Managing the Unexpected

High Reliability develops an organization’s strengths through individual actions.
Shared attitudes fill the gap between organization and the individual to determine High Reliability.

Conference Article

2011 Fourth International High Reliability Organizing Conference


Presentations, abstracts and speaker bios for presenters at the Fourth International High Reliability Organizing Conference

National Transportation Safety Board Auditorium, L’Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C.
The International High Reliability Organizing Conference joined operators, managers, executives and academics from diverse industries to share methods for consistent, dependable performance under uncertainty or the unexpected.

High Reliability Organizing (HRO) describes the amalgamation of seemingly contradictory processes necessary to maintain performance in unstable circumstances. These can be high tempo or low tempo situations and effect processes, products, or people.


Wherever human beings encounter environmental anomalies an adverse event is likely to unfold.  Though the disruptions we experience may be specific to our industry, our responses, as humans, tend to be similar. Knowledge of these similarities can help us learn across industries. The focus of this workshop is on significant actions that help organizations cope with anomalies.

Making HRO Operational brings academicians, experienced practitioners, and students of HRO methodology together to share practical experience in the application of High Reliability.  Participants at the workshop will review evidence and experiences that clarify pathways to improved performance in the face of the uncertain or unexpected. Our faculty and attendees bring first-hand experience in high-risk environments with high or low tempo and have conducted academic research in high performance organizations or dangerous environments.  At this workshop participants will share what works and what doesn’t as well as explanations for why these outcomes occur.

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Karl Weick
Coauthor of the book: Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty
Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology
Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

Mark R. Chassin, M.D., M.P.P., M.P.H.
Mark R. Chassin, M.D., M.P.P., M.P.H., is president of The Joint Commission.
In this role, he oversees the activities of the nation’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

Christopher Hart, U.S. National Transportation Saftey Board
Christopher A. Hart is the Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, having been nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2009. The NTSB investigates major transportation accidents in all modes of transportation,  determines probable cause, and makes recommendations in an effort to  prevent recurrences.

Primary Speakers:

Daved van Stralen, M.D., F.A.A.P.
As a physician he specialized in Pediatric Critical Care and EMS, using his public safety experiences to help develop the second largest Pediatric ICU in California and the first clinical academic baccalaureate degree in the US for Emergency Medical Care.  His experience developing HRO into several healthcare facilities has been published in the medical and business literature.  Dr. van Stralen initiated the High Reliability Organizing Workshops in California, runs the website www.High-Reliability.Org, and is the President of Strategic Reliability, LLC.

Rear Admiral Tom Mercer, USN Retired
Admiral Mercer’s command of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was codified as High Reliability Organizing (HRO) by Dr. Karlene Roberts of UC Berkeley in 1989.

Learn something from someone outside of your field several times each day.
Direct applicability from one industry to another.
Novice and expert meet and discuss as equals; experience does not matter.


(Listed Alphabetically)

Angood, Peter, M.D., FRCS(C), FACS, FCCM

National Quality Forum

Since 2009, Dr. Angood has provided senior executive healthcare consultant experience for small, medium and large size healthcare organizations across a variety of focus areas. Dr. Angood recently completed a 2-year engagement with the National Quality Forum (NQF) as Senior Advisor for Patient Safety and continues with NQF part-time to help guide projects focused on improving national patient safety and healthcare quality. He also recently provided technical expertise on projects related to the National Priorities Partnership’s goal of improving the safety of America’s healthcare system. Prior to engaging as a healthcare consultant, Dr. Angood was the Chief Patient Safety Officer and a Vice-President for The Joint Commission where he oversaw annual development of the commission’s National Patient Safety Goals and several other enterprise-wide patient safety initiatives. Dr. Angood continues to work with the World Health Organization’s Alliance for Patient Safety initiative after helping to lead early development of the WHO Collaborating Center for Patient Safety Solutions and other WHO Patient Safety programs.

After initially practicing with hospitals of McGill University, Dr. Angood was subsequently recruited into surgery faculty and hospital administrative positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining The Joint Commission, he was Professor of Surgery, Anesthesia, and Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Angood is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Canada), the American College of Surgeons, and the American College of Critical Care Medicine. He has a history of active committee involvement with numerous professional medical societies and recently served as President for the Society of Critical Care Medicine, a 14,000-member international organization. Dr. Angood is an author in approximately 160 peer-reviewed articles, policy briefs, abstracts, editorials, and book chapters. His research interests have addressed leading-edge clinical care problems, patient safety, injury prevention, benchmarking, outcomes management, resource utilization, health services, medical education, advanced medical and telemedicine technologies, and the utility of simulation technology. Dr. Angood received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba in Canada and completed his training in general surgery at McGill University in Montreal, as well as fellowship training in trauma surgery and critical care medicine at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.


Arden, James, RCP
Willis, Garry, RCP
Sanders, Leeann, RN, BSN

Newly Opened Pediatric Subacute Care Nursing Home, San Bernardino Community Hospital, San Bernardino, California

Presentation Abstract

Bauman, Kevin E.

The Dow Chemical Company

Presentation Abstract

Bellamy, T., PhD, and

Eck, J., PhD

University of Washington Bothell (Bellamy)

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (Eck)

Presentation Abstract

Berger, Scott, PhD

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)

Presentation Abstract

Cadieux, Randy E., MS, Major

US Marine Corps

Randy Cadieux has been a Marine Corps Officer for nearly 18 years, and has been involved with Navy and Marine Corps aviation for over 16 years.  He has been qualified in the KC-130, the UC-12B, and the T-34C.  He has been designated as Transport Plane Commander in the KC-130J and the UC-12B, and as an Instructor Pilot in the T-34C.  In addition to his aviation experience he has multiple years of safety management experience, including managing safety programs as the director of safety for a Navy primary aviation training squadron.  Randy is a graduate of the U.S. Navy’s Crew Resource Management Instructor School, and has experience with real-world training and application of Crew Resource Management.  Additionally, as an Operational Risk Management Facilitator he trains personnel in the application of ORM to operational activities. Randy also has several years of Operations Management and Project Management experience. His education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Science in Information and Telecommunications Systems Management, with a concentration in Project Management.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Navy's School of Aviation Safety, Aviation Safety Officer's course and is currently pursuing a Master of Engineering in Advanced Safety Engineering and Management through the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Open or Download Full Bio in PDF Format

CRM and ORM in HRO Presentation, Presentation Abstract

Technical Proficiency and Non-Technical Team Coordination Skills Presentation, Presentation Abstract

Caldwell, Cindy, PhD

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Presentation Abstract

Callander, Hamilton, and Snowden

The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC) – University of Operational Excellence

Presentation Abstract

Cardiff, Karen, MSc

University of British Columbia, Canada

Karen Cardiff is a health services researcher with the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Her current research activity is focused on human factors and system safety in the health care domain. Karen obtained a degree in nursing from the University of British Columbia and worked as a nurse practitioner in the Canadian Arctic for several years prior to obtaining a Master's degree in Community Health and Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. Karen recently completed an MSc in Human Factors and System Safety at Lund University, Sweden.

Presentation Abstract

Carnes, Earl, BS, MA

U.S. Department of Energy

W. Earl Carnes is a Senior Advisor for High Reliability for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and also serves as the DOE liaison with the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO).  His principal function is to support the DOE Research and Development, Environmental and Defense missions with improving performance and safety through adopting HRO principles and practices.  Mr. Carnes coordinates with other U.S. federal government agencies, international agencies, industry and the academic community on HRO application.  Prior to joining DOE Mr. Carnes worked as a management consultant and with INPO as a specialist in emergency management.  His academic work includes a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, a Masters of Arts in Communications and additional graduate studies in Systems Engineering focusing on the management of scientific and technical knowledge.

Presentation Abstract

Chassin, Mark, M.D., M.P.P., M.P.H

President of The Joint Commission.

In this role, he oversees the activities of the nation’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized worldwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to quality improvement and to meeting state-of-the-art performance standards.

Dr. Chassin is also president of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare. Established in 2009 under Dr. Chassin’s leadership, the Center works with the nation’s leading hospitals and health systems to address health care’s most critical safety and quality problems such as health care-associated infection (HAI), hand-off communications, wrong site surgery, and medication errors. The Center is developing solutions through the application of the same Robust Process Improvement™ (RPI) methods and tools that other industries rely on to improve quality, safety and efficiency. In keeping with its objective to transform health care into a high reliability industry, The Joint Commission will share these proven effective solutions with the more than 17,000 health care organizations it accredits and certifies.

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Keynote Presentation

Christenson, David A., MA

US Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Assistant Center Manager, National Advanced Fire & Resources Institute

David has focused on developing organizational learning, high reliability organizing, and creating a widelyused knowledge management system for the nation’s 300,000 member wildland fire community since 2002. The Lessons Learned Center has received international attention for its design and devlopment as a system that focusses on networks of people and supports them with enabling technology.

David entered the Masters of Science degree program in Human Factors and Systems Safety at Lund University, Sweden in 2010. He is a researcher in the Leonardo da Vinci Laboratory for Complexity and Systems Thinking under the guidance of Professor Sidney Dekker, now at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. He previously earned a Masters of Applied Geography degree in 2000 after an undergrad BS in Regional & City Planning, both with high honors from New Mexico State University.

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Presentation Abstract

Ciavarelli, Anthony P., EdD

US Navy Postgraduate School, The MOVES Institute

Anthony Ciavarelli received his doctorate degree from the University of Southern California in Education, in 1988, and a Masters Degree in Experimental Psychology from the California State University in 1976. He is a Research Professor for the Modeling Virtual Environment and Simulation (MOVES) Institute at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California, and the founder of Human Factors Associates, Inc. Over a 40-year career, he has developed systematic methods to develop, validate, and apply quantitative and qualitative measures of effectiveness in real-world operational environments. His professional experience includes the design of military and civilian training systems and the development of performance measurement methods used in the assessment of educational and training effectiveness. For the past few years he also has worked on the development and validation of organizational effectiveness measures that address organizational climate and risk culture. Prior to joining the Naval Postgraduate School in 1989, Dr. Ciavarelli had over twenty years experience in Aerospace and Defense Industries, where he served as a R&D product manager, human factors engineer and scientist working to improve individual and team performance. Dr. Ciavarelli founded Human Factors Associates, Inc., and successfully brought his work in aviation safety to the civilian aviation, aerospace and medical service industries by offering online (Web-based) assessment and human factors consultations directed at improving risk performance and organizational reliability.

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Presentation Abstract

Conklin, Todd, PhD

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Conklin is a Senior Advisor to the Associate Director, emphasis in Organizational Development and Human Reliability, at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he as has served in the Human Resource and Reliability Management and Training arena for the last 15 years. His book Simple Revolutionary Acts:  Ways to Revitalize Yourself and Your Workplace helps one, in a fun way, become a positive deviant in the workplace. Despite National Public Radio hosting him as a guest on “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” he finds time to become a three-time finalist for the “Publisher’s Clearing House” giveaway. Dr. Conklin speaks on Workplace Humor and Friendships; Workplace Violence; High-risk Conflict Organizational Development; and Training for Recognizing Unusual Behavior in the Workplace. This expertise results in a broad spectrum of courses which include Appreciative Inquiry; Organizational Development, Conflict Management and Team Building; Hostage Negotiation 101; Training for Recognizing Unusual Behavior in the Workplace; and Violence in the Workplace. The Appreciative Inquiry model helps groups of people make decisions based upon the past success of the individual members to build lightning fast consensus from groups that often are unable to have agreement around difficult issues. Conflict Management and Team Building is for facilitated sessions to help teams realize a more full potential, create a more positive sociological environment, solve problems, plan ahead, and create new understandings or definitions of scope, schedule, and cost. Hostage Negotiation 101 training teaches the ins and outs of successful negotiation with a hostage taker and is highly specialized for law enforcement and security corporate personnel. Dr. Conklin has his BA in Communication, Southwestern College, Kansas, MA in Interpersonal Communication, Fort Hays State University, and PhD in Organizational Communication, University of New Mexico.

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Conway, Jim, MS

Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Jim Conway is an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, principal of the Governance and Leadership Group of Pascal Metrics in Washington DC, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement [IHI]. Recently he served as Senior President of IHI and earlier was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. In 2001 he received the first Individual Leadership Award in Patient Safety by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations [now the Joint Commission] and the National Committee for Quality Assurance. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is a Distinguished Advisor to the Lucian Leape Institute for the National Patient Safety Foundation. In government service he served as a member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Quality and Cost Council. His MS is from Lesley College, Cambridge, MA.

Presentation Abstract

Davidson, Peter

UK Petroleum Industry Association

Peter Davidson is the Process Safety Manager for the UK Petroleum Industry Association, tasked with promoting process safety through the development of sector level initiatives, and through the implementation of the Process Safety Leadership Groups (PSLG) Principles of Leadership.  Over the past two years Peter has worked in close collaboration with the Health and Safety Executive in the UK as an active member of the PSLG, chairing the PSLG co-ordination group which project managed the delivery of the guidance in response to the Buncefield incident, and is currently chair of the PSLG practitioners group which aims to ensure consistent and effective implementation of the guidance in the UK.  Peter also sits on the  PSLG steering group.  Peter leads the Process Safety work-stream of the Chemical and Downstream Oil Industry Forum which aims to build on the successes of the PSLG and enhance and continue the joint industry/regulator working relationship for all areas of process safety.
Prior to joining UKPIA in January 2009, Peter worked as the Regulatory Compliance Manager for ABB UK, specialising in the delivery of automation systems to highly regulated industries, including Petrochemical, Pharmaceutical and Nuclear.  During this time Peter developed and led a global corporate initiative to develop a standard Functional Safety Management System, and attain certification of ABB’s safety execution centres worldwide.

Presentation Abstract

De Graaf, Yolanda P.

Presentation Abstract

Eck, Jim, PhD

Senior Director, Field Services, Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning

Presentation with Bellamy, Presentation Abstract

Presentation with Waters, Presentation Abstract

Gambino, Mary, PhD, RN and Ford, Debra J., Vogus, Timothy, MD, Thomas, Dave

Assistant Dean of Community Affairs, Director of Nursing Continuing Education, School of Nursing, University of Kansas Medical Center

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the University of Kansas Medical Center

Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, Nashville, TN

Renoveling, Ogden, Utah

Presentation Abstract

Gebauer, Annette, PhD

Interventions for Corporate Learning

Annette is a senior consultant for management and organizational development as well as cultural change. Her mission is to translate HRO thinking to classical industries like production, banking, services and technology etc. Annette runs her own consultancy in Berlin (Beratung für Corporate Learning) serving large DAX-companies like ThyssenKrupp, Sabic, Deutsche Telekom, SAP etc. Beratung für Corporate Learning collaborates with Apollo 13 as well as Management Zentrum Witten. Annette is member of the program committee of the first European HRO conference that will take place in autumn 2011.

Panel: Interventions to Make HRO Work, Jan. 21, 2011 1-2:30 PM
Downloadable ZIP file for American NTSC Source Computer Systems (349 MB)
Downloadable ZIP file for European PAL Source Computer Systems (180 MB)

Presentation Abstract

Glenn, John and Thomas, Dave

Division Chief, Fire Operations, Bureau of Land Management, National Interagency Fire Center, Boise, Idaho

Renoveling, Ogden, Utah

Presentation Abstract


Griffon, Mark

Member, Chemical Safety Board

Presentation Abstract

Harbour, Tom

Director of the Fire and Aviation Management program for the US Forest Service.

Tom’s first firefighting experience was in central California in 1970.  Tom has been involved in wildland Fire and Aviation Management his entire career.  Since beginning as a firefighter, Tom has had opportunities to fight and manage fires across the United States and internationally.  His emergency management experiences have included fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, riots, floods, and other types of disasters all across America.  He has been an Incident Commander and Area Commander at the highest levels of complexity.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of California Davis and a Bachelor of Science degree in forest management from Washington State University.  He graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis and with Presidential Honors for a 4.0 GPA from Washington State University.  He has done post-graduate work at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University and the Kenan-Flager School of Business at the University of North Carolina.  He served with faculty and leaders at the Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia, from October 2003 through January 2004.  The US Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management program employs over 10,000 firefighters and has a budget over $2 billion (US).  He has been happily married for over 30 years and has four wonderful children.

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Just Culture Presentation, Presentation Abstract

Doctrine & Risk Management Presentation, Presentation Abstract

Hart, Christopher

Vice-Chair, National Transportation Safety Board

Christopher A. Hart was sworn in as a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board on August 12, 2009 and designated by the President for a two-year term as Vice Chairman of the Board on August 18. Member Hart joined the Board after a long career in transportation safety, including a previous term as a Member of the NTSB.  Immediately before returning to the Board, Member Hart was Deputy Director for Air Traffic Safety Oversight at the Federal Aviation Administration.  He was previously the FAA Assistant Administrator for the Office of System Safety. He served as a Member of the NTSB from 1990 to 1993.  After leaving the Board, he served as Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, before moving to the FAA in 1995. From 1973 until joining the Board in 1990, Member Hart held a series of legal positions, mostly in the private sector.  He holds a law degree from Harvard University and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association. Member Hart is a licensed pilot with commercial, multi-engine and instrument ratings. Member Hart’s family has a tradition of accomplishment in the field of transportation.  His great uncle, James Herman Banning, was the first African-American to receive a pilot’s license issued by the United States government, in 1926. His term expires December 31, 2012.

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Keynote Presentation

Hartley, Rick, PhD

B&W Pantex

Richard S. Hartley, Ph.D., P.E. is a principal engineer in the Emergency, Safety, and Health Division for B&W Pantex in Amarillo, Texas.
Dr. Hartley is currently the primary lead for developing High Reliability Organization (HRO) training for his organization's senior management and for developing an improved Causal Factors Analysis process for organizationally rich, yet non-consequential events for the General Manager.
Dr. Hartley received his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, his M.S. in Nuclear Weapons Effects from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and his B.S. in Physics from Texas A&M University. He holds Professional Engineering Licenses in Environmental Engineering in Ohio and Texas.

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Presentation Abstract

Holbrook, Jim, EdD

Crafton Hills College

Jim Holbrook, Ed.D., is Professor of Emergency Services, Crafton Hills College (Yucaipa, CA) and Adjunct Professor of Emergency Medical Care, School of Allied Health Professions, Loma Linda University. His research is in decision-making under stress and use of brain-based behaviors in paramedic education. He earned his paramedic certification from Loma Linda University, his Bachelor of Vocational Education and MA in education from California State University, San Bernardino, and his Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Presentation Abstract

Leffew, Kimbel

B&W Pantex

Kimbel S. Leffew is the Human Performance Improvement (HPI) Program Manager in the Environment, Safety and Health Division for B&W Pantex in Amarillo, Texas.  Kim works with Dr. Richard Hartley and Gary Pool in developing and implementing High Reliability Organization (HRO) concepts at Pantex, the country’s only nuclear weapon assembly and disassembly plant.  As part of its HRO effort, Pantex continues to improve its nuclear processes and is evaluating which other Plant processes need to become more reliable.  Their efforts include utilizing improved Causal Factors Analysis (CFA) and Barrier Analysis Processes.  Kim is the primary lead for developing HPI at Pantex through proactive and reactive HPI Investigations as well as HPI implementation initiatives.  Kim co-chairs the Energy Facility Contractor Organization Group (EFCOG) HPI Working Team.  She is a Certified Environmental Trainer (CET) with a B.S. in Mathematics from West Texas A&M University.  She is a Texas Lifetime Certified Mathematics and Political Science Teacher with 18 years education and training experience within the DOE complex.

Presentation Abstract

McIlwain, T. Pinckney, MD

VP – Clinical Quality/Patient Safety, Cape Fear Valley Health System, Fayetteville, NC

Presentation Abstract

Mercer, Tom, MS, RAdm

Rear Admiral, US Navy (retired)

Former Superintendent of the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California.  He was also Executive Director of the Center for Risk Mitigation at the University of California, Berkeley.  Before that he was on the Joint Chief’s Staff for interoperability, strategy, connectivity and operational planning.  Mercer received BS from the U.S. Naval Academy and his MSAE from the Naval Postgraduate School.  He also graduated from the Navy’s nuclear propulsion school.  Mercer was an A-7 carrier pilot. 

Meshkati, Najm, PhD

University of Southern California

Najmedin (Najm) Meshkati is a Professor at the Sonny Astani Department of Civil/Environmental Engineering and a Professor at the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California (USC). Prior to this, he was an Associate Professor and the Associate Executive Director at the Institute of Safety and Systems Management, and the Director of the School of Engineering Continuing Education programs which included: the 54-year old USC Aviation Safety Program, Transportation Safety, and Process Safety Management. Prior to joining USC in 1985, he was Project Director for Decision Dynamics Corporation, Research Engineer at the SKC Research Inc., and lectured at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Meshkati is an elected Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, an AT&T Faculty Fellow in Industrial Ecology, a NASA Faculty Fellow at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2003 and 2004. He is the 2007 recipient of the Oliver Keith Hansen Outreach Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) and was honored by the HFES for his “scholarly efforts on human factors of complex, large-scale technological systems...[and] efforts to enhance public awareness of critical human factors issue [and] the benefits it brings to humankind.”

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Presentation Abstract

Moerkerken, Shirine, MBA

Strange – Strategy and Change, The Netherlands

Shirine founded the Strange network in 2008, after ten years of learning from the pioneers in the trade (the people who gave birth to this wonderful profession) what it means to be involved in change and intervention.

‘I am a inquisitive person. I hope I will learn and discover new things the rest of my life. I have no answers to complex social issues but I do have a search strategy that will lead to solutions. I am passionate, involved and enthusiastic, and that is contagious.

I guide, negotiate and tempt on the basis of a vision. And I teach others to do the same. Finally, I am open, direct and honest. I speak my mind. I have no hidden agenda’.

Open or Download Full CV in PDF Format

Presentation Abstract

Panel: Interventions to Make HRO Work, Jan. 21, 2011 1-2:30 PM

Downloadable ZIP file for American NTSC Source Computer Systems (349 MB)

Downloadable ZIP file for European PAL Source Computer Systems (180 MB)

O’Connell, Matt, MS

The Dow Chemical Company - Maintenance Technology Center

Presentation Abstract

Pool, Gary

B&W Pantex

Presentation Abstract

Provansal, Gary, Division Fire Chief

San Bernardino County (CA) Fire Department (retired)

Gary Provansal, Division Chief, Special Operations, San Bernardino County (CA) Fire Department, was responsible for counter-terrorism, Emergency Medical Services, Urban Search and Rescue, Hazardous Materials, and training for a county fire department that covers 20,000 square miles, the largest county in the United States.  He served on the Joint County Terrorism Oversight Committee for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. He also administered the Federal Aviations Administration’s (FAA) Western Region Air Crash Rescue Training School.  He served on a Federal advisory group for counter-terrorism training for the national fire service. He represented San Bernardino County for the low-level nuclear waste program for the US Department of Energy (DOE).  He was the Director of the San Bernardino County Emergency Operations Center for the fire siege of 2003 where, with a staff of 500, he directed the evacuation of 155,000 citizens from mountain communities and several hospitals.  He also acted as Operations Chief for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during the subsequent floods that killed 14 people.  He started his career with the department as a firefighter and paramedic.

Presentation Abstract

Pupulidy, Ivan MS, PhD(c)

US Forest Service

Ivan Pupulidy is the Human Performance Specialist for the US Forest Service, a position earned through a multifaceted career path. After receiving his BS in Geology, and working as a mine geologist and exploration geophysicist he joined the US Coast Guard where he flew HU-25 Falcon Fan-Jets on rescue and law enforcement missions. He was later promoted to Maintenance Officer and Pilot assigned to the HC-130 Hercules aircraft. After ten years he joined the Air Force Reserves as a C-130 Pilot and the US Forest Service as a Lead Plane Pilot flying tactical, low-level missions over forest fires throughout the United States. He then served as Regional Aviation Safety Manager before becoming the Human Performance Specialist, his current position. He now develops courses for human adaptation in complex dynamic work environments. Ivan’s MS Degree in Human Factors and Systems Safety is from Lund University, Sweden. He is a doctoral candidate there in Fire Safety Engineering and System Safety.

Presentation Abstract

Rounsaville, Marc

Managing Director, bluejack, llc

Rounsaville is currently the Managing Director of the bluejack company, a consulting firm specializing in leader and organizational development through effective communications. The company is engaged with a number of organizations providing diagnosis of leadership challenges, and the design and implementation of innovative solutions.

He previously served as the Wildland Fire Specialist to the Deputy Chief of the US Forest Service for Risk Management and Decision Improvement activities. His career has included assignments as Deputy Director Fire and Aviation Operations, Forest Supervisor and Regional Fire Director. In addition he has served as an Area Commander and Incident Commander on wildland fires, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, search and rescue and diverse non-emergency activities such as narrow band radio implementation and grant reporting for the Vice President's Reporting and Transparency Board for the American Response and Recovery Act.

From 1997 until 2011 he played an active role in the leadership, oversight and management of US Forest Service aviation operations first at the regional level and for 5 years at headquarters. His vision and leadership delivered a number of innovative changes at the incident, regional and national level. Applying risk informed decision making, moving from call when needed to more economic exclusive use helicopter contracts and implementation of the continuing airworthiness program are some of his accomplishments.

In these roles he has served on accident investigation teams and management evaluation boards for fire, ground transportation and aviation accidents.

He has served as an advisor to the Chief of the Forest Service during Congressional hearings and has briefed the President, Governors and Members of Congress on aviation, emergency and fire issues.

Through all these roles and assignments Rounsaville has led people and organizations to successful outcomes. Many of the fire and emergency assignments required him to step in and assist when local leadership was having the worst experience of their career and collaboratively find an innovative solution. These high demand high stress times burnished his leadership skills to a high luster.

Marc has a B.S. in Forestry from Mississippi State University and has done post graduate studies in silviculture, fire science, aviation management and leadership at a variety of institutions including Harvard, MIT and the University of Idaho.


Presentation Abstract

Full Downloadable Bio

Slagmolen, Bert, PhD

Apollo 13 Consultants, The Netherlands

IME works primarily for governmental, not-for-profit and professional organizations in the Netherlands. One of his focus areas is High Performance Organizations and the implementation of intervention strategies to make organizations more reliable, more client-oriented and more professional. He studied electronics at the Technical University in Delft and business administration at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He finished his PhD on the Analyses of ICT-narratives in organizations and society. He currently consults for Dutch ProRail, the Dutch national rail infrastructure manager, and for the Dutch Labor Offices.


Presentation Abstract

Spurlock, Bruce, MD

Convergence Healthcare

President and CEO of Convergence Health Consulting, Inc. and the executive director of Beacon - The Bay Area Patient Safety Collaborative. He also is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Stanford University.

Stringfield, Sam, PhD
Schaffer, Gene, PhD
Reynolds, David, PhD

University of Louisville
University of Maryland-Baltimore County
University of Plymouth, England

Presentation Abstract

Taen, Robert

Apollo 13 Consultants, The Netherlands

Robert J.M. Taen has more than 20 years experience as a management consultant. He graduated as an econometrician, the first 4 years working in Africa. Since 1988 he has been a consultant and partner at Apollo13 Consult (formerly IME Management Consultants). He has followed the postgraduate course Management Consultancy, is trained as a counsellor for organisational constellations and psycho-synthesis counsellor and has been accredited for the use of Cultural Transformation Tools (Barrett). In addition to his work and family (5 kids), he has a passion for music.

His focus area is the development of High Performance and High Reliability Teams and Organisations. He is familiar with a wide range of intervention strategies. What fascinates Robert is that people within organisations are often ‘invited’ to put their hearts and minds on stage before going to work. His mission is to change these patterns. Robert’s advisory activities lie within the domain of organisational and team development and cultural and behavioural changes. He is accustomed to the role of researcher and consultant as well as facilitator and counsellor. His customers include (semi) government and non-profit organisations as well as the business and process industry. His special interest goes to value-driven management, risk management, blame free learning from unexpected events and team coaching.

Robert is member of the program committee of the European HRO conference that will take place in autumn 2011.


Presentation Abstract

Full CV

Tolk, Janice, Ph. D., P. E.,

B&W Pantex

Janice N. Tolk is the Manager of the Explosives Technology Division, overseeing a staff of engineers, scientists, and technicians who perform research, development, and manufacture of high explosives.  Dr. Tolk has served in a variety of management and leadership positions for B&W Pantex, thus gaining a wide range of experience in facility engineering and construction management, site planning, facility security, manufacturing operations, and startup of nuclear facilities and equipment.

Dr. Tolk earned her Ph.D. in Systems and Engineering Management and her Masters of Engineering from Texas Tech University, and her B. S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky.  She holds a Professional Engineers license in Civil Engineering in Texas and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.  Dr. Tolk is an adjunct professor with the Masters of Engineering and Technology Management program with Oklahoma State University.  Research interests include leadership for technical professionals and High Reliability Organizations.

Presentation Abstract

van Stralen, Daved, MD, FAAP

Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Daved is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and a pediatric critical care physician on staff at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital and Children’s Subacute Center at Community Hospital of San Bernardino (California), Adjunct Professor of Emergency Medical Service at Crafton Hills College, Yucaipa, California, and medical director for American Medical Response, San Bernardino County.  He served as Medical Director for San Bernardino County Fire Department (covering 20,000 square miles) for ten years.  He worked in South Los Angeles as an ambulance man and fire department rescue ambulance driver for the Los Angeles City Fire Department in the 1970s.  By one review, he is the first career paramedic to attend medical school.  He has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Ecology and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science from the University of California, Irvine; an MD degree from University of California at Irvine College of Medicine where he completed his Pediatric Residency. He completed a Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship at Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Texas.  At Loma Linda University he worked with another Pediatric Intensivist, a Viet Nam combat veteran (Navy A-4 pilot), to create a High Reliability Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  He also developed the pediatric critical care transport service and the nation’s first clinical academic Emergency Medical Care baccalaureate degree for paramedics.  Using a fire service/EMS model with critical care principles he developed a subacute care model for profoundly handicapped children that enabled them to play and develop despite dependency on mechanical ventilation for life while cared for in a chronic intensive care unit. He collaborates with safety, risk, and reliability experts from wildland firefighting, business, and healthcare in the US and Europe to identify common approaches the individual uses to ensure safety and reliability.

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Introduction Presentation

Presentation Abstract

Waters, Tim, PhD

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), President and CEO

Presentation Abstract

Weick, Karl, PhD

University of Michigan

Dr. Karl Weick is Coauthor of the book: Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty, andd the Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. His research interests include sensemaking under pressure, medical error, hand offs in extreme events, high reliability performance, improvisation, and continuous change. Weick received his BA at Whittenberg College and his MA and PhD at Ohio State University.

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Keynote Presentation


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