New leaders for the BCI Belgium Chapter

  • 26 Apr 2024

We are pleased to announce the new Leader and Vice Leader of the BCI Belgium Chapter, Christian De Boeck and Werner Verlinden.

Could you tell us about your experience in the business continuity and resilience sector and how your skills and expertise contribute to the success of the Chapter’s goals?

Christian De Boeck (CB): Officially, I entered the business continuity world on Valentine’s Day in 2000 and ever since then, the love story has continued. I began with disaster recovery planning and still deliver this and cyber resilience for part of my time, working in close collaboration with chief information security officers (CISO) and cyber security teams. The other part of my role is dedicated to business continuity planning and operational resilience, where I incorporate the human factors of resilience and continuity, as well as supporting the major challenge of low-carbon transition which is an area where business continuity managers will have a key role to play. As Chapter Leader, I’m keen to bring that broad experience to the BCI community and encourage the building of bridges across these different domains for a better, safer, and more resilient world.

Werner Verlinden (WV): I’m into my third decade of active service in the domain and time has flown by. In this time, I have worked for leading organizations in a wide variety of roles and functions, building up an extensive network of colleagues and friends with whom my passion and interest for continuity and resilience could be shared. I have also been active in the standardisation of business continuity management as well as various roles in support of the BCI, including leading the BCI Belgium Chapter for many years. I will bring both expertise and experience in support of the Chapter Leader and the Chapter goals.

Developing a feeling of community

CB: I have a strong sense of helping others and see the Chapter Leader position as a perfect opportunity to promote that value into our community. Ideas, knowledge, and experiences are just a few of the things that create growth and wealth when shared, and I would like to give as many opportunities as possible for our communities to use these spaces to foster inclusivity and diversity across our BCI community.

WV: Expertise, experience, and passion for continuity and resilience are all great attributes in their own right, but they can become so much more when shared with others who share the same interest in the sector. A platform like the BCI Belgium Chapter is a unique platform to join other experts and colleagues active in the industry.

What influence are you planning to have on the future of the Chapter?

CB: I would like to act as a facilitator and coach/mentor in opening minds and spreading a supportive continuity and resilience culture in and around our community. I would also like to create bridges across the different sub-domains, e.g. cyber resilience, disaster recovery planning, business continuity, and operational resilience.

WV: Above anything else, I see myself more like a coach, mentor, and great supporter of the new Chapter Leader to see that the work I once started gets picked up and revived again after the very difficult pandemic years which we have lived through. I really hope to see more BCI activities in Belgium again in the near future.

What are the current regional business continuity and resilience challenges?

CB: As in many regions, business continuity is not perceived at its true value nor with its full complexity. Many still see the profession as an administrative position or one which focuses only on the IT/technical aspects. Some awareness may come with the enforcement of new regulations such as DORA or NIS-2, but there is a lot of work to do.

WV: The most daring challenges in my view are breaking boundaries between disciplines and facing the challenge of compliance with the ever growing legal and regulatory requirements.

How will the Chapter meet these challenges?

CB: Conveying the BCI's values and missions within local communities and enabling knowledge to be shared outside the BCI's community of experts will help meet and overcome those challenges.

WV: I strongly believe that the Chapter can offer an open-minded platform for experts of various disciplines to collaborate and come up with ideas, plans, and suggestions on how to address these challenges.

What piece of advice can you share for others working in the sector?

CB: Work with passion. Stay curious and open to other viewpoints (there are usually multiple paths to success). Always keep an eye on the broader picture and take the time to regularly step out and assess if what you’re currently doing still makes sense for your company but also for yourself.

WV: Love the work you do, be committed, and be passionate about it. We all know it is a tough job with major challenges, but be the guide for your colleagues and the organizations you work for.

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