Meet Alex Mellor
PARMA Member Spot Light

What inspired you to pursue a career in risk management?

After graduating college, I was fortunate to start my career working for a workers’ compensation disability management firm. I had a number of different roles in the organization, each of which exposed me to different parts of the California workers’ compensation system and state and federal leave laws. Many of the firm’s clients were public agencies, so I learned a lot about risk management in a public agency setting which led me to pursue and obtain an ARM designation. For the past five years, I have worked for the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority as a Regional Risk Manager.

What do you specialize in?

My background is in workers’ compensation and disability management, but I have really grown to become a risk management generalist. In my current job with the California JPIA, I routinely assist member agencies with a variety of matters including risk assessment, contractual risk transfer, health and safety, and employment practices.

What do you enjoy about your career?

I enjoy most areas of risk management, but what I really find rewarding is helping public agencies find solutions to their risk management challenges. Many smaller public agencies simply don’t have the resources to have a full-time risk manager, so the risk management function is often assigned to a staff member with responsibility for another area of operations such as finance or human resources. I also enjoy being a subject matter expert. The principles and process of risk management are often not well understood, so being knowledgeable in this arena brings a lot of value.

Why is it important to join PARMA and how has it benefitted you?

Being involved in PARMA provides a wealth of benefits including education and networking opportunities. Through PARMA, I have met many individuals from public agencies and service providers that I otherwise wouldn’t have met. PARMA also provides an opportunity for personal growth and professional development by serving as a chapter officer or board member. I am personally looking forward to helping lead the San Diego and Imperial County Chapter.

What do you love about PARMA?

I love the sense of community. Since my first chapter meeting, the people I have met through PARMA have been welcoming and encouraging. I also love the annual conference. It provides a great opportunity for those working in the field of public agency risk management to come together, exchange ideas, and catch up with friends.

Do you have any advice for people who want to get into risk management?

First, don’t dismiss a career in risk management because it sounds boring or unexciting. There are a wide variety of careers under the risk management umbrella for individuals of different backgrounds, education levels, and personality types. Second, understand that risk management is an industry that is likely to offer a lot of job stability. Many individuals in key risk management positions at public agencies are nearing retirement age, and there is a lack of qualified individuals to replace them. A career in risk management will almost certainly offer opportunities for continued professional development and advancement.