From the Director

Welcome to our website.   Beginning August 2017, I was hired as Director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center (which I’ll refer to as Storm Center or Center).  It has been an honor to be named Director and deal with the many challenges the Storm Center offers.  For over 10 years since the creation of the Storm Center, I served on the Center’s Advisory Council and have become very familiar with its mission.

I have had the pleasure of serving with some very talented people and to work closely with the past directors – Pat Maroney and Dr. Lorilee Medders.  They both have been very helpful to me in my new role.  Although I expect that my leadership, managerial, administrative, and research skills will have an impact on the Storm Center, I hope to build on the work of our past directors. Florida happens to be the “peak risk zone” in the world as related to catastrophic storm activity and exposure concentration.  It makes sense for the state to have a premier research and educational center at FSU which is located in the state’s capital.  

One of my projects has been to update this website.  If you have not visited the Storm Center’s website in a long time, you will find that it has been reorganized.  Our goal will be to create a “flow” to the information.  Current and new items will be the immediate focus, and we are hopeful that when you visit the site you will be rewarded by always finding something new.  This could apply to a research article, an upcoming conference, news, an announcement, or something about a featured person.  We want the information to flow from a “new and current section” to “a section where topics are classified by topic or subject” to “an archive section” which will allow information to be found by sorting by date, author, topic, journal, event, person, etc.

Starting in September 2018, the Storm Center has hired Lauren Del Toro as the new Program Coordinator for the Center.  One of her roles will be to keep the website up-to-date and relevant.  The website still has a lot of work that needs to be done, but we are hopeful that in the next several months, it will become much more useful with greater content.  We believe the website should serve as the face of the Storm Center and help lead visitors to beneficial and timely information.  We are hoping that we can make it easy to use, highly informative, and relevant to our mission.  In the future, we hope to integrate our website with social media as we expand our reach and contact with the public.

The Storm Center has both a research and an educational role.  Since I became Director, Dr. Lorilee Medders and I published a paper in Risk Management and Insurance Review entitled “Evaluating the Public Financing for Florida’s Wind Risk.”  Also, working with Karen Clark and Glen Daraskevich both of the modeling firm Karen Clark and Company, we have recently submitted a paper for review entitled “The Florida Insurance Market:  An Analysis of Vulnerabilities to Future Hurricane Losses.” 

In March of this year, I taught an FSU Law School class as part of its Law and Risk Management Seminar entitled “How to Strengthen Florida’s Insurance Markets.” 

Additionally, I’ve been involved with the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Insurance Summit, the Thomas Howell Ferguson Conference on Financial Accounting, the Horizon Conference, and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund’s Participating Insurer Workshop.  The Storm Center in conjunction with the Center for Risk Management Education and Research held a conference at FSU on May 17, 2018, entitled “FSU Insurance Discussion Forum.” The topics included “How Block Chain and Other Technologies are Changing the Insurance and Reinsurance Industries”, “Ways to Improve Hurricane Warnings by Improving the Accuracy of Tracking Models”, “Flood Insurance:  Rating and Other Considerations”, “Alternative Capital:  What to Expect in the Future for Risk Transfer Markets,” and “The Future of Insurance Regulation.”

Dr. Chuck Nye is working in conjunction with me on producing an “Insurance Industry Report.”  It has been several years since a comprehensive insurance industry report has been published by the Storm Center, but we would like to make this report an annual publication which will serve to provide insights into and trends for Florida’s residential property insurance market.

In the near future, we hope to start back with having meetings of the Storm Center’s Advisory Council.  It is anticipated that we will structure the meetings as telephone conference calls and have two meetings a year – one in the fall and one in the early spring.

I am hoping to expand the Storm Center’s capabilities by teaming up with “research associates” who will be various experts that are willing to participate with me or to make contributions related to our research efforts and who want to be associated with the Storm Center.  Our plans would be to identify these individuals on the Storm Center’s website including their areas of expertise.

In the future, there is a role for the Storm Center to work with other academic centers and organizations both in Florida and nationally.  I have made connections in this regard and will be following up over the course of the next year.

My purpose has been to give you a quick update as to the status of the Storm Center and a glimpse at our future plans.  Thank you for visiting.