URMIA Matters

Presidential Podcast

December 21, 2022 Guest Host: Jenny Whittington with guest Julie Groves Season 4 Episode 4
Presidential Podcast
URMIA Matters
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URMIA Matters
Presidential Podcast
Dec 21, 2022 Season 4 Episode 4
Guest Host: Jenny Whittington with guest Julie Groves

Join guest host, Jenny Whittington, as she interviews Julie Groves, URMIA’s current president and host of URMIA Matters. Julie shares her ideas for the future of URMIA, plans for exciting new URMIA communities, URMIA’s new resource guide, and how to get involved with URMIA. Julie and Jenny also talk about the three upcoming URMIA regional conferences (with two near Disney!) and the next URMIA annual conference in Baltimore.

Show Notes [member log-in required for some content 

Connect with URMIA & URMIA with your network
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-Email | contactus@urmia.org

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Show Notes Transcript

Join guest host, Jenny Whittington, as she interviews Julie Groves, URMIA’s current president and host of URMIA Matters. Julie shares her ideas for the future of URMIA, plans for exciting new URMIA communities, URMIA’s new resource guide, and how to get involved with URMIA. Julie and Jenny also talk about the three upcoming URMIA regional conferences (with two near Disney!) and the next URMIA annual conference in Baltimore.

Show Notes [member log-in required for some content 

Connect with URMIA & URMIA with your network
-Share /Tag in Social Media @urmianetwork
-Not a member? Join ->www.urmia.org/join
-Email | contactus@urmia.org

Give URMIA Matters a boost:
-Give the podcast a 5 star rating
-Share the podcast - click that button!
-Follow on your podcast platform - don't miss an episode!

Thanks for listening to URMIA Matters!

Show Notes
URMIA Member Directory [member login required]
Annual Conference 2022-Indy
Julie’s Presidential Speech {27:25 mark}
Annual Conference Baltimore Sept. 9-13, 2023
Strategic Plan - Connections
Resource Guide
URMIA Regional Conferences
Call for Proposals
Reach out for more information on these topics:
-Executive Director Search
-Solo Risk Manager Community
-Professionals of Color Community
Gamma Iota Sigma
URMIA Leadership

Guest: Julie Groves-Director, Risk Services, Wake Forest University
Guest Host: Jenny Whittington- Executive Director, URMIA

Jenny Whittington: Hey there. Thanks for tuning in to URMIA Matters, a podcast about higher education, risk management, and insurance. Let's get to it. Hi there. This is Jenny Whittington, and we are here to do URMIA Matters. I'm URMIA’s executive director and I'm a little rusty on hosting because, um, that primarily has been done by our president, Julie Groves, who is our special guest today, but she really is, you know, host extraordinaire. So, Julie, welcome to this podcast.

Julie Groves: Thank you. It is, it's interesting to be in the other seat, you know, as you mentioned, I'm usually in the host seat, so this is gonna be fun.

Jenny Whittington: A little bit of musical chairs to, uh, kick off this podcast. So, for those of you who, who heard Julie's wonderful presidential speech in Indianapolis, she talked about rolling out kind of presidential updates about URMIA matters using the podcast as our medium. So, this is our first one.

Julie Groves: Yes, it’s very exciting. It just made sense because as you said, I tend to be one of the folks who does a lot of the podcast hosting duties, so, you know, and I think it's a great way for people to hear what is going on in our association, and they can do it on their own time, you know, while they're exercising or in the car, or

Jenny Whittington: Walking their dog at the airport.

Julie Groves: Walking their dog, something like that so they can catch up on what's going on with the association.

Jenny Whittington: Excellent. And little bite size pieces, as I like to say. Mm-hmm. So, let's see. How have your first few months of being president been going? Tell us all about it.

Julie Groves: They've been going very well, very well. I think we had a great annual conference in Indianapolis, and you know, particularly after Covid, it is just really good to be together to see folks, and I think it, at least Indianapolis, to me, felt like things are sort of starting to get back to a little bit of the pre-covid conference. You know, the normal stage. So, it was great. That was a great conference, and you know, the exec and the board have been meeting, we've been working on a number of priorities, so it's always good to be with those folks. And we've, we've been working on some of the things I'll talk about in just a minute, and we had a chance to go to Baltimore to see the annual conference, 2023 facilities. The hotel is beautiful. It's right on the waterfront in Baltimore, so even if you've been to Baltimore before, this will be a new and different experience. I think the um, facility is great, and the annual conference committee is working on some really great things for us. So that has been, you know, that was great to go have that visit. But one of my most favorite things, Jenny, is that you and I get to meet every week.

Jenny Whittington: I know I do. I look forward to it, except for those meetings that you forget. And then-

Julie Groves: that was only one time. That was only one time and something, actually something really, I can't remember what it was, but something kind of major had happened. And I don't remember what it was, but I did, I did forget.

Jenny Whittington: I'm just teasing you. It happens to the best of us.

Julie Groves: But that was early on when I wasn't quite used to the rhythm of the schedule of our, uh-huh.

Jenny Whittington: So, um, for those, uh, out there listening to our podcast, um, you might not realize, but URMIA does have a strategic plan that we've been using kind of the same framework for years, and it, it really works very well so that there's consistency because our president serves a one year. But obviously, you know, URMIA keeps plugging along, so the strategic plan really keeps us on, on track. So, you'll hear a bit more about that, but what other kind of things are on the horizon for you?

Julie Groves: Well, I, I do wanna say one thing we're really excited about, and I wanna give a big shout out to Ronna Papesh. We, we ha are getting ready. Shortly after the holidays to roll out a complete new resource guide online on the URMIA website. And I don't wanna steal too much of Ronna’s thunder, and I hope we can have her on a podcast soon so she can kind of talk about everything that went into it, because it was a huge undertaking to completely revamp our resource guide.

But that is gonna be a great tool for our, our members, so that that will be rolling out soon. And as you mentioned, we're always working on our strategic goals. We have five strategic goal groups each led by, you know, great members of, of URMIA and you know, basically our goals all center, mostly center around connection. You know, group one works on ways to make sure that our members feel connected to each other. Group two works on helping our members get connected with professional development opportunities, and I'll mention more about that in just a minute. Group three works on ways to help our members get connected to important resources and tools.

Uh, you know, group four is working to make sure that our organization promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in everything we do. And Group five is, um, the group that kind of keeps an eye on the horizon and, and looks for, you know, emerging issues and things that we think URMIA needs to be connected with so that we can make sure that we are staying. Ahead of things and that we are ensuring the future of URMIA and its sustainability. Go ahead.

Jenny Whittington: I was just gonna comment on another shout out to Ronna Papesh for the resource guide. And just for, for those of you out there who don't, are not familiar with the resource guide, I was going back through my, this morning and I believe it was when Steve Bryant was president is when we rolled out the resource guide and it was really targeted to people who are new to risk management or newer to higher education risk management. So, it's a great tool for new people to your team or for people on your team who maybe came from another discipline, um, to really understand the nuances of higher education risk management. So just to shout out to Ronna, and that does support strategical three about connecting to resources. And I'm sorry I cut you off. I know you were going somewhere else.

Julie Groves: No, no, I, I was, I was gonna say we're back on strategic goal two. You know, we want to make sure that everybody knows. We have three fantastic regional conferences coming up in the spring. Our first one, which I'm really excited about-

Jenny Whittington: Me too. Me Too.

Julie Groves: Is at the happiest place on Earth? February 5th and 6th, and it is in everyone's favorite place, Disney at Orlando, Florida. Uh, we have the Western Regional. And Anaheim also, coincidentally-

Jenny Whittington: It's funny how that worked out this year

Julie Groves: Near a Disney property, Disneyland. March 1st  and 2nd. And finally, we have our Northeastern Regional Conference in Boston, and that will be at a non-Disney property April 10th and 11th. So please look to, uh, look, if you're interested in any of those or you just wanna go to a Disney property, please sign up for one of the other two, not the Boston one, cuz again, that's, there's no Disney affiliation with that one. And I do also wanna put a plug in for annual conference 2023. We have just opened up the submission process. So, if you have been dying to do a presentation at annual conference, Get, get a, you know, some of your colleagues together and come up with a proposal and send that.

Jenny Whittington: So, absolutely. And on the regional conferences, I know we just, um, the regional planning groups just met and all those, uh, programs are being confirmed right now. So, look for changes on the website so you can see more detail about the sessions. Um, and yeah, we'd love to see you at any of the regionals. I might be at Disney World in Disneyland before or after these, and I'd, I'd love to spend quality time with URMIA members at Disney. So put that on your calendar. Um, I noticed, um, at the annual conference, I already mentioned your wonderful speech. Can you tell us about what, what your goal is for, for while you're president?

Julie Groves: And, uh, you know, I have one more big thing on the horizon for my presidential year. Jenny, thanks. What could it be? Thanks to you. Hope. I mean, I don't, I don't know if all the listeners know, but Jenny will be sending out a message soon, so you may be hearing an exclusive here. Jenny Whittington, our esteemed executive director for the entire time I've been an URMIA, but longer than that, Jenny, how long have you been with URMIA? Since 2000 and?

Jenny Whittington: It'll be 18 years in February. I started in 2005.

Julie Groves: Jenny's been our executive director since 2005, and Jenny made the announcement that she is retiring at the end of 2023. Many of us are seeking professional help and dealing with our feelings about that , but I'm able to talk about it. But all-

Jenny Whittington: I've explained to you, Julie, that I'm not going, you know, , I'm not going to another world or anything.

Julie Groves: I know, but, but anyway, just all joking aside, I mean, Jenny has been such a great asset to our association and we're certainly going to miss her, but she deserves to go and retire in Lake House. So anyway, we are going to be after the holidays starting search for a new executive director. So that's gonna be, you know, taking up a lot of our time early on next year. So, uh, we will keep everybody posted on that. But look for an announcement should probably already be out by now from Jenny. So those who don't know the news, we'll be hearing from her. So-

Jenny Whittington: Yes, and let me just jump in and say, you know, my career with URMIA has been so incredible. Um, I've learned so much about higher education risk management, and I've made lifelong friends with so many members, and I really care about the association and people here and the staff and all the board members, all the presidents that I've worked with and for. I'm incredibly thankful, just grateful for, for URMIA in general. But you know, it's time to let somebody else have this great position and, you know, see where they take URMIA in the future. So, um, while I will miss everybody a great, great deal, I plan to stay in touch with folks, so it's all gonna be good-

Julie Groves: It is…

Jenny Whittington: And the future is bright.

Julie Groves: It is, but I'm not, I'm not making any insinuations. But I do think it's awfully coincidental that your last year as executive director, we are having a regional conference at Disney World and a regional conference at Disneyland. I mean, I'm not gonna point any fingers, but-

Jenny Whittington: It, it is the happiest place on earth, and I do, I would like to see everybody there. So, so Julie, the, the theme of your presidential speech that you did in Indianapolis at the annual conference. , you are not alone.

Julie Groves: Yes.

Jenny Whittington: And by the way, if anybody wants to see Julie's presidential speech, I can hook you up with it. Just send me an email or give me a call. So, have you been working about around anything specific around that theme?

Julie Groves: I have and, and you know, for, I think a, a lot of people know this, but for any listeners who don't know, I am what we would term as solo risk manager. Meaning I am the only, I am the, I am a department. And so, I know there are others of those out there that are just like that. And I think, you know, as I have said to anyone who will listen URMIA's resources and my relationships that I have through URMIA have been so important to me professionally because I feel like, you know, those relationships are, you all are sort of my extended risk, risk management team.

And so, when I have questions or need to kind of bounce things off people I. I have a lot of folks I can turn to, and URMIA's resources have really helped me with that. So I wanna find a way to help other people who may be in my situation. Other solo risk managers have more of a connection, obviously. Hopefully they're using the URMIA resources, but you know, one of the core tenets of our membership is our communities, and that's how people stay connected. And so, after the holidays, we're gonna be rolling out a new community for solo risk managers. So, look for more information to come on that. Uh, if you're interested though, if you're a solo risk manager and you're interested, just shoot me an email and I can give you more information about it.

But we're also working on you know, doing things to form other communities of special interest because we do want people to feel connection and we want them to feel like they're not alone. And so, another community we're gonna be rolling out after the holidays is a community for professionals of color and our Past President, Courtney Davis Curtis, has really been working to spearhead that, and so I don't wanna, I don't wanna steal her thunder either, but, you know, there'll be more information coming out on that after the holidays. So, I think we're, we're trying to look for ways, I mean, I, I work on task force number one and, you know, it's how we connect members to one another.

And I think that's, that's what we've, we're trying to do through this. We're trying to make sure that members feel connected. Some, some members just wanna come and look at the resources of leave, and that's enough for them. But we wanna make sure those members who really wanna have connection with other members have plenty of opportunities to do that. So that's what we've been working on.

Jenny Whittington: Yeah. You know, community honestly is the, just the foundation of what URMIA is. And we've, I mean, from a staff perspective, we've been reluctant to roll out additional communities until we got our URMIA network community, the all community and the institutional community and the affiliate community really mature and they, they definitely are mature and they, they have a vibrant conversation going on them.

And Lou Drapeau does a great job at minding those communities and making sure that everybody gets a response. So, we're being very pragmatic about these two new communities and we're going to be doing it very deliberately. So, we, we support the communities in the way that our members expect, and these two are really kind of, pilot communities. So, we're gonna see how this goes probably over the year of 2023. And then, yeah, there could be others that kind of sprout out of these two communities. So, it'll be really interesting to see. And um, yeah, I commend you and Courtney both for introducing this concept and I look forward to seeing how the communities flourish.

Julie Groves: Yeah. And to your point, I mean these, these special communities that we’re creating or never intended to take the place of the larger communities, you know?

Jenny Whittington: Right.

Julie Groves: We just, we we're, we're just going to, you know, recommend that the members of these special communities focus on issues that are specific to those groups of people.

Jenny Whittington: Right. Exactly.

Julie Groves: So, that's, I mean, we're gonna try, we're gonna be very careful, as you said, this is a pilot. We're gonna be very careful to make sure that you know, both the larger communities. and these smaller communities are used for the purposes that are intended. .

Jenny Whittington: Yeah. And I mean, to that, um, effort, you know, strategic goal one, the one that you're a part of, you know, did a lot of research last year on cohort groups. And we kind of did some research of what, what other kind of communities live within URMIA and how can we support them. So, these two really came out of that. And we do have an SEC group that's also part of, they're, they're a pilot group as well. So yeah, you guys will hear more about these communities over the year. Um, Julie, uh, why don't you tell me about the interesting experiences you've had so far as president. What, what have you had the opportunity to do?

Julie Groves: Well, I had a great opportunity earlier this fall to go down to the road here, to Charlotte, North Carolina and the Gamma Iota Sigma Association had their conference and career fair down there.

Jenny Whittington: What's Gamma Iota Sigma?

Julie Groves: Gamma Iota Sigma is a, it's a sort of, I guess you would call it a, a business association or fraternity for college students who are majoring in risk management insurance and other really smart things like actual health sciences, and other things that I can't really pronounce. But there were a, there were just, there were, you know, hundreds of college students there from programs all over the country. They came in and. They had programming, which I didn't attend, but they, you know, Michelle Smith from URMIA and I went to the, um, we set up an URMIA booth at the, at the career fair. We had the opportunity to talk to a lot of really impressive up and coming insurance professionals.

And so, it, it does, in fact, we did a podcast with two of them, which should have just been released a couple of weeks. So be, be sure to go back and listen to that. But they're, they're very impressive. Um, and I think the future of risk management is certainly in good hands.

And then a couple weeks ago, I went in the other direction in North Carolina up to Boone, uh, to Appalachian State University. I visited the Walker College of Business and I spoke to a group of risk management and insurance majors at State. And as I told them, when I started, started speaking, I looked at the courses in the major for risk management and insurance at, at Appalachian State. And I would have not lasted a semester, I would've failed. It looks so hard. And, and as I, you know, as, as is the case for a lot of us and I told them, you know, I fell into this, you know, cuz if I-

Jenny Whittington: You are an English literature major-

Julie Groves: That's correct. I, that was correct. That is correct. And so, I did sort of fall into this, and I think I'm holding my own, but-

Jenny Whittington: Definitely.

Julie Groves: I could not, some of those classes, I, I didn't even understand what they were, so they were very impressive. And, um, I wanna thank Omar Gonzalez for who inviting me up there. He is a prior URMIA Scholarship winner. He's great. Hopefully we will see him in Baltimore this spring. So again, it was, it's just, it's really great to be able to, Wake Forest doesn't have a, uh, we don't have a risk and insurance program in our business school. We don't have any students that are, you know, studying that field. So, I don't have a lot of opportunities to work with students, so it's really good for me. I enjoy working with students, so it's good for me to have opportunities to go and talk to them at other, you know venues, so that's great.

Jenny Whittington: That's terrific. And I know, I mean, a lot of our members, you know, do get to do some adjunct teaching or guest lecturing. That's actually a, a nuance that we're gonna try to find out about our membership in the next year to see who is teaching and really maybe look at that group as a cohort group in the future. So just, um, food for thought for next year, but the-

Julie Groves: The possibilities are endless.

Jenny Whittington: Yes. What else have you been up to?

Julie Groves: Well, you know, I, I, I do wanna say that, I mean, I think, I mean, I don't wanna get my hopes up, but I think I might have been promoted from guest podcast to just plain podcast host.

Jenny Whittington: Yes.

Julie Groves: And I'm pretty, I'm pretty, um, pretty excited-

Jenny Whittington: You're inducted into that, the host.

Julie Groves: I'm pretty excited. Yeah, I'm pretty excited about that . So, you know, but you know that I, I, I do love to do the podcast. So, I've gotten to talk with some brilliant, I've had, you know, I had a chance to talk to Courtney Davis Curtis about her, uh, year as president. As I mentioned, I talked to those two fantastic students, Omar, and Zane, uh, who are gonna be risk management superstars when they graduate from college. You know, so I've just, I've had a chance to to, uh, talk to different people. So that's, that's something I really enjoy.

Jenny Whittington: Yeah. And you are a gifted podcast host. And I'm sorry that we, you know, kept you as guest host for too long apparently,

Julie Groves: It’s okay.

Jenny Whittington: but it's just fierce, proud to have you as a full-blown host now, and we have ultimate faith that you'll deliver the URMIA message-

Julie Groves: I tried to.

Jenny Whittington: Via a podcast all year and our members will love it. Yeah. Yeah. So, I know you already spoke a little bit about our, our visit to Baltimore and we, we are so excited about the, the hotel and we know we have a large contingent of our members in the Northeast. So, we've been making some, you know, unofficial guesses on how many people will come to our conference. But I just want everybody to put the, those dates in their calendar, September 9th  through the 13th  in Baltimore.

Julie Groves: It's gonna be great.

Jenny Whittington: Oh, can't wait to see, see people there.

Julie Groves: Yes. Were you gonna say something?

Jenny Whittington: I was just gonna say, you know, all these great things that you've been telling the podcast listeners about, um, another initiative that we've been, we've been working on are upgrades to our leadership development committee and kind of process. So, you know, you've obviously came to your first URMIA conference in 2008, right?

Julie Groves: Correct. Washington DC.

Jenny Whittington: And now 2022, you're president. So, we wanna, you know, we wanna plant those seeds with the listeners out there and how they can get more involved from, you know, looking at our volunteer opportunities on the website. So, in the fall, or I'm sorry, in the spring, we'll start doing more information about our leadership development process. We're always looking for future leaders and getting folks involved. And the president really does have a lot of fun.

Julie Groves: The president does have a lot of fun. I mean, and it's, I mean, you know, I have a full-time job, but I, I mean, I will say being URMIA president, there's, you know, there's, there's quite a lot that has to happen. I mean, honestly, I couldn't do this foot mark for that URMIA staff because they, they carry a lot of the load, truly. But, you know, and I, I don't wanna sound cliche either, but it is rewarding to be the URMIA president, particularly because as I, as I've mentioned, URMIA has been such a great resource for me, and so, you know, the fact that I get to be involved in this capacity in this organization is a really great honor.

So, I don't take that for granted at all. And so, I just, I want to spend the year making sure that I get the message out there how, you know, URMIA’s resources and URMIA’s, the, the people involved in URMIA can be very important to, to others, you know, and you and I have quite a couple of fun trips coming up in the spring, which we'll talk about on our, you know, some of them on our next, uh, quarterly podcast update or however often we're gonna do-

Jenny Whittington: Occasional podcasts.

Julie Groves: Occasional podcast,

Jenny Whittington: When really super interesting things are happening, right?

Julie Groves: We may need to do one from Disney.

Jenny Whittington: Oh, I think that's a great idea. Maybe, maybe Mickey can be a guest.

Julie Groves: Mickey or someone could be a, a guest or yeah, Eeyore, or Pooh, or somebody.

Jenny Whittington: Goofy is one of my favorites.

Julie Groves: Yeah. Yes. We could see if Goofy could be on the podcast. So-

Jenny Whittington: Well, Julie, it's been so awesome talking to you.

Julie Groves: Yes.

Jenny Whittington: And launching the, this, these presidential updates about URMIA and URMIA is so fortunate to have you and all the volunteers and in this you know, end of the year, holiday time, I've got my Christmas sweater on -

Julie Groves: You do.

Jenny Whittington: -today. Um, I’m just happy to, to have found URMIA and to work with wonderful volunteers like you and everybody else who makes URMIA what it is. So, thank you for volunteering your time to be with us.

Julie Groves: Happy to do it.

Jenny Whittington: And thank you for being the guest and you know, you are a host extraordinaire of the podcast.

Julie Groves: Thank you. And you do have a good radio voice. I, I mean, I feel like once you retire, maybe you need to look at NPR one more time, see what they have to say.

Jenny Whittington: I might check them out again. Anyway. Great to see you. Great to-

Julie Groves: Thank you, Jenny.

Jenny Whittington: -to, uh, be telling the membership about all the good things that are going on. We are, we are always open to answer any questions.