Meet Leonardo Selvaggi
PARMA Member Spot Light


How did you enter Risk Management?

It all started twenty-four years ago just after college when I was hired by a small third-party administrator in Philadelphia, Curley Adjustment Bureau, to handle entry level claims. After eighteen years, 27 state licenses and many complex cases later, I entered into my current position with the County of Ventura’s Risk Management Department.

What are the rewards you experience professionally by being a PARMA member?

PARMA presents the opportunity to meet other risk professionals like myself. PARMA also has a strong foundation of ongoing education allowing a newly hired front-line representative to a seasoned risk manager the chance for furthering their knowledge base.

How has your professional knowledge expanded by interacting with other PARMA members?

The risk/insurance/claims field is an ever-changing landscape, my attendances at the Gold Coast Chapter meetings have helped me appreciate other risk disciplines, specifically safety and workers’ compensation and the hurdles each face in serving the public. It has also helped the County of Ventura’s Risk Management Department develop a synergistic approach within its three departments, Liability & Insurance, Workers’ Compensation and Health Safety & Loss Prevention by developing cross-training programs.

When did you start realizing you wanted to move into a leadership role within PARMA?

The County of Ventura’s Risk Manager, Chuck Pode who was Chair of our local chapter moved onto a Director’s position with PARMA and leaving Vice Chair position at our local Gold Coast Chapter open and that was when I took the leap into leadership and I haven’t looked back since.

After being a member in PARMA for some time now, how essential was joining your professional association?

Joining a professional organization keeps you connected to the pulse of changing events within your own industry, and a person should anticipate about a year for the knowledge learned to come full circle and into practice. For those who are just joining their local chapter a good reminder is to take the initiative to meet other professionals at your local meetings, these are your peers and soon to be lifelines when a question needs a quick answer.

How would you respond to a risk manager who says they don’t have time to participate in PARMA and /or moving towards a leadership position?

We can all create a reason to not attend a PARMA meeting or not enter a leadership position and if you find yourself doing that stop and ask yourself one question -when in your life did you ever grow from not taking on a new challenge?

What do you see being one of the largest challenges for the future of risk management?

What I am hearing a lot from brokers to other risk professionals is the potential exposures in the area of cyber liability. A public entity needs to make sure that all its stakeholders are informed about identifying and assessing cyber risk exposures, implementing controls and monitoring their outcomes. This is a relatively new and growing area and I am sure we will be learning more as time goes forward.

How will PARMA respond to that challenge?

PARMA always amazes me on how quickly issues that approach daylight become a conversation at our Gold Coast Chapter meetings as well as the annual PARMA conference. PARMA requests from its members suggestions on topics that address growing trends. This allows for a collaborative response from all public agency members to share collectively and identify possible answers to any growing challenge that faces all public entities and the industry.