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Disaster Preparedness Summit to Focus on Cyber & Workplace Security

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois is hosting a one-day conference on disaster planning with a focus on cyber and workplace security Aug. 18 for local leaders representing more than 100 business, government and community organizations. Patrick G. Ryan, founder, chairman & CEO of the Ryan Specialty Group, will deliver a keynote address on his personal and corporate lessons learned leading the Aon Corporation during the 9/11 disaster, weeks before the upcoming 15th anniversary of the event. 

The 7th Annual American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Summit, Risk Assessment: Preparing for Our Future Security, is Thursday, Aug. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center, located at 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive, Chicago, IL 60611. See program agenda here

“While nature can wreak havoc on a community, the same is true with cyber breaches and workplace violence,” said Celena Roldán, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “As part of the world’s largest humanitarian network, much of our work in the Greater Chicago region is to help build more resilient communities, such as through the collaboration and shared learning at this conference.” 

Weeks before of the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Patrick G. Ryan will deliver a keynote address about his time leading the Aon Corporation during and after the terrorist attacks. A widely respected entrepreneur and global insurance leader, Ryan formed Ryan Specialty Group, LLC (RSG) in 2010 and serves as the company’s founder, chairman & Chief Executive Officer. RSG is an international holding company specializing in wholesale brokerage, insurance underwriting managers and other specialty services to brokers, agents and insurers. The company has numerous offices in North America and the United Kingdom. Prior to launching RSG, Ryan founded Aon Corporation and served as its Chairman and CEO for 41 years. At Ryan’s retirement, Aon had more than 500 offices in 120 countries, generating revenues then in excess of $7 billion. 

The annual summit provides participants from both the public and private sectors with disaster preparedness planning tools and resources from subject-matter experts on tactics for cyber and workplace security. Topics include: 

• Implications for the Future 

• The Hacker/IT Professional 

• Protecting the Public/Private Sector, Defending Against an Attack and Closing Trap Doors 

• Owning Cyber Risk 

• Cyber Extortion 

• The Fallacy of Workplace Security 

• The Financial and Legal Impact of Workplace Violence, and 

• The New Faces of Workplace Violence. 

Facilitating discussions are business, government and nonprofit leaders from: 

Aon Hewitt, Chicago Police Department, City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management (OEMC), Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Deloitte &Touche LLP, DePaul University, Discover, Exelon, Federal Emergency Management Agency Region V, Grainger, Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, JLL, Mayer Brown, Motorola Solutions, PwC, Robert Morris University Illinois, Sentinel Technologies, Skokie Police Department, The Art Institute of Chicago, The PrivateBank, and Zurich North America. 

American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois Board of Directors member Brenda Battle, Vice President, Care Delivery Innovation, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, at the University of Chicago Medicine, is the chair of this year’s summit. 

The event is free of charge for participants thanks to the generous support of Presenting Sponsors: Aon, CSX, Motorola Solutions, and Zurich of North America; Readiness Sponsor: Grainger; and Community Sponsors: Illinois Medical District, JLL, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; with additional support from Discover and the United Way. 

About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois: 

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.