President's Corner

Carolyn M. Snow is a practicing risk professional and the 2014 president of RIMS.

  • 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

  • 2013 Recap & Thank You

    Thu, Dec 19, 2013 -

    At the start of the year, I was determined to focus my presidency on three areas that would continue to steer the Society in a direction that supports the advancement of the risk management profession.  Those three focus areas included creating value, thinking globally and developing future risk management leaders.


    I’m proud to report that, with the support of RIMS outstanding staff and the unwavering commitment of RIMS volunteer network, we accomplished much this year.


    RIMS successfully released seven executive reports that covered everything from introductory risk management implementation strategies to advanced topics like reputation risk, TRIA and root cause analysis.


    RIMS has made significant updates to websites to ensure that the valuable content we create is easily accessible to members.  A great example was the launch of our Risk Knowledge library back in March.  With more than 11,000 members in countries spanning the globe, it is important to provide the risk management community with this resource to foster the exchange of ideas and information. 


    Additionally, according to the 2013 RIMS Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Survey, ERM has gained “critical mass” acceptance with 63 percent of the respondents having either fully or partially integrated an ERM program to address their organization’s strategic and operational risks.


    This trend spurred the launch of RIMS’ Strategic & Enterprise Risk Center webpage that provides thought-leading information on this flourishing risk management discipline. 


    The turnout to RIMS ERM Conference also supported the findings from the report.  The interest in this risk management discipline continues to grow, and our Society and this conference have become the go-to resources.  Feedback about the conference’s content was outstanding and many agreed that the conference is exactly the type of resource that risk professionals can utilize to enhance their risk programs and create value for their organizations.


    This has also been a banner year for RIMS on the global front.  I had the distinct privilege of announcing our first chapter in South America (Peru) and our first in the Australasia region.  It’s not new for risk professionals around the world to follow and look to RIMS for the most up-to-date and thought-provoking risk management insight, but it was exciting to extend RIMS services and resources to these regions and to nurture a local RIMS network of professionals to share ideas and experiences.


    Our International Committee really stepped up this year to help this Society excel on this global initiative.   The Committee was responsible for two insightful Executive Reports “Challenges of Implementing an International Insurance Program in China” and “Maintaining Global Employee Benefit Coverage with Multinational Pooling” and seven educational sessions at the RIMS ’13 Thought Leader Theater. 


    We were thrilled with the response to our first-ever RIMS Risk Forum in Melbourne. Although this was the first international conference, it won’t be our last. We now have the blueprint for coordinating the logistics and programming for hosting conferences around the world and look forward to doing so in the years to come.


    International membership is up and, as organizations around the globe continue to expand their reach, RIMS will be at the forefront delivering content and resources to support their endeavors.


    If you heard any of my speeches this year, you would know of my passion for developing future leaders of the risk management profession. For the first time, these younger risk professionals were invited to join a strategic planning meeting at the RIMS 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition. Their participation led to a highly-productive discussion that provided RIMS Board members with the young risk practitioners’ perspective on the profession and the Society.


    This year, RIMS donated $320,000 to the Spencer Educational Foundation and the McGannon Foundation to ensure that bright and talented students of risk management and insurance have the financial support they need to continue their education.  That money will also support the growing number of universities who have already realized the value risk management and insurance programs play within the business world and have dedicated curriculums to our profession.


    Recently, RIMS hired an academic with previous risk management experience to bolster our efforts in this area and enhance RIMS resources for these emerging risk leaders.


    We also took steps to strengthen the Society’s governance, specifically our Committee and Council structure.  We combined the powers and talents of the volunteers on our Student Involvement Committee and Student Advisory Council to form one super unit.  Now as one group, the Student Advisory Council will continue to explore new ways to engage and learn from tomorrow’s risk leaders.  In the upcoming year, we’ll see an increased presence of task forces to continue to analyze the Society’s offerings.


    Two initiatives this year have touched on all three of my goals: RIMS Professional Development offerings and RIMS 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition. 

    The content and the relevancy of our
    professional development offerings provides risk professionals with the knowledge to go back to their firms, share what they’ve learned and identify growth opportunities for their organizations.  This year, we focused on delivering more educational programing online, allowing members and nonmembers alike to view and learn from our experts in remote locations around the world.  We also invested in new learning tools like our CourseCast Series and a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to teach tomorrow’s risk leaders in ways that they’re accustomed to learning and that are conducive to their schedule.


    There is certainly no denying the value of RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition. This past conference we had more than 130 education sessions that covered practically all facets of risk management.  We saw a significant increase in attendees from countries around the world, giving the conference a truly global feel.  And, I was particularly happy to see an influx of young risk professionals in attendance.  I can’t say enough about how important it is for us to continue this momentum at RIMS ’14 in Denver.


    From the passing of the SMART Act and our work advocating for TRIA’s reauthorization to initiatives to support our position on taxes on reinsurers, and other actions we’ve taken to streamline the insurance process, RIMS staff and our External Affairs Committee efforts on the legislative front have been nothing short of outstanding.  That work certainly has not gone unnoticed. 2014 will be an important year for RIMS but I am confident that we’re up for the task.


    People often ask me if this year as president went by fast and whether or not the sacrifice required to be president of RIMS was worth it.  The answer to both questions is a resounding yes.  Although the difficulties and challenges of being effective in my “day job” have at times been overwhelming, the opportunities to have a positive impact upon the risk management community through my work with the Board and RIMS staff kept me going.  When I reflect back upon all the accomplishments detailed above and many more, it makes 27 hours traveling to Melbourne, giving up golf for a year and cold suppers at 9 :00 at night worth it. 


    I had the distinct honor to work with a very engaged board of directors who never lost focus on what was right for the Society and wanted to share in shaping the discipline in the future.  Their support of RIMS and support of me personally, will never be forgotten.   The effectiveness of the Board’s governance in 2013 was enhanced by a strong management team led by Mary Roth and her staff leadership.  I am pleased to work with the 50+ staff in NYC and continue to be impressed with their ability to take ideas and direction from the Board and turn them into high value content in terms of educational programing, services and networking.  I thank them for deciding every day to come to work for RIMS.


    As I fade off into an ex-officio position of the Board for one last year, I leave the office of the president knowing that the Society has improved in every aspect including membership, financial stability, governance and staffing.  We are very well positioned to continue to mold the future of the risk management profession.


    I can’t leave this final message without expressing my gratitude to you, our membership for your encouragement and willingness to get involved and make a difference in this profession we all love.  What you do every day in our profession and involvement with RIMS at the chapter and national levels is awesome and I have been honored this year to represent you and witness your contributions.  You are the reason RIMS is the leader in risk management… and you always will be. 


    I look forward to a couple days to relax over the holiday season with my family and my two year old granddaughter.  I hope you also have a joyful and safe holiday season with your loved ones. 


    Season’s greetings and a Happy New Year.




    John R. Phelps

    RIMS President


  • Full Circle...

    Fri, Dec 06, 2013 -

    As I write to you from across the globe at RIMS Risk Forum in Australia, it dawned on me that upon my return, registration will be open for our 2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition scheduled for April 27-30 in Denver. And, just like that the calendar year has come full circle – like it always does.

    Before I jump ahead to what’s going on in April, I have a lot to catch you up on since my last message.

    Yesterday, I stood in front of a room of risk professionals in Melbourne for our first-ever risk forum in the region.  Together with our stellar team in New York, our new chapter officers on the ground have done a remarkable job putting this event together and have assembled an all-star lineup of sessions and speakers.  I’d like to again thank our sponsors for their support and look forward to reporting back on the forum.

    RIMS’ global expansion is no longer just something that complements what this Society has built over the last 64 years, it has become an integral component to everything we do.  Geographical borders do not stop your businesses, so they won’t stop ours.

    December 5th is a popular day at RIMS as it’s also the day we launched the RIMS ’14 website and open registration, officially marking the sprint to RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Denver.  Education is our focus this year, and we’ve almost doubled the number of sessions at the conference.  We’ve added several new events, including a third keynote presentation, as well as an Innovation Showcase on the exhibit floor– a venue right in the heart of the exhibit floor where exhibitors can be the center of attention and present their new products, services and executives to everyone.

    In addition to its serene setting nestled in the Rocky Mountains, I think attendees are going to love the convenience of getting to and staying in Denver.  The enhancements we’ve made to the conference and the first-rate program we’ve developed will combine for a highly valuable experience for all attendees and, perhaps more importantly, allow them to go back to their organizations and create value for their employers. 

    This past month, RIMS released two new reports.  The first “Understanding Reputation Risk” is a product of the RIMS Strategic Risk Management Development Council and explores the definition and complexity of the dimensions that influence reputation.  Look for the upcoming RIMS webinar on December 17th that will focus on findings from the report and will feature its three authors. 

    The second report, “Risk Reports & Perceptions” takes a look at trends in risk reporting.  The report was done in collaboration with Miami University.  Academics provide a great perspective to our profession and we look forward to partnering with others to further advance our understanding and application of successful risk management practices for our members.

    RIMS continues to look at legislation that impacts the insurance process.  We strongly believe it’s our responsibility to ensure that that process is not impeded by lack of foresight by our elected officials and that the future of the profession is preserved.

    NARAB, legislation that would impact agents and brokers, and the CLAIM Act, that pertains to claims adjusters, both call for similar action and are endorsed by this Society.  These pieces of legislation encourage interstate uniformity and reciprocity – a change in policy that would streamline the insurance buying and settlement processes.

    Also, while we were pleased to see The SMART Act pass earlier this year, a new Interim Final Rule implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would now allow for more than double the statutory 120-day period to obtain final payment amount on settlements.  RIMS is opposed this new rule and has voiced its concerns to the CMS.  We will continue to monitor the implementation of the SMART Act to ensure it does what it was originally intended to do.

    Finally, RIMS Board of Directors met in early November in San Jose to review, discuss and deliberate the 2014 budget.  We’re happy to report that the Board approved a balanced budgeted for the upcoming year that is well-suited to advance the Society’s strategic objectives.

    The Board also reviewed recommendations from the Committee Structure Task Force that was established to report on the efficiency of RIMS committee and council structure.  The task force worked with all committee chairs, board liaisons, and RIMS staff and affirmed that value of this Society’s highly dedicated, professional and talented volunteer network is undeniable.  The task force’s recommendations can be read in the memo that was distributed to all chapter officers.

    RIMS relies on its volunteers. Guiding those volunteers so that their energy is applied efficiently to the Society’s goals is critical to the future of RIMS and the professional success of our members.


    So, here we are again: that familiar time of year where we reflect on our accomplishments and prepare for the future.  It feels like just yesterday that we were getting ourselves ready for 2013. And now, in a blink of an eye, we’re prepping for RIMS ’14 and the year ahead. On behalf of RIMS, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday, and look forward to another successful year.


    John R. Phelps

    RIMS President

  • What Could Be...

    Tue, Oct 29, 2013 -

    With our finger on the pulse of the risk management and insurance community, RIMS is always looking for ways to help you deliver the most value to your organizations while making the day-to-day operational aspects of your job easier.

    Our External Affairs Committees (XAC) work in support of the formation of NARAB, the National Association of Agents and Brokers is a great example.  The committee has taken a close look at this legislation and determined that allowing for multi-state licensing for insurance producers would increase competition, potentially lower rates and reduce redundancies and inefficiencies by permitting businesses to only work with one broker or agent. Noting the tremendous value this piece of legislation offers our members, XAC has issued an official statement supporting the bill and will work with key elected officials to bring it to fruition.


    At the end of the month, RIMS Board Member Rick Roberts will join a panel at the ACORD Implementation Process Forum in Boston.  There he’ll speak to a group of business leaders about the insurance renewal process from a risk management perspective with the intention of sparking a dialogue on ways to improve what can become an extremely tedious task. Participating in these open forums is a great way for the Society to ensure the risk professional’s voice is heard when decisions are being made about the processes and policies that directly impact our work.

    On the value front, RIMS recently published results from its 2013 RIMS ERM Survey.  The annual survey is designed to gain insight into the current state of, and ongoing trends in ERM.  It provides insight on the risk professional’s role in implementing ERM, ERM program drivers, the value of ERM, ERM expectations and effectiveness, strategies for measuring the maturity of an ERM program and risk reporting.


    The key takeaway from the survey is that ERM has gained “critical mass” acceptance with 63 percent of the respondents having either fully or partially integrated an ERM program to address their organization’s strategic and operational risks.  This milestone is further reinforced by the response and expansion of the RIMS ERM Conference 2013.

    In just a couple days (November 3 – 5) more than 250 risk practitioners from an array of organizations will descend on the city of San Francisco for this annual event.  The conference will explore best practices for implementing and sustaining an enterprise-wide risk management program, as well as strategies for risk professionals to demonstrate the value of enhanced risk management capabilities to senior-level decision-makers.  We’ve expanded the Solution Showcase for practitioners to network with service providers who specialize in the discipline.

    RIMS conferences are an exceptional opportunity to learn from the best and meet with the best.  We’re excited to announce that RIMS will share its collective knowledge at
    RIMS Risk Forum – the Society’s first educational conference in Melbourne, Australia.  I’m looking forward to travelling to Australia, gaining an understanding of their risk management strategies and challenges and delivering my keynote address, “Managing Risk Through Strategy Planning & Execution. 


    In addition to expanding our reach into the Asia Pacific region, our initiatives in South America continue to gain momentum.  Last week, RIMS Board Member Lori Seidenberg participated in the Associação Brasileira de Gerência de Risco (ABGR) risk management conference in Sao Paolo. Lori’s panel focused on the perception of risk management and the role of the risk professional in various regions around the world.


    Finally, I had the privilege to attend and speak at the RIMS Canada Conference in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia a few weeks ago.   The theme for this conference was DISCOVERY and that’s exactly what it was for me.  I discovered a unique sense of pride our Canadian colleagues have for this conference as the one time during the year where risk managers from across their vast nation come together to share experiences, renew friendships and grow in knowledge.  The sense of pride our Canadian members have in their country, their heritage and the risk management discipline was palpable.  The conference in Victoria is truly a “national conference” for Canadians and it was a time for me to immerse myself in the learning, festivities, and the splendor of one of the most beautiful places on earth, British Columbia.


    One of the highlights of the conference was a key note address by Colonel Chris Hadfield, an astronaut who logged considerable time on the international space station.  While delivering an engaging and fascinating description of his experience as a test pilot and later an astronaut, he described our world as a few billion people all living within a tiny sliver of space known as the atmosphere.  Compared to the vastness of space the place in the universe we call home is spectacularly small.  In his speech entitled, The Sky Is Not The Limit he challenged our thinking with regards to space exploration and removing any constraints around “what could be”.  I couldn’t help but think about the journey in which we have immersed ourselves called risk management.  I have often said, as cliché as it is, that risk management is about the journey and not the destination.  When I look back on my own career and examine the changes in this discipline over a few decades, I feel a sense of wonder about the changes that have taken place.  From being the guy who buys the insurance to actually participating in strategic planning and execution, it seems to me to be a vast journey and, at the same time, just a sliver of change when compared to, as Colonel Hadfield said … what could be.


    As RIMS leadership and I travel the world to industry conferences and chapter meetings, we are captivated by the extraordinary work of risk professionals, their unique approaches to risk management and learning from the successes and challenges they’ve encountered as part of their journey.  As your leadership, we’re committed to transforming these incredible stories into innovative and informative resources for you to reach your professional goals and advance your organization’s risk management capabilities.   It’s part of our …. what could be.




    John Phelps

    RIMS President

  • School’s in Session…

    Thu, Sep 19, 2013 -

    From all those years of schooling we’re trained to treat the start of the school year as a new beginning, a time to refocus our energy on our work and achieve those goals we set out to accomplish on January 1.  Key to that is a continued commitment to sharpening our professional skills and knowledge-base…taking advantage of RIMS’ many educational offerings is a great place to start.

    RIMS’ newly launched CourseCasts are just one of the tools we’ve designed to help risk professionals acquire and fine-tune the skills they need to succeed.  And, thanks to the volunteers on RIMS SRM Development Council, we just successfully completed the second SRM CourseCast “Developing and Managing Risk Strategic Risk Appetite.”  All previous CourseCasts are available for download on the RIMS site and mark your calendars for the next one on October 30th.

    It’s also great to see our Professional Development team “thinking globally.” In just a few weeks, RIMS instructors will travel to Medellin, Colombia to deliver a customized In-Company Training risk management educational program for Gestion de Innovacion y Tecnologia Innmagina Group.  If you’re looking for a way to get your entire team up-to-speed but don’t have the travel budget to fly them all out to a workshop, this could be the tool for you.

    This fall season also brings regional conference time.  Our Chapters are a tremendous resource for risk professionals around the globe and these localized conferences are perfect for meeting other risk practitioners in your area.  In the next two months, RIMS Chapters will host the Southeastern RIMS Educational Conference in Charleston; the Western Regional Conference in Park City; REBEX in Chicago; and RIMS Canada Conference in Victoria, British Columbia.

    RIMS’ educational initiatives must also branch out to professionals whose jobs influence their organizations’ overall risk management capabilities like those in Human Resources, IT, Legal among those with other titles.  Increasing the size and scope of the Society is one of our strategic goals. So, to that end, RIMS will take its expertise on the road and exhibit at the National Safety Council’s Annual Congress in Chicago and ISACA’s Information Security and Risk Management Conference in Las Vegas.   If you’re in the area, stop by our booth.

    The 3rd annual RIMS ERM Conference is also right around the corner.  Our ERM Committee has been hard at work and recently released the conference’s final agenda.  This group of dedicated volunteers has also done a remarkable job redesigning the Strategic and Enterprise Center on RIMS website that now features their newly developed ERM Starter Kit.

    In addition to educating all professionals about the value of risk management and about the tools we offer, RIMS is also tasked with educating our Congressional leaders about the legislative issues that impact this industry.  Recently, members of RIMS External Affairs Committee met with the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) to discuss the implications of TRIA’s expiration. And, as a follow up to that meeting, the Society delivered an official letter to the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets to be considered for their report to Congress on the availability and affordability of insurance for terrorism risk. It’s extremely rewarding to know that the voice of the commercial insurance consumer will be considered for the FIO’s report to Congress and I applaud everyone who has helped support this cause.

    Finally, I’d like to share this story. I had the honor to guest lecture at the College of Business at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.  I always enjoy these opportunities to speak and interact with the future of our discipline.

    The students in the risk and insurance program at FSU were bright, engaged and enthusiastic men and women eager to build a career in insurance or risk management.   Several of them talked about the experience of attending our Annual Conference & Exhibition, the Florida Educational Conference or about the invaluable support they’ve received from the Spencer Educational Foundation.  They described experiences that were etched in their memory and how they helped fuel their desire to be a part of our discipline.

    As your president this year, I am able to experience, in a very direct way, how the services, networking and support from RIMS and Spencer affect our members and future members.  Interacting with the FSU students reminded me of why I made the commitment over the last 10 years to serve RIMS. Funny how an activity where I was going to “give back to the discipline” by spending some time lecturing to students instead turns into a different and unexpected experience for me. 

    I drove back home with a sense of satisfaction and gratification that the work we are doing at RIMS and Spencer to assure the future of our discipline is working.  We are making a difference in the lives of these men and women at the sunrise of their career and the future of our discipline is bright.

    In the coming weeks stayed tuned for more information from RIMS Board of Directors including updates regarding the Society’s strategy and governance, our work on the RIMS’ budget, conference updates, as well as news from our nominating committee and their progress forming our Board Slate for 2014.


    John R. Phelps

    RIMS President

  • Summer Reading List...

    Fri, Jul 26, 2013 -

    In addition to bringing the heat, the month of July also brought you three new RIMS publications that should be included on every risk professionals’ must-read list for the summer.


    First on that list is RIMS’ new executive report “Root Cause Analysis: More Than Just Cleaning Up the Mess.”  Co-authored by RIMS Director of Strategic and Enterprise Practice Carol Fox and Andrew Bent, a risk coordinator with Suncor Inc., this report looks at root cause analysis differently. While the technique is routinely used by practitioners after an adverse risk event, the report highlights the value it can add as a predictive measure.


    The next item is a piece created for industry newcomers.   Sticking to my presidential theme, providing resources for the young risk professionals is critical to their success and the future of our discipline.  The development of our new executive report “Introduction to Property Loss Control” was an initiative overseen by the RIMS Member and Chapter Services Committee that resulted in a comprehensive guide to this crucial element of any risk program.


    We have to do more than just create a resource.  RIMS continues to find new ways to engage this group of membership including the launch of an initiative to encourage these professionals to update their RIMS profiles with demographic information and their areas of interest in exchange for an advance copy of our “Introductory to Property Loss Control” report.  This information will give us a better understanding of the positions they hold within their organization, where they’re located and the areas of risk management they’d like to pursue…better preparing us to develop the resources they want and need.


    The final item on the reading list is RIMS Benchmark Survey.  Often referred to as “The Book,” the annual RIMS Benchmark Survey is produced with Advisen, Ltd. and is a single source of benchmark statistics with industry data from more than 52,000 insurance programs shared by almost 1,500 organizations.


    In addition to these new reports, RIMS continues to pursue projects and initiatives that align with our mission to advance risk management for your organization’s success.


    We continue to push for the reauthorization of TRIA that is set to expire in 2014. On July 17, RIMS Board Member Michael Phillipus, RIMS Government Affairs Staff and our Washington, D.C. consultants met with key congressional offices and the Chair of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Randy Neugebauer in DC.  As insurance consumers, we strongly believe that our perspective is vitally important to highlighting the dangers of this bill’s expiration for our leaders on Capitol Hill.  


    This Society’s relevance hinges on the feedback we receive from our membership.


    Just in the last month, the feedback you have submitted has resulted in a minor reorganization of the Society’s administrative responsibilities.  In the weeks ahead, RIMS will announce the formation of a new working group dedicated to client services.  This change aligns with RIMS’ strategic goal to maintain progressive technologies and operations to meet our members’ evolving needs.


    We’re not done there.  Also in the near future we’ll host focus groups regarding our website.  And, our International Committee – who has been working with Zurich on access to their comprehensive international insurance placement database – will reach out to a test group of members to get their thoughts on the database’s content, as well as training and ease of use.


    Continuing on the global front, I would like to officially congratulate and welcome the recently announced inaugural board of RIMS Australasia Chapter.  Led by the chapter’s first president Colin Knox, this esteemed group of risk practitioners share a wealth of industry insight, adding to RIMS’ collective knowledge and strengthening our global footprint.


    Finally, I want to mention that RIMS held its annual two-day strategic planning meeting this month to ensure that the Society continues to deliver resources essential for risk management success.


    Day one included presentations by RIMS Staff that provided updates on the Society’s areas of practice, as well as other strategic initiatives.  And, on day two, Tecker International – a consulting group specializing in strategic, knowledge-based planning – facilitated a workshop that focused on developing brand identity, as well as an exploration of RIMS’ resources that will best serve our stakeholders.


    With all this said, we do hope that you’ve found time to enjoy your summer and encourage you all to check back in soon for new and exciting updates from RIMS.



    John R. Phelps

    RIMS President

  • Changing Policy for Our Profession…

    Thu, Jun 27, 2013 -

    Congress might be on recess but RIMS certainly isn’t.  In the last month, RIMS has placed a concerted emphasis on government affairs, in particular, our push to have TRIA extended.


    RIMS Board Member and New York City Chapter Member Lori Seidenberg recently submitted testimony on behalf of the Society for a New York City Council Committee on Federal and State Legislation hearing, lending our support for their fight to extend TRIA.  And, in May, we officially commended Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), the Ranking Member of the Committee of Homeland Security, for introducing the “Fostering Resilience to Terrorism Act of 2013.”


    In the upcoming months, our External Affairs Committee (XAC) will continue in its charge to have TRIA extended through a grassroots campaign encouraging our members to partake in District Meetings. While Congress is in recess and our congressional leaders are in their hometowns, there is no better time to set meetings with them and share your professional insights on legislative issues like TRIA.  RIMS can help schedule these hometown meetings for you and make sure you have the background information you need.  Stay tuned as more information will be available soon.


    Furthering our TRIA efforts, RIMS leaders and TRIA experts will partake in a July 18th web panel that will review the intricacies of this legislation and how its expiration will impact insurance markets and a wide range of other industries.  The webinar is open to all RIMS members.


    Like the XAC Committee, our ERM and SRMDC Committees are hard at work.  Earlier this month, we announced that registration is now open for the RIMS ERM Conference 2013 on November 3-5 in San Francisco.  The conference is set to explore best practices for implementing and sustaining an enterprise-wide risk management program and will have sessions focused on key ERM components such as: scenario planning; identifying “Black Swan” events and emerging risks; risk reporting processes and tools; and crises management.  Attendance is limited by design, so don’t wait long to register.


    RIMS “Maintaining Global Employee Benefit Coverage with Multinational Pooling” Executive Report was extremely well-received prompting our International Committee to develop a special webinar on the topic today (June 27th). It’s important that RIMS continue to provide these opportunities.  As our membership becomes more global, RIMS must expand its offerings to meet the needs of today’s risk professional. Thanks to AON Hewitt and Spring Consulting for sponsoring this new RIMS webinar.


    I also wanted to share an update from our Committee Structure Task Force.  The group, formed earlier this year and led by Board Member Rick Roberts, was created to evaluate the current RIMS committee structure and to ensure it’s aligned with the Society’s vision and mission.  The group has almost completed a survey of all committees, speaking with RIMS staff liaisons, chairs and vice chairs of existing committees and councils and board liaisons.  While the surveys are still being tabulated, an immediate example of the group’s work was the consolidation of RIMS Student Advisory Council and the Student Involvement Committee.  This Task Force’s work will provide a more effective governance structure that will allow us to deliver services and resources while syncing with my Presidential goal to create value for our membership.


    Finally, last week was the first meeting Education Advisory Group.  This group of industry professionals and loyal RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition attendees met in New York on June 17th to review the format of the conference, the process for program submissions and the approval process, as well as the session categories and industry trends.  Before you know it, RIMS ’14 will be here and we look forward to sharing the group’s findings and other conference enhancements as we continue the planning process.


    RIMS has a lot in store for us in the upcoming weeks – new conference announcements, new reports, new surveys and new professional development opportunities.  We look forward to an exciting summer and thank you for making us your go-to risk management resource.



    John R. Phelps

    RIMS President

  • And, It's A Wrap!

    Tue, May 21, 2013 -

    I’m happy to report that RIMS ’13 was a huge success.  The conference boasted attendance numbers close to 9,000 making it one of our highest attended conferences in years.  And, according to all the feedback, RIMS educational programming and the new schedule of sessions – including Power Hours and the Thought Leader Theater – significantly enhanced the conference experience for many.  

    A common theme throughout my presidency and the conference has been RIMS’ commitment to the next generation of risk professionals.  For the first time, a panel of young risk practitioners addressed RIMS Board of Directors and provided their perspective on the profession and its future.  The board learned a great deal from this discussion and we look forward to continuing these dialogues through our Young Risk Practitioners Group and working together to make their risk management journey a successful one. 


    In my address to members during the conference’s General Session, I challenged our younger professionals to get involved and help shape the future of the discipline through service with RIMS.  I also challenged chapters to reach out, from a grass roots perspective, to this group and encourage their involvement.  They are, after all, the future of the risk management profession.


    One challenge that we faced in Los Angeles was the limited number of hotel rooms in close proximity to the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the subsequent commuting time to attend sessions, events and business meetings. Our annual conference venues are booked almost ten years in advance and, unfortunately, we were not able to predict or make up for the demolition of one downtown hotel and the loss of its 600 rooms.  RIMS regrets any transportation inconvenience you may have experienced in Los Angeles as a result.


    We are excited for RIMS ’14 in Denver, a city that has thousands of hotel rooms and top-notch dining options all within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center.

    Some updates from the Society, our Chapters, Committees & Councils:

    First, I would like to extend an official President’s Corner Message welcome to our two new chapters:  our Australasia Chapter based in Melbourne and our Peru Chapter based in Lima.  As we announced at the Annual Conference, these two chapters are a testament to this Society’s commitment to expanding its global footprint.

    By now, I hope most of you have had the opportunity to download the two new RIMS Executive Reports issued by our International Committee.  The Challenges of Implementing an Insurance Program in China and the Maintaining Global Employee Benefit Coverage with Multinational Pooling reports are available for free in RIMS newly revamped Risk Knowledge online resource library.

    RIMS Technology Advisory Council (TAC) continues to produce stellar work.  Cyber risk management, data breaches, information security, privacy liability, cloud computing, mobile technology, big data, convergence, ERM tools, risk management information systems, all continue to be hot button issues around risk management circles.  The committee, led by its Chair Emily Cummins, has established itself as a go-to resource for these issues and has had its members participate as panelists on a Risk & Insurance webinar, as well as being featured in a Business Insurance article.

    As we speak about technology, some projects that are currently in progress include an upgrade to Avectra – the system that manages our member’s data, membership renewals and new membership additions – that is scheduled to be completed this summer, the streamlining of the “Contact Us” feature and the process for answering submissions.  We have also added a “Find Chapter” button to the right section of the RIMS homepage to make it easier for members and nonmembers alike to locate their local chapter website. We are always looking for your feedback and have developed the following SURVEY to learn what website features matter most to you.

    Finally, with little rest from Los Angeles, our Exhibitor Advisory Council (EAC) and Meetings and Events team have been in Denver the last week planning for RIMS ’14.  This trip to the Rockies provides the EAC with first-hand knowledge of the layout of Denver’s conference facilities in order to effectively communicate those offerings to our exhibitors and coordinate the design of the Exhibit Hall, as well as to familiarize themselves with external sites – hotels, restaurants, and other meeting facilities – that will be used for networking events.

    In the next month, I will be headed to Bermuda Insurance Day to speak on the importance of communicating the value of risk management and its impact on the development of a risk financing program.  I look forward to sharing that experience with you and encourage you to explore RIMS exceptional professional development opportunities in the month of May.

    John R. Phelps
    RIMS President

  • Connecting Flight to LA

    Tue, Apr 02, 2013 -

    A few weeks ago, I left my home in sunny and warm Jacksonville for Tokyo to visit with RIMS’ Japan Chapter.  The Japan chapter is an important part of the Society’s global footprint that is continuing to expand.  At nearly 10,000 miles away, it couldn’t be more clear how connected we all really are. Risk professionals in Japan face the same challenges and have the same questions as my colleagues back in Florida. Risk management truly transcends borders and RIMS will continue in its efforts to become the go-to resource for all risk professionals, wherever they are located.

    While in Japan I delivered speeches in Tokyo and Osaka that focused on the value of accelerating an organization’s risk capabilities to achieve strategic objectives and heighten social responsibility…something that is very relevant to RIMS members, no matter what country they practice in.


    And, it’s hard to believe that as soon as I returned from Japan, it’s practically time to board another flight for our Annual Conference & Exhibition in Los Angeles.   As president this year, I’ve been very involved in the planning of the conference and strongly believe we have an outstanding program planned for you.


    Leading up to the conference, I’ve been asked several times “what advice do you have for someone who has never been to the RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition.”  My answer seems obvious, especially for a risk practitioner, but I think it can go a long way in helping attendees gain the most from their RIMS ’13 experience. My advice for the risk professionals that are committed to improving themselves in order to increase the value they bring to their companies, is to develop a plan before they go.


    Decide what you want to know more about. Which people do you want to talk with? What sessions will help strengthen your organization? Look at the list of vendors in the Exhibit Hall and see if there's something you want to explore or find more information about. Maybe there's an opportunity to put a new insurance carrier in your portfolio or finally automate your ERM program. So, make a plan and work through it, because if you don’t you will find it can be very overwhelming.  You’ll return home wishing you had remembered to connect with a certain vendor or attend a session that could have helped you with an issue you are struggling with at your company.


    To further assist first-timers and others who are still relatively new to the conference, RIMS Member Services Department put together a document (download it here) that can be used as a cheat sheet. Those attendees would also benefit from the First-Timers Orientation session scheduled for Monday, April 22nd at 10:15 a.m.


    You might not be new to the conference but RIMS is always trying to create additional value for our members, offering new products, resources and, in this instance, conference features that include top-tier speakers that set us apart from the rest. 


    No RIMS Annual Conference experience should start without attending the General Session breakfast.  This year we will have one of the great business thinkers, author Simon Sinek, deliver our opening keynote to get everyone energized and excited for the week ahead.  Our Awards Luncheon has been completely revamped with a professional emcee and production to give it an Oscars-style vibe.  And, last but certainly not least, our Conference Finale featuring author, comedian, TV personality Howie Mandel, who is all set to give us his spin on risk management. 


    Finally, some updates from RIMS’ Councils and Committees.  In addition to having prepared a student session track for attendees at RIMS ‘13, our Student Advisory Council along with the Student Involvement Committee will host a Power Hour session focused on how to gain a competitive advantage in the workplace; a student luncheon; a speed networking roundtable; and another roundtable to give these aspiring students a glimpse of “A Day in the Life of a Risk Manager.”


    Additionally, our International Committee is developing two new reports that will focus on strategies for conducting business abroad and captives.  RIMS 2013 Compensation Survey that’s produced bi-annually by our Membership and Chapter Service Committee will also be released at RIMS ‘13.


    There’s a lot in store for all of us in Los Angeles. Remember, if you have any questions about what to see or what to do, the volunteer members of RIMS’ many committees and its staff are standing by to help. We wish you safe travels to LA and look forward to seeing you all there. 


    And, for those of you who aren’t able to join us in Los Angeles, keep an eye out for the daily emails that RIMS sends during the conference. Their coverage of the events, education and networking taking place provide valuable information for even those not in attendance.




    John R. Phelps

    RIMS President

  • It's Only Just Begun...

    Tue, Feb 19, 2013 -

    We have accomplished so much in such a short period of time and I could not have done it without the support of my fellow Board Members and RIMS’ dedicated staff.

    In just my first week, President Obama signed the SMART Act, a long-standing legislative priority for RIMS that will streamline the Medicare reporting process for insurers. We have always believed that this legislation would benefit the entire risk management community and I’d like to commend the External Affairs Committee for their work in support of its approval.


    Continuing on the legislative front, RIMS will host three regional legislative events in March that will give our members a chance to discuss the most relevant legislative risk management issues in their state and meet with their local elected officials to review them. On March 6 we will hold our State Legislative Conference in Tallahassee; March 12 -13 a regional RIMS on the Hill in Austin; and, March 19 – 20 RIMS on the Mall in Sacramento.  I encourage all RIMS members who are interested to contact our External Affairs team to get involved.  Don’t feel you need special knowledge to talk to your legislators.  They want to talk to people like you who represent the buyers on issues.


    I think it’s safe to say that RIMS 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition is front and center and on everyone’s mind.  I’m happy to report that exhibitor and sponsorship numbers are strong and that registration numbers are exceptional.  L.A. is a terrific location and our conference planners have done an outstanding job lining up world class sessions, networking opportunities and an exhibit hall filled with companies eager to learn how they may be of service to you.


    For me, the educational sessions are the heart of the Conference.  It is there where we get to sharpen our skills and learn from the best our profession has to offer.  This year, we wanted to make sure our sessions met your scheduling needs so we added some new features to the educational component of the Conference.


    Look for RIMS Power Hours, shorter, one hour educational sessions on Tuesday morning. The RIMS Hub in the Exhibit Hall will offer “round-the-clock” educational programming for professionals looking to boost their social media skills.  And, the Thought Leader Theater will feature more than 20, 25-minute risk management sessions not offered at any other time during the conference.  We’re confident that these new additions will further enhance your time in LA.


    RIMS Board of Directors met in New York in January for their first Board Meeting of the year. This meeting’s agenda was extensive and included a vote on a “hot button” issue that has been a highly debated at House of Delegates meetings for the past several years. That issue: Associates of the Society serving on Chapter Board. 


    After appointing a specially commissioned Task Force to review this issue and studying their strong arguments for and against Associates serving on Chapter Boards, RIMS Board of Directors has voted and made its decisions on this issue.  We want all those affected to fully understand the methodology behind this process and the factors that were considered.  So, I invite you click here to gain access to the background information, the process and the considerations we, on the Board, reviewed in order to make such an important decision on behalf of the Society.


    Finally, in each of these President’s Corner Messages, I plan to give a quick update on the work of a couple of our National committees.


    The ERM Committee is undertaking a new project on integrating ERM with traditional risk management and has plans to release a survey later this year.  And, the Strategic Risk Management Development Council is undertaking a new project on reputational risk.  We’re looking forward to seeing the product of their work.


    Each year, PDAC – RIMS’ Professional Development Advisory Council – is charged with reviewing our workshops and webinars to make sure the content is on point and relevant for today’s risk professionals. That committee held its first meeting of the year and has begun that process.


    RIMS Student Advisory Council (SAC) is hosting the GIS monthly webinar on Thursday, February 21 from 2:30 - 4:00pm. The topic will be “A Year in the Life of a Risk Manager.” Council Chair Debbie Rodgers will serve as moderator. Los Angeles Chapter President Ross Pebley and SAC member James Conoly will join the panel.


    There are countless ways to be involved in RIMS, whether it be National service, conference participation, legislative advocacy or with your local chapter.  This Society success depends on the invaluable contributions of our volunteering members. We truly appreciate all that you do for the Society that enables us to grow and thrive year-after-year.



    John Phelps

    RIMS President

  • RIMS 2013 President John Phelps Rings in the New Year and Sets Presidential Goals...

    Wed, Jan 09, 2013 -

    Happy New Year. I hope you all enjoyed your holidays.


    It is an honor and a privilege to write to you as RIMS 59th President. Serving on RIMS Board of Directors for more than nine years, I strongly believe that the invaluable resources and opportunities this Society offers today’s risk practitioners is a testament to RIMS outstanding staff, the work of my fellow board members, the remarkable work of our Chapter Officers and, most importantly, a result of our committed and dedicated membership.


    As President, I am committed to paving the way for this Society’s growth, our membership’s success and the advancement of the risk management profession, and will focus on developing RIMS’ key resources that help organizations not only manage today’s risks, but prepare for those of tomorrow.

    I’ve put a lot of thought into what I’d like to accomplish in 2013 and have divided those goals for myself and the Society into three categories: creating value, thinking globally and developing leaders.



    As the role of the risk manager continues to evolve, new value propositions within organizations are created.  We will concentrate our efforts on supporting all risk professionals to strategically implement, maintain and advance their risk programs to capture that value. Offering resources for traditional risk management methods has always been a staple of this Society and will continue throughout my presidency.  I will also ensure that we continue to focus the Society’s resources on helping all risk professionals achieve their goals. 



    Technology has enabled organizations to transcend borders, making it effortless for business to be conducted on an international scale.  As our membership becomes more geographically diverse, RIMS too must think globally and take advantage of the many viable opportunities to expand the Society’s footprint, making our resources and network accessible to risk practitioners all over the world.



    The future of risk management hinges on the next generation that has chosen or will choose to pursue careers in this discipline. During my presidency, RIMS will demonstrate its commitment to this aspiring group by providing educational programming, networking opportunities and volunteer positions at the Society’s national level to further attract their participation in the many significant RIMS initiatives that year-after-year play an integral role in shaping the future of the profession.


    Started not too long ago by RIMS President Scott Clark, these President Corner Messages are an effective way to get the word out about the many RIMS initiatives and updates impacting our global membership.

    Building on this momentum, in the upcoming year we are going to increase the frequency of these messages and enhance their content.  Now on monthly basis, I plan to include updates from our Committees and Councils, our Chapters, our Strategic and Enterprise Risk Practice, Professional Development and Government Affairs departments, and, of course, include news about our conferences.  Also, to ensure that our members have access to this information and know that it’s available to them, we will also deliver these messages through our eGroups, as well as our social media outlets.


    As I prepare for my Presidency, I can’t help but think of the upcoming year, the opportunities, the connections, RIMS’ bright future and the future of the industry. I look forward to continuing in the footsteps of my predecessors and am truly excited for the year ahead.



    John R. Phelps, ARM, CPCU

    RIMS 2013 President

  • John Phelps Named RIMS President for 2013 -- Board of Directors Announced

    Wed, Jan 02, 2013 -



    Society Introduces 2013 Officers & Board of Directors


    NEW YORK (January 2, 2013) RIMS, the risk management society, today announced that John Phelps, ARM, CPCU, CBCP will lead the Society as president for the 2013 term, effective January 1. 


    Mr. Phelps is the Director of Business Risk Solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. He has been a member of RIMS for almost 33 years and on its Board of Directors for nine years.  Previously, Mr. Phelps served as vice president and board liaison to the Society’s External Affairs Committee and RIMS Canada Council. He is a member of RIMS Northeast Florida Chapter where he served as president in 1997.


    “For far too long, the mention of ‘risk’ has struck fear in board rooms around the world,” said Phelps. “As President of RIMS I want to focus on the resources and services that will better equip our members to demonstrate how a more comprehensive understanding of risk can help straighten the path for an organization’s success and exploit the opportunities risk offers every company. I sincerely look forward to the year ahead and to helping our members advance their organization’s risk management capabilities in all business disciplines.”


    Phelps added, “The future of the profession is also a priority for my presidency. We, at RIMS, are determined to remain the ‘go-to’ resource for all risk practitioners, helping them to better define future risks, connecting them with the latest technologies and service providers and, most importantly, delivering opportunities for the next generation of risk professionals to develop and excel within the industry.”


    Officers on RIMS 2012 Board of Directors:

    • President: John R. Phelps, ARM, CPCU; Director, Business Risk Solutions, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc.;
    • Vice President: Dan H. Kugler, ARM, CEBS, CPCU, ACI; Assistant Treasurer, Risk Management, Snap-On Inc.;
    • Treasurer: Nowell R. Seaman, CIP, CRM; Manager, Risk Management & Insurance Services, University of Saskatchewan;
    • Corporate Secretary: Carolyn M. Snow, CPCU; Director, Risk Management, Humana Inc.


    New Board Members:

    • Gordon Adams, Chief Risk Officers, Tri-Marine International, Inc.
    • Grace M. Crickette, ARM, SPHR, CCSA, CSHM; Chief Risk Officer, University California


    Incumbent Board Members:

    • Robert Cartwright Jr., CRM; Loss Prevention Manager, Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC;
    • Al Gorski, Chief Risk Officer, Orange County Transportation Authority;
    • Kim Hunton, MPA, FCIP, RF; Corporate Risk Manager, City of Ottawa;
    • Leslie Lamb, Global Risk Manager, Cisco Systems, Inc.
    • Deborah M. Luthi, ARM; Enterprise Risk Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; (Ex-Officio);
    • Julie C. Pemberton, ARM; Director, Enterprise Risk and Insurance Management, Coinstar;
    • Michael D. Phillipus, ARM; Director, Insurance and Risk Management, ATP Oil & Gas Corporation;
    • Richard J. Roberts, Jr., ALCM, ARM, CPCU, RF; Corporate Risk Manager, Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc.;
    • Frederick J. Savage, FCII, ARM;  Director, Risk Management (San Ramon), Chevron Corporation;
    • Lori Seidenberg, ARM, RF; Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management, Centerline Capital Group.


    For more information about RIMS leadership, visit