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Product Safety Leaders Assist Industry in Meeting Crises that Affect Millions of Consumers. Nine Guidelines Defined

John C. Palmer, Director of Executive Education, University of Missouri St. Louis, College of Business Administration

Ann Marie Buerkle, Former Member of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (2013-2017) and Acting Chair (2017-2019)

University of Missouri St. Louis hosts Conference on Nov. 7-9 for design engineers, compliance officials, quality and safety specialists, supply chain managers

Our partner organizations have powerful tools to put to work in helping industry be more prepared for managing crisis before they occur.”
— John Palmer, Director of Executive Education

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, USA, September 1, 2023/ -- The impact of crises occurs every day around the world, affecting the health and safety of millions of consumers. The challenge that companies face in these circumstances is to be prepared to respond and have the necessary tools already in place to support the company, its employees, consumers, and key stakeholders.

The Crisis Management Conference taking place November 7-9, 2023, at the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL) College of Business Administration offers a set of 9 guideline areas that can help shape a company’s approach to crisis management. UMSL has joined hands with the Society of Product Safety Professionals (SPSP), and their education development partner, ADK Information Services, to help companies prepare their personnel and key stakeholders to respond once a crisis occurs.

The goal of the program is to define and share ways that companies can prepare for the crisis before it occurs. As stated in the course materials: “implementing crisis management infrastructure before the occurrence of a crisis will help your company respond effectively."

The Conference takes place on campus at the Anheuser-Busch Hall in the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) College of Business Administration. The goal of the Crisis Management Conference is to share knowledge and understanding for the requirements of infrastructure for crisis management including (partial listing) 1) understanding what priorities need to be established, 2) defining the crisis management team’s mission and how it will function, 3) defining key elements for the plan that will implement the company’s communication strategy, and 4) the specific response protocols for the crisis so that key players will know operationally what’s expected of them.

A detailed program abstract of the Crisis Management Conference is available at this link. Registration tuition for the program is $2,000. Paid members of the Society of Product Safety Professionals will receive a discount. Individuals can register at this site.

Participants will come away with new knowledge and solutions to better manage crises. Each participant will finalize a crisis guideline document that would support the company’s compliance and safety program. This could include the following such crisis areas as (partial listing): a failed product posing an unreasonable risk to consumers, a supply chain bottle-neck or unannounced change of materials or parts, a logistics transportation crisis, a natural disaster, a climate crisis, data or technology crisis, or a geopolitical crisis.

The program will feature team exercises and individual instructor presentations from experts who have worked in crisis environments throughout their careers. The program’s exercise team leaders include Marie-Claude Simard, director of product safety at Canada-based BRP, recognized for more than 20 years of delivering projects and developing multidisciplinary teams; Steve Epner, an MBA instructor at the Saint Louis University Business School and nationally known innovation leader and author of ‘Simplify Everything,’ a guide for business professionals; and Richard Stern, engineer and consultant with ADK; former Associate Director, Office of Compliance and Field Operations for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; and former Senior Manager, Global Product Safety for Whirlpool Corporation.

Additional instructors sharing knowledge, best practices, and experience include:

> Dr. George A. Zsidisin, Ph.D. the John W. Barriger III Professor of Supply Chain Management at UMSL will share his experience in a public transportation crisis.
> Tim Sullivan, a retired leader from Spin Master, a global children’s products and toy manufacturer. Tim will explain how a small team of engineers solved a crisis that grew out of 2 million units of a plush toy that created an unreasonable risk of harm to children.
> Ann Marie Buerkle, a former member of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (2013-2017) and acting chair of CPSC (2017-2019), will describe how crisis situations were handled during her tenure at the safety agency.
>Michelle Gillice and Mike Gentine, attorneys for Arnold Porter, both with backgrounds that include working at the CPSC, who will share how companies can have a regulatory program in place that responds to the requirements of a crisis.
>Don Moffett, a nationally and globally recognized risk management expert and consultant who has experienced crises during stints at test labs and consumer product manufacturers.
> Dr. Haitao Li, Professor and Chair of the Supply Chain & Analytics Department at UMSL will explain data as proactive and reactive tools in addressing crisis events.
>Brandan Mueller, Husch Blackwell, attorney and adviser to companies that require product investigations that reflect best practices.
>Chris Harvey, Sedgwick, a logistic expert at designing and implement consumer product recall programs and withdrawals will share the anatomy of a typical product recall
> Hon. Judge Michael David (retired), a veteran of the Missouri 22nd and 21st judicial circuit, will reflect on his 40-year judicial career including cases that he presided over as Circuit Presiding Judge.

“Our partner organizations have powerful tools to put to work in helping industry be more prepared for managing crisis before they occur,” according to John Palmer, Director of the UMSL College of Business Administration Executive Education Program “We have knowledge, research, and global reach to put to work on this conference.”

The UMSL Supply Chain & Analytics faculty conduct cutting-edge research with real-world economic and social impacts. The UMSL Master of Science Supply Chain Analytics program was ranked No. 1 by in 2022 and 2023. And UMSL, itself, is ranked as one of the top 25 international business programs in the U.S. according to U.S. News and World Reports. SPSP is a leading career professional development organization within the consumer product safety field. In 2012, Saint Louis University and its education developer ADK, received a Chairman’s Commendation from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairperson Inez Tenenbaum for education contributions to help industry design and produce safe consumer products.

Individuals who want to become members of SPSP and gain the tuition discount available for the Crisis Management Conference, can join at the SPSP membership page. All participants who complete the fall program will be awarded an UMSL Certificate in Crisis Management.

Donald Kornblet
ADK Information Services, LLC
+1 314-497-1797