Another wonderful Golden State Risk Management Authority Annual Conference is in the books! Although we might be a little biased, we think the 12th Annual GSRMA Training Conference was our best event yet. This year we introduced a new format for the conference. A second day of training, in the form of breakout sessions, was presented and was very well received by attendees. The event was held on Thursday, October 20th and Friday, October 21st, at Rolling Hills Resort in Corning, CA.

Thursday’s session began with continental breakfast and opening remarks by our conference emcee, Jennifer Peters, Assistant Risk Manager of GSRMA. The 127 participants in attendance, from 48 GSRMA member agencies, were introduced to GSRMA staff. There are a few new faces at GSRMA since last year’s conference. Next, Scott Schimke, Executive Director of GSRMA, provided conference attendees with “Your Risk Pool Update”. Scott provided an update on GSRMA, its membership details, as well as updates on the GSRMA Board selection process and industry updates.

Jennifer next welcomed Randy Anderson, from e3 Professional Trainers, the keynote speaker for the conference. During Randy’s presentation, “Improving Human Performance,” attendees learned that in order to improve human performance we needed to engage, equip and empower ourselves and our employees.

After a break and brief raffle, our next presenters, Jami Terrell and Michelle Laidlaw, provided a presentation on the intricate process of “Employee Complaints and Investigations.” Jami and Michelle provided tips on when investigations are necessary, how to conduct them and when to hire outside counsel to assist in the process.

Next, conference attendees were treated to a fabulous lunch buffet, sponsored by Alliant Insurance Services. As always, the chef and staff at Rolling Hills provided an outstanding meal. During lunch, GSRMA Board President, John Viegas, accepted a plaque recognizing GSRMA for achieving the California Association of Joint Powers Authority’s (CAJPA) “Accreditation with Excellence.” GSRMA first obtained this recognition in 1992 and has continued for 24 years since. The plaque was presented by Mike Fleming, Chairman of CAJPA’s Accreditation Committee and Chief Executive Officer of CSAC Excess Insurance Authority.

After lunch, Jami Terrell and Michelle Laidlaw returned to kick off our afternoon sessions with a presentation on the importance of return to work programs and “Engaging the Interactive Process.” During this presentation we learned about the interactive process, including what it is, when it must be implemented, what must be done, and common pitfalls to avoid.

After a quick break and final raffle, our last presenter for Thursday was Dr. Bob May. Dr. May’s presentation “Critical Incident Response – Building an Effective Program” discussed issues relative to crisis events, the need to prepare for these events, and the “Run, Hide, Fight” response for active shooter situations. Dr. May provided attendees with tools and thoughts to consider in developing their critical incident response plans. A copy of Dr. May’s presentation materials is available here.

Thursday’s sessions concluded with the raffle of an iPad generously donated by one of our conference sponsors, The Law Office of Richard Montarbo. Congratulations to Laurence Fitzsimons of Coffee Creek Volunteer Fire District, winner of the raffle. A no-host social hour and dinner receptions hosted by GSRMA concluded the day’s events.

On Friday, conference attendees were treated to a continental breakfast and the option to attend one of two separate breakout training sessions, which were held concurrently. This new second day format was a huge success with our members. We had 97 people in attendance for Friday’s sessions. Robert Hunt, Mark Vasquez and Jami Terrell, of Hunt Jeppson & Griffin, LLP, addressed the powers of the board, duties of board members, government organization, conflicts of interest, government transparency and parliamentary procedures in the Board Governance breakout session. Shawn Volland and Annie Rafferty, of the Training Place at Butte College, took the leadership development breakout session on a leadership journey. Attendees learned valuable skills and tips to enhance their authenticity as leaders, bring out the best in people and improve receptivity to feedback.

Friday’s session concluded with lunch: onsite for those attendees that could stay to join us, or to go boxed lunches for those that needed to hit the road and head home.

Our 12th Annual Training Conference was a huge success in large part to all of our member agencies. GSRMA is very appreciative of their support and participation at our conference.

We have already begun planning for next year’s event, and input from our members is very helpful. A survey was emailed to all conference attendees and we will incorporate the feedback we receive into our planning of future events.

We look forward to seeing everyone at our event next year!