It’s Not Just Sin City. How the CPCU Society Raised the Bar on Insurance Leadership at a Recent Las Vegas Conference
Younger participants, a key focal point for the Society and the insurance industry at large, appeared to be enjoying themselves at the recent CPCU Society Leadership Summit, as the above photo attests.
Las Vegas may seem an unlikely place to learn about leadership, but risk management education thrives there better than you might think.
And this year, the CPCU Society hosted its annual Leadership Summit in person at the historic Flamingo Hotel on the Strip with two days of leadership classes and one day dedicated to volunteer leader training.
Serendipitously for sports fans, the NFL Draft was held outside the conference hotel during the same week. The excitement and energy of the crowd attending the draft events provided a charged backdrop to the three-day Leadership Summit.
Chris Hampshire, CPCU, Vice President – Carrier Practice with Gallagher Bassett and President of the CPCU Society Global Leadership Council, commented, “The energy that everyone felt throughout the event was terrific, and having the NFL Draft taking place outside our Las Vegas hotel only helped to enhance the atmosphere. One longtime CPCU Society volunteer leader who has attended a number of Leadership Summits in the past called this one “Mount Everest” in terms of content, structure, and quality of networking.”
CPCU Society leaders have set a goal to increase Society membership by 10,000 members over the next five years. To do so, they are working to communicate the leadership and talent development opportunities the Society can offer.
That effort includes meeting with insurance company leaders to strengthen their understanding of how the Society can address the insurance talent gap; making diversity and inclusion a key pillar of the Society’s philosophy, and making the most out of in-person events like the one in Las Vegas.
270 professionals registered to attend the Leadership Summit from all areas of the industry. Among that number were first-time attendees, Pathways members, longtime CPCUs, and industry leaders. The event was open to everyone and provided leadership development in an interesting, engaging format.
Spenser Villwock, Executive Director, CPCU Society, said of the Summit: “By all measures, the 2022 CPCU Society Leadership Summit was a tremendous success. Leading professionals from around the globe converged together in Las Vegas for three days of top-tier professional development and were awarded a leadership certificate upon completion of the conference. Courses in critical and timely topics were developed specifically for our attendees by Arizona State University and Society subject matter experts.”
ASU’s Thunderbird School of Management Weighs In
The CPCU Society partnered with the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University to develop and deliver leadership content. ASU has been ranked #1 Most Innovative School by U.S. News & World Report for the last six years, and its graduate programs are deemed to be among some of the best in the country.
To create a compelling and timely agenda, six classes were developed specifically for this event by ASU and CPCU Society leaders. The classes covered trending leadership topics, including emotional intelligence; persuasion and influence; inclusion and diversity for strategic results; storytelling and strategic communications; leading in today’s realities; and amplifying your impact.
Each class was taught by a professor from Thunderbird and included interactive discussions and group activities. All attendees were awarded a certificate of completion after the event and were invited to continue their education through Thunderbird.
Exciting Opening Session Created Energy
The opening session of the Leadership Summit featured an exciting new format with three CPCU Society leaders live on stage with video testimonials interspersed from various industry leaders. Spenser Villwock, Executive Director of the CPCU Society; Chris Hampshire, President of the CPCU Society Global Leadership Council; and Ramya Sunad, Leadership Council and Executive Council member, shared the stage and answered questions in an engaging and transparent format. The session focused on trending issues and a dynamic discussion with the audience.
“The Opening Session, which featured numerous industry leaders providing video responses to some of the most pressing questions in insurance today interspersed with feedback from three Society leaders, was very well received,” said Hampshire.
During the Opening Session, we were reminded again of the generosity of our members and industry. A longtime member of the CPCU Society, the Europe Chapter, and the International Insurance Interest Group, John McGlynn, CPCU, DA Minimum Standards Reporting Lead, U.K. & Lloyd’s B.U. – AXA XL, had an idea to raise money to help displaced Ukrainians fleeing war. During the Opening Session, McGlynn took the stage to lead a fundraiser that encouraged many to donate to the cause.
McGlynn explained his idea, saying, “We have all been horrified at the terrible events taking place in Ukraine which have caused so many people to flee their homes with little or nothing. The Europe Chapter has a Ukrainian member, and I also have two work colleagues who are from Ukraine and still have family there, and wondered if there was some small thing I could do to raise some funds to benefit their fellow citizens,” McGlynn said.
“I was therefore absolutely delighted that my fellow insurance and risk management professional colleagues from around the world were prepared to contribute so kindly towards the raffle of a bottle of Singleton Scottish Malt Whisky to raise funds for Ukraine Relief during the recent CPCU Society Leadership Summit,” he added.
“We raised an amount of $620.00 which my employer has also indicated they will match. Thanks are also due to Chris Hampshire, the CPCU Society President for permitting me to share the stage at the very start of the Summit to make the pitch, and Tony Cabot, the Europe Chapter President, who encouraged me to go ahead with the idea.”
Networking Continued After Hours
Along with the education opportunities offered at the Leadership Summit, plenty of opportunities for networking with new and old colleagues were provided. The conference space was inviting, and the open floorplan allowed attendees to spread out and find a space for small group networking. There was no shortage of group fun, given the many incredible restaurants and breathtaking events in Las Vegas. Comedy shows, the casinos, and the LINQ High Roller Ferris wheel just outside the conference hotel provided thrills and expansive views for after-hours networking.
The Leadership Summit combined first-time attendees with seasoned conference-goers. The Summit is open to anyone, and the leadership training applies to professionals at all levels in their careers. While many attendees are CPCUs, the open environment means everyone who attends is welcomed and encouraged to share their perspectives.
A first-time Leadership Summit attendee, Lola Agosu, CPCU, MBA, Senior Account Manager at Amica Insurance, described her experience at the Summit: “This was my first time attending the CPCU Leadership Summit. I have attended various leadership seminars, and I am glad to say this Summit exceeded my expectations. My first observation was the friendly atmosphere and synergy we all created. Meeting and networking with other people from various chapters made me feel like a part of something great,” she said.
“I also enjoyed the leadership sessions and was excited to share my takeaways with the leadership team in my office. I am also grateful for the support I received from my company to attend the leadership summit and certainly hope to attend the next Leadership Summit in the future.”
In2Risk is the Next CPCU Society Event
The CPCU Society will host its annual In2Risk event in San Francisco on November 10-12. In2Risk is open to everyone, and registration begins in June.
“We look forward to carrying this momentum forward into our 2022 In2Risk Conference in San Francisco this November,” Hampshire said.