Join guest host, Jenny Whittington, as she interviews Julie Groves, URMIA’s current president and host of URMIA Matters. Julie shares information on what is New, Now, and Next at URMIA including resources, member benefits, and key collaborations for higher education risk management and insurance professionals.
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Guest - Julie Groves-Director, Risk Services, Wake Forest University & URMIA President 2022-23
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. Hello everyone. Welcome to URMIA Matters. I am Jenny Wittington. I'm Ernie's executive director and back here hosting a bit of URMIA Matters, and we have the phenomenal. URMIA, President Julie Groves with us today. Welcome, Julie.
Julie Groves: Thank you, Jenny. Thank you. Thank you for your adjectives that you use to describe me. They're always so flattering. I appreciate that.
Jenny Whittington: I try to use a new one every once in a while, so thanks for noticing.
Julie Groves: Yes, they’re good, they're phenomenal. I'll tell you.
Jenny Whittington: So, I'm not sure if everybody in URMIA land knows this, but I typically have a one-on-one meeting with the URMIA president pretty much on a weekly basis while they're president. So, I get to meet with Julie every week of this year, and it is a highlight of my week.
Julie Groves: So, it, it is a highlight of the week. It's nice to talk to you and catch up and hear what's going on and plot our adventures for the future. So, it's very cool. So, I do enjoy that.
Jenny Whittington: Me too. Absolutely. Every week I look forward to it. And then this week it's a bonus because we get to do the podcast and a one-on-one.
Julie Groves: Yes, that is correct.
Jenny Whittington: So, let's think about what things have been going on in URMIA land since our last chat. What have you been up to?
Julie Groves: Well, there's been a lot going on and there's always a lot going on with our association. We recently had our spring board meeting, and we have one regional conference under our belt. Before I talk about those two things, I wanna circle back to something that got cut from the last presidential podcast because of a technical glitch. Our completely redesigned online resource guide went live last month, and if you haven't had a chance to look at it, please do. I mean, it's beautiful. The colors are beautiful.
The purple is lovely, and this guide, it really captures a wealth of valuable information for risk managers in higher ed, and it's a mobile friendly site, so whether you're looking at it on your phone or on your computer, you'll have access to a number of URMIA Risk management resources, and I really want to once again give a shout out to Ronna Papesh, who is URMIA’s Director of Information Technology, for all of her work on this. And if you'd like to hear more about this project from her perspective, she was a guest on a recent podcast and spoke about the process of revising this resource.
I also wanna mention URMIA’s core competencies under the leadership of Gary Langdale, who has now officially headed off into real retirement, not fake retirement, when he was fake retired and working for URMIA. He's really gone off to real retirement. He led our core competency task force and we spent the last few months reviewing and updating these competencies. And so, this resource is also on the website, so please take a look at that. It's a great guide for people who are new in higher ed risk management, and even if you've been at higher at risk management for a long time, there is is important information in there that can really be beneficial to you and your career as a risk manager.
So, back to our spring board meeting, you know, the board and several committee chairs had an opportunity to gather in Orlando on February 5th, ahead of the Southeastern Regional Conference. And we took some time to review and discuss our five strategic goals and to se set up some priorities for the coming year. So, if you're not familiar with these strategic goals, they're in the about URMIA section of our website and they are all really about connections, connections between members, connections to professional development, resources and tools, ensuring that our association connects all we do to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging values, and also connecting our association to the future. And these strategic goals are critical to URMIA. They guide our efforts in all we do.
And I do just wanna add a note about the board meetings. We meet quarterly, we do it twice virtual, we have twice, two virtual meetings, and we have two in-person meetings, one at the annual conference. And again, we, I usually meet somewhere in January, February timeframe in person. And just wanna let everybody know that board meetings are open to all members. So, if you're interested in ever attending one, either virtually or in person, just let the URMIA office know. We would be glad to have you join us.
Well, I was gonna mention those. I think, you know what I would tell folks is that, you know, it was really, it offered some really timely, timely information and, you know, one of the presentations I went to is about, you know, current risk management topics in athletics, which I thought was really helpful. And, you know, another, another session I appreciated was, it was a session on ways to develop and strengthen awareness of your loss control and risk mitigation efforts on your campus. So, you know, I thought that all the presentations were good. So, you know, I think I'll put a plug in for the regional conferences, if you've, if you're a newer URMIA member or you've been a member for a long time, but you've never been to an URMIA conference, these regional conferences are a great way to sort of dip your toe into the water. And, you know, the conferences are smaller, and the schedule is more compact. And so, because of that, it's an easy way to meet new colleagues, you know, make connections and to hear about a variety of topics in a day's time.
So, I would suggest if you're interested at all in attending an annual regional conference, we have two coming up. We have our Western Conference in Anaheim on March 1st and 2nd. And I know Jenny, you are counting down the days until we go to Anaheim because I believe there will be a Disneyland visit in your future with that. and the Northeastern Conference is in Boston, April 10th and 11th, so be sure to check that information out on our website and let us know if you have any questions, then sign up and come, because I think you'll not, you won't regret it.
Jenny Whittington: Yeah, and I'll just give a shout out too. We do meet and greet dinners at these functions, and I had the pleasure of posting a group of eight or nine of us that went in into a restaurant, so it was just a great, it's a great way to get to know people kind of in an informal level. So, I just give a shout out that people who are new to URMIA, it's just a great way to, yeah, get to know a, a smaller group of people and I recommend it to everyone.
Julie Groves: I think that because we had such great turnout in Orlando, maybe that's a sign that we just need to do our Southeastern Regional conference there every year.
Jenny Whittington: Well, I could be convinced, you know, to go, URMIA should go to Disney every year and I am looking forward to my trip to Disneyland. It's a week from tomorrow, so I thank you for giving a little shout out for that.
Julie Groves: Of course, of course. Of course.
Jenny Whittington: So, what else has been up? What else is on your radar?
Julie Groves: Well, I know that Rachel Pluviose and the annual conference Committee are working hard on putting together a really fun event in Baltimore, and I'm not gonna steal their thunder, but Baltimore's a beautiful city. For those of you who haven't been, who haven't been, you really should come because our hotel is right on the waterfront and the committee has some exciting activity planned. I know one will be held at the Baltimore Aquarium and you know, one of my favorite authors is Edgar Allen Poe, and he has some history in Baltimore.
So, we may have something going on with Edgar. You know, a way to celebrate him. And we've had well over a hundred presentation submissions. So, the committee has begun working to select the presentations, and once they do that, they'll develop the programming schedule. And I do wanna just tell folks we have a new process for selecting presentations this year. The jury is made up of many more volunteers than in the past, and they're going to be doing blind judging. So, that means they won't know who submitted a presentation when they're voting on it. So, for instance, you know, I submitted 65 presentations myself. I just, I don't want people to feel compelled to choose my, because I'm the president. So, I think this blind judging will be, will be really helpful.
But anyway, you know, go ahead, and put the conference dates on your calendar, September 9th through the 13th and stay tuned for many more details cuz it sounds like it's going to be a great time. And it does also sound like there's a little friendly competition going on between the Baltimore Conference folks and the 2024 Annual conference folks, Colorado Robertson, and the New Orleans conference folks. So, we'll have to just see. I mean, there might be some trash talking going on and I don't know what I think there already has been, so we're just gonna have to see.
Jenny Whittington: Yeah, and I, I'd encourage everybody, we do have the initial part of our website available about Baltimore. I'd encourage you to check that out. You can go ahead and reserve your hotel room today. So, um, if you wanna just check that off your list. There's a nice big reserve, a room link under the hotel and travel section. Baltimore is a big hub, if you call it a hub for Southwest Airlines. So, keep that in mind that you can get there pretty easily from many locations. And yeah, hats off to Rachel and the ‘23 team and as well to the New Orleans team for, it's always fun to have a little banter about the best annual conference.
Julie Groves: Exactly. And I'll also say when we were there last fall for the tour of the Baltimore Hotel facilities, they are completely renovating all the conference areas. So, when we get there this fall, it's gonna be all brand spanking new.
Jenny Whittington: So, just for us, just for URMIA. Just for us, yes.
Julie Groves: So, so yeah. So, please stay tuned for more details for that. But as Jenny said, go ahead and go sign up and then just keep an eye out for when you can actually sign up for the conference. So, a couple other things I wanted to mention that are sort of coming up. One thing is, I mean, some of you've heard me talk about this before, when I did my presidential speech, I really focused on the fact that you are not alone. Because as a solo risk manager, I have often felt solo. And, but you know, the resources that I have through URMIA have really helped alleviate that a lot.
But I really felt like it would be important to make a community for folks who are like myself. So, the Solo Risk Managers community is going to be launching very soon, and I have about 40 folks who've indicated they'd like to participate. So once the community is live, we'll reach out to to everyone. If there's anyone else who fits the category of Solo Risk Manager, we'd love to have you join. So, if you're listening to this and you haven't communicated with me about it, feel free to send me an email and you know, just be on the lookout for more information on that and on those same lines.
There is a professionals of color community that will be launched soon. That's an effort that's been spearheaded by past President, Courtney Davis Curtis, and the founding me members of this community have already met, and it will be live soon. So, if you are a person of color and haven't been involved but would like to be involved in this community, please reach to the URMIA Office.
Jenny Whittington: Yeah. And you guys will be hearing a lot more about that in general. We're gonna come up with a kind of a streamlined way to subscribe the members to these optional communities. So, look for that to come. But you're, you're more than welcome to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and give us that information so when that goes live that you won't miss a bit of the conversation.
Julie Groves: I also wanna put in a plug for the honors committee. For those of you who don't know, we have an honors committee and they're responsible for selecting the winners for the different awards that URMIA gives out annually. And under Marge Lemmon's leadership, we've really worked to revamp the makeup the of the committee based on feedback from the URMIA membership.
So, it's time to think about who you wanna nominate. Most nominations are due by July 15th, so you have some time. But if you'd like to get more information on each of our awards, including links to the nominations, that all that can be found under the membership section on URMIA’s website and I was out there looking at that today, Jenny and I, I don't see an award for the best, best podcast host yet. But maybe we can suggest that we add that to our, not saying that I know anybody who would, person like win. But I'm just saying if people have someone to nominate, they could.
Jenny Whittington: I think it's a great idea. Well, the committee's actually having their kickoff meeting this week, so in case Marge isn't aware of the suggestion, there have been a couple other suggestions for new awards too, because really being a membership organization, we really, we live to celebrate our members and we came up with a cute idea called the “URMYS” remember? Oh, instead of the, oh, no, no. I think I only told Marge, instead of the Oscars. It was really Michelle Smith's idea.
Julie Groves: Or the Emmys. Yeah, or the Grammys.
Jenny Whittington: We'll have the URMYS.
Julie Groves: That's awesome.
Jenny Whittington: I don't know if it'll come to fruition, but you know, it's just one of those ideas.
Julie Groves: What will the URMYS celebrate?
Jenny Whittington: Higher education risk management.
Julie Groves: The best actress in a risk management role. the best
Jenny Whittington: The voice on a podcast. Maybe? I'm just spitballing here.
Julie Groves: That's a great idea. Yeah. Okay. Marge, if you're listening and we know you are, cuz I think every time an episode drops, Marge is like the first or second person to listen to the podcast.
Jenny Whittington: She's amazing.
Julie Groves: She's, she is. So, Marge, you know, we wanna see the URMYS come to light . So, and then finally I will just add that, you know, as we have learned, you have decided that you're not rescinding your retirement and you still plan on retiring at the end of the year. We've dragged this out as far as we can in the hopes that you might change your mind and you haven't.
Jenny Whittington: True.
Julie Groves: So, we have formed an executive director search committee, and we are looking to begin the search for your successor in mid to late spring, and the search committee is comprised of Craig McAllister, who is our president elect; Courtney Davis Curtis, URMIA’s past President; Flo Hoskinson our Board Secretary; Jim Mulholland, our treasurer; Steve Stoeger-Moore, who is URMIA’s Parliamentarian; Chauncey Flagler, the past president, and Amy Daley, who is a past board member, and she is representing our affiliate members. So, stay tuned for more details about that.
Jenny Whittington: That's awesome. Our future is in good hands with that, that group of stellar URMIA members, and I appreciate you guys doing this work and you as your presidency for leading this effort. I know it's a little above and beyond what a typical president has had to do, but I've been busy kind of getting my ducks in a row here, you know, trying to document more things. You know, when you've been around as long as I have, which I will note that I did celebrate my 18 years with URMIA last week.
Julie Groves: That's right. Jenny just celebrated her 18th anniversary with URMIA.
Jenny Whittington: We invited Larry Stevens, who is among the hiring group to have lunch with us, and Bob Zer from Notre Dame and it was quite a celebration. So yes, I've been busy documenting and trying to think about that transition to really set erm me up for. So, I appreciate your words of encouragement.
Julie Groves: Well, they made a great choice all those years ago, so.
Jenny Whittington: Thank you Julie.
Julie Groves: I wrote them a thank you note and thanked them for that.
Jenny Whittington: That was very sweet.
Julie Groves: So, yeah, so I think, you know, the only other thing I'll add is that you and I are going to be representing URMIA at quite a few conferences this spring. So, in my next presidential podcast, I'll be able to give more details about those conferences.
Jenny Whittington: Yeah, absolutely. That is definitely one of my goals as executive director is to get URMIA represented at other conferences. So yeah, I will be thrilled to report out on that too, cuz we're busy working on some of those presentation, including the higher education industry session at RIMS.
We're gonna give a shout out on the community soon to see who in the URMIA community might be attending RIMS this year. So, look for that. And we're also gonna be doing a presentation at ACCEDI, those are the conference event planners on campus, and we're gonna be exhibiting and doing a session there. So, look for details on that. And we just got the great news that we got accepted on NACUBO’s annual conference or annual meeting agenda. So, look for to hear more about all of. and always happy to represent URMIA in those capacities.
Julie Groves: It's great whenever we can to get our name and our information about our association out there. And so being at these conferences in person and really meeting folks is a great way to do that.
Jenny Whittington: It is. And Julie, you've been a wonderful guest on the podcast today.
Julie Groves: You're a great host. Well, I, I wanna share one other last little parting thing, please. So, I just want everyone to know that when we went to Disney for our board meeting, Jenny had maybe, I hope, one of the exciting moments of her lifetime when she got to meet her favorite Disney character.
Jenny Whittington: It was amazing. Julie and the team brought in Pluto to be a special guest at our reception at the Southeast Regional, and it was a treat. Pluto was delightful and we got, everybody got to get their pictures with Pluto, so we'll include some links to our Pluto's photos.
Julie Groves: Our photo array. Pluto has a habit of licking things, though, I will say, but I think that's like a sign of affection.
Jenny Whittington: I think so too. He was very nice.
Julie Groves: And the little trivia fact when we were researching Pluto to, you know, get him to come and meet you Pluto is. In the top 10 most requested characters at Disney.
Jenny Whittington: Wow. There are a lot of characters to choose from.
Julie Groves: There are a lot of characters, and I'll just fully admit, I was surprised by that.
Jenny Whittington: Pluto wouldn't have made your top 10. Is that what you're saying?
Julie Groves: Well, I'm just saying when you think about Mickey and Minnie and Buzz and Woody and all the princesses and the ducks, Goofy, Donald duck. Daisy duck,
Jenny Whittington: yeah. It goes on and on really. They keep making more movies.
Julie Groves: It does, I mean, yeah, I know. So, I mean, and you know, that doesn't even count. All the other movies we haven't mentioned. And you know, I think-.
Jenny Whittington: The Avengers.
Julie Groves: The Avengers, the Incredibles, I mean. So, Pluto, yes. He's just the old standby, you know, he's a standard. Everybody loves him, so yes.
Jenny Whittington: Well, it was a treat for URMIA to have their Southeast Regional at Disney, and I know that was a little favor that you did in my honor as well, but it was a big success. So, thank you as well to Michelle Smith for planning a great meeting and taking good care of us. On the logistics level, we were at a beautiful resort. I'd recommend the Coronado Tower to, to anybody. It's a beautiful resort and you should check it out.
Julie Groves: Yes, yes. Please, and just one word of caution that you may, if you're thinking about going down there, call reservations and ask if they're having a cheerleading competition there while you're gonna be there, because you may wanna schedule it for another week.
Jenny Whittington: The cheerleaders were, they were in packs, they were everywhere.
Julie Groves: They were everywhere. So anyway.
Jenny Whittington: You run into that at Disney, sometimes even families, you know, run in packs there with like matching t-shirts. That's true. That is true. It's a special amount of American culture. Well, Julie, it's been my pleasure to have you again. We'll do this again one or two times through the rest of the year, I'm sure, and I'll see you soon. But shout out to all the URMIA members for listening. Thank you for listening to our podcast. And Julie, thanks for being my guest.
Julie Groves: Oh, thanks for being a great host, Jenny.
Jenny Whittington: That'll be a wrap on URMIA Matters today.