RIMS mourns the loss of former Society President Cheri J. Hawkins who passed away on December 25th at the age of 80. Cheri was the first female president of RIMS, serving from 1990-1991.
Cheri began her career in risk management in 1971 when she joined Weyerhaeuser Inc. Advancing within the organization throughout her career, she was named director of insurance in 1990. As an officer of the company, she managed four insurance specialty divisions: property, casualty, marine and bonds. In 1992, she was given the Weyerhaeuser President's Award for her efforts on environmental settlement. Her retirement in 1996 came after 25 years with Weyerhaeuser, at which time she was made an honorary member of the RIMS Washington Chapter, as well as an honorary member of RIMS International.
Cheri was a member of the Washington Chapter of RIMS since 1972 and served as its President and Society Director. She formed the RIMS Western Regional Conference Committee in 1980, and chaired it until 1984, at which time she was elected to RIMS Executive Council.
She was inducted into the RIMS and AIG’s Risk Management Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2000, Business Insurance honored her as one of the Leading 100 Women in the insurance industry. And, she was named the “1991 Insurance Woman of the Year” by the APIW, a national association of professional insurance and reinsurance women.
In addition to her volunteer service with RIMS, Cheri was dedicated to advancing the practice of risk management and insurance and generously devoted her time to numerous groups to help do so. She served on several boards of directors, including the Vermont Captive Insurance Association and Panol Insurance Co., a subsidiary of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and was also on the board of governors of the Bermuda Risk Exchange Association.
Cheri is survived by her loving husband Gary Baxter, her daughter Cheryl, her grandchildren, Meghan and Seth. She is also survived by her sister Lois and her family who reside in Omaha, NE.
Cheri will be greatly missed by all those who knew her.