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New RISK 360 Conference Name Aligns with Broader Focus

What’s in a name? For the annual RAAW Conference, it turns out, not enough to represent its full scope, so a new name – RISK 360 Conference – is launching this year.

For 30 years, attendees from across Farm Credit have gathered for the annual RAAW Conference, initially established to deliver relevant content around the Review, Audit and Appraisal topics on which the Farm Credit System Review, Audit and Appraisal Workgroup (RAAW) focuses.

Due in large part to the quality of the programming guided by the Workgroup, conference attendance has broadened over the years: in 2019, for example, fully half of attendees self-identified as filling a role outside the three main RAAW disciplines, to include directors, CEOs, CFOs, CROs and CCOs, as well as credit and credit review staff among others.

The Workgroup decided it was time to consider renaming the conference.

“Risk management has become more interdisciplinary and touches individual roles and departments across the organization,” says Staci Brown, Senior Vice President and Director of Internal Audit for Yosemite Farm Credit and chair of the RAAW. “We’re all risk managers regardless of title, and renaming the conference underscores this philosophy.”

Renaming the conference was not a quick decision. With the same care and consideration it gives all its decisions, the Workgroup sought insight and advice from FCC Services’ Stephanie Barton, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Account Management.

“Before deciding to rename the conference, we discussed both the benefits of having a name that more accurately represented the topics and the attendees, and also the risks of potentially creating confusion among our audience and losing brand equity and even word-of-mouth promotion,” says Stephanie.

After this in-depth discussion, the Workgroup concluded that a new name was in order, and after reviewing several options it determined that “RISK 360 Conference” best represents what the conference looks like today, and positions it to continue to evolve into the future.

“The name ‘RISK 360’ allows us to be dynamic and approachable in addressing the risks to the System moving forward,” says Joe Valladeras, Chief Audit Officer for Texas Farm Credit Services and vice chair of the RAAW. “It positions us to explore the broader content we’ve been delivering so we can all continue to strengthen controls and mitigate risks at our own organizations and at the System level.”

Though the name has changed, conference attendees can continue to expect breakout sessions focused on trending risk management issues across four topical tracks, and keynote sessions designed to inspire Farm Credit leaders of today and tomorrow.

The 2020 RISK 360 Conference, formerly the RAAW Conference, will be held August 31 through September 2 in Nashville, Tennessee. Conference registration is open now.

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