Emergency Planning in Government Training Workshop XXII

Preparing Your Agency for a Disaster or Emergency in the New Administration

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - Thursday, April 13, 2017

Online registration is now closed. On site registration will be available at the Willard.

Keynote Speaker:


Richard M. Chávez

Director, Operations Coordination

DHS Continuity Coordinator, Reporting to Secretary John F. Kelly

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)



Guest Speakers:


Veronica (Roni) M. Glass

Deputy Director, Continuity Division

Office of Operations Coordination

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)


Kenneth Briscoe

Chief, Readiness Branch

Continuity Division

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)


Joe Douglas, ABCP

Continuity Program Manager

U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC)


Elizabeth Voeller

Program Manager

eGlobalTech (eGT)


Dean Gallup

Disaster Recovery Consultant

Advantaged SOlutions, Inc.

Coauthor of Information SYstems Contingency Planning Guidance

NIST Special PUblication 800-34 Rev. 1

Contingency Planning Guide for Federal Information Systems


Charles Ugalde

COOP Expert



Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - Thursday, April 13, 2017

Meeting Location: 
Willard InterContinental Hotel

Willard Intercontinental Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington 20004
United States

Metro Center (Red, Orange, Blue Lines). Use the exit marked “12th & F Sts” to exit onto F St., then continue straight two blocks and cross 14th St.


Industry and Government Leaders Present Practical Solutions to Government Continuity of Operations Requirements.  This is a “How To” workshop “ with proven instructors and guest speakers. Rated as “Excellent” the previous 21 workshop sessions!


Hear from industry experts and government managers leading Business Continuity Planning and Continuity of Operations Development. This Instructor Team presents practical, real-life solutions required to establish or improve a Continuity Program within your Federal, State, Local, Tribal, or Private Sector organization. The key to success in moving your COOP program forward is gaining the foothold within your organization’s culture and business processes. You will hear from Federal Agency Leadership about their development of a COOP Program that has been recognized by DHS as best practice. Learn about impacts of current events that drive Telework, Resilience, Reconstitution and other key response and recovery strategies.


Learn about New COOP Requirements and what they mean for your organization. The Federal Government’s continuity requirements are currently being updated and this workshop will address the new developments and how it will impact your organization. 


Learn how to Justify COOP Programs to Senior Management and Build Cooperation and Consensus at the “Front Line” levels. Instructors will simply and clearly answer the “what’s in it for me” question from the leadership level through, and right down to the individual implementers' level. This technique, though simple and easily tailored, is often the key to gain leadership’s buy-in and individual understanding of the complexities involving the many facets of COOP.  You will see a simple concept that will allow you to capture, catalog, measure and report on existing Continuity Implementations that already exist within your organization. 


Consider this Workshop

·         If you have a COOP Program that is just taking off

·         If you have an established COOP Program and want to become familiar with how the new federal guidance has changed in the as little as the last year

·         If you are new to the Federal COOP environment

·         If you are in top leadership and need to learn more about what you are “on the hook” for within COOP

·         If you have recently taken over an existing COOP Program and want to ensure that it is up to speed with the industry’s best practices

... then this is the session for you to deliver a practical and sustainable COOP Program that complies with government regulations, best practices and effective management.

What You Will Learn: 

  • Define all aspects of COOP
  • Develop an action plan for delivering your COOP Program
  • How to promote personal preparedness with each individual COOP Team Member
  • How to effectively engage Telework within your COOP Program
  • Justify COOP program and testing
  • Describe the activities involved in developing and implementing a sound COOP strategy
  • Develop a COOP Implementation plan complete with Emergency Response Strategies
  • Distinguish between Continuity of Operations and Disaster Recovery and understand how both areas are critical to contingency planning
  • Understand new Federal requirements and guidelines
  • Understand the increasing responsibilities on Human Resources, Logistics and Contract Management brought about by the Implementation of COOP planning
  • Understand COOP and IT Infrastructure support
  • Develop a COOP Testing, Training, and Exercise Plan & Program for tracking your COOP posture
  • Understand Government regulations on COOP and Business Continuity and how they pertain to your agency and why (including The Disaster Recovery Plan and the Information Systems Contingency Plan according to NIST 800-34 Ref. 1 and Federal COOP Guidelines – FCD-1/FCD-2/NCP Implementation Plan)
Why You Should Attend: 

  • Learn how the cooperation of Continuity of Operation Planning and Disaster Recovery is an essential requirement for government emergency preparedness
  • Network with your colleagues on COOP/DR capability in the Federal, State, Local Government
  • Review the development phases, tasks, and how to deploy personnel for COOP/DR implementations, testing, and exercises
  • Understand the best COOP/DR Architecture for your organization
  • Get some practical experience in COOP/DR concepts and planning through the course workshops
  • Gain insight into building resilient data centers that scale efficiently
  • Learn the importance of data integrity and how to protect it
  • Understand the reasons why some COOP/DR implementations fail
  • Apply techniques to maximize the efficiency of your IT and Systems contingency plans 
Who Should Attend: 

  • Senior Leadership who own the COOP Program
  • Middle managers and staff tasked with the development and implementation of COOP
  • IT Managers and Staff tasked with Information Systems Contingency Planning according to the “NEW” NIST SP800-34 Rev. 1 Guidance
  • IGs, QA Managers and Staff
  • Program Managers responsible program operation
  • Procurement Staff responsible for COOP Contracting
  • Human Resource Managers and Supervisors responsible for Implementing COOP Telework and tracking personnel during emergencies
  • Industry managers and staff supporting the government

Lectures, classroom exercises, and government panelists



Day One



Registration and Continental Breakfast


Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Art Chantker, President, Potomac Forum


COOP Introduction

Veronica (Roni) M. Glass, DHS


COOP Policy: A Practical Guide

Veronica (Roni) M. Glass, DHS


Keynote Presentation

Richard Chávez

Director, Operations

DHS Continuity Coordinator, Reporting to Secretary John F. Kelly


11:00am Refreshment Break

Floating Your Program

Veronica (Roni) M. Glass, DHS


Working Luncheon

Attendees will be given table topics based upon the morning training.


Alternate Site Integration

Kenneth Briscoe, DHS


Tracking Continuity Operations and a Pre-COOP Playbook

Joe Douglas, USITC

2:30pm Refreshment Break

Alternate Site Orientation - Alternate Site Reception

Joe Douglas, USITC


Personal COOP Planning

Joe Douglas, USITC


Devolution Planning Best Practices

Elizabeth Voeller, eGT



Art Chantker, President, Potomac Forum


Day Two




Registration and Continental Breakfast


Welcome and Recap

Art Chantker, President, Potomac Forum


Telework: Incorporating the Lessons Learned During Recent Emergencies

How Telework Interfaces with COOP Operations


Elizabeth Voeller, eGT


Information Systems Contingency Planning Guidance NIST Special Publication 800-34 Rev. 1 Contingency Planning Guide for Federal Information Systems

Dean Gallup, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Expert

10:15am Refreshment Break

Your Agency and COOP Compliance

Elizabeth Voeller, eGT


Bridging the Gap to Business Continuity Management through Business Resilience

Dean Gallup, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Expert


Working Luncheon

Attendees will be given table topics based upon the morning training.


Cyber Security Preparedness and Incident Response

Charles Ugalde, COOP Expert


Networking 101

Charles Ugalde, COOP Expert


Infrastructure Support, Part 1

Charles Ugalde, COOP Expert

2:30pm Refreshment Break

Infrastructure Support, Part 2

Charles Ugalde, COOP Expert


COOP Testing, Training, and Exercises

One-stop table stop exercise


Elizabeth Voeller, eGT


Wrap-up and Consulting Period

Opportunity to discuss specific agency COOP challenges with the instructors.

4:00pm Workshop Adjourns


Registration Information: 

  Early Bird Registration Fee AFTER MARCH 17
Government Employees:
(Federal, State or Local Government Issued ID)
 $ $1395 
Special Reduced Rates in Support of Government Budget Reductions
 $ NOW $1495
Government Team Discount Rate: 
The 2nd  person (and all other subsequent group members) from the same office receives a $400 reduction off their registration price (to encourage teams to “learn together”.
Industry and Contractors:
(Including contractors on-site and in direct support of government agencies).
 $ $1495
($1495 = 6% Registration Fee Reduction)
 $ NOW $1595

Registration Includes: Presentations, Workshop Notebook, Continental Breakfast, All Day Refreshments and Hosted Luncheon

Keynote Speaker: 

Richard "Rich" M. Chávez

Director, Operations Coordination
DHS Continuity Coordinator, Reporting to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)


Mr. Chávez is a career Senior Executive at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As the Director of the Office of Operations Coordination (OPS), he provides counsel directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security on a wide range of operational issues to include prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery operations, continuity of operations (COOP), and planning. He leads an office of more than 500 people who are responsible for monitoring the security of the United States on a daily basis, providing national situational awareness, and developing the national common operating picture. His office provides vital decision support information to the Federal interagency, Governors, Homeland Security Advisors, law enforcement, private sector, and critical infrastructure operators across the homeland security enterprise.


Mr. Chávez has over 30 years of government experience serving with DHS and with the Department of Defense (DoD), as an Air Force officer and later as a senior civilian advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As a senior civilian advisor, he worked directly with the Department of State and with foreign governments to develop policy regarding the request for assistance process to enable host nation support to prepare for and respond to a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear event. He also served as Director, Domestic Consequence Management, where he led a staff that developed policy for Defense Support of Civil Authorities preparedness and response operations throughout DoD and with 32 other Federal agencies. Mr. Chávez was responsible for leading DoD’s largest, most comprehensive, and most extensive civil support mission ever in response to Hurricane Katrina, and he led DoD’s pandemic influenza preparedness and response efforts.


Mr. Chávez came to DHS in 2010 as the Deputy Director of OPS. In 2011, he was selected as the Director of OPS. During his tenure leading OPS, the organization has responded to several key events, most notably the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami response, a number of National Special Security Events (including two States of the Union, two political conventions, and several global summits), and over 70 exercises.


As Director, Mr. Chávez has overseen critical improvements to the National Operations Center, which provides real-time information, analysis, and situational awareness to the Secretary and other senior government leaders during major incidents. Other initiatives have included leading the White House-directed, interagency effort to draft the Integrated Southwest Border Security Augmentation Plan; leading the creation of the National Terrorism Advisory System; and developing continuity plans that allow DHS to execute its missions even when its primary facilities and systems are unavailable. In September 2012, the DHS Common Operating Picture (COP) Project, a database operated by OPS to provide situational awareness to first responders nationwide, was selected as a Government Computer News Award winner for “Outstanding Information Technology Achievement in Government.”


Mr. Chávez holds a Bachelor of Science professional degree in Corrections and Law Enforcement from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California, and a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Guest Speakers: 

Elizabeth Voeller, PMP, ABCP

Incident Response, Emergency Management, Cyber Risk Management/Security Consultant

Vice President of the Mid Atlantic Disaster Recovery Association (MADRA

Program Manager,

eGlobalTech (eGT)


Elizabeth Voeller is a Program Manager at eGlobalTech where she provides consulting support on cyber risk management, incident response, emergency management, and strategic communications to the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Information Security.  Prior to that, Ms. Voeller spent 8 years at Booz Allen Hamilton as a Lead Associate supporting Federal business continuity/COOP, critical infrastructure analysis, strategic planning and communications, and emergency management programs. She has facilitated national level exercises and senior leadership meetings for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), written Congressional briefings for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), drafted and rolled out national-level plans for DHS, and developed pandemic response tools and emergency communications curriculum for the Department of Defense (DoD) PACOM and USAFRICOM. She has a Masters degree in International Affairs from American University and an Bachelors degree in Political Science and English from Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN.  Ms. Voeller is currently the Vice President of the Mid Atlantic Disaster Recovery Association ("MADRA", a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and a DRII-certified Associate Business Continuity Professional (ABCP).

Dean Gallup, MBCP, CHEP

Disaster Recovery Professional

Advantaged Solutions, Inc.

Co-author of NIST SP800-34 Revision 1 Contingency Planning Guide for Federal Information Systems

Dean Gallup, MBCP CHEP, is a well respected Disaster Recovery Professional. He has over 35 years’ experience in in emergency management, disaster recovery and continuity planning, data center operations, governance and security risk management. His clients included the IRS, U.S. House of Representatives, SEC, FDIC, and other federal and DoD agencies, and state agencies including Virginia Tax. He is a co-author of NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-34 Revision 1, Contingency Planning Guide for Federal Information Systems, and regularly speaks on Federal contingency planning. Prior to moving to Virginia, Mr. Gallup was Chief of Technical Services at the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, managing a 24/7 data center and overseeing infrastructure implementation for a state-wide automated fingerprint identification system.


Mr. Gallup is chair of the DRI International Glossary for Resiliency, and volunteers with the DRI International Veterans Outreach, Healthcare and Resiliency in Education committees. He volunteers as Vice President for the Mid Atlantic Disaster Recovery Association (MADRA).  He is an Advanced Life Support EMT with Spotsylvania (Virginia) Rescue Squad, and was recently awarded the agency’s 2017 Good Role Model award, and was 2015 Member of the Year, continuing his nearly 40 commitment volunteer emergency services.

Charles C. Ugalde


Charles Ugalde is a seasoned security executive providing Security, Risk, and Business Advisory services for both public and private sector clients. Currently, Charles is the Chief Security Strategist for ePlus Technologies for the NYC Metro market. Prior to ePlus, he acted as interim Chief Information Security Officer for Healthix, a Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE) organization. In his role as Chief Information Security Officer, Charles was responsible for developing and implementing security policies and procedures for business resiliency as well as managing systems administrators, network services, and service providers supporting network and security operations and maintenance for all Healthix clients participating in the healthcare exchange, including hospitals, clinics, healthcare facilities, and research institutions.


Prior to that, Charles was the Director of the Unisys Global Enterprises Services (ES) Security Practice for North America, where he provided Governance, Risk, and Compliance, Cyber Security, Continuity of Operations (COOP), Disaster Recovery (DR), and Data Center transformation services for numerous City, State, and Federal Government agencies as well as many commercial enterprises.


From 2013 through 2015, Charles led security business development and security practice development activities for Unisys Corporation. In addition, he also provided risk advisory consulting services for several commercial financial institutions, such as First Niagara Financial Group (FNFG), M&T Bank, and Old National Bank (ONB).

From 2011 through 2013, Charles was the Information System Security Officer (ISSO) supporting the United States Federal Government Services Administration (GSA) where he was responsible for providing Enterprise Security Governance, Risk, and Compliance services. In addition, he was responsible for Application Development and Mobile security, Vulnerability Management, Penetration Testing and Computer Forensics as part of the overall security operations support for their Assisted Acquisition Services Business System (AASBS) program.


From 2009 through 2010, Charles was the ISSO with the Administrative Offices of the United States Courts (AOUSC) where he was responsible for providing Enterprise Security Governance, Risk, and Compliance services. In addition, he was responsible for developing and updating security policies and procedures, integrating security into system and project lifecycles, and coordinating internal and external security audits.

From 2008 through 2009, Charles worked with the Department of Defense (DoD) for the U.S. Army Logistics Innovation Agency where he was responsible for delivering an IT Contingency Plan for multiple US Army data centers as part of the overall upgrade of the U.S. Army Logistics Innovation Agency’s COOP program and national network and security infrastructure upgrades.


From 2005 through 2008, Charles worked with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In his role as Deputy Engineering Manager for the HHS Information Technology Service Center (ITSC) program, Charles was responsible for managing the team of network and security engineers, platform engineers, and field services technicians supporting network and security operations and maintenance for all HHS Operating Divisions (OPDIVs) throughout the United States and its territories. Charles assisted HHS in streamlining their COOP Program to meet the new requirements of FCD-1, FCD-2 and the NCP Implementation Plan. As part of his responsibilities on the Information Assurance team, Charles was instrumental in aligning their COOP Response and Recovery Strategies with the various HHS alternate facilities and information technology platforms, where he provided COOP Program and Exercise support for several HHS OPDIVs during annual agency-wide COOP exercises.

Prior to joining Unisys, Charles managed the planning, re-design, and implementation of major data center Network Operations Center (NOC) and Security Operations Center (SOC) upgrades for the NYC Departments of Correction and Probation.  The effort involved the implementation of a multitude of Response and Recovery Strategies incorporating the major data centers, 25 detention facilities and 30 branch offices throughout the NYC metropolitan area.  During the NYC blackout of 2003, Charles executed and coordinated all data center incident response, backup and recovery operations prior to full power restoration.

Throughout his career, Charles has been instrumental in designing, building, and securing network infrastructures and data centers as well as providing Network and Security, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services for clients such as UBS Paine Webber, Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceutical, Polo Ralph Lauren, BMG Music Company, G&J Publishing, Mitsui-Sumitomo Insurance, and many other notable corporations. Charles’s prior career as a structural engineer, as well as his detailed technical experience as a front line network and security design and operations engineer, combined with his business development and marketing skills has enabled him to provide unique perspective and ultimately great value to many organizations.


Charles attended the State University of New York Farmingdale and studied Mechanical Engineering. Mr. Ugalde holds multiple industry certifications in network, security, systems and storage disciplines. Charles is a regularly featured speaker at many government technical forums and is a frequent guest instructor for the Potomac Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing continuing education for federal, state, and local government staffs in Security and DR/COOP program management.

Joe Douglas, ABCP

Continuity Program Manager,

US International Trade Commission


Joe Douglas is a recognized expert within continuity operations COOP and emergency planning.   Previously he was the Director of the ICE ITS Continuity of Operations Practice based in Reston, Virginia.  He has planned and executed continuity efforts for DHS, Customs and Border Protection, US Coast Guard and Department of Justice.  He is currently the Continuity Program Manager for the US International Trade Commission. 


Prior to this engagement he supported DHS with emergency relocation site planning and led the tactical continuity planning and implementation of CBP’s Continuity Program.  Joe has performed as an exercise controller in Eagle Horizon and National Level Exercises.  He developed the alternate site reception plan for US Coast Guard Commandant Staff and completed the IT Contingency Plan for DOJ’s Consolidated Asset Tracking System.  He was a trusted agent in Forward Challenge 2004 and has been instrumental in the planning, outfitting and accreditation of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF) within the Continuity Community.


Joe previously served as an officer in the United States Coast Guard performing both operational and staff duties that included coordination of directorate-level Year 2000 (Y2K) contingency planning.  Mr. Douglas holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Appalachian State University.

Kenneth Briscoe

Chief, Readiness Branch

Continuity Division

Department of Homeland Security


Kenny Briscoe has over 25 years of professional service; he is a Retired Military Officer with Special Operation and Combat experience, a Manager in Corporate America and is presently the Chief of the Readiness Branch for DHS. His experience is evident in his broad knowledge and expertise in Business Continuity Planning and Emergency Management/Security Operations. Mr. Briscoe was instrumental in supporting numerous large and complex operations that include, Hurricanes Isabelle, Katrina, Andrew, Fran, Marilyn St. Thomas, Floyd, Uphold Democracy Haiti, Restore Hope Somalia, Desert Shield and Desert Storm



Kenny holds a Masters in Security Management/Emergency Planning, is a DRII Certified Business Continuity Planner, is Six Sigma (Green Belt) certified and a published author. His book is titled “Disaster Management & COOP Handbook”.  Kenny has developed and implemented numerous programs and process improvement procedures within the Federal Government and National Capitol Region for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Defense Information Systems and Department of Homeland Security.

Veronica (Roni) M. Glass

Deputy Director, Continuity Division
Office of Operations Coordination
Department of Homeland Security


Veronica M. Glass (fondly known as “Roni”) started her public and professional service working for legacy U.S. Customs Service under Department of Treasury (now Customs and Border Protection (CBP)) before it was merged with the 24+ Components comprised of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Ms. Glass’ 38+ years of work in public service has exposed her to vast opportunities at all levels of management. Her experience with the changing world of IT afforded her the unique opportunity to be asked to help revitalize the CBP Continuity Program.  As the Continuity Manager, CBP Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program, Ms. Glass had complete oversight and responsibility not only for CBP Headquarters (within the NCR) but all of CBP field port, airport, and border locations as it relates to COOP activities and execution.


Now, as the DHS Deputy Director, Continuity Division, Ms. Glass is responsible for internal department-wide oversight, coordination, integration, and execution of continuity and continuity of government program, policy, and plans as it pertains to all threat / all hazard conditions across DHS.  She has been working in the Emergency Management field (contingency planning) for the last 15+ years and has taken every opportunity with the new challenges to become as informed and trained on continuity and emergency planning as possible.  Ms. Glass participates in Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) training and is a candidate Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP). She has completed coursework in Information Assurance (IA) and continuity planning at the Department of Defense (DoD) Information Resource Management College (IRMC), Fort McNair amongst other pertinent course work.  Ms. Glass is passionate about her challenge of emergency management, working with the people she meets and championing the cause of continuity whenever and wherever she can.

Executable Response to Catastrophic Challenges and Readily Implementable Solutions


The New Administration will be focusing on Continuity of Operations within the Government.  Indoctrinating new Administration Leadership is a major theme in this year’s Eagle Horizon national exercise.  Ensure your agency is ready!  Learn How at this workshop.  Other recent government challenges due to electrical outages, fires, and natural disasters reinforce the importance of having an executable Continuity Program.  Executives and managers who support COOP within their organization will be commended for their foresight. Those who do not support COOP will be evaluated appropriately when an emergency condition requires COOP Activation.


Can your agency afford to not have a practical, implementable and compliant Continuity Program regardless of its size?


This April 2017 Continuity Training Workshop will be the 22nd Presentation of this very informative program consistently rated as "Excellent" by previous attendees.  This workshop will help advance your program with new strategies, methods and templates.  Included in the course materials will be a disk with numerous Federal continuity references as well as several ready-to-use templates to advance your program. (Material is Updated to Include the Latest Guidance from NIST, DHS and Administration Initiatives)


We are so confident in the quality of this COOP Workshop, that we offer a guarantee you will be pleased with the quality of the instruction and information presented to help your agency.  Attendees regularly state this workshop has propelled their program forward significantly through time saved and with new executable methodology.  If not satisfied, we will give you a 100% return of your registration fee.


In this time of government budget reductions, justifying each training event becomes more and more challenging. This Continuity Workshop has been constantly evaluated as "Excellent" by both government and industry attendees alike. The benefits gained from attending this Workshop will provide a significant return on time and dollar investment. The information presented, templates, lessons learned and presentations by our experienced instructors who know Continuity Planning both in the Commercial and Government sector will save your organization significant resource expenditures in both time and effort to help your agency improve and implement a more effective, compliant Continuity Program.

Cancellation Policy: 

Confirmed registrations who cancel within 3 business days of the program will be subject to a $250 cancellation fee. Registrations cancelled after the program starts are subject to the full registration fee. Substitutions can be made at any time. In the event a particular training workshop is cancelled, the liability of Potomac Forum, Ltd is limited to refund of any prepaid registration fee.

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