The Kansas State University Center for Risk Management Education and Research traveled to Washington, DC this May with a group of 29 Student Fellows. Our itinerary was packed with a diverse group of risk managers who shared their time and extensive industry expertise. We left DC full of new knowledge about how successful organizations identify and manage risk.
The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers
We started our trip at the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers with a presentation from Alycia Kiley, Senior Vice President of Membership for the Council. Alycia shared an overview of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers and discussed how there is a lot going on in the insurance space, as risk evolves how companies cover and manage risk changes. Alycia closed with a very important message, “you can keep pace or you can set it.” The Student Fellows thank Alycia and the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers for hosting our group at their DC office.
Miguel Tavera with Risk Cooperative spoke about how data capture and processing has evolved with technology and the need for companies, especially those in the insurance industry, to adapt with this evolution. In doing so companies will be better suited to serve their customers. Miguel went on to state that Blockchain may be a technology that companies might find useful as they update their data capture and processing. Another item Miguel spoke about is how Risk Cooperative has developed insurance solutions to minimize risk that immigrants face when sending remittances back to their families in other countries. When it came to a close Miguel left us with the following advice; be innovators and do not be afraid to voice ideas that you have.
CRMER Student Fellows were very excited to meet with Forensic Accountant Rashi Khangura and Special Agent Sylvia Hilgeman of the FBI Counter-terrorism Division. They put the catchphrase, “Follow the money” to work everyday. One of the big takeaways from our conversation was how small amounts of money has led to large amounts of devastation in previous attacks. In today’s fast paced and changing world, their job of finding clues and preventing attacks has become more difficult and they are continually adapting to stay ahead of the modern day evils. We had a very stimulating conversation with Rashi and Sylvia and are glad they took time to visit with us.
Booz Allen Hamilton
Chris Kellenbarger, fellow K-Stater and Senior Strategy Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton gave great advice on both cyberattacks and our time remaining at K-State. Chris mentioned that 80% of cyberattacks happen from phishing and attackers focus major company attacks towards the supply chain. A few suggestions he made for our remaining time at K-state was to rely on the various advisors we have, be open to critical feedback, and learn how to tell a story through a presentation.
The CRMER Fellows visited with two representatives from National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA). Randy Gordon, President, and Max Fisher, Director of Economics and Government Relations, shared with fellows the work and mission of NGFA as well as how risk management plays a big role in their work alongside policy makers. They explained to Fellows their most recent crisis where incorrect verbiage in the Dodd-Frank Act would have negatively affected grain cooperatives. They worked alongside legislatures and their cooperative members to achieve rewording of the legislation that would favor their patrons. It was evident that NGFA is not only committed to serving their cooperative members, but also the K-State Center for Risk Management Education and Research. NGFA hosted a networking reception for all K-State alums in the D.C area and CRMER fellows On Tuesday, May 15th at their corporate offices in Arlington, VA.
Michael Torrey Associates
We wrapped up our first day with a presentation from Michael Torrey, a fellow K-Stater and Principal for Michael Torrey Associates. Michael talked to our group about how he has successfully lobbied for food and agricultural companies for over ten years. Michael gave us great insights on CIRB, or the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, and the impact that the group has on protecting farmers. Even more interesting may have been Michael’s story of his own success. Michael was very sure to elaborate on the risk he took later in his life in starting Michael Torrey and Associates and learning about how Michael has accomplished so much was extremely insightful for everyone in CRMER. We thank Michael for his time and support of the K-State Center for Risk Management Education and Research.
Congressman Roger Marshall, Dalton Henry and Paul Balzano
The start of our second morning was spent in the Longworth House Office Building with Dalton Henry, the Legislative Director for Congressman Roger Marshall. Henry, a K-State alum spoke about his job with the Congressman and how K-State prepared him to succeed in Washington D.C. We also had the opportunity to chat with Congressman Marshall and he shared about the many experiences that he has had with managing risk whether it was as a doctor, a hospital board member, a bank owner or even as a Congressman. He expressed that no matter how many jobs or career paths you follow, you can always learn so much from each one. We also heard from Paul Balzano, a member of the House Agriculture Committee Staff, who spoke about various pieces of his job – with a key takeaway of thinking about how you regulate a commodity on a global scale, and how blockchain technology may be able to help. Along with the great speakers, it was awesome to see the House Ag Committee hearing room and spend time in a place that holds so much history.
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
At the CFTC we experienced an afternoon filled with learning and fun experiences throughout the commission’s facilities in Washington, DC. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission works to avoid systemic risk and protect market users. We were educated about the interaction between the CFTC and their customers, and how they can protect themselves against fraud and other violations. Also, we learned what are the main sources of fraud and who is more likely to be affected by them… a different answer from the one we were expecting! While visiting the CFTC’s facilities we saw how decision making is done and the factors that influence market risk. The CFTC has evolved along with the digital transformation of capital, markets, and the entire landscape. The very friendly staff welcomed our group with excitement in a quick journey through how the CFTC operates every day. In addition to hearing from an impressive lineup of speakers from the CFTC, we also had the special treat of meeting and listening to CFTC Chairman, J. Christopher Giancarlo. The Student Fellows are thankful for the great afternoon at the CFTC!
We ended our trip with a networking reception for K-State DC area alumni and friends of the Center for Risk Management Education and Research. It was exciting to socialize with successful K-Stater’s and risk managers working in the DC area. Thank you to everyone who attended and provided us with excellent career and personal advice! A very special thank you to CRMER Advisory Council Member Todd Kemp, Senior VP of Marketing and Treasurer for NGFA for organizing the event and the National Grain and Feed Association for hosting our group at their office. We look forward to starting our summer internships and returning to K-State in August for another eventful year in the Center for Risk Management Education and Research.
Special thanks to sponsors who helped make this trip a success!