2015 Winners List

2015 Risk All Stars

Topics: Risk All Stars

Angeli Mancuso: On a Mission to Revitalize (+Responsibility Leader)

09012015_All_Stars_2_MancusoManager, Employee Health & Safety, Cottage Health System

By getting the board of directors behind a goal to decrease patient-handling injuries, Angeli Mancuso has improved employees’ quallity of life.

Timothy Fischer: With Military Precision (+Responsibility Leader)

09012015_All_Stars_8_FischerChief Risk Officer, BWX Technologies

Tim Fischer was given nine months to address the risk implications of a sizable spin-off.

 

Tim Kirsch: Keeping the Budweiser Moving, Safely

09012015_All_Stars_1_KirschSafety Director, Schilling

Tim Kirsch overhauled his company’s safety mission, protecting drivers on the road while slashing workers’ comp claims costs.

Martin Brady: A Better Mousetrap

09012015_All_Stars_9_BradyExecutive Director, Schools Insurance Authority

The urgent need for a creative solution inspired one Risk All Star to create a unique excess casualty program with benefits on several levels.

Jennifer Cable: Composing the Grand Opera

09012015_All_Stars_3_CableClaims Manager, Balfour Beatty Construction

Jennifer Cable’s degree is in opera performance. She is also a risk management maestro.

 

Tracey Gasper: Service Centered (+Responsibility Leader)

09012015_All_Stars_4_GasperRisk Manager, TBC Corp.

This risk manager’s savings for her company can be measured in the millions.

 

Elizabeth Queen: Building a Unified Travel Program (+Responsibility Leader)

09012015_All_Stars_5_QueenVice President of Risk Management, Wolters Kluwer

With an existing program now spread enterprise-wide, traveling employees have an improved experience, while the company enjoys lower costs and reduced risk.

Michael D. Payne: All the Right Moves

09012015_All_Stars_6_PayneOrganizational Resilience Manager, iJET International

One Risk All Star took on the daunting challenge of quickly relocating a sprawling headquarters, and without a single moment of down time.

David Brooks: Putting ERM on Offense

09012015_All_Stars_7_BrooksSVP, ERM, head of man-made catastrophe, XL Catlin

David Brooks quantifies and manages risks across every industry and product offered by XL Catlin.

 

Brent Cooley: Shakespeare Minus the Tragedy (+Responsibility Leader)

09012015_All_Stars_10_CooleyArts Health and Safety Advisor, University of California, Santa Cruz

A series of potentially high-severity events drove the push to launch a safety organization that will help keep theater students safe for years to come.

Kris Finell: Doing What Needs to Be Done

09012015_All_Stars_11_FinellChief Risk and Administrative Officer, Rytec Corp.

New to her position in risk management, Rytec’s Kris Finell set about correcting just about everything she could get her hands on.

Albert Fierro: The Fruits of Long, Hard Labor (+Responsibility Leader)

09012015_All_Stars_12_FierroDirector, Risk Management, AARP Andrus Insurance Fund

With decades of expertise in captive insurance, Albert Fierro was the ideal person to help AARP rein in its rising workers’ compensation costs.

Renee Crow: Playing the Part

09012015_All_Stars_13_CrowVice President, Risk Management, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants

Adding role playing to training efforts helped Kimpton Hotels’ risk manager teach employees how to avoid mistakes that drive up the cost of claims.

Todd Chirillo: Turning Risk Inside Out

09012015_All_Stars_14_ChirilloDirector, Cash & Risk Management and Global Real Estate, Treasury, Meritor

Treasury now drives risk management throughout Meritor’s business units, thanks to the efforts of Todd Chirillo.

Jeannie Garner: A Firm Hand at the Wheel

09012015_All_Stars_15_GarnerDirector of Insurance and Financial Services, Florida League of Cities

Florida’s insurance pool members can rest easy that, thanks to Jeannie Garner’s initiative, they can bounce back in the face of severe storms.

Amanda Lagatta: Making It Work

09012015_All_Stars_16_LaggatGroup Manager, Insurance, Target

When staff reductions and organizational change made strong leadership imperative, Amanda Lagatta rose to the challenge.

Risk Management

The Profession

Pinnacle Entertainment’s VP of enterprise risk management says he’s inspired by Disney’s approach to risk management.
By: | November 1, 2017 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

Bus boy at a fine dining restaurant.

R&I: How did you come to work in this industry?

I sent a résumé to Harrah’s Entertainment on a whim. It took over 30 hours of interviewing to get that job, but it was well worth it.

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?

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The Chinese citizen (never positively identified) who stood in front of a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. That kind of courage is undeniable, and that image is unforgettable. I hope we can all be that passionate about something at least once in our lives.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?

Cyber risk, but more narrowly, cyber-extortion. I think state sponsored bad actors are getting more and more sophisticated, and the risk is that they find a way to control entire systems.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?

Training and breaking horses. When I was in high school, I worked on a lot of farms. I did everything from building fences to putting up hay. It was during this time that I found I had a knack for horses. They would tolerate me getting real close, so it was natural I started working more and more with them.

Eventually, I was putting a saddle on a few and before I knew it I was in that saddle riding a horse that had never been ridden before.

I admit I had some nervous moments, but I was never thrown off. It taught me that developing genuine trust early is very important and is needed by all involved. Nothing of any real value happens without it.

R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?

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Setting very aggressive goals and then meeting and exceeding those goals with a team. Sharing team victories is the ultimate reward.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

Disney World. The sheer size of the place is awe inspiring. And everything works like a finely tuned clock.

There is a reason that hospitality companies send their people there to be trained on guest service. Disney World does it better than anyone else.

As a hospitality executive, I always learn something new whenever I am there.

James Cunningham, vice president, enterprise risk management, Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.

The risks that Disney World faces are very similar to mine — on a much larger scale. They are complex and across the board. From liability for the millions of people they host as their guests each year, to the physical location of the park, to their vendor partnerships; their approach to risk management has been and continues to be innovative and a model that I learn from and I think there are lessons there for everybody.

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?

We are doing a much better job of getting involved in a meaningful way in our daily operations and demonstrating genuine value to our organizations.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?

Educating and promoting the career with young people.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

Being able to tell the Pinnacle story. It’s a great one and it wasn’t being told. I believe that the insurance markets now understand who we are and what we stand for.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

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John Matthews, who is now retired, formerly with Aon and Caesar’s Palace. John is an exceptional leader who demonstrated the value of putting a top-shelf team together and then letting them do their best work. I model my management style after him.

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

I read mostly biographies and autobiographies. I like to read how successful people became successful by overcoming their own obstacles. Jay Leno, Jack Welch, Bill Harrah, etc. I also enjoyed the book and movie “Money Ball.”

R&I: What is your favorite drink?

Ice water when it’s hot, coffee when it’s cold, and an adult beverage when it’s called for.

R&I: What does your family think you do?

In my family, I’m the “Safety Geek.”

R&I:  What’s your favorite restaurant?

Vegas is a world-class restaurant town. No matter what you are hungry for, you can find it here. I have a few favorites that are my “go-to’s,” depending on the mood and who I am with.

If you’re in town, you should try to have at least one meal off the strip. For that, I would suggest you get reservations (you’ll need them) at Herbs and Rye. It’s a great little restaurant that is always lively. The food is tremendous, and the service is always on point. They make hand-crafted cocktails that are amazing.

My favorite Mexican restaurant is Lindo Michoacan. There are three in town, and I prefer the one in Henderson as it has the best view of the valley. For seafood, you can never go wrong with Joe’s in Caesar’s Palace.




Katie Dwyer is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]