Palisade Risk Conference
Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis
July 27, 2016 Chicago

Palisade Risk Conference

Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis

July 27th, 2016 • Chicago

A Key Event for Quantitative Risk and Decision Analysis

Join Industry Leaders and Software Experts

Palisade invites you to an intensive 1-day conference in Chicago. This is a “must attend” event for professionals dealing with risk in any industry. Industry experts will present a selection of real-world case studies about innovative approaches to managing risk and uncertainty in a wide range of business applications. The programme will also include practical software training classes presented by Palisade trainers, consultants, and software engineers. We’ll explore exciting new features in @RISK and DecisionTools Suite software that make risk modelling and analysis more accessible – and powerful – than ever.

This event it is free to attend and promises to be an invaluable opportunity for broadening one's knowledge of risk modelling, and networking with decision-making professionals in a range of industries.

Testimonials from Previous Conferences

“I came away from the conference very satisfied. The conference empowered me with future skill sets, allowed me to observe how other companies are using the tools, and I even made some very valuable contacts.”

Ron Webster, Senior Financial Risk Analyst, Eastman Chemical Company

“Very impressive and good chance to link with colleagues.”

Michael Pemberton, Operations Research Analyst, Pueblo Community College (ret.)

“Excellent conference. Very informative. Great topics.”

Laurie Rutherford, Director, Enterprise Risk Management at CenterPoint Energy

“I enjoyed all of the hands-on sessions, and I gained new insights from the conference that I can use in my work.”

Ujjwal Bharadwaj, TWI Ltd

“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

“Palisade is leading the way with tools and expertise to enable risk managers across all industries.”

Robert Lake, Cisco Systems

“Conference was very useful to improve our integrated quality management system. Statistical, stochastic and other quantitative methods are used, at the organisational and project levels, to predict future quality and process performance.”

Dr Vladimir Savin, Chief EQ Engineer, EPAM Systems

“We saw and discussed methods that directly apply to our problems, and learned to build upon them to come up with solutions.”

Michael Watson, PMP, Senior Staff Integrated Planning, Lockheed Martin

“Another great conference - well done! It's always a stimulating and thought-provoking experience, and great hospitality.”

Michael Brand, Captum Capital

Learn from the Experts

The Palisade Risk Conference will offer two types of sessions 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!

Networking Opportunities – 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.

Join a Global Group

The 2016 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 2016 include New Delhi, Bangalore, Munich, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Moscow, Abu Dhabi and Cape Town.

Information about 2016 Conferences


  General Sessions      
  Case Studies      
  Software Training

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Schedule is subject to change without notice.


9:00 - 9:10

Welcome and Introduction to Palisade
Steve Hunt
Palisade Corporation

9:15 - 10:00

Applying @RISK to Your Situation
Sarah Sherry
Palisade Corporation

10:05 - 10:50
10:50 - 11:20
11:20 - 12:05

Using @RISK To Quantify Portfolio Credit Risk
Brendan McGrath
Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis

12:10 - 1:00

How Much Contingency Do You Need?
Kimberly Kozak
Patrick Engineering


  Stephen Hunt, LSSBB

Regional Sales Manager
Palisade Corporation

Stephen Hunt has been with Palisade since 2003. He started as the Six Sigma Product Manager and 6 years ago took on an additional role as the Regional Sales Manager for the Midwest. He enjoys working with customers from the many different industries that use @RISK. Before joining Palisade, Steve worked in the thin film optics industry for over 15 years with industry leading companies such as Denton Vacuum, Oakley Sunglass and Evaporated Metal Films. During this period, he worked in applied research and development, process and production engineering and engineering management. He was responsible for the creation and re-engineering of optical coating processes and manufacturing techniques. Applications ranged from high volume production cells that produced coatings for sunglasses, telecommunications equipment and medical devices to low volume, high value custom manufacturing of unique parts for satellites and observatory telescopes. Steve is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and brings a wide range of experience in manufacturing and engineering.

  Kimberly Kozak

Senior Project Manager
Patrick Engineering

Kim Kozak is Senior Project Manager for Patrick Engineering, and currently is leading Project Controls efforts for the LCLS-II Project for Fermilab which will provide ultra-bright X-ray pulses to study molecular structures, chemical reactions, and matter under extreme conditions by physicist.. She is overseeing cost, schedule, and risk management efforts. She provides project management training for Patrick staff, focusing on earned value analysis, scheduling, cost control, and risk management.

Kim’s areas of expertise include developing programmatic Monte Carlo risk simulation models for Patrick’s clients, assessing programmatic risk for transit and Department of Energy clients, providing insight early in the project’s life cycle to assess feasibility of the project.

Prior to Kim’s involvement with Patrick, she has worked for HNTB performing project controls efforts and risk management, and worked for general contractors as a project manager. She received a B.S. in civil engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, and is a Professional Engineer, Project Management Professional, and Risk Management Professional.

  Brendan McGrath

Director of Credit Risk Analysis
Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis

Brendan W. McGrath CFA, CPA is the Vice President, Director of Credit Risk Analysis in the Enterprise Risk Management department at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis. Mr. McGrath is responsible for measuring and monitoring enterprise-wise credit risk exposures as well as overseeing ERM’s quantitative engineering group. Mr. McGrath previously worked in the Treasury Risk Analytics department, which he helped form in 2010, and was responsible for credit and market risk analytics within FHLBI’s Capital Markets division. Brendan joined FHLBI in March 2000 in the Investments department and held several portfolio manager positions, where, at various times, he was responsible for trading the cash and mortgage-backed securities portfolios as well as hedging new mortgage loan purchases.

During his time at FHLBI, Mr. McGrath earned both a CFA charter and a CPA license and for six years sat on the Board of Directors for the CFA Society of Indianapolis, including serving as its President from 2009-2010.

Mr. McGrath earned a B.S. in Finance and an M.S. in Accounting from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and is also a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society.

  Sarah Sherry

Consultant and Trainer
Palisade Corporation

Sarah Sherry is a software consultant for Palisade Corporation. Sarah was previously a Senior Lecturer at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She taught spreadsheet modelling techniques and programs in the DecisionTools Suite for over thirteen years, and was nominated for the Kelley School’s highest teaching award four times, and received it once. After graduating, many of her former students and teaching assistants seek her advice and counsel in their places of work (accounting firms, loan departments, manufacturing operations, hospitals, political campaigns, and so on), on difficulties ranging from issues with data integrity to troubles in spreadsheet modeling.

Sarah collaborated with Dr Wayne Winston on two Harvard Business School Press courses, Spreadsheet Modeling and Mathematics for Management, and she is currently co-authoring an introductory business analytics textbook, to be published by Indiana University Press.

Sarah earned an M.A. in Applied Linguistics at Indiana University and completed the required coursework for a Ph.D. in Linguistics.

  JD Solomon

Vice President, Eastern US Strategic Consulting Practice
CH2M Hill

JD Solomon, PE, CRE, CMRP is a Vice President with CH2M and serves 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.


Download zip file of presentations from the Palisade Risk Conference in Houston
(Individual presentations are also linked below.)

  Applying @RISK to Energy Models

Sarah Sherry
Palisade Corporation

The DecisionTools Suite is widely used in oil and gas exploration, production, and project decisions. For decades, @RISK has helped engineers and finance managers estimate unknown reserves, value new projects against each other, and craft optimal strategies. PrecisionTree, another tool in the DecisionTools Suite, is commonly used for drilling strategy discussions, production siting problems, and other multi-stage, sequential decisions. RISKOptimizer comes into play when companies need to determine the best “mix” of projects in their portfolio in order to maximize overall returns.

In this presentation, we will demonstrate how @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite can be applied to common types of issues faced by oil and gas producers.

  Overcoming the Fear of Using an Incorrect Probability Distribution

JD Solomon
CH2M Hill

» Download the presentation

The fear of selecting the incorrect probability distribution is common to both new and experienced users. New users are especially prone to this fear. In many cases it leads to not using probabilistic tools such as @RISK or not fully believing in the results. This presentation will argue that such fears are primarily the product of many technical professionals no longer being required to have a meaningful background in statistics in their undergraduate programs and an increasing focus on deterministic thinking in college and early career development.

The presentation will focus on four methods for developing probabilistic distributions, ranging from methods where data is available to a method where data is absent and qualitative methods must be used. Case examples will be provided to show each methods as well as insights into their applicability. In the end, the presentation will provide both new and experienced users a summary of tools to develop probability distributions, where picking the right one matters and where it does not, and ultimately less fear in using an "incorrect" probability distribution.

  Using @RISK To Quantify Portfolio Credit Risk

Brendan McGrath
Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis

» Download the presentation

» Download Example Files

Mr. McGrath will walk through the a credit portfolio model that uses the basic PD x LGD x EAD (probability of default times loss given default times exposure at default) modeling approach. He will walk through some common credit modeling methodologies as well as a credit value-at-risk model he created using @RISK. Topics discussed will include default modeling, joint probability of default modeling and assumptions, loss distributions, discreet vs continuous distributions, linear and rank correlations, time series data, and correlation copulas. While the topics are relevant to credit managers, the modeling approaches have applications across a wide variety of disciplines and industries.

  How Much Contingency Do You Need?

Kim Kozak
Patrick Engineering

» Download the presentation

When developing programmatic cost, a question that is often asked is "How much contingency do we need?" Project teams disagree on whether it is better to enough contingency set aside to cover a majority of risks that are likely to occur and raise the overall cost, potentially doubting the viability of the projects, or lowering contingency at the risk of not being able to cover the costs of likely risks.

This presentation will discuss different approaches to assess the appropriate level of contingency needed and utilizing common risks for larger scale projects such as highway and rail to fine tune the risk model. A risk model example using @RISK will be presented to show the application of each approach and a comparison of results to help a project move forward from planning and into design and construction.


Courtyard by Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile
165 E Ontario Street | Chicago, IL 60611

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