ACWA JPIA Spring Conference Held in Monterey

The view of Monterey Bay from the Spring Conference location, the Monterey Marriott

On May 8 & 9, 2023, ACWA JPIA staff and JPIA Directors traveled to Monterey, California to engage in important meetings, informative seminars, and memorable celebrations. A summary of the conference’s meetings and events is below. Please contact with any questions or material requests from the conference.

Workers’ Compensation Meeting

The first day of ACWA JPIA’s 2023 Spring Conference commenced with the Workers’ Compensation Committee meeting. The JPIA’s new Workers’ Compensation Claims Manager, Erin Bowles, was introduced. Erin Bowles has over 27 years of experience in various positions and has a proven track record of success in processing, interviewing, and investigating claims. Erin will bring exceptional knowledge to the JPIA and the Workers’ Compensation department. Other topics discussed during the meeting included recent claim history, and favorable trends that suggested progress in the pool. Finally, the Workers’ Compensation Claims Audit results, conducted in November 2022, were shared: The audit results generated a 98.1% score. A well-deserved, positive testament to the Workers’ Claims department!

Spring 2023 Conference attendees receive an update on Cyber Risk Management resources

Executive Committee Meeting

Next on May 8th, the Executive Committee meeting was held. ACWA JPIA’s new Director of Member Outreach, Kevin Phillips, was introduced. Kevin is a water industry veteran with 15 years of experience working closely with Paradise Irrigation District. He also has previous involvement with ACWA JPIA’s Finance Committee. His well-rounded skills include team-building abilities, improving processes, reducing safety risks, communications strategy, and more. Finally, the Executive Committee approved the membership of Olivenhain Municipal Water District for the Liability and Property programs after a favorable opinion was developed about the staff and operations of OMWD.

ACWA JPIA leadership explains the voting procedures for the Executive Committee election during the Spring Board Meeting

Spring 2023 Board of Directors Meeting

The Board of Directors meeting was also held on May 8, 2023, and featured the Executive Committee election. Prior to the election, the Board approved JPIA’s Audited Financial Statements for the year ending September 30, 2022. In addition, Assistant Executive Officer, Adrienne Beatty discussed the Rate Stabilization Fund Process in detail. Finally, updates were given on the 2022 Audit and Financial Report and Pooled Program highlights, including rate increases and total members for each program.

Executive Committee election candidates and JPIA Directors await the start of the candidate speeches

Executive Committee Election

The Executive Committee Election during the Spring Board meeting filled four vacant seats. There were 12 nominated candidates who completed the pre-candidacy qualifications and addressed the Board of Directors describing their experienced backgrounds for two minutes. The JPIA would like to thank all candidates for their commitment to JPIA, and thank outgoing Executive Committee member, Fred R. Bockmiller, for his dedicated years of service.

Once votes were cast and the votes counted, three new representatives and one incumbent were elected to the Executive Committee:

Dinner Celebrating the Retirement of ACWA JPIA CEO Walter “Andy” Sells

The evening of May 8 concluded with a dinner to celebrate ACWA JPIA’s CEO, Walter “Andy” Sells, and his upcoming retirement. Andy will complete 33 years of service by his retirement in September 2023. With the help of generous sponsorships, guests enjoyed a beautiful view of Monterey at the Monterey Marriott. It was a memorable evening in which attendees reminisced about the leadership, devotion, and innovation Andy encouraged during his years at ACWA JPIA. Huge thanks to the dinner sponsors:

From left: Adrienne Beatty, JPIA Assistant Executive Officer; Scott Klososky, Tech Entrepreneur; Tom Sher, Alliant Insurance Services Vice President; Andy Sells, JPIA Chief Executive Officer

Seminar I: Leadership, Digital Strategy, and Technology Risk

On Tuesday, ACWA JPIA hosted two seminars and a training session. The first seminar, “Leadership, Digital Strategy, and Technology Risk”, by tech entrepreneur Scott Klososky, discussed the ever-changing technology era and how to strategically plan for a digital future. Scott provided in-depth knowledge about creating a digital strategy. He encouraged organization leaders to utilize technology to improve the skill set of their employees. As AI comes to the forefront of technology discussions, this was a timely presentation for JPIA members.

Seminar II: Help Your Employees Navigate the Path to Better Health

The second seminar, “Help Your Employees Navigate the Path to Better Health”, presented by Tom Sher, Senior Vice President from Alliant Insurance Services Inc., discussed navigating the complexity of the healthcare system. Tom highlighted the importance of educating employees about their healthcare options ensuring crucial care is provided before, during, and after a life-altering diagnosis. Tom shared how to alleviate stressful decisions and provided insight on reducing treatment costs for cancer, mental health, and fertility/family planning.

JPIA General Counsel Robert Greenfield conducts Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

In the afternoon, JPIA’s General Counsel, Robert Greenfield delivered the “Sexual Harassment Prevention for Board Members & Managers” training course. With constant changes in the world and work environment, sexual harassment prevention is more important than ever. Robert encouraged participation during the session and highlighted acceptable workplace behavior, consideration for new protected classes, and understanding of California and federal laws.

The JPIA would like to thank all attendees of the 2023 Spring Conference for their participation. Both the JPIA conference and ACWA conference enjoyed the largest conference attendance since prior to 2020! It was a great representation of member agencies from throughout the state & allowed for several days of productive engagement among California water industry professionals.

Written by: Laura Baryak, Administrative Assistant II & Molly Quirk, Communications & Outreach Specialist

Photos by: Molly Quirk