During the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors at the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority’s (California JPIA) 26th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum, Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull reported on the Authority’s strategic initiative to be a thought leader in local government and risk management. Encapsulating achievements in public relations, he described an enhanced social media presence, with Facebook and LinkedIn engagements increasing year over year by 26 percent and 36 percent, respectively, as well as exceptional open and click-through rates for The Authority e-newsletter.

“Effective communication is a fundamental element of public service,” said Shull. “By growing the Authority’s reputation, we increase our ability to steward best practices in risk management among not only our members but also municipal staff and elected officials throughout California.”

Building on this positive trend, the California JPIA welcomes its inaugural communications director, Olga Berdial, who joins the Authority from the City of Chula Vista.

A marketing expert whose experience extends from media buying, branding, and social media to public outreach, trade shows, and special events, Berdial has worked in both the public and private sectors. As a special events coordinator for Chula Vista, she supported marketing campaigns including “THIS is Chula” and “We built THIS.” As a media marketing specialist for Provide Commerce, she created and executed marketing plans for both print and digital media channels. She previously worked for publisher Elsevier Public Safety, where she organized conferences, exhibited at trade shows, and developed content for marketing magazines and newsletters.

At the California JPIA, Berdial will leverage her skills in brand management and storytelling to create and implement a strategic marketing plan that will position the organization as, she said, “the preeminent risk management authority.”

Berdial was drawn to the new role at the California JPIA by the opportunity to affect change.

“Part of what I love about working in the public sector is making a difference in a community,” she said. “Working for the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority amplifies that impact. The California JPIA helps cities mitigate risk and reduce liability. If there are less claims, cities can provide more services to their residents as well as a better quality of life. It’s a win-win.”

Working closely with colleagues and member agencies, Berdial will help communicate the resources that the California JPIA provides while showcasing the Authority as a leader in the municipal risk management space.

“The Authority already holds a leadership position among municipal risk management pools,” said Shull. “Olga will help reinforce and build on that position.”

Berdial holds a B.S. in journalism from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from the University of San Diego. She also is an alumna of the Public Management Academy at The Centre for Organization Effectiveness, a San Diego-based joint powers authority that offers training and coaching services to public-sector employees.

“I’d love to meet staff from each of our member agencies to better understand their needs and perspectives,” said Berdial.

Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 40 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 120 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive training and loss control services. For more information, please visit the California JPIA’s website at cjpia.org.