URMIA Matters

Episode 11: Membership

February 26, 2020 Jenny Whittington and guest Joelle Marcum Season 1 Episode 11
URMIA Matters
Episode 11: Membership
URMIA Matters
Episode 11: Membership
Feb 26, 2020 Season 1 Episode 11
Jenny Whittington and guest Joelle Marcum

Do you wonder if you’re taking full advantage of your URMIA membership? Or, if you’re not a member, are you exploring if URMIA is the right choice for you? Hear from Joelle Marcum, URMIA’s member services coordinator, as she provides an overview of different types of URMIA annual memberships, plus the association’s member benefits. She also provides tips on how to maximize networking with peers online and at conferences.

Show Notes [member-only content, login required]

Show Notes Transcript

Do you wonder if you’re taking full advantage of your URMIA membership? Or, if you’re not a member, are you exploring if URMIA is the right choice for you? Hear from Joelle Marcum, URMIA’s member services coordinator, as she provides an overview of different types of URMIA annual memberships, plus the association’s member benefits. She also provides tips on how to maximize networking with peers online and at conferences.

Show Notes [member-only content, login required]

Jenny: Welcome to URMIA Matters! This is Jenny Whittington, the Executive Director of URMIA, and I am thrilled and excited that my guest today is Joelle Marcum. Joelle has been on staff with URMIA for quite a while. Joelle, remind me, when was your first day with URMIA?


Joelle: My first day… I think it was in July of 2014? Maybe? 


Jenny: I think that’s right, because I think you just hit your five-year anniversary in 2019, so congratulations on being part of the URMIA team for five years!


Joelle: Thank you.


Jenny: So, Joelle started out as kind of our front office person, and now she is our member services coordinator, and she has a, now that she’s been here for five years, she’s been us for five conferences and she knows all about the wonderful world of URMIA. So, today we are going to talk a little bit about the benefits of membership for those who are members of URMIA, and potentially those who are listening who are not members of URMIA, we hope we can pique your interest to know more about us as an association. So, Joelle, I know we are in the midst of dues renewal time, so tell us a little about that process, when did it start? 


Joelle: So, that started in September I believe. 


Jenny: Right when we got back from the conference?


Joelle: It was a little bit of a blur. Yeah, we got right back from our 50th annual conference and kind of dove right into our dues process. So, everybody should have gotten an email from us in September asking us to update your membership information, anybody that should be on your account as well as if you want to continue to be members with us in 2020. 


Jenny: Yeah, so let’s talk a little bit about that. So, our members have access to their profile. Do you encourage folks to update their information online? 


Joelle: So, right now we do… it’s a little easier if you contact me right now, though. So, one of our goals this year is to try to make your login and trying to update your membership a little easier, but we’re still kind of in the process of that. So, right now it’s a little easier if you get a hold of me. I’m available by phone or email, it’s really easy it takes, I’ll literally get it done within that day, and get everything updated for you. But yes, if anything has changed, email or phone, anything that like, we do encourage you to contact us and keep your information up to date, as well as anybody on your membership, depending on what tier level you’re at. We’d love to keep everybody updated, or if you have any changes or any people you want to add, you can also contact me for that too. 


Jenny: Yeah, that is a great point. So, within URMIA’s membership categories, we have several different tiers of membership. We’ve renamed them recently, so they include the actual number of people that are included in your membership. So, if you are a tier six member, you likely have six people associated with your base membership. So, Joelle is the key to knowing all of this, so if you do have a question about your membership, or if you’re unsure if you’re filling all of your spots in membership, Joelle is definitely the person to reach out to. So, Joelle on the profile system though we do encourage people to put in their biographies and their photos, right? 


Joelle: Yes, yeah. So, our main thing that we would love to have everybody fill out is your photograph, we would love to see who you are, everybody likes to know our members, and then as well as your title, your bio and any other contact information you’re willing to share with us. We have a member directory and it’s a little easier for everybody to get to know each other, and for us to get to know you, so yes, we do encourage you to login and fill all of that out for us. 


Jenny: Awesome. Ok so today we are going to talk about, a little bit about some of the benefits of membership. So, Joelle is the voice of URMIA, she is likely the person that will answer the phone, although we all do answer the phone from time to time at URMIA. So, today we’re just kind of going to do kind of a high-level summary of our benefits to make sure that our existing members are taking advantage of those, and potential members know what we’re all about. So, Joelle when you get calls from members, what kind of questions do they ask you on a routine basis? 


Joelle: So, normally it’s them just trying to find out what URMIA is all about, obviously what kind of benefits they would receive if they became a member, and I feel like the top three things that people are always very interested in are conferences, our community or the URMIA network, and any kind of professional development opportunities, things like that that we have going on at the moment. And so, normally the top thing is the URMIA network. We, recently with new members, have found out that they are interested in networking as well as attending conferences, and getting to know other members in the Risk Management world. So, I think our biggest point right now would probably be the URMIA network, is what people enjoy the most.


Jenny: Yeah, that is so true. So, URMIA did a comprehensive needs assessment back in 2018, gosh it doesn’t seem like that could be two years ago now, but I guess, I guess that we probably started it out at the start of the year. But our members really did, they told us that they wanted more professional development kind of in the 24/7 time-scape because people have less time than ever, and they wanted to be able to do professional development and hear education kind of when and where they could. So, that is one of the reasons we are doing the podcast series and we do offer a lot of recordings in the library from our conferences. I always encourage folks to check out an URMIA regional conference- we have those upcoming in 2020. We’re going to Raleigh and Sacramento and Cincinnati and Philadelphia. So, we’re looking forward to taking URMIA on the road this year. I know one of the questions that we do get is about our membership categories, and this can be a little bit confusing, I mean anybody who’s been around URMIA and been a member for many years understands that our institutional members are the schools, the not-for-profits, but largely the colleges and universities, but our affiliate members are the not-for-profit members[K1] [K2] , and we have two different kind of membership categories, so anybody who provides a product or a service to the risk managers at a college or university pretty much falls into  the affiliate category, and we have kind of a small affiliate category for businesses that produce sales in higher education less than $250,000, and we have large affiliate category, which is all the businesses that have more than $250,000 in sales, and the large category includes four people at each organization, one is a voting member and the other three are non-voting members. So, Joelle is there an easy way for people to see how many members they have? Do you ever encourage them to look at the membership directory?


Joelle: Yeah, so if you are currently a member you can log in and go to our member directory, you should be able to type in your organization and see who all falls under that category, so if you know, for example, that you’re an affiliate level four, and you only see three people with your organization, that means you have one open spot. So, if there is somebody that you would like to add, that’s when I would encourage you to contact me, and I’d be happy to help you work through that process and get somebody added to your account, so we can get you a full membership with URMIA. 


Jenny: Yeah that’s one of our strategic goals for 2020, is to increase our membership by 5%, including new members, and filling all of those non-voting member spots. So, we really want our members to take full advantage of all the benefits to members. Joelle, do you ever get any questions about any of our webinars, or any of the recordings in the library? 


Joelle: Yeah, so normally with our webinars I get a lot of questions of where can we find the recording afterwards, and yeah for the most part,  depending on who we do the webinar with, we do record them, and they can be found in the library, which is member-only access. So, yes if you were interested in doing any kind of professional development with that, that can be found in, the majority of them can be found in our library. 


Jenny: Sure, and I know one question that I get from time to time, we’ve been partnering with Erike Young and supporting his ARM study group, so that is available to all URMIA members. It is kind of an online, it’s recordings of prep courses for the ARM, and I know Erike is in the process of updating that because the whole ARM series is getting an update, and this is a great benefit of membership, so anybody who is thinking about getting their ARM, please check that part out of our website or give us a call and we will lead you to it. So Joelle, I know that in this past year we changed how we are doing kind of the welcome and part of the onboarding to new members, so I know you send a welcome message to each new member, and can you tell us about what the feedback is that you get from the new members, the question that you ask, remind me about what that question is. 


Joelle: Sure, so yeah so I recently decided, we kind of did an evaluation of what our members would like to see, and it sounded like they wanted a little more of a personal greeting and I love that, I love talking to our members, so I started sending out an email now to all of our new members that have joined, and the number one question I normally ask at the very end of the letter is why did you join URMIA or what interested you to join URMIA, and we get a really good range of people just saying that they, word of mouth, they heard about URMIA, that it’d be a great association to join, it would help them with their career goals. One of the big things that I hear back from people though is that they are very interested in networking and learning from other people in Risk, and as well as a lot of people new to the field and want to learn more from everybody. So, I think the big feedback I get is a lot of people want to network, they want to know what everybody else is doing, and they’re very interested in coming to our conferences. 


Jenny: And I know a lot of times they’ll have a specific question, like they’re looking for help in enterprise risk management, and on those do you send them to anyone in particular? 


Joelle: I do. If you know of Lou, our Ask Lou button, he was on the podcast, I believe he our first podcast guest, right? 


Jenny: He was an early one. 


Joelle: At least an early one, but Lou, yeah so if have very specific questions that I might not be able to answer right off of the top of my head, we do have a retired risk manager on staff. He’s part-time, he’s not in our office, but we do have a very handy button at the very, home page, it says Ask Lou. You can always ask him a question there, but I normally if you have a question for me from my letter, I will forward you on to Lou, and he is very quick and responsive; he will happily help you. 


Jenny: Awesome. Thanks for that. Another part of Joelle’s job at URMIA is to support the newcomer session at our annual conference. So we are… this is early in 2020, we just kicked off the new year and as our conference in Indianapolis gets going this year, Joelle’s looking forward to welcoming all of our new members and first-time attendees to that session. Can you talk about that session a little bit and what the group is trying to aim for this year? 


Joelle: Sure. So, yeah in the past what we kind of try to do is normally a mixture of our new members or newcomers to the conference, and then we always hope to have a sprinkling of our executive committee and potentially our, possibly some of the executive committee staff, things like that at the session, and it’s kind of a way for everybody who’s potentially new to the conference or URMIA to get to know URMIA on a much more in depth and personal level, as well as getting to know what’s going on at the conference, because I know it can be a little overwhelming. We have… what was it last year? About 700… a little more than 700? 


Jenny: Yeah, I think we actually had 900. 


Joelle: I think I’m thinking of Disney.


Jenny: But it’s a lot of people. 


Joelle: It’s a lot of people. So, it’s a much more intimate environment for people to kind of network and get to know other newcomers as well as some more seasoned people at URMIA, and so we play games and there’s prizes for people who win at the games and also we encourage you to get more involved with URMIA and we do have a buddy program we’ve been kind of trying to work on. We started… it’s been about two years now. 


Jenny: I think this will be year three.


Joelle: Year three. So, it’s a good way for you to get involved at the conference and with URMIA if you maybe don’t know as much right off the bat. 


Jenny: Yeah, so anybody who is listening who is a new member or looking forward to Indianapolis being their first conference, you will get probably an invitation from Joelle about participating in our buddy program; we have had great results over the last two years. It’s a very low-stress commitment. I think every person attending the conference would look forward to having a friend, you know to look forward to, to catch up to at that newcomer’s session. The newcomer’s session will on Sunday in Indianapolis, and you will also, as a new member/first-time attendee, be invited to our president’s reception, which will happen on Saturday night in Indianapolis. So, anybody who is in the new member/first-timer category should plan to get to Indianapolis on Saturday because we will have a fun session on Sunday and the president’s reception will be interactive and fun as well. Let’s get back a little bit to some of the member benefits. Do you ever get any questions about our career center, Joelle? 


Joelle: I get, so most of my questions are people wondering, like how come we post positions, and so there is a small fee, but it does go out to I believe it was 9 other organizations where it’s advertised if you are posting an open position at your organization. And then, as well as it is searchable for any of our members if you’re looking for a new position, and then we do encourage, you can post on the URMIA network.


Jenny: Yeah, the career center is a great resource for members, I mean it is a great place if you’re looking for a new job, there are lots of positions posted there and we are linked up to, it’s between 6 and 9, organizations that we, that the database is shared with, so I know we are shared with NACUBO, the business officers, and NACA, the auxiliary services associations. So, when you look at the job board, it’s not only risk management positions, but as we all know, most risk managers wear many hats. So the position could be posted you know as the business office or as an auxiliary services person, so it really just widens the breadth of what is out there, so I encourage all of our members to check out the career center, whether they’re posting an employment ad or looking for a job themselves. So, we talked just a little bit about the conferences, and I know that they are great gathering spots for the members. We will launch registration for our annual conference in May, I believe that’s our planning window, and Joelle will be really involved in the newcomer’s session and the buddies. Is there anything else you want to talk about from the conference perspective? 


Joelle: I just, I mean from the conference perspective, like Jenny said earlier, I would, I would highly encourage you to attend a regional if this I going to be one of your first conferences. It’s just kind of a nice taste of URMIA and the community if you’ve never been to a conference, on a much more scaled-down level, a little bit more manageable vs. our 900 attendees, depending on the location it’s more like a 200 maybe to the higher 100s of people attending, so I think that’s a good jumping off point if you’re interested in kind of getting your feet wet with an URMIA conference. 


Jenny: And I just want to plug just a tiny bit, a little bit more about the URMIA network. So, as I’ve been involved with URMIA for many a year now, I know that the URMIA network, or what was once called the ???  is our number one benefit and our members really enjoy getting the daily digest, or they can get a consolidated digest, or a daily digest, so members who are listening: you have options, you can really change how you get that URMIA message, and if you have any questions about that, you can reach out to Joelle at the national office or any of the national office staff can help you with that. But the URMIA network is a great place to ask questions, but it’s also a great place to introduce yourself to members. That’s been happening more frequently, where members will introduce a little bit about themselves and say what their history is and we encourage our members to do that because it’s really part of our community. We want to know who the new members are and tell us a little bit about yourself. Anything to add on that? 


Joelle: That’s right, our members are very social, I would say. It’s like a big family and I know it’s a little intimidating at first, but everybody is so friendly and welcoming, so I do highly encourage, if you are a new member, please come introduce yourself, you’ll hear from plenty of people. Everybody is very excited that you are here and joining our community. 


Jenny: Yeah, URMIA is a very special association, and very welcoming, so we encourage everybody to get involved. So, among Joelle’s other assets at the URMIA office, she is part of our social media team. So, Joelle is the voice of our Instagram account, so anybody who is on social media should definitely check out the URMIA social media channels. Will you talk a little but about our channels? 


Joelle: Sure. So yeah right now, our staff, we have it split up between three different people, doing three different channels, but I do mostly the Instagram for URMIA, so you’ll see a lot of my voice and flare on the Instagram account. It’s a lot more, I post a lot more during conference time, but I try to keep it up throughout the rest of the time, but you’ll see a lot of fun pictures of our members and things we’ve done in the past, so I encourage you to go to look at that, and then we also have a twitter account and a LinkedIn account, and the podcast, I don’t know if that would be considered social media, No? 


Jenny: But our Facebook account!


Joelle:  Oh, Facebook to. Yes, I apologize, yes Facebook, we also have a Facebook account. 


Jenny: We always have some generational conversations at the home office, how social media means different things to different people, different times in their life, but for any URMIA member, or nonmember who is out there, I would encourage you to check us out on social media. We are doing a great job, and we do have tons of content on our, well definitely on the URMIA library, we have some content on our YouTube channel, so please check us out online, and, Joelle, I did want to give you a shoutout about your throwback Thursday posts. For anybody who has been around URMIA for a while, I think you’ll really enjoy some of those posts. Do you try to post those on every Thursday? 


Joelle: It depends. I try to. So, I find those from the old, they’re like the printed URMIA digests?


Jenny: I think they were the old newsletters. I think they were always called URMIA insights? Maybe they weren’t? I’m not sure. 


Joelle: Of course, off of the top of my head I’m blanking right now, but they were the old printed URMIA newsletters and there are these really great cartoons that I’ve been finding in there, and I think this, for the Christmas one, there was a great one where it was a gift for risk managers, and it was a spray can and it was risk-away. So I try to find some of those cute things and kind of do little throwbacks from old URMIA newsletters. 


Jenny: That’s terrific. Well, Joelle I think this is going to be it, thank you for being my guest on URMIA matters, and if anybody has any questions, I mean please reach out to the National Office, we are happy to answer any questions for our members or answer any questions about nonmembers about membership. Until next time. 

 [K1]I think she misspoke here.