Posted on: 8/26/2005

Risk Management Organization Stays Focused on Education and Training

Alexandria, VA -- The membership of the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) has elected a new president, a new president-elect and three new Board members. The 2,200-member group elected James E. Huckaby, ARM-P as its new president; Katharine M. Peeling, ARM, CPCU as president-elect; Linda Spacek, CPM, CGBA, as Director, Ron Hayes as Director and Sarah Perry as Director according to PRIMA's Executive Director James R. Hirt.
Incoming PRIMA President James E. Huckaby, is the risk manager for Mesquite Independent School District in Mesquite, Texas, the sixth largest district in Dallas/Fort Worth area, with a student population of 35,300; 4,950 employees; and an annual operating budget of $306 million.


His significant accomplishments include being named “Risk Manager of the Year” in Texas in 1996 by Texas PRIMA, “Safety Manager of the Year” in 1995 by Texas Safety Association, and cited as one of the “Top 10” Public Risk Managers in America published in the July 2000 edition of American City & County Magazine.


Huckaby served on the Texas PRIMA Board of Directors for seven years, including the office of president in 1999. During his tenure on the Texas PRIMA board, the chapter’s membership increased by 200 percent, and was awarded a $75,000 grant for the funding of several one-day symposiums to focus on the important relationship between risk managers and chief executives of public entities. Huckaby also is a frequent public speaker on risk management topics nationwide.


President-elect Katharine M. Peeling, ARM, CPCU, is the Risk Management Specialist for Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Annapolis, Md. Peeling has more than 16 years experience in the public risk field and as president-elect, she says she will strive to ensure that PRIMA succeeds in fulfilling its core mission of advancing the knowledge and practice of public risk management.


“To do this PRIMA must be the leader in providing not only the best training opportunities but the best information exchange as well,” she says. “The collective wisdom of PRIMA’s membership is one of its most valuable assets. By reaching out to our members and leaders in our chapters, we will help develop PRIMA’s future leaders and work to nurture, mentor and develop them so that PRIMA becomes and remains the leader in facilitating progressive public risk management education.”


Linda Spacek, CPM, CGBA, is the Assistant Director of Human Resources/Risk Manager for the City of San Marcos, Texas. Spacek has more than 10 years of leadership experience with the Texas Chapter of PRIMA and five years experience serving on various PRIMA committees.


Spacek’s leadership has been instrumental in obtaining grant funding for the Texas Chapter in the areas of strategic planning and educational programming to increase the presence of risk management in Texas public entities. She was named as Safety Manager of the Year by the Texas Safety Association in 1996, received PRIMA’s Chapter Service Award in 2003 and currently serves as Treasurer of the Texas Chapter.


“In today’s economy, risk managers are competing for precious resources,” she says. “It is important to establish alliances with other organizations and partners to continue to minimize the impact of loss to public entities. Additionally, as risk managers strive to learn about many issues, we must identify methods to use evolving technologies to meet the educational requirements of working professionals.


Ron Hayes is the Risk Manager of Calcasieu Parish School Board in Lake Charles, La. During his more than 11 years as a risk manager, Hayes had the opportunity to become involved with both Louisiana PRIMA and national PRIMA. He served as president of Louisiana PRIMA from 1999-2000, and currently serves as vice-president. Hayes has worked hard to orient state chapters with the many benefits of being associated with PRIMA.


Sarah Perry is a Risk Management Specialist for the City of Columbia, Mo. She has more than 26 years of experience in risk management, insurance and loss control.
“I believe my involvement in PRIMA committees, my chapter, and activities at the national conference will provide me with a better understanding of where PRIMA is and where we can go as an association,” she noted.


"We are encouraged and excited about the membership's selection of PRIMA's next leaders," said Hirt. "In particular, Huckaby's experience and leadership in risk management will undoubtedly assure our members the continued benefit of having the highest level of education and training in the industry."


PRIMA is a national not-for-profit association that provides education, information, and advocacy for its 2,200 government members representing counties, cities, schools, states, park districts, transit authorities and water facilities.

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