Yee Haw!

Texas PRIMA Chapter has the best darn members in the Lone Star State, and we are proud of that. With a strong wild west spirit, we are the toughest guys in town when it comes to risk management.

It’s been 35 years since the roundup of Texas Chapter PRIMA, and in that time, the Risk Management arena has seen significant changes. In today's rapidly evolving world, organizations face a range of new challenges, including artificial intelligence, pandemics, power grids, cyber risk, mental health, security risks, retaining employees, geopolitical developments, and many others. In addition to these emerging risks, there are long-standing challenges such as catastrophic events, insurance markets, an aging workforce, and loss control. 

Once again, I find myself “deep in the heart of Texas PRIMA” filled with excitement and pride as I take on the position of Texas PRIMA President. As we set our sights on the year ahead, we are eagerly planning and preparing for the 2024 conference in San Antonio, which will be hosted at La Cantera Resort and Spa.

In December 2023, the Board initiated the process to find a new conference and expo event planner. A request for proposal (RFP) was issued, and through the evaluation process and oral interview, we selected PROjag Management as the successor. The Executive Board validated their expertise, professionalism, and commitment to meeting our requirements. We are excited to have PROjag join our team and look forward to the positive impact they will have on Texas PRIMA.

Thank you to our Education Committee – in December we were already planning for 2024 with a total of four webinars in January and February. The Board of Directors held its first meeting of the year in January, where we strategized and laid the foundation for our upcoming initiatives. The board members are already hard at work organizing various committees and planning for member outreach, social media updates, newsletters, educational webinars, virtual summits, and conference planning. Cowboys and cowgirls wanted for our committees. If you would like to volunteer for one of our committees (Education and Networking, Awards Program, Members Services, and Social Media) please reach out to any of the board members.

In April, we will have our next board meeting, as well as convene with a group of our generous and committed sponsors. This meeting provides an opportunity for our top-level sponsors to share their feedback and ideas, while also exploring opportunities for us to continue building Texas PRIMA into one of the largest and most successful public risk management organizations in the country.

With our unwavering determination and dedication, we remain committed to providing our members with valuable resources, networking opportunities, and educational opportunities, ensuring that Texas PRIMA remains at the forefront of the industry. We encourage you to follow us on social media, visit our community page, and look out for Texas PRIMA emails. By staying connected, you will have access to the latest news, events, and opportunities within Texas PRIMA.

Let’s saddle up for 2024!

Norma Martinez
2024 Texas PRIMA President

April is National Safe Digging Month

During the month of April, Texas 811 has campaigns and activities promoting safe digging practices for the public and professional excavators in celebration of National Safe Digging Month.  A recent study showed that 74% of homeowners in Texas are not aware that they must contact 811 before digging.   Throughout the month of April, there are many ways in which your organization can recognize and promote National Safe Digging Month, Click Here to learn more about safe digging practices and available toolkits to keep workers and the community safe.

Story Credit: Texas 811

Ergonomic Practices and Workplace Injury Prevention

When people think of a root cause for ergonomic related injuries, they associate personal fit as a sole mechanism of injury.  Human factors such as mental and physical states that influence workers to not use their equipment properly, are areas that should also be considered.   A mental mindset that keeps the worker focused on correct body positioning instead of a normalized culture of “this is the way we’ve always done it” is an example of positive ergonomic practices that can assist with injury   prevention.  Managing mental states such as the need to rush, general frustration and fatigue will create positive outcomes and culture in the workplace.  Continue reading the full article here.

Celebrating Public Risk Management Awareness Day

The goal of Public Risk Management Awareness Day is to bring a heightened level of awareness and education throughout communities by giving public risk management a platform to use as a springboard to create special activities, proclamations and publications commemorating every March 1st as Public Risk Management Awareness Day!

Martha Valderrama and her Risk Management team from The Port of Corpus Christi were the trailblazers of this amazing annual celebration. Martha states “The five points of the star abstractly represent the five stages/process of the enterprise risk management process model; scan environment, identify risks, analyze risks, treat risk, monitor and assure.” The Port of Corpus Christi will have lots of employee giveaways this year that include custom vanilla butter cookies with the star logo and engraved flashlights to be used as a metaphor for being prepared and having a light in times of uncertainty.  Click here for the toolkit and be sure to tag #texasprima on social media so we can all celebrate together.

Education Update

March 1st- Coffee Talk: Public Risk Management Day

March 6th- Bona Fide Offers of Employment

April 16th- How to Calculate the ROI on your Wellness Program

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

2024 Virtual Summit

Join Texas PRIMA for a 2-day Virtual Summit on May 15th & 16th. This educational opportunity is being offered in lieu of a virtual option at this year’s annual conference. Registration will be open soon!

If you are interested in presenting at the virtual summit, click here.

Members on the Move

Congratulations to Fernando Hernandez, CSHO, formerly from the City of McAllen, as he starts a new role with the City of Irving as their Risk Management Administrator. Texas PRIMA wishes you much success in your new endeavors!

Member Spotlight: 

Holly Guidry
HR / Civil Service Director & Deputy City Manager

City of Nederland

Holly began her career in Risk Management through her early work endeavors in the legal field performing risk mitigation and commercial insurance for business structuring. This would set a pathway that would lead to a career in local government and risk management.

Holly began her work in local government at the Nederland Police Department. She eventually found her way to city hall. During this time Holly expressed that there were “periods of change, as well as varying degrees of challenges and difficulties”; despite the complexities, she found these moments provided “knowledge, growth and opportunities” that enabled her to contribute successfully to her organization.  Her journey is one to be celebrated!

Local government work is about public servitude, and Holly is exemplary of that attribute as she believes it is a “privilege to serve her community”, which she does wholeheartedly.  In 2013 she took the role of HR & Civil Service Director where she had the opportunity to work with internal and external customers to provide the best service possible. In 2020, she was appointed as the Deputy City Manager, and she enjoys the dual role as she gets to experience the executive oversight and responsibility.

Holly attended her first Texas PRIMA conference in 2017 as a scholarship recipient.  The scholarship and her experience at Texas PRIMA was so memorable for her that she recalls this as her “gateway to her involvement with Texas PRIMA”. She states she makes sure she budgets accordingly each year and has not missed one conference since 2017.

Texas PRIMA has been an “incredible resource” for Holly and her organization. She states it has “provided learning and networking opportunities that have expanded her knowledge”; these opportunities have allowed her to make positive changes within her organization. She hopes to continue sharing Texas PRIMA with “small organizations that may be similarly situated”.

Holly feels the biggest challenge she faces in Risk Management is the constant change in the industry.  She explains that she’s had to “get comfortable with not always knowing the answer or solution”.  She finds that it’s okay to “pause and, gather more information and input from others before making a decision”. Time management and prioritizing is a daily challenge in her dual role, but she works to “maintain a manageable balance”.

She attributes her success in risk management to a memorable piece of advice she received from an experienced colleague. She recalls meeting Gilbert Sanchez from the City of Corpus Christi at her very first Texas PRIMA conference. He told her not to be “overwhelmed by the number of people” further adding she would be welcomed by everyone and they “would share their knowledge and resources”. The advice was well-received and “she hasn’t looked back”.

Holly finds inspiration in a favorite quote by Maya Angelou:, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”.

Southeast, Texas is where Holly grew up and currently lives with her husband of over 13 years.  She loves attending concerts and traveling to new places. She is a proud Lamar University graduate and enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends.

Letter From the Editor

It is with great pleasure that I give you our March 2024 edition of PRIMA Press. We believe in the transformative power of knowledge, and we strive to provide you with a platform where ideas flourish and understanding blossoms. “Knowledge is not just about filling minds; it’s about lighting fires.” -William Butler Yeats

I would love to hear your ideas for future articles, promotions and the successes you are realizing in your organizations and programs. Have a marvelous 2024.

Yolanda Perez, MS, C-DER
Texas Prima Press Editor, 2024 Newsletter Committee Chair
[email protected]

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