Executive Committee President and San Dimas Mayor Curtis Morris is retiring this month after 40 years advancing the California JPIA from a self-insurance program to a premier organization providing risk management solutions and unparalleled services to members.
Morris’ involvement with the Authority began in 1980 when he was elected to the City Council of San Dimas, a member of the “Southern California JPIA,” as it was then known. Representing San Dimas as a member of the Board of Directors, he quickly learned how his expertise as a lawyer with previous experience in the insurance industry could benefit the Authority. After six years of involvement on the Board, Morris was elected to serve on the Executive Committee in 1986. He became a member of the Claims Committee soon after, became chairman of that committee, and Executive Committee secretary in 1990.
At the end of 1992, Morris’ expertise—along with Jim Edwards from La Canada Flintridge, Mike Moody with Palos Verdes Estates, and Larry Van Nostran from Lakewood— led to the establishment of the Coverage Committee. The new committee clarified standard matters of coverage to prevent disputes, and it still remains an important part of the Authority today. Soon after it initially came into being, the Coverage Committee would develop the first-ever Authority-authored memorandum of coverage.
Before long Morris was elected as Vice President and has served as the Executive Committee President since 2012. “We’ve been working steadily for the past 25 or 30 years. I’m most proud of the continued evolution of the California JPIA to be able to better serve its members.” Morris said, describing the addition of services such as training, educational forums, and access to trusted risk management advice. “The impact has been tremendous.”
While Morris’ strategic contributions to the organization and its members have been undeniable, he also has personally impacted his fellow Executive Committee members. “Curtis has given great insight to not only me but also many of our members regarding risk management,” said Executive Committee Vice President and Duarte City Councilmember Margaret Finlay, who has known Morris since 1997. “He has amazing knowledge of the law and great vision for the Authority and its future.”
Morris may be stepping back, but his leadership and long-lasting contributions will carry on, according to CEO Jon Shull, who met Morris in 1995. “I think Curtis’ legacy will play out in those members that have embraced what he has shared in training or while working together,” Shull said, adding that Morris has supported the Authority leadership academies for more than 20 years. “Our Executive Committee will be stronger in the future as a result of people who have learned from Curtis. That is a strong legacy.”
Once retired, Morris plans to spend more time with his wife and family and said they have already started to plan some “extended driving trips.”
Morris and Daryl Hofmeyer, Paramount City Councilmember and fellow Executive Committee member, are both retiring this spring and will be recognized during an Executive Committee meeting on March 25. Hofmeyer, who retires after six years serving on the Executive Committee, will be featured in the Authority newsletter next month.
Thank you for your invaluable contributions, Curtis, and best wishes on your retirement!