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Speakers » Joseph DesPlaines

  • Vice President, Risk Management Services

  • Black Swan Solutions

  • United States

Professional Background

  • Education – BA & MS
  • Over 35 years of behavioral science experience
  • Over 25 years of crisis management experience
    • Vice President, Risk Management – Empathia, Inc. (2009-2013)
    • Director, Business Continuity and Emergency – Frontier Airlines (2007-2009)
    • President & COO of American Speciality Risk Services, LLC (2004-2007)
    • President & CEO of FEI Behavioral Health (1984-2004)

Disaster Response Experience

  • Direct experience in responding to mass casualty events (aviation and non-aviation):
    • Hurricane Katrina (2005)
    • The crash of American Airlines Flight 5966 (2004)
    • Bombings at U.S.-owned hotels abroad (2003 & 2004)
    • The 9/11 terrorist attacks, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crimes (2001)
    • The crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 (2000)
    • The crash of Egypt Air Flight 990 (1999)
    • The crash of Comair Flight 3272 (1996)
    • The crash of USAir Flight 427 (1994)
  • Developed the first comprehensive aviation family assistance program with US Express, including a specialized crisis call service, activated for disasters

Areas of Expertise

  • Business continuity assessment (business impact analysis) and plan development
  • Human capital risk management
  • Crisis management consultation, plan development, training and testing
  • Victim/family assistance planning and support


Breakout Session: Get Smart! Moving from chaos to control following a crisis

A crisis can be natural or man-made. However, one thing is certain, the environment in the immediate aftermath will be chaotic. If the effected organization has incorporated the crisis management lessons learned from other large loss events into their planning, the organization will increase the chance of gaining control of the situation on a timely basis, and avoid the critical and costly mistakes made in the past.

This presentation will address twelve essential experienced based crisis lessons learned that have an impact on the human element of crisis response. The presenters will use real life examples to demonstrate the value of this information and will discuss how these lessons can be incorporated into a organizations crisis response plan to protect, respond to and recover their human resource.

Objectives: As a result of participating in this session, attendees will:

  1. Recognize key examples of real life events that impact the human side of disaster response.
  2. Understand the importance of learning from the experience of public and private sector organizations.
  3. Identify the issues that are of critical importance to survivors, survivor families and victim families for developing and executing an effective crisis response.

Michelle Colosimo and Joseph DesPlaines will co-present this session.