2019 Speaker Bios

John Diederich, M.A., MBA

Senior Vice President, Operations
& Chief Operating Officer
Rush Copley Medical Center

As both the watchdog and steward of patient resources at Rush Copley Medical Center, John Diederich has proven his mettle in a tough economic environment. He has honed his expertise over the last two decades and has risen through the ranks to become an accomplished strategic thinker, skilled operations administrator and affable leader.

As COO, John oversees the daily clinical, ancillary and support operations of the hospital. This includes the administrative responsibility of the medical center’s $50 million annual capital improvement budget and all medical center construction projects.

He received his Bachelor of Business Administration, specializing in management science from the University of Iowa, where he also earned a Master of Arts degree in hospital and health administration and a Master of Business Administration degree. John has also completed the Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

John’s presentation at Elite Training Day is titled “Active Shooter: From Training to Survival (A Hospital COO’s Story).”  In this presentation a hospital chief operating officer tells the story of spending nine months enhancing workplace safety at his organization, training 2,500 employees in active shooter response, and then his personal survival story of putting this training to the test at the Route 91 Concert Shooting in Las Vegas on Oct 1, 2017


Christopher P. Norris, CFI
Director, WZ Europe and International Training
Webinar Director
Wicklander Zulawski & Associates

Chris Norris, CFI is the Director of WZ Europe and International Training, in addition to Webinar Director, as well as a speaker for Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. (WZ). Chris has over 30 years of experience in the loss prevention and investigative fields, including living and working in the UK for nearly two years. He has trained thousands of human resource, audit, loss prevention, security and law enforcement professionals on the art of interview and interrogation and has conducted numerous investigations for both private companies and public agencies.  Chris has provided interview training throughout North America and on six total continents internationally, including many seminars simultaneously translated into French, Spanish, German and Polish, Portuguese, Mandarin and Arabic.

Chris’s presentation at Elite Training Day is “Finding Common Ground in a Cultural Diverse World.”  In this session Chris will review the lessons he has learned while living abroad and providing training to culturally diverse groups on six different continents.  The most effective way to impact your subject, is to know more about them.  Attendees will learn effective rapport building strategies for subject’s with a different cultural background than their own.  They will also gain insight to strategically prepare your interview approach by understanding fears and motives of your subject to create the greatest impact.  Lastly, attendees will review best practices of how to adopt an interview style that will encourage honesty from most everyone around the world.


John Fenzel
Speaker, Author, Educator
Retired Senior Army Special Forces Officer

John Fenzel is a retired senior Army Special Forces officer who has served on battlefields throughout world. He has served on the personal staff of the Secretary of Defense, as a Special Assistant to the Vice President, as a strategic planner for the Chief of Staff of the Army, and as a White House Fellow during the Clinton and Bush administrations.

He commanded a Special Forces Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and an Army brigade at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In the wake of the 9-11 attacks, he served as Staff Director for Tom Ridge in the Homeland Security Council. He was the principal architect of The Homeland Security Advisory System, our nation’s first public warning system for terrorist threats.

In his 30 years of military service, John has served in numerous command and staff positions around the world. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, he commanded a Special Forces “A-Team,” training, equipping and advising a Kuwaiti Battalion and accompanying them during the liberation of Kuwait. He has commanded three Special Forces companies, leading the first Army deployments to Pakistan and the Baltic States. In Bosnia, he commanded the special operations teams in the U.S. and British sectors, working closely with the United Nations to secure the indictments and convictions of those responsible for war crimes in Srebrenica. He is the only active duty American military officer to testify at The Hague in support of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

John is a graduate of the Naval War College and the National War College. Born in Iowa and raised outside Chicago, John lives with his wife and three children in Annapolis, Maryland.

John’s presentation at Elite Training Day 2019 is “The Green Beret Way:  Achieving Objectives Unconventionally, ‘By, With and Through.’”
As a retired senior Army Special Forces Officer (“Green Beret”) and author of three novels, John will share his experiences from the West Wing of the White House and the E-Ring of the Pentagon, to the many war and crisis zones he has operated in around the world. Through his telling of stories relating actual events, John will present an operational model he employed that allowed him to help mitigate and resolve crises.  In addition, John’s presentation will address:
•    How to employ a deliberate planning methodology and unconventional techniques to gain access to information.
•    Unconventional methods of living in uncertain, unstable and often denied environments.
•    Employing perceived impartiality and a non-threatening profile to achieve ground truth.
•    The imperative of empowering team members and influencers to gain clarity.
•    The value of demanding, realistic training.