Join this fast-paced conversation with three members of the Executive Committee of the URMIA Board of Directors, our URMIA Presidents, hosted by URMIA Executive Director Jenny Whittington. In addition to nuggets of advice for becoming a volunteer, President Courtney Davis Curtis recaps her speech from Seattle, President-Elect Julie Groves encourages getting involved is as easy as sharing feedback, and Past-President Chauncey Fagler shares that no job is too big either.
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Courtney Davis Curtis, CPCU, ARM-E - Assistant Vice President for Risk Management and Resilience Planning, University of Chicago
Julie Groves, ARM - Director, Risk Services, Wake Forest University
Chauncey Fagler, ARM-P - Executive Director & CRO, FCSRMC (Florida College System Risk Management Consortium)
Jenny Whittington- Executive Director, URMIA
Jenny: Hello everyone. This is Jenny Whittington. URMIA’s executive director. Welcome to another edition of URMIA matters. Today I am surrounded by my past and my future and my future, future bosses, the URMIA presidential team. So first up we have Courtney Davis Curtis from University of Chicago and she say, hello, Courtney.
Courtney: Hello, URMIA.
Jenny: We're so happy to have you here. Next up we have the future future URMIA president. Miss Julie Groves from Wake Forest University. She's often been featured on the podcast series. So welcome back, Julie.
Julie: Thank you, Jenny. Happy to be here. Hello to everyone out there in podcast land.
Jenny: Awesome. And last, but certainly not least is our most recent president Chauncey Fagler from the Florida Consortium as I like to call it. So say hello.
Chauncey: Hi everyone. It's great to be back.
Jenny: So today we are going to talk about the future of URMIA. So it's timely for us because the URMIA board meets from time to time throughout the year. Um, we've been meeting today [with the executive committee] talking about the future, the year 2022. And we, we spent a lot of the day, really talking about where we are. Where we want to go kind of the big goals of the association. And I always like to say, I mean, I always go back to, you know, we're a membership association.
We have to think about the members a hundred percent of the time. So a lot of the things we talked about today were how to serve the members in the best way forward and how to reach people who are not our members yet. So I'm gonna turn it over to Courtney to talk about some of the nuances of our future planning. What do you, what do you think Courtney?
Courtney: So I, I want to start by sharing some of the things that I shared at the annual conference joined my speech, they align with our strategic plan and I think it's succinct and easy to remember. And that's Connect. Know. Grow. Together, uh, supporting all of our four strategic goals, but, uh, simply is really framed with our membership in mind, as Jenny said, so connecting that's easily connecting our members to one another, but also to the plethora of resources that are afforded, that's getting to our knowledge and advancing the discipline of risk management, including all the different intel and resource or a podcast and insight articles, et cetera, and really making sure that we are, creating a foundation so that we can be risk managers who know K N O W. The office of know, and, not N O, and importantly, it also includes grow where we've got a really strong goal that is a new one to our organization, which is about growing, and how we diversify our membership, how we create equity and how we become more inclusive as an organization. Um, but as a foundation to all of this, we have to do it together. And so I think these are important tenants of our future, uh, along with, uh, seeing our strategic goals forward as well.
Jenny: Thank you, Courtney. That was, that was terrific. Thank you so much for the, uh, reflection on your speech. If, if everybody who's listening to the podcast day has not seen Courtney's wonderful speech from Seattle, it is fully accessible. Um, the entire business meeting is accessible to every member of URMIA. So, if you haven't watched it, her speech was, was very moving and very, um, exciting as well as the awards ceremony that we had in Seattle. Um, always a hallmark to me of a big part of the URMIA community is celebrating each other and there were some very touching moments. So again, another shout out to anybody who hasn't watched that awards ceremony and Courtney speech. I mean, it really tells you a lot about the future of URMIA and it celebrates our members.
So now let's turn to Chauncey and hear about your thoughts about the future of URMIA.
Chauncey: Well, one of the things that, uh, I wanted to accomplish during my presidency, which ended up lasting two years because of COVID was to introduce us to an app that we can use on our mobile devices. And so I guess this is a re-introduction to that app. Uh, we certainly would encourage you all to go, uh, load the app, uh, onto your phones give it a test run and, give us some feedback on it. I think it's a great tool. Uh, I use it quite often for quicker references is when I can do off my laptop or off my desktop, and off the website. Uh, so again, just go load the app and use it and let's see, what type of feedback you can provide.
Jenny: Yeah. And we'll definitely put the link to the, how you test the app, how you get it in the show notes. But one thing I love about the app is that, you know, it was designed for a mobile device. And I think we all know some websites and some place, you know, they're just much more intuitive from your phone and a pleasant surprise about the Socio app that we used at the conference. I had been using it on my desktop when we first got it. And then it was like, oh my gosh, it's even better on the phone. So that's exactly what our app is. And I would encourage all the members to use it. One of my favorite features in the app is to actually download contacts from there because it takes all the data that we have in our database, which I know is really good clean data and it creates your contact list. So that's a little pro tip from the national office.
Okay. So Julie, I'll turn it over to you now. What are your thoughts on the future of URMIA as you, you know, you'll come into your presidency and about 22 and a half months. Hey do you have a day counter?
Julie: I don't. Um, you know, I think as I was thinking about this earlier, I think that, it's something that a lot of us probably have done is we, we plan for - plan ahead, we make goals, we set, you know, things we want to accomplish. And I think COVID sort of changed that a lot. And, um, You know, we all have things that we were going to do that we couldn't, because of COVID like you are going to be president at Chauncey for one year and you ended up extending that, which again, we appreciate you were supposed to be president in Courtney earlier than you are.
And so you were sort of waiting in the wings. So, you know, I don't want to say that I'm hesitant to make goals. Sort of change the way that you think about planning for the future. So I, I will say to the listeners that, uh, we, you know, we have an executive committee of the board and it meets every month and we spent a lot of time discussing the association. Um, what's best for the association and particularly what's best for our members. Done a lot of that. Um, as Jenny said today, we had a meeting today and so we're really, we really want to hear from the members and we want to know what's, what's important for you all. And so we're constantly evaluating things to make sure it's of the utmost benefit to the members of the utmost benefit to the association.
And so, you know, some of the things we're looking at are, you know, how we can do conferences going forward. We think the Seattle conference was a hybrid mix. It went very well. Is that something we're going to be able to do going forward? We'll just have to evaluate that and see. So, we're going to be thoughtful about planning ahead, knowing that, um, circumstances can always change. That's sort of our goal, uh, for now. So as for what I will do when a president that's in COVID terms as too far away in the future for anybody to even think about.
Jenny: And I absolutely agree with you. Just two years ago, you know, I had the URMIA kind of scheduled down, you know, I knew exactly what was happening when - COVID has really turned, turned, everything upside down and you, I mean, we know how quickly things change and how quickly we have to react now. I, I think you're, you're very wise to not try to predict the future because it's a tough one. So I want to switch the focus here. Uh, one of the things that that came about at the conference, which does every time we have a conference, is a lot of our wonderful members want to volunteer for URMIA. And I know it's a big initiative of Courtney's to, find good volunteer positions for our. Um, so I wanted to, for you guys to kind of share quickly, like how you got started in URMIA and like your path, how you got around this table to the presidential table of URMIA, why don't we start with you Courtney?
Courtney: Sure. So I've been coming to URMIA since 2008, the DC conference. But, um, some may not know I started as a broker. So the first six or so years of my, maybe even eight, I was attending as a broker, but developing relationships along the way. And I started at two different firms and all of those opportunities came through URMIA. But when I started at the University of Chicago, that very first conference I went to, I was asked to help support Risk Management 1 0 1, which was part of the pre-conference, you know, opportunities that we provided to new members and first timers to really provide them the intro to higher ed risk management. And it just went from there. And, you know, then I worked with Luke Figora and doing some of, I think we actually did two conferences in Chicago in terms of regionals and culturing that, in addition to putting information on the website and, uh, responding to listserv questions, et cetera. Um, but it really started as some of these micro volunteer opportunities that just led to more, uh, including being on the board. And then ultimately, uh, now as President.
Jenny: That's terrific. I think I may have been part of that team to ask you to be part of the Risk Management 1 0 1. And we are always, I mean, from the staff standpoint, we are always looking for wonderful volunteers. I mean, some low-hanging fruit is our call for programs. So we will do a call for presentations for our regional and our annual conferences. That is a great way to get involved. Um, speaking is, can be uncomfortable for people, but it's a great place to start. And it's a great way to make a, a great relationship or learn about a topic that you might not know a lot about.
How about you, Julie? When was your first exposure to URMIA?
Julie: Well, my, client exec at my broker suggested that Wake Forest join URMIA. And so my first conference was also Washington DC, 2008, where the fantastic lobby of the hotel was torn up and we had to walk across plywood to get into …
Jenny: that lobby was just amazing
Julie: so memorable and I will never forget it. And at the conference. I volunteered to serve on the communications committee, which we don't have any more, but at the time we did the journal and we did, URMIA insights. and now, the wonderful home office has taken over that, those duties, but it was great. So I served on the committee for several years and then I chaired the committee for several years and, uh, you know, I really, really enjoyed that.
You know, from there, I branched out to several other committees. The scholarship committee I've helped with some regional conference hosting duties. And so I would just encourage anyone who's interested in becoming more involved with URMIA to volunteer for something, no matter how small it's, every step is leads to another one.
So you may think, well, I don't feel like I could be the chair of an annual conference. You don't need to start that way. You just need to start with something small and then your then work your way up. So I would encourage everyone to get involved where they feel like they have a niche.
Jenny: That is a great idea. I love that suggestion start small. Put your hand up. Or if somebody asks you to volunteer, say yes, or if we send you a survey, take the survey. We love that. How about you Chauncey? Where did your URMIA path start joined?
Chauncey: Well I actually joined URMIA in 2006. And my first, uh, in-person conference was regional in 2007. And then I went to my first annual conference in 2011. And I can remember at the end of the conference, and I think back then is when you used to have the committee meetings, they used to be breakouts and I walked up to the room and they were people in this room. And I actually think I was interested in being part of the new members committee. And I stood at the door and thought, ooo I can't do this yet.
So I walked away and then a few years later, um, you know, I did put my hand up, but Jenny found me. And next thing I knew, I started big Julie, she chair co-chair with Steve Bryant. So a annual conference chair. And then, uh, shortly after that was, uh, um, I remember Kathy Hargis and Marje contacted me about running for the board. And then of course had been, you know, an executive committee and president role. So again, I just think there's opportunities. Throughout the organizations for anyone to volunteer in any capacity that you feel you might be suited for. And, uh, you know, as you go through the opportunity of being a volunteer, you're going to meet great people.
And I think that when you get down to the end of it, that's why we do what we do here. Um, the relationships are lifetime friendships and a lot of ways. And, um, you're just always remember, you're not an island, you've got so many you can talk to, right?
Jenny: Absolutely. You guys really support each other. And I mean, that's one of the wonderful things about working at URMIA is, you know, seeing the way you guys support each other personally, professionally, um, another kind of low hanging fruit, um, is our sign up genius page on the website. Um, we will update from time to time. We're always, we should always have open positions for volunteers and there'll be described there about how much time we need, you know, what the specific task is. If it's a monthly, like meeting every month or if it's an hour, a month or two hours a month, or if it's a concentrated project where we're doing a lot of that fine tuning right now. So check back often for that. And if you can't find that you can always ask Lou the ask Lou button. He will hook you up with a staff member or the board member who, who can help you find an opportunity.
Any closing comments, Courtney? Oh Julie.
Julie: I just say one thing while we're on this subject. I, I don't want anyone out there to feel like they don't have anything to contribute to URMIA because everyone does. So if you're out there and you want to do you really want to do something? I encourage you to explore what your options are and to, um, know that we value everyone's participation. And so don't think you don't have anything to offer because you do, you do so we really want people to get involved.
Jenny: Absolutely. And if you have a question, I mean, don't be bashful about it. Use our community, ask the question to the community. Or ask Lou, if it's a resource that you're looking for on the site, he has a very firm grasp all the URMIA resources, especially things in the library. So I love that advice, just get involved and, know that, that it takes a village and that's why URMIA has wonderful volunteers and staff, but we're here for you.
Any other closing comments?
Courtney: Uh, I certainly want to echo what Julie said and, you know, sometimes the opportunities will be content driven where it may be about higher education risk management or other emerging risks. But sometimes it's also how we can do things better in how we deliver our content to the members. And so sometimes it's just about giving us your honest feedback or looking at things from a different perspective. Um, but this is where really great opportunity to network. even if it's virtual meeting people and connecting the names you see in the emails with the faces, uh, and then growing those connections, if you're able to, to meet and convene with people in person too.
Jenny: Well, I think that's going to be a wrap for URMIA matters. Thanks to all of you for being my guests today.