RIMS Captures the Evolution of Risk
RIMS 2008 pledged to “Change the Way You Talk about Risk” and at Monday’s General Session, RIMS President Janice Ochenkowski deftly captured this creative and exciting theme.
“We all know that risk management strategies are evolving,” she said. “Here in San Diego we wanted to focus on that change—and have some fun too. The ginormous task of organizing this wonderiffic event, razzling and dazzling you, dynamizing sessions, finding a way to inspire and create a gung-ho attitude has been an awesomatic job.
But as Ochenkowski pointed out, creativity in risk management must go beyond words. “Quality has always been a hallmark of this Annual Conference,“ she said. “When we leave San Diego, let’s take the lessons, ideas and contacts back. But, let’s do it with a new energy and vibrancy—a motivation not only to change the way we talk about risk, but also the way we think about risk management.”
Creativity does not happen without support. With more than 10,000 risk professionals convening in San Diego for the Conference, RIMS has a vital role to play in the evolution of risk management. “The risk management community is expanding,” said RIMS Executive Director Mary Roth. “All kinds of business executives are turning to RIMS for resources to deal with their business challenges. They are turning to you as peers to have a dialogue and explore best practices, and to attend shared learning events such as this Conference & Exhibition. I am pleased and honored that RIMS is getting this attention from businesses, and risk management is gaining visibility at the upper echelons of management.”
The next step will be to groom the next generation of risk professionals. “I challenge you to share your knowledge with the next generation—and be open to learning from them,” said Ochenkowski. “New entrants into risk management often have an enthusiasm that can be contagious.”
When Christopher Gardner took the stage at the General Session, he delivered a presentation that many considered the best in RIMS Conference history.
Gardner, a legend among the Wall Street investment community, has become a household name with his best-selling autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness. The film adaptation starring Will Smith has been seen by nearly a billion people worldwide. “Every time I see that film, I have the same thought,” Gardner said. “Those people spent $70 million to recreate what I did with nothing.”
Gardner’s presentation, “Breaking Cycles,” was the story of his struggle to raise his son on his own, break into the Wall Street investment industry, and to fend off the persistent threat of homelessness. For him, life has been one big exercise in risk management.
“How do you become homeless?” Gardner asked the audience. “Was it drugs? No. Alcohol? No. There is something as lethal as both—it’s life. Life happens.”
When a make-or-break Wall Street internship doubled up with the sudden responsibility of caring for his son on his own, Gardner often found himself without money for food or shelter—or both. But after more than a year, Gardner’s tenacious sales ethic and strength of character provided him with the opportunities he needed to get his family off the street.
Today, Gardner says that his most important achievement is breaking the cycle of men not being there for their children. “That is the most important thing I have ever done or will ever do,” he said.
The audience took his message to heart. “This is my 10th RIMS Conference, and this is the best speaker I have ever seen here,” said Laura Jernigan, Risk Manager for LifeWay. Janice A. Mayer, Manager, Liability Insurance for Sherwin-Williams agreed. “Chris was the best,” she said. “Just the best.”
Interview with Mary Roth
Mary Roth is the Executive Director of RIMS. She has been with the organization for over 20 years, serving in various positions including Assistant Director of Research, Director of Membership and Chapter Services, and Chief Operating Officer.
What is the Risk Management Professional Growth Model?
It is a guideline that is being released during the Conference to assist risk professionals in advancing professional skills and developing a career path. The model is a tool for risk managers and employers for career planning, career change, salary negotiation and performance evaluation.
Why did you decide to redesign the RIMS website and Risk Management magazine?
We wanted to make the site more user-friendly, visually appealing and easier to access. There is a wealth of information on our website, and we want you to be able to find it. We hope that members look at it daily for news and services. We also wanted the new Risk Management magazine to rival other business publications, making it more visually appealing and recognizable.
Will you be conducting a member needs survey this year?
We will be conducting a satisfaction survey in September. We would like to know not only how happy people are with our RIMS products and services, but how valuable they are to our members. It is important to us that are survey does both.
Does that include the 2008 Risk Management Compensation Survey?
We will be soft-launching the Compensation Survey in May for an early fall release.
Is the State of ERM Report available?
The executive summary of the State of ERM Report is available at the RIMS Risk Maturity Model booth, which is #2447.
Ron Judd “Heart of RIMS” Award
presented to an individual nominated by his or her Chapter for outstanding performance in furthering risk management at the Chapter level
RIMS New York Chapter
Director of Risk Management,
National Financial Partners Corporation
Richard W. Bland Memorial Award
recognizing outstanding performance by a deputy member of RIMS who has impacted the risk management industry in the field of legislation or regulation
Risk Manager, City of Boynton Beach, Florida
recognizing the individual who earned the highest marks on the three exams required for the Associate in Risk Management designation
Assistant Director of Risk Management, University of Virginia
2007 RIMS CHAPTER AWARDS
Overall Chapter Excellence
Greater Quad Cities
Outstanding Chapter Programming
Greater Quad Cities
Chapters of Distinction: Chesapeake, Delaware Valley, Houston, Oregon, Palm Beach, Rocky Mountain
Advancing the Risk Management Profession
Greater Quad Cities
Chapters of Distinction: Houston, Palm Beach, Rocky Mountain, South Texas
Outstanding Member Services
Greater Quad Cities
Chapters of Distinction: Chesapeake, Dallas-Fort Worth, Greater Kansas City, Oregon, Palm Beach, Rocky Mountain