The California El Camino Chapter of the CPCU Society serves the San Fernando Valley, the Santa Clarita Valley, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, and San Luis Obispo County.  The California El Camino Chapter is an offspring of The Los Angeles Chapter,  which was originally commissioned in 1945 as The Pacific Chapter,  and started out in 1984 under the leadership of our first Chapter President, James J. Buttitta, CPCU.


2018 Year in Review - El Camino CPCU Chapter:

 In January, we kicked off the New Year with a great presentation on “Big Data & Fraud Analytics”.   We learned how big data is changing the insurance industry and explored the types of big data like artificial intelligence, & how it’s being used to help underwrite & adjudicate claims.  A case study was also reviewed to give us a better understanding on how it’s helping combat claims fraud.

 In February, we had a fun breakfast networking event where free professional photos were taken of each attendee.  It was also another great opportunity to get to know some of the New Designees and Chapter Board.

 In March for Ethics month, we had an interesting & entertaining interactive presentation conducted by Jim Taylor Head of Claims Compliance, Qualify & Customer Experience for Farmers Insurance.  Jim was also Past President and Chapter Governor for the So. California Chapters.  His session on the “Ethical Challenges in Property & Casualty Insurance: Can They be Overcome?” focused on both historical & current factors that have given rise to ethical challenges in the P & C insurance industry & he offered solutions on how to confront and surmount those challenges. 

In April, a representative from the California Earthquake Authority provided insight into the largest provider of Earthquake coverage in California, the CEA.  The session started with a brief overview of the Northridge Earthquake that hit a large metropolitan area in California over 24 years again and the role that the insurance industry plays in preparing homeowners and renters for the next big California Earthquake.  This session explored the likelihood of the next “big one” based on statistical analysis, and the current prediction of the property damages it will cause.  Since the CEA was formed by the California Legislature in 1996, the CEA policies have continually evolved over the last 22 years to provide greater deductible options, expanded coverage, and rates that have been declining in recent years.

In May, we had another great meeting that took place at the Westlake Golf Course Clubhouse. The topic “Risk Management & the Insurance Industry” provided a summary of the insurance industry’s role in helping clients better manage risk and purchasing insurance to match risk exposure.  The presentation also featured a discussion about the exposures to Golf Courses which tied in nicely with the venue.   Following the presentation, the golf course management provided the CPCU attendees with an opportunity to hit golf balls at the driving range and we had a fun putting challenge.

In June, we had a speaker from Swiss Re give us a “Reinsurance Sampler” giving us a high level overview of what we should know about reinsurance.  The presenter addressed reinsurance basics, including the uses of reinsurance, reinsurance & the financial statements and historic ‘mis-uses’ of reinsurance.


We were dark for July and we hope everyone enjoyed some fun in the sun!

In August, we co-sponsored a joint networking mixer event with the LA Chapter at Karl Strauss at the Universal City Walk.  During this event, we welcomed some the New Designees from both chapters and everyone enjoyed a great time networking with other CPCU’s & other industry professionals.

In September, we held our third annual chapter meeting on the CSUN campus with Dr. David Russell and his students who are pursuing a degree and career in the insurance industry.   This continues to be a unique opportunity for us to give the CSUN students a new perspective of the insurance industry.   We had several chapter members participate in a panel discussion addressing their views, journey & careers within the insurance industry.  The panelists included a Director of Underwriting at Topa Ins., an Actuarial Assistant at Farmers, a Financial analyst at Farmers, a Product Manager at Burns& Wilcox & a Claims Manager with Topa Ins.  Following the panel discussion, the chapter leaders held table discussions with the CSUN students that focused on career perspectives, how the CPCU designation can help achieve higher goals and why learning doesn’t end with a Bachelor’s degree.   We are looking forward to the 4th annual CSUN event!

In October, we had an interactive session about the Catastrophic California Wildland Fires & The Subrogation process.   Basically, a nuts & bolts presentation identifying the key

claims handling methodologies and lessons learned from these Catastrophic fires.  This session was presented by Barry Kaiman and Michael Velladao who are Partners in the Law Firm of Lewis Brisbois. 


In November, we participated in another successful CPCU All Industry Day Conference hosted by the Los Angeles & El Camino Chapters.  Bringing together over 220 attendees, 17 exhibitors covering their services and products, and some amazing educational sessions and outstanding speakers.  Topics included: Questionable Claims Submissions, Claims Analytics and Big Data, Reinsurance, Subrogation arising from the 9/11 terrorist attacks: Million Dollar Lessons from a Billion Dollar Case and our keynote luncheon speaker was Tim Felks/SVP of Property Claims for Farmers Ins.  On behalf of both chapters, we granted a $500 Scholarship to one of the CSUN Students attending the conference.  The 73rd Annual Conference was a major group effort and a big success for our chapters.  It’s a privilege to put together such a high caliber industry conference and at the same time recognize our chapter’s New Designees.    Save the date for the 2019 CPCU All Industry Day Event tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, October 15th!


In December, we enjoyed the annual Holiday Luncheon and the Installation of the 2019 Officers & Directors.  We also sponsored a “Good Works” project during the holiday luncheon by supporting the West Valley Food Pantry with groceries and monetary donations.   Thank you to past Chapter Governor, Jim Taylor for being our Master of Ceremony and to everyone for attending and generously supporting the West Valley Food Pantry!   

We hope to see you on January 10th when we kick off the new year of chapter meetings & activities with our first meeting at Topa Insurance on the topic of “Product & Program Management”.  This session will give us a high level overview of the Product & Program Management functions presented by Harris Hur/AVP of Product & Program Management & Ben Rozema/Group Product Manager both representing Topa Insurance.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the chapter as a volunteer, please contact any of our chapter leaders or contact our 2019 Chapter President Christopher (Chris) Faber, CPCU at: (661) 425-2083 or Email at: Christopher.faber@farmersinsurance.com or our Chapter Director Carol McDonald, CPCU AIM at (805) 405-9891 or Email at carol.mcdonald@fcafire.com.

Best Wishes to Hans Bloem on his new work endeavor and move to Illinois and Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year from the California El Camino CPCU Chapter Board to YOU!