California JPIA Shares Wisdom with City Managers, Public Agency Risk Managers

Last fall, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) presented risk management best practices to elected officials and municipal staff at the California Contract Cities Association’s Virtual Fall Educational Summit, the League of California Cities’ Virtual Annual Conference & Expo, and the Municipal Management Association of Southern California’s Virtual Annual Conference. That speaking streak continued this winter, as Authority staff facilitated panels at the League of California Cities’ Virtual City Managers Conference and the Public Agency Risk Management Association’s Virtual Conference & Expo.

The California JPIA, a proud Elite Partner of the League of California Cities, presented a panel at the 2021 Virtual City Managers Conference on February 1. During the session, “Vision 2020 in Hindsight: Train Wreck or Learning Opportunity,” California JPIA Deputy Executive Officer Alex Smith led a discussion among City of Lynwood City Manager Ernie Hernandez, City of Poway Senior Management Analyst Izzy Murguia, and Alliant Insurance Services First Vice President Robert Lowe about the dynamic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on cities now and in the future.

Discussion points included changed business practices and evolving expectations for municipal services, as well as the challenges and opportunities afforded by telecommuting: “We’re in the middle of a generational shift,” said Lowe. “Some senior managers believe that employees need to be in the office every day, while the younger generation processes information the same way regardless of where in the world they are.”

The insightful conversation concluded with a question-and-answer session that addressed tax revenues and strategies for conducting remote home inspections.

California JPIA Insurance Programs Manager Jim Thyden and BakerHostetler Partner M. Scott Koller also presented a panel at “The Wild West of Risk,” the Public Agency Risk Management Association’s Virtual Conference & Expo, on February 4. During the session, “Cyber Security and Your Agency: A Growing Risk,” Thyden and Koller, a privacy and data security attorney, shared real-life tales of cyber security attacks and how agencies have responded.

“Cyber security is a growing threat to municipal agencies and to organizations worldwide,” said Thyden. “Numerous California public entities have been targeted and more will follow.”

The panelists educated risk managers in attendance of the need to be aware of the growing threat of cyber security, shared an overview of resources available to municipal agencies to defend against being targeted, and provided guidance and information about where to turn and what actions to take if targeted. The intermediate-level session also allocated time for a robust question-and-answer session to allow the audience to engage with the panelists regarding their own experiences.

“The California JPIA is proud to support the education and enrichment of municipal managers,” said Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull.

Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 40 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 120 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive training and loss control services. For more information, please visit the California JPIA’s website at