Issue 109 - March 2021
California JPIA Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull Spotlighted in PublicCEO Report
Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull discussed the consequences of massive jury awards, the difference between risk avoidance and risk management, and how a culture of risk management should be driven by leadership during the seventh episode of the PublicCEO Report, broadcast March 4 on PublicCEO.com.
The PublicCEO Report is a video and podcast series hosted by Ryder Todd Smith, president of Tripepi Smith and owner of PublicCEO. The series features long-format, unscripted conversations with local government thought leaders such as elected officials and municipal administrators on topics such as public policy, current events, and lessons learned.
After providing an overview of the California JPIA’s operations and history, Shull discussed differing philosophies for addressing municipal risk management. While some agencies approach contracting for services as a transactional relationship within which the agency purchases insurance and the insurance company pays claims, the California JPIA strives to develop partnerships with its member agencies that prevent claims in the first place.
“We want to be a risk management organization rather than a claims management organization,” said Shull. “We concentrate on trying to prevent risk rather than making the best insurance transaction.”
Shull also explained why strategic growth is important for municipal self-insurance pools like the California JPIA that aggregate small and medium government agencies to share risk and reduce impact: “One of the reasons we grow is because we want to spread the risk by adding good members with good loss histories,” he said. “Looking at prospective members from the perspective of current members and seeking out communities that consistently show a commitment to risk management is one of the most important things that we do.”
Other topics included how payroll can serve as a basic measure of exposure, joint and several liability in California, and three risk management mantras for city managers: “Slow down, really think about the liability associated with what you’re about to do, and transfer risk to those who are best able to control that risk,” according to Shull.
Shull joined the Authority in 1995 and took the helm as chief executive officer in 2002. He celebrates 26 years of service this year. Under his leadership, the Authority has transformed training from a simple member benefit to a holistic loss-prevention strategy, implemented a new prospective funding model that positioned the pool to maintain its strong financial position and provide stability to members, and earned Accreditation with Excellence by the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities and the Association of Governmental Risk Pools’ Advisory Standards Recognition.
PublicCEO is a local government publication that delivers news and insights to approximately 14,000 city managers, county administrators, public executives, and public employees every weekday, providing decision-makers with inventive ideas, timely perspective, and relevant news about California’s cities, counties, and special districts and the special public servants who lead them.
“Tripepi Smith and the California JPIA have similar cultures of sharing knowledge,” said Smith. “I am grateful to Jon for sharing his insights on how the Authority has helped its members navigate COVID-19 with our PublicCEO audience.”< Back to Full Issue Print Article