Veterans Outreach Center Welcomes Director of Risk Management

Rochester Chamber member Veterans Outreach Center welcomed Christopher Durkin to its leadership team as the Director of Risk Management. Durkin is the president of Blackhawk Security Management Group, as well as a retired combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army. He will focus on crisis mitigation for staff and clients with a heavy focus on suicide prevention at VOC.

From 2005 to 2017, veteran suicide rates increased 25.9% according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs website. What’s more, veterans are twice as likely as their civilian counterparts to die by suicide. These statistics are staggering and unacceptable.

Since 1975, suicide prevention measures have been a focal point during the month of September in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention day, which is September 10. With deep respect and condolences to all families who have suffered the loss of a loved one by suicide, Veterans Outreach Center is taking a firm step forward to join in the fight against this epidemic.

“We are so pleased that Chris will be undertaking this important work at Veterans Outreach Center,” said Laura Stradley, VOC Executive Director and U.S. Army Veteran. “We are privileged to have a man with his experience on our team, guiding our efforts with regard to risk, crisis and suicide prevention, and supporting our veteran families. We look forward to participating in and leading community-wide discussions to reduce the rates of veteran suicide.”

Prior to establishing Blackhawk Emergency Management Group, Mr. Durkin was the Information Technology Site Director in support of East Coast U.S. Navy S.E.A.L. operations. He later moved to Rochester and became the Monroe County Health Department Strategic National Stockpile Coordinator. He is an International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Certified Emergency Manager (CEM). Mr. Durkin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics and a Master of Public Administration from the State University of New York (SUNY).

Since 1973, Veterans Outreach Center has been committed to improving the quality of life for veterans and their families by offering free, veteran-specific services, including employment counseling, vocational training and housing for homeless Veterans. For more information about VOC services please call toll free at 585.546.1081 or visit