Tell me about how you became involved with risk management?
When I started at a municipality as a Human Resources Department of One, risk management became inherent to my job. Since the City of Artesia and the City of Commerce were both members of the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (CJPIA), I worked closely with the Authority’s Risk Managers to assess and manage risks that are unique to our organization and the community as well. Other than administration of workers’ comp and liability program, I learned a lot when I was facilitating contract analysis, assessing insurance requirements, and collaborating with City management in assessing issues of risk that were relevant to said Cities. At the County of Orange, having a risk management perspective and approach has helped me handle more complex assignments that have potentially higher liability risk exposures such as the interactive process, reasonable accommodation, COVID administration, employee relations, EEO, and other workplace issues.
What are the rewards you experience professionally by being a PARMA member?
I cannot believe I have been a member of PARMA for almost 10 years! And I can say for a fact that this has been the most worthwhile professional organization I have ever been involved in. One of the greatest rewards I received as a PARMA member is being awarded conference scholarships to attend PARMA Conferences. Also, the opportunity to network with various professionals in risk management and local governments has been invaluable.
How has your professional knowledge expanded by interacting with other PARMA members?
Since I am currently working on a narrower field of Human Resources (EEO), PARMA’s offerings of various learning opportunities have broadened my own competencies in human resources and risk management. I have also maintained contact with the people I have met and worked with throughout the years through PARMA.
After being a member in PARMA for some time now, how essential was joining your professional association?
I decided to join the SoCal Chapter Committee to contribute my time and effort to PARMA. My membership in PARMA has allowed me to keep up to date with risk management and all its changes even if I am not a practicing Risk Manager at this time.
How would you respond to a risk professional who says they don’t have time to participate in PARMA and/or moving towards a leadership position?
Go for it! I know we all become very busy and participating in any association can make us groan with the additional “burden.” My participation in PARMA has added value to my own professional development. It really does not require a lot of your time to join PARMA. Join your Local Chapter Committee. The workshop sessions are so informative, and it is always fun!
What do you see being one of the largest challenges for the future of risk management? How will PARMA respond to that challenge?
PARMA has helped us navigate through COVID and all its many challenges, as well as new legislation and changes to existing laws. I believe with the support of its members and partner agencies, PARMA can help us respond to any challenge, especially for those of us in local government. Be it a natural disaster, an economic downturn, a COVID outbreak, these are major risks that need to be addressed proactively and talked about in our workshops, learning sessions, and conferences by PARMA.