Issue 138 - August 2023
The California JPIA’s 28th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum, being held from August 30 to September 1 at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, is quickly approaching. Once again, the Authority is excited to provide a premier educational experience to its members.
This year’s keynote speaker is Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton. He is one of the world’s most recognized figure skating stars, winning an Olympic gold medal in 1984 and 70 additional titles, awards, and honors. Scott will share his story’s extreme highs and lows and how to keep going even when obstacles’ shadows loom large.
The closing speaker is Jacob Houghton, a senior consultant for 34th Street Consulting. Jacob will share how the increasingly siloed nature of teams and departments can be addressed through improved cohesion, buy-in, and a culture of belonging to achieve greater efficiency and foster future talent.
For more than 20 years, the Authority has hosted a unique educational experience for its members, offering them opportunities to engage with various topics related to local government risk management, including legal liability, workers’ compensation, employment law, public safety, organizational thinking, governance, and legislation.
The Forum also dives into trending topics, which for this year include accident investigation and preserving evidence; abuse prevention solutions; and improving one’s well-being and ability to lead.
The Capstone Award is presented each year to an individual who best exemplifies the practice of risk management in the public sector. This year presents five deserving finalists, and one of these individuals will be honored as the Capstone Award recipient during a ceremony at the Forum on Thursday, August 31, 2023.
The Authority is pleased to announce this year’s finalists:
- Alexa Davis, Assistant City Manager, City of Rolling Hills Estates
- Audrey Cray, Finance and Risk Manager, City of Pacific Grove
- Heather Reiter, Training and Safety Specialist, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
- Linda Reid, City Clerk / Human Resources Director, City of Buellton
- Raylette Felton, Deputy City Manager / Human Resources and Risk Manager, City of Lawndale
It’s Like, Totally a Knyght to Remember!
Thursday evening of the Forum includes a totally awesome 80s party, It’s Like, Totally a Knyght to Remember!, showcasing Long Beach 80s tribute band, Knyght Ryder. This event will be held outdoors on the Luna Lawn and features great food, music, dancing, classic video games, and an awesome photo booth.
The Authority’s training website, myJPIA, is a powerful tool to launch online courses, register employees for training, assign others to learning assignments, and track attendance.
The newly minted Training Registrar Academy is taking place November 13–16 at the Hyatt Regency in Indian Wells. Unique to this academy, the eight-hour training will be provided within three offerings:
- Group one begins on the afternoon of November 13 and ends at midday on November 14.
- Group two begins on the afternoon of November 14 and ends at midday on November 15.
- Group three begins on the afternoon of November 15 and ends at midday on November 16.
Each registration includes an overnight stay. During registration, you will choose one of three offerings, group one, two, or three.
Participants will bring a laptop and engage in hands-on learning about navigating the Authority’s training website, using the online training request form, processing bulk certificates, new user management, the new training assignment process, and calendar and catalog navigation. Additional topics covered include dynamic learning assignments, training plans, in-attendance (digital check-in for training), and running reports in the system.
Look for registration to open in the coming weeks for this brand-new academy. Email announcements are sent to member agencies two months before each academy, with a link to the event website for submitting registration requests. For additional information about the Authority academies, please contact Training Coordinator Michelle Aguayo via email or at (562) 467-8777.Print Article
The California JPIA has renewed its support of the California City Management Foundation (CCMF) by sponsoring the organization for its sixteenth consecutive year.
As the premier advocacy and support organization for city managers, CCMF promotes and encourages excellence in city management in all of California’s 482 incorporated municipalities. The California JPIA shares CCMF’s dedication to advocating healthy council-manager relations and supporting city managers to ensure stable, thriving communities.
“City manager leadership plays a critical role in the well-being of the communities we serve and live in,” said Chief Executive Officer Alex Smith. “At the Authority we work closely with city management, and we understand the Authority’s support of CCMF helps to develop well-informed city managers who establish and maintain healthy risk management cultures within their organizations.”
The Authority looks forward to engaging with the city manager community throughout CCMF’s upcoming program year, including seminars and conferences, the annual member dinner, and the biennial golf tournament at the League’s City Managers Conference in Hollywood, February 2024.Print Article
In 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched National Preparedness Month (NPM). Observed in September, the month serves to heighten awareness of the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. Each year, a new theme is selected for the month, and this year’s theme is Preparing for Older Adults. FEMA wants to remind everyone that older adults may face greater risks when it comes to the multitude of extreme weather events and emergencies, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas. More information on this awareness campaign can be found on the U.S. Government’s National Preparedness Month | Ready.gov website.
By taking advantage of available resources, including those offered by the California JPIA, members can prepare in the following ways:
- Training: Emergency Preparedness, Earthquake Preparedness, Fire Prevention, CPR, and First Aid Training can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. In-person and online training information is available by visiting myJPIA. Members should be aware that in the event of a disaster, completion of specific training may be required to qualify for FEMA funds. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers self-paced courses designed for those with emergency management responsibilities and the public in general. All are provided free of charge to those who qualify for enrollment. For a complete listing of courses, visit the FEMA training page.
- Inspect for Safety: Inspect agency-owned facilities for emergency-related exposures, including clear evacuation routes, storage practices, securing furniture or other large objects from falling, proper lighting, and emergency supplies. Visit the California JPIA’s online resource library for various inspection checklists.
- Develop Emergency Action and Fire Prevention Plans: Cal/OSHA-compliant programs should be in writing and cover the actions employers and employees must take to ensure employee safety in all emergencies. Elements of the plan include the following:
- Emergency escape procedures and emergency escape route assignments;
- Procedures to be followed by employees who remain in their positions to operate critical operations before they evacuate;
- Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation has been completed;
- Rescue and medical duties for those employees who can perform them;
- The preferred means of reporting fires and other emergencies;
- Names or regular job titles of persons or departments who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan;
- An employee alarm system that complies with Article 165 of Cal/OSHA’s Fire Protection Regulations;
- The types of evacuations to be used in emergency circumstances; and
Download an Emergency Action Plan template from the California JPIA’s online resource library.
- Evaluate Applicable Insurance Coverages: Evaluate your agency’s coverage for emergency-related perils. The California JPIA’s property program includes all-risk coverage for real and personal property, with the option of adding earthquake and flood coverage for damages or loss of use due to these perils. Additional information can be found on the Authority’s insured programs page.
If you have any questions or need additional information or resources, please contact your regional risk manager.Print Article
The California JPIA strives to provide members with the most comprehensive property coverage. Agency assets, whether owned or in the member’s care, custody, or control, must be reported in the property schedule as accurately as possible. To that end, the Authority is working with CBIZ Valuation Group, LLC (CBIZ), a trusted leader in property valuation, to conduct appraisals for member properties valued at $1 million and above for participating property program members.
CBIZ has been an established business partner since 2019, when they conducted comprehensive onsite appraisals of over 5,000 member locations, contents, and land improvements to ensure that properties were reported at accurate values.
Much has changed since 2020, and as our member agency landscapes continue to evolve and inflation increases labor and material costs, appraisals are necessary to validate and update values reported in member property schedules. Onsite appraisal inspections are expected to begin in September 2023 and continue through January 2024.
CBIZ will contact members to schedule appraisals. It is anticipated that CBIZ will be on-site for one to five workdays, depending on the size of your organization and the number of locations. There is no additional cost to your agency for standard appraisals. Other services, such as appraising locations under $1 million or historical buildings, are available to members at a negotiated rate.
Members can learn more about the process on the property appraisals webpage.
If you have any questions, please contact Insurance Programs Manager Jim Thyden via email or call (562) 467-8784.Print Article
If you’ve attended a California JPIA academy, chances are, you’ve met Training Coordinator Michelle Aguayo. This month, Michelle celebrates her 15th anniversary serving the Authority members.
“Michelle has been a great addition to the training team and excels at customer service,” said Training Manager Joe Eynon. “She is the face of the Authority’s academies, ensuring everyone is cared for. Her attention to detail is second to none from start to finish.”
Before joining the Authority staff, Michelle gained diverse experience in the private sector, working for marketing, engineering, and finance companies. Michelle’s experience allowed her to hone her customer service skills, which she notes to be a core principle of her current role in member services.
“I have always held positions that required some form of customer service. However, since working for the Authority, I’ve learned what that truly means,” explained Aguayo. “We put our members first and always want to assist in any way we can with the resources offered. This sometimes means carving out time to catch up or visit the agency in person at a training event. Often, sharing a phone call instead of an email goes a long way. Although I love emails, I’ve learned the best way to connect with people is in-person or over the phone.”
Aguayo joined the Authority staff in 2008 as an administrative assistant, eventually becoming a Training Coordinator in 2014. In her current capacity, she adeptly guides member agencies in shaping their training plans, oversees the coordination of multi-day training academies, contributes to improving the learning management system, and plays a critical role in organizing the annual Risk Management Educational Forum.
As a natural planner, her aptitude for organization ensures the smooth coordination and planning of trainings, academies, and events for the Authority. In 2014, Aguayo was tasked with coordinating the Authority’s academies–although noting other successes, she takes pride in creating efficiencies and streamlining logistics.
“Michelle’s commitment to the training team is certainly commendable; her efforts contribute to the seamless operation of providing valuable academies to our members,” said Chief Executive Officer Alex Smith. “Every aspect, from programming to refreshments, is meticulously attended to. Her comprehensive approach ensures our members enjoy an unparalleled experience. With deep gratitude, I applaud her 15 years of exceptional service.”
As a dedicated risk management professional, Aguayo is pursuing her Associate in Risk Management designation to continue supporting and serving members.
Michelle’s dedication to the Authority emanates from a place of camaraderie and pride. In her words, “Working here feels like family, and I have pride in what I do. I feel valued as an employee and have gained many great relationships throughout my career. When I started here 15 years ago, I told everyone, ‘I bleed Authority green.’ I remain highly dedicated to the Authority, my coworkers, our members, and to performing my job responsibilities with excellence.”
Congratulations, Michelle, on your 15th anniversary!Print Article
This August, Agency Clerk Veronica Ruiz commemorates five years of maintaining records and providing administrative support to the Authority’s governing bodies.
“Veronica’s organizational skills are unsurpassed. She plays a vital role in organizing our Finance Directors, City Managers, Risk Managers, and Executive Committee meetings as well as our Annual Board of Directors meeting,” said Chief Executive Officer Alex Smith. “She ensures we are complying with all applicable laws and regulations, and she always strives to learn more. She’s forward-thinking and anticipates problems. We are grateful to have her on our team.”
With more than 20 years of experience in the public sector, Ruiz joined the California JPIA as agency clerk in 2018. Before joining the Authority, she served eight years as the city clerk for the City of San Marino. She holds a Certified Municipal Clerk designation from the International Institute of City Clerks and maintains active memberships in the International Institute of City Clerks, the City Clerks Association of California, and the National Notary Association.
Reflecting on her decision to join the Authority, Ruiz shared, “I had never considered working for the Authority because I had spent my entire career working for local municipal governments. When the agency clerk position opened, I kept seeing the recruitment flyer everywhere I went–I think it was a sign, and friends had encouraged me to apply. I never looked back!”
Working for municipal agencies provided Ruiz with clerk expertise. However, since joining the California JPIA, she has gained an understanding of insurance pooling. Ruiz is well-versed in the claims process, the proactive approach the Authority takes to risk management, and the importance of training–all things that have helped her succeed in her position.
Within her role at the Authority, Ruiz manages the preparation of agendas and the agenda review process. She also coordinates meeting attendance and ensures minutes are compiled accurately for the Authority’s governing bodies and various committees. In addition, she oversees the Authority’s document and records management program, promptly responding to public records requests and serving as the Filing Officer for the Authority’s Statements of Economic Interests.
“Veronica is an incredible asset to the Authority, consistently exceeding expectations. Her skill set, professionalism, and impeccable time management place her firmly in the top 1% of all Municipal Clerks,” said Administrative Services Director Nikki Salas. “She approaches her work with unwavering conscientiousness, and her dedication and enthusiasm inspire those around her, making her an absolute dream to work alongside.”
Ruiz works closely with the Authority’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, two of the Authority’s governing bodies. She is also instrumental in coordinating the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors each July.
“The organization is like no other I have worked for, and they have such high regard for their employees,” said Ruiz. “I refer to the Authority as my Camelot.”
Congratulations, Veronica, on your 5th anniversary!Print Article