Following a 38-year career in public service—28 years with the Authority and 21 years as CEO—California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) Chief Executive Officer JonShull will retire on June 30, 2023.
“Being part of this amazing organization has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I’m proud of what we have accomplished at the Authority and of the extremely talented and committed people I work with,” said Shull. “With the Executive Committee’s guidance, we transformed the Authority from a claims management organization into a risk management organization, aiming to prevent losses rather than dealing with their consequences. Our training and risk management teams are unsurpassed in offering loss control services to our pool of 123 cities and other public agencies throughout California.”
During Shull’s tenure, the Authority transformed training from a simple member benefit to a robust curriculum, including an annual risk management educational forum, discipline-specific academies, and web-based and classroom-style training courses. The Authority also established the regional service delivery model to bring Authority risk managers closer to members, and it implemented a prospective funding approach that positioned the pool to maintain its strong financial standing and provide stability to members. In addition, Shull and Smith developed and introduced the excess liability and workers’ compensation programs and stewarded the creation of the Authority’s captive insurance company, Sequoia Pacific Reinsurance Company.
“It has been a privilege to lead this organization for the past 21 years and a pleasure to have hired every employee that comprises the Authority’s workforce. A common value among them is a passion for serving our members. While I am looking forward to a variety of activities in retirement, I will miss working with our team and my colleagues in the local government space,” said Shull.
The Authority’s Executive Committee has selected Deputy Executive Officer Alex Smith to succeed Shull as chief executive officer. Shull and Smith will work together to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
According to Shull, “Among the most important responsibilities of a chief executive officer are building a strong team that can deliver programs and services and cultivating future leaders within the organization. One principle that has guided me in my career has been creating opportunities for others to succeed. I’m proud of Alex’s passion for excellence and his success within our organization, and I am glad that the Executive Committee believes in his strength in leadership as much as I do. I have worked with Alex for 14 years, and I am confident he will continue to propel the Authority – and its members – forward.”
Introduced to the public sector while a student at California Polytechnic State University, Shull served as an administrative intern in the city administrator’s office with the City of San Luis Obispo. Immediately following graduation, he entered the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, earning his Master’s degree in public administration and concurrently serving as an intern in the mayor’s office. Shull took his first full-time position as an administrative assistant in the city manager’s office with the City of Cerritos and continued his public service as assistant to the city manager with the City of Signal Hill. Selected as assistant to the executive director of the California JPIA in February 1995, Shull was appointed as the Authority’s fifth chief executive officer on July 1, 2002.
Representing the Authority on a state and national level, Shull previously served as president of the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities (CAJPA) and the national Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP).
A well-respected presence both within the Authority and externally, Smith is broadly responsible for many aspects of the Authority’s operational activities, including finance, risk management, and training programs. Smith began his career with the Authority in March 2009 as finance director and was promoted to chief financial officer in December 2016. He was appointed to the position of deputy executive officer in 2021.
Smith serves on AGRiP’s membership practices committee and participates in AGRiP’s financial benchmarking initiative, a project aggregating data from 193 risk pools to help establish relevant, practical, and easily accessible benchmarking tools for risk pool administrators. He also serves on CAJPA’s board of directors.
“I thank Jon for his distinguished leadership and mentorship. I also thank the Executive Committee for its confidence in me as I step into this role,” said Smith. “Working with such talented colleagues is an honor and a privilege. I’m excited to have the opportunity to build upon our past success, support local government and continue developing innovative programs to serve our members.”
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 cjpia.org.