March Luncheon: Five Lessons in Crisis Management from experts at UNC Charlotte

February 2023

Crisis communication leaders grounded in knowledge, courage, and earned respect at the head table are essential in guiding an organization through its most difficult days.

Two of those essential crisis leaders here in Charlotte are Chris Gonyar, director of emergency management, and Christy Jackson, executive director of strategic communications, who help lead UNC Charlotte's crisis management efforts. In this luncheon presentation, you will hear the top five lessons they have learned as they helped the university design and implement a crisis response plan during the tragic shooting on April 30, 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic that followed.

Register today to learn how their experience can help you level up your crisis preparedness!

Wednesday, March 22

11:30 a.m. 1 p.m.

Heist Brewery 
2909 N Davidson St. Suite 200

Click here to register today!

About Chris Gonyar
Christopher "Chris" Gonyar joined the Safety and Security team in May 2014 as the director of emergency management (formerly business continuity and emergency management planning). Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, he served as an emergency management consultant with Tetra Tech (formerly Beck Disaster Recovery, Science Applications International Corporation, Leidos). In this role, Gonyar worked with jurisdictions and organizations across the county on a variety of emergency management planning and exercise initiatives. During his time at Tetra Tech, he focused on continuity of operations, planning for functional needs populations, emergency management in higher education and Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) compliant exercises and trainings.

Gonyar graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2005 with double majors in history and political science and again in 2007 with a master's in public administration. During his time as a student, he was actively involved in the North Carolina Student Legislature (NCSL), serving as the attorney general for the state and as the Student Government Association (SGA) chief student counsel for two consecutive years, while also being selected as the honorary bell ringer for the 2007 spring commencement.He also holds a certificate in crisis leadership in higher education from Harvard University's Kennedy School.

About Christy Jackson

Christy Jackson is the deputy chief communications officer and executive director of strategic communications for UNC Charlotte, working with a team of professionals who execute the university's media relations, issue management, crisis communication, campus and community communications, and content development and storytelling efforts.  She joined UNC Charlotte as the first director of communications for the Division of Business Affairs in March 2016, where she also served as a crisis communication manager for the university. Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, she held communication roles at Sweet Briar College, Radford University and Virginia Tech. Among the crises she has experienced in her career are two campus shootings, the murder of a university police officer and the announcement of a college closure.

She completed a bachelor's degree in communication with a concentration in public relations and a master's degree in corporate and professional communication, both from Radford. She also holds a certificate in crisis leadership in higher education from Harvard University's Kennedy School. She is involved in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), serving on the board of PRSA Charlotte.

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