40 Under 40 The Class of 2016

Jeffrey Trask

Director, Office of Enterprise Resilience, MassMutual Financial Group; Age 36

Jeffrey Trask

Jeffrey Trask

Jeff Trask was at his home in Springfield when the call came in.

It was an official at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which Trask served as emergency management administrator, informing him that campus police officer Sean Collier had been shot and killed as he responded to an incident on campus by a man later identified as one of the Boston Marathon bombers.

Upon hearing the news, Trask, using his phone and computer 100 miles from the MIT campus, helped a team that orchestrated an organized, comprehensive response to the shooting. It included activating the emergency operations center, locking down the campus, conducting emergency notification and communications, and other steps.”

As he talked about it, Trask implied that this was all in a day’s (or week’s) work, only there are not many days or weeks like this.

Which is precisely why companies and municipalities have to be ready for them. And getting and keeping MassMutual ready is what he does most days and weeks as director of the Office of Enterprise Resilience, a position the financial-services company recruited him for in 2015.

“This is about emergency preparedness, business continuity, and disaster recovery,” he said before defining ‘enterprise resilience.’ “We’re looking at ways to ensure that the business can continue operating in light of any technology outage, workplace outage, or even staff outage, like in the case of a pandemic. Our focus is on how to weather the storm.”

Trask has made a career out of helping companies and municipalities do just that, in capacities that have ranged from a stint as senior adviser on emergency management to Chicopee’s mayor, to work on the staff of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (during which he assisted area communities following the 2011 tornado), to his own business venture, Trask Emergency Management.

When not helping clients and employers weather the storm, Trask is active in the community, chairing the board of trustees for Holyoke Catholic High School, which recently merged with Cathedral to become Pope Francis High School. He’s also active with a number of industry associations, as well as his church, St. Stanislaus Basilica.

He’s devoted a good portion of the remaining time to restoring a cardinal-red 1968 Mercury Montego convertible, which he purchased in 2002 and finally put on the road just last year.

So it’s fair to say that, in all aspects of his life, he’s, well, driven.

— George O’Brien

Photography by Leah Martin Photography