The 2016-17 class of Student Fellows went on the Center’s first ever trip to Washington DC this past May. The Fellows spent two days packed full of discussions and visits with various professionals working in risk management related fields in the DC area.
The Student Fellows would like to thank Jon Hixson & Cargill, Gregg Doud & CMC, as well as Todd Kemp & the National Grain and Feed Association for helping sponsor portions of this trip! We also would like to thank Colin Woodall and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for their hospitality both Monday and Tuesday.
Monday’s events focused on a wide variety of risk philosophies, applied strategies, and real risks the world is currently facing. Below are highlights about each guest speaker.
Colin Woodall, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association spoke about the issues impacting the cattle industry, many of which Woodall commented, are the same issues NCBA has been managing since its initiation back in 1898. The Student Fellows were interested in hearing how much research and outreach the NCBA invests in in order to educate its members and manage the risks associated with the cattle industry.
Andres Franzetti, Chief Strategy Officer at The Risk Cooperative discussed with Student Fellows the shift from risk management as a way to prevent a loss into risk management as a means for opportunity and growth. Andres shared how with this philosophy, the Risk Cooperative is able to approach a risk management structure that is not off the shelf, but can work with a creative approach that makes sense and can still have success. Student Fellows were highly engaged in Franzetti’s insight about taking proactive measures to move risk from a cost to a catalyst.
Alex Manning, Senior Government Relations Director at Arent Fox spent his time with the Student Fellows discussing cyber security and cyber risk. Manning examined the issues regarding privacy versus security, specifically what does the government have the right and duty to protect. Student Fellows appreciated Manning’s advice on monitoring web security and how to be tactical in preventing security and data breaches.
Dave McIndoe, Partner at Sutherland spoke to the Student Fellows about his experience with advising clients on various trading transactions. Specific topics that McIndoe covered with the Fellows included the topic of reputational risk, as McIndoe commented, these forms of risk cannot be solved with dollars. Student Fellows appreciated McIndoe’s thoughts on trading, including how bad trading is expensive and when trading, you should always have accurate information.
Gregg Doud, President of the Commodities Market Council discussed with Student Fellows how CMC advocates for industries involved in areas including agriculture, energy and finance. The Student Fellows were fascinated in Doud’s wealth of knowledge in risk management and how it can be applied to the global market.
Tuesday’s events covered a lot of legislation and how professionals in or involved with the government use risk management to help make educated and appropriate decisions.
Todd Kemp, Vice President of Marketing and Treasurer at the National Grain and Feed Association, and Advisory Council Member of the K-State Center for Risk Management spoke to the Student Fellows about an overview of the NGFA. Student Fellows were captivated in hearing about how the implementation of the Dodd Frank Act and other regulations continue to affect the market. Kemp discussed services and polices that the NGFA is currently working on in advocating for growth in agriculture.
Michael Torrey, Principal and Founder of Michael Torrey Associates introduced students to lobbying and how lobbying intersects with risk management. Torrey addressed the stigma often associated with lobbyists by clarifying that lobbyists are solely advocating on behalf of what they believe in. Student Fellows were interested in hearing the details of effective lobbyists, especially the most significant aspect when advocating on behalf of an issue is knowing all the associated factors. Torrey shared several stories about the lessons he’s learned throughout his career, the most important word of advice he shared with the Student Fellows was be nice to everybody.
Senator Roberts, United States Senator for Kansas and Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry welcomed the Student Fellows into his office on Capitol Hill. Senator Roberts discussed the present issues the Senate Agriculture Committee is currently involved in. Student Fellows were very thankful for the time Senator Roberts took to meet the Fellows and take a few pictures with us.
Janae Brady, Wayne Stoskopf, Will Stafford, Anthony Seiler, and Matt Erickson- Following the visit with Senator Roberts, the Student Fellows met with several of Roberts’ staffers. Brady, Stoskopf, Stafford, Seiler, and Erickson met with the Students in the Russell Hearing room where they explained the basics of the hearings Senator Roberts and his staff are involved in. The Student Fellows were most excited about hearing from the staffers what exactly their jobs entail. Everyone agreed that they enjoy working for Senator Roberts and the causes he and his staff support. The Student Fellows were intrigued by the vital roles all play behind the scenes that allow them to have a greater impact on the agriculture industry.
Hannah Ropp, Surveillance Analyst at the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission- Student Fellows completed their trip in DC with a visit with Hannah Ropp, Surveillance Analyst at the CFTC. After already hearing from a majority of supporters of free and fair trade, there was a dynamic shift for the Fellows to hear from Ropp who works for the CFTC, responsible for regulating the markets. Ropp addressed the stigma with regulation, telling the Fellows, the CFTC is most interested in keeping the markets safe and fair, otherwise no one would want to trade. Ropp discussed how much of her job involves surveying large amounts of data, looking for patterns and trends. Student Fellows were really interested in hearing about Ropp’s experience in market regulation and were curious about Ropp’s career aspirations.
The Student Fellows had a wonderful time in DC, we learned a great deal about innovative risk management strategies and we returned to K-State full of new ways of thinking about risk management and how it is applied to real world issues. Thank you again to all of our guest speakers, we really appreciated your time and thoughts that you shared with us!