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Fall Conference 2010 Edition
 October 5, 2010 
In This Issue
President's Letter
Fall Conference a Whopping Success!
Two Keynote Speakers Provide Valuable Suggestions
President's Letter 
Janet Selby photo
By Janet Selby, Workers' Comp Manager, Municipal Pooling Authority (MPA)

Wow! That sums up my thoughts about iPool, this year's CAJPA Fall Conference.  Wonderful sessions, memorable keynote and lunch speakers, great social events, valuable exhibits and plenty of networking with remarkable people - we really could not have asked for more.  The technology theme was brilliant, and a big round of applause goes to the CAJPA Technology Committee for embracing the concept and orchestrating many of the sessions.


I have been involved in CAJPA conference planning for many years.  One of the most extraordinary things time and again is the seemingly unlimited energy and spirit of all the folks that come together to make this conference turn out so well.  This year in particular, despite burdensome economic times, people gave generously of their time, talent and resources because it matters.  Our conference makes a difference in the risk pooling community.  The educational combination of experienced pool managers and business partners that specialize in public risk and insurance is powerful.  Conference attendees can count on leaving with a deeper understanding, more confidence and practical ideas for improving their programs and services.  The collective result is to elevate and strengthen the effectiveness of the entire risk pool community.  And the unique thing is that these ideas come from a variety of sources - peers, speakers, dinner companions - and sometimes in unexpected settings.  Who knew you could solve so many problems over spring rolls at the Hard Rock Cafe? 


There are far too many people to thank in this small space, but I would like to acknowledge a few of the outstanding individuals and groups that made this conference a success:  Beth Lyons (chair) and our tireless Conference Committee; the innovative Jenifer McDonald and her team who consistently deliver fabulous events; our member business partners whose support is so valuable to CAJPA; all of the terrific session and keynote speakers; and last but not least, all of the pool members and staff who attended the conference.  You contributed to the success of the conference by taking the time to be there and be part of the professional development mission of CAJPA.  We hope you found it worthwhile and enjoyable, and that you share your feedback to make future conferences even better.


CAJPA'S 2010 Fall Conference Hailed as a Whopping Success

The multi-faceted 2010 CAJPA Fall Conference and Training Seminar at Lake Tahoe is being hailed as a whopping success by the nearly 1,000 attendees who were treated to a broad array of insightful speakers, a valuable health fair and informative trade show.

The event -- conducted Sept. 7-10 at two South Lake Tahoe venues -- also featured 33 separate breakout discussions designed to assist CAJPA members in all aspects of their professional duties.

Moderated by experts, the breakout panel topics included "Workers' Comp: Thinking Outside the Box" and "Harassment: Is your Agency Protected?" Another panel was entitled, "Tip Toe Through the Tulips: A Panel Discussion Regarding Roles and Responsibilities of JPAs and Their Members."

Other panelists focused on the role and impact of electronic technology. For instance, Jennifer Okimoto of IBM Corp. led the discussion of "Leveraging Integrated Technology to Improve Your Program." She pointed out the advantages (such as cost savings) and potential problems (lack of employee bonding) associated with employees working remotely.

In a separate discussion on "Leveraging Integrated Technology to Improve Your Program," CAJPA members were encouraged, as a way to reduce costs, to review their claims and determine where utilization review is being used most efficiently.


Another panel which drew one of the largest audiences focused on the new federal health care program and what the association's members should do now and in the future as different elements of the reforms are implemented over time.


This year's Conference and Training Seminar also featured a large exhibition hall with 83 vendors and a continual flow of visitors from the event. The trade show was considered a valuable element of CAJPA's event by both exhibitors and attendees.


"This is a great networking opportunity," said John Chaquica, president of George Hills Company. "It gives us an opportunity to connect with our clients, prospective clients and peers." George Hills Company, among other things, provides liability and property TPA services.


Chaquica's comments were echoed by other exhibitors. Mike Simmons, vice chairman of Alliant Insurance Services Inc., said that one of the things that makes CAJPA's event special is the association's use of the exhibit hall for such things as receptions.


Ned Connolly, senior vice president, client services of Chandler Asset Management, said, "We feel this event is one of the best conferences we go to. It's always a positive environment."


For the second time, the Fall Conference and Training Seminar also included a Health Fair, which was well attended by CAJPA members. The fair included information on healthy lifestyle choices and flu shots, for those who wished to have them.

Conference Features Two Speakers, Both Provide Valuable Suggestions

The 2010 CAJPA Fall Conference and Training Seminar at Lake Tahoe featured two speakers who provided the general membership with valuable suggestions on two varied subjects: California's political paralysis and ways to avoid "Death by PowerPoint."

Sacramento Bee political columnist Dan Walters provided the keynote luncheon address to nearly 600 attendees. Walters is considered the top political writer in the state and his insightful columns appear in more than 50 publications.


The opening session speaker was Don McMillan, who made an unusual shift from a successful electrical engineering career to an equally successful career in comedy. He performs regularly on television, including The Tonight Show.

At the CAJPA seminar, McMillan wrapped a poignant message in pertinent, laugh-out-loud humor. On the serious side, he provided statistics that show how PowerPoint is used to excess both in the number of presentations and in slide content.

For instance, he said that presenters far too frequently read word-for-word what is on the slide in front of them and the audience. At the same time, slides often provide audiences with an overabundance of charts and statistical data that tend to be too complicated and convoluted to be decipherable.

Sprinkled among McMillan's serious points were such witticisms as: "A pool executive is another name for a lifeguard" and "going paperless is the only option when the bathroom is out of tissue." Tort, he added, is a lawyer's favorite dessert."

Later in the seminar, columnist Walters shifted the focus to California's dysfunctional state government. He emphasized from the outset that there is no great plan in place for the state. Rather, it's "catch as catch can." He stressed that legislators are incapable of dealing with problems on a long-range basis, leaving the state with a "chronic structural deficit," such as unresolved, multi-billion dollar budget deficits, horrible traffic congestion and a highway system in desperate need of repairs.

If there is a silver lining, Walters added, this morass may ultimately force state officials who "continue to live in a fantasy world" to finally "get real and grow up" and deal with the pressing, unresolved problems that are adversely affecting millions of Californians every day.

The Journal is a publication of the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities, a non-profit trade association formed in 1981 to serve as a communication and educational resource to California Joint Powers Authorities.

Jan DeGracia, Executive Director, North Bay Schools Insurance Authority

Association Manager: 
Jenifer A. McDonald
California Association of Joint Powers Authorities (CAJPA)
P.O. Box 255431 Sacramento, CA  95865-5431
Phone: (916) 485-5875
Scenes from the Fall Conference
CLICK HERE to view photos!

2010 Fall Conference


The CAJPA Fall Conference was held September 7-10, 2010 in South Lake Tahoe. 

Thank you to our sponsors!
We could not present this conference without the generous support of our sponsors.



2010 Fall Conference Exhibitors

Acclamation Insurance Management Services, Inc. (AIMS)

Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

American Fidelity Assurance Company