Joshua Torres, a member of NRRA’s CRISP program, reports on Day One of the recent VCIA Conference. CRISP is NRRA’s outreach aimed at interesting young people in pursuing insurance careers. Josh is a 22-year-old graduate student at Roosevelt University in Chicago. He expects to receive his master’s degree in Mathematical Statistics this December. Previously, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science, with minors in Computer Finance and Science. 

By Joshua Torres

The Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA) is an annual “captive” industry conference to inform, advertise, and network with many of the key leaders of the industry. Thanks to the help from Joe Deems of the National Risk Retention Association (NRRA), we were able to bring 3 students to this year’s conference.  Mr. Deems arranged for us to attend the Captive Industry “Immersion” program all afternoon on Monday in advance of the Conference at the University of Vermont.

Students invited got to attend multiple events, such as Developing the Next Generation, where we got to meet Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) Faculty Advisor for Butler University, Zachary Finn.  Professor Finn put out statistics that in the very near future (2022) we are going to experience a need to replace more than 295,000 positions in the Insurance Industry.

At our current rate, the educational system is only developing 15,000 graduates to replace them. He also went on to say how in the United States there are only 82 Risk Management and Insurance programs and that in order to stay afloat we need to find a way to get more students interested in the Insurance field along with more Universities.

We managed to get a quick talk with him after the session. To our surprise, he already has heard of CRISP thanks to Dr. Puleo who was at our booth during the NRRA conference last October.

After lunch we took turns manning our booth for the duration of the day and experienced an extremely busy afternoon. One thing we learned that afternoon is that there were close to 1,000 leaders of the captive insurance industry at this conference. We were also fortunate enough to be located right next to the open bar and the NRRA booth which gained us a lot of traffic in our general direction.

We met individuals from Aon, Milliman, Morgan Stanley, and ran into some old contacts from the 2017 and 2018 NRRA conference. The fact that we made a lasting impression for them to not only remember the name of our program but also our physical names is a major win in our book. We also managed to get a shadowing opportunity from Timothy F. Sullivan at NAMIC Insurance Company located in Indianapolis in the coming weeks [1]. Will write a report for that as well.

After the booth sessions we went to get some dinner with Joe Carter, Jon Harkavy, and Joe Deems, who spent time with us all day helping us to meet other great leaders. Dinner was filled with conversation of what we can expect for tomorrow, sports, and the city of Burlington, Vermont among other cities we’ve all traveled to. End of day 1

[1] As I am writing this report on Wednesday, the following day, we have had close to 15 individuals walk up and get curious on this student-run program just in the first hour being here. People are curious and that is fantastic news for us.

Pictured from left to right: Joseph Deems (NRRA Executive Director), Jon Harkavy (General Counsel and Vice President at Risk Services), Joe Carter (Vice-president at United Educators), and Josh Torres (Representative of CRISP)

See photos from the VCIA Conference, featuring CRISP members who attended. >>