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 2024 PRIMA Institute Curriculum!

Daily Themed Tracks:

Monday October 21 - Day One 100 Series


PI begins with introductions; attendees will learn and share information regarding their public risk management challenges and accomplishments.

Building a Culture of Risk Management

This entertaining and educational session will motivate and rejuvenate you to build an environment where employees feel empowered to protect not only themselves but each other. Videos will drive specific points in building a sustainable culture with audience participation. Personal stories will help the audience engage in how we impact each other through a decision of attitude, positive or negative. The story of the Duck verses the Eagle. Leave this presentation inspired, recharged and ready to make an impact!


Dean Coughenour, ARM, City of Flagstaff, AZ (Ret.)

Communicating for Greater Influence

How many of your team members are fully engaged in their work? National studies indicate that as much 70% of the American workforce is disengaged or actively disengaged in their job. What are some of the costs of disengagement? Productivity, safety, customer satisfaction, and profitability all go down, while absenteeism, conflict, stress, and turnover all go up. If any of these challenges sound familiar, this seminar can help.


Randy Anderson, CSP, E3 Professional Trainers

You’re the Risk Manager; Now What?

This panel discussion will include real-life stories from risk managers on how they navigate the day-to-day opportunities associated with being “the Risk Manager.” Participants are encouraged to bring questions and scenarios to discuss with the panel.


Amy Larson, JD, ARM, City of Bloomington, MN
Michelle Jordan, Clayton County Water Authority
Jennifer Hood, City of Montgomery, TN
Maria Robinson, City of Flagstaff, AZ

Building a Safety Program with Effective Safey Committees

The purpose of this presentation is to present guidelines for establishing an effective safety committee at many levels of a government entity. Up for discussion will be committees at the division/department level, standing committees focusing on specific purposes, and committees that may emerge situationally or as a change in policy. Some of the most critical requirements of any committee are to continuously engage committee members, encourage participation and to stay focused on the goals of the committee’s purpose. This presentation will assist you with having a successful committee and avoid the perils that can create failure.


Dan Hurley, City of Chesapeake, VA (Ret.)

Risk Control 101

Risk control is the cornerstone of almost every risk management program. However, without the correct framework in place to understand the "why" and "who should be involved" in the implementation of the program, your efforts may not be successful. This presentation will discuss the steps needed to build a framework for effective risk control that will meet your entity’s risk management goals.


Amy Larson, JD, ARM, City of Bloomington, MN
Sarah Curtis, Public Entity Partners

How to Read and Evaluate Insurance Industry Loss Runs

Insurance industry loss runs are used by many people and organizations for different purposes. In this session, we will review the data fields captured on most insurance industry loss runs and discuss the value of this information for different parties supporting your risk management program. We will also share opportunities for applying the information contained in loss runs to improve your safety and risk management efforts and, ultimately, your total cost of risk.


David Weightman, PMA Companies

Breakout/Q&A Session

Attendees will participate in an engaging information exchange regarding issues impacting public risk management professionals.

Looking Back, Looking Forward: What’s New in Employment Law?

It is an increasingly challenging time to be a public employer. Social, political and legal trends inevitably spill into the workplace. This presentation will focus on recent legal developments in employment law from court cases and legislative actions and trends, and discuss the risks and challenges associated with managing employees in the midst of during and after election.


Jess Osborne, Miller Nash LLP
Liani Reeves, Miller Nash LLP

Civility Starts with You

As risk managers in our organizations, we have a responsibility to prevent harassment in the workplace. Studies show us that creating a culture of civility is an effective way to reduce harassment and other forms of discrimination. In this session, we will focus on self-awareness, the importance of embracing inclusion and the power of empathy. These topics will challenge us to consider our role in creating a work environment in which everyone feels safe, included and able to be productive at work.


Sarah Curtis, Public Entity Partners

Special Events

Special events can present special and unusual types of risks for your entities. They enrich the lives of a community, attract interest in local businesses, increase sales tax revenue and, at times, tax the patience of government as it serves and protects. In this interactive presentation, the speaker and attendees will provide examples of special events and, as a group, will discuss risk transfer options, including the use of permits, risk transfer, insurance and the use of waivers as well as discussing lessons learned in association with these special events.


Amy Larson, JD, ARM, City of Bloomington, MN

A New Generation in Policing: The Use of Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Data-Driven Research in Risk Management

Public perception of law enforcement has hit a record low, with many people showing a decreased confidence in law enforcement and training initiatives. Technology in policing and AI are rapidly developing. In this session, we will examine the impact of legal analytics, artificial intelligence and data-driven research, and its impact on shaping a new era in public service.


Courtney Ramirez, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.
Keith Hummel, J.A. Montgomery Consulting

What Insurance Do You Want in Your Contract?

Effective transfer of risks associated with contracted work is an essential component of any risk management program. Failing to obtain the appropriate hold-harmless agreement or insurance documentation can leave you paying the bill for someone else’s negligence or error, costs your agency could have avoided. Participants will learn a process for effective contractual risk transfer, including how to identify good and bad hold-harmless agreements, questions for identifying and prioritizing your risks, insurance specifications to get you the protection you need with the least hassle, and how to verify what you receive is what you asked for. Participants will receive sample specifications, forms and checklists to assist them in their efforts. Also included will be reference to a comprehensive manual for public entities that can be accessed on the internet.


Courtney Ramirez, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

Certificate of Insurance Management

Certificate of insurance (COI) management is essential to risk mitigation and is a process by which an organization manages contracts and COIs to effectively transfer risk and liability to contractors or service providers to reduce exposures to their entity. In this session, the management of certificates of insurance will be examined to include types of certificates, additional insured language, certificate validation and tracking, required coverage limits, contract scope of work, and effective methods for transferring risk to contractors and service providers.


Julie Waller, MBS, CWCP, MESH, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

Breakout/Q&A Session

Attendees will participate in an engaging information exchange regarding issues impacting public risk management professionals.

The Art of Storytelling: Maximizing Your Renewal

Join us to uncover the art of storytelling in the context of public entity insurance. Learn how to construct a narrative in the insurance marketplace that highlights your entity’s unique attributes, proactive risk management approaches and commitment to financial prudence. Explore techniques to make your story resonate, ensuring it is honest, memorable and persuasive to all involved.


Marcus Henthorn, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co./RPA

Engage to Be Effective: ERM Interactive Workshop

Learn how to engage teams and create demand for enterprise risk management by joining us for an interactive ERM risk assessment workshop. Participate in a scenario analysis to reveal how communication and prioritization of risks are connected through the enterprise for better understanding and decision making. Inclusion and diverse perspectives are essential to face the complexity of risk today. Experience how we put it all together using human centered design (HCD) integrated with the best techniques and tools from top psychologists and social behaviorists. Once participant roles are filled, additional seats will be available for observation.


Mel Thomson, City of Phoenix, AZ

Building a Robust Risk Management Program

This session will discuss the evolution of a robust risk management program, discussing the various elements involved. Attendees will consider critical steps in the process of building a program and identify methods for evaluating their program.


Carleen Patterson, ARM, ARM-P, CIC, CRM, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.
Lori Gray, Prince William County, VA

State of the Market: Emerging Topics for 2025 and Beyond

This presentation will provide perspective on what is emerging as a risk with a focus on risks of most concern to the public sector. We will explore the factors leading to the elevation of this risk as well as the implications for risk control or risk financing solutions.


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

Risk-Informed Decision-Making: Aligning Appetite, Tolerance and Strategy

Risk appetite, tolerance and strategy are frequently discussed in the risk management field. In this session, we explore these three concepts and discuss how effectively aligning them can improve risk management and decision-making while fostering a resilient risk culture.


Shannon Gunderman, CPCU, ARM, AIS, CWCP, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Current Trends in Workers’ Compensation

The workers’ compensation landscape for public entities has traditionally been slow to evolve, but that is changing. In this session, our presenters will cover the surprisingly rapidly changing dynamics of the workers’ compensation industry. They will discuss the emergence and impact of key trends such as mental injury claims, AI (Assistance Intelligence), wearable technology, remote health care, presumption laws, pharmaceutical trends and inflation. The speakers will also review emerging class codes exposures and loss trends for public entities as well as their impact on your risk portfolio.


Geoff Jones, Esq., Midwest Employers Casualty
Tim Bridgeforth, Midwest Employers Casualty

Breakout/Q&A Session

Attendees will participate in an engaging information exchange regarding issues impacting public risk management professionals.

Investigative Building Blocks: The Foundation for a Solid Investigation

This course outlines the foundation needed to conduct successful claims investigations. Whether you are a seasoned risk manager who regularly investigates claims or someone brand new to the role, this course will educate you about the initial investigative methods needed on suspect claims to build a solid defense and lower claim costs within your organization. We will outline how initial investigations can be low cost but also provide information that is extremely valuable. The presentation provides insight on social media investigations, background investigations, medical canvassing and other tools used by investigators. Additionally, relatable claim examples and success stories will be shared.


Kayla Guenther, City of Fort Myers, FL
Marci Reading, Command Investigations

Navigating the Future: AI in Workers’ Compensation Claim Settlements and Its Implications for Public Entities

AI innovations are beginning to disrupt traditional workers’ compensation claims handling operations. In this presentation, the speakers will explore the advances made in the industry through the use of AI. In doing so, they will review the beneficial impacts, including the potential for improved efficiency, accuracy and cost. As part of the presentation, the speakers will also explore how AI can aid in the settlement of your existing workers’ compensation claims.


Brian Billings, Midwest Employer Casualty
Geoff Jones, Esq., Midwest Employers Casualty

Art of Settling Claims

The presentation will provide tools and tips for claims handlers and claims professionals on how to settle claims, strategies, evaluate pros and cons, and understand the benefits of a settled claim. Attendees will learn how to effectively communicate and bolster their negotiation and conflict resolution skills to achieve desired outcomes.


Ya'Sheaka Williams, Esq., Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, PA

Total Cost of Risk: Understanding and Application

This presentation is designed to understand TCOR as a concept and also how to use it to achieve risk management short- and long-term goals and objectives. Attendees will be able to identify the main TCOR elements, discuss how each element impacts overall TCOR, including claims and premiums, and apply TCOR in several scenarios, including retention analysis, choosing the right insurance renewal option, risk control strategy and vendor selection.


Carleen Patterson, ARM, ARM-P, CIC, CRM, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.
Sheri Swain, Maricopa Community Colleges (Ret.)

Under Attack: Responding to Ransomware

Public entities continue to be a target for threat actors, organizations must prepare their defenses against cyber-attacks. Join Aon’s Cyber Solutions Group for a live ransomware simulation and a discussion around best practices for cyber incident response and crisis management.


Temo Garcia, Aon
Austin Tippett, Aon

Navigating the AI Frontier: Opportunities and Challenges in the Public Sector

With the arrival of applications like Sora, ChatGPT and Copilot, artificial intelligence has hit the mainstream. While it has been instrumental in problem-solving and creating efficiencies, it has also caused controversy. In this session, we will explore some of the history behind AI, discuss the various ways it can be used and misused, and review its potential in the public sector.


Shannon Gunderman, CPCU, ARM, AIS, CWCP, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

PRIMA Institute 2025 Planning

Attendees of PI24 will provide feedback and participate in building the education curriculum of next year’s Institute.

Crisis Communication/Emergency Action Plan

Crisis will occur when we least expect it. Internal and external communication during a crisis differs from normal communication. Organizations need to have a plan for how they will communicate during a crisis. Best practices include “practice like you play” and establishing your everyday operating process to mirror what will happen during a crisis. We will discuss best practices to establish battle rhythms, organizational structure and leadership.


Jason Stoddard, Charles County (MD) Public Schools

Addressing PTSD Among Our Heroes

This educational session is a comprehensive program designed to bring awareness, understanding and actionable solutions to the challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) faced by veterans, first responders and individuals in high-stress professions. This session aims to demystify PTSD by exploring its causes, symptoms and the stigma that often surrounds mental health issues in these communities. Through this expert-led discussion, we will examine the latest research, treatment options and support systems available to help our heroes navigate their journey toward recovery. Participants will gain valuable insights into recognizing signs of PTSD in themselves and others and learn how to approach someone who may be struggling. This session will provide practical tools and strategies for resilience and mental well-being, fostering a supportive environment for healing and empowerment. By attending, individuals will be better equipped to support themselves and their peers, encouraging a culture of understanding and compassion.


Teresa Bartlett, MD, Sedgwick

Talent Retention and Recruitment in a Diverse Workplace

Talent determines the success of an organization. While products are important, the people (talent) that completes the team make an internal and external difference, positive or negative. With so many empty seats in public and private businesses post-COVID, the ability to keep current and recruit new talent is an existential threat. How employees are valued, in words and deeds, is key to retention. From professional development to creating a sense of belonging, a commitment to their growth as a person and in their career can offset a few extra dollars elsewhere. Bringing in new talent that is diverse (race, gender, geography, national origin, education, age/generation, ideology, upbringing, socioeconomic and other immutable or cultural traits) means creating an expectation for how they will be assimilated into the team. It also potentially means searching for talent in new places and presenting a better elevator pitch to convince them to choose you. This session will discuss the current challenges in retention and recruitment and offer some recommendations for embracing those challenges as opportunities.


Mark Pew,

First Amendment Issues: Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

This session provides a new look at the First Amendment and emerging issues facing law enforcement officers. The presentation will focus on the law that governs the right to protest as well as recognizing and avoiding infringement on an individual’s First Amendment rights. We will also talk about defenses to First Amendment retaliation cases and the line between expressive free speech and disruption.


Michele Molinario, Esq., Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C.
Justin Ackerman, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C.

Your Black Swan Is Someone Else’s Gray Rhino

In public safety, problems come at us in all directions, too often leading to tragedy. The concepts of the Black Swan and the Grey Rhino help us differentiate between these problems. Black Swans are the “unknown unknowns” that no one sees coming. Grey Rhinos are massive, obvious problems that we fail to acknowledge. As the title of this program points out, one leader’s Black Swan can easily be another leader’s Grey Rhino. In this session, the speaker will explain these concepts in more detail and show how they relate to the basic concepts of risk management. Attendees will explore how events that sneak up on organizations and cause tremendous problems have often been experienced by other similarly situated organizations. The speaker will provide strategies for how to more effectively capture and share lessons learned from close calls and tragedies, turning Black Swans into Grey Rhinos that are not only visible but also stoppable.


Gordon Graham, Lexipol

2024 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.

Justin Ackerman

Partner, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C.

Justin is the trial group leader of JSH’s appellate department. He represents clients in federal and state appellate matters in cases involving federal civil rights claims, wrongful death, personal injury, bad faith and premises liability. After graduating as the valedictorian of his class from Phoenix School of Law, Justin worked as a law clerk for the Hon. Michael J. Brown in Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Following his clerkship, Justin has handled over 75 appeals, successfully arguing before the Arizona Court of Appeals, Arizona Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Justin has spoken at many seminars on appellate preservation topics and is recognized as a Southwest Super Lawyer and Best Lawyers’ Ones to Watch in the area of appellate practice.

Randy Anderson, CSP

Co-Founder, E3 Professional Trainers

Randy is co-founder of E3 Professional Trainers, a Texas-based training firm that provides customized training, keynote presentations and personal coaching. The goal of E3 is to help people become more engaged in their work, be better equipped to do their job and feel empowered to live a more fulfilling life that will count for something after they’re gone. Before starting E3 in 2005, Randy spent 20 years in sales and sales management. Most of that time was spent in media sales, which gave him the opportunity to work with virtually every type of business and in every industry. His clients included small businesses as well as large corporations, and were spread all across the United States. It is from that experience that he draws the ideas and strategies to help his clients improve their performance in the workplace and to achieve their maximum potential in life. His areas of expertise include communication, conflict resolution, time management, organization, leadership, and sales as well as inspirational/motivational presentations, all of which deliver strategies and tools to increase productivity and profitability.

Teresa Bartlett, MD

Senior Medical Officer and Managing Director, Sedgwick

Dr. Bartlett has a background in family medicine. She began her business career working as the medical director for a large automotive manufacturing company. After gaining experience in health, safety, onsite medical operations, preparedness planning, wellness, fitness, workers' compensation and disability operations, she arrived at Sedgwick to manage the clinical teams. Currently, her responsibilities and span of control involve pharmacy benefit management, physical therapy, utilization management, network management for independent medical evaluations and peer reviews as well as oversight and guidance on all quality and clinical programs. She works to tailor special programs to meet the needs of many unique clients. She is a frequent national speaker.

Brian Billings

Vice President, Advanced Analytics, Midwest Employers Casualty

With almost 30 years of technology experience in industries including banking, investment services, insurance services and healthcare, Brian is an established leader in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics. He holds a BS in management information systems and a Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University. In his current role, Brian leads a team of skilled professionals that specialize in deploying advanced analytics and AI to improve decision-making processes, optimize workflows and deliver business value.

Tim Bridgeforth

Vice President, Business Development & Customer Value, Midwest Employers Casualty

Tim, a Midwest Employers Casualty (MEC) veteran since 2003, has extensive workers’ compensation insurance industry knowledge through various roles in underwriting, sales, and actuarial. Tim is currently the vice president of business development and customer value at MEC, a Berkley company, where he is responsible for growth, market penetration, and the delivery of long-term value to partners and self-insured customers. Tim graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Missouri with a degree in secondary mathematics education and also holds the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation.

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

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

John has been working with public sector clients of all types since the late 1980’s. He is located in Southern California and has city, county, school and special district clients in eight different states. He also enjoys teaching risk management and is associated with The Institutes as a course instructor and is also on the faculty of the National Alliance.

Dean Coughenour, ARM

Risk Manager, City of Flagstaff, AZ (Ret.)

Dean is the recently retired risk manager for the City of Flagstaff and directed their Risk Management Department, managing a comprehensive risk and safety program that includes reducing risk factors, grass root integration of the risk management decision matrix, safety, insurance, litigation management, workers' compensation, training, and facility inspection programs. Dean has over 30 years’ experience in proactive risk management and has served on various boards and associations including Arizona Municipal Risk Retention board and City of Scottsdale Loss Trust Fund board. He is a past national board member of PERI (Public Entity Risk and Insurance), past loss trust fund board chair for the City of Scottsdale, past president of national PRIMA and has held various other community leadership positions. Dean is a frequent speaker on risk management topics both at national and local conferences. He serves on the national speaker bureau and is a champion for risk management and the employment of the risk management decision matrix in day-to-day operations of public sector entities.

Sarah Curtis

Loss Control Consultant, Public Entity Partners

Sarah began her career in risk management in 2022 when she joined Public Entity Partners as a loss control training consultant. Previously, she served as a training consultant for the University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service. Working in the public sector for over 10 years, Sarah has served as an instructor, consultant, facilitator and instructional designer. Since 2018, she has worked with municipalities and other public entities to design and deliver training programs that improve organizational outcomes by focusing on individual development. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 2007 and a Master of Arts in sociology in 2011 from Middle Tennessee State University. She also completed a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Alabama in 2016.

Temo Garcia

Vice President & Team Leader, Middle Market Leader - West Region, Aon

Temo leads Aon's cyber efforts for public entities and is responsible for consulting with clients on their cyber, professional liability, technology and media risks by identifying exposures, managing insurance market relationships, strategizing, and creating tailored risk transfer solutions, as well as executing on policy terms, conditions and servicing. Temo began his insurance career in 2006 as an account manager, transitioning later to account executive. Prior to joining Aon in 2018, Temo served as an underwriter/broker at Risk Placement Services, leading the Chicago Binding Team while handling property and casualty risks with underwriting authority from multiple carriers.

Gordon Graham

Co-Founder & Board Member, Lexipol

Gordon has been actively involved in public safety since 1973. He has taken his background as a street cop, supervisor and manager and coupled it with his education as a risk manager and his experiences as a lawyer. He is the co-founder of Lexipol, a company designed to standardize law enforcement, fire and corrections policies around America. Gordon was the first recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in California law enforcement training and was the 2008 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in California Law Enforcement. In 2015, Gordon received the lifetime dedication award from the International Public Safety Leadership and Ethics Institute. In 2018, he received the James Oberstar Sentinel for Safety Award for his lifetime work in improving aviation safety internationally. In 2019, he received the Howard W. Rayon Distinguished Service Award. In 2022, he received a lifetime achievement award from the California Highway Patrol and the Centurion Award for Excellence for his outstanding work as a public safety innovator, trainer, and educator from the Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County. Additionally, he is the only police recipient of the Presidential Award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs for his lifelong work in improving firefighter safety and performance.

Lori Gray

Assistant Director of Finance for Risk & Wellness Services, Prince William County, VA

Lori has over 30 years of risk management, safety and loss control experience. As risk manager for the county for over 22 years, Lori has succeeded at building an outstanding risk and wellness program from scratch after the entity had previously outsourced the function. She oversees the administration and management of the Prince William Self-Insurance Group (PWSIG) and is chairman of the board of trustees for the PWSIG. Through her successful strategies and risk control techniques, the PWSIG has recognized dividend payments totaling over $20,000,000. During her tenure, Lori has implemented 22 award-winning programs recognized by PRIMA, National Association of Counties (NACo) and the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo). Before joining Prince William County in 1999, Lori was with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).
Lori holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Old Dominion University. She is currently a member of Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS) and serves on the PRIMA and PERI board of directors. She was recognized as PRIMA’s Risk Manager of the Year in 2008 and Business Insurance’s Risk Manager of the Year in 2013.

Kayla Guenther

Risk Management Analyst, City of Fort Myers, FL

Kayla has been working in risk management for the City of Fort Myers for five years. Her main role is in their workers’ compensation program and third-party claims handling, but she provides other risk management functions as well. She works closely with the city’s human resources team and has helped them develop wellness initiatives that lower the cost of workers’ compensation claims for the city’s first responder population. Prior to Kayla joining the City of Fort Myers, Kayla worked as a private investigator. Her area of focus was insurance fraud investigations for both property and casualty carriers and self-insured public entities. In addition to conducting investigations, she also trained and supervised a team of other investigators. When she began her work with the city, she brought her passion for thorough investigations to the city and has seen success in lowering settlement values and claims costs through pointed investigations. Kayla graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in criminology. She recently obtained her CPCU designation, and has also earned her Associate in Claims (AIC) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designations from The Institutes.

Shannon Gunderman, CPCU, ARM, AIS, CWCP

Executive Director/Senior Consultant, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Shannon is an executive director and senior consultant at Arthur J. Gallagher, where he divides his time between enterprise risk management consulting and Gallagher’s public sector & K-12 education practice. Shannon has over 22 years of risk management experience. His areas of expertise include project management, enterprise risk management, process improvement, predictive analytics, strategic planning, data analytics and visualization, litigation support, safety and HIPAA compliance, and claim management. Prior to joining Gallagher, Shannon served as the administrative services director for Yuma County, AZ, where he managed the county’s property, liability, unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance programs. He also designed the county’s award-winning enterprise risk management program using ISO 31000. The ground-breaking initiative involved leading and managing the project, conducting workshops, drafting training materials and forms, communicating with elected officials and employees at all organizational levels, and integrating the program with the county’s strategic planning and budgeting processes. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt practitioner, Shannon has led several process improvement projects in the areas of administrative records management, customer service and the criminal justice system. His efforts identified significant programmatic inefficiencies and resulted in the implementation of several improvement plans. Shannon is a certified public manager through Arizona State University and holds the CPCU, ARM, AIC and CWCP designations.

Marcus Henthorn

Managing Director/National Sales Leader, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co./RPA

Marcus is the national sales director for Risk Program Administrators (RPA), where he is responsible for providing strategic guidance, industry expertise and custom services to advance public and private entity risk pools and programs. He also serves as the managing director of Gallagher’s Public Sector & K-12 Education practice where he is responsible for developing and executing business strategies for Gallagher's largest and most dominant practice groups, comprised of 500+ employees, 18,000+ clients and over $2B in premium. Marcus enjoys nothing more than the challenge of providing risk management and administration expertise to some of the largest and most complex public entity programs in the United States. Throughout his career at Gallagher, he has worked in multiple offices, including Lloyd’s of London, and he is based out of the company's global headquarters. He has received several Risk & Insurance Power Broker and Rising Star awards, the Business Insurance Americas Top Producer and the Business Insurance Break Out Award over the course of his career.

Jennifer Hood

Safety & Risk Director, Montgomery County (TN) Government

Jennifer is the safety and risk director for Montgomery County Government in Clarksville, Tennessee, serving 1,200 employees and 220,000 citizens. She has served in this capacity for 14 years. In this role, Jennifer administers the on-the-job injury program, designed to protect employees from injury and appropriately care for them as needed. She strives to protect Montgomery County against financial consequences by preserving county assets from loss, destruction or depletion with stringent safety and operational policies, procedures and employee training. She also oversees the general liability insurance program and manages the county's safety program. Jennifer was recently named the 2021 Tennessee PRIMA Risk Manager of the Year Award, is a Certified Occupational Safety Specialist, Certified Occupational Safety Manager and current Middle Tennessee Vice-President for TN-PRIMA and a director on the board for PRIMA.

Keith Hummel

Vice President, Law Enforcement Risk Control, J.A. Montgomery Consulting

Chief Hummel is an associate director for J.A. Montgomery Consulting. He provides safety and loss control consulting services for law enforcement agencies within municipal and county entities. The services provided address elements of a uniform consulting plan, which include training, accreditation plans, loss analysis, regulatory compliance, and on-site consultation and inspection. Chief Hummel serves as a liaison to the MEL Safety & Education Committee and offers advice on law enforcement exposures and controls.

Dan Hurley, CSP, ARM-P

Independent Risk Manager

Dan has a long career in public service starting as a safety officer with the City of Norfolk, VA and as a risk manager for Norfolk Public Schools, then later with the City of Chesapeake, VA. Dan also served as a practice leader for schools and colleges with Midwest Employers Casualty for two years. His professional service includes president of PRIMA, president of Virginia PRIMA, president of ASSP's Greater Tidewater Chapter and as treasurer for PERI. Although retired, Dan still serves as the program manager for Virginia PRIMA. He enjoys volunteer work as a track/road race official and is currently a docent at Jamestown Rediscovery. Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Tech as well as an MPA and MS in environmental health from Old Dominion University.

Geoff Jones, Esq.

Senior Claims Counsel, Midwest Employers Casualty

Geoff is senior claims counsel for Midwest Employers Casualty (MEC), where he has worked throughout the United States for the past 14 years. In this role, he provides legal guidance and solutions for catastrophic and complex workers’ compensation claims. One of Geoff’s strongest assets is his ability to mitigate and resolve high exposure claims, leading to significant savings for MEC partners. His knowledge of Medicare implications enables favorable outcomes for injured workers and other claim stakeholders. When not settling claims, Geoff frequently collaborates with MEC’s advanced analytics unit and clients to drive meaningful innovation. His focus in the use of advanced analytics is to create positive outcomes for MEC partners in a collaborative, solution-oriented manner.

Amy Larson, Esq.

Risk & Litigation Manager, City of Bloomington, MN

Amy has been the risk manager for the City of Bloomington, MN for more than 23 years, including the past 13 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 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.

Michele Molinario, Esq.

Partner, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C.

An experienced trial attorney, Michele has dedicated her professional career to two areas of law: government liability defense and employment law. Michele’s career is focused on defending private employers and public entities and their employees, including police officers, detention officers, emergency responders, public works directors, building inspectors, traffic engineers, etc. Michele is a longtime member of the firm’s Governmental Liability/Employment Trial Group and is on the firm’s Management Committee. She has tried both state and federal juries as well as bench trials and administrative law hearings. In addition to her 20+ years of trial experience, Michele has an impressive record for her motion practice. Michele routinely disposes of the vast majority of her cases through orders of dismissal or summary judgment.

Jess Osborne

Partner, Miller Nash LLP

Jess is a partner at Miller Nash LLP, located in Portland, Oregon. Jess represents public, private and nonprofit employers in a variety of employment and labor relations matters, including advice and litigation. She guides employers through a myriad of issues, including compliance with employment law statutes, challenges with organizational change, organized workforce questions and conducting workplace investigations. Jess represents clients during all phases of their labor relations matters, including contract negotiations and administration, and negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

Carleen C. Patterson, ARM-P, CIC, ARM

First Vice President & 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 Risk Management for Public Entities, Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Risk Manager designations.

Mark Pew

Provost & Founding Partner,

Mark is an award-winning international speaker, author and jurisdictional advisor in workers' compensation. He has focused on the intersection of chronic pain and appropriate treatment since 2003. Mark created "Qualified Medical Intervention" that won a 2012 Business Insurance Innovation Award, received WorkCompCentral's Magna Comp Laude award in 2016, IAIABC's Samuel Gompers Award in 2017, named "Top 100 Healthcare Leader" by IFAH in 2021 and received the Health 2.0 Outstanding Leadership award in 2022. He is co-founder of The Transitions and is on the advisory boards of Simple Therapy, Harvard MedTech and Goldfinch Health.

Courtney Ramirez

Senior Vice President, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

Courtney is senior vice president with Alliant Insurance Services. Courtney manages a large book of mid-to-large public entity accounts and drives new business development. Courtney creates solutions to address the unique needs of her clients, such as establishing a platform to control costs for state lottery agencies and developing the Alliant Deadly Weapons Response Program (ADWRP) for active shooter coverage. Courtney is proficient in reading contracts and recommending language to mitigate clients’ risk. The overall services provided to Courtney’s clients have amounted to millions of dollars of premium savings. With her unique expertise, Courtney is a frequent guest speaker for industry associations and universities. Courtney earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business management and leadership and has achieved several notable designations and industry accolades including Power Broker (2020), Rising Star (2020), and, most recently, named one of the 2023 Women to Watch. Courtney enjoys educating and mentoring others and is invested in growing the industry through her support of young professionals. She is especially committed to ensuring women have an equal platform and that working parents are given the opportunity to maintain a healthy personal and professional balance.

Marci Reading, CFE

Vice President of Business Development, Command Investigations

Marci brings nearly two decades of experience in insurance and investigations. Her extensive background spans from early operational roles to SIU program management, multi-line account management and, most recently, client relations and business development for Command Investigations, LLC. Marci holds the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and is a Licensed Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Instructor with the Florida Department of Finance. She delivers state-accredited continuing education for Command across the United States. An active participant in the industry, Marci is a member of several professional organizations, including the Women's Alliance in Workers' Compensation, ACFE, CLM, SERMA, NRRDA, and NEFLRIMS, along with various regional claims associations. In her spare time, she volunteers as a big sister with Big Brother Big Sister of northeast Florida.

Liani Reeves

Partner, Miller Nash LLP

Liani is a partner at Miller Nash LLP, a Northwest regional law firm. Liani works with employers on a wide range of issues, including as a litigator and as an outside investigator. Liani brings special expertise working with education and public sector clients. She served as general counsel for the Office of the Oregon Governor, providing advice on a wide range of legal issues including employment, public transparency, First Amendment, government ethics, tribal and public safety policy matters. Prior to the governor's office, she spent almost a decade at the Oregon Department of Justice where her primary focus was employment litigation defense.

Maria Robinson

Risk Management Director, City of Flagstaff, AZ

Maria is the risk management director for the City of Flagstaff, AZ. She has almost 20 years in the industry, more than 25 years in the public sector, and has previously served as the loss prevention/safety manager for the City of Tucson and the occupational medical manager for Pima County, both in Southern Arizona. Maria draws upon her experience to build relationships, offer mission-oriented solutions, and help others get to “yes” whenever possible. She is described by her organization as “invaluable” to the team. Maria’s earned a BSBA from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, a Master of Legal Studies in compliance and legal risk management from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and holds a Professional Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health from UCSD. Public speaking engagements include AZ SWANA, ADEQ, Southern AZ NSC and ADOSH. Maria is a Certified OSHA outreach instructor, a Registered Safety Professional (RSP), holds a Black Belt Certification in Lean Sigma and has obtained her Fire Inspector I Certification. She is also a board member with AZPRIMA and a member of ASSP.

Jason Stoddard

Director of School Safety and Security, Charles County Public Schools (MD)

Jason is the director of school safety and security for Charles County Public Schools. He is responsible for sustaining a safe learning and work environment for over 27,000 students and nearly 4,000 staff members. Since serving the public schools in April of 2018, he has created the Office of School Safety and Security and has been awarded millions of dollars in grant money, implemented major evolutions such as revolving backgrounds for all employees, options-based active shooter response, the “I love u guys” Foundation Standard Response Protocols (a state of art radio communication system with public safety interoperability), first-of-its-kind intelligence unit, drone program and, most recently, has installed Gun Detect, an artificial intelligence driven solution for surveillance cameras in all the system schools. Jason has a master’s degree in organizational leadership. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, School of Police Staff and Command, and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Program. Jason also serves as an adjunct professor at three universities, teaches executive-level leadership for the Maryland Police Training Commission, has authored several articles for magazines on topics ranging from school safety to organizational leadership, serves as a consultant for the Department of Justice and National Institutes of Justice, sits on several advisory boards, and has often traveled the country teaching school safety, active assailant response, leadership, data/evidence-based decision making, crisis communications and incident management.

Sherri Swain

Director of Enterprise Risk Management, Maricopa Community Colleges (Ret.)

Sheri retired as the director of enterprise risk management at Maricopa Community Colleges in January 2023. Sheri has over 30 years of experience in insurance and risk management. Sheri was responsible for planning, organizing, directing, evaluating and overseeing district-wide risk management for 10 colleges, three skill centers, two high schools, 11,000 employees and 200,000 students. She is past president for national PRIMA and a past president of Arizona PRIMA. Sheri has served as chair of PRIMA’s education and chapter relations committees, member of PRIMA’s Leadership Development Committee, and past chair of PRIMA’s Loss Control Task Force and Cyber Task Force. Sheri is currently working part time as a consultant with her previous employer, Maricopa Community Colleges, to assist with projects in risk management. Sheri is passionate about risk management and would like to continue presenting, teaching and helping other entities achieve a successful risk management program.

Austin Tippett

Vice President, Cyber Solutions, Aon

With a background in offensive security consulting, Austin leverages his unique experience to support Aon customers on both proactive and reactive cybersecurity initiatives. He has a strong belief that cybersecurity needs to be better aligned with the overall risk management strategy of companies and believes that Aon has the unique experience to help support that mission. Prior to joining Aon, Austin was a part of Forcepoint, where he served as an insider threat specialist. In that position, he helped clients with the development of complex insider threat programs. The result of Austin's work with these organizations was often a mature insider threat program that focused on proactively identifying risks instead of scrambling to react to threats.

Austin was also an early employee at the security consulting firm Rhino Security Labs. There, Austin wore many hats as the company quickly grew in both reputation and headcount. He spearheaded the growth strategy of the open-source AWS post-exploitation tool Pacu, which was built alongside the cloud security teams of Amazon's largest customers and gained significant traction within the cloud security community. Additionally, Austin managed the relationships of Rhino's largest customers and helped develop penetration testing and vulnerability management programs at several Fortune 500 companies.

Mel Thomson

ERM Lead, Risk Coordinator, City of Phoenix, AZ

Mel leads enterprise risk management at the City of Phoenix. She focuses mostly on uninsurable risks that can impact the city’s strategic plans and goals. Through consulting and facilitation, Mel works with city departments to engage with others in a formalized process to identify, assess, mitigate and prioritize cross-cutting risks. This allows teams to manage and optimize their risks to either acceptable or unacceptable levels, while leveraging the upside of risks. She also works with leaders to craft their appetites to connect risks vertically and horizontally, which produces risk-based decision making and value throughout the city. Mel began in the benefits consulting arena and later transitioned into property and casualty at the State of Arizona’s Department of Administration in the Risk Management Division. She was the risk administrator for the City of Maricopa, AZ where she designed and implemented a new risk division. Currently, Mel serves at the City of Phoenix's Risk Management Division in the Finance Department.

Julie Waller, CWCP, MESH

Senior Risk Control Consultant, Public Entity, Education & Pooling Practice, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

Julie is responsible for providing comprehensive risk control and safety services to Alliant clients. Julie utilizes her significant expertise to effectively assist clients in enhancing their occupational safety and health programs, and in reducing their overall cost of risk. Prior to joining Alliant, Julie was employed by PMA Companies as a strategic risk control consultant and has over 30 years of experience in both public and private sectors. In addition, Julie has 10 years of experience as a municipal risk manager overseeing the following programs: property and liability, workers’ compensation, return-to-work, drug and alcohol testing, OSHA training and compliance, fitness for duty, policy development, commercial driver license (CDL) compliance, public transit systems, airports, water, and electric utilities. Julie also facilitated initiatives for safety committees and accident review boards.

David Weightman

Risk Control Manager, Public Entity Practice, The 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.

Ya’Sheaka C. Williams

Partner, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A.

Ya’Sheaka is a partner in the Tampa office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. Her practice involves the representation of employers, self-insured employers and insurance carriers in all aspects of workers’ compensation claims in Florida and appears before judges of compensation claims throughout Florida. Ya'Sheaka became recognized as an expert in workers’ compensation law by the Florida Bar when she became board certified by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education. She is also a certified workers' compensation law instructor by the Florida Department of Financial Services and has presented numerous classes and seminars to employers and claims adjusters throughout Florida. Ya'Sheaka has extensive experience in settlement negotiations, claims resolution, contract negotiations, mediation and litigation. She has attained an AV Preeminent® designation rating from Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, which is the highest possible rating for legal ability and ethical standards. She received her Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida in 2003 and a Bachelor of Arts from Brenau University Women’s College in 2000, graduating with majors in conflict resolution and pre-law.


PI 24 Registration is Now Open!!


*Should you have any questions regarding registration, please email


Before August 31 After August 31
Member* $1075 $1175
Non-Member $1575 $1675

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 21--23: 100 and 200 Series
• Wednesday through Friday, October 23--25: 200 and 300 Series

Three-Day Rate Three-Day Rate Daily Rate
Before August 31 After August 31
Member* $785 $890 $370
Non-Member $1035 $1139 $450

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.

PRIMA, in collaboration with our PI 2024 Sponsors, is pleased to offer scholarships that cover the registration cost of attending PRIMA Institute.


The PI24 Housing Block is Now Open!

PI 24 will be held at:
The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch
7700 East McCormick Parkway
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Special Rate: $255 + applicable taxes
Last Day to Book: September 27, 2024

CLICK HERE to Reserve Your Room

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 2024 Sponsors!

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