Feature Article - August 2009
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Safety & Protection for All: How the Right Risk Management

Strategy Makes Recreation More Enjoyable

By Jessica Royer Ocken

About the Experts

Kevin Hoffman is director of member services for the Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA), a member-owned and -operated organization formed in 1984 by a collection of Illinois park districts. PDRMA provides its members with insurance coverage, risk management resources, facility audits, legal counsel, and ongoing training and education. "Much of PDRMA's work is focused on helping Illinois park districts identify the risks they face, including employee injuries and property damage, then determine how to manage them using safety practices and communication," Hoffman said.

Donald Ornelas, Jr. is an attorney with Agajanian, McFall, Weiss, Tetreault & Crist LLP. This Los Angeles-based firm counts a variety of sports, recreation and leisure facilities—including race tracks, stadiums, casinos and bowling alleys—among their clients. On behalf of these clients they have addressed risk management issues and legal cases related to slip-and-fall accidents, site security issues, insurance matters and more.

Dr. John Otto Spengler is chair of the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation's Safety and Risk Management Council, and he is also an associate professor at University of Florida in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management. He has both a law degree and a doctorate in recreation and sport management. "I combine those two to teach and research safety and risk management," he explained. Spengler has also published four books on sports- and recreation-related legal and risk management issues.