A public benefit corporation
on a big mission

Why we exist

When our Founder, Melissa Agnes’s, book came out in early 2018 she knew it was going to be a differentiator in the market. She knew this because she designed it to be. What she didn’t know or expect, however, was to discover to what extent her methods are a differentiator.

When Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, was published, Melissa began getting countless messages from readers asking her why the methods, practices, and ideologies detailed in the book were not common practice. She received thousands of messages from professionals who shared their stories of the “crisis preparedness” that was delivered to them by consultants that “looked good on paper” but did not work when put into practice—and the monetary and reputational repercussions that were experienced as a result.

These stories didn’t sit well with Melissa.

Because she didn’t come up in this industry by way of the “traditional trajectory”, she had no idea that her approach to crisis preparedness was so vastly different from the industry’s status quo, and she set out to uncover just what was so different about her practices.

Boiled down, her quest led to two answers:

  1. As a consultant, Melissa worked to help her clients engrain what she refers to as a “Crisis Ready Culture”, rather than simply delivering a Crisis Management Plan that sits stagnantly on a shelf and gives the illusion of protection and security; and
  2. Melissa’s approach has always been to see her work as a transfer of knowledge where she helped her clients’ teams hone the skills required to respond to risk and threats in real-time… without her. As Melissa puts it, she wants to be there to support her clients long-term, but she doesn’t want them to be dependent on her in moments when every second counts and their response in those seconds can make or break their brand and business.

These are two of her approaches that make all the difference and, with this realization and understanding, Melissa undertook to endeavor upon a mission: to create a crisis ready, crisis-resilient world whereby every organization, every leader, is in the position to respond to risk and challenges in a way that strengthens trust, credibility and brand equity, rather than depreciating from them.

And with that, Crisis Ready® Institute was born.

Today, our team works to continuously challenge and elevate the status quo of this profession and support our members in three areas: to strengthen their expertise in the field, to grow and scale their business, and to enhance their global network.

About Melissa Agnes, Our Founder

Recognized globally as an expert, thought leader and visionary in the field of crisis management, Melissa Agnes has worked with global players, including NATO, the Pentagon (DoD), Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, financial firms, technology companies, healthcare organizations, cities and municipalities, law enforcement agencies, aviation organizations, global non-profits, and many others.

In 2020, Melissa founded Crisis Ready Institute, a public benefit corporate dedicated to creating a crisis ready, crisis-resilient world by elevating industry standards; providing training and certification programs to professionals that better protect people, brands, the environment, and the economy in times of crisis; and promoting and incentivizing organizations and leaders to invest in effective crisis readiness.

Her book, Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, is taught in dozens of universities around the world, including at Harvard University; is ranked amongst the leading crisis management books of all time, by Book Authority; and was named one of the top ten business books of 2018 by Forbes...

Melissa Agnes

Founder and CEO, Crisis Ready® Institute

Our Founder

Melissa Agnes

Founder and CEO of the Crisis Ready Institute

“Our team is talented, passionate and driven by our mission. Everyday I pinch myself that I could be so blessed to be surrounded by, and have the opportunity to embark upon this journey with such true-hearted, hard-working and compassionate people who share in—and are as excited as I am—by the work we’re doing. As the founder of such an important objective, I can’t imagine a bigger blessing.”

— Melissa Agnes

Global Advisory Council

The Crisis Ready Institute’s Global Advisory Council (GAC) offers a wealth of diverse expertise, knowledge and direction to the Institute’s initiatives. Each member is an active and engaged part of the Institute’s strategic direction, and represents the wealth of experience, knowledge and skills the Institute brings to its Community.

Aaron Marks

Senior Principal, Dynamis, INC.

Chris Hsiung

Police Chief of the Mountain View Police Department

Paul Damaren

Executive Partner, ReposiTrak

 

Ashley Davis

Partner, ESI Convergent

Erick Anez

Global Head of Business Resilience, Finastra

Licy M. Do Canto

EVP, Managing Director, Public Affairs and Crisis, BCW Global

David Meerman Scott

Managing Partner, Freshspot Marketing

David Meerman Scott

Managing Partner, Freshspot Marketing

David Meerman Scott

Managing Partner, Freshspot Marketing

The Crisis Ready Institute is proud to be a Public Benefit Corporation.

When we founded the Institute, we sought to answer the following question: How can we structure this startup so that in 100 years, long after we’re gone, it remains to be a force for good in the world?

We want our mission of elevating status quo to create a crisis resilient world to always remain the guiding beacon of who we are and what we do. We want to be held accountable to our mission and to each of our stakeholders, rather than being governed by shareholder primacy.

With these objectives in mind, we considered different business structures and, ultimately, decided to form as a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). This means we are a for-profit entity that holds itself accountable to its mission and all of its stakeholders, not just its shareholders. It also means that every two years, we are required to report on the progress we’re making towards our public benefit purpose.

The Institute’s public benefit purpose

The specific purpose of the corporation is to elevate the crisis management profession by:

  • a) elevating industry standards;
  • b) providing training and certification programs to professionals that better protect people, brands, the environment, and the economy in times of crisis; and
  • c) promoting and incentivizing organizations and leaders to invest in effective crisis readiness.

Partner with us

We’re a startup on an important mission and we’re currently looking for the right strategic partners to help us maximize our reach, broaden our scope and find unique opportunities to bring crisis resilience to communities, professionals and organizations.

We have some big initiatives in the works, including the opportunity to provide fellowships and trainings to underserved communities, professionals and students, and we’re seeking the right partners to help us bring these initiatives to life.

If you or your organization are looking for an opportunity to be an instrumental part of the much needed change that this world currently needs, and if you’re interested in partnering with a startup that has the skills, the expertise and the vision to make that happen, then we would very much like to get to know you. Submit your details via the form and a member of our team looks forward to being in touch.

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About the Inaugural Membership Feedback

As we get this membership off the ground, we’re looking to our 2022 inaugural members to be a part of helping us strengthen and tailor this program to meet your needs.

This will involve regular communication with the Crisis Ready Team to provide feedback, share requests for additional ways to support you and your business, etc.

About the Crisis Ready Courses

Each Crisis Ready Course is designed to help you strengthen your Crisis Ready® Expertise. Course subjects will include crisis communication, establishing governance, crisis leadership, storytelling for crisis comms, DEI integration, and more.

Each course is complete with:

  • Anywhere from 4-15 hours of virtual learning that you can do at your own pace
  • Knowledge tests
  • Worksheets and resources to help you bring these valuable learnings and use them within your client work (applicable solely to those who have the license through this membership)
  • A Certificate Of Completion upon successful completion of each course

Crisis Ready IMPACT, the Mastermind for Consultants

$12,500.00 USD

Select your payment option below. You can choose to pay for your annual membership in full or in two equal instalments (50% due immediately and 50% due in three months).

Description

Select your payment option below. You can choose to pay for your annual membership in full or in two equal installments (50% due immediately and 50% due in three months).

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Wait... don't miss out on these opportunities!

Opportunity for Individualized Coaching and Support

If you:

  • Sometimes feel as though you’re in over your head with your clients’ issue and crisis management needs
  • Could use support and coaching to help you prepare for and have business development discussions with prospective clients
  • Wish you had more behind-the-scenes support as you serve and support your clients
  • Would benefit from personalized coaching and support as you take your Crisis Ready skills and services to the next level...

... then you will benefit from Crisis Ready Institute's 1:1 coaching and support. This opportunity is retainer-based and is offered exclusively to our consultant and small agency members.

This offering provides personalized coaching and support in:

  • Managing client issues and crises as they arise. We support you as you support your clients so that you can feel confident in the recommendations and advice you provide.
  • Integrating the Crisis Ready Model into your business and client work.
  • Helping you strategize business development conversations and close more deals.
  • Gaining buy-in from existing clients. We can be your frontward-facing partner or remain behind-the-scenes, whatever the situation calls for.

Two Packages Available:

Monthly retainer*
Hours of support per month

$2,500 USD
Up to 5

$5,000 USD
Up to 10

* This is in addition to the annual membership fee.

Before you go to checkout...

Sign up to demo this course!

We're excited to be sharing Sustained Resilience: Building Tomorrow's Leaders with you. Fill in the form below to gain access to demo this course. Once you fill in this form, we'll send you an email with further instructions.

Thank you for the honor of considering this important course for your curriculum. We look forward to sharing in the experience with you!

Melissa Agnes

FOUNDER AND CEO, CRISIS READY INSTITUTE

  • Recognized globally as an expert, thought-leader and visionary in the field of crisis management.
  • Has worked with global players, including NATO, the Pentagon (DoD), Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, financial firms, technology companies, healthcare organizations, cities and municipalities, law enforcement agencies, aviation organizations, global non-profits, etc.
  • Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World—ranked amongst the leading crisis management books of all time and named as one of the top ten business books of 2018 by Forbes.
  • Creator of the Crisis Ready® Model–which is recognized and being taught as leading industry best practice in universities and higher education curriculums around the world, including at Harvard University.
  • Sits on the panel tasked with developing the International Standard for Crisis Management— ISO 22361, Guidelines for developing a strategic capability.
  • Visiting scholar at D’Youville University, where she co-created and co-teaches a Crisis Ready Program for young college students.
  • Sits on Police Professional Standards, Ethics and Image Committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
  • Global Advisor for The Institute for Strategic Risk Management (ISRM), a global player established to help progress and promote the underlying understanding and capabilities associated with strategic risk and crisis management on a global scale.
  • Leading international keynote speaker on the subject and TEDx alumna.
  • Founder of the Crisis Ready® Community.

Build for a stronger tomorrow by strengthening your team’s skills in issue management, crisis management, and crisis communication.

Between the demands of our social impact economy, the divisiveness of society and the many other challenges in front of us, embedding a crisis ready culture is more important than ever before. Having a team that is trained, poised, and empowered to effectively respond to risk, controversy and other threats, will strengthen stakeholder relationships and increase the brand equity of your organization. This is a powerful opportunity. The Crisis Ready® Coaching Program is specifically designed to equip your team with the tools needed today for launching into a stronger tomorrow.

Effectively manage through today’s challenges with the help of a diverse group of experts.

From best practices around re-opening, to diversity and inclusion, to managing through the impacts that 2020 has left on your business, the Crisis Ready® Coaching Program is designed to support you through the challenges of today, in order to recover faster and stronger for an even better tomorrow.

Gain strategic foresight into the coming months, giving you the tools you need to better anticipate and plan for a stronger future.

COVID-19 continues to affect a great majority of professionals and businesses, leaving them blindsided by its impact and all the uncertainty that came with it. The Crisis Ready® Coaching Program provides you with access to a diverse group of experts, each with unique areas of insight, to help provide you and your team with strengthened foresight to better anticipate and plan for both the risks and opportunities that lay ahead of us all.

Licy Do Canto

Licy Do Canto, is a veteran of public policy, corporate strategy, health care communications and diversity and inclusion, is managing director of APCO Worldwide’s Washington D.C. office headquarters and mid-Atlantic region lead. Licy is also a Global Advisory Council (GAC) member here at the Crisis Ready Institute and a highly recognized African-American public affairs, lobbyist and communications strategist— recognized by TheHill newspaper for the 11th consecutive year as one of the most influential leaders in Washington, DC.

As Executive Vice President and Managing Director in the BCW Public Affairs and Crisis practice, Licy drives healthcare and social impact policy and strategy, and helps shape strategic direction on diversity, inclusion and belonging for the firm and its clients across North America, in public and corporate affairs, government relations, communications, crisis and reputation management. Licy also leads the BCW Healthcare Team in Washington, D.C.

An expert in public affairs, policy and diversity and inclusion, with over twenty five years of experience at the international, national, state and local levels across the nonprofit, philanthropic, corporate and government sectors, Licy is an accomplished, values-driven leader with unparalleled experience in developing and leading integrated public affairs campaigns combining strategic communications, public relations, political/legislative initiatives, policy, coalition building, grassroots efforts and advocacy.

Before joining BCW, Licy built and lead a nationally recognized minority owned strategic public affairs and communications firm, served as Health Practice Chair and Principal at The Raben Group, was the Chief Executive Officer of The AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth and Families, and managed and helped set the leadership direction for strategic policy, communications, and advocacy investments in executive and senior government affairs roles for the American Cancer Society and the nation’s Community Health Centers.

Before joining the private sector, Licy was domestic policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Barney Frank and served in several capacities in the Office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. During his extensive tenure in Washington, D.C., Licy has played a leading role in efforts to draft, shape and enact legislation and policy to improve the public health, health care safety net and the lives, livelihoods and well-being of the nation’s disadvantaged and underserved communities. 

Licy also has worked with Moet Hennessey to drive diversity and inclusion on Wall Street and corporate America. He has partnered with Vice President Al Gore, senior government officials, scientists, NGOs and activists, on global climate change impact and sustainability across Africa. And he was appointed by Republican and Democrat governors to oversee the conservation, preservation and management of a prominent U.S. national historic landmark.

Licy is a graduate of Duke University and holds a certificate in public health leadership in epidemic preparedness and management from the University of North Chapel Hill—School of Public Health and Kenan Flagler Business School, and is the recipient of multiple industry awards and citations for his leadership, policy and public affairs acumen, including being named to The Hill Newspaper list of most influential  leaders in Washington, D.C. consecutively over the last ten years. As a global citizen, Licy has lived in Turkey and Spain, and is fluent in Spanish and Cape Verdean Portuguese.

Melissa Agnes

Recognized globally as an expert, thought leader and visionary in the field of crisis management, Melissa Agnes has worked with global players, including NATO, the Pentagon (DoD), Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, financial firms, technology companies, healthcare organizations, cities and municipalities, law enforcement agencies, aviation organizations, global non-profits, and many others.

In 2020, Melissa founded Crisis Ready Institute, a public benefit corporate dedicated to creating a crisis ready, crisis-resilient world by elevating industry standards; providing training and certification programs to professionals that better protect people, brands, the environment, and the economy in times of crisis; and promoting and incentivizing organizations and leaders to invest in effective crisis readiness.

Her book, Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, is taught in dozens of universities around the world, including at Harvard University; is ranked amongst the leading crisis management books of all time, by Book Authority; and was named one of the top ten business books of 2018 by Forbes.

Melissa is the creator of the Crisis Ready® Model, which is recognized and being taught as leading industry best practice in the fields of crisis management and crisis communication.

As an in-demand international keynote speaker and a TEDx alumna, Melissa has traveled the world helping organizations and leaders further strengthen their crisis ready mindset, skills and capabilities.

In 2019, Melissa founded the Crisis Ready® Community, a space for professionals to come together to support one another, collaborate and strengthen their crisis ready skills.

Melissa sits on the Board of Trustees for D'Youville University, a private University in New York, where she also serves as a visiting scholar for the course she co-created and co-teaches on Crisis Leadership.

Melissa also sits on the Board of Directors for ZeroNow, a non-profit organization committed to ending harmful events in schools.

Passionate about serving law enforcement and bridging the trust divide between agencies and the communities they serve, Melissa is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). In 2021 she co-chaired a committee that was tasked with developing a strategy and plan of action to begin managing and overcoming the trust crisis in the U.S.

In 2019 and 2020, Melissa sat on the panel tasked with developing the International Standard for Crisis Management— ISO 22361, Guidelines for developing a strategic capability.

Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec (Canada), Melissa currently lives in New York City and enjoys traveling, rollerblading, sailing, and working out when she isn’t working.

Erick Anez

Erick Anez is the Global Head of Business Resilience at Finastra. Erick is a proven leader with well over a decade of experience leading change and transformation in the Operational Resilience field.

His hands-on approach focuses on operational learning, culture, and reputational management. Erick holds a Bachelor of Emergency & Homeland Security, Graduate studies in Security and Disaster Management, is a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), Certified Risk Management Professional (CRMP), graduate of the FEMA institute in Incident Management and Command, and is a respected member of Public-Private partnerships within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and  the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Some of his most notable achievements in the field include leading the private sector response to Hurricane Maria as well as working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Continuity of Operations (CCOP) projects for mission-critical facilities in the United States. Erick has also trained with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Infectious Disease Planning and community response, including Point of Dispensing initiatives.

From 2016 to 2019, Erick held several roles at Crowley and, most recently, was the company’s Managing Director of Safety & Resilience. During this time, he was responsible for resilience operations supporting all business segments as well as leading the organization’s safety culture improvement journey. At Crowley, he led the Occupational Health & Safety, Business Continuity, and Crisis Management teams.

Before joining Crowley, Erick held similar roles at Southwest Gas and Third Federal Savings & Loan.

Aaron Marks

Founder and Principal, One Thirty Nine Consulting
Global Advisory Council Member, Crisis Ready® Institute

Aaron Marks is the founder and principal of One Thirty Nine Consulting, providing services for small and large businesses in Risk, Crisis, and Consequence Management.

Supporting both domestic and international clients, he provides operational and subject matter expertise in readiness and preparedness, crisis and incident management, and business and operational continuity for complex systems and organizations.

Aaron has provided in-depth review, assessment, and analysis for technology, policy, and operational programs for clients in healthcare, critical manufacturing, and entertainment and hospitality, as well as for state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal governments in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He is a recognized authority on the application of nontraditional techniques and methodologies to meet the unique requirements of training, evaluation, and analytic games and exercise.

Prior to entering the readiness and preparedness field, Aaron was the Director of Operations for a commercial ambulance and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provider in western New York State where he participated in the integration of commercial EMS and medical transportation resources into the local Trauma System.

During his 30-year career, Aaron has worked in almost every aspect of EMS except fleet services. This includes experience in Hazardous Materials and Tactical Medicine, provision of prehospital care in urban, suburban, rural, and frontier environments, and acting as a team leader for both ground and aeromedical Critical Care Transport Teams.

Aaron is a FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner and received a B.A. in Psychology from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and a master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. He is also a Nationally Registered Paramedic and currently practices as an Assistant Chief with the Amissville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, Amissville Virginia.

Chris Hsiung

Chris is the 11th Police Chief of the Mountain View Police Department, located in the heart of Silicon Valley. For more than 25 years, he has served the Mountain View community, and as the department’s leader, is passionate about maintaining MVPD’s role as a progressive law enforcement organization in the 21st century.

Chris is an internationally recognized speaker and columnist on the areas of crisis communications, critical incident management, leadership, and engagement with stakeholder groups. In his time with Mountain View PD, Chris has held a variety of investigative, tactical, and leadership roles, serving in every division in the organization. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program and has a master’s degree in eBusiness Management from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, CA.

Chris also serves in several leadership positions on multiple boards, including as president on the Government Social Media Leadership Council and committee member on the IACP's Professional Standards, Ethics, and Image Committee. Previously, Chris served as a board member for the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center and two terms as a commissioner on the City of San Mateo Community Relations Commission.

You can connect with him on Twitter @Chief_Hsiung or LinkedIn.

Ashley Davis

Ashley is a Brand and Marketing Strategist who partners with CEOs, executives and solopreneurs to grow their personal and professional brands. After spending over a decade working in strategic communications for multimillion dollar brands and startups, Ashley knows what truly drives conversations, builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their stakeholder groups and attracts strong strategic partnerships.

Ashley has helped organizations and leaders increase employee awareness and overall understanding of the company vision. She has strong experience / knowledge of social media tools and techniques for driving awareness, reputation and brand—and is known for advancing a company's messaging in the marketplace by growing the following of now multiple multimillion dollar brands and startups.

Ashley has served as the Editor of monthly all employee publications by managing the planning, writing and production. She is an integral part of new product launches and is frequently engaged to train entire sales teams along with channel / distribution partners on new product launches. In addition to her extensive experience, Ashley is a trained business coach.

Ashley holds a BA in Global Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

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