PARMA, the acronym for the Public Agency Risk Management Association, was founded in 1974, by a group of eight risk managers. PARMA was the first organization of its kind, and was formed to provide a forum for California public sector risk managers to share ideas on how to perform their duties in this emerging field. At that time in the history of public entity risk management, no venue existed for risk managers to learn their trade, and most of what was being done was experimental in nature. That being the case, the founders of PARMA wished to share their experiences and risk management techniques so that their fellow risk managers would not have to continually keep “reinventing the wheel.” This collegial spirit still permeates PARMA, and the networking that it engenders is the cornerstone of PARMA.
PARMA has grown from that tiny band of risk managers, to an organization that spans the entire State of California, has members in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Nevada, and which is now comprised of over 600 members in six local Chapters It is still governed by its members and a central Board of Directors, whose members are nominated and elected by the membership.