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President's Corner


Richard J. Roberts is a practicing risk professional and the 2015 president of RIMS.​

  • Turning Up The Heat...

    Thu, Feb 26, 2015 -

    ​It always seems that at this time of year RIMS President wishes warmer weather, and less snow, for our members in the Northeast.  But, as a Connecticut resident myself, it just doesn’t seem right.  The winter has been especially tough this year, making it very difficult for many businesses to carry-on as usual.   That said, RIMS always seems to persevere.  The Society is right on schedule for RIMS ‘15 and I’m witnessing this massive undertaking happen first-hand.

    The latest announcement from RIMS 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition is our “Hot Topic Sessions.”  There are so many areas of risk management that require the immediate attention of risk professionals.  As a result, RIMS has selected eight hot topics that include discussions about drones, 3-D printing, geopolitical issues, e-healthcare, remote surveillance and, of course, social media challenges. 

    We’re also happy to announce that we’ll be able to share the outstanding educational programming and networking opportunities at RIMS ’15 with 30 future risk management leaders.  Thirty undergraduate students from universities across the U.S. were awarded this year’s Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program Scholarship.  The scholarship provides them with the opportunity to attend and take advantage of all that RIMS ’15 has to offer.

    Other news on the Rising Risk Professional front is that 20 universities were selected to participate in the first round of the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge.  The teams’ presentations are currently being judged and eight of the 20 will be chosen to compete at RIMS ’15.

    The team at RIMS responsible for professional development opportunities has also been hard at work.  This year, at the request of our members, two new online courses that address some critical areas of risk management were launched.   The first, Risk Analysis Forecasting Tools reviews best-practices for quantifying risk so that risk professionals can make more informed decisions.

    The second new course, Designing an Enterprise Risk Management Framework, explores the fundamental steps in implementing an organization’s ERM strategy.  Also, RIMS and SambaSafety are presenting a webcast on driver safety and driver risk management in April.  Details about the courses and how to register are now listed in the “Education” section of the RIMS website. 

    RIMS also released a new Executive Report this month: “Exploring the Risk Committee Advantage.”  The report defines the risk committee concept with insight on the types of committees and roles risk professionals can take during its implementation, facilitation and the communication of its findings.  It also highlights the value of developing a strong operational risk committee, while reviewing regulations and potential challenges.  The report is now available in the RIMS Risk Knowledge library.

    As you can imagine, things at RIMS really heat up in the months leading up to RIMS ’15.   While a lot of focus will be placed on delivering the world’s biggest and best risk management conference, RIMS remains committed to offering our members the day-to-day support and knowledge they need to sustain and advance their risk management programs.


    Rick Roberts
    RIMS 2015 President

  • Strengthening Our Networks

    Tue, Jan 20, 2015 -
    Back in December, I grabbed a leftover copy of the RIMS Annual Conference guide that lists all of RIMS’ past presidents just to figure out how many presidents were before me.   I found what I was looking for – I’m number 61.  But, as I scrolled down the list and read the names, I realized that I am joining a very accomplished, almost legendary, group of risk management leaders.

    It is an absolute honor to join this group and serve as the president of the greatest risk management association in the world. I also realize that this prestigious title comes with great responsibility.  I am looking forward to the year ahead and helping this Society remain at the forefront.

    When news arrived that I had been nominated, my first thoughts were: How can RIMS better prepare our members for the uncertainties that lie ahead?  What can RIMS offer risk professionals to help them navigate the increasingly complex and quickly evolving risks our organizations now face?  

    As president, I will focus on strengthening, what I believe to be, RIMS’ and risk professionals’ greatest asset: our networks.

    Our International Network – RIMS is a global Society.  Our members hail from countries around the world.  For most entities, the risk of not thinking like a global enterprise can be detrimental to its future success.  In 2015, RIMS will continue to review opportunities to reach new international audiences including enhancing our professional development offerings, participating in worldwide industry events, developing resources that address risk management strategies for global expansion, and, perhaps, adding to this Society’s lineup of international events.   

    Our Rising Risk Professional Network – Business and the risks our organizations are facing are evolving fast.  We will need to lean on the fresh and innovative perspectives of both our current network and the next generation of professionals.  This Society has a responsibility to assess the resources and opportunities we offer to those entering the profession, as well as students, so that we can develop products that align with their level of experience.

    RIMS’ Internal Network – We must remain relevant and continue to deliver thought-leading content.  Our infrastructure must be strong and nimble so that we can make strategic decisions for our members, faster.  This year, we will focus on the Society’s governance and structure, reviewing the processes of our Board of Directors, House of Delegates, Committees, Councils and Chapter networks.  The first year of RIMS 2020 Task Force was very successful and we look forward to continuing with this initiative in the upcoming year.

    We’re already off to a great start with the inaugural RIMS Leadership Forum just concluding. The RIMS BOD, senior staffers and current committee leaders got together to collaborate and strategize for the year ahead.  It was a super productive experience and we’re eager to share the results. The Board really appreciates the outstanding input received from our committee and council leaders and that they took the time out their busy schedules to attend.

    The risk management industry as a whole benefits from RIMS’ expansive network of risk professionals, solutions providers, its dedicated and committed volunteers and staff. 

    My priority is to ensure that RIMS continues to deliver the resources that have made it successful for the last 65 years and build on them so that the Society is well-positioned to remain the preeminent organization dedicated to advancing the practice of risk management. 

    Looking forward to an amazing 2015.


    Rick Roberts

  • Rick Roberts Named 2015 President of RIMS

    Mon, Jan 05, 2015 -

    RIMS, the risk management society™, today announced that Rick Roberts, RF, ALCM, ARM, ARME, CPCU will lead the Society as president for the 2015 term, effective January 1. 

    Mr. Roberts is the Director of Risk Management and Employee Benefits for Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc. He has been a member of RIMS for 25 years and on its Board of Directors for seven years.  Previously, Mr. Roberts served as the Society’s Vice President and Board liaison to RIMS External Affairs Committee.  He is a member of RIMS Connecticut Valley Chapter where he served as the chapter’s president from 1997 to 1998.

    “No two days as a risk professional are ever the same,” said Mr. Roberts. “Current events, new technologies and global initiatives continue to keep risk professionals searching for the latest industry information and best practices.

    “RIMS greatest asset is its members, an engaged and generous network of professionals who willingly share their experiences to help colleagues better prepare their organizations for the unknown. With a focus on the Society’s long-term strategy, we will continue to strengthen our networks, enhancing our ability to deliver thought-leading content to the global risk management community.”

    Officers on RIMS 2015 Board of Directors:

    • President: Richard J. Roberts, Jr., RF, ALCM, ARM, ARME, CPCU; Director of Risk Management and Employee Benefits, Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc.;
    • Vice President: Julie C. Pemberton, ARM; Director, Enterprise Risk and Insurance Management, Outerwall Inc.;
    • Treasurer: Robert Cartwright, Jr., CRM; Safety and Health Manager, Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC;
    • Corporate Secretary: Jennifer Santiago, ARM; Director of Insurance, Novartis Corporation.

    New Board Member:

    • Robert Zhang, China Risk and Compliance Manager, IKEA (China) Investment Co., Ltd.

    Incumbent Board Members:

    • Gordon Adams; Chief Risk Officer, Tri-Marine International, Inc.;
    • Gloria Brosius; Director, Risk Management and Insurance Programs, Farm Credit Council Services, Inc.;
    • Al Gorski; Chief Risk Officer, Orange County Transportation Authority;
    • Leslie Lamb; Director, Global Risk Management, Cisco Systems, Inc.;
    • Steve Pottle; Director, Risk Management Services, York University;
    • Frederick J. Savage, FCII, ARM;  Director, Risk Management (San Ramon), Chevron Corporation;
    • Lori Seidenberg, RF, ARM; Senior Vice President, Insurance/Risk Management, Hunt Companies;
    • Carolyn M. Snow, CPCU; Director, Risk Management, Humana Inc. (Ex-Officio);
    • Janet Stein, Director, Risk Management & Insurance, University of Calgary.
  • Here's to RIMS' Future...

    Thu, Dec 18, 2014 -

    ​It has been a pleasure and an absolute honor to have served as RIMS President for 2014.  While representing RIMS I met so many talented and amazing risk professionals, and I continue to be impressed with the great risk management ideas and programs that you have designed.

    In January I helped the Greater Miami Chapter celebrate their 20th anniversary and appropriately ended 2014 with my own chapter, Kentuckiana Bluegrass, which announced a new slate of officers and new energy this year.

    This year, I represented RIMS in Japan, Australia, Singapore, Bermuda, Vermont, Denver, Winnipeg, Rio de Janiero and Washington DC.  While our businesses and geographic locations may be very different, we share similar concerns and risk management goals.  Some are beginning with the basics and others are so advanced that we can only marvel at the concepts, but there is an overwhelming willingness to share what we know with our peers.

    One of our noteworthy successes this year was establishing our long range plan “RIMS 2020,” providing a platform for the organization to move forward.  Much of the work this year centered on governance changes, reduction in board size and updating our bylaws to be a more nimble society.  The board plans to consider proposed bylaw changes at our January 2015 meeting, and will share any decisions or updates with the House of Delegates (HOD) prior to requesting a vote at our annual meeting in April. Thanks to the committee composed of representatives from the HOD, Former Presidents, Nominating Committee, Board Members and the work of RIMS General Counsel Mark Prysock who led the initiatives.

    The biggest disappointment this year was the failure of Congress to reauthorize the extension of TRIA.  Unfortunately, politics once again got in the way of progress.  Despite the best efforts of the RIMS members, External Affairs Committee, Congressional testimony, RIMS staff and support from our business partners, our members were let down by their Congressional representatives. RIMS will continue the efforts into 2015 and has every intention of making the reauthorization of TRIA a top priority.

    I am very appreciative for the support of our members, the Board and the RIMS staff this past year.  Mary and her team are dedicated professionals who work mainly behind the scenes to promote the Society.  In addition, the support from Humana and particularly our Risk Management team allowed me the time to travel and represent RIMS.

    RIMS is in great shape as an organization and, as the Board continues to move from operational to focus more on strategy, there are many opportunities for us to remain the world’s leading risk management organization.  It is an exciting time to be a member of RIMS and the 2015 Board under our new president’s leadership will continue to be successful. 

    2015 will be an awesome year. 


    Carolyn Snow

  • Keep on Moving...

    Mon, Dec 01, 2014 -

    RIMS ERM Conference was a huge success.  It had it all. Excellent program, presenters and certainly there is no matching the value you gain from networking with other risk professionals – especially those who are fully vested in advancing the profession.   For those of you who joined us in Miami, the presentations are now available on the conference site.

    Gauging the maturity of an ERM program was one of the key discussions during the Conference and this is a great time to remind you about RIMS Risk Maturity Model (RMM) – a free online program that helps risk professionals do just that.  To fully understand the advantage of using this assessment tool, RMM’s co-developer Steven Minsky, the CEO of LogicManager, Inc., has written a series of blog posts for RISK MANAGEMENT MONITOR that are now featured in the Popular Content section on the front of the RIMS website.

    RIMS Board of Directors also met in Miami to review and approve the Society’s 2015 operating budget and to continue to set plans for 2015.  Next year’s board size will reflect the bylaw amendment approved by the HOD and will be smaller than in prior years.  Final approval of the slate is due by December 20 so if you are a delegate and have not voted please send in your chapter’s vote. 

    On December 10th, be on the lookout for results from the inaugural J.D. Power 2014 Large Business Commercial Insurance Satisfaction Study.SM   This study will give both buyers and sellers of insurance a new perspective on this competitive market and meets one of the Society’s goal of delivering knowledge and resources to our members.

    Recently, RIMS hosted a roundtable discussion, sponsored by Zurich, titled “Using Big Data to Improve Risk Management.”  Our Risk Management magazine reported on the discussion that addressed “how companies can use big data to help gain a comprehensive, 360-degree view of total cost of risk and…optimize the return on their mitigation investment.” 

    Finally, I spent this Thanksgiving Holiday in Brazil as a speaker at XI Congress of the Fundacion Latinoamericana de Adminstration de Riesgos ALARYS.  There, Mary Roth and I delivered two presentations: one on linking ERM to strategy and the other focusing on industry trends.  And, almost immediately following that conference, I will fly to Singapore to speak at The Asian Risk Management Conference.

    With each of these trips and with each of the reports, RIMS continues to strengthen its global network, enhancing its resources for our members and demonstrating our value to potential members.  We look forward to providing you with more in the months ahead but, in the meantime, I wish you all the best during this holiday season.


    Carolyn Snow

  • More Resources, More Value

    Wed, Oct 22, 2014 -

    Thanks to over 1,100 of you who responded to the annual Membership Survey, as your voice is important to the development of educational programming, conferences and executive reports and other risk management tools that RIMS delivers.  The survey is our best tool in getting feedback from over 11,000 members. 

    In October we released two new Executive Reports: “Claims Reporting & Management Practices” and “Managing Reputational Risk to Drive Strategic Performance.” 

    “The Claims Reporting & Management Practices” report was authored by members of the RIMS Standards and Practices Council and explores the characteristics of a successful claims reporting and management program. I think members will really benefit from its step-by-step guide to implementing a claims program, as well as its tips for integrating claims management into an ERM program.  

    RIMS ERM Committee Member Andrew Bent, author of the “Managing Reputational Risk” report, drives home the idea that organizations that develop a framework for managing reputational risks are not only better positioned to anticipate and defend against threats, but can also gain a significant competitive advantage and unlock new and valuable opportunities. This report walks risk professionals through a reputational risk situation, providing instruction on how to apply the components of the strategic risk management framework.

    Both reports and other relevant risk management articles and surveys can be found in the RIMS Risk Knowledge library. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to check it out.

    RIMS 2020 Task Force met in early October and has focused its attention on our Bylaws.  A subcommittee was struck with representatives from House of Delegates (HOD), Nominating Committee, Former Presidents and current Board members.  The task force, led by RIMS General Counsel Mark Prysock, will present its recommendations to the Board of Directors.  And, upon their approval, they will be presented to the HOD.  More information about this process to follow.

    RIMS Board of Directors will meet in Miami for its final board meeting of the year to review and approve the Society’s operating budget for 2015.  The best part of the Board Meeting is that it was strategically coordinated with RIMS ERM Conference 2014 which I will have an opportunity to attend.

    Finally, it is never too early to start talking about RIMS 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans.  Already, a save-the-date email went out to remind risk professionals that registration opens December 4th.  Remember, you can’t book your hotels without registering and the closer hotel rooms are reserved for members and full-conference registrants.  Be sure to mark your calendars and I look forward to seeing a record number of you there. 


    Carolyn M. Snow

    RIMS President

  • A Global Education

    Fri, Sep 19, 2014 -

    The second RIMS Risk Forum in Sydney was a real success.   It is great to see so many passionate risk professionals in attendance and, even greater to see their continued support for RIMS.  The program featured a lineup of local risk managers, many of whom already practice enterprise risk management and freely shared their expertise.  Carol Fox, RIMS Director of Strategic & Enterprise Risk practice, participated in two presentations and I presented on Reputation Risk Management. The two-day event was topped off with an exceptional keynote by Captain David Evans, a Qantas pilot who successfully helped land an Airbus after its loss of three engines with no loss of life and no lawsuits against the airline.     

    I am writing this from Winnipeg at RIMS Canada Conference which is also full of good presentations by Canadian risk managers and speakers.  This year Canada’s risk management community will celebrate the conference’s 40th anniversary and I’m pleased to be a part of the festivities.

    RIMS is in the process of revamping its professional development offerings…making sure that they remain relevant and address our members’ needs.  Immediately following the RIMS Canada Conference, we held a Cyber Risk & Data Security Management Workshop – a topic that always ranks high on risk professionals’ top concerns.  And, just last week, RIMS held its “D&O Insurance Around the World: Understanding International Implications” webcast.  And, although you might have missed it live, the webcast is archived and can be viewed and listened to here.

    This past April we announced a project with JD Power & Associates to measure large business commercial insurer and broker satisfaction.   This project is important for our members because it provides  our global network of risk professionals with the knowledge to make smart decisions for their organizations.  Secondly, the study will help insurers and brokers understand their own strengths and weaknesses—and those of their competitors—and build customer loyalty and increase competitiveness. We see this as a positive for both our professional and associate members and look forward the release of these initial findings toward the end of 2014.

    RIMS 2020 Task Force continues to make strides in developing a long range plan for the Society.  The Task Force is now focusing on emerging risks.  While we’re busy tending to the risks that impact our Society now, there is always that fear concern we are not doing enough to prepare for those issues that have yet to manifest themselves. Are the tools and resources we’re using now sufficient?  Will they help us predict and test for potential risks?  This full review will undoubtedly provide direction for the future of the Society and ensure that the risk management community continues to find valuable resources, ideas and opportunities with RIMS. 

    A reminder the RIMS ERM Conference in Miami is scheduled for October 26th through the 28th. Hopefully I will see many of you there.  

    All the best,

    Carolyn M. Snow
    RIMS President​

  • More Than A Wish…

    Tue, Aug 05, 2014 -

    There is a famous quote that says, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.”  At RIMS, we take great pride in the planning process.  We know from years of experience that our planning meetings are crucial to providing our members with the best resources, conferences and member value to help them achieve their professional goals.

    In late July, the RIMS Board of Directors and Senior Staff met in New York for our annual planning session.  The Futures Company led an interactive workshop on anticipating and planning for the “certainties and uncertainties” that lay ahead.  Ideas to enhance the platforms we use to engage members, our conferences, as well as the value of industry certifications were among some of the topics discussed. 

    The Nominating Committee (NC), chaired by Deb Samuels, also met to conduct board interviews and to begin to develop their recommended slate for 2015.  Part of their process includes having one of NC members sit in on part of the board meeting so that the Board can share with them the goals and plans we are developing. 

    It’s never too early to start planning for RIMS ’15 in New Orleans.  RIMS Annual Conference Programming Committee (ACPC) is also scheduled to meet in August.  The deadline for submitting session ideas for the conference has passed.  The ACPC will spend two days together to review more than 600 submissions.  Their goal is to narrow those submissions to less than 200 sessions in order to ensure RIMS ‘15 educational component continues to shine and is filled with thought-leading and highly-relevant content.

    Planning our organizations’ risk financing programs could become a little bit more transparent in months ahead as RIMS welcomed theintroduction and approval of a TRIA bill from the Senate.  Now, with both the House and Senate in agreement that a reauthorized TRIA bill is needed, we’re hoping that the two groups can come to a consensus on a final bill soon.

    I just returned from attending the 39th Annual Florida EducationalConference in beautiful Naples, Florida.  Mary Roth provided an update about the Society and I had an opportunity to speak and to meet with many of the Florida members.   The conference is not only educational, but family oriented and fun.   At the end of August, along with a team of RIMS staff members, I will attend the second annual Forum in Australia.  I’m looking forward to meeting our members in the region will be speaking on reputational risk.

    The 2020 Task Force also met in late-July.  The group has developed and submitted a detailed project plan that focuses on areas such as the future structure of the Society, membership categories, mission and purpose, “Rising Risk Professionals” involvement and governance. For the remainder of 2014, the Task Force will focus on governance and will then prioritize and address each of the future projects included on the plan.

    In the following months, you will hear more about RIMS 2020 and other RIMS initiatives.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!

    Carolyn Snow

    RIMS President

  • Summer Action

    Tue, Jul 15, 2014 -

    In June, RIMS was happy to see the House Committee on Financial Services approve a bill to reauthorize the TRIA, providing policymakers with time to negotiate the terms of the final extension.  RIMS continues to voice its support for TRIA’s reauthorization.  As part of that initiative, in June, RIMS Senior Government Affairs Manager Nathan Bacchus traveled to the London Workshop on Radiological Sources and Liability Issues and gave a presentation titled “Filling the Gaps in NBCR Coverage.”  And, this August, RIMS External Affairs Chair Richard Rabs will attend an ARIA Conference in Seattle to present RIMS’ legislative priorities.


    At the House of Delegates meeting in April we introduced three Board proposed amendments to the Bylaws that were sent to delegates for ratification. The proposed amendments would reduce the size of RIMS Board, allow for the Board to recommend criteria to the Nominating Committee for selecting future Board Members and change the format of the House of Delegates meetings from an in-person to a virtual meeting.  On July 10 the voting closed.  The amendment to reduce board size (60/10) and recommend criteria to the Nominating Committee (42/28) passed.  The proposed amendment to change the format of the House of Delegates meeting failed (22/47 with one abstention).  The idea behind the third amendment was to allow more chapters to “attend” the House of Delegates Meeting.  Although this version of the amendment did not pass, RIMS Board of Directors will continue to research other possibilities to make the meeting more accessible.


    We are taking orders for the 2014 RIMS Benchmark Survey.  To kick-off the launch of this year’s survey, Advisen will host a free, on July 16 we held a one-hour webinar on exploring the factors driving the cost of risk. Panelists were: Bobby Bowden, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, U.S. Branch Network and Business Development, Allied World; Wesley Dupont, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Allied World; Steve Truono, Vice President, Global Risk Management, Starwood Hotels; Michael Liebowitz, Senior Director, Insurance and Enterprise Risk Management, New York University. Jim Blinn, Principal, Advisen will moderate the panel.  A link to the video of this panel discussion will soon be available.  We'll post it here when it's ready. 

    ERM has become an established discipline that many RIMS members have already implemented or are considering.  Recognizing the demand for information about this risk management discipline, we opened early registration for RIMS ERM Conference 2014Scheduled for October 26 – 28 in Miami, the three-day conference will provide practical solutions to help practitioners build and sustain their enterprise risk management programs and will feature keynote remarks from New York Times bestselling author Josh Linkner.


    I mentioned last month that registration for RIMS Risk Forum in Sydney is now open.  Our volunteers in the region have already made tremendous strides to develop a sensational program and just announced that Michael Pascoe, one of Australia's most experienced and thoughtful finance and economics commentators, will deliver the conference’s keynote address.


    While we’re on the topic of conferences, it’s never too early to talk about RIMS 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans.  We are currently accepting session submissions for the conference and will do so until July 25.  So let this be a call to all risk professionals. Learning from our colleagues’ experiences is what makes this Society great.  If you’re interested and willing to share at RIMS ’15, visit or click here.   


    In the next few weeks, RIMS will provide additional updates about our conferences, reports, surveys and legislative initiatives.  Thank you again for your continued support and for choosing RIMS as your go-to source for your risk management needs. 


    Carolyn Snow
    RIMS President

  • How Do We Look Now?

    Thu, Jun 12, 2014 -

    If you’re reading this President’s Corner Message, it is a safe bet that you’ve visited our newly designed website.  So, how does it look?  I like the changes and I’m confident that our members will benefit from this new layout.  It is focused on content delivery.  The site now features some of our most popular content and resources on its front page and we’ve simplified the navigation menu.  The design process involved a lot of staff resources, feedback from key stakeholders, and analytics about the way our site was being used. We also used outside consultants to ensure that we created a website that better supports your changing business needs – and is easy to use.   My personal favorite is the new RIMS Marketplace under resources. 


    While our website might be the first place many learn about the Society, representing RIMS at industry events and other professional conferences is unquestionably invaluable to bolstering our image and sharing the many advantages we offer the risk management community.   


    My trip to the Bermuda Captive Conference was very successful.  The opening session was a Roundtable that included the Bermuda Minister of Finance which .was well received, as was my other session that explored the employee benefits and the Affordable Care Act.  The RIMS Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. on June 9-10 was well attended by several RIMS members including quite a few first timers.   We met with key legislators discussing the importance of TRIA’s reauthorization, as well as other legislative issues.   If you eligible to be a PAC member please consider joining now.  We need a broad base of members to support our legislative efforts.  Donations of all sizes are welcome.

    RIMS Vice President Rick Roberts and Board Director Steve Pottle are also scheduled to represent the Society this summer.   Rick has been invited to speak at CFO Magazine’s Treasury Management Summit on July 10th in Boston on the importance of effectively communicating the value of risk management to the C-Suite to reach strategic objectives.  Steve will take a leading role at a “Building a Better Chapter” workshop – attended by all Canadian chapters – in Toronto in mid-June.  Remember that your Board members welcome opportunities to visit with the chapters and to be a speaker at your programs. 

    Building off the success from last year’s inaugural Risk Forum, I’m pleased to announce that registration for this year’s event is now open.  Scheduled for August 31st through September 2nd in Sydney, Australia, this event is an outstanding opportunity for risk professionals and other professional executives to gain insight about the latest global and regional risk management trends.  Exhibiting opportunities and sponsorship opportunities are also available.  We’re looking forward to another great event.


    Finally, I’d like congratulate RIMS Executive Director Mary Roth.  Mary was recently named President of the International Federation of Risk and Insurance Management Associations – an international umbrella organization for risk management associations, representing 23 organizations in over 30 countries around the world.  The board supported Mary’s appointment as feels it not only is an honor for Mary and acknowledges her accomplishments but also the recognition of RIMS as the leading risk management association.


    Soon we will release a new executive report, RIMS Benchmark Survey and announcements about other resources and initiatives to help support your work.



    Carolyn Snow

    RIMS President 

  • Out From Behind My Desk...

    Mon, May 12, 2014 -

    At RIMS ’14, I mentioned in my General Session speech that risk management can’t be done from behind one’s desk but most of us probably need a few days behind the desk, and off our feet, to catch up from what was an action-packed and super successful RIMS 2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition.


    As I write this message, it is hard to believe that RIMS ’14 has come and gone so fast.  All that hard work and all that planning were definitely worth it and the results were definitely evident in Denver. 


    RIMS attendance in Denver exceeded all expectations.  The four-day conference drew more than 9,700 attendees, a seven percent increase from last year.   We had 399 exhibiting companies, 87 of which were first timers.   And, the Society is really proud to announce, this year’s conference saw a record-breaking 183 student registrants, as well as a record-breaking 67 countries represented – a stat that reinforces our commitment to engaging rising risk professionals and global audiences.


    From our Opening Welcome Reception at the Denver Art Museum to the Conference Finale, serving as RIMS President for this conference was truly an honor and I want to thank the risk management community for your support, as well as RIMS’ staff and volunteers for making our 52nd annual conference such a huge success. I want to especially thank those who stopped me in the exhibit hall, during the conference events, sent emails and those who stopped me in the airport to say what a great conference it was.  It is the feedback from our members that the Board and Staff really value. 


    It was not all fun and games in Denver.  Attendees had access to over 170 educational sessions.  For those that didn’t make the trip or missed a session that they’d wanted to attend, handouts for them can be downloaded at  Some of the sessions were taped and we’ll make those files available in the weeks ahead.


    Additionally, in Denver, RIMS Board of Directors proposed changes to the Society’s bylaws at the House of Delegates (HOD) Meeting that would impact the number of voting Board Members, the criteria for becoming a Board Director and the format of the HOD meeting.  Communication will be delivered to your Chapter Delegates about these suggested changes for their vote on the recommended changes.


    In June, I will represent RIMS on a panel at the Bermuda Captive Conference.  Along with members from Bermuda’s government and the local captive owners association, the panel will discuss the value of implementing a captive and strategies for getting the most out of your captive investment.


    Shortly following that speaking engagement, I will attend RIMS Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. on June 9-10. We are pleased to bring this important event back and look forward to hosting RIMS members, giving them a chance to meet and speak with legislators who have shown an interest in the issues that impact our profession.  I’m sure the reauthorization of TRIA will dominate the conversation but other topics such as the SMART Act’s implementation and the “Neal Bill” will certainly be addressed.  I encourage our members to join us in D.C. to ensure the risk manager’s voice is heard on Capitol Hill.


    RIMS new website will be up and running in a few weeks.  RIMS’ website is full of useful information for risk practitioners -- Risk Knowledge library, RIMS Marketplace, the Career Center and eGroups are perfect examples.   A new eGroup for Chapter delegates has been created since the conference. The new interface will make it easier for you to find exactly what you need, faster.  As the new site is rolled out, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact RIMS Client Services Team for help.


    RIMS 2020 Task Force met in Denver to continue its work for the future of the Society.  There, the group continued to review opportunities to engage the Rising Risk Professionals group, specifically looking at the gap between the expiration of student memberships, their career path, the opportunity for their organization to sponsor a RIMS membership, as well as the convenience and availability of chapter events for these new employees.


    As usual, there is no time for risk managers to rest.  Too many challenges, opportunities and possibilities so in the days ahead be on the lookout for more from your Society.  For those that made it to RIMS ’14, again thank you for your support.  For those that didn’t, we hope to see you next year for RIMS ’15 in New Orleans.



    Carolyn Snow

    RIMS President

  • The World’s Risk Management Community is Ready!

    Wed, Apr 09, 2014 -

    Five thousand and eight hundred miles away from Denver in Tokyo, Japan, there was excitement and anticipation for RIMS ’14.   For the last week and a half, I visited with members of RIMS Japan Chapter in Tokyo and Osaka where I spoke on managing reputational risk.   The trip is part of RIMS’ global initiative to not only engage international risk professionals, but to learn from their experiences and deliver that knowledge back to the Society.   It was a great trip and the hospitality was warm and welcoming.


    I am excited about attending RIMS Annual Conference as the President of the Society and am amazed to be in this position when I reflect on how dazed and confused I was at my first conference in 2000 in San Francisco.


    For those attending RIMS Annual Conference for the first time, we’ve designed a program to help you set a game plan for your conference.  The First Time Attendee Orientation is on Sunday evening from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. and you can expect to gain a better “lay-of-the-land” and some tips on how to maximize networking opportunities. We’ve also invited Thom Singer – a conference expert – to deliver some quick remarks on best ways to create connections while at a conference.  It is always a great event and I encourage all first timers to attend.


    We recently announced our “Hot Topic Sessions” at RIMS ’14.  These sessions frequently attract the most attendees and explore some of the most pressing issues in risk management.  This year there are six “Hot Topics” that include cyber liability, FACTA, global warming/climate change, the legalization of marijuana and what it means to employment policies, business continuity, and TRIA. 


    It’s a good time to start planning your conference.   The website is a great resource and extremely comprehensive and we’re also pleased to announce that the RIMS ’14 mobile app is now ready for download on your mobile device. 


    While RIMS ’14 is top of mind right now, RIMS is continuing to push forward with other significant initiatives.


    In the month of March, RIMS held two State Legislative Conferences: one in Tallahassee and the other in Sacramento.  These gatherings are a tremendous opportunity for our risk practicing members to meet with their local elected officials and discuss regulatory issues that impact the industry.  Also this month, RIMS submitted an official comment letter to OSHA regarding a proposed rule that would require companies to file injury reports electronically.


    The RIMS 2020 Task Force continues to make progress in developing their report on the future of risk management and RIMS.  The group is currently reviewing recommendations on Society governance and has established focus groups comprising risk practitioners to really understand their immediate needs and how those needs might evolve in the future. The group is also soliciting feedback from chapter officers.


    Thank you all for your continued support of RIMS and I look forward to meeting with many of you in Denver.  Safe travels everyone.



    Carolyn Snow

    RIMS President

  • An Insider's Perspective...

    Thu, Mar 06, 2014 -

    I love these President Corner Messages, especially when we have good news to report.  Early numbers for Denver show that our registration numbers are nearly 20% higher than they were last year at this time.  And, I can assure you RIMS staff is working feverishly to make sure that this conference is as spectacular as it is expected to be.  Some new features at this year’s conference will include more than 160 educational sessions (60 percent more than last year), special opportunities only available to members like hotel priorities, an Innovation Showcase on the exhibit floor, an additional keynote speaker and RIMS TV.


    I’ve been to more than my fair share of RIMS conferences but actually being a part of the planning process, seeing first-hand the hard work that goes into it and feeling the excitement from the entire RIMS community, April 27th can’t get here soon enough.


    As I mentioned, one of my focuses for the year is to ensure that future risk professionals have the opportunities and resources to enter this profession with confidence.   To that end, RIMS launched the first-ever Spencer -RIMS Risk Management Challenge.  Eighteen university teams from across the United States and Canada have been selected to participate in this three month competition.  The teams were given a risk management case study and will be challenged to develop the best and most comprehensive risk management program to address the issue.  Ten universities will make it to the next round and be invited to present their work at a session at RIMS ’14. 


    Additionally, I am also happy to report that we have selected 30 college students to take part in our Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program (ABSIP). Thanks to our sponsors, RIMS will host these students at the annual conference where they’ll be privy to an exceptional educational program designed specifically for them, as well as given the tremendous opportunity to network with industry leaders.   As excited as I am for the conference, I often forget the emotions I felt as a first-time conference attendee.  We’re just so proud to be able to continue this tradition and provide this opportunity for these most deserving students.


    February was a busy month for RIMS on the legislative front.  The Society delivered an official letter to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) highlighting recommendations to fairly impose tax penalties on organizations that fail to comply with the SMART Act.  And, just last week, I had the privilege of testifying before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs regarding TRIA’s extension.


    This year is an important year for RIMS External Affairs Committee and they’ll continue their superb work on TRIA, a U.S. legislation that impacts thousands of international organizations that conduct business in the country.

    Despite the most recent blizzard that blasted the Northeast, this week the Society launched RIMS Marketplace.  This newly designed online resource provides both members and nonmembers with a direct connection to the world’s leading risk management solution providers.  What makes this resource better than just an ordinary directory is its ability to showcase our industry’s service providers.  There, in addition to accessing contact information, you’ll be able to see their company’s most recent news, presentations, publications, videos and link right to their social media pages.


    Borrowing a quote from RIMS Executive Director Mary Roth, “the risks our organizations face can change in an instant.  Knowing the right people or having the right network in place can be the difference between your organization successfully navigating a risk or falling to its consequences.”  


    This sentiment couldn’t be more true. RIMS Marketplace emphasizes this Society’s commitment to deliver risk management thought leadership, tools and resources to help your organizations and you succeed.


    Finally, a quick update from our 2020 Task Force.  The task force is in the gathering stage and has already reached out to Chapter Presidents and Chapter Delegates to get their thoughts on the future of the Society.  Already we’ve received some outstanding feedback.  The group’s next step is to reach out to members.  This is a member-driven organization so gaining the perspectives of our members will be fundamental to creating RIMS 2020 Vision.


    If you have any questions about any of RIMS initiatives, feel free to email our newly formed Client Services Team at  They’ll get you to the right person.


    To my risk management friends who live in the cold regions of the world, I assure you Spring is not that far away.  To the rest of you - enjoy the beautiful, sunny and warm March weather.  Looking forward to Denver!




    Carolyn Snow

    RIMS President

  • Future Plans...

    Fri, Jan 31, 2014 -

    Polar vortex, Janus, wild fires in California, blizzards in the Midwest and on the East Coast, tragic fire in a nursing home in Canada, recall of infant formula in New Zealand, labor unrest in Thailand, fires in Australia.  Welcome to 2014.   These things are reminders to all of us who manage risk why we have, what I consider to be, the best job in any organization.  Certainly they are catastrophes but also opportunities to elevate risk management and our roles as we bring value to our organizations. 


    Happily the polar vortex generally missed sunny Miami and I had an opportunity to visit the Greater Miami Chapter to visit with members, share RIMS goals for 2014 and congratulate them on their 20th Anniversary.  Others celebrating major milestone anniversaries include our Mexico Chapter that is celebrating 10 years of service, and our Carolinas Chapter and Greater Kansas City Chapter who are both celebrating an incredible 50 years as part of our risk management community.


    As the role of the risk professional and the risks they face continues to evolve, I want to focus our Society’s sights on the future – well beyond my presidency – and I plan to do so with what I call my “2020 Vision.” 


    The Board has established a 2020 Task Force chaired by Board Director Al Gorski.  The group comprises Board Directors, RIMS’ staff and other Professional members who together will help develop a report highlighting the opportunities and priorities this Society must address in order to ensure continued success.  The Task Force will send periodic emails to Chapter Officers to request feedback and comments to help with this important initiative. The frequency of these emails will be limited and can be delegated to other chapter members for response.  RIMS is committed to the future of risk management and continuing to be the leading risk management association.   


    For 2014, I have developed some goals that I am confident will be highlighted in the task force’s findings.  They include a focus on the next generation of risk professionals, global opportunities and the continued development of top-notch resources and content.


    Tomorrow’s Leaders

    I plan to build on the success of my predecessors and continue to identify opportunities and new resources for rising risk leaders.  It is no secret that the future of the profession depends on this group’s abilities, knowledge and experiences.  It is our charge to help them assimilate into Chapter and Society leadership by helping them develop professionally.


    Global Opportunities

    I will continue to expand RIMS’ horizons and help the Society deliver valuable risk management resources to practitioners around the globe.  To survive today’s global economy; organizations must be equipped to address the needs of their international partners and customers. Similarly, RIMS too must explore and enhance its services to more effectively deliver value to our network of global risk professionals.


    Knowledge & Expertise

    RIMS’ members look to the Society for the most relevant and insightful information regarding risk management.  Under my presidency, we will continue to deliver valuable content, professional development offerings and conferences to support our membership’s ability to create value for their organizations and advance as risk professionals. 

    In addition to products and services, our commitment to developing RIMS’ expertise will enable us to effectively analyze, educate and take action on domestic and international regulatory issues that directly impact the profession.  The collective voice of our engaged membership has the power to influence legislative change.  Through conferences and strategic partnerships with industry leaders, we will remain committed to delivering our membership a clear vision for their future.  


    Registration is now open for RIMS 2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Denver from April 27 – April 30.  In the upcoming weeks stay tuned for news about the conference, professional development opportunities, details about RIMS on Hill (it’s back and now called RIMS Legislative Summit) and other initiatives and resources we’re working on to help you advance risk management for your organization’s success.


    Looking forward to an exciting and successful 2014.



    Carolyn Snow

    RIMS 2014 President

  • Carolyn Snow Named 2014 President of RIMS

    Thu, Jan 02, 2014 -



    Society Introduces 2014 Officers & Board of Directors


    NEW YORK (January 2, 2014) RIMS, the risk management society™, today announced that Carolyn M. Snow, CPCU will lead the Society as president for the 2014 term, effective January 1. 


    Ms. Snow is the Director of Risk Management for Humana Inc.  She has been a member of RIMS for 14 years and on its Board of Directors for seven years.  Previously, Ms. Snow served as the society’s Treasurer, Secretary and Director of External Affairs.  She is a member of RIMS Kentuckiana/Bluegrass Chapter.


    “Risk management has arrived,” said Ms. Snow. “Business leaders around the world realize that this business function can do more than just protect assets.  Risk practitioners are being called on to identify and create value for their organizations and, now, have a tremendous opportunity to contribute to their companies’ strategic direction.”


    Snow continued, “But, it’s not enough to just acknowledge the evolution of risk management. With an emphasis on resources that support tomorrow’s leaders, the Society’s global initiatives and that draw from our membership’s vast knowledge and expertise, RIMS will provide our global network of risk practitioners with a clear vision of the future of the profession to better equip them to advance their risk programs through 2020 and beyond.”


    Officers on RIMS 2014 Board of Directors:

    • President: Carolyn M. Snow, CPCU; Director, Risk Management, Humana Inc.;
    • Vice President: Richard J. Roberts, Jr., RF, ALCM, ARM, ARME, CPCU; Corporate Risk Manager, Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc.;
    • Treasurer: Julie C. Pemberton, ARM; Director, Enterprise Risk and Insurance Management, Outerwall Inc.;
    • Corporate Secretary: Nowell R. Seaman, CIP, CRM; Director Global Risk Management, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.

    New Board Members:

    • Gloria Brosius, Director, Risk Management and Insurance Programs, Farm Credit Council Services, Inc.;
    • Steve Pottle, Director, Risk Management Services, York University;
    • Jennifer Santiago, ARM; Director of Insurance, Novartis Corporation;
    • Janet Stein, Director, Risk Management & Insurance, University of Calgary.

    Incumbent Board Members:

    • Gordon Adams, Chief Risk Officer, Tri-Marine International, Inc.;
    • Robert Cartwright, Jr., CRM; Safety and Health Manager, Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC;
    • Al Gorski, Chief Risk Officer, Orange County Transportation Authority;
    • Leslie Lamb, Director, Global Risk Management, Cisco Systems, Inc.;
    • John R. Phelps, ARM, CBCP, CPCU; Director, Business Risk Solutions, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. (Ex-Officio);
    • Michael D. Phillipus, ARM; Director, Property Insurance Risk Management, Occidental Petroleum Corporation;
    • Frederick J. Savage, FCII, ARM;  Director, Risk Management (San Ramon), Chevron Corporation;
    • Lori Seidenberg, RF, ARM; Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management, Centerline Capital Group.


    For more information about RIMS leadership, visit


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