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Press Packet

  Paul J. Bergee

Biography /Acknowledgements / Audits / References / Sample Test / New Releases & Comments on Critical Issues and White Papers/Articles & Quotes

Professional Biography

  • Served as an elected member of the Disaster Recovery Institute International Certification Board from March 1999 through March 2002

  • Certified Business Continuity Professional since 1990

  • I have over 15 Years of experience in all ten Disaster Recovery Institute International subject areas

  • Over 15 Years of experience in a corporate wide business continuity planning

  • Retired Director of Business Continuity Planning for a billion dollar, multiple site, international financial industry organization in Madison Wisconsin

  • During my 27 year tenure with CUNA Mutual our business disaster response plans were successfully implemented in several real disaster situations including the events of September 11, 2001

  • My disaster response testing programs are publicly recognized as being the most aggressive including multiple site testing and city wide business and public testing programs

  • Speaker on BCP at many Wisconsin professional meetings and at national conferences

  • Featured speaker at the Wisconsin State Governors Conference on disaster response preparedness

  • Founder and current president of the Business Recovery Planners Association of Wisconsin

  • I have performed several Business Recovery Planning external business audits

  • I served for two years on the Survive Advisory Board, London England

  • Designed and conducted disaster recovery planning seminars for over many mid-west companies

Professional Acknowledgments

My disaster response program was implemented during a flood at our Iowa office. At the conclusion of the claims settlement, our insurance carrier stated that they were extremely impressed with our disaster response program and that due to the completeness of the program, the disaster response process saved millions of dollars in additional claims and many hours of recovery time.

During a recent audit
by Lloyds of London of our disaster response plans, they reported to us that we have a "world class" disaster response program.

Peers in the industry have acknowledged to me that our corporate disaster response plans are
far superior in program content, planning and testing.

During a recent staff forum at CUNA Mutual the president publicly recognized
the excellence of our business recovery response program.

Current Objectives

As of October of 2002 I plan to expand and to continue an active professional career in the business continuity planning environment. I want to share my 15 years of business continuity planning experience with others.

I have three primary objectives:

  • Reduce the extensive business continuity planning learning curve to a minimum amount of time for other organizations
  • Reduce the long term development time to a minimum for others needing a business recovery plan
  • Bring a cost effective, yet professional, business continuity process to all companies regardless of size

We have a number of programs that will help you develop your business continuity plans or audit those plans. Please click to see the programs developed by Bergee Business Continuity Planning (BBCP).


Conduct Independent Audits of Your Business Continuity Plan

To assure that your credit union continues operating in the event of a disaster; board members expect a high level of Business Continuity Planning (BCP). But what are you using to measure or benchmark your BCP? Do you measure your plan using an internal report saying you were successful? Does the NCUA use definitive standards? At a minimum, you should be measuring your program against the ten standards set forth by the Disaster Recovery Institute International! Does your insurance carrier use these standards when reviewing your BCP?   

In today’s disaster response environment, most executives like to think they rise above minimums.  

During our 30 years of BCP development we have prepared several hundred measurement tools that far exceed most any business disaster response protocols. In fact our program goes beyond the 10 standards set forth by the Disaster Recovery Institute International, the NCUA and nearly all insurance BCP expectations. Our format for measuring the success of your program includes these distinct advantages: 

      The Bergee Business Continuity Planning proven audit protocol delivers immediate results with a specific list of actions you should consider for improving your disaster response program.

      The audit is an open forum where all your lead functional area’s including information technology, facilities, management and business operations work together on creating a better BCP. 

      We will assist you in conducting the BCP audit on your site. This process adds a great deal of value when additional questions are asked and answered immediately.   

References that use BCP protocols:.

Bonny Godtland – President                             Sandra Lampman CEO       

St. Paul Federal Credit Union                                             American Red Cross Badger Chapter

1330 Conway St., Suite 200                                 4860 Sheboygan Ave

St. Paul, MN 55106                                                               Madison WI 53705-0905

P: 651-772-8744 x726                                                            P: 608-227-1303


Experience in the Credit Union movement for over 30 years!


Twenty Question Test 
"The Paid Paranoid" 
by: Paul Bergee:

1.  Do the board members and management know their core responsibilities for recovery? They need to know prior to a loss their roles and responsibilities in a loss or they may try to take over and waste a lot of precious time. Keep them involved and in all the testing processes and reports.

2.  Terminated Employees - Do you eliminate internal access to all computers? Some people, especially the IT guru has access to many devices and the main computer room, telephone rooms, wiring closets etc.

3. Joint Ventures - Have you completed a BCP audit of their process? Let’s assume you put 10 million dollars into product development and you have the XXX company putting up 10 million dollars in marketing. They have a disaster and you are holding onto a 10 million dollar parts bag. At this point you will wish you had audited their disaster response plan.  

4.  BCP Planner – Preauthorization to act in a disaster response?Your planner, your teams and your management group must be able to take action immediately. Time is not on your side. If someone makes a mistake, forgive them and go on. Strong training programs will build the confidence you need to assure proper authorizations to start the recovery process.

5.  Have you completed the pre-disaster tagging of critical equipment and files? We had over a million square feet of offices, files, computers, phones and junk. Which piece of equipment do you want to save first? What file do you want salvaged first? Where do you want to start?  Tagging the equipment prior to the loss can save thousands of hours, pain and mistakes. Green tags for important items, blue tags for secondary choices and yellow for anything that would be nice to have after all the other stuff is saved and placed out of harms way. DANGER! This will get out of date in time and must be part of the update process.  

6.   Vital Records – Conducted an inventory of all vital records and provide duplication as   needed? Some records are far too important to lose. Both electronic and paper records are included. Incorporation documents, signatures and agreements fall into this group. Some people nearing retirement consider the pension files to be vital. Your resume may be important after a disaster especially if you are not prepared. The point is, identify these files, determine duplication and keep them at least five miles away from the main site.

7.   Have you developed a relationship with emergency management authorities? I have worked with these people in the states, Canada and the Caribbean and they all have been very enthusiastic about helping and participating in tests. Most have a web site.

8.  Chemical spill response procedures? Have you documented how you and your community (fire and police) will handle this issue and identified how you will receive notice of the event? Do you have sheltering in place procedures and a standard policy for handling staff and guests? Special procedures are indeed needed. This issue can lead to liability questions. For example, do you let employees and visitors leave even when you know toxic fumes are in the air? What if they insist on leaving and they say that you cannot hold them against their will? If mass evacuations are required it may include the guards. How will you secure your building from damage and theft?

9.  Severe storm procedures – external issues? If mass evacuations are required it may include the guards. How will you secure your building from damage and theft?

10.  Identified all desktop configurations needed to support all processes? Not every desktop is configured the same. Some are very unique and have all kinds of programs and various functions. Some people load special unauthorized programs on the desktop and this can be very troublesome for the recovery mainly because they are poorly documented. If the desktop configurations are issued, maintanded and stored centrally and kept off-site you have a far better chance for quick recovery.

11. Has the risk of noncompliance to regulatory issues been reviewed? I suggest that you have someone investigate this prior to a loss. It could lead to some nasty post disaster shuffling and fidgeting. It could also result in fines and other legal issues.

12.  Have you developed, recorded, and prioritized all external dependencies? If they are a serious dependency, it may be beneficial to see if they have a valid  BCP. If not, what are your alternatives for their services?

13.   Flooding - Internal flooding shut down and checkout procedures? I had one client that had frozen water pipes due to a problem with the ventilation equipment. On a very cold night these pipes froze, burst and the night guards could not find the water shut off valve (it was in the ceiling above the ceiling tiles). Someone from facilities had to drive in from home, find the charts and shut off the valve. Bingo! A disaster! A 2” pipe burst and was open for about 90 minutes flooding several floors of office space.

14.  Generators – Tested regularly for extended 24 hour duration?Some of these machines are getting old. Seals are brittle, fuel is old and they have never operated under stress. Test them once each year for at least 24 hours.

15.  Response Teams – Do you have documented procedures for all teams? Roles, responsibilities, guidelines for all teams, will be mainly used as a teaching tool prior to a disaster. During the disaster these teams will not or may not even open the procedures. They will reference the names, basic protocol, use it as a guide etc. but never (rarely) will the steps fall into a one, two, three sequence. In every disaster event we responded to the procedures rarely used. Sequence, event timing, personnel availability and a host of other issues will change any written materials. With out them however training is impossible, you will have no assignment of duties and you will have chaos. 

16.  UPS failure sensors installed? Yes, it is possible that the UPS system will malfunction. You will not know if the system has failed and if it REALLY works until it is initiated under stress. Then if it fails you will have a lot of very unhappy people. Install a sensor.  

17.  Communication – Procedures for employee communications? Some idea’s include the internet; a special 800 number just for this kind of communication and you record your information on the greeting; going to the web provider and posting a message in front of the usual screen; using a phone broadcast mail system. Any of the systems have to be able to handle a large volume of calls simultaneously so using cell messages and small home message systems will not work well.

18.  Command Center equipment purchased and in at least two separate locations? Keep equipment that you purchase and store in at least two locations prior to a loss. I guarantee that you will not have the time or resources to quickly get this equipment on a 24/7 basis. I recommend that team members keep a mini kit with them at all times (a brief case size kit, just to get started). 

19.  Have you prepared procedures for rerouting delivery of equipment and supplies? UPS, US postal service, Frank’s Delivery Service will still be driving into your destroyed building area and will be wondering where to take the delivery. Record all these people in your BCP and when they arrive at the site have some person or the security personnel greet them and provide information on where to send them. Use a warehouse, rent a portable storage container, rent a semi trailer and set it in the corner of your parking. Just have a place for this stuff unless the carrier can take it back (many cannot). 

20.  Insurance reporting procedures and contacts? Simple enough! And yet I have a word of WARNING here! So many people placed their hands in the good old insurance company. You should consider these two issues:

a)   Take this checklist and ask your insurance company to assure you that they will be able to do all these items in the time frame you, your members and board will tolerate.

b)          In my limited experience one of the leading industries in BCP development are the insurance companies. That should tell you something! Property insurance, income continuation insurance and all the other possible policies will not be enough

The End: This is a draft. Refer the the book for over 300 questions and comments. Call Paul Bergee for more information.

New Releases From: Burgee Business Continuity Planning!  Click Here!



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