In2Risk21 Convened in Orlando. Here’s What CPCU Designation Holders Said About It
For the first time in two years, the CPCU Society’s annual conference and conferment for new designees, called In2Risk21, took place in Orlando, FL, September 23-25, at Disney’s Coronado Springs.
The event was hybrid, with live and virtual attendees coming together to learn and network.
Five hundred eighty-nine insurance and risk management professionals attended the event in person, with another 198 registering for the virtual experience. Two hundred twenty-two new designees from the society’s classes of 2020 and 2021 participated in the hybrid In2Risk21 experience.
President of The Institutes, Peter Miller, noted, “In2Risk 2021 continued a long line of great annual meetings and seminars for the CPCU Society. CPCUs represent the most knowledgeable leaders in the risk and insurance industry.”
A combination of educational sessions, celebrations for new CPCU designees, and networking fun made In2Risk an attractive draw. There were three general keynote sessions and 21 breakout sessions.
All three keynotes were live streamed for virtual attendees, along with replays of seven of the breakout sessions.
Sharon Koches, CPCU, 2021 president and chair, CPCU society leadership council and ex-officio member of the board of trustees of The Institutes, led the meeting with energy and grace.
She commented, “In such a challenging year, I am inspired by the passion, motivation and engagement of our members, new designees and volunteer leaders. Being able to spend time with so many bright, passionate and engaged individuals at In2Risk, The Institutes’ CPCU Society Annual Conference provided an opportunity to make new friends, catch up with old friends, refresh, recharge and reinvigorate.”
Find Your Inspiration
The theme of In2Risk21 was Find Your Inspiration, and the three keynote speakers delivered on this promise.
Carla Harris, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley, inspired the audience by talking about creating a powerful presence and sharing your authentic self. Harris’s voice and stage presence are as impressive as her business acumen. A gospel recording artist and best-selling author, she shares all of herself with the audience, inspiring listeners to dare to be their authentic selves in the boardroom, and in life.
Music continued to be a theme of the general keynote sessions when dueling pianist and ex-insurance producer Gregory Offner took the stage on day two of the event.
Talking about “eureka” moments and disruption, Gregory inspired the audience by sharing his personal story of lessons on disruption and change. Music from Elton John to Shaggy lent energy and excitement to the session.
The final keynote session at In2Risk was entertaining and insightful. Matthew Luhn, a former 20-year Pixar veteran, talked about how big data creates compelling stories, an interesting parallel to the risk and insurance world.
Luhn’s relatability to the audience was key — most audience members recalled movies like Up, Toy Story, and Inside Out and the emotions they felt during those films, which made his keynote session particularly memorable. The lessons he taught about making connections with people resonated through the crowd of insurance and risk professionals.
Elaine George, CPCU, longtime CPCU Society member and leader, commented, “In2Risk 2021 was rewarding on many levels. It was wonderful to see my friends again and network with some of the brightest and best people in the industry.”
Hosting a Hybrid Event Brings New Challenges
Bringing people together in any organized way brings new challenges since the pandemic changed our world.
For many attendees, In2Risk was their first in-person business conference since pre-COVID. Conference organizers provided a colored sticker system for badges so everyone could easily see your comfort level when around other people — green stickers meant you’re good with hugs and handshakes; yellow stickers indicated elbow or fist bumps were ok; red stickers asked for distance to be maintained.
“It was terrific seeing many old friends and meeting new ones at the in-person In2Risk Conference. I consider the event to be a tremendous success under trying circumstances,” said Chris Hampshire, CPCU, vice president, carrier practice with Gallagher Bassett and president-elect of the CPCU Society Leadership Council.
“The keynote speakers were outstanding, the educational sessions were diverse in subject matter and enlightening, and the networking opportunities were plentiful. It’s been a challenging period of time for conference planning. This event was a great reintroduction to in-person learning and relationship development.”
Safely hosting industry professionals was a priority for both the CPCU Society and the conference host, Disney. Mask usage in all indoor spaces was strictly enforced, and Disney staff followed their own safety protocols in hotel rooms and restaurants.
Attendees were required to have a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the conference, and Disney required its own waiver of liability.
“IN2Risk 2021 was a tremendous success by all accounts. Hundreds of leading industry professionals came from across the globe to safely meet and advance further along their paths. We tackled some of the most pressing and emerging challenges within our world over the course of the week,” said Spenser Villwock, Executive Director, CPCU Society.
“All attendees walked away with innovative solutions and tremendous insights to propel their work forward. I simply cannot wait to be back with this amazing community of professionals with the IN2Risk 2022 in San Francisco!”
Industry Designations Help in Many Ways
A new designee attending for the first time, Jermaine Washington, Jr., CPCU, underwriting assistant-specialty casualty at TREAN Corporation, praised his new designation, saying, “The educational resources, networking opportunities, and professional development available to aspiring CPCUs are profound. For those inspired by credibility, career advancement, or personal maturation, the CPCU Designation is a marvelous ambition that I highly recommend.”
One highlight of In2Risk is the networking events hosted by the CPCU Society, member companies, and affinity groups.
New designees are always welcomed by veteran CPCUs and included in the after-hours fun, where much of the networking and business is done. CPCU members can volunteer for leadership roles, share their knowledge through webinars, and be published in the quarterly publication, Insights.
Keyson Dingle, CPCU, a CPCU Class of 2020 Spokesperson and board member of the International Insurance Interest Group, has taken full advantage of the resources and networking opportunities available by being a CPCU Society member.
“It was amazing to see everyone come together again! To see how many new designees we had come out definitely shows that the CPCU Society is growing. I’m happy to be a leader in this industry as we all grow together to help the common good of society,” Dingle said.
Join In2Risk in 2022!
Next year’s event will be held November 10-12 in San Francisco, an exciting opportunity to learn about trends shaping the risk and insurance industry and network with leading professionals.
Koches concluded, “(In2Risk) was an opportunity to hear about individual journeys and personally engage with our members, as well as gain knowledge by attending sessions led by our thought leaders. Thank you for joining us and I look forward to seeing you next year at In2Risk, San Francisco. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.”
Miller added, “Participants this year demonstrated their ongoing commitment to professionalism by continuing the life-long commitment to knowledge and ethics. I very much look forward to continuing the journey at the 2022 In2Risk in San Francisco next year.” &