What’s Next for Certified Insurance Service Representatives?


Updating Elements of Risk Management and Beyond

On this week’s episode, Mitch Dunford discusses the recent release of the newly revised CISR Elements of Risk Management (ELR) course and online self-paced module. Joining him is faculty member Tom Franzen; Risk Management Academic Director, Sarah Warhaftig CRM, JD; and Director of Instructional Design, Beth Ottolini. Listen in to learn about the creation of the new ELR program, new features, and how the program has been received by instructors and participants. Stay tuned until the end to hear Beth take us through the roll-out schedule and find out which CISR programs will be updated next. You don’t want to miss this! Learn more about the revised CISR Elements of Risk Management Course!

Learn more about the revised CISR Elements of Risk Management Course!

About Our Guests

Tom Franzen- Faculty Member

Tom Franzen has spent the entirety of his four-generation-spanning career in the insurance and risk management industry. His career has taken him from company-based work to the agency side where he served as Vice-President and a principal of Scheller Insurance Agency, Inc. for nearly 40 years. He continues to enjoy his role as President at Thomas F. Franzen & Co. Insurance and Risk Management consulting firm. An attendee of McKendree College, Tom received his CIC designation in 1979, his ARM designation in 2008, ARM-P credentials in 2010, and added the MLIS designation in 2018. His passion for sharing knowledge with others in the industry has led him to opportunities such as consulting, serving as a faculty member for the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, and various speaking engagements with convention groups about insurance and risk management-related topics. He is also an active member of the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS). Tom recognizes being a professional in his community means giving back where his skillset and insights are applicable via volunteer service roles, such as Board Member of First National Bank of Litchfield and recently serving for multiple years as Chairman of the Board at St. Francis Hospital.

Beth Ottolini- Director of Instructional Design

Beth Ottolini began her career in secondary education and made the switch to the corporate world after earning her Master’s in Educational Technology from Michigan State University. She has spent the last six years of her career developing training programs for insurance and risk management professionals. Beth has experience with all facets of learning and development, including corporate training, learning management system (LMS) administration, and instructional design. She is passionate about leveraging innovative eLearning strategies and tools to create on-demand training experiences for adult learners.

Sarah Warhaftig, CRM, JD- Risk Management Academic Director

Sarah Warhaftig is the Academic Director of Risk Management Programs for the National Alliance where she is responsible for the Certified Risk Manager, Certified School Risk Manager, and Certified Personal Risk Manager designation programs. Sarah held the positions of Director of Operations for Aparicio, Walker, & Seeling, and was immediate past President of AWS Risk Management, LLC in Metairie, Louisiana. Clients included public entities, third party administrators, boards, and private corporations. She consulted with large municipal and not-for-profit clients regarding their insurance and risk management programs. Sarah was responsible for assisting clients in managing insurance program transitions. Post-Hurricane Katrina, she worked with municipal clients in Stafford Act compliance quantifying losses and perfecting claims, as well as analyzing continued risk retention abilities. As Vice President/State Director of Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc. (a third-party claims administrator licensed in 38 states), Sarah was responsible for day-to-day operations, as well as profit and loss accountability for branches throughout Louisiana. Sarah served on the Municipal Account Business Development Team and as account manager for several entities, including the City of New Orleans, the City of Memphis, Jefferson Parish, and the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board. During the course of her career, Sarah has held positions as a risk management director, assistant vice-president of claims, and regional claims manager. She is a graduate of Tulane University and Rutgers Law School.

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