I hope you all have recuperated from our recent Journey Into the Wild and you were able to return to your entity with plenty of new ideas to implement in the new year! The 34th Annual Conference was wildly successful largely due to you, our members. We welcomed 716 attendees to the conference, with 144 being first-time attendees! We opened the conference with keynote speaker, Brian Parsley, who shared tips to help us transform our communication skills with his use of humor, and engaging story telling. We wrapped up our safari with closing keynote, Tim Eggebraaten-the Off Duty Chief. He shared moving stories of his time as a police officer and enlightened the crowd with his gift of music.

The networking events throughout the conference were a great way to catch up with old friends and make new friends, gain ideas and knowledge, and visit with our exhibitors and sponsors. We hope you enjoyed the return of casino gaming, and the band Suede. Many of you tried your hand at blackjack before dancing the night away to popular tunes! We also loved seeing so many of you dressed in your best safari gear.

The awards program recognized the best in the field of Risk Management! Congratulations to our award winners: Hilda Delgado, this year’s Rising Star, and the cities of Fort Worth, Irving and Houston for their outstanding risk management programs. Also, the Texas PRIMA Education Committee was recognized as Committee of the Year for their outstanding programming throughout 2023.

A very special thank you to outgoing board member, Gilbert Sanchez, for his willingness to serve the association again this year.

The annual conference and many of the educational offerings throughout the year would not be possible without the support of our loyal sponsors. We are so grateful for the long-time sponsors who continue to give year after year, and we were thrilled to welcome many new sponsors and exhibitors to the Texas PRIMA family this year. We thank you all for your financial support, but more importantly, for your friendship to Texas PRIMA.

To wrap-up 2023, make sure you join us for our last webinar of the year, Creating a Culture of Safety, on December 5th and our virtual holiday hangout on December 15th at 9am. Visit to register today! Please make sure you stay connected with us via Texas PRIMA’s Community Forum and on social media. As the outgoing 2023 Texas PRIMA President, I’d like to personally thank the board of directors and staff for all of your hard work, our committed sponsors for your support, and finally to you, our members-an association is only as great as its members, and you all are the best!

Lesley Ward, ARM
2023 Texas PRIMA President

A Tribute to Our Outgoing Texas PRIMA President

Texas PRIMA’s 2023 President, Lesley Ward, is a relentless leader. Lesley continuously goes above and beyond in her dedication and service to the risk management profession and to Texas PRIMA. She continued to challenge the Board committees in several ways: to continue to grow our membership, attracting more sponsors and exhibitors to conference, increased educational sessions, and another outstanding conference for our members. Looking back at the last twelve months, 2023 was another successful year under Lesley’s leadership.

Lesley’s motto is always “thinking outside the box” for new ideas. She took us on an amazing safari where we heard two powerful messages from our keynote speakers Brian Parsley and Tim Eggebraaten. We journeyed into the wild with another record-setting conference with 716 attendees, excellent educational sessions, networking with new members and old friends, and the opportunity to visit with sponsors and exhibitors. Lesley worked countless hours behind the scenes on things such as preparing for board meetings, creating the conference passport design and social media table toppers, reviewing conference slideshows, creating conference schedules for the board, reaching out to new members, potential sponsors and exhibitors, and the list goes on. Lesley will continue her dedication to Texas PRIMA in 2024 as the Immediate Past President.

Lesley, on behalf of the Board of Directors and Texas PRIMA, we thank you for your continued leadership and another exceptional year.

Norma Martinez
2023 Texas PRIMA President-Elect

Feeling more stressed this holiday season?

Are you feeling more stressed than usual this holiday season? Late hours at work, school programs, holiday parties - the list can seem endless this time of year. Dr. John Delony provides 13 ways to reduce holiday stress - Click Here to learn more.  

Stay Warm Safely this Winter

With the temperatures dropping as we head into winter, individuals are finding ways to stay warm in the workplace and at home. One way to do this is with space heaters. However, space heaters can bring great risk if not used properly. Did you know that space heaters should not be plugged into a power strip or extension cord? Better yet, do your employees know this little known fact. Take a look at this video to see exactly what can happen if a space heater is plugged into a power strip or extension cord. And this video shows additional hazards that can occur with objects placed near space heaters. Stay warm, stay safe!

Congratulations to our 2023 Scholarship Recipients!

We had another amazing annual conference as we journeyed into the wild at the beautiful Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center in Galveston! This year, scholarships were awarded to 20 individuals who represent school districts, counties, cities, health institutions and river authorities across the state of Texas, as well as one student from St. Mary’s University.

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to attend Texas PRIMA! I was able to not only learn so much more about Risk Management, leadership, and workers' comp, but also meet so many wonderful people including you! I hope to take the skills and networking relationships with me as I continue to grow in this field.” – Alexandria Taylor, City of Kyle

“Thank you, Texas PRIMA, for everything! My knowledge for Risk Management has grown tremendously over the two and a half day conference. I look forward to the next conference with Texas PRIMA!” – Lan Lee, City of Boerne

The majority of this year’s recipients are new to the Risk Management field and new to Texas PRIMA, so please take time to reach out to them in the Texas PRIMA online community and welcome them! The scholarship program would not be possible without our generous scholarship program sponsors. On behalf of the board and the 2023 scholarship recipients, I would like to thank each of you for your support of this program. This year’s annual conference scholarship sponsors were McGriff, TriStar, Injury Management Organization (IMO), Sedgwick, Delta Dental, ClearRisk, Commercial Risk Services, and Trinity Review Services.

Mandy Riske
Scholarship Committee Chair

Introducing the 2024 Texas PRIMA Board of Directors

The Nominations and Election Committee Chair is pleased to announce the addition of two new Directors-At-Large to the 2024 Board of Directors for the Texas PRIMA chapter. Six nominations were submitted and one write in candidate, for a total of seven. Elections were conducted in October and the newly elected board members were announced during the Membership Meeting at our 2023 Annual Conference. The new board term begins January 1, 2024. Congratulations to the new Directors-at-Large.

Berry Barrington, City of Waco

Berry is the Senior Safety Specialist with the City of Waco where he is approaching his 13th year in the public sector of Safety and Risk Management. His initial 24-years began in the private sector as an Environmental, Health & Safety Professional and Industrial Hygienist. 

Yolanda Perez, City of McAllen

Yolanda Perez serves as the Director of Risk Management for the City of McAllen, Texas.  She has over 30 years of experience in occupational health and safety which includes medical claims management, general insurance, drug and alcohol program management and occupational safety.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas and her Master’s degree from the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas.

Kaltrina Minick, City of Beaumont

Additionally, after a vacancy on the board, Kaltrina has been appointed by the Board of Directors to serve an additional year to fill the vacancy. Kaltrina is a current member of the Texas Prima Board and the Human Resources Manager for the City of Beaumont. As the Education Chair, she introduced the first ever “Risk Management 101 Series” that was presented by various professionals over the summer of 2022. This series was introduced to accommodate all new members, and also help seasoned members refresh their knowledge on risk management. While serving as the Membership Chair, she thoroughly enjoyed engaging with committee members, current chapter members, new members and potential members. During her tenure as the Membership Chair, Texas Prima recorded the highest number of members in over 5 years.

The 2024 Texas PRIMA Board consists of:

PRESIDENT: Norma Martinez, City of Houston

PRESIDENT-ELECT: Jamee Higgins, City of Midland

SECRETARY: Mandy Riske, City of San Marcos

TREASURER: Jason Hardy, City of Irving

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Lesley Ward, City of Bryan

PAST PRESIDENT: Robert Warren, Trinity River Authority


Kaltrina Minick, City of Beaumont

Melissa Ledesma, City of Sugar Land

Berry Barrington, City of Waco

Yolanda Perez, City of McAllen


Here’s to another year of serving you, our Texas PRIMA members!

Melissa Ledesma
Nominations & Election Committee Chair

Education Update

December 5th - Creating a Culture of Safety Webinar

December 15th - Virtual Holiday Hangout: Someday at Christmas

January 19th- Transform Your Communication Skills Workshop with Brian Parsley, 2023 Conference Keynote Speaker (registration coming soon!)

November 10-13th - Texas PRIMA Annual Conference in San Antonio

Don't forget that recordings of our webinars are in your Community under the Resources header. 

2023 Rising Star

Hilda Delgado, Administration Claims Coordinator, City of South Padre Island

Hilda Delgado has served with the City of South Padre Island since 2016 and has steadily worked her way to her current role. Her risk management career started during COVID, where she began assisting with auto, property, and liability claims. She took a great interest in claims handling and assisting departments with accident reporting and soon became the first Claims Coordinator for the City. Prior to 2020, the City did not have a dedicated Risk Management employee.

She is responsible for all activities related to handling and processing auto, property, and liability claims and serves on the Safety Committee. She is the Title VI Coordinator and ADA Coordinator. She is a key member of the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), working closely with the Public Safety Chiefs, City Manager, Mayor, and other leadership staff. Hilda also plays a key role in the Wellness Program and Leadership Team. Hilda is a great team player and innovator in all areas of risk management. Hilda developed an accident/incident reporting flow chart to train employees, supervisors, and directors on the reporting process. Hilda is currently working on a risk management guide; her goal is to improve internal processes with this manual. Hilda ensures all claims are completed appropriately to ensure the City of South Padre Island is reimbursed for any property loss and that damaged vehicles are repaired quickly and put back into service. She constantly looks for ways to improve processes to reduce and eliminate losses. Those efforts are paying off, as this year, the City experienced an almost 50% reduction in incurred claims costs. Hilda attended her first Texas PRIMA conference in 2021 as a scholarship recipient. She is working on obtaining her ARM designation.

2023 Risk Management Program Achievement Awards

City of Fort Worth - Athletic Trainers Program

The City of Fort Worth partnered with Baylor Scott & White Institute of Rehabilitation in 2016 to embed athletic trainers within high-risk departments. Today, three athletic trainers are on site full time with the Fire Department, Police Department, and Water Department. Athletic Trainers with the City of Fort Worth work closely with Risk Management and safety teams to provide individual and population-wide risk reduction interventions. Athletic Trainers with the City of Fort Worth assist an average of 175 different employees per month and more than 2,000 employees annually. When assessing program value objectively, they compare the average cost of a musculoskeletal workers’ compensation claim resolved with first aid to the cost of the Athletic Trainers Program. They average more than 500% ROI with an estimated $1.5M in savings annually. The City of Fort Worth’s Athletic Trainers Program is unique in that very few municipalities across the nation utilize this type of program in Risk Management. However, the program can be easily duplicated with the same success.

City of Houston -  Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) Safety Management Program

The City of Houston, public venues, major events, government agencies, other industries, and more face risks from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) hazards and threats at all levels impacting employees and the public. The City of Houston Human Resources, Risk Management Division developed and implemented a CBRNE Safety Management Program to train and increase awareness of employees and partners. This required partnerships and coordination with internal departments and twenty external agencies including US Public Health Service, SETRAC, Harris County, FEMA, Army National Guard, FBI, Public Health Preparedness Council, and more. CBRNE safety planning is provided to more than 100 external businesses like NRG Park (Houston Texans), Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros), Houston Rodeo, Hobby Center, George R Brown Convention Center (including major conventions, events, and more), the Wings Over Houston Air Show, and more who would otherwise seek other resources for this training. The CBRNE Safety protocols enabled the Mayor’s Office for Special Events Department to permit safe events bringing in millions in revenue for Houston’s economy between 2020-2023. Resulting in only six airborne-transmitted disease exposure claims for the entire Houston Health Department despite daily high-risk pandemic response operations. And only seven needlestick and sharps incidents city wide between 2020 - 2023 despite over 1.5M shots administered and daily clinical operations.

City of Irving - Certified Mother Friendly Workplace

The Pump Act for nursing mothers was enacted in Texas in 2015. This Act extends the right to receive break time and a private space to pump at work to nearly all employees.

The City of Irving wanted to not only abide by this Act but take extra steps to go above and beyond. Irving now has six mother rooms across the city. Each of these rooms is painted using calming colors and includes antimicrobial furniture, a white noise machine, a sink with hot water, storage space for equipment and a small refrigerator to store milk. In addition, the Human Resources Department provides a gift to all new parents and includes a brochure on FMLA, city benefits, maternity benefits and other resources for new parents. This initiative allows new moms to come back to work sooner and gives them a safe, private, calming place to pump and store milk without worry. The City of Irving is proud to be a Certified Mother Friendly Workplace.

Members on the Move

Congratulations to Glenna Hayes  C.P.M., Procurement Manager for City of Wylie, on her retirement! Glenna says "Thanks so much for the training and friendships".

Member Spotlight: Gabby Mattern, Claims Specialist with the City of Bryan 

A little over 3 years ago, Gabby was looking for a career change, something more stable than her previous job. When she saw the opening for Risk Management Assistant at the City of Bryan, she thought “that’s interesting…”. She entered into the field with little-to-no knowledge and is thankful for the team she has been blessed with that has helped guide her through the world of Risk Management. Gabby worked as an assistant for about 8 months, with a focus on employee benefits, then was promoted into the wilderness of claims; she obtained her all lines adjuster’s license shortly after.

Gabby has been a member of Texas PRIMA since 2021. She has attended three conferences and a host of webinars, seminars, and Coffee Talks. In addition, she has served on the education committee for two years. Gabby said “getting to see behind the scenes and all of the hardworking people that keep Texas PRIMA running has been a rewarding experience. This past conference I was even afforded the opportunity to serve on the submission review panel and moderate a session.”

When asked what Texas PRIMA means to her, Gabby said “Texas PRIMA is the archive of the Risk Management world. It is an excellent resource for information and a perfect opportunity to build professional connections. Each person is a book full of knowledge and experience that are literally bursting at the seams to share it with you. At some point in your career you are going to hit a road block, it helps knowing you have people to call on that will help guide you through it. I hope to continue to contribute by serving on a committee again this year. I look forward to meeting new members and continuing the tradition of being welcoming and helpful.”

We asked Gabby what has been the biggest challenge she has faced in Risk Management. She said “Risk Management is ever changing, workers’ compensation specifically. What may be one way today may change in a month or two. You have to stay on top of legislative updates, changes in the medical community, all while maintaining the trust of the injured workers you are serving.”

Gabby said the best advice she has received in relation to Texas PRIMA is that, from her very first conference, she was told to soak it all in. So that is what she has been doing for the past three years, marinating in the wealth of knowledge Texas PRIMA provides.

Outside of Texas PRIMA, Gabby is an active member with her church, serving both on the worship team and with the youth. When she’s not serving at church, she is home with her husband and two dogs. She has lived a thousand lives between the pages of many great books and enjoys making jewelry and hosting game night with friends. She is currently teaching herself how to play guitar and her guilty pleasure is lemon pound cake!

Gabby would like to offer this advice: “For any newcomers – Expect the unknown. Once you embrace it, you can tackle it.”

Sponsor Highlight

McGriff's Public Entity group provides risk management solutions to tax-supported institutions, city and state governments, educational and transportation districts, and nonprofit agencies. We understand the exposures faced by the public sector as well as the usual constraints related to budgets and staffing. Whether it's an alternative risk transfer program or foreign reinsurance placement, the McGriff team has the global contacts and resources to tailor the right fit for you. We have experienced actuaries and safety and claims consultants on staff. Plus, we sponsor several risk management and employee benefits organizations that focus on the public sector and education.
Sedgwick is a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions. We provide a broad range of resources tailored to our clients' specific needs in casualty, property, marine, benefits, brand protection and other lines. At Sedgwick, caring counts; through the dedication and expertise of nearly 30,000 colleagues across 65 countries, the company takes care of people and organizations by mitigating and reducing risks and losses, promoting health and productivity, protecting brand reputations, and containing costs that can impact performance.

CCMSI is a national Third Party Administrator providing property and casualty claims management services, including workers' compensation, liability and property from 34 office locations across the U.S including Dallas and Houston, TX. We offer clients a wide range of risk management services including: claims administration, loss control, medical managed care and Internet based risk management information technology. CCMSI serves over 5,000 public entities nationwide.

KelseyCare Health Plans understands the healthcare needs of employers and employees; that's why we offer plan options that benefit both. Our coordinated, accountable care model leverages Kelsey-Seybold Clinics to deliver preventive care and disease management. With access to major carriers, such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, and United Healthcare, and a growing healthcare network in the Houston area, KelseyCare has uncovered a proven method that delivers significant savings on total medical costs. This unique approach allows us to create better outcomes for companies and a better overall experience for every member we see.