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Sydney Stauffer's 2019 Annual Conference Student Scholar Reflection

Posted by Sydney Stauffer on July 24, 2019 at 9:46 AM


I attended the 2019 Annual PRIMA Conference in Orlando, FL, from June 9th through June 12th as a student scholar. In attending this important professional conference, I had the unique opportunity to further my public risk management education through interactive sessions and workshops, as well as networking with experts in the field. As a result, I was able to learn more about the challenges risk managers face today. 

This conference offered over 55 educational sessions focusing on numerous areas of the public risk management field; such as risk control, safety, leadership, workers’ compensation, employee benefits and human resources. As a human resources management and finance double major, I enjoyed having the opportunity to explore the different areas of risk management. My favorite session that I attended was “Workers’ Compensation: Building Relationships,” presented by Dan Hurley and Brad Wilson. This session discussed best practices while determining whether a claim qualifies for workers’ compensation. The speakers did a great job stating a problem, using real-world examples and following up with practical solutions. It was particularly important to me as a student that they gave examples and solutions because I was able to understand the subject on a deeper level.

There was a keynote speaker presentation each day at the conference. The first keynote presentation was about engaging millennials and improving retention rates within the workplace. The second discussed the importance of risk managers being aware of diversity and inclusion issues. The third included a panel of experts that spoke about a public risk management emergency that happened in their entity, what their response was, what they learned and policies currently in place to help mitigate the reoccurrence of a similar situation in the future. I enjoyed each one of these keynote presentations and valued what they all brought to the table.

PRIMA offered a lot of great chances to network directly with public risk management experts, including the PRIMA board, keynote speakers, risk and insurance consultants, attorneys and more. As a student scholar, I had access to two mentors throughout the conference. They were both experienced risk management professionals and avid conference attendees. They helped guide me with regards to which education sessions to attend and served as a resource I could go to with any questions I had. Our mentors were particularly beneficial because they knew my background and interests and were able to introduce me to other professionals that might have similar interests. This extra help really strengthened my networking experience. Everyone I met was very welcoming and shared insightful thoughts and examples about their experiences within the field.

I believe the conference theme, “Think. Share. Transform.” was accurately reflected through collaboration and learning opportunities at the conference. I was able to return from Orlando with better knowledge and understanding.

*The views and opinions expressed in the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) blogs are those of each respective author. The views and opinions do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRIMA.*