Beta Theta Chapter
 2016 Coastal Risk Retreat
We know you are excited about our educational line-up at this year's Coastal Risk Retreat!  Designed to bring you timely information about risks affecting our coastal region, the three hours of education should be both valuable and entertaining!

Observing Hurricanes in High Definition:  

The Science Behind Real-time Hurricane Impact Mapping

Dr. Mark Powell
Vice-President of Model Development
Risk Management Solutions

With billions of dollars of coastal property susceptible to hurricanes, catastrophe modelers must use the latest science to understand and effectively model the hazard. Mark will present recent developments in hurricane science that will be making their way into the risk models.  In particular he will cover how hurricanes are monitored by various space-borne (satellites) and air-borne (reconnaissance aircraft) measurement systems, and how these data can contribute to an objective map of the hurricane wind field. Then, he will use the wind field information to evaluate the destructive potential of storms as a basic underwriting tool, and describe recent hurricane impact examples from the RMS HWind archive.

Topics will include:
  • Remote sensing in Hurricanes (from satellites to drones)
  • Why the greatest coastal threat can come from a Cat 3 rather than a Cat 5
  • Getting beyond the Saffir-Simpson scale with Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE)
  • How high definition wind footprints can help with claims
  • Example hurricane impact wind fields from recent years (Isabel, Irene, Sandy, and Arthur)
About Dr. Powell:
Mark D. Powell is an atmospheric scientist and Vice President for Model Development at Risk Management Solutions in Tallahassee, Florida. He is the founder of HWind Scientific, which merged with RMS in late 2015. RMS’ HWind products  serve a variety of users in the insurance industry, as well as forecasters, emergency managers, storm surge-, wave-, risk-, and ecosystem modelers.  

For over 30 years, Dr. Powell served as a scientist at NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division in Miami.  There he focused on inventing the real-time hurricane wind analysis system (HWind), and conducting research in several other areas including air-sea interaction in extreme winds, new metrics for hurricane destructive potential, boundary layer wind structure in landfalling hurricanes, hurricane rainband dynamics, and development of standards for the measurement, analysis, and archival of hurricane surface wind fields. 

He has flown into 13 hurricanes and served as lead project scientist on hurricane research flights, the Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment, and the Tropical Experiment in Mexico. 

Dr. Powell received his BS and PhD degrees from The Florida State University and his MS from Penn State.  He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, holds the AMS  Certified Consulting Meteorologist designation, and has been awarded Gold and Bronze Medals from the U. S. Department of Commerce.  

The Institute for Business and Home Safety:

A Coastal Resource

Ms. Julie A. Rochman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety

Julie Rochman, President and CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, will discuss who the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is; why and how the Institute conducts leading-edge building science focused on hurricanes (high winds and wind-driven rain) and building materials and systems; and how insights gleaned from IBHS research are being acted upon in the real world – particularly in coastal areas – through building codes and standards, building industry practices, insurance operations, and public policy at the local, state and federal levels.

Topics will include:

  • Who is IBHS and what do we do?
  • IBHS testing capabilities and results
  • The newest cutting edge research findings from IBHS that impact coastal residents of North Carolina
  • Coastal building codes and standards
  • Getting more people to act to strengthen homes and businesses

About Ms Rochman:

Julie Rochman joined joined IBHS in 2007 with more than 20 years of public affairs and advocacy experience representing major corporations, research and safety organizations, and issue-based coalitions.  She is often quoted by both traditional and digital media outlets on a wide variety of topics.  

Under Julie's leadership, IBHS has become a world-class research and communications organization; significant accomplishments include creation of the unique, $40 million IBHS Research Center in South Carolina.

Prior to IBHS, Julie held senior positions at a leading Washington, D.C. based strategic communication and advocacy firm;  at the American Insurance Association; and at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  She now serves on several advisory councils and the National Fire Protection Association Board of Directors.  She previously served on boards for the International Hurricane Research Center, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.  

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Julie earned a BA in International Relations from Tulane University, and an MA in American Government from the University of Virginia. She resides in Tampa.  

Insurance Industry Overview and Outlook:

Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

James Lynch, FCAS, MAAA 
Chief Actuary and Vice-President of Research and Information Services
Insurance Information Institute

James Lynch will provide a detailed overview and outlook for the p/c insurance markets in the United States with a focus on the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic regions.  Topics to be discussed include industry financial performance, underwriting and investment performance and catastrophe loss trends.  The presentation with also include an analysis of the industry’s economic growth drivers, new and emerging risks and innovative insurance solutions, including cyber insurance, the sharing economy and drone coverage.


Topics will include:

  • P/C insurance industry financial performance
  • Underwriting performance trends by key line of coverage
  • State-specific analyses for the Carolinas and surrounding region vs. the US overall
  • Catastrophe loss update
  • Insurance industry economic growth drivers
  • Industry investment performance
  • Emerging risks and innovative insurance solutions
About Mr. Lynch:

James Lynch, FCAS MAAA, is chief actuary and vice president of research and information services at the Insurance Information Institute. He joined the I.I.I. in 2014. Previously, he provided consulting services to I.I.I., co-authoring white papers and developing original research on topics as varied as gun liability insurance and the history of workers compensation. He has written and spoken on a wide variety of insurance issues, including personal automobile insurance, flood insurance, workers compensation and alternative capital.


The I.I.I. provides assistance on thousands of stories annually and covers all aspects of print, television, radio and new media while also responding to thousands of requests from I.I.I. member companies and other constituencies. The institute is generally recognized to be the most credible and frequently used single source of information and referral for the widely diverse insurance industry. Its Board represents companies from all areas of the industry, including life insurers. In addition, some 20 other insurance organizations contract with I.I.I. for media services.


Jim has more than 20 years of experience in property/casualty insurance, including serving as chief actuary of QBE the Americas and as a senior executive for White Mountains Reinsurance of America. He began his actuarial career at CNA.


Before working in insurance, Jim was a journalist, spending seven years at The Miami Herald.  He has degrees in journalism from the University of Missouri and Indiana University. He has a bachelor’s degree in statistics from Florida International University. He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Gamma Iota Sigma - Beta Theta Chapter is an officially recognized student organization at East Carolina University.  For more information e-mail us at
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software