Press Release

For Immediate Release


Special guests discuss their contributions to the emergency management field

#PrepTalkNYC {Click to listen to episode 27}

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March 5, 2019 — In recognition of Women’s History Month, the latest “Prep Talk” episode features Penny Neferis, the director of business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency response at JetBlue, and Linda Reissman, the director of emergency management at Memorial Sloan Kettering.  Listen as both guests discuss how major emergencies like Hurricane Sandy and 9/11 have influenced their careers and shaped emergency management both on a local and national level, and hear what each guest thinks is the greatest challenges facing the field in the future. Find out why collaboration is key to successful emergency planning, preparedness, and response in highly competitive fields like health care and the airline industry. You can listen to the latest episode on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Spreaker, and subscribe now to stay up-to-date on the latest episodes.


Penny Neferis is the director of business continuity & emergency response at JetBlue Airways.  Ms. Neferis joined JetBlue in July 1999 and played a key role on the JetBlue startup team.  She founded the Care and Emergency Response department for the New York-based JetBlue Airways and served as its first director, developing and implementing the company’s emergency response plans, training, procedures, command centers and exercises.  She currently leads JetBlue’s Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery and Emergency Response programs including the development, review, testing, maintenance and auditing of business continuity and disaster recovery plans.  She leads a team of professionals to ensure JetBlue is prepared to meet business interruption events.  Most recently, Ms. Neferis has been asked to lead the System Operations Safety Management System program development, implementation and management.

Ms. Neferis serves as a board member to NYC Medics.  She was also the Chair of the IATA Emergency Response Planners Task Force.  She is a member of the Blue Sky Aviation Contingency Working Group, Contingency Planning Exchange (CPE) and Association of Contingency Planners (ACP).  She is a certified business continuity planner from the Disaster Recovery International Institute.  Ms. Neferis is also a lecturer for MIT’s Crisis Management and Business Continuity course. Ms. Neferis holds a bachelor’s degree with a dual major in Aeronautics and Management from Dowling College in Oakdale, NY.  

Linda Reissman has over thirty years of experience in the municipal, private, and governmental sectors of the emergency management, public health, and EMS disciplines.  She received her master’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from Touro University International.

Currently, Ms. Reissman is the director of Emergency Management for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) since 2007 where she is responsible for emergency preparedness and clinical business continuity for the hospital, outpatient, regional and research facilities. As a receiving hospital for evacuees during hurricanes Irene and Sandy, MSK was recognized for applying lessons learned to enhance evacuation procedures and awarded First Place in 2014 for Innovation and Technology by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).  Ms. Reissman has presented on the topics of healthcare Emergency Management and Clinical and Business Continuity at national conferences and co-authored the Health Care Business Continuity Chapter in Crisis Management and Emergency Planning: Preparing for Today's Challenges by CRC Press.


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