Securing the Supply Chain Summit 2022:
Building Resilience through Sustainability

On October 18, 2022, the Centers of Excellence for Homeland Security-Emergency Management and Global Trade and Supply Chain Management held their sixth summit, which focused on “Building Resilience through Sustainability.” This was the first time in three years that we were able to host a hybrid in-person and virtual event at Highline College. Forty people attended in person, and thirty people attended virtually. Attendees represented industry, public and private agencies and organizations, faculty and students from our community colleges pathway programs, and Center of Excellence staff.

Josh Gerstman, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Highline College, welcomed the attendees. He focused on the need to address challenges to our colleges’ systems. Educators are adapting and addressing the changing dynamics from the pandemic and those created by changing workforce needs and expectations.

Philip J. Palin was the keynote speaker. He is a well-known author and consultant on catastrophe preparedness and risk management. His focus was on the increasing severity of risk in our world and the urgent need for meaningful strategic and operational collaboration between Emergency Management professionals and Supply Chain professionals to develop and sustain Supply Chain Resilience. After his call to action, the morning session participants held “learning conversations” to discuss risks and solutions and reported on building action agendas.

Speakers Amy Gillespie (Deputy Director) and John Holdsworth (Program Manager) from Pierce County Department of Emergency Management spoke about “Private Sector Supply Chain Resilience .”Their presentation focused on the importance of collaboration between industry and emergency management professionals and the need to address risks and solutions for our communities. Amy said, “Private companies and industry will recover from a disaster 50 times faster than the public sector,” and that is why it is important for the public and private sectors to build “trusting relationships” before an event strikes.

Irene Shaver, the Program Manager of the Climate Solutions Program at the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, was unable to attend but sent information about her new program. Her program focuses on sustainability and climate education across the curriculum, green workforce development, and making our colleges more sustainable. The program will be offering a series of Workforce Sector Retreats focusing on green technologies, climate solutions curriculum, and projects for students.

Sam Kaplan, Director of Center of Excellence for Global Trade and Supply Chain Management recently took students on a Study Abroad Program to Vietnam. “Vietnam is now the second largest importer through Seattle-Tacoma Ports. More than 170,000 jobs in global supply chain are linked to component going and coming from Vietnam,” Sam stated. The students followed apples from WA to Ho Chi Minh City, then saw how components for Brooks Shoes are assembled, then shipped to Washington. Stress in the system resulted in container costs rising to over $20,000 each and containers not being back loaded in Washington. Sam said, “Vietname made up more than half of the export decline from China even before the trade war.” Global supply chain is resilient even if the supply flow is changing.

Dante DiSabatino, Tsunami Program Coordinator at Washington State Emergency Management Department, provided a sobering overview of the maritime issues after catastrophic events like a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake or an earthquake on either the Seattle or Tacoma fault lines. Tsunami impacts on our Washington coast and the Puget Sound interior will be dramatic and potentially catastrophic. DiSabatino’s program is responsible for overseeing, providing, and conducting public education, outreach, training, technical assistance, and professional support to public and private entities. His message was how important it is that the industry know and understand how earthquakes will impact the Region and what needs to be done to build capabilities for preparation and recovery.

Julian Sharpe, President of Survival Capsule, provided information on the Survival Capsule, a personal safety system designed to protect against tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and storm surges. He showed how the capsule could be adapted in capacity and shipped complete or in a compact kit for user assemblage. Survival Capsule develops survival solutions for natural disasters around the world.

Consultant and trainer, Scott Heinze, focused on leadership development, team building, and facilitation. He has served as Deputy Director for Pierce County Emergency Management and for nine years on the City of Tacoma’s School Board. His presentation shared about Tacoma’s successful programs in designing and implementing youth experiential training programs. The Tacoma school board worked with K-12 schools in Pierce County to provide students with opportunities to experience pathway work that promoted non-degree and apprenticeship opportunities during the summer and the regular school year. He understands that climate change will offer many types of pathways to work in the future. Students of all ages and professional levels will be welcomed with certification, apprenticeships, or other continuing education opportunities to learn new job skills.

Co-Chairs of the COE HSEM Advisory Board, Curry Mayer, Director of City of Seattle Emergency Management, and Celia Taylor, Program Manager for King County Emergency Management, helped facilitate our learning conversations and provided a recap and summary of learning and discussion prior to the summit adjourning. A networking reception was provided by our sponsors, Foster School of Business UW Global Business Center, and the CSCMP Puget Sound Roundtable followed the summit.

The Summit recording will be published on our website ( as soon as editing is completed.

View all PowerPoints under “Supply Chain Forums” at: