Since 2018, Susan Colley-Monk has been the Secretary/Treasurer of the Sacramento Chapter of PARMA. She is also an Analyst in Risk Management Services at California State University, Sacramento, and has worked in the department since January 2014.
Remaining enthusiastic about her active role at Sacramento State requires balancing home life and work. Not only is Susan a dedicated member of the Risk Management team at Sacramento State, but she is also a happy and supportive wife, mother, and grandmother to seven grandchildren – six girls and one boy. She is excited to welcome another grandson to her family in January 2023.
How did you become a risk manager?
When I began my career in Risk Management Services, I was initially hired as an Administrative Support Coordinator supporting the Associate Vice President (AVP) and Director Kirtland Stout, who was the previous Risk Director and my mentor. He used to say that most people do not necessarily seek to be in Risk Management, but they become aware by applying their life experiences and knowledge to potential risks.
After completing my B.S. in Health Care Administration and Management in 2015, I took over the responsibilities of an open Analyst position in the department. Kirt recognized my potential and strong organizational and analytical skills. When Kirt retired in 2017, I took over the Risk Director responsibilities while the campus sought his replacement.
Although Risk Manager is not my title at Sacramento State, I am a primary team member frequently contacted with questions by campus community members because of my availability, knowledge, resourcefulness, and, more importantly, responsiveness. I am the AVP glue that keeps the Department functioning efficiently.
What are the rewards you experience professionally by being a PARMA member?
I began attending local chapter meetings and PARMA’s annual conferences in 2017. The primary reward of being a PARMA member is to keep up with the latest trends for risk and safety issues, networking, professional development, and skill enhancement in the public sector.
How has your professional knowledge expanded by interacting with other PARMA members?
My risk management professional knowledge has expanded tremendously because of the various sessions and knowledgeable speakers at meetings and conferences.
After being a member of PARMA for some time now, how essential was joining your professional association?
It was extremely essential! As my role grew within the campus community, I knew I had to continue to expand my knowledge and PARMA helped with that. Knowing that the University relies on my guidance, I wanted to do my best because the department’s reputation is critical in effecting change within the campus.
How would you respond to a risk manager who says they don’t have time to participate in PARMA and /or moving towards a leadership position?
Joining PARMA and attending meetings/conferences benefits those employed in risk management with continuing education, access to resources and services, different perspectives, networking opportunities, as well as professional development. It is worth your time if you want to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of this industry.
What do you see being one of the largest challenges for the future of risk management?
The risk management industry must continue to strengthen its skills and experience as the business world evolves with changes in diversity and demographics.
How will PARMA respond to that challenge?
Recognizing and acknowledging these changes, PARMA should continue to provide leading subject-matter experts to speak at their meetings/conferences to meet future risk management challenges.