PRIMA Institute (PI) is the premier educational program for new and seasoned risk professionals who seek to learn more about emerging trends, best practices and gain insight into current management techniques.

Praise for PRIMA Institute

PI is an innovative educational symposium comprised of fundamental risk management curriculum, outstanding faculty and excellent networking opportunities. See what our past attendees said about PRIMA’s premier risk management education program, outstanding faculty and their plans to keep coming back.

“PRIMA Institute was very professional and extremely well run from beginning to end. We really are a family and that feels so very good.”

“I felt like I was in a hole in my position. The new information and networks I was able to build gave me a new fresher perspective that re-energized me.”

“PI not only provided a great education opportunity but also opportunities for networking with social functions included. I attended and not only benefitted from the program but also enjoyed meeting and interacting with my peers.”

“I have participated in prior Institutes and even the old GRMS, this was the best I’ve been involved with great speakers, facilitator and audience/participants!”

Take advantage of the education and networking opportunities available at PRIMA Institute!

Check Out the 2021 PRIMA Institute Curriculum!

Daily Themed Tracks:

Monday (Oct 25) - Phase One


This session will introduce both basic, advanced and evolving risk terminology, and will analyze the numerous types of exposures and the various ways to protect your entity; either via insurance or other alternative risk transfer options.

Speaker: Carleen Patterson, ARM-P, CIC, CRM, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.


According to the U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among local government workers have been close to twice that of private industry workers and almost one and a half times that of state government
counterparts. Do you have a safety management program in place that achieves a best practice safety culture? How “mature” is your safety management program? Have you taken the time to conduct an
unbiased assessment of what is working and what may need improvement? This session will explore eight key components of a safety management system and allow participants to grade themselves on a continuum for achieving a best practices safety culture.

Speaker: Tiffany Allen, Travelers


Having personnel policies is a good idea, having “good personnel policies” is a great idea. Understanding and following those policies can help you avoid an employment liability exposure. The policies you have
in place should meet your needs as an employer. Understanding and abiding by those policies is critical. You can be sure your employees will know if your policies are more to their advantage than yours.

Speaker: Tina Stevens, Virginia Risk Sharing Association


This short session will discuss the global insurance market, historically and today. This session will examine property and casualty separately as well as factors that are driving the current market. Attendees
will walk away with a firm grasp on how to help their entity adapt to market shifts.

Speaker: Carleen Patterson, ARM-P, CIC, CRM, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc


This interactive session will provide attendees with a basic understanding of contractual risk transfer through the use of contracts, including the use of hold-harmless and indemnification provisions and waivers. The speaker will also discuss certificates of insurance,
what they are, when they should be used, and the difference between a certificate of insurance and a policy endorsement. The presenter will use different real life examples covering areas such as service contracts, maintenance contracts and everyone’s favorite--special events contracts. More in-depth discussions on certificates of insurance and special events have been incorporated in the PI 2021 programming later in the week.

Speaker: Amy Larson, Esq., City of Bloomington, MN


The most often overlooked step in establishing a risk management culture is the first one: establishing a clearly defined mission toward which the group may strive, ensuring a continuity of success and accomplishment within your organization. The late author Stephen Covey outlined two essential principles of effectiveness: Getting First Things First and Beginning with the End in Mind. The failure to get your thinking “right” and clearly defining what you’re trying to accomplish continues to be a foundational “failure disease” for organizations. Further, are you attempting to lead your team as a positional leader or an influential leader? This session highlights the relationship between the organization’s cultural core, and the passion its staff will have toward group accomplishment. This session will also examine critical elements such as hiring & retention, identifying
mentors and counselors, and investing in your people.

Speaker: Michael Fann, Public Entity Partners


Community special events serve several functions within a municipality. They enrich the lives of a community, attract interest in local businesses, increase sales tax revenue and sometimes tax the patience of government as it serves and protects. This will be an interactive session and attendees will be encouraged to provide examples of their special events and how they transferred the risk of holding these much beloved events, as well as a number of examples of special event risk management the speaker will provide.

Speaker: Amy Larson, Esq., City of Bloomington, MN


For the final nine months of 2020, COVID-19 birthed new regulations, new leave rights, and new requirements for employers to manage in their workplaces and with their staff. The speakers will highlight and update how the employment law landscape has changed over 2021 and discuss the challenges and pitfalls employers many face as the pandemic continues or, hopefully, wanes.

Ian Beck, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC
Gordon Lewis, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC


COVID-19 brought many changes to the employment front and our society in general. This session will review how this pandemic impacted employee benefits programs, the insurance industry as a whole, and public employers. We will discuss lessons learned and
include tips on how to respond when (if) another crisis comes.

Kurt Braatz, MPA, SPHR, Arizona Counties Insurance Pool
Terri Evans, Employer Advisory Services
Jose Peralta, ARM-P, Aon



Keeping up with the constantly shifting legal and regulatory environment impacting the workers’ compensation in the public risk segment is an arduous process that has only increased in difficulty given the events of 2020. In this session, the speaker will highlight some emerging trends affecting workers’ compensation as after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He will review how legislative changes, COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and technology usage affects the workers’ compensation industry and offer  practical considerations to help you lean into this new normal while still mitigating risk.

Geoffrey Jones, Midwest Employers Casualty


This session will review strategies for how to use data to identify risk management improvement opportunities and establish goals and performance metrics to manage the improvement process. Also covered will be approaches for using risk management data to support loss trend analysis and promote action from line managers and front line employees. Key features to consider when selecting a risk management information systems (RMIS) will also be covered during the session.

David Weightman, PMA Companies


This program will provide information regarding necessary steps to begin the self-insurance process, including managing a large self-insured retention with purchased insurance. These steps will help in determining whether or not your entity is ready for self insurance. No matter what type of insurance you are considering for self-funding— workers’ compensation, liability, P&C, health, unemployment,  life, LTD—you are evaluating similar information in your decision making process. We will also discuss stop-loss/reinsurance protection.

Terri Evans, Employer Advisory Services


With technology use replacing and altering traditional workers’ compensation claims handling, the speakers will explore how those technologies affect medical treatment and recovery opportunities. Topics covered will include the evolution of telemedicine in workers’ compensation, along with the advantages and disadvantages of this now frontline treatment method, and how it can help your workforce tackle the psychological challenges presented by the current environment. The speakers will also discuss new subrogation technologies that are emerging. Reflecting on their use in other property casualty arenas, they will consider the impact they could have on current and future workers’ compensation subrogation practices and management.

Terri Evans, Employer Advisory Services
Geoffrey Jones, Midwest Employers Casualty


This session discusses emerging risks impacting our U.S. educational systems: sexual abuse, nuclear jury verdicts, internship program challenges, managing risk transfer particularly involving AIA contracts, Title IX, the impact of COVID-19 on students, reputation risk and other various exposures applicable to both K-12 and higher education. The speakers will review the insurance industry’s response to civil unrest, COVID and on the property side - convective storms. Join us to also discuss different methods of risk control solutions and various specialty coverages that are available to assist in mitigating the risk to your entity.

Nancy Sylvester, CPCU, ARM-P, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Paul Pousson, ARM, DRM, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.


This presentation is focused on the relationship between the risk manager and the organization’s attorney, which can be a pivotal element in the success of the organization in dealing with legal issues and claims. Resolving issues early and quickly saves the organization money, time and reduces the distraction caused by litigation. Developing a positive professional relationship between the risk manager and the attorney creates value for the organization. It also explains that tort claims against the entity are based on state law.

J. Michael Billingsley, City of Kingsport, TN


Understanding the simplicity and complexity of certificates of insurance is an art form in itself. This session will breakdown certificates of insurance as we examine the nuts and bolts of coverage, policy dates and document as proof of insurance. We’ll talk about the circumstances where certificates are often requested – construction projects, permitting, special events, and professional services and why it’s important to take a second look at how those certificates impact the totality of your risk. Finally, we’ll discuss why it’s important to match your certificate to your contract and to track those pesky expiration dates as you bring your project to conclusion.

Amy Larson, Esq., City of Bloomington, MN


Sometimes an apparent small aspect of an incident does not appear to have any impact regarding the liability or the ultimate value of a case. This session will show that even a seemingly minor aspect found in a case investigation that originally was believed to be insignificant can turn out to be what raised the exposure to an unexpected higher level. It is very important to closely review all investigation reports to determine if there is any part of the investigation that could grab a jury’s attention should the case go to trial.

Richard Spiers, CPCU, ARM, ARe, AIC, Spiers Consulting, LLC


With the change in administrations in Washington and recent Supreme Court rulings pertaining to sexual identity and the definition of sex, this presentation is focused on providing awareness on recent changes in laws and federal agency approaches to current laws, such as Title IX. It will also provide an overview of other school risk issues, such as FERPA and school security

J. Michael Billingsley, City of Kingsport, TN


Systemic racism and micro-inequities are detrimental to individuals, and more broadly the success of any organization. As public risk management professionals, how can we work to mitigate the risk and create a safe work environment for all? This session will focus on the identification of and strategies to reduce systemic racism and micro-inequities.

Speakers: Mauricio Velasquez, MPA, Diversity Training Group


The workplace is undergoing a tremendous shift as Baby Boomers retire, Gen-X and Millennials assume leadership positions and Gen-Z enters the marketplace. In addition to managing the transfer of institutional knowledge and incorporating new ideas, the insurance industry needs to focus on the retention and recruitment of high quality talent to move into this new decade. All of this requires proactive, intentional and strategic implementation because this unprecedented turnover of people, in conjunction with rapid societal technology and business change, makes it a moving target. This session will outline some guiding principles and specific tactics to consider for  those tasked with making this a seamless transition.

Speakers: Mark Pew, The RxProfessor LLC
Karen Caterino, MBA, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.


This session will provide a foundation for what cyber insurance coverages are commonly available, and how they may respond in the event of a breach of network or information security. This will include a discussion of the basics of a cyber insurance policy including the service commonly offered with the policy, the types of losses that may be covered and the underwriting analysis that takes place during the process of obtaining insurance.

Speakers: Kirstin Simonson, Travelers


With medical marijuana approved for use in a large number of states, it is just a matter of time until it receives federal approval. In this session, the speakers discuss how this will influence claims from a medical and legal point of view. They will address the history of medical marijuana use, the validity of using medical marijuana for different types of claims, the legal landscape and implications of the large-scale use and liberalization, and what you can or should do when your claims include medical marijuana.

Speakers: Fernando Branco, MD, FAAPM&R, Midwest Employers Casualty
Daniel Dalton, Midwest Employers Casualty


Whether it’s ransomware impacting critical infrastructure or state and local governments, or data exfiltration compromising Americans’ sensitive information, the impact of cybersecurity – or cyber insecurity – on our daily lives is more visible than ever before. Join CISA assistant director Bob Kolasky as he discusses the agency’s newest collaborative effort to reduce the nation’s shared risk to cyber incidents through the development and sharing of risk analysis methods and enterprise risk management best practices from across the critical infrastructure, SLTT governments and cyber research community.

Speaker: Bob Kolasky, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s National Risk Management Center, Department of Homeland Security


This updated session on police liability will discuss recent high-profile cases involving alleged excessive force and discrimination. We will analyze the legal issues and challenges surrounding each case and discuss how the media attention has shaped modern law. Discussion will include a review of recent jury verdicts, rulings by judges and the so-called people’s court.

Speakers: Michele Molinario, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC
Joseph Popolizio, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC


In the current environment with all the political, racial and health unrest, the real or perceived danger of many factors can weigh heavily on individuals in the public sector. This session will focus on the events that can lead to PTSD and the risks that can make some individuals more prone to fall victim to it. The pandemic heightened our awareness of how social isolation, quarantine and ongoing health issues can have untoward outcomes. There will be special attention on our first responders, how they felt and what happened to them during the pandemic. We will explore the various scenarios and how PTSD develops. This will include the impacts at a personal level and to work and family life. We will discuss how to prevent PTSD by focusing on resiliency, identify early signals and the latest treatments.

Teresa Bartlett, MD, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc.



While there are multiple pathways taken by organizations on their DE&I journey, intersectionality is often left out of the equation. This is a costly mistake that threatens to deter DE&I progress by inadvertently excluding many employees with intersecting identities, skewing data results and encouraging organizations to continue operating on a damage control mindset. When factored and leveraged effectively, intersectionality has the potential to increase employee retention, attract top talent from a diverse pipeline and cultivate a culture of inclusion and belonging. By the end of this presentation, participants will get the chance to ideate their own action plans intended to initiate or continue the integration of intersectionality within ERG and organizational DE&I efforts.


Lilian Vanvieldt, Executive Vice President, Chief DE&I Officer, Alliant


This session will review examples of aging infrastructure incidents and how their failure impacted the entities that owned them. Up for discussion will be strategies for identification, mitigation and risk transfer. As a result of this session, attendees will garner an understanding of the liability implications associated with aging infrastructure.

Speaker: Jose Peralta, ARM-P, Aon


Small, unpiloted, remotely operated aircraft (aka drones) can provide assistance with site inspections, search and rescue, crime scene investigations and aerial surveillance. They are inexpensive, effective and they raise unique liability issues for operators. In this session, we will review the risk management issues related to the use of drones and consider key policy issues and potential solutions, raising your awareness to new heights.

Speaker: Brandon Miller, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.


This session shall explore five to ten of the emerging topics most critical to the mission of public and educational entities. The private sector is consumed with disruptions to profits and shareholder value but public agencies must contend with the potential interruption of critical services to their constituents as well as a rapid recovery to normal. This session will also touch on the emerging trends that threaten both.

Speaker: John Chino, ARM-P, ARM-E, CSRM, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

2021 PRIMA Institute Faculty

Intro to Faculty

No other risk management training program can boast the outstanding faculty of PRIMA Institute.

PRIMA Institute’s faculty leads the public risk management profession. These industry leaders gather at PI to teach, share experiences, network and advise the careers of attendees.

Tiffany Allen

Territory Manager, Public Sector, Travelers

Tiffany has worked in the risk and insurance field for 32 years. She credits her understanding of insurance and risk management to her early career experience as an underwriter and more recent 14 year adventure in risk management for multiple government agencies in North Carolina. In 2014, Tiffany left her county family and joined an insurance family. From 2014-2020, Tiffany served as a senior risk control consultant for public sector services. Tiffany now serves as the territory manager for public sector services in the mid-Atlantic region. Tiffany has had the honor of being a speaker at national and state events for the Public Risk Management Association, as well as local events for individual clients.

Teresa Bartlett, MD

Senior Medical Officer, Sedwick Claims Management Services, Inc.

Teresa has been the managing director and senior medical officer at Sedgwick since January of 2009.  As the senior medical officer, Dr. Bartlett advises on matters affecting the design and delivery of medical management services for the company’s claims clients.  She provides strategic counsel and operational support in all areas of medical management including case management, return-to-work, medical outcomes protocols, pharmacy interventions, telemedicine and health and safety matters. Dr. Bartlett is on the Business Insurance Cannabis Board and interacts with clients and claims where marijuana is considered. She was responsible for the clinical COVID response Sedgwick developed during the pandemic and continues to assist claims teams with ongoing post-acute COVID 19 symptoms.

Ian C. Beck

Associate, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC

Ian joined Jones, Skelton & Hochuli in 2019 and works in the firm’s government liability and employment group. Ian representing public and private employers on a broad range of employment issues, and has advised employers on ADA confidentiality, employee leave rights, and discrimination cases.  Ian has defended employers on discrimination claims before the EEOC, and defended employers in claims filed in federal court.

Michael Billingsley

City Attorney, City of Kingsport, TN

Michael has been a lawyer since 1980. For a number of years, he was in private practice handling a variety of matters including insurance defense, employment relations and public law. He was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court as a hearing officer for the Board of Professional Responsibility, and he served in that capacity for five years. He has taught courses at community colleges, including law and banking, business law and real estate law. He regularly makes presentations at association meetings on risk management, school law, employment law, and municipal law. Since 1994 he has served as the full time city attorney for Kingsport, Tennessee, where he oversees the legal and risk management functions for the city. He represents the city and its school system in legal matters. He is a past president of the Kingsport Bar Association and the Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association.

Kurt Braatz, MBA, SPHR

Loss Control Manager, Arizona Counties Insurance Pool

Kurt served as a division commander for the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office prior to his retirement in 2013. Kurt earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master’s in Public Administration from Northern Arizona University.

Kurt’s second career is with the Arizona Counties Insurance Pool where he is responsible for various training and reducing losses in workers’ compensation, property and liability claims.

Fernando Branco, MD, FAAPM&R

Chief Medical Officer, Midwest Employers Casualty

Fernando is chief medical officer at Midwest Employers Casualty (MEC), a Berkley Company. He has over 30 years of experience in clinical practice and is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain and addiction medicine. He is the former medical director of a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation pain center for treatment of chronic pain cases – a center of excellence recognized by the American Pain Society. In his current role at MEC, Dr. Branco leads a team of medical management consultants handling complex workers’ compensation claims with the goal of helping employers and injured workers achieve better outcomes.

Karen Caterino, MBA, ARM-P

Senior Vice President, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

Karen recently joined the Alliant Public Entity Specialty group.  Her focus is on leading public entity, education and pooling business growth and development initiatives.  Karen has been in the insurance industry for 20 in various business development positions in the healthcare insurance industry, providing leadership and strategic direction on sales initiatives. Prior to joining Alliant, Karen worked at a global insurance brokerage as the Center of Excellence (COE) Leader for the western region public sector and higher education practice.  Karen graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Roanoke College, Salem VA and from University of Phoenix with her MBA.  She has an Associate in Risk Management-Public Entities, is a Certified Public Manager ® and Certified Government Benefits Administrator and is currently a CPCU® candidate.  She is a licensed Property/Casualty broker.

John Chino, ARM-P, ARM-E, CSRM

Area Senior Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

John is a member of the Leadership Team of Gallgher’s Public Sector Services and is responsible for the development of public agency risk management programs. His expertise includes program design, marketing, consulting, implementation, and self-insurance administration and account oversight.

Daniel Dalton

Chief Claims and Regulatory Counsel, Midwest Employers Casualty

Daniel is chief claims and regulatory counsel for Midwest Employers Casualty (a Berkley Company). He has been a practicing attorney for 29 years and was formerly a trial attorney in the private sector. His practice included insurance defense, insurance coverage, bad faith and vexatious refusal actions, workers’ compensation, product liability, medical malpractice, civil rights and employment discrimination, commercial litigation, and criminal defense. In his current role, he provides counsel to MEC on legal matters and claims of varying degrees of complexity.

Terri Evans

Vice President, Employer Advisory Services

Terri spent most of her career with the City of Kingsport, starting in 1984 and joining the Risk Management department in 1986.  While with the city, Terri performed all risk functions within the department including benefits, self-funded health insurance, on-site wellness center installation/management, self-funded workers’ compensation, pooled liability with a large self-insured retention, and safety programs and training. Terri was promoted to risk manager in January, 2001. On June 1, 2020, Terri joined Employer Advisory Services (EAS) as vice president.

Terri proudly served as the 2016-17 President of Public Risk Management Association – PRIMA - and served as the national conference planning chairperson for PRIMA-Houston 2015. Terri served as co-Chair of PRIMA Institute in 2018 and 2019.  She has also been involved in the leadership of the Tennessee Chapter of PRIMA, serving as Vice-President, President, Director and conference planning committee member since 2006.  Terri received the TN-PRIMA Risk Manager of the Year award in 2012 and the Abbie Hudgens Distinguished Service Award in 2016.

Michael G. Fann, ARM-P, MBA

President and CEO, Public Entity Partners

Michael has more than 30 years’ experience in providing risk management consulting & training for local governments, school systems, universities and associations. He is an award-winning author and speaker, working with clients and audiences from across the United States. He serves full-time as a risk control resource for more than 500 entities participating in the risk management pool. Fann is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University (finance & political science) and Ole Miss (MBA - management). He has participated in international exchanges with colleagues from the United Kingdom, China and Australia. A former two-time member of the Board of Directors of PRIMA, he also served on the Board of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) from 2013 to 2016. In 2014, he was the 11th recipient of PRIMA’s Distinguished Service Award. He has also received TnPRIMA’s Abbie Hudgens Distinguished Service Award, the Southeast Loss Control (SELC) Group’s Distinguished Service Award, the National League of Cities’ John G. Stutz Award, Public Risk Magazine’s Author of the Year Award and the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service’s Project of the Year Award. In 2020, Michael was the inaugural recipient of the Public Risk Management Association’s Pioneer Excellence Award. Further,In 2019, Michael was conferred with the honor of “Fellow in Professional Practice” by the University of Tennessee’s Master of Public Policy & Administration (MPPA) Program “to recognize accomplished & experienced professionals whose careers exhibit the highest standards of performance excellence…” by a vote of the MPPA faculty.

Geoffrey R. Jones, Esq.

Senior Claims Attorney, Midwest Employers Casualty

Geoffrey is a senior claims attorney for Midwest Employers Casualty where he has worked throughout the United States for the past 11 years providing claims/legal oversight and recommendations.  He has handled mediation/settlements in over 30 states. One of Geoff’s strongest assets is his ability to mitigate and resolve high exposure claims which has led to millions of dollars in savings. When not settling claims, Geoff may be found working with MEC’s predictive analytics unit and clients to ensure positive outcomes.

Bob Kolasky

Assistant Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s National Risk Management Center, Department of Homeland Security

Bob was selected to lead the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) National Risk Management Center (NRMC) in 2018, at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As one of CISA’s assistant directors, he oversees the Center’s efforts to facilitate a strategic, cross-sector risk management approach to cyber and physical threats to critical infrastructure. The Center provides a central venue for government and industry to combine their knowledge and capabilities in a uniquely collaborative and forward-looking environment. Center activities support both operational and strategic unified risk management efforts.

Amy Larson, JD, ARM

Risk and Litigation Manager, City of Bloomington, MN

Amy has more than 20 years’ experience as the risk manager for the City of Bloomington, MN, including the past 11 years as the risk and litigation manager. She is responsible for the overall planning, management, administration, organization and coordination of the city’s risk management program; review and negotiation of city contracts; and litigation management.  Amy is a licensed attorney in the state of Minnesota and a frequent presenter for many national PRIMA events, including PRIMA Institute, the national conference and speaker's bureau. Amy is the current co-chair of the PRIMA Institute and has been actively involved with PRIMA Institute since 2013.  She also served on the national PRIMA Board of Directors from 2012-2019, including serving as the national PRIMA president from 2017-2018, and serving as a member of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) Board of Directors from 2012-2017.   Amy is also very active in the Minnesota Chapter of PRIMA and currently serves as its past president.

Gordon Lewis

Partner, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC

Gordon has more than 25 years of experience representing public and private employers on a broad range of employment issues, policies and practices. He defends employers against claims involving wrongful discharge, racial discrimination, sexual discrimination and harassment (including harassment based on sexual orientation), age discrimination, disability discrimination, civil rights violations, Family and Medical Leave Act, Unfair Labor Practice charges, and wage and hour issues. Gordon also represents public employers in due process termination hearings, and assists public employers in resolving claims relating to privacy rights, free speech, open meetings, public records, and employee due process. He has drafted and reviewed employment agreements, and has created policies for employers regarding sexual harassment, drug testing, medical leave and other employment issues.

Branden Miller

Area Executive Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Branden joined Gallagher in 1997, and is currently a regional director for both Public Entity and Higher Education divisions. Throughout his career, he has focused on one driving force, "Always Be Better," as his set point or foundation for delivering solutions and uses this moto to drive professionalism and ingenuity within his team.

Michele Molinario

Partner, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC

Michele has dedicated her professional career in the areas of government liability and employment law. She represents private employers and public entities and their employees, including police officers, detention officers, emergency responders, public works directors, building inspectors and traffic engineers, etc. Michele has tried state and federal jury trials and bench trials, as well as administrative law hearings.

Carleen Patterson, ARM-P, CIC, CRM

Public Sector and Higher Education Practice Leader, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

Carleen joined the Alliant Insurance Services team in 2020. Carleen is the national public entity and higher education practice leader. She works with higher education and public entity clients across the United States providing insurance brokerage and risk management expertise. Carleen’s expertise includes the design and negotiation of client insurance programs, evaluation and analysis of alternative risk transfer plans including captive plans, risk management evaluations, and the creation of complex property risk and insurance programs.  She has been in the insurance industry since 1988. Prior to Alliant, Carleen served in a similar role for a large, international broker.  She has risk management, claims, and insurance brokerage experience; and has spent the last 21 years specializing in self-insurance and insurance brokerage and consulting for higher education institutions as well as large public entity clients. Her expertise is in the design and implementation of large property and casualty insurance programs.  Carleen earned her BS in Education from the University of South Dakota. She is licensed as an insurance agent/producer in many other states and holds the Associate in Risk Management, Associate in RiskManagement for Public Entities, Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Risk Manager designations.

Jose Peralta, ARM-P

National Public Sector Practice Leader – US, Aon

Jose is Aon’s public sector national practice leader for the US and member of the Aon Weather & Climate Risk Innovation Group. He leads multi-disciplinary teams focused on addressing the financial challenges faced by supranational, federal, state, local and quasi-governmental entities. Jose specializes in complex placements connecting clients with insurance, reinsurance and capital market solutions that empower governments to more sustainably serve their constituents.

Jose is a frequent speaker on issues of climate resilience and smart infrastructure. Jose has presented on related topics at events organized by the United Nation’s Environmental Programme, Berkeley Law, Houston Advanced Research Center and many insurance industry groups. He’s also been featured in many publications including Politico, Risk & Insurance and The Houston Chronicle.

Mark Pew

Principal, The RxProfessor LLC

Mark is a passionate educating and agitating thought leader in workers’ compensation and award-winning international speaker, blogger, author and jurisdictional advisor. He launched The RxProfessor LLC consulting firm in August 2021. Mark has focused on the intersection of chronic pain and appropriate treatment since 2003 by launching the #PreventTheMess and #CleanUpTheMess movements with a focus on the BioPsychoSocialSpiritual treatment model. Mark received the WorkCompCentral Magna Comp Laude award in 2016, IAIABC’s Samuel Gompers Award in 2017 and was named “Top 100 Healthcare Leader” by IFAH in 2021. He is the driving force and co-founder of The Transitions and is on the Advisory Council for Simple Therapy and Harvard MedTech.

Joseph Popolizio

Partner, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC

Joe represents governmental entities, law enforcement personnel, elected officials, municipalities and private correctional facilities in matters involving alleged civil rights violations such as wrongful death, excessive force, racial profiling and discriminatory policing. Joe conducts trials in both state and federal courts, defending governmental clients in complex, high-profile matters involving the Department of Justice and ACLU.

Paul Pousson, ARM, DRM

Managing Director, Higher Education Practice, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Paul is a managing director with Gallagher’s Higher Education Practice. He has specialized in providing risk management and insurance services to institutions of higher education and governmental entities for 25+ years. Since joining Gallagher in 2015, Paul has used his risk management insight to provide insurance brokerage and risk management advisory services to help his clients mitigate risks and recover from losses in the most effective, efficient and transparent manner. He currently works with some of the largest and most prominent public and private universities and systems in the country.

Kristin Simonson

2nd Vice President, Cyber Lead – Global Technology, Travelers

As part of the Travelers’ Technology team, Kirstin is involved in product development and implementation of specialty coverages, including cyber-related coverage. Kristin’s primary expertise is cyber insurance, professional liability, and errors and omissions coverage. She is also focused on the development of underwriting appetites and underwriting practices related to the IT segment.

She has also been interviewed and written several articles on privacy risks and social media risks, and has been a speaker at several conferences on cyber-related risks and social media risks.  Her objective is to educate various audiences on the exposure environment, provide the basis for risk analysis, and the framework for discussion on the various insurance coverages available in the market.

Richard Spiers, CPCU, ARM, ARe, AIC

Claim Consultant, Spiers Consulting, LLC

Rick has been in the insurance industry since 1980 and was a claim executive in the reinsurance and excess marketplace since 1985. He was with Genesis Management and Insurance Services for over 20 years and is currently doing claim consulting work. Rick has extensive experience handling the wide array of claims faced by public entities, K-12 school districts and the higher education sector. Based in Chicago, he has also worked for Transamerica Insurance Group, Northbrook Excess and Surplus Insurance, CNA and Allstate Reinsurance. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, a member of the Society of CPCU, and holds associate designations in risk management, claims and reinsurance. Rick has been developing and presenting insurance industry-related training sessions to a variety of client and industry groups for over 25 years.

Nancy Sylvester, CPCU, ARM-P

Area Executive Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Nancy is area executive vice president, as well as Gallagher Public Sector’s (GPS) national director- federal disaster recovery.  She has earned the CPCU and ARM-P designations. Having devoted her career to public risk management, first as a practitioner (K-12 risk manager) then a director of risk management for a national public entity insurance carrier, and now as a leader in Gallagher’s support for its public housing, education, construction and public sector clients, Nancy has been recognized for her work by several leading industry organizations and has received multiple awards for her work including: Multi-year Power Broker by Risk and Insurance in public sector as well as higher education; Leadership Award by Liberty Mutual/Risk and Insurance; Women to Watch by Business Insurance; and others. Nancy speaks and trains regularly at national and state conferences on the topics of risk management, FEMA, P3s, insurance and leadership.

Tina R. Stevens

Director, Human Resources Services, Virginia Risk Sharing Association (VRSA)

Tina has been in the human resources industry for over 35 years. At VRSA, she provides pool members with resources, trainings and consultation to meet their human resources needs and mitigate their employment liability exposure.  She is a graduate of the University of Richmond School of Continuing Education and holds the following professional designations:  SPHR, CEBS, IPMA-SCP, and FLMI.

Lilian Vanvieldt

Executive Vice President, Chief DE&I Officer, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

Lilian is a 30-plus-year insurance industry veteran and longtime community activist who uses her experience, influence and passion to bring about positive change. In April 2021, Lilian was named Alliant’s executive vice president and chief diversity & inclusion officer (CDIO). As the head of Alliant’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative, Lilian leads a company-wide effort to promote diversity and inclusion within Alliant and throughout the broader insurance industry through a focus on awareness, training and mentoring. At the heart of this effort is Lilian’s longstanding commitment to expanding opportunities for career growth and advancement for individuals with diverse backgrounds and life experiences.

Mauricio Velasquez, MBA

President & Founder, Diversity Training Group   

Mauricio Velasquez is now a regular speaker for PRIMA.  He has spoken at several of programs and is a speaker on PRIMA’s recent webinar series.  Mauricio earned a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA from The George Washington University. Mauricio and his firm, Diversity Training Group, are working with more than a half dozen PRIMA state conference and individual members presently.  Mauricio is a risk minimizer in the areas of diversity and inclusion training, sexual harassment prevention training, toxic employee/workplace training, emotional intelligence, unconscious bias, trust and engagement training and expert witness.  Mauricio provides assessment, diagnosis and accelerated 360 executive coaching services as well.

David Weightman

Risk Control Manager, PMA Companies

David is a risk control manager for PMA Companies and is currently responsible for managing the risk control services provided to public entity clients. With more than 30 years of experience,  David has held various field and management positions with PMA where he has managed and delivered safety and risk control services for both the traditional insurance market and self-insured clients.

David earned a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational safety and health from Millersville University and a Master in Business Administration degree from LaSalle University. He holds the Charter Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Risk Management for Public Entities (ARM-P) and Associate in Loss Control Management (ALCM) designations and is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP).


Check back soon for PI22 registration details


Before August 31 After August 31
Member* $1000 $1100
Non-Member $1500 $1600

A la Carte Pricing

Can’t get away from the office for a full week? Pay a la carte pricing and attend three out of five days, or one day.
• Monday through Wednesday, October 17--19: Phases 1-3
• Wednesday through Friday, October 19--21: Phases 3, 4 and Hot Topics

Three-Day Rate Three-Day Rate Daily Rate
Before August 31 After August 31
Member* $735 $840 $320
Non-Member $985 $1089 $400

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel in writing at least 30 business day before the program, you will be refunded your registration fee minus a $75 administrative charge. No-shows and cancellations not received by the date required, will not be eligible for a refund.

Notice: If PRIMA must cancel this conference for any reason, liability is limited to the registration fees paid only. PRIMA is not responsible for other expenses incurred, including travel and accommodation fees.

For additional information, please contact PRIMA’s Education and Training team at

Health and Safety

The Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) cares about your health and safety. We are monitoring COVID protocols from the CDC and state/local governments.

Check back soon for PI22 Room Block Opening!

#PI22 will be held at:

The Westin Alexandria Old Town
400 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314

Special Accommodations: Email with your specific needs or check the appropriate box during the online registration process.

PRIMA Housing Policies

PRIMA reserves a limited number of guest rooms for attendees of the PRIMA conference. When attendees book outside the PRIMA room block, or book rooms in advance on the chance that they will attend, only to cancel later, PRIMA is placed at high risk of paying attrition on the canceled rooms. Due to the economic climate as well as this above-mentioned risk, the following PRIMA-approved housing policy has been instituted.

Thank you in advance for adhering to these policies. Reservations at an official Conference hotel must be accompanied by a deposit equal to one night's room and tax to guarantee the reservation. All cancellations must be made at least 30 days prior to arrival to receive a refund of the deposit. Any and all cancellations made within 30 days of arrival will forfeit the entire deposit. Anyone booking more than eight-room nights will be required to sign a room block contract with the hotel and will be held to the hotel’s attrition and cancellation policies as per their contract.

Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors!

PI would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors