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Palisade Risk Conference
Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis
November 15-16, 2017 Nashville

Palisade Risk Conference

Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis

November 15th-16th, 2017 • Nashville

Our Biggest Event of the Year – Palisade’s 2017 Risk Conference Nashville

Join Industry Leaders and Software Experts

The 2017 Palisade Risk Conference in Nashville will take place November 15-16 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. The conference offers multiple tracks, including software training sessions on @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite, and practitioner case study sessions. Case studies encompass a wide range of applications. Past events have included topics such as supply chain management with Amway, quantifying megaproject risk with Ontario Power Generation, communicating risk to decision makers with CH2M Hill, valuing R&D projects with Novelis, and many more.

The 2016 Palisade Risk Conference in New Orleans brought together over 100 decision-makers from a wide range of industries to discuss the latest trends and best practices in risk and decision analysis. This year’s event promises multiple tracks of real-world industry case studies, professional development, networking opportunities, and more.

Conference attendees will also be able to meet with Palisade consultants in one-on-one Expert Sessions. You’ll get a chance to bring your own models for the consultant to review.

Plus, you won’t want to miss all the networking opportunities included with your conference registration, including lunches, breaks, and a reception where you can share ideas and exchange business cards with other professionals facing similar challenges.

View the 2016 Risk Conference schedule and presentations

Quotes from Attendees

“The conference is filled with interesting sessions, brilliant people, and great professional opportunities.”

Susan Parente, Principal, S3 Technologies

“Very worthwhile use of time.”

Eric Ho, Senior Risk Manager, Arcadis

“This conference was the perfect jump start to my learning experience.”

Vy Kieu, Engineer, Salt River Project

“An excellent mix of statistical knowledge, application, and focust on development.”

Dominic Abadie, Senior Risk Analyst, Whitney Bank

“Always a tough decision deciding which sessions to attend.”

Kevin Weaver, Consultant, First Energy Corp

“As an introduction to the software, I thought this conference was eye-opening. As I get more familiar with the software, I can see future conferences being valuable in honing my skills and learning new tricks and different perspectives on using the software.”

Cory Forgrave, Economic Analyst in the DOI Division of Energy and Mineral Development

Conference Tracks - Learn from the Experts

The Palisade Risk Conference will offer various ways to maximize your experience.

Case Studies:

Hear users in the field describe how they apply @RISK and DecisionTools software to their real-life problems. Case studies come from a wide range of industries and disciplines.

Software Training:

Here’s your chance to get exposure to the latest in risk and decision analytics software and techniques. Get more from @RISK and each of the products in Palisade’s DecisionTools Suite. Sessions are taught by Palisade’s expert consultants and trainers. Learn direct from the source!

Expert Sessions:

Sign up for a one-on-one session with a Palisade consultant to get advice on your particular model or risk modeling issue.

Networking – Learn from Each Other

The Palisade Risk Conference will offer plenty of opportunities to mingle and share ideas with other delegates, presenters, and Palisade staff. Lunches, breaks and networking receptions are all included with your registration.

Interested in Presenting?

Palisade is seeking submissions for the 2017 Risk Conference in Nashville. If you have an interesting application of Palisade software which you would like to present, please send a short abstract to Jami Adams, at The closing date for abstracts to be submitted is July 31st, 2017.

Information for presenters

Join a Global Group

The 2017 Palisade Risk Conference is part of a global, annual series of meetings where professionals share ideas and advance the practice of risk and decision analysis. Events in 2017 include Chicago, Columbus, Sydney, New Delhi, Mumbai, Munich, and more.

Information about 2017 Conferences

Register Now

Register now for Nashville -- Save $100 with early registration.

Nashville: 15-16 November 2017  Palisade Risk Conference
Nashville: 15-16 November 2017
Palisade Risk Conference

Register now for only $395  $295.  Save $100.
Includes breaks, lunches, receptions, complete schedule, and Expert Session.

Price: $295.00


Schedule Coming Soon.


  Jarrod Barraza, MSF

Senior Associate
HealthCare Appraisers, Inc.

Mr. Barraza is a Senior Associate in the Firm’s Nashville office where his practice focuses on business valuation in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining HealthCare Appraisers, Mr. Barraza served as an intern at the Denver‐based business valuation firm, Harper Hofer & Associates.

Mr. Barraza holds a Master of Science in Finance from the University of Colorado at Denver and a Bachelor of Science in Music/Music Business from the University of Colorado at Denver.  Mr. Barraza passed all three levels of the CFA Program and may be awarded the charter upon completion of the required work experience.

  Charles Berlin

CSG Government Solutions

Charles Berlin is a consultant working for CSG Government Solutions. He has worked in the field of human services for over 20 years, focusing on the areas of program evaluation, public finance, and business analysis. His current role involves using Palisade's DecisionTools to develop cost benefit analysis models for state governments engaging in enterprise-scale information technology procurements. He also supports organizational strategic planning consulting teams through the presentation of analytical procurement strategy models to execute level audiences. Charles obtained his Master of Public Administration from Eastern Kentucky University.

  Palmer Boyle

Principal Consultant
CSG Government Solutions

Palmer Boyle is a Principal Consultant at CSG Government Solutions. He has applied data, analytics and risk management processes in the areas of Finance, Regulatory Compliance, and Information Technology for global financial institutions and state governments. At present, Palmer is utilizing Palisade's DecisionTools to design predictive models that incorporate uncertainties and risks in the evaluation of strategic approaches to enterprise-scale organizatoinal re-design as well as information technology procurements for state governments. He also facilitates executive leadership in the qualitative review of procurement strategies and the quantification of results. Palmer obtained his MBA in Finance from Drake University.

  Timothy J. Havranek, MBA, PMP

Optima Analytics, Inc.

Mr. Havranek is the president and owner of Optima Analytics, Inc. He has over 30 years’ experience providing strategic planning, project management, and management consulting services to the environmental remediation, natural resources, and manufacturing industries. He specializes in the application of multi-criteria decision analysis and probabilistic modeling for a wide range of projects including remediation, restoration, decommissioning, and alternative energy projects. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and author of the book Modern Project Management Techniques for the Environmental Remediation Industry published in 1999 by CRC Press.

  Stuart A. Neiberg, MAcc, CPA, CFA

HealthCare Appraisers, Inc.

Mr. Neiberg is a Partner with HealthCare Appraisers and has an extensive background in healthcare business valuation and financial analysis.  His nine years of experience includes valuation of ambulatory surgery centers, healthcare systems and life sciences companies.  Prior to joining HealthCare Appraisers Mr. Neiberg held positions as manager of valuation services at WTAS, LLC in West Palm Beach, Florida, and as an associate with Deloitte and Touche.   

Mr. Neiberg holds a Master of Accounting from the Fisher School of Accounting at the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Science in Management with concentrations in Finance and Accounting from the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.  He is a CFA charter holder and a certified public accountant (CPA) licensed in the State of California* and is a member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the CFA Society of Miami.

  Matt Rosenberg

RoseCap Investment Advisors

Prior to founding RoseCap, Mr. Rosenberg was Managing Director with Jackson Oats Shaw Corporate Real Estate, a privately held real estate investment firm in Atlanta, GA, where he lead acquisitions, dispositions, and asset management. Mr. Rosenberg also previously served as Vice President with General Electric's Commercial Finance division. He started his career in investment banking, underwriting and syndicating leveraged loans and high yield bonds for Wachovia Securities in Charlotte, NC.

Mr. Rosenberg received his Masters degree in Accounting and Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas, at Austin, where he was also a member of the 2002 National Championship baseball team.

Currently, Mr. Rosenberg serves on the board of directors for the GJ Chamber of Commerce, the STRiVE Foundation, Back the Badge, and the GJ Community Hospital Foundation. In 2017 he was awarded tenure as a professor of finance at Colorado Mesa University, located in Grand Junction, CO. His course offerings have included Fundamentals of Investments, Portfolio Management, Financial Strategy (MBA), International Finance, Risk Management, Accounting, and Corporate Finance. In his free time, he enjoys reading, competing in numerous sports, and spending time with his family.

  Adam Sharpe

Project Manager
CH2M Hill

Adam Sharpe is a project manager based in CH2M HILL’s Raleigh office and focuses on long-range planning, asset management, advanced data analytics, probabilistic modeling, risk analysis and decision support. He has a BS in Biology from SUNY Cortland, an MS in Natural Resource Management from NC State University, and a Professional Certificate in Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford University. His range of experience with the Palisade Suite includes decision support for a 3,000-acre international logistics center, 50-year integrated water supply planning, watershed and riverine analysis, long range demand forecasting and asset management models for long-term renewal and replacement of plant equipment and structures.

  JD Solomon, PE, CRE, CMRP

Vice President
CH2M Hill

JD Solomon is the Vice President with CH2M and seves as a senior consultant focusing on risk, reliability, and strategic decision making. Some of his areas of practice include infrastructure health and prognostics, financial management, operations and maintenance (O&M) optimization, and master planning. He is a Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE), Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP), is certified in Lean Management, and is a Six Sigma Black Belt. JD has a Professional Certificate in Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford, an MBA from the University of South Carolina, and a BS Civil Engineering from NC State.

  William Strauss

FutureMetrics, LLC

William Strauss is the President and founder of FutureMetrics, LLC Bill is globally recognized as a leading expert in the wood pellet sector. Bill continues to be a thought leader in the sector and has published numerous papers on a variety of subjects relevant to the wood pellet sector. He is also a founder and a Director of Maine Energy Systems, the largest manufacturer of European style automatic pellet fueled central heating systems in North America. Bill has been named as one of the most influential leaders in the biomass sector in 2016 and again in 2017 by Argus Media, and is the 2012 recipient of the International Excellence in Bioenergy award. Bill is the chief economist for the Biomass Thermal Energy Council (Washington, DC). Bill has more than forty years of strategic and policy planning, project management, data analysis, operations, and modeling experience in the renewable energy sector. He has an MBA (specializing in finance) and a PhD (economics, earth systems science).

  John Zhao

Risk Manager
Kinder Morgan Canada

As a project professional, I have held positions of field engineer, construction coordinator, senior field cost engineer, and project risk and quality manager over the past 27 years in Middle East, Europe and Canada with contractors, EPC and owner firms. I am confident my experiences and knowledge in project interfaces, cost management, risk management and contracts administration will add values to organizations that wish to advance, expand and continuously improve itself.

As a freelance consultant or an independent contractor, I am confident that my rich experience and learning will add substantial values to your organization in the field of project management systems, project controls and project risk management.


Case Studies

  Project Portfolio Optimization Using RISKOptimizer

Matt Rosenberg
RoseCap Investment Advisors

Presentation will show how @RISK is used by RoseCap Investment Advisors during the creation of an investment policy statement for use by institutional investors (i.e. Foundations, Endowments, Pensions, etc.). This includes forecasting of cash flows from the institution using various @RISK distribution functions, while assessing the overall risk to the institution through simulation. The result is the establishment of investment guidelines that will provide the institution with the highest probability of achieving its financial goal(s).

  Making Effective Use of DecisionTools Graphics: Tips, Pointers, and Pitfalls

Adam Sharpe
CH2M Hill

You have just spent weeks doing a complex analysis. The results are in. The conclusions are significant. It is now “show time” – that big meeting where you must share your work with decision makers and cross-functional team members who understand little about what you do. Will those default graphics in the Palisade DecisonTools Suite be enough to effectively communicate your point?

This presentation will provide tips, pointers, and pitfalls related to the graphics associated with the Palisade tools, including @RISK, PrecisonTree, BigPicture, and StatTools. Case examples from the finance, energy, water, and biopharmaceutical sectors will be utilized. The presenter will use live demonstrations in the DecisionTools Suite to show how to develop and modify key graphics. A summary handout of tips and pointers will be provided.

  Forecasting Asset Health and Renewal & Replacement Using @RISK

JD Solomon
CH2M Hill

Owners of facilities and public infrastructure continue to be challenged to renew and replace their assets in the face of economic pressures. Most of the common models for asset renewal and replacement (R&R), or asset health management, rely on deterministic approaches with finite, best approximation inputs. Unfortunately, these deterministic approaches yield results that greatly overestimate, or in many cases greatly underestimate, uncertainty and risk. They have limited practical use and leave much value on the table. Probabilistic approaches using the Palisade DecisonTools Suite, including @RISK, provide a more meaningful and preferred methodology.

The presentation will include an overview of key technical considerations for modeling and forecasting asset renewal and replacement for facilities and public infrastructure. Both capital spending and maintenance funding aspects will be highlighted. Case studies from both the public and private sector will be provided, including review of forecasted and actual results 3 to 5 years after the original forecast for two of the case examples. A live demonstration of one of the models will be used to kick-off the presentation.

  Using @RISK to Find Optimal Prices for Hospital Capital Equipment across Multiple Countries and Market Segments

Brent Way
Memorial University, St. Johns, Canada

While previous studies have examined the economics of shipping from Europe to Asia via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) versus the Suez Canal Route (SCR), most have not adequately accounted for the variability in input parameters such as the cost of fuel or the amount of ice encountered on a voyage. Furthermore, no prior study has attempted to utilize speed optimization as part of the analysis.

Because the rate fuel consumption for propulsion is intrinsically linked with vessel speed, reducing speed can create the potential for large savings in fuel costs, along with the added benefit of reduced emissions. However, the reduced speed means a longer transit time, meaning increases in other time based costs, such as daily pay for a ship's crew. The question then becomes what is the optimal speed?

This paper examines the use of speed optimization to determine whether it is potentially more profitable for a container shipping company to ship from Rotterdam to Yokohama through the SCR year round (Option A) or to ship through the NSR during the months it is passable while using the SCR for the remainder of the year (Option B). A probabilistic Monte Carlo model is presented (using @RISK) to determine average per trip profits for both options A and B. This model is used in conjunction with a simulation optimization technique (RISKOptimizer) to determine the optimum speeds to maximize average per trip profitability for each option. The results show that probabilistic simulation optimization of vessel speed may better inform shipping companies as to the financial impacts of the speeds that they choose to use for shipping and thus enable better decision making as it pertains to both route choice and ships' speeds. The analysis indicates that speed optimized container shipping year round through the Suez Canal appears to be the more profitable of the 2 options.

  Determining Contingencies for Megaprojects with @RISK

John Zhao
Riskcore Ltd.

To provide an appropriate contingency for a complex $7 billion mega project requires the combination of competent QRA practitioner and a reliable Risk Model. Neither specific risk ranging method nor systemic risk quantification alone would work in this case, as the project stretches 700 miles long with a variety of contract models, and had to be broken into four distinct subprojects attracting geopolitical uncertainties, engineering challenges and execution risks.

Using the Riscor Model, which is built on Palisade @RISK simulation platform, the author integrated qualitative risk register with quantifiable systemic risks to derive aggregated cost impacts to each subproject's objectives using Binomial Distribution. Numerous risk workshops were facilitated to select, range and simulate specific risks related to each subproject's cost estimate variables, such as quantities, productivity, exchange rates, design hours or materials quotes.

Contingency also captured extra costs due to construction schedule delays. The SRA results were taken as inputs to Riscor Model, and contingency amounts dedicated to schedule delays were convincingly derived.

The combined final project contingency at a given confidence level from systemic risks, specific risks and schedule delays was a mixture of positive and NEGATIVE contingency which is very rare in capital project world. The paper explains how the difficult interfaces, integration and unpredictable human behaviors are successfully incorporated into one massive Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) for an independent audit review and board approval.

  Capital Project Cost Risk Modeling

Eric Ho

Risk modeling is often used on large capital projects to predict potential outcomes to a project’s cost and schedule. The primary purpose for the quantitative risk analysis is to set the project’s cost and schedule contingencies, and to identify the top risks and uncertainties to the project. However, proper techniques regarding modeling of risks and uncertainties, and the need to have an integrated cost and schedule, are not often followed.

The aim of the presentation is to show a step-by-step process of a cost risk model using @RISK. The process will (1) outline the need to validate and strip the baseline cost estimate, (2) ranging of the uncertainties to the deterministic values, (3) uncertainty factors for productivity, (4) uncertainty factors for market conditions, (5) discrete risks from a risk register, and (6) integration with a schedule risk model.

The presentation will use a generic project estimate to show how @RISK can model the risks and uncertainties. Output data from a schedule QRA will be incorporated into the cost model to show how it can be integrated with the cost model.

  Expanding the Use of Risk and Uncertainty Modeling throughout an Organization using BigPicture

Palmer Boyle
Charles Berlin
CSG Government Solutions

The challenges faced when expanding the use of risk and uncertainty modeling throughout an organization parallel the challenges of presenting the results of complex analysis endeavors to audiences with varying degrees of experience with these types of approaches. Presenting data from model outputs and options to individuals in the organization ranging from project team members to decision makers requires the use of tools and techniques suitable for each type of audience.

BigPicture can be an effective way to help give a high-level overview of the benefits of risk modeling. This combined with a central repository of past models and targeted training can help organizational leaders to see the benefit and practitioners to understand the use of @RISK.

Using a combination of past models, a few specific training documents from Palisade and BigPicture, we have begun to expand the use of Palisade DecisionTools from cost modeling for specific projects, to project planning, project selection, and budgeting processes. These internal capacity building endeavors are increasing the maturity of our organization’s risk management capabilities, which in turn is enabling us to provide our clients the information they need for clearer decision making.

  Evaluating Plant Closure Options using @RISK

Timothy J. Havranek
Optima Analytics, Inc.

This business example demonstrates the use of @RISK to evaluate asset disposition alternatives for a copper mine nearing the end of its useful life. The challenges to developing an effective plan included uncertain future copper prices, uncertain remediation/restoration costs, ambiguous lease agreement language, community acceptance, and regulatory requirements. The alternatives that were evaluated included closure in one year; continued operations for the next ten years and then closure; and expanding mine operations.

@RISK was utilized to develop probabilistic financial and multi-criteria models for each alternative. The results showed the best strategy not only provided the highest stakeholder value, as determined by multi-criteria score, but also provided a savings of tens of millions of dollars over the next best alternative. The presentation will include a review of the model’s structure, inputs and the results obtained.

  Applications of Monte Carlo Simulation in Business Valuation of Physician-Owned Entities

Stuart Neiberg
Jarrod Barraza
HealthCare Appraisers, Inc.

Business valuation often involves generating financial projections and discounting these projections to a single present value using a “discount rate” to estimate the economic value of a business or business interest. Within the healthcare industry, business valuation faces additional challenges due to the sophisticated and dynamic regulatory framework the industry operates within, creating a need for expertise and defensible business decisions. One must also consider the “human element” in healthcare, given that care is delivered on a personalized scale by individual providers such as doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Businesses regularly face decisions such as whether to expand to additional service lines, add locations, change staffing structure, and the like, creating path dependent scenarios for which Monte Carlo Simulation can be an effective analysis tool. To that end, we present a brief case study in which we utilized @RISK software in our business valuation analysis of an ambulatory surgery center facing multiple path dependent scenarios.

  Quantifying the Risk of Negative Outcomes in the Japanese and South Korean Industrial Wood Pellet Markets

William Strauss

Approximately 16 million metric tonnes of industrial wood pellets will be used as a substitute for coal in large utility power plants to mitigate CO2 emissions. The majority of the market is currently in western Europe and England. However policies in Japan and S. Korea are driving rapid growth in demand for pellets in those countries that could double global demand in the next 5 years. This presentation will discuss those markets and the policies that support the substitution of pellets for coal. The presentation will show how the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is calculated for a typical pulverized coal (PC) power station running on 100% coal. The LCOE is then calculated for the plant co-firing pellets with coal at 10% and 20% pellets/coal and also on 100% pellets. The revenues from power sales are enhanced by the policies in Japan and S. Korea to compensate for the higher cost of generation with wood pellets. But there are risks. We estimate probability distributions for a number of inputs to the model and we use @RISK to estimate the probability of the utility's bottom line going negative. This information is important to producers of industrial wood pellets. The buyers in Japan and S. Korea will need engage in long-term contracts so that the hundred's of millions of dollars in capital cost for new production capacity can be justified. Before those investments can be made, producers need to understand the risk that counterparty in the offtake contract face.

Renaissance Nashville Hotel

The 2017 Palisade Conference will be held at:

Renaissance Nashville Hotel
611 Commerce Street
Nashville, TN 37203

Book your Special Rate room for the Palisade Risk Conference

The special rate is $259/night, available 11/12 - 11/17
Book by 10/20 - Limited rooms available.

- Reserve online here
- Call +1 615-255-8400

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