URMIA Matters

Get Involved with Volunteering

January 10, 2024 Guest Host: Sandy Mitchell with guests Amanda Franklin and Elliot Young Season 5 Episode 4
Get Involved with Volunteering
URMIA Matters
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URMIA Matters
Get Involved with Volunteering
Jan 10, 2024 Season 5 Episode 4
Guest Host: Sandy Mitchell with guests Amanda Franklin and Elliot Young

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URMIA Matters Podcast

Season 5, Episode 4: 

Guest Host: Sandy Mitchell with guests Amanda Franklin and Elliot Young

In this episode of URMIA Matters, Sandy Mitchell, URMIA’s president-elect and Director of Insurance at MIT, interviews Amanda Franklin, Director of Risk Management at Wheaton College, and Elliot Young, Assistant Vice President and University Risk and Compliance Officer at Kansas State University, about their extensive experience volunteering with URMIA. Amanda shares her involvement in volunteering for strategic goal task forces, newcomer welcomes sessions at the annual conference, quarterly colleague connections for new URMIA members, and moderating opportunities at various URMIA conferences. Elliot discusses his participation in volunteering at the welcome desk at the annual conference, being a welcome mentor for new conference attendees, co-chairing the Compliance Community, and a variety of speaking opportunities as well. Sandy, Amanda, and Elliot touch on the importance of volunteerism with URMIA and how there is surely an opportunity that fits the commitment and bandwidth needs of all members. If you’ve wanted to learn how to get more involved with URMIA, this is the episode for you!

Connect with URMIA & URMIA with your network
-Share /Tag in Social Media @urmianetwork
-Not a member? Join ->www.urmia.org/join
-Email | contactus@urmia.org

Give URMIA Matters a boost:
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-Share the podcast - click that button!
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Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

URMIA Matters Podcast

Season 5, Episode 4: 

Guest Host: Sandy Mitchell with guests Amanda Franklin and Elliot Young

In this episode of URMIA Matters, Sandy Mitchell, URMIA’s president-elect and Director of Insurance at MIT, interviews Amanda Franklin, Director of Risk Management at Wheaton College, and Elliot Young, Assistant Vice President and University Risk and Compliance Officer at Kansas State University, about their extensive experience volunteering with URMIA. Amanda shares her involvement in volunteering for strategic goal task forces, newcomer welcomes sessions at the annual conference, quarterly colleague connections for new URMIA members, and moderating opportunities at various URMIA conferences. Elliot discusses his participation in volunteering at the welcome desk at the annual conference, being a welcome mentor for new conference attendees, co-chairing the Compliance Community, and a variety of speaking opportunities as well. Sandy, Amanda, and Elliot touch on the importance of volunteerism with URMIA and how there is surely an opportunity that fits the commitment and bandwidth needs of all members. If you’ve wanted to learn how to get more involved with URMIA, this is the episode for you!

Connect with URMIA & URMIA with your network
-Share /Tag in Social Media @urmianetwork
-Not a member? Join ->www.urmia.org/join
-Email | contactus@urmia.org

Give URMIA Matters a boost:
-Give the podcast a 5 star rating
-Share the podcast - click that button!
-Follow on your podcast platform - don't miss an episode!

Thanks for listening to URMIA Matters!


Show Notes
URMIA Call for Volunteers


Guests
Amanda Franklin, Director of Risk Management- Wheaton College

Elliot Young, Assistant Vice President and University Risk and Compliance Officer- Kansas State University

Guest Host
Sandy Mitchell, Director of Insurance- MIT


Transcript
Sandy Mitchell:
Hi there and welcome to URMIA Matters. Today we're going to talk about volunteering for URMIA, one of my favorite topics. I'm Sandy Mitchell. I'm the Director of Insurance at MIT and URMIA's president-elect. And we have two volunteer superstars on the call today. We've got Amanda Franklin and Elliot Young, and I'm going to let them introduce themselves. So we're going to start with Amanda.

Amanda Franklin: I'm Amanda Franklin. I'm the Director of Risk Management at Wheaton College in suburban Chicago, Illinois, and I've been in this role for just over 3 years and a member of URMIA since day one.

Sandy Mitchell: And Elliot.

Elliot Young: Hey, everyone I'm Elliot Young. I'm an Assistant Vice President and University Risk and Compliance Officer at Kansas State University. I’ve been in my role here for about four years now, and I've been a member of URMIA going back to 2016. 

Sandy Mitchell: Where were you in 2016 that you were a member?

Elliot Young: So when I started in risk management, specifically higher ed risk management, I was a risk specialist at Cornell University for just under four years before coming to Kansas State.

Sandy Mitchell: Okay, great. Thank you. So as most people know, URMIA is run, you know, by a large contingent of volunteers. We have a very small staff at the home office, which I believe it's five full-time and two part-time now. And so we really do have to rely on our volunteers to get a lot of staff. Although I must say the, the home office takes on more and more each year and they're the true superstars here. So, let's get this discussion going. You know, I'm going to ask the question and then we'll alternate who goes first. We're going to start with Elliot on this one. So why did you get involved with URMIA? And then the second follow-up to that is what was your first volunteer activity?

Elliot Young: Yeah, thanks Sandy. So, I got involved with URMIA because I was pretty new in risk management and specifically higher ed risk management. And I knew that I had a lot to learn. I learned about URMIA. I explored some of the resources that were available, and started to see that there was a whole wealth of knowledge and great networking opportunities to get to know people within the industry. And I just jumped in and started to, you know, kind of drink from the fire hose, try to get as much information as I possibly could about higher risk management. I attended my 1st conference in 2017. That was an amazing experience. I quickly learned that this is a very supportive and welcoming community.

And I decided that in 2018, I wanted to start volunteering in whichever way I could. So the very 1st volunteer activities that I did were at the URMIA national conference 2018 in Salt Lake City. And I volunteered as a conference check in, welcome person. And I did the URMIA Cares opportunity there to give back to the local community. So since then, I've, you know, expanded my role in volunteering for URMIA, but that's how I got started.

Sandy Mitchell: Okay, Amanda.

Amanda Franklin: So, similar to Elliot, I was familiar with URMIA. I worked on the broker side before I came to Wheaton and so I was familiar with it, but hadn't had an opportunity to be a member. And so then, when I took this job and was in the middle of the pandemic and so wanted to get as much information as I could. So, joined URMIA and the virtual annual conference was starting my second day on the job. And so, immediately signed up, went to that, and started getting a lot of information. And then just really felt welcomed from that. And then even more so when I attended my first in person annual conference. Just loved the community from that. And just when I find a group that I really enjoy, then my personality is I want to get involved with it and get invested in it. And so volunteering was a great way to do that. And so my first volunteer activity, I believe, was serving on the Strategic Goal 4 task force for diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and specifically with doing the be the change scholarships. DEI is something that I'm passionate about, and so was really excited that URMIA was taking leadership steps in that area and wanted to be a part of it, and it was a small group. And so it really gave me an opportunity to feel like I was making a difference. My voice was heard on something that was really important. And so, started that and then have just added more and more things ever since that.

Sandy Mitchell: Well, that's awesome. Elliot, I think my first volunteer activity was also at the registration desk. 10 years later, I always try and volunteer for at least one thing because it's one of my favorite things is sort of seeing people come in. It's like being at camp and you know, you're seeing all your friends that you haven't seen in over a year. So, that's sort of what I started out. All right. So that's where you guys started out. That's where I started out. What have you been involved with since? Cause I see you guys all over URMIA emails and things like that. So, what are you doing? You know, what have you added to your portfolio so to speak? Amanda?

Amanda Franklin: So after I started with strategic goal four, I've been started doing the newcomer session, through my friend, Colorado Robertson, when he started sharing the New Orleans annual conference coming up next year will be awesome. Then he had been leading that and needed to step aside. And so I took that over and that's I think my favorite thing is because kind of like, you're talking about going to camp. It's your 1st time to get the newbies in and get them involved, and get them excited about it and then want to volunteer and get invested. So that's probably my favorite thing. And that has led me to getting involved in other areas, dealing with strategic goal four, which was connecting members to each other. So, helping do the colleague connections for new members, which is kind of like a new members that we do every quarter. Not just at the annual conference with the newcomer session, and then sending out welcoming emails to new members and things like that.

So, I think kind of that 1st opportunity to plug in and have a voice led to others and I've really enjoyed it and kind of have to stop myself sometimes from signing up for everything because it's all so fun and I enjoy it all, but I do have a real job other than just URMIA and I have to remind myself of that sometimes.

Sandy Mitchell: Yes, don't we all exactly. Elliot, how about you?

Elliot Young: Yeah, after my 1st experience volunteering, I just really enjoyed the experience, and I decided that I wanted to get more involved. I just started to look around to see what was available. And the thing about is there's a lot of different ways. You can get involved and be a volunteer. So, some of the ones I found pretty early on strategic planning task forces, working on updating the risk inventory that URMIA publishes, there was a task force there. A member connections group that Amanda mentioned, and there's a lot you can send emails. You can be a welcome mentor at the 1st conference for new members. There's new member welcome opportunities. I've also served as a compliance community champion for about the last year and been an active member in the Compliance community, which has been a really great resource for those that are part of that are more focused on compliance specifically. There's always speaking opportunities at conferences. You can be a speaker. You can speak. You can do the more traditional kind of speaking engagement, but you can also be a facilitator or a moderator or somebody that just wants to guide discussion, or be kind of a greeter during. So those are some of the examples over the last couple of years where I've really jumped in. And they're all a little bit different, but they're all really rewarding volunteer opportunities.

Sandy Mitchell: Yeah. One of the things I think that the home office, you know, is that the right phrase, but we'll use it anyways, has done really well and actually they've sort of really tasked any strategic leader or anyone that's leading a committee is how much time does it take? Because, you know, there are some things that you commit to, you know, that, you know, are going to take more of your time, but there's a lot of volunteer opportunities that you could do an hour or two. And so I think they've done a really good job identifying that. Yeah. So people know, oh, you know, I could spend an extra couple hours and do something. And so that's an improvement I've seen over the last couple of years. So our members should know that, you know, you don't have to jump in with both feet. You could sort of dip your toe in if you want. There's lots of ways to sort of get involved.

Amanda Franklin: I love what Elliot was talking about with the moderating at the annual conference is that's one that I know the home office has reached out to me sometimes and they're like, Hey, we saw that you were going to be at this anyway. Do you mind just doing moderating, or the hybrid moderating, which is just, you know, you're, you're monitoring the chat, basically, and so that's a super easy way to get involved. Doesn't take any extra time because you're going to be there listening anyway. Now, maybe you're paying a little closer attention, but it's a really easy way to get involved, but, very, very needed role.,

Sandy Mitchell: Yeah, particularly the hybrid moderating. I know that you know, for some reason that one people sign up sort of the last and I actually find it kind of fun cause you are, you're paying attention to the chat and seeing what's going on and all of that. So what would you guys tell someone who's considering volunteering for URMIA, what advice would you give them?

Amanda Franklin: So I would say. Absolutely, you should do it, and I would say a really cool thing that I appreciate about URMIA, and I've tried to tell new members is that there's some organizations where you feel like you have to kind of put in your time before you can start getting involved. Like you have to, to earn your, your right to volunteer and URMIA is not that. URMIA will welcome you from day one. I know I had people who were attending their first annual conference this past year and said, okay, I want to volunteer at next annual conference and even like I would be on the committee, which is, which is great. And then I've had, I know a couple of years ago, we had a new member who then helped plan in a regional conference. Like, you can get involved as early as you want and as much as you want and so I would definitely say don't let that hold you back if you're new and don't let it hold you back if you've been around a while and haven't done anything either.

Like there's always opportunities and there's always, you know, plenty of availability for that and I would also say that it's great. It's a great way to get to know people. I know like when I first met and my first in person annual conference, I met Sandy for the first time and it was like, wow, she's in the flesh. She's not just somebody on the message boards. But Sandy was on the board at that point and, you know, was so welcoming and like, hey, you reach out anytime you can do it. And now, because of volunteering, I've gotten to know Sandy and Elliot and others better, and so it's a great way to expand your network, to get involved, and to meet other people who get what we do. That's, Matt Tuttle from the University of Utah likes to say that URMIA is where you find your people. And that kind of is our connection is we're trying to help others find their people. And I've really found that in URMIA and so I want to volunteer because I like being with the people who get what I do. So I would definitely encourage you, that's a way to do that and to get to know people better.

Sandy Mitchell: And before I turn this over to Elliot, since you mentioned Matt Tuttle, cause he was in the back of my mind here, he's an accidental volunteer that he decided when they did the call for, you know, host, you know, having an event in your state. He's like, you know, we've never been to Utah. Let's you know I'm gonna put that in. Well, he didn't know by volunteering his state that he was sort of volunteering to chair the event, which he did a fabulous job and has gotten so involved ever since then. So we'll call him the accidental volunteer that has stayed on. And, you know, it's like the guest that never goes home, but we appreciate that. So Elliot, how about you?

Elliot Young: I think Amanda hit on a lot of great points there. I think it's a volunteering gives you an opportunity to really engage with the new members and really get them part of the community. It's really hard when you go to a brand-new conference and you don't know anybody and you're like, I know that there's a lot of information in this room, but I don't know how to get to know the people. I don't know how to, you know, work with them. And so if you volunteer, you have an opportunity to reach out to those new members and help them connect with the community, so I really enjoy that. I also like the opportunities to pull together different experts. I mean, there's a lot of brain power in and when you serve as a volunteer in a, say, the compliance community, or the water cooler discussions, or the hot topic discussions, and you can pull together all these different people and facilitate conversation, it really gives that opportunity for people to learn a lot more about higher risk management. And I just really enjoy that piece of it. So I think, you know, you always hear that saying about when you're volunteering, you're giving back, but you're actually gaining a lot yourself as well. And I feel that way a lot. I facilitate, or I'll lead a discussion and I always come away learning a lot more than what I went in. So, it's a rewarding experience to be able to volunteer for and again, I think it's important to remember that there's so many different types of ways you can do it. If you don't want to speak, if you don't want to guide a discussion, you can do other things. There are other ways to contribute.

Sandy Mitchell: Yeah. And there's lots of volunteer opportunities outside of the National Conference. I mean, there's so many things that you can do just directly from your office. So, you know, keep that in mind. So I'm going to, you know, the wrap up question here is anything else that you'd like to share with the audience that we haven't covered, Elliot?

Elliot Young: I would just reemphasize the networking opportunities that come with volunteering. I've met a lot of people simply by being at the welcome desk or doing URMIA Cares or, you know, just engaging in virtual water cooler discussions. I've got, we just mentioned Matt Tuttle. I've gotten to know him primarily, because we work together on some of these different task forces. So it's great networking opportunity. The information that you gain from it is awesome. And then the ability to connect members, I think is really rewarding, but I just think if you're looking for a way to really get to know some other higher ed risk managers and people in this industry that volunteering is a great way to do it.

Amanda Franklin: I would just, you know, affirm everything Elliot said. And then one of the things that he made me think about when he was talking was, you know, I hear a lot of people sometimes who, particularly at the new member session who say, I'm an introvert, I don't, you know, don't make me do anything too crazy. And I think Elliot mentioned some great ideas, or great things that he did that are totally behind the scenes, you don't have to be out in front of, you know, working on the core competency models or the URMIA library and things like that, that are totally necessary and totally valuable to everybody who uses them, but you don't have to be up in front leading a group. You don't have to talk a lot, but it's incredibly valuable. So that you can find a place to get involved for whatever your strengths are and whatever suits you. So I think that's something really important to emphasize.

I liked Elliot's mention earlier of URMIA Cares at the annual conference is a great way to, you know, you're volunteering for URMIA. Yes, but you're also volunteering for an outside group charity that can use your help. And again, those are introverted ways as well, like making donations, but also serving in different ways. So, there's something for everybody and just totally agree. It's a way to network and to meet people, and to really give back, you know, for what we've gotten out of URMIA and to be that same person for other people, within the organization and to allow them to get the same benefits of URMIA. So, definitely do it. And I would just recommend just jump in, or dip your toe in whatever works best for you. But find a way to get involved and to volunteer because there's so many out there and it’s so rewarding.

Sandy Mitchell: Thank you both. So, you know, Amanda, you teed up perfectly the comment I was going to use at the end. In 2019, the annual conference was in Boston and our gala was held at the John F. Kennedy library. And as one of the chairs of it, I, every week for a year and a half, I sent out a Kennedy quote to sort of the other chairs and to Jenny was on that as well. And I think Michelle wanted to get in on that. And so, but I saved one. I knew what the last one was going to be. And the last one that went out the week before the conference was, don't ask what URMIA can do for you, but what you can do for URMIA, which is a play on one of JFK's most famous quotes. But thank you both for being involved. Thank you for listening.

And for those out there that are thinking, please, you know, like you said, whether Amanda said, if you want to jump in or dip your toe in, there's so many opportunities out there, I believe the education manager, or maybe it's Teresa sends out an email every now and then call for volunteers and they sort of give you a list of what they need and the time commitment involved. So there's something for everyone in that. But thank you to our guests again, Amanda and Elliot. I appreciate you being here and have a great day.