Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

Crisis Communications Summit
Advanced Strategy-Building for Natural Disasters, Cyber/Data Security & Reputation Management
December 3-4, 2018 | Chicago, IL

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The evolution of IoT is ushering in a new era of exciting advancement and serious challenges to the energy sector. With the elevated number of customers, companies, and stakeholders signing themselves onto the smart grid, utilities face an equally growing amount of responsibility…and risk. According to a publication by PwC, about 1.5 million cyber-attacks occur each year, averaging out to about 4,000 every single day. With just one security breach, power could be shut down to millions, communications could get lost, or sensitive customer information compromised. Utility companies must have a plan ready ahead of time to meet these crises both during and after they occur.


Join us at the Crisis Communications Symposium as we offer solutions to the largest crisis problems facing the energy sector today. With topics such as reputation management, social media, crisis prevention, public/private sector relations, and litigation practice, this conference will provide a comprehensive pocketbook of resources for utility leaders to stay prepared. Recognizing that the best time to handle a crisis is before it has happened, this conference will teach you how to set up the right plan, with the right people, and the right response for a successful utility strategy. Take a seat at the table and hear from our comprehensive index of speakers featuring interactive case-studies, media simulations, and collaborative panels from the nation’s leading IOU’s, consultants, lawyers, and government agencies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop a toolkit for effective crisis preparation
  • Identify the best practices in post-incident, media relations—social media, press releases, standby statements, dark sites…
  • Maintain a reliable strategy for reputation management in the critical 48-hours after a crisis
  • Review the interplay between the federal and state governments after a cyberbreach or crisis has occurred
  • Identify the expectations of the government for the targeted utility
  • Describe the process of an air-tight litigation system for company protection after a crisis
  • Assess the future of IoT and security
  • Employ a successful model for internal crisis communication



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.9 CEUs for this conference and 0.4 CEUs for the workshop.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day, be in attendance for the entirety of the course

Instructional Methods

Power Point presentations, panels, and open discussion will be used


Monday, December 3, 2018

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: The Future of Crisis: How Incidents Can Make the Industry Stronger

This presentation will begin by asking the question of how we define a crisis and the different types of crisis that exist in the world today. By creating a structure for the problem, we will clarify its importance and the right strategy for raising its awareness. This session will work through the following agenda

    • Why is crisis so relevant to power and utility companies?
      • Public safety/regulation 
      • Vulnerability to weather and natural disasters in addition to standard business crises  
      • Vulnerability to cyber-attacks:  Infrastructure attacks that could have serious, non-financial impacts 
    • The Crisis Lifecycle: Practical guidance for navigating any phase of the crisis lifecycle
  1. Prepare
    1. Assess your current crisis readiness
    2. Define your desire maturity level and build a roadmap to achieve it
    3. Develop your crisis plan, train on it, and make sure it doesn’t sit in a drawer
    4. Practice (table tops and crisis simulations)
  2. Respond
    1. Know the facts
    2. Bringing it all together (legal, comms, operations)
  3. Emerge Stronger
    1. Looking around the corner
    2. Beyond remediation

Kristin Rivera, Global Forensic Leader, PwC

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Creating a Prepared Strategy for Incident Response

With crisis, particularly for the energy field, the best time to respond to an emergency is before it has happened. As the threat of cyber hacking, natural disasters and other unplanned incidents escalate, the need for effective, efficient strategy has never been more important. This panel will include industry leaders who will provide their recommendations and real-world experience on how to approach the idea of ‘crisis’ from whatever your regional context may be. In this discussion we will cover the following topics: 

  • How to create a scalable strategy plan for any crisis
  • Defining roles and responsibilities before the crisis occurs
  • Importance of prepared materials (dark sites, standby statements, formatted press releases)
  • How to foster internal and external coordination
  • Objectively assessing your response after an incident has occurred.

Kristin Rivera, Global Forensic Leader, PwC

Jeff Brooks, Spokesperson, Duke Energy

Richard Ward, Director of National Security Policy, EEI

Mike Anderson, General Manager of Enterprise Security, APS

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. :: Crisis Communication and Managing the Message

How to respond immediately and effectively in a crisis is likely to attract attention on social media and/or traditional media, with a focus on responding to data breaches.

You will learn how to determine you should shift to crisis mode and then how to respond to key stakeholders – your residents, families, business partners, elected officials, etc. – who are going to want answers.

The emphasis is on pragmatic, practical tips and advice that you can arm yourself with for a variety of potential scenarios to survive the initial stages of the crisis and eventually emerge with your reputation intact or even enhanced.

  • Media relations tips and techniques
    • How to establish and maintain “control of the message”
    • How to prepare for a media interview or public speaking engagement about the crisis
    • How the digital era has spawned the new technique of “iterative reporting” – and what it means to you
    • Why stories so often have a victim, a villain and a vindicator – and how to own the vindicator role
    • How to make your side of the story a key part of the story
  • How to use social media to your advantage:
    • Evaluating social media threats and determining your response
    • Leveraging your social media outlets and other tools to reach key stakeholders – the people who care most about you and your organization
    • Learning from examples of effective social response amid crises
    • Specific action steps to take to win on social media
  • How to prepare before the crisis:
    • The key elements of an effective crisis communications plan

Thomas Fladung, VP, Hennes Communications

2:15 – 2:30 pm. :: Afternoon Break

2:30 – 3:45 p.m. :: A Landscape of Modern Utility Crisis

A case study in three of Duke Energy’s most challenging crises and an analysis of what was learned. We will cover some of the strategies Duke utilizes to stay ready for crisis and effectively communicate, both communicate internally and externally,  after an incident. It is vital to a successful incident response to have an action plan ready. Nearly 80-85% of responses to crises were pre-prepared.

In this session, you can expect to learn the best practices for mitigating the impact of an incident and creating a philosophy of response to each difference case.

  • Hurricane Irma- promised something resolved in 3 days but ended up being 3 months
    • How to retool your response
  • Coal-ash project
    • Work with EPA, wildlife, two states (Virginia and North Carolina)
    • Same agencies that are helping you may have different interests later
      • Building relationships
    • building collapsed at a plant you were demolishing
      • Company you were working with ended with a fatality
      • You encounter third parties who do not want to cooperate
    • Navigating communication between utility and local law enforcement

Jeff Brooks, Media Spokesperson, Duke Energy

3:45 – 5:00 p.m. :: Panel on Reputation Management Strategy

The first 48 hours after a crisis occurs is some of the most important time for the integrity and trust of a company. The goal of this panel will be to provide a platform of different insights into how to create the best media and operational response. This will be a discussion on what to do, what to say, and perhaps more importantly, what not to. The panel will include the following topics:

  • How to engage with media directly after a catastrophe
  • How to effectively communicate the issue with stakeholders through various mediums (social media, company website, on-camera interviews)
  • Appropriately explain the problem to a board or internal executives
  • How to mitigate the issue most directly – both internally and externally
  • Anticipate third parties and work with them


John Egan, President, Egan Energy Communications


Melissa McHenry, Director of External Communications, AEP

Thomas Fladung, VP, Hennes Communication

Dan Beans, Director, Redding Electric Utility

Tuesday December 4, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30  – 9:00 a.m. :: Case Study: Putting Out Fires in California

Less than 72 hours after ignition several miles to the West, the Carr Fire blew into Redding California jumping rivers, knocking over transmission towers, and hurtling vehicles; Redding’s municipal electric utility faced unprecedented challenges since their beginning almost 100 years ago. This is their story of survival in the midst of total chaos, their heroic power-restoration efforts as the fire raged, and the start of a long rebuilding and recovery process.

  • State government
  • Third party consultants
  • Stakeholders

Dan Beans, Director, Redding Electric Utility

John Egan, President, Egan Energy Communications

9:00  – 10:15 a.m. :: Cybersecurity and Data Breach Threat to the Energy Field: An Overview

Representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Attorney’s Office will discuss current cybersecurity threat trends impacting the energy industry.   Using examples from recent investigations and indictments, the presenters will outline the threat environment and discuss practical suggestions for working with law enforcement.

Special Agent Joel Robertz, Cyber Outreach Coordinator, FBI Chicago

Rajnath Laud, Assistant U.S. Attorney, DOJ

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:30 am – 12:00 p.m. :: Federal Panel: How Agencies Differ and their Role and Expectations in the Event of a Crisis

One of the key components to the subject of crisis communication is the relationship between the federal government and the IOU community. As the energy sector continues to combat the problems of tomorrow, the need for a productive collaboration between the government and utilities is critical. The following topics will be covered:

  • How do the different government agencies differ?
  • What are their different expectations for the affected utility?
  • What procedures will they do and why after a crisis?
  • What are the different agency perspectives on cybersecurity from the government

Paul Tiao, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth

SA Joel Robertz, Cyber Outreach Coordinator, FBI Chicago

Rajnath Laud, Assistant U.S. Attorney, DOJ

Paul Preusse, Division Director of Disaster Operations, FEMA

Boyden Rohner, Deputy Director for NCCIC Operations, DHS

12:00 p.m. :: Conference Adjourns



Tuesday December 4, 2018

1:00-1:30 p.m. :: Workshop Registration

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. :: Workshop Timing

Your company faces a major cyber crisis. Malware has infected your systems and locked your employees out of critical functions. Personal data of thousands could be compromised. Major storms knocked down feeder power lines and damaged a major generating facility, leaving thousands of customers without power indefinitely. Workplace violence sent a dozen employees to the hospital, many with life-threatening injuries. The State Public Utilities Commission denies a needed increase, sending investors into a panic.

No doubt you and your senior management teams recognize that THE critical success factor for your utility is the hard-earned reputation it enjoys with a long list of stakeholders, including employees, customers, investors, elected officials, regulators and more. Recent years demonstrate that these and other issues can and do arise that have the potential to inflict irreparable harm to your relationships and reputation that have taken years and significant resources to build.

How your company responds to a crisis situation, as well as how it conducts itself in doing so, can make the difference between success and failure in managing a crisis. It starts with the right preparation.

This luncheon workshop features guidance on the best practices for lawyers and communications professionals responding to a major cyber event. Hear from two seasoned professionals on effective collaboration involving legal advice and strategic communications in successfully navigating a crisis. We will provide practical tips on steps to take before you face a crisis, as well as what to do (and what not to) in the aftermath of a serious incident.

As we explore these methods step-by-step, you will get acquainted with the terminology, expectations, and behavior of the legal system in a way that is approachable and easy to understand. This will be a highly-interactive interactive session. We will facilitate a one-hour cyber incident Tabletop Exercise where you will have the opportunity to put to use the guidance and tools we introduce. We will explore the legal and reputational issues inherent with any crisis.

This workshop will be an ideal resource for attorneys AND communications representatives alike to better understand the best strategy to seamlessly work together and mitigate the impact of your company’s next crisis.


Kevin Donahue, Senior Vice President, Falls Communications

Paul Tiao, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth


Mike Anderson, General Manager of Security, Arizona Public Service (APS)

Anderson currently oversees the physical security, Enterprise Security, and cybersecurity teams at APS as well as all matters of Information Security and Compliance. Prior to his work there, Anderson retired from his 22 years of service in the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he acted as the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office, one of the Bureau’s largest in the US. Prior to taking lead in in the Chicago Field Office, Anderson Served in a similar capacity for three years in the New Orleans Field Office. Previously, he served in senior level roles in different divisions including Intelligence, White Collar Crime, Human Resources, and Criminal Investigations.

Anderson brings senior level operational and administrative leadership experience, and has a strong, broad-based skill set including physical and cybersecurity, investigations, counterterrorism, intelligence, and budgets & forecasting. Prior to joining the FBI, he worked in Phoenix as an Auditor for KPMG, then attained his law degree, and served as a corporate attorney for Doubletree Hotels Corporation.

Dan Beans, Electric Utility Director, City of Redding

Dan Beans is the Electric Utility Director for the City of Redding. Previously he served as Assistant Utility Director responsible for the Utility Operations Division (Line Operations, Engineering, and Power Plant). Prior to that time, he served as an Electrical Engineer, Engineering Manager, and Assistant Director over Resource Planning.

Dan is a licensed Professional Electrical Engineer with the State of California and was previously registered in Oregon. Dan came to the Redding Electric Department over 13 years ago after spending over 12 years in the private sector where he performed electrical engineering for NASA, the City of Portland, and numerous other public and private organizations through a consulting engineering firm.

Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from Point Loma Nazarene University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Finance from National University.

Jeff Brooks – Media Spokesperson and Communications Manager, Duke Energy’s Grid Improvement Initiative

Jeff is a seasoned public relations and crisis communication expert with more than 15 years in the utility industry. He has served as a media spokesperson and crisis communicator for Duke Energy for more than a decade and has conducted more than 4,000 media interviews in his career. During his time with Duke Energy, Jeff has served as a strategist and spokesperson in the areas of storm and nuclear emergency response, cyber and grid security, coal ash and environmental compliance, generation fleet retirements and modernization, rates and regulatory activities, and financial communications. A storm trooper at heart, Jeff regularly serves as a media spokesperson for extreme weather events, most recently deploying with crews during hurricanes Irma and Matthew, as well as dozens of winter and severe storms. He currently manages communications for the company’s six-state grid improvement initiative. Jeff is a Wolfpacker from N.C. State University and lives in Raleigh, N.C. with his wife and two children.

Kevin Donahue, Senior Vice President, Falls Communications

Kevin Donahue’s career spans more than 35 years across a wide range of professional experiences, including bet-the-company crises, issues and reputational challenges and 14 years in broadcast news and public affairs. Kevin has provided crisis management and media relations counsel and training to senior management to such companies as Shell Energy, First Energy, International Coal and many Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries, including airlines, trucking, chemical, automotive and other manufacturing, mining, healthcare, financial services and more. Kevin has also led crisis response teams around the country involving workplace violence, environmental accidents, brownfield issues, activist campaigns, explosions, data breach, telecommunications issues and other business and reputational crises.

Prior to his present position as head of the Crisis Communications & Reputation Management Group, Kevin served as Midwest Practice Leader of Reputational Risk & Crisis Management at Marsh, the world’s largest risk management and insurance broker. Kevin’s responsibilities included building and leveraging collaborative relationships with law firms. Before joining Marsh, Kevin was Senior Managing Director of a large investor relations and strategic communications enterprise, where he created and led that firm’s Crisis Management & Strategic Legal Communications Practice.

Kevin has led a number of client initiatives that have received recognition, including a Silver Anvil from PRSA and a “Project of the Year” designation from the International Public Relations Network.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Case Western Reserve University, and a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Marquette University. Kevin is an accomplished musician, serving as Music Director at one of the largest churches in the region since 1999 and now in his eighth season as Chairman and Conductor of the Lake County Messiah Chorus. He is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland.

John Egan, President, Egan Energy Communications

John Egan is president of Egan Energy Communications which provides writing and other communications services to utilities to help them turn their stakeholders into advocates. Prior to founding EEC in 2009, John was a research director for the E Source Utility Communicators Service. Earlier in his career, he was media relations supervisor at Salt River Project, a large public power electric utility located in Phoenix, as well as a senior marketing intelligence analyst at SRP. Before SRP, John was an editor and reporter at The Energy Daily, a leading energy news organization based in Washington, D.C.

​ John received his MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

 Thomas J. Fladung, Vice President, Hennes Communication

Thom Fladung serves as managing partner for Hennes Communications. He brings more than 33 years of daily newspaper and digital media experience to the agency, having served as a top editor at some of the nation’s largest newspapers such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Detroit Free Press. Over the past decade, Fladung has also played a lead role in evolving newsrooms into the digital age. His work at the Plain Dealer was instrumental in the newspaper’s migration to digital platforms, including web, social media and handheld digital devices. Fladung has overseen newsrooms of more than 300 journalists and has directed dozens of award-winning investigations, breaking-news stories, human interest stories and features. Highlights include helping direct six journalists reporting from the Iraq war after the invasion in 2003 for the Detroit Free Press; leading coverage during the Northeast blackout of 2003 in Detroit, and getting the newspaper out with no power; and overseeing coverage of the Minneapolis bridge collapse of 2007 while serving as editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Most recently, Fladung served as managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland starting in February 2011, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom. Prior to that, he was editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, managing editor of the Detroit Free Press and managing editor of the Akron Beacon Journal. He has also held a variety of editing and reporting positions at those and other newspapers and has reported on business, politics, state government, crime and courts and sports.

Rajnath Laud, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Department of Justice

Raj Laud has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois since 2010, and is currently Deputy Chief of the National Security and Cybercrimes Section. Prior to that, he clerked for Judge Joel Flaum of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and the University of Wisconsin – Madison. All views expressed are his own, not those of the U.S. Attorney’s Office or Department of Justice.

Melissa McHenry, Director of External Communications, American Electric Power

Melissa McHenry is director, External Communications, for American Electric Power (AEP), based in Columbus, Ohio, with responsibility for development and execution of AEP’s external communications strategy including corporate media relations, federal and Ohio public policy communications, executive communications, crisis management, social media engagement and the company’s external web sites.

Previously, McHenry was senior manager, Media Relations and Policy Communications at AEP with responsibility for corporate media relations and federal public policy communications. McHenry also led internal and external communications for AEP’s Kentucky Power utility subsidiary as State Corporate Communications Manager.

Before joining AEP, McHenry worked as Communications Officer for the Attorney General of West Virginia and as a public relations and marketing coordinator at a hospital in Ashland, Kentucky.

McHenry has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., where she was a Yeager Scholar. She is accredited in Public Relations by the Public Relations Society of America.

McHenry serves on the Governing Board and Development Committee of the Children’s Hunger Alliance and is a member of WOSU Public Media Board. She is a graduate of Leadership Columbus, Leadership Kentucky, Leadership East Kentucky and Leadership Tri-State. She also completed the ELI Leadership Development Lab and the AEP/Ohio State Strategic Leadership program.

McHenry lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her daughter.

Paul Preusse, Division Director of Disaster Operations, FEMA

Paul A. Preusse is the Response Operations Division Director for Region V of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Chicago. Encompassing the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, he is responsible for coordinating the federal government’s response to natural and man-made disasters. Since joining FEMA in 2007, Preusse has directed numerous Regional Response Coordination Center activations, including the presidentially declared Midwest floods of 2008 where five of the region’s six states were impacted simultaneously at historic levels, and the record flooding along the Red River of the North in 2009 and 2010. Prior to taking this assignment, Preusse served with the U.S. Coast Guard. His tours of duty spanned 30 years of various operational and managerial postings including more than three years at The White House serving in both the Bush and Clinton Administrations. Nearly one third of his military career was spent in command positions where he oversaw Coast Guard law enforcement, search and rescue, environmental protection, disaster relief and homeland security missions. Receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Economics from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1978, Preusse spent his initial years afloat serving in the Coast Guard’s largest domestic icebreaker MACKINAW. He later attended the University of Tennessee, earning his Masters of Science degree in Communications. Additionally, he is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Executive Program in Human Resources.

Kristin Rivera, Global Forensics Leader, PwC

Kristin is global leader of PwC’s Forensics practice comprised of 3,500 professionals operating in more than 70 countries worldwide. She helps companies to prepare for, respond to and emerge stronger from events they didn’t plan for including economic crime, fraud and misconduct. Kristin has helped hundreds of companies through crisis and leverages this experience to bring clarity and structure to the most volatile situations. In calm waters, she helps clients assess, mitigate and manage compliance and fraud risk. In crisis, she works with corporate gatekeepers to design and implement governance strategies aimed at minimizing the impact on their business.

Special Agent Joel Robertz, Cyber Outreach Coordinator, FBI Chicago

SA Robertz joined the FBI in 1996. Initially assigned to the FBI’s Chicago Field Office, he spent eleven years as a case agent working a broad range of counterintelligence investigations. He subsequently supervised squads in the counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and human intelligence programs in Chicago before serving as a unit chief in the Counterespionage Section at FBI Headquarters. His last supervisory assignment included oversight of joint cyber/counterintelligence investigations. He is currently responsible for coordinating operational counterintelligence and cyber outreach initiatives for FBI Chicago.

Paul Tiao, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth

Paul Tiao is a partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth and founder and co-chair of the firm’s Energy Sector Security Team. Paul has in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity risk management, investigations, litigation, regulations and policy. He is outside cybersecurity counsel to numerous energy companies, and advises clients on preparedness and incident response. Paul has handled the response to all types of cyber attacks against companies in the energy and other sectors. In addition, he is an expert on the SAFETY Act and as counsel to a major energy company, he secured the country’s first ever SAFETY Act certification for a company’s enterprise-wide cybersecurity risk management program.  Prior to joining Hunton, Paul served as Senior Counselor for Cybersecurity and Technology to the Director of the FBI Robert S. Mueller, and Judiciary Committee Counsel to U.S. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin. He is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Maryland and Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.  He was an appointed member of the Virginia Cyber Security Commission during its existence, and is currently an appointed member of the Maryland Cybersecurity Council.

Richard Ward, Director of National Security Policy, EEI

Richard Ward is Director of National Security Policy at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), where he focuses on cyber and physical security issues, infrastructure protection, preparedness, and incident response, for the electric power industry. In this role, Rich is also responsible for engaging external stakeholders, including state and federal policymakers, media, think tanks, and academia on security issues.

In addition to his role at EEI, Rich also serves as a member of the Secretariat for the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, which is coordinating efforts to address national-level threats to critical infrastructure, and is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Security Task Force and Cybersecurity Leadership Council.

Prior to joining EEI, Rich served as communications advisor and speechwriter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and as Senior Press Advance Representative at the White House for President George W. Bush.

Rich received a Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University and a Master’s Degree in Government and Political Communications from Johns Hopkins University. He also received continuing education in cybersecurity from Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Education Program. Rich lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife and daughter.


Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel

163 E Walton PL

Chicago, IL 60611

Reserve your room:

please call 1-800-621-8140

Click here to book online

Room Block Reserved For:

Nights of December 2 – 3, 2018

Room rate through EUCI:

$95.00 single or double plus applicable taxes
Make your reservations prior to November 12, 2018.

Venue Information


Event Standard RateAttendees
Proceedings package US $ 395.00

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