Team of Leaders: Meet Our Risk Managers Advisory Board

National Underwriter’s Risk Managers Advisory Board members are some of the industry’s most experienced and honored risk-management professionals. They serve as an essential resource, making sure we are delivering the most timely, accurate and actionable information to our readers. As you’ll see from their bios below, this is an extraordinarily accomplished group, and we’re thrilled that we can regularly showcase their knowledge, expertise and insights.

Bryant Rousseau Editor-in-Chief, National Underwriter Property & Casualty

Laurie J. Champion
Managing Director, Global Risk Consulting,
Enterprise Risk Management, Aon

Laurie’s responsibilities include leading Aon’s U.S. ERM/governance practice and serving as a strategic advisor for large corporate clients. Prior to joining Aon in 2008, she served as the vice president of risk management for Coca-Cola Enterprises and as the director of risk management for Ford Motor Co., overseeing Ford’s global risk management staff. 

Tim East
Director of Risk Management,
The Walt Disney Co.

In his role at Disney, Tim is responsible for risk financing, construction insurance, government affairs and risk management for Disney’s international theme parks. He is the past chair of the California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation, the State’s employer coalition dedicated to workers’ compensation issues. He meets regularly with legislators, policy advisors and the California governor’s office regarding insurance and workers’ compensation issues.

Dan Kugler
Assistant Treasurer,
Corporate Risk Management Snap-on Inc.

At Snap-on, which he joined in 1979, Dan is responsible for directing all risk-management activities worldwide. He is also responsible for security and loss-prevention programs for the parent and all subsidiary companies worldwide. In 2009, Dan and his risk-management team received NU’s Excellence in Workers Compensation (Honorable Mention). He currently serves on the board of directors of RIMS.

Michael Liebowitz
Director of Risk Management and Insurance
New York University

Since 2006, Michael has held responsibility for the global property and casualty insurance program at New York University, one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious private universities. Previously, he was director of risk management, safety and security at Bridgeport Hospital & Healthcare System Inc. in Connecticut for 18 years. During his tenure at the company, he single-handedly created the risk-management department that supported the activities of five companies. Michael served as RIMS president in 2007-2008.


William J. Montanez
Director of Risk Management,
ACE Hardware Corp.

At Ace Hardware Corp., the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry, William has overall responsibility for the corporate risk-management program, retail agency operations and captive management. William, who has over 26 years of risk-management experience, has served on the board of the Chicago RIMS Chapter. At the RIMS national level, he is currently serving as a member of the board of directors and is director of RIMS’ international efforts.

Sarah Elizabeth Pacini
Vice President,
Risk Management and Insurance Advocate Health Care

Sarah is responsible at Advocate for developing, implementing and directing the system-wide risk-management, claims-management, risk-financing and insurance programs to ensure a consistent and optimal approach to minimizing liability and risk exposure. Sarah also has worked as a trauma nurse at a Level I emergency department and, with her Summa Cum Laude law degree, practiced as a prosecutor in the criminal division of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Gary Pearce
Vice President,
Risk Management,
Kelly Services

At Kelly Services, Inc., the global staffing company where Gary has worked the past 19 years, he is responsible for the risk-management, safety, workers’ compensation and unemployment functions. In his career, he has also worked at Marsh Inc. and Trinity Health. He is also a former president of the Detroit chapter of RIMS.

Sarah Perry
Risk Manager,
City of Columbia, Missouri

Sarah Perry began her insurance and risk-management career in the early 1980s with a major insurance broker. She served as the risk manager for an Iowa hospital and for a workers’ compensation trust in Missouri prior to joining the City of Columbia in 1997 as the risk manager. Sarah served as president of the PRIMA (Public Risk Management Association) board from 2008-2009 and was on the board of directors from 2003-2010.

Karl Zimmel
Risk Management Services,
Tuscon Electric Power

Karl has worked as a risk manager at four Fortune 1000 companies and has acted as a client executive at one of the largest insurance brokerage and risk-advisory firms. His areas of specialty include risk-management program review, claims management and captive management.


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