The fall risk conference hosted by the City of South Salt Lake City at the Columbus Center, was recently completed. The conference highlighted leading areas of risk, including cyber liability, safety of parks and playgrounds, management liability and motivation.
The board members of the Mt. Olympus Improvement District welcomed attendees to the conference. Mel Mackay and John Norton provided greater insight into the operations of the district, and some of the challenges that they will be facing in the near future.
The first presenter was John Pohlman from Tanner Companies. John is a recognized expert in assisting clients reviewing leading causes of cyber liability and in designing processes to present cyber loss. He listed a number of ways that we can be compromised either directly or through the “internet of things” He formulated best practices which included frequent changes to password, measuring password complexity, and using second verification strategies for wire transfers or changing banking credentials.
Craig Guliano, from Tailored Solutions & Consulting, Inc. provided the second topic on cyber liability, titled, “Social Engineering: How an Employees Digital Footprint may tread on His Employer. Craig has a wealth of experience with the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and other federal agencies. He has worked to raise the understanding of how our personal information may become public, and will be used against us in a target cyber-attack, called Spear Phishing. In a Spear Phishing attach our information is groomed to create a situation where we may accept others or emails that will compromise or systems that may lead to cyber theft or deception. As a practical example he showed an individual from a prior presentation that was picked, and the information that they were able to use to formulate a cyber-attack. He emphasized training and processes to prevent Spear Phishing attacks.
The next presenter was Timothy L. McCarty of Trident Public Risk Services. Tim provides expect review of leading causes of liability losses to local governments across the United States. His presentation included best practices recommendations for playground safety. These include regular onsite inspections of all playground equipment according to CPSI standards. He emphasized the need for documentation, to demonstrate ongoing safety review, using photographs, and standard measuring devices to monitor if equipment has chock hazards. He also recommended that those completing the safety review do so on at least an annual basis, and that they have safety equipment and credentials to show to parents and others that they are officially reviewing the safety of the equipment.
Patrick Ibarra then made a presentation titled, “Revolutionizing Government in the 21st Century”. He said many would still like to be in the 20th century in their thinking and behavior, yet things have changed dramatically in just the past few years. This includes how we communicate, how we plan and our employee interactions. We define success differently, often by the positive impact in the community, and not by the standard budget matrices. Success involves a mindset of “Community Building”, rather than service providing. Every community needs a vison, backed by common values to allow for long term success in the way we interact or assist one another through local government. Employee retention will also be essential in the coming years, and finding and attracting talented and motivated employees will become progressively more difficult. New employees may not be motivated simply by financial rewards, but will be looking for greater career growth and personal satisfactions, and a desire to be in a position to make a difference.
The final session was presented jointly by Tony Child and Jeff Griffin. The title of the session was “The Power of Positive Thinking in Management. Many today face difficult challenges in overcoming negative cultures in departments and within the organization. At times individuals have negative or “it can’t be done” mentality. In the presentation, Tony highlighted leading causes of self-sabotage, and ways to reorient our vision. It is essential to reprogram our subconscious mind, to move us forward and change our habitual way of thinking. The second half of the presentation was conducted by Jeff Griffin, who suffered an industrial accident in his early 20’s, causing him to lose his ability to walk. With many years of persistent work, he was able to learn the skill of walking again, which he said he could not have done without overcoming his “it can’t be done mentality”.