It’s almost time to celebrate the many talented professionals and dedicated volunteers in the URMIA membership. Hear the joy from committee chair Marje Lemmon and an Visionary Award winner, Jeff Chasen as they share the meaningful experience that URMIA awards bring. Nominate now so deserving winners can be revealed at the annual conference in September. A list of awardees, available award and honoree categories, and a nomination for each button can be found at www.urmia.org/honorsandawards.
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URMIA Distinguished Risk Manager (DRM) Award
Marje Lemmon, ARM, CPCU,DRM - URMIA Past President and Risk Manager, Yale University
Jeff Chasen, JD - AVP for Employee Growth, Development, Accessibility, & Inclusion, University of Kansas
Jenny Whittington- Executive Director, URMIA
[00:00:00] Jenny: Greetings out there. Welcome to URMIA matters. This is Jenny Whittington hosting once again, and I have two of my favorite people with me today. I have Marge lemon from Yale and Jeff Chaisson from university of Kansas Marge. Why don't you say hello?
[00:00:17] Marje: hello everyone. Hello, Jenny. Happy mother's day to all your mothers out there.
[00:00:23] Jenny: Absolutely. Let's, let's start with a cheer to all the mothers out there. I'm gearing up for a very special weekend. I don't know what my son or my step-son or my husband has, has an in store for me, but, I have high expectations and welcome to you, Jeff. Welcome to you.
[00:00:42] Jeff Chasen: Thank you. And happy mother's day. This is such a great time of year. So I'm just trying to really enjoy that along with the pressive business back on campus.
[00:00:52] Jenny: Absolutely. So we are here today to talk about URMIA’s honors and awards. It's that time of year. And, I've been saying to myself that this is really the year of gratitude. In, in so many ways. And I was reminded at a, at a fall conference of the CHEMA group, which is a bunch of higher education associations. And, you know, we've, we've been through so much in the last two years and I've really tried to be thankful to everyone, to all the members, to the board, to the staff. And, I just want to put that out there to. I am grateful for you two, for gathering today. And I have a question for each of you.
What is your favorite thing about spring? And I'll start with you Marje.
[00:01:38] Marje: Well, my favorite thing about spring is it means the Red Sox are back on the field. So that's one thing. What probably, well, many people know I have my walking streak. That's been going on for quite a while. My favorite thing about spring is that it means I don't have to wear a bazillion layers anymore when I go walking. So that's nice. And just all of the, I love seeing the tulips, all the flowers, blooming the trees with buds on them. It's just a really, really nice time of year, especially in the Northeast when you've had a grim yucky, winter.
[00:02:10] Jenny: yeah, well said. Okay. How about you, Jeff? What's your favorite, favorite aspect of spring?
[00:02:16] Jeff Chasen: Actually, Marje said it really well. I think I'd agree with both. It's a great time as a sports fan, the end of the NCAA tournament, which especially was fun this year at KU obviously. but the start of the baseball season and soccer, the NFL draft. So it's just a really fun season, but boy, there is a freedom when the weather gets nice - the ability to really walk campus, start to see the end of year ceremonies and things. It's just a really, upbeat pleasant, and hopeful time. And as you said, Jenny, something we can all use right now.
[00:02:49] Jenny: yeah, for sure. It's, it's my favorite. It's a, you know, rebirth to me, it's like everything gets to start fresh in the spring. So no matter how bad the pandemic was or the winter was, or last week, you know, whatever it may be, you know, it's a fresh start. So.
[00:03:08] Marje: That's a good point. That commencement is commencement is actually one of my most favorite days of the year. Cause they usually work commencement and everybody's so happy. So excited. There's just an air about everyone. It's it is. That's a really good point. The campus is a beautiful place to be.
[00:03:24] Jenny: yeah, a little, a little, cheer out to, to Ronna’s daughter. Katcha Papesh. She is graduated from University of Evansville tomorrow.
[00:03:33] Marje: No, I couldn't
[00:03:34] Jenny: Is celebrating her right now. And, yeah, that's super exciting. Goes by so fast. I mean, it's just amazing how quickly four years go by. And I know, it'll be happening to you soon, Marje with, with your children
[00:03:48] Marje: on new Danny with yours next year, we both have big years next year, as long as they don't mess it up in the next 12 months.
[00:03:55] Jenny: and Jeff, I think yours years or past, right?
[00:04:00] Jeff Chasen: I got one who's, graduated last year, but getting her pharm D next. So, we're excited about that. And then, uh, that will be finished. We've had three Jay Hawks, and we'll be finished, but yeah, just seeing other people's families and the pride, and I used to dread those, commencement ceremonies -so many names - that just seeing the students walk across and the families and friends. I I'm a little sappy, I guess, but I get, I'm getting a little choked up talking about it right? It’s a special thing and we're able to contribute to that in whatever way.
[00:04:33] Jenny: Absolutely. I mean, I've, I've always said working in higher education is just an idyllic place on, you know, most days of the year. And I mean, graduation is one of those really, really special times. So, okay. Let's switch, switch moments here. And, we are gonna dive into the URMIA honors and awards.
And, first I want to start with Marje. obviously you are a past president of arrhythmia and you've kind of a long time been the URMIA, honors committee chair. So just tell me about your, duration in that role.
[00:05:06] Marje: yeah, I'll, I'll do it until whoever the president is, kicks me out. Cause it's a really fun role to have. I don't even know. Gosh, I probably been charing this well, let's see. I was the president in 2014-2015, and then I was immediate past president. I may have been the honors chair since then. So it may be a good like six years or so.
So, well, Julie Groves, you're listening. Don't kick me out next year. I still want to do it
[00:05:30] Jenny: Yeah. Keep her on. She’s doing a great job!
[00:05:31] Marje: we'll see. We'll break that's right. but no, it is, it's a really fun role to have, to be able to kind of brainstorm and think about all the great things that all of our great URMIA members have done. and to be able to, you know, award them for doing that and, and really let the community know how wonderful our people are. And it's all exciting and it's, you know, it's kind of like a commencement, you know, everybody's happening. Yeah. It's pretty exciting. I like it.
[00:05:57] Jenny: it's an URMIA’s own, own commencement exercise. So, you know, I know since I was part of the committee, I support the committee and I have for my 17 years with URMIA. Um, so I've been part of many of these discussions. And last year the committee did something pretty interesting. You guys created two new awards.
Will you speak to that?
[00:06:18] Marje: Sure. We, I mean, we recognize as a committee that there were some holes, a lot of our awards were geared more towards people maybe later in their career or, or who have been around for a very long time. And we recognize that there were some really good folks within the URMIA community that might be in maybe the newer or the middle part of the career who have served URMIA really well, who have been very innovative and how they've assisted.
So we created two new ones. the excellence in volunteering award and also the visionary award. And just so happens that the forerunner of the visionary award is on this podcast with us now. So congratulations to you, Jeff. We know that it was a big surprise, and you know, the award itself was developed to, to honor an institutional member of, who identified a need for the URMIA members.
Follow through with that to come up with an innovative program or process to meet that need. So just certainly did that. The committee felt that he was incredibly deserving of the award. And so last year in Seattle, he received it, even though he wasn't in Seattle.
[00:07:21] Jenny: Yeah. And, and we had a very, we had a large ruse with Jeff to get him on the, on the zoom call with us. So he, he was part of the meeting, but he didn't realize he was, he was going to be awarded this, this new award. So, so Jeff, tell us a little bit about your experience and, and why, I mean really when I think of, I mean, you've, you've been a part of URMIA for a long time but with your introduction to the compliance community and leading that community, you know, really being proactive and attracting new members and, you know, very purposeful about leading the content and arranging a team to kind of take it over. So, so tell us a little bit about your URMIA interactions.
[00:08:06] Jeff Chasen: Sure. So URMIA has been, a most valued professional association, a work family if you will. And has been so incredibly valuable. So yes, I was truly surprised, very surprised. but you all knew the right angle. The reason you got me to be there sort of virtually at the meeting was to do some promotion for the compliance community, which I was only too happy to do until you turned it around.
But I was, I was genuinely touched just because of how much URMIA means to me and yeah. Not just to me really personally, but my colleagues at KU and just the whole KU community, the way that URMIA and really to all the people that are hearing this right now. But, but in particular, the two of you, the way that URMIA has, has impacted our KU community is something that I'll always be grateful for. And in good times and bad URMIA is there and is making things better, higher highs and better lows. So it was also a little awkward because the attention part of it was uncomfortable. you know, I might also not have been dressed the way I would have been dressed, had I known, you know, what was going on, but, but, I, I made my peace with it for a couple of reasons.
One is that it actually helped, we, we actually started recruiting at an even higher rate for new members of the compliance community. Got to our goal was someday to get to a hundred. We got to over a hundred inside of the first year over two hundred, and we got a spike right after that. But the other thing was that it was a point of pride for my campus.
I have such wonderful partners, most notably Jen Anderson, who might know, you know, who is my partner in crime for pretty much everything, but the, our whole network of relationships across campus, we work with about 34 units and, and just, my whole set of relationships across campus. People legitimately took pride in the fact that URMIA, which is held in such high esteem on our campus. And I know so many of them that they would recognize this, this in this way. And it really was a team effort. I'm the one who got to be there for the moment, but it reflected so much by so many, that it was, it was an honor for us and it really meant something to our campus. it's just hard to acknowledge receipt of an award from URMIA because none of us can even close to contribute as much as what we get back.
So I, I have to say, you know, it's, that part was really personally challenging and, and, and especially so because Jenny, the compliance community exists, not just because of my efforts or our colleagues, but really because of you, I reached out, because I wanted to find a place where we could just meet and I thought we could help steer more people to the URMIA annual meeting.
And I didn't even know there were communities that URMIA, I mean, I knew it's partnering with me and we created this, this the only higher education compliance association still to this day. And so it's something that really means a lot to me. And so, that is what the award now represents. And I'll always be grateful for that and above all for URMIA.
[00:11:07] Jenny: Well, gosh, Jeff, that was a lot of kind words there. And I mean, URMIA wouldn't be anything without our volunteers like you and like Marje so many others, but you know, in going back to my year of gratitude, you know, what URMIA does and, in getting people together. I mean, I always think that I have, you know, a dream job in many aspects. Cause I get to work with passionate people who love what they do and care so much about what they do, that they, you know, they volunteer time to, to work with with me and the other staff members and to, to get things off the ground, like the, the compliance community. And I mean, I think it's, you know, it's a, it's a huge strength of the risk management role. I mean, so many risk managers have compliance and their responsibility now, so I mean if we created this cohort group where they can get together and share best practices. And, you know, I, it's just a wonderful thing. And I'm, I'm really thankful that you got it off the ground and I'm going to give a shout out to Luke Figora because he was president then as well. So it was kind of a partnership of the board and you and me and everybody to kind of, kind of get it going, but I'm so happy to see it flourishing.
Yeah. So I'm Marje getting back to the, the visionary award. I mean, how, what would you suggest an average member think about when thinking about maybe somebody did nominate for that award?
[00:12:50] Marje: let's see. I mean, I would say, think about. A problem that you had an, a solution that was developed by somebody within URMIA. cause that's what we're looking for as people that are, that recognize the need, fill the need. So if you can think of anybody who has been really creative, gone above and beyond to try to come up with solutions for something that a lot of us face that would be the right person to nominate.
[00:13:17] Jenny: awesome. And I want to mention that all of our awards can be found on the URMIA website under the membership tab. It's under honors and. So thanks for that summary on the visionary award. And let's talk about the second new award that the, that the committee created last year, that that is called the volunteer …excellence in volunteering, or so I know the board just approved both of these at the October, board meeting and, and, we already, we had kind of a pre-submission about Jeff.
So we were able to get that done in Seattle.
[00:13:53] Marje: We've got this award. Can you please approve it? Because we're giving it away couple of days.
[00:14:00] Jenny: That's a really good use of the board time and energy that I love those kinds of initiatives when they come up and the board just passes it because it's just, it's the right thing to do. So that was good timing. But the, this will really be the first year we're marketing about the excellence in volunteering award.
Can, can you speak to that one a little bit?
[00:14:19] Marje: sure. It's really a kind of it's. I kind of liken it to the face of URMIA award. So who is there a member out there that is constantly doing things for URMIA? It could be volunteering you know, sitting on committees, volunteering at conferences, you see them at their, at the check-in desks. They might write something for one of our publications.
They may constantly be answering questions on the listserv. They could be, you know, doing mentorship. They could be, you know, just participating in special projects. Anybody that's always like, sure, I'll help. What can I do work? Where do you want me to go? What do you want me to do on that. And this one is nice because it's open, not just institutional members.
This could be an affiliate member as well. that's eligible for this type of award. So it's a little bit of a different slant, which is kind of cool. But, and it's not, you know, it's people, like I said, we, we wanted, the committee wanted to fill a need because you know, a lot of the awards are geared toward people who've been around a really long time, might be at the end of their careers or towards the end of their careers.
But this is something that a newbie or someone in their mid-career. It would absolutely be suitable for just people that you're always seeing, helping out. And, you know, I know I have a few ideas in my own mind about who might be deserving of this award, but would love to get nominees from the community.
[00:15:31] Jenny: yeah, me too. And I know after the board meeting we had a week or two ago, I got several emails from people that said I'm going to nominate so-and-so I'm going to nominate. So-and-so. Bring it on the more the merrier, please. I love to hear that kind of excitement. I mean, we want to celebrate each other. I mean, really, that's a big reason why associations, like URMIA exist.
We want to celebrate our members and, and find good reasons to do it. So again, everybody should consider nominating somebody for the excellence in volunteering award. Now let's switch to the other, the other two biggies, the, the long-term or there are three, actually three other awards that we have.
Should we start with the distinguished risk manager (DRM)?
[00:16:17] Marje: sure. This is one of my favorites because it's so secret. Nobody knows who wins it except for the committee. the president doesn't even know unless the president's on the committee. So it's really, it's really super secret and it's fun to know who won and watch them as their little, nomination speech gets read up there and try to figure out exactly when they figured out, wait, they're talking about me.
So this is it's it's, as it sounds, it's the distinguished risk manager award. So it's, it's someone who has been outstanding in the field of risk management and especially in higher ed risk management. It's, you know, it's my favorite award tool to, give out. And it's always fun actually, researching the background of the people to PR to put together that little nominations or it's actually, it's not a nomination speech. It's a award speech at the conference.
[00:17:08] Jenny: yeah. And this, the secretness, that proceeded me, I think ever since URMIA has been awarding this distinguished risk manager award. And I'm obviously Jeff, you know, that we, we, we did the same thing when we did the, visionary award and it does make it. Super fun. I mean, kind of stressful from the behind the scenes because you know, the person doesn't know, and then you have to keep it a secret and you have to make sure they're in the room.
And there's a lot of, a lot of, behind the scenes, things that go on here. so the deadline for most of these, I believe is July 15th, right?
[00:17:43] Marje: yep. The distinguished risk manager, as well as the Emeritus that we'll talk about in a minute, those are both, July 15th nominations deadlines, would be helpful obviously to have. The, if you've got a visionary awarding you have in mind or an excellence in volunteering to get those in by July 15th, too, we want to present those at the conference in Indianapolis, and we just need time to, you know, go through the whole process and put it all together.
[00:18:06] Jenny: awesome. And the, on the distinguished risk manager page, you can see a list of everybody who's been awarded. Cause I do get that question this time of year. Oh, it has so-and-so received that award or so-and-so not. So that, that whole listing is there. if you don't know all the details about your person, you can, you can either call me in advance and I can give you some of that information or you can ask in the application for the home office to, to at least do, do some digging from our own database. Cause we, we do have quite a bit of data on, on most of our members, at least, you know, things they've attended and presentations that they've done. So we can do some of that legwork for you.
[00:18:44] Marje: Just to note that, only institutional members are eligible for DRM, not affiliate members.
[00:18:49] Jenny: absolutely. Thank you for clarifying that. Okay. And let's switch gears to the Emeritus.
[00:18:55] Marje: All right. So the Emeritus award is an award that's given out to people who have recently retired from a full-time, higher ed institutional member, risk management position. They have to be retired by the, by the beginning of the annual conference and like completely retired. They can't be employed at all in the field of risk management. So they're working as a consultant to their school or some other service provider that they wouldn't be eligible for that. but it's, it's for a recent retiree who's provided exemplary service to the, to the organization. either, you know, like we talked about before volunteering, serving on the board, serving as a president, on committees, that type of stuff.
So, we want them to have contributed to higher education, risk management, and, we try to not be so jealous that they're fully retired and don't have to contribute to higher education risk management any longer. But.
[00:19:42] Jenny: and we all know, I mean, the three of us certainly know that we've seen a, a, a bunch of, folks that are fortunate enough to retire in the last 12 months. So I know we have several people that should be nominated. So if anybody falls into that category and URMIA a few years back, probably even five years ago, we, the board decided to offer any, Emeritus honoree F a $500 stipend to help, at least offset some of their travel costs to get them to the conference.
So, keep that in mind. if you would like to nominate someone that we will give them a little bit of help to get to the conference.
[00:20:16] Marje: yeah, cause we would like them there to receive the award in person. And I do agree with you, Jenny. I suspect the committee is going to be very, very busy reviewing applications for that award this year. There are a lot of really great people that retired in the last 12 months.
[00:20:31] Jenny: Okay. And now we're saving kind of the best for last. We created these URMIA service awards, and this has probably been maybe five, seven years ago, and these are super special, kind of extraordinary once, once in a lifetime kind of awards come, can you speak to those now Marje?
[00:20:48] Marje: Sure. These are two awards that they're absolutely not awarded annually. Like, you know, the DRM is usually annually. Emeritus is usually annually. This, these two awards are not awarded annually because it really is a rare occasion. Where someone would deserve them. so there's, there's two, one that's geared towards institutional members, which is the Larry Stephen's lifetime achievement award.
And one that is geared towards affiliate members, which is called the outstanding service recognition award. So both of them are to honor members who have contributed substantially to URMIA, for really a long, What's the word I'm thinking of like a long tail along a long length of time service to URMIA into higher education, risk management in general.
Obviously one from the institutional perspective and one from the affiliate perspective. So it should be somebody who's who's doesn't need to be retired, but close to the end of a career. I believe there's a 20 year for institutional. You have to be working in the industry for 20 years and oh, actually for both in the, in the industry for 20 years.
So it's someone who's been around for a long time, and has, for the institutional members leadership within URMIA, participation in all of the conference and conferences and presentations, and publications and all of that. From a, an affiliate member, a thought leader, someone who's contributed a lot to higher education, risk management from that perspective, white papers, issue advocacy, all of those.
So it really, and obviously we want people that are of high character of high quality, or are we respect everyone is respected by others. has a lot of enthusiasm for the industry, especially in higher ed, motivation. They, you know, they motivate others. They bring people up, you know, just really great people that have served, both the industry and the organization for a long, long period of time.
[00:22:34] Jenny: Well, wow. That was a mouthful.
[00:22:38] Marje: Sorry.
[00:22:38] Jenny: Well, no, that was great. It's a, yeah, we do it. We have a lot of awards and I hope that, we have, planted some seeds here, for, future nominations. Again, the deadline on almost all of these is July 15th. Sooner, the better, you know, start early submit often, as I said earlier, the more the merrier.
Any questions? Go, go ahead, Marje.
[00:23:04] Marje: I had one more moment though. I will add one comment because I know someone had asked me about, well, what if I think somebody already has been nominated? Should I nominate them myself? And we said, absolutely. Especially when it comes to like a DRM or something like that, or actually any of the awards, because the, if there are multiple nominations that could be addressing different elements of the potential recipient. So as many nominations for the same person as we get, it really allows us to see the entire picture and rounded out. So don't worry about if you think someone else is working on a nomination, get your own in anyway.
[00:23:36] Jenny: Yeah. And I reiterate too that even if you don't have all the information that you, you know, that you need, I can help and the URMIA office can help. We can do some intel afterwards. we really need to get the process started with the nomination. So, so please don't be afraid to submit something that's not paragraph after paragraph of, of people we want, we want this to be a, a simple process for you, the members, we know that you're all super busy still. So, if I can, make that easier for anybody, I will definitely try to help.
Well, gosh, guys, this has been great. I think we've raised awareness about our honors and awards program.
It was great to see you both here today. Any closing comments?
[00:24:22] Jeff Chasen: You know, you you're right. We can't do it without our volunteers. And also why, why would we want to do it without them? There's so much talent, knowledge, wisdom, and, and some battle scars, that all of us have.
So yeah, I, I couldn't agree more. and there are so many think that it's, it's hard to even name names, but yeah, URMIA is a gem.
I was going to add that I had two thoughts as I was sitting in thinking about all this one is July is going to be here. So the deadline is like next week and I tell myself that, and the second thing is I can't, I I'm now even more excited than ever for the annual conference. There's so many reasons to be excited, but the ceremony and, and to see how people, especially folks who are toward the end of their career. The DRM or, you know, and how genuinely moved they are. And we all seem to sort of get an outbreak of allergy attack in the room at those killer. But, but you know, it is so good to be able to celebrate all the different aspects of the wards, put specific faces and examples to it. But the reality is it's a way for us to collectively celebrate and elevate our industry and allow us to, to stand on each other's shoulders, try to go ever higher. So it's so important and I just really do hope people will, uh, be generous with their nominations and especially timely. So let's get on those.
[00:25:40] Jenny: Thanks Jeff. That was awesome.
[00:25:42] Marje: That is that's. That's very well put. And the other thing is, come make sure you attend the award ceremony too. If you're at the conference, come in and watch, watch your colleagues be honored, and rewarded for what they've done. And I think Jenny, are we splitting that up a little bit this year. We're not doing it the same way.We've done it in the past.
[00:25:59] Jenny: We are. Yeah, we're going to break up the, the awards overall, the general sessions. So we'll have a general session Monday morning, mid morning, Tuesday luncheon session on Wednesday. So we're yeah. We're not going to do it all over the lunch on Tuesday, which we historically have done.
So we'll do a couple of them at the first session on Monday, a couple of them maybe at lunch on Monday. So yeah, we, we plan to spread it out, to celebrate at separate events. So yeah, that was some feedback we got last year that it could be a long, long luncheon.
[00:26:36] Marje: we get them spread the glee over multiple days, which.
[00:26:41] Jenny: Well, I think that's going to be it for URMIA matters. This is a wrap.
[00:26:45] Marje: all right. Thank you very much, Jenny. We're grateful for you.
[00:26:49] Jenny: Thank you.