Business Projects Manager Carl Sandstrom, a member of the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) staff since May 2003, celebrates his 20th anniversary serving the Authority’s members this year.
“Carl is a wealth of knowledge for our staff,” said California JPIA Chief Executive Officer Alex Smith. “He provides historical information while intertwining our current approach and outlining how processes have evolved. His welcoming demeanor makes him a joy to work with, and he does a great job making staff feel at ease. We’ve been lucky to have Carl on the team for 20 years.”
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Carl worked as an assistant vice president for Capital International, a Los Angeles-based asset management company, until he joined the California JPIA as a training coordinator. He was promoted to risk manager in 2004 and senior management analyst in 2007; he assumed responsibility as business projects and facilities manager in 2010. Since 2012, he has managed the implementation and support of technology projects, including hardware, software, and telecommunications, ensuring that all staff members have the electronic resources they need to be productive and well-equipped to collaborate on team projects.
“My prior work experience taught me how to get the most out of people and assets, to be aware of how changes in timing and environment affect the viability of ideas, and to strive for long-term value,” said Sandstrom. “I approach each new project for the Authority with an open mind; I gather and evaluate resources, reconsider past ideas constructively, and design, build, and implement solutions intended to outlast my tenure.”
Beyond his official role as business projects manager, Sandstrom executes critical tasks such as developing the California JPIA’s learning management platform and expanding the functionality of its risk management information system. While he has contributed to many projects over the years, he cites the 2007–2009 reworking of the California JPIA’s cost allocation model as a particularly satisfying achievement. The outcome of that project, he said, led the Authority to an improved financial position, with the ability to attract new members and provide better programs and services to current members.
“Nobody likes volatility in any way, shape or form,” said Sandstrom. “We like it nice and steady on a day-to-day basis.”
Sandstrom has positioned the California JPIA at the forefront of technology. When the Authority implemented its regional risk management approach, he helped make it possible for staff to work from their homes while servicing their regional member agencies. With that technology in place, he said, “When the pandemic hit, we were ready to continue operating at the same level of excellence, servicing members in the best way possible.”
Sandstrom’s favorite California JPIA event is the annual Risk Management Educational Forum, which provides an opportunity to support the Authority’s leadership in presenting an outstanding event and demonstrate to the Authority’s members how important they are.
“The Forum is a great opportunity to show our members, ‘You matter so much that we share awesome content from unmatched speakers. Enjoy yourself and learn a lot. We’re all in this together.’”
Sandstrom holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from San Diego State University. He earned an Associate in Risk Management for Public Entities Designation from The Institutes, which provides a foundational, technical, and leadership curriculum in risk management and insurance. Active with the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities (CAJPA) since 2006, he is a current member and former chair of the CAJPA Technology Committee and a current member and former vice chair of the CAJPA Accreditation Committee.
“I am proud to be a part of an organization and industry that is working to improve California,” said Sandstrom. “Shared-risk pooling is one of the greatest success stories of the last 50 years. The Authority is home to a dedicated group of professionals delivering needed risk management services to our public agency partners.”
About the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority
Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 45 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 125 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.