Jenny Whittington hosts conference co-chairs as guests. Join Marje Lemmon, Todd Adkins, and Kathy Hargis as they discuss highlights for the upcoming URMIA Annual Conference in Indy and share their favorite past conference memories. This edition of URMIA Matters highlights how to make connections and build community at the URMIA annual conference. URMIA members and National Office staff give their best tips on how to get the most value out of their conference experience. Listen to the conversation and check out the links in the show notes for solid resources that will prepare you and your colleagues to learn, network, and have fun in Indy with URMIA at the Annual Conference 2022!
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Lou Drapeau, MBA,ARM-Resource Manager, URMIA
Gary W. Langsdale, ARM, DRM- (Retired) Risk Manager
Marje F.B. Lemmon- Risk Manager, Yale University
Todd Atkins- Director of Risk Management, University of Kentucky
Kathy E. Hargis- Associate Vice President of Risk Management & Compliance, Lipscomb University
Jenny A. Whittington, CAE, Executive Director, URMIA
Listen to URMIA Matters Podcast - Season 3, Episode 17 here
[00:00:00] Jenny: Hello, URMIA. This is Jenny Whittington, your executive director and welcome to another edition of URMIA Matters. Today. I have the 2022 Annual Conference chairs with me. We have tri-chairs again this year. So first up I'd like to welcome Marje Lemmon from Yale University. Why don't you give a big greeting, Marje.
[00:00:24] Marje: Hello, Jenny. Hello, URMIA world. looking forward to seeing many of you in Indianapolis in September.
[00:00:30] Jenny: Awesome. Second up. I would like to introduce Todd Atkins from the University of Kentucky, just a little bit south of me in Indiana. Give a good welcome, Todd, please.
[00:00:40] Todd: Hello, URMIA. Todd Atkins, like I said, director for risk management at the University of Kentucky. Looking forward to the short drive up to Indy and seeing everyone here in just a little over two months.
[00:00:49] Jenny: Todd, have you bought on another edition of URMIA Matters yet? Or is this your first one?
[00:00:53] Todd: This will be my first one.
[00:00:54] Jenny: Oh, okay. Well then, we need to give a little bit of a snapshot about Todd Atkin's history with URMIA and higher education. So, tell us a little bit about your professional background.
[00:01:05] Todd: Sure, pretty much all of my risk management background. I've been with the University of Kentucky, and in the risk management department since 2003, And so, yeah, it's like wow. Long time, been through, uh, several years. Uh, many of you may know Lou Drapeau from the “Ask Lou” so, many years-
Todd: Famous. So, you know, one of those things of, you know, you couldn't have asked for a better person to, to kind of, you know, study under, as I always say for 13 years, once Lou left, I was, and off into the, the retirement, but still couldn't keep him away from URMIA and doing everything he could from there, I was fortunate enough to take over as, as director. And so I said, I've been in the risk management department now for almost 20 years, with the university for almost 25 years.
[00:01:52] Jenny: Wow. Congratulations. That's quite a milestone. So, thanks for sharing your history with our listeners. And last up we have Kathy Hargis from Lipscomb University, a past president of URMIA. And Kathy, you've been chair of the conference a number of times. What, what other, what other cities did you chair at the conference?
[00:02:10] Kathy: Well, uh, hello, URMIA. And hello, Jenny. It's great to be here today, but yes. A couple of conferences, one that was unexpected, by back in 2020, which was supposed to be this conference, but, uh, that was a virtual conference. So, we're now getting back to, uh, really our 2020 conference, who’s now coming up this time, but also, chaired the Louisville conference, back a couple of years.
[00:02:33] Jenny: Yeah. And you were instrumental when, when the conference was in Nashville in your backyard, you, you really helped us pull together URMIA Cares that year and a shout out to Marje who, who by, you know, leaps and bounds led through our 2019 conference when it was in Boston, we were celebrating our 50th anniversary.
So, kudos to all of you for stepping up and being part of this, this team to lead 2022 in person and virtual conference that we're having, upcoming September 10th through the 14th in Indianapolis. So, we're gonna start and talk about some conference highlights and then share your favorite conference memories.
So, on the conference highlights route, Kathy, why don't you tell everyone about, our listeners about the general sessions? What do, what do we have in store for, for folks that are attending the conference this year?
[00:03:22] Kathy: Sure. Well, it's, you know, we have got a great lineup. I want to say of general sessions. I'm really excited about who we have. We're kicking really the conference off on Monday with a dynamic speaker, Sheldon Yellen, the CEO of BELFOR, uh, he's gonna be speaking to us on leadership. So, I think that's gonna be a great way to kick off, the conference and get things started on a really high note.
We also have Joe Storch and Andrea Stag, who's going to be another of our general sessions, speaking to us about Title IX, this is the 50th year and its intersection with risk management. Uh, if we haven't heard those two speakers for sure and they're gonna be joined by some other, panelists as well, but that's gonna be a highlight for sure.
Anytime you can hear those two, uh, we'll also have a panel on NCAA president, with that NCAA president Mark Emmert. So that will be something and being in Indy, where the NCAA is housed, that's gonna be a highlight. And then we wrap up on Wednesday, with a favorite, thing of mine, of hearing from university presidents, which is always interesting to hear what's on their mind, the tone at the top, and how risk management can intersect with those folks. So, it's gonna be great.
[00:04:41] Jenny: Yeah, that that's awesome. And Kathy was neglecting to mention that she's part of the Monday Title IX panel. So, we're looking forward to seeing you and Courtney as well. Part of that, that panel on Monday, and it is a big deal. I mean, Title IX, it's been all over the news. I think we're gonna be hearing a lot about it over the next, next, several months, but we've come a long way. You know, it's really interesting to, to think about where, where we were and, and where we've become and where we're going. I mean, there are always changes on that front. So, I wanna turn now to Todd to talk about some other, conference highlights. What do you have, Todd?
[00:05:16] Todd: So really the thing which, you know, just wanting to, to make the point and add in, and you'd mentioned it earlier, Jenny, was, you know, that we do have, you know, a virtual track as long, and that you can go through as well as our in person. We'd love to have everybody there. That's where we feel like you get the most from a networking standpoint and also from, you know, just getting to have those little bit of time in between sessions that kind of carry on a conversation of maybe a point that you were interested in. So, you know, we'd really love to see everybody there, but we understand that there are some things that, you know, is out of people's control could be budget, could just be other things.
So, we at least wanted to make sure and, and continue on as we did, the previous year with this virtual option for people to be able to participate and continue their growth.
[00:06:05] Jenny: Yeah. I mean, networking is a big part of who URMIA is. So, I appreciate you mentioning that, Todd. And also, for those out there, we are bringing back the popular trivia contest for the online virtual conference. So those of you who liked the trivia, you might chime into some of those trivia contests because we do have great prizes. And Marje, I think you wanted to tell us a little bit about the tracks that we were offering this year.
[00:06:30] Marje: Sure. I mean, obviously one of the key reasons why people go to the conference is to, is for all the educational sessions. And we have well over 50 different educational sessions this year. but we're also running six different tracks. So, if anyone is a, has a particular interest in one of these six categories. It's actually pretty easy. If you go onto the conference website, you can filter and you can select the track and it'll show you the sessions related to that track. So, the six tracks are: athletics, compliance, cyber, ERM, international, and minors, which are all pretty much hot ticket items at all on all of our campuses.
So, the fact that we're running a track means we're having multiple sessions on those topics throughout the, um, throughout the conference. So, like I said, just go, you can go on the website and filter for one of those and, and, you know, sign up for those, if that's the topic of your interest and then unfilter and sign up for a whole bunch of other educational sessions.
[00:07:24] Jenny: Yeah. And I also wanna highlight too, that we do offer one day registration options. So, if your specialty is in one of those tracks, that March just mentioned, you know, you might consider coming in for that one day and, you know, getting, getting to know other conference attendees who are also passionate about that topic.
So, thanks for that, Marje. I also wanted to highlight just a little bit about the precon and the postcons. We, we kind of are bringing those back in full force this year. We have a, a great, new member session that everybody should attend, whether it's virtually on the Wednesday before the conference or the in-person conference, which will be on Sunday for the in-person session.
We're also offer an ARM review course, Erike, our friend Erike Young from California, is doing two sessions. So, if you're, if you're preparing to take the ARM exam in the next year, we would suggest you take this review course. We're also offering a Foundations of Risk Management, our own Lou Drapeau, who Todd just mentioned, and Gary, Gary Langdale and Steve Bryant are doing this session. It's gonna go over both Saturday and Sunday.
And then we're offering a, International precon, Build Up Your International Risk Management Toolbox on Sunday, afternoon, and tours. So again, like Marje said that you can filter the schedule yourself. You can, you can filter it by precon and postcon activities and really check those out.
We're offering some great ones on the back end of the conference. We're partnering with HEPnet, the minors’ group, minors’ youth protection group on campus. So, if that is something you're really interested in, there are some deep dives that you can take later in the conference and you can participate in their full conference.
So, thanks everybody for that wrap up of the conference highlights. now I wanna talk about favorite conference memories. So, I think I'm going to go to Todd first. Todd, what is your favorite conference memory?
[00:09:19] Todd: Sure, I can go back, and it actually will be the, uh, the first conference that I attended, which I think may have been your first, Jenny, which was Charleston, South Carolina. Um, and just remember going out was like hop out. I was like, and we actually were out and had an event on the USS Yorktown, on the aircraft carrier, the deck of the aircraft carrier.
So to me that, you know, I think just being my first URMIA and then, you know, that experience, you know, that, that still stands out, you know, you know, as one of my favorite memories, you know, and, you know, it's really getting to meet a lot of people at that first time that you go, you know, you continue to meet new people at each event, but the first one to where everybody pretty much was new to me, Maybe knew one person ahead of time going there.
That's, that's what stood out the most to me.
[00:10:05] Jenny: Yeah. I, I remember, I mean, I was so impressed with URMIA’s structure and how friendly everybody was at that conference. I do remember that event was a little warm, it was, there wasn't any air conditioning on that aircraft carrier in Charleston, there was a little hurricane rumbling in. so that, that was a great one. I'm, I'm glad you, you picked that one. How about you, Marje? What's your favorite conference memory?
[00:10:28] Marje: Mine was similar, it was certainly not my first conference. It was actually in, no bias here, but it actually was 2019, which was the conference that I tri-chaired with Sandy Mitchell and Stacy Kroll in Boston. And it was the, closing reception there at the JFK Library and Museum. The venue was amazing.
The history there was incredible. I just think it was a really fun time. lot of socialization, lot of learning, lot of socialization, lot of dancing, I think I've danced there more than I've ever danced at a, at an URMIA conference ever. But it was a lot of fun and there was that added touch of the fact that in order to get to the place on time. We got a police escort of our buses across the city of Boston, but beautiful venue. And anybody that hasn't been there, I highly recommend going to the JFK library if you're in Boston ever, it's, it's amazing what you learn there and what you experience and you really get to embrace, the Kennedy history and then the, the city of Boston and the views across the harbor as well.
[00:11:25] Jenny: Yeah, that was a very special night. I agree. Fun dancing, great venue, just a great energy. And then the little competition we had the, the dress up, like a Kennedy competition. That, that was really fun.
[00:11:38] Marje: I forgot about that. That's right.
[00:11:39] Jenny: Our members do love to dress up. So, we, we do have some, some special things that we're gonna be doing for this conference that we haven't shared yet, but we will be posting soon about some special dress up activities.
So, I'll turn to you, Kathy, what was your favorite conference memory?
[00:11:55] Kathy: There are so many, great memories. It's really hard to narrow it down. Um, 2005 was my first conference and it'll always be very special as well, but I'll probably have to say, a conference memory for me might be the Orlando conference at Disney. I mean, what can you say? it was Disney. The venue was great. The atmosphere, great sessions. We had a great turnout of people. Getting to hear from like the Disney Institute- I think that that was a real highlight, that I'll always remember along with the, the fireworks and being at all of the, all of the Disney things, there was, really something special that, was definitely a highlight for sure.
[00:12:34] Jenny: Yeah, absolutely. Definitely. My top three conferences, the whole year of just working with Disney will go on record for, to be one of the happiest years of my life. And yeah. I love that conference from beginning to end. Okay. So, let's turn now to some advice for newcomers. And I know Todd, you shared with us a little bit before the conference some advice for newcomers. So, what do you have?
[00:12:58] Todd: Yeah. It goes go along with the networking in terms of just, you know, my advice is just meet as many people as you can, introduce yourself. You know, especially try to find anyone, a, that you've not met that, you know, from a, a local, regionally, you know, peer institutions, uh, least get, your business cards in introduction.
Are you gonna remember everybody? And all the detail, no, but if you at least put a, a face to the name, I know that. You know, that was one of the great things that, you know, I feel like with the networking that our institution will maybe engage with another institution in something, and they're, we're needing to review it from a risk and I'm like, oh, Hey, I know the risk manager from, from that school and, you know, can reach out to them and we can have a conversation.
Hey, what do you know about this? And, and we can work together. So just making those connections. And then other advice that I would give to the newcomers, even though, and say, go, meet as many people as you can get, to as many events as you can. Also, would say, a little bit of time for yourself, maybe 15, 30 minutes each day, whether that's in your room, that's having a coffee somewhere and, you know, just kind of self-reflect and just, think about what you're wanting to do that day and the next, because it can be, if you let it just go, go, go, and then, you know, you're exhausted.
So, you know, and then some specific ways to relax and that we had mentioned, or that, we can mention specifically, from our URMIA fit, have our yoga, that's gonna be going on every morning. We have a 5K will be taking place. We also have a golf outing, which, be great. I’ll be participating in that. So that will, much golf can relax me. I will do that. We also, uh, have, uh, the hotel you know, is, is a great place as well. There's a walking trail near, there's also places within the hotel that you can also, get a little workout in and hopefully de-stress so, wanna mention those to everybody, that, to make sure you're aware of those things.
[00:14:43] Jenny: Yeah, that is, that is sage advice, Todd. Thanks for that. And I think, Marje, did you have something you wanted to share for newcomers?
[00:14:50] Marje: This really goes to everybody, but especially to newcomers is a little bit of advanced planning goes a long way. So, it's a very busy schedule. There are a lot of things going on. There are a lot of sessions going on at the same time. So, my advice is to look, really look at that conference schedule before you even get to Indianapolis and look through the sessions.
Pre-select your sessions. The beauty of it is that we've got the bios and stuff of the speakers on there, but we also will upload the presentations. So, you can take a look at the presentations, and really figure out which ones are the most suitable. Like which ones you really wanna go to and just. Plan, but be flexible because you know, I, I do my spreadsheet every time. I'm like, I'm going here, I'm going here. And then I get there and I'm like, no, let me read that description again. No, forget it. I think I'm gonna go to this one instead, but it really will help to just plan it. out. Especially if you're a newcomer, that's going to the, you know, the first timers programming and, if you're invited to certain receptions or certain dinners, just plan everything out, have your schedule ready. And the Sched app will help with that. The app will help with that. So, plan it all out, but also, be a little bit flexible once you get there.
But I totally agree with what Todd said. You need to take a little bit of time to rest and rejuvenate. Otherwise, you'll be completely exhausted, and your brain will be fried by the end of it. It's a lot of stimulation, intellectual stimulation, social stimulation. So definitely take a few minutes to step back and rejuvenate throughout, throughout the week.
[00:16:14] Jenny: Yeah, great advice. And so right now we are using the Sched app to show the schedule to all, the public, on our website. But about a month before the conference, everyone will get access to the Socio app. So, this is the same app we learned, we used last year, and many conferences are using the socio app now. So, your actual schedule will be built in Socio and that's about 30 days out, but you you're welcome to look at all the sessions now and another, another great tip is that we are recording about three sessions per time block. So, you can really be in two places at one time, so to speak, because if those sessions are being recorded, so you can go and listen and watch them afterwards.
So that's an alternative that you should keep in mind. you know, the ones that folks that are attending in person will have a couple more options than the virtual audience. So, you should definitely keep that in mind when you're doing your planning, whether you, could gain from that from a recording perspective, or if you really wanna experience the in-person experience.
[00:17:15] Marje: And for those that are going in-person. look at the schedule before you book your flight, because especially if you're a newcomer and you're coming, you don't wanna get there Sunday night because then you're gonna miss the newcomer programming that takes place earlier in the day. So, you'll take a look at that schedule and plan it out before you even decide which plane you're gonna jump on.
[00:17:32] Jenny: Absolutely. Okay. And Kathy, I'll turn it down to turn it over to you to tell, our podcast listeners about what not to miss.
[00:17:40] Kathy: Oh, wow. Say, well, I don't want you to miss anything, but, uh, if I have to narrow it down, you know, I, I would just say there's a couple of things, for sure. If you can, you know, if you can be a part of the pre or post con, if that works into your schedule, you know, I would really encourage you to do that. I think those are some of great values. I mean, these are, these are great sessions delivered at, by exceptionally, talented people for a very reasonable price. So that's one thing.
Secondly, on the roundtables, I would encourage, everyone to try to make sure that you plug into one of those. We've got it broken down this year. I think this is great by institution size and kind of what fits that along with, in some special interest roundtables, which I think, you know, if you have an interest in athletics or compliance or some of those, it's a great opportunity to just jump in and kind of meet, some specific people that may have an interest in that and to make some contacts along those ways. So that's a couple of just tips that I can go to people, that might be helpful of things not to miss.
[00:18:46] Jenny: Awesome. So, I think now we'll just turn to parting comments from each of you. So, anything that we may have missed asking you about, Todd, I'll turn it to you first for some parting comment.
[00:18:57] Todd: The one thing that I would just, quickly echo that, that Kathy just said there, that if you are a new member, a first timer that, really look at trying to get onto that session on Sunday, that's a, that's a great session for everyone. You can meet, a lot of people there. so, you know, that that's one thing I wanted to echo, but, you know, I'll kind of go back to where I was talking about, I mean, I think it's the network and I kind of have, here are my notes, grow your network. that's the big thing that I would say. And, and whether you've been there, you know, 20 times, whether you've been there one time, you know, this is your first, you learn from everyone.
And I think that's what a lot of people don't realize that even if this is your first session, you do have something to bring to the table. and you know, it's a fresh set of eyes and, you know, so it doesn't matter if it's a seasoned risk manager, someone who's new to risk management, we all learn from each other, gather that information. So that would be big thing in terms of, the parting comment. I look forward to seeing everybody in Indy.
[00:19:48] Jenny: Thanks, Todd. And now I'll turn it to you, Marje for your parting.
[00:19:52] Marje: Kathy and Todd hit a lot of it. A couple things I think I'd point out is, please come if you can come, because it goes along with the networking ability that you don't have as great a ability to do if you're virtual, but, to add on to the networking, one of the great opportunities to network is to volunteer at the conference. So, work the registration desk or volunteer out other ways during the conference. You'll meet so many people and it's a really, really fun thing to do. It's actually, one of my favorite parts is before the conference even starts like working registration and giving out conference bags or whatever, um, you meet a lot of people. It's a great way to do that. the other thing is that if you are a newcomer, we are again doing what we call engagement ambassadors this year.
So, there'll be seasoned people who have been to the conference before that will volunteer to be an engagement ambassador. So, newcomers, please raise your hand and say you would like to be partnered with someone. That person will really kind of hold your hand ahead of the conference and make sure you understand how it all works. If you need anything, they'll meet you when you're there, kind of walk you through stuff, so that you don't feel completely alone, um, we're a very, very friendly group. Still, you know, you're going in cold to a group of, you know, 500, 600 people. Sometimes it can be a little bit intimidating. So, so seasoned people, volunteer to be an engagement ambassador and then newcomers, raise your hand and, say that you wanna be partnered with one and it'll be a great opportunity for both of you.
[00:21:11] Jenny: Excellent. I'm so glad you brought that up, Marje, and we should in the show notes have links to our current opportunities that are available to members. So, we need all the help we can get. We love our volunteers. So, please put your hand up and join us. It is, it is a fun time and last, but certainly not least, Kathy, any parting comments from you? Anything we missed?
[00:21:31] Kathy: My two, uh, colleagues here, kind of summed it up, but just wanna say that we're really excited about this conference. I mean, obviously a lot of work, has gone into the planning of this, a lot of work by all of you all there, Jenny, at the home office, for sure. But I think it's just gonna be a really special event, coming off of COVID and all that we've been through for the last years. I know that we did have an in-person last year, but I know a lot of people were not able to travel at that time. So, I think the three of us are just really excited about having this, this year being in person. And, um, we're hoping to get back to normalcy, so to speak, or we're hoping for that, of what, you know, our URMIA conferences are really all about.
So, I'm just really pumped about that and excited and encourage everyone if you have an opportunity to be there and join us. It’ll be something you
[00:22:26] Jenny: Absolutely. Whether you're in person or virtually, um, we encourage everybody to attend what they can, if it's a one day, if it's a whole thing, we just want you to be a part of it. I mean, the community is what URMIA is. It makes us special. And one thing I thought of that we, I don't think that we have mentioned is our famous raffle.
So, anybody who is attending the conference, or even those virtually who want to send in an item to be in the raffle, we have this great, great, tradition that we've done for all the years that I've been going. I'm not sure when the raffle started, but I think it's been a part of URMIA for decades. So people bring in, items from their bookstore, whether it's t-shirts sweatshirts, sweaters, hats, golf, balls, whatever you have goes into the raffle. And then throughout the conference, we pick raffle winners. So, we do have a full part of our explanation on the website. So, anybody who's interested in the raffle, please check that out. And just thank you to the three of you for being part of this podcast.
It's been a joy to work with all of you and, and a shout out to the whole URMIA team who, who has done a lot of work to make this conference, uh, reality. And it's pretty much all we do between now and then. So, it's annual conference all the time now, 24-7. So, we're looking forward to seeing everybody, thanks everybody for being part of, URMIA matters. And this will be a wrap.
[00:23:43] Marje: Thank you, Jenny.
[00:23:44] Kathy: Thanks, Jenny.
[00:23:45] Todd: Thank you.
[00:23:45] Jenny: Thanks everybody.