2016 Risk All Stars

The 2016 Risk All Stars

Creativity and a passion for risk management mark the winners of the 2016 Risk All Star award.
By: | September 14, 2016 • 3 min read

Scott Clark: Withstanding the Storm

09152016_1CS_AllStars_SClarkRisk and Benefits Officer, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (recently retired)

When FEMA reduced assistance, Scott Clark put together a new storm policy that protected his school district and saved money as well.

Christopher de Wolfe: Risk Management’s Sweet Spot

09152016_1CS_AllStars_CdeWolfeGlobal Director of Risk Management, Mars Inc.

Christopher de Wolfe leveraged his company’s marketing savvy to help the organization buy in to the risk management mission.

Carlos Dezayas: Freeing Cargo From Captivity

09152016_1CS_AllStars_CDezayasSenior Manager, Corporate Risk Management, The Kraft Heinz Co.

When a captive structure didn’t serve the needs of a post-merger cargo program, Carlos Dezayas built a new one.

Timothy Fischer: Managing U.S. Nuclear Fuel Risks

09152016_1CS_AllStars_TFischerChief Risk Officer, BWX Technologies

Timothy Fischer makes the complicated job of managing risk for the sole producer of nuclear fuel to the U.S. government look easy. It’s not.

James Colorado Robertson: A-Plus in Risk Management

09152016_1CS_AllStars_CRobertsonAssistant Director, Risk Management, Louisiana State University

James Colorado Robertson used innovation, persistence and love of his alma mater to help create Louisiana State University’s risk management program.

Susan Hiteshew: A Winning Strategy

09152016_1CS_AllStars_HiteshewSenior Manager, Global Insurance and Risk Financing, Under Armour Inc.

Susan Hiteshew built a risk management playbook to stay ahead of Under Armour’s challenges and fast growth.

Chauncey Fagler: An ERM Mantra

09152016_1CS_AllStars_CFaglerExecutive Director, Florida College System Risk Management Consortium

Chauncey Fagler’s risk management successes stem from his conviction to create “the best consortium” for Florida colleges.

Susan Tukel: Revolutionizing the Organization

09152016_1CS_AllStars_STukelPresident, Locomotive Engineers and Conductors Mutual Protective Association

Susan Tukel brought her 100-year-old organization back from the brink.

David Jewell: Balancing Act

09152016_1CS_AllStars_JewellVice President-Risk Management, Dollar Tree

David Jewell’s focus and experience helped guide a successful $9.2 billion acquisition, despite a staggering array of obstacles.

Kristy Harris: Flipping Coverage on Its Head

09152016_1CS_AllStars_KHarrisRisk Manager, Southwest Airlines

Southwest’s Kristy Harris engages underwriters as she searches for creative solutions during a soft market.

 

Michael Brown: Looking at the Upside

09152016_1CS_AllStars_MBrownVice President and Property Department Manager, Golden Bear Insurance Co.

Michael Brown brought enterprise risk management to his company, while working to close the talent gap facing the industry.

The R&I Editorial Team may be reached at [email protected]

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

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]