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 2020 PRIMA Institute Curriculum!

Daily Themed Tracks:

Monday (Oct 19) - 100 Series: Risk Leadership

Risk Terminology and Insurance Coverages

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.

New Risk Manager Coping Skills

As a new risk manager, you have walked into a stressful job. You are making decisions with financial and even life-changing implications, too often based on limited information. This is on top of other life stressors. This presentation will briefly review the medical science of stress and the signs of excessive stress that we need to monitor. It will then review a number of approaches to stress management.

Speaker: Dr. Michael Lacroix, The Hartford

Safety Committee Effectiveness

Attendees will define and develop roles and responsibilities to promote effective safety committee operations. Participants will also organize an effective agenda and develop a communication plan that is conducive toward functioning as a cohesive unit.

Speaker: Tiffany Allen, Travelers

Networking Activity
Trends in Public Entity Workers' Compensation Severity - Is Claim Frequency a Predictor of Severity?

Attendees will review strategies for identifying and managing workers’ compensation severity exposures encountered by government agencies. There is a long-held belief that accident frequency is a predictor of accident severity. To test this assumption, and the relationship between claim frequency and severity events, The PMA Companies looked at over 55,000 workers’ compensation claims and more than 400 severe loss events from 2012 – 2016. We will share the highlights from this study including severe loss events by the operating department, strategies for predicting and managing severity exposures and investigate whether claim frequency was a predictor of severe claim events in our study.

Speaker: David Weightman, The PMA Companies

Shell-shocked: Considerations for Handling Catastrophic and Presumptive Claims

Attendees will review a variety of considerations when you are faced with a catastrophic injury case or a presumption claim, including pre-injury planning, acute injury management, post-acute injury handling, and legal implications. The presentation will also incorporate a discussion of the evolution of presumptive injury types and the emerging challenges faced by the public risk sector.

Geoffrey R. Jones, Midwest Employers Casualty
Rachel Paul, Midwest Employers Casualty

Life Saver: Narcan

Attendees will examine the development of opioid overdose prevention legislation, naloxone programs and considerations for the implementation of policies and procedures. The speaker will discuss the origins of the opioid epidemic, progression to heroin abuse, opioid antagonists, the differences between opioid antagonists and mechanisms for controlling costs. The session will also cover potential solutions to the growing challenges faced by our communities and the consequences from the widespread availability of opioid antagonists.

Geoffrey R. Jones, Midwest Employers Casualty

Networking Activity
First Amendment Issues: Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

Offering a new look at the First Amendment and emerging issues facing law enforcement officers, this presentation will focus on the law governing the right to protest. This presentation will also emphasize recognizing and avoiding infringement on an individual's First Amendment rights, as well as the defenses to First Amendment retaliation cases and the line between expressive free speech and disruption.

Michele Molinario, Esq., Partner, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC
Joseph Popolizio, Esq., Partner, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC

Key Considerations in High Profile Critical Incidents

In today’s world, incidents within a public entity often end up in the news or social media. Learn to train staff to prepare for the handling of critical incidents, with tips on how to quickly identify circumstances that generate a highly publicized incident and show the processes that help effectively manage these situations. This session will also deliver methods in which to restore the public’s confidence through community engagement, resolution or public inquiry.

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

First Responder Liability

This session is designed to increase awareness and understanding of critical risk management trends and the latest first responder liability developments. A description of the basic civil liability judicial environment will be presented, and the critical importance of reasonable, defensible decision-making will be discussed. Further, the critical importance of understanding federal and state guidelines will be examined. In addition to the legal implications, we will also address the impact of positive contacts with the public and superior interpersonal. Attendees will also walk away understanding the importance of ensuring that the highest ethical standards are maintained throughout all levels of the first responder agency.

Michael G. Fann, ARM-P, MBA, Public Entity Partners
George Dalton, ARM-P, MCM, Public Entity Partners

Networking Activity
Reaching Higher: A Career Advancement Model for Risk Professionals

Discover a simple, actionable model for building a successful career in risk management. This presentation is for current, new and aspiring risk management professionals who want to learn how to build a formidable career that you will love. Attendees will gain a practical approach to assessing your skills gap, creating relationships that propel you forward and developing greater leadership effectiveness. Learn how to build the skills you need to be an effective risk manager, how to find confidence and know-how to not only become an effective practitioner, but to navigate your career amid complexity and organizational change. This presentation focuses on career strategy, finding clarity, building confidence and fostering the courage to ask for what you want.

Speakers: Margaret Spence, RMPE, C. Douglas & Associates, Inc.

Special Events

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 the government as it serves and protects. Utilize a framework for successful partnerships between event organizers, government, local businesses and the community at large. Discuss your ideas and concerns for special events such as road races, parades, air shows, regattas, petting zoos, beer gardens, farmers markets and more.

Speakers: Amy Larson, City of Bloomington, MN

Unconscious and Conscious Bias - What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know

Speaker: Mauricio Velasquez, Diversity Training Group

PI 21 Planning

Attendees of PI20 will provide feedback and participate in building the education curriculum of next year’s Institute.

“You’re Going to Sit in My Seat”: The Framework to Build an Uplevel Career Ladder

Managing your career requires clarity, courage, vision and action. As an emerging leader, you get to decide how you navigate your career. More importantly, you get to determine who will help you realize your leadership vision. To transform from employee to leader, you must be willing to build a team of people who are willing to champion your career. Beyond finding mentors and champions, you must also have the courage to ask for what you want and the vision to know why you’re asking. In this session, we will ignite your passion to build a vision for your career – a path from the desk you occupy to the seat you want to be in. By the end of this hands-on workshop, attendees will have a working Uplevel Career Journey Map that they can use as a compass for career growth.

Speakers: Margaret Spence, RMPE, C. Douglas & Associates, Inc.

Cyber Breaches

This session will feature a discussion focused on the City of Atlanta’s ransomware attack and how municipal entities can best prepare for similar scenarios.

Tamika Pucket, City of Chicago, IL
Sou Ford, Willis Towers Watson

Applying Risk Management to a Non-Insurable Problem

Participants will use a series of case studies to illustrate how risk management concepts and principles can be applied to managing non-insurable challenges. Examples will include how an organization leveraged a risk-based approach to manage challenges around homelessness, and will include a discussion around how an ERM approach can support and enhance other operational processes.

Speaker: Lisanne Sison, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Networking Activity

2020 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 Services, Travelers

Tiffany Allen has worked in the risk and insurance field for 31 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. During Tiffany’s public sector career, she served on and guided safety committees and saw first-hand what a difference an engaged safety committee can make for an organization.

George Dalton, ARM-P, MCM

Assistant Director of Loss Control, Public Entity Partners

George Dalton has been a member of the Loss Control staff since September 1998, and has served as a risk management resource for the municipalities, schools, utilities, housing authorities, human resource agencies and other governmental entities throughout Tennessee. George provides risk identification surveys for safety & liability exposures, and frequently conducts safety and liability loss control training classes for TML Pool participants. He also assists in developing publications and bulletins. George received the ARM designation in 2001 and his RMPE certificate in 2003. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Personnel Management Association (TPMA), and remains active with TnPRIMA, TCMA and TRPA. He is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) through NRPA and the Playground Safety Institute.

Michael Fann, ARM-P, MBA

Director of Loss Control, Public Entity Partners

Michael Fann 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 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.

Sou Ford

Atlantic/SE Cyber Team Leader, Willis Towers Watson

Sou Ford leads the Atlantic / Southeast Cyber Risk Team. She is responsible for the consulting, negotiating and development of Cyber/Privacy and Errors and Omissions placements with responsiblity for the following areas: Washington DC, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Sou has been working with Cyber specific risks since 1998 and has more than 28 years of experience in Executive Risk FINEX coverages, specializing in large and complex transactions, both as an underwriter and broker. Sou’s career started in 1991 in the training program at Aetna Bond. She also served at Reliance National as an E&O Underwriter. Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson in 2010 and the Cyber Risk Team in 2016, Sou spent 3 years as the Senior Executive Risks broker at Beecher Carlson and prior to that 12 years with Marsh in their FINPRO Practice.

Sou is a recognized expert in the field of Cyber Risk insurance and is a frequent speaker and lecturer at Cyber Risk industry events. In 2019 Sou was recognized as a 2019 “Power Broker” in the Cyber category.

Geoffrey R. Jones

Senior Claims Attorney, Midwest Employers Casualty

Geoffrey R. Jones is a senior claims attorney with Midwest Employers Casualty. He has been with MEC for nine years and is responsible for claims/litigation consultation and oversight, nationally. His experience includes resolving high-exposure cases with multiple stakeholders, which also includes influencing and consulting with top management on important workers' compensation claim-related decisions that can greatly impact their organization. Geoff's experience and skill-set has led to significant savings for public entities and better outcomes for their injured workers.

Michael Lacroix

Medical Director, The Hartford

Michael Lacroix is a licensed psychologist and has attained Diplomate status from the American Board of Psychological Specialties. He has worked in the overlapping areas of disability and Workers’ compensation for the last 30 years, in a variety of clinical, management, program development and consulting roles. He has also done quite a bit of research over the years, and published many peer-reviewed publications and papers. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, including PRIMA.

Amy Larson

Risk and Litigation Manager, City of Bloomington, MN

Amy Larson has more than 18 years’ experience as the risk manager for the City of Bloomington, MN, including the past eight 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 currently sits on the national PRIMA Board of Directors and the Minnesota Chapter of PRIMA. She also served as the president of national PRIMA in 2017-2018 and was a member of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) Board of Directors from 2012-2017.

Michele Molinario

Partner - Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC

Michele Molinario focuses her practice in the areas of law enforcement defense, correctional defense, employment law and governmental liability. An experienced trial attorney, she has tried both state and federal jury and bench trials and administrative law hearings. For 20 years, Michele has dedicated her legal career to defending correctional institutions, and public entities and their employees, including police officers, detention officers, emergency responders, public works directors, and traffic engineers, etc. Her 14 years of experience working as a civilian at the Tempe Police Department in the Narcotics and Special Enforcement Unit has afforded her an insider’s perspective with the various training exercises related to non-lethal and lethal force incidents, hostage negotiations, K9 deployment, and tactical breaching methods, etc.

Carleen Patterson, ARM-P, CIC, CRM

Public Entity & Higher Education Practice Leader, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

Carleen Patterson is the national Public Entity and Higher Education Practice Leader at Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. She works with higher education and public entity clients across the United States providing insurance brokerage and risk management expertise. Carleen has been in the insurance industry since 1988 and joined Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. in January, 2020. 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.

Rachel Paul

Senior Attorney, Midwest Employers Casualty

Rachel Paul has more than 25 years of experience as an attorney and ALJ, handling disability determinations and defending workers’ compensation claims. She has been with Midwest Employers Casualty (MEC) for 12 years and currently provides support to the catastrophic claims unit. Prior to joining MEC, she was an assistant attorney general in Missouri, handling labor and employment cases including complex workers’ compensation claims and representation of the Second Injury Fund.

Joseph Popolizio

Partner - Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC

Joseph Popolizio maintains a diverse complex litigation practice representing public and private sector clients in the areas of governmental liability, civil rights, law enforcement and corrections defense, wrongful death, and personal injury. Representing public entities, Joe defends governmental entities, law enforcement personnel, elected officials, municipalities, and private correctional facilities in cases involving claims for civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, including wrongful death and excessive force claims in police and detention settings, as well claims for racial profiling and discriminatory policing under Title VI and 42 U.S. Code § 14141. Joe has also defended governmental clients in complex, high-profile matters involving the Department of Justice and the ACLU.

Tamika Pucket

Chief Risk Officer, City of Chicago, IL

Tamika Pucket is the first appointed chief risk officer for the City of Chicago, IL. She is responsible for implementing and managing the city’s enterprise risk management governance framework to include the implementation of policies and procedures necessary for the identification and management of organizational risks. A career risk manager, Tamika possesses over 15 years of experience managing complex, public sector enterprise risk management programs. She possesses specialized experience in the areas of risk assessments, workers’ compensation, contractual risk transfer and training programs. Tamika was recognized as a 2018 Insurance Business America Leading Risk Manager.

Lisanne Sison

Managing Director, ERM, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Lisanne Sison has over 15 years of experience providing consulting services to a broad spectrum of entities ranging from airports to universities. She is a national resource focused on providing accessible and meaningful enterprise risk management consulting support that is tailored to the needs of each individual client, and also has a background in internal audit / compliance reviews, business process improvement reviews, strategic planning facilitation and more.

Margaret Spence, RMPE

CEO, C. Douglas & Associates, Inc.

Margaret Spence is a transformational leadership development expert, keynote speaker, business strategist and champion for women in the C-Suite. Determined to create a glide path for diversity and inclusion in executive leadership, Margaret launched The Employee to CEO Project, a global initiative aimed at increasing the representation of women, with specific emphasis on minority women, in C-Level leadership roles. Her bold mission is to empower 10,000 women, over the next five years, into executive leadership and ultimately into the C-Suite. Margaret has authored three books.

Richard Spiers, CPCU, ARM, ARe, AIC

Claim Consultant, Spiers Consulting, LLC

Richard Spiers has been in the insurance industry since 1980 and has been a claim executive in the reinsurance and excess marketplace since 1985. He was with Genesis Management and Insurance Services for over 20 years. Richard 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. Richard has been developing and presenting insurance industry-related training sessions to a variety of client and industry groups for over 25 years.

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, Public Entity Practice, The PMA Companies

David Weightman is a risk control manager for PMA Companies and directs the risk control services provided to PMA’s public entity clients. David has more than 30 years of experience in the safety and risk control field and has a degree in occupational safety and health from Millersville University and an MBA from LaSalle University. He holds the Chartered 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). He has also served as a faculty member of the Insurance Society of Philadelphia, is a frequent speaker at risk management conferences and a contributor to PMA’s Organizational Safety Institute.

Virtual Registration

Registration (Rates only apply for the virtual meeting)
Member* $275
Non-Member $375

*Full-time students will receive the PRIMA member rate, with valid student ID.


Students: Students pursuing degrees in risk management or a related field are encouraged to attend PI, and the curriculum is designed to accommodate those with an educational background or professional background in risk management or a public sector-related field.

  • Students will receive the PRIMA member rate with valid and current student ID.

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.

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

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