Filed Under:Risk Management, Corporate Risk

Experts Relate: ‘How I Got Into Risk Management’

If chance favors the prepared mind, as the saying goes, then it’s no wonder these risk managers have had such successful and rewarding careers. When presented with an opportunity or the possibility of a job, they begin their preparations—and they don’t give up.

When asked how they got into the discipline of risk management, here’s what members of the National Underwriter Risk Managers Advisory Board had to say:

Dan Kugler
Assistant Treasurer, Risk Management
Snap-on Inc., Kenosha, Wis.
Director of Student Involvement
The Risk and Insurance Management Society

I ended up in the risk-management profession based on a talk I had with my best friend’s dad, the risk manager for Marquette University, when I was a young insurance adjuster right out of college.

Tim East
Director of Corporate Risk Management
The Walt Disney Company, Los Angeles, Calif.

I started working at the Disneyland resort as a college job while I was a student at Cal State Long Beach. I majored in Internal Communication, and about the time I graduated I was promoted into an operational role in Disneyland’s Safety and Health department, where I was introduced to one area of risk management.

William J. Montanez
Director of Risk Management
Ace Hardware Corp., Oak Brook, Ill.
Director of Technology Advisory Council
Risk and Insurance Management Society

I am an accountant by trade and worked as one for about 13 years. My areas of expertise were fixed assets, financial analysis and budgets.

Michael Liebowitz
Director of Insurance and Risk Management
New York University, New York

I came through the claims side as an outside claims adjuster right out of college. After spending several years on the road, going in and out of dark tenements and seeing some horrible scenes, I decided it was time to come inside and sit at a desk. I became a claims examiner for a now-defunct major carrier, where I learned a lot about how companies assess risk and their approach to risk.

Sarah Perry
Risk Manager
City of Columbia, Mo.

I got into risk management by accident—or luck, depending how you look at it. More than 20 years ago, I worked in loss control for a major insurance broker. While most of my work was focused on claim-prevention programs, I frequently was asked to work with the underwriters and learned how the prevention has side effects on coverage availability and premiums.

Sarah E. Pacini
Vice President of Risk Management and Insurance
Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, Ill.

My background is not what you would traditionally expect to find in a risk-management professional; however, I have found that my unique background affords me a different perspective and serves me well as a health-care risk manager.

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