Kristina Narvaez graduated from the University of Utah in Environmental Risk Management (2000), which is a degree she designed through the University Studies College that is a combination of a finance undergraduate degree with four graduate level classes in safety/ ergonomics from the Department of Mechanical Engineering: ergonomics, advanced biomechanics, industrial safety, system safety and four graduate level classes from the School of Medicine in industrial hygiene: industrial hygiene, industrial ventilation, hazardous wastes, and physics of noise. She then received her MBA from Westminster College (2002) with two advanced certificates in Finance and Information Technology.
She is a two time Spencer Education Foundation Graduate Scholar from the Risk and Insurance Management Society (2001, 2002) and won the Anita Benedetti Scholarship in (2002) from the Risk and Insurance Management Society. She has also won two national awards for risk management papers she wrote as an undergraduate student at the University of Utah. She won a third place award from the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (1999) for her research paper on “Leaking Underground Storage Tanks Contribution to Brownfields” and the Edith F. Lichota Award (2000) from the Risk and Insurance Management Society for her research paper on “Risk Management Strategies in Developing the Light Rail System in Salt Lake City”
She started her career in 1994 as a commercial insurance agent selling workers compensation insurance, business commercial package policies, and health benefits. She then worked in the risk management departments of both Utah Transit Authority and Zions Bancorporation. At Utah Transit Authority, she helped with the Safety Certification Process using a basic ERM information system to track safety concerns and reported those findings to the Federal Transit Authority and Federal Railroad Administration of the Light Rail System prior to its Grand Opening in December 1999.
At Zions Bancorporation, she was assistant risk manager and worked on the development and implementation of their risk assessment information system called Risk Resolve that was based on Basel II and identified risk exposures in every department at Zions Bank and their seven affiliate banks at the time. Those risk exposures were evaluated and recommendations were made by the risk management department and internal audit was tasked with following up to make sure those recommendations were implemented. Those risk exposures were rolled up to a “Top Ten List” that was shared with decision makers at Zions Bancorporation.
She also worked as a Utah representative and risk management consultant for Bickmore Risk Services and Consulting. In 2010, she passed The Institutes’ ERM-57 exam and taught the ERM-57 course in Utah through the Utah Chapter of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters. In June of 2010, she started her own Enterprise Risk Management firm called ERM Strategies, LLC. ERM Strategies LLC is a consulting and research firm designed to assist Executive Management teams and Board of Directors see which risks or combination of risks could have the greatest impact on their organization. The firm integrates the ERM frameworks of either COSO II or ISO 31000 or a hybrid of the two frameworks into the strategic planning process and addresses the risk exposures related to both the opportunities and threats of the organization.
ERM Strategies, LLC considers all risks that an organization faces, regardless of their source or potential outcome. The firm looks at compliance risk, operational risk, hazard risk, environmental risk, financial risk, and strategic risk and seeks to optimize the risk taking activities of an organization in relationship to strategic goals. By seeing risk from a holistic, or enterprise wide, approach versus independent silos, such as separate business units, the firm examines factors in the internal and external environments to identify risks that would impede growth and achievement of established strategic goals.
Kristina is also an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University teaching Business Strategy 498 to undergraduate students. This course instructs students on the strategic management process for formulating and implementing strategy through external and internal analysis. It also addresses the strategic concepts of cost advantage, differentiation advantage, corporate strategy, vertical integration, strategic alliances, international strategy, innovative strategies, disruptive business models, competitor interaction/game theory, strategy implementation, governance and ethics, and corporate social responsibility
Kristina has authored and co-authored thirty-seven published articles on the topics of Enterprise Risk Management and Board Risk Governance in such publications as The Corporate Board, www.boardmember.com, Risk Management Magazine, RIMS Executive Report, Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions, Journal of Enterprise Risk Management, CIO Review, International Risk Management Institute’s The Risk Report, Government and Financial Officers Association’s magazine Government Finance Review, Risk Management Association magazine, and in CFO.com. She is also the author of the book about ERM in public entities called “Success Stories: Public Entities Adopt ERM Best Practices” published by Public Entity Research Institute in 2011 and she also authored two chapters and co-edited the book “Implementing Enterprise Risk Management: Case Studies and Best Practices” published in 2014 by Wiley and Sons.
She has conducted various executive education workshops and seminars on ERM to professional risk management associations and public entities in the United States. These include the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Public Risk and Insurance Management Association, Government Financial Officers Association, Association of Federal Enterprise Risk Management, Society of Risk Management Consultants, City of Los Angeles, Orange County Sheriff, Utah Governor’s Economic Summit, Utah Chapter of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters, Utah Chapter of Insurance Accountants and Systems Association, and CFO Magazine Conference.