2017 Risk All Stars

The 2017 Risk All Stars

Creativity, perseverance and passion distinguish the winners of the 2017 Risk All Star award.
By: | September 12, 2017 • 2 min read

Sharp Instincts

Gillian Cummings-Beck: Director, Insurance & Risk Management, Chico’s FAS Inc.

Chico’s risk manager wasn’t afraid to change important relationships.


Captives, Writ Larger

Courtney Claflin: Executive Director, captive programs, University of California

The University of California’s Courtney Claflin is putting on a clinic in captive management.


Seeking Clarity

Faith Cring: Director, Engineering, Environmental, Safety and Insurance, Growmark Inc.

Faith Cring makes sure she educates underwriters about her agricultural cooperative’s risks. She also insists on complete transparency.


The Right Connections

Michelle Bennett: Director of Risk Management, Cable One

Cable One’s Michelle Bennett is very good at forming relationships, both inside and outside of her company.


The Right Formula for Claims Closure

Kevin Moss: Director, Casualty Insurance and Risk, Michelin North America Inc.

With diligent prep work and high emotional intelligence, Kevin Moss cut Michelin’s outstanding reserves nearly in half.


Seeing Opportunity in Expansion

Steve Richards: Director Claims & Litigation, Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated

Steve Richards masterfully recalibrated Coca-Cola’s workers’ comp program when the company rapidly added 25 locations and thousands of new employees.


Risk Management in Memory Care

Frank Russo: Senior Vice President, risk and legal affairs, Silverado Senior Living

Frank Russo integrated risk management throughout his company, building a strong and collaborative risk culture.


The Ergonomic Evaluator

Joseph Mazza: Director of Risk Management and ADA Coordinator, MiraCosta College

Joseph J. Mazza has cut repetitive motion workers’ comp claims in half by training in ergonomics.


A Friend of the Business

Simon Argent: Senior Vice President, Head of Credit Risk Management, XL Catlin

XL Catlin’s Simon Argent leads a team that is giving insurance business leaders much better insight into their credit and country risks.


Persistence Pays Off

Wallace Jones: Director, Global Benefits & Insurance, Ashley Furniture Industries

Wallace Jones achieved double-digit premium reductions for Ashley Furniture by educating senior leaders and implementing changes over a four-year period.


Standing Up and Standing Out

Dan Holden: Manager, Corporate Risk & Insurance, Daimler Trucks North America

Daimler Trucks North America’s Dan Holden advocated for a disaster recovery system that is now being implemented internationally.


Unbridled Passion

Zach Finn: Director, Davey Risk Management and Insurance program, Butler University

Butler University’s Zach Finn is tackling the risk management talent shortage head-on.


Building on the Power of Appreciation

Tim Liberty: Senior Claims Consultant, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

Leveraging the adage “You catch more flies with honey,” Tim Liberty is giving his growing company a distinct competitive advantage.

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

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

2018 Power Broker

To the Ends of the Earth

From the frozen Arctic to the inferno of a high net worth divorce, Power Brokers go to extremes to find solutions for their clients.
By: | February 20, 2018 • 2 min read

Looking for the Power Broker Winners? Click Here.

Picture this: A bitter divorce so heated that the principals are only communicating through their attorneys. Then their house burns down. Imagine walking into that situation and trying to find solutions that will please both parties.

But that’s exactly what 2018 Power Broker® Jeff Kaplan, family office practice leader, Risk Management Strategies, did.

Kaplan, who won in the Private Client category, negotiated the sale of the property — forget the rebuild, let the new owner take that on, he counseled his clients — orchestrated a 30-day auction for its sale, and achieved a profitable result for every party in the transaction, each half of the feuding couple and the developer of the sold property.

To the client, Kaplan’s work, including his high degree of emotional intelligence, released him from the “seventh circle of hell.”

From that doused inferno, let us now cast our eyes to the frozen north.


The owner of a barge learned their property sank off of Nome, Alaska, (average temperature 27 degrees Fahrenheit). With an approaching freeze threatening to seal off the harbor, the owners, Phoenix Marine, risked losing valuable equipment.

Into action sprang George Andersen, a 2018 Power Broker® in the Marine category. With precious little time to lose, Andersen negotiated the claim and communicated proactively with the U.S. Coast Guard and other officials. Then he commissioned salvage divers from New York to travel to Alaska and retrieve the valuable equipment from the sunken barge.

Before we depart the Arctic, let us consider another 2018 Power Broker® from Aon, Christian Wise. To arrange cover for a defense contractor’s radio installations in a remote Arctic location, Wise dispatched a loss control engineer, complete with instructions on the use of a shotgun should polar bears interlope in temperatures that registered negative 29 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the radio installations had already burned to the ground due to scant local fire protection, culminating in a $20 million loss. Despite that, working with London underwriters, Wise and his team were able to shave $1.3 million off an initial property premium cost of $1.8 million.

Power Brokers are judged by a team of Risk & Insurance® editors and writers over a three-month period each year. After interviews with hundreds of sources, winners are picked for their creativity and resourcefulness, their excellent customer service and their industry knowledge.

Not every Power Broker® required one of their associates to tote a shotgun. But many of them went to extremes for their clients; some of them waded into hurricane ravaged neighborhoods to document damage; others put their personal lives on hold, including one Power Broker® who delayed his honeymoon to attend a meeting on behalf of his client.

This year, 158 Power Broker® winners were chosen, as well as 55 finalists, spanning 25 industry categories. Congratulations to every one of these exceptional individuals. Click here to begin reading the profiles of this year’s winners. &

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]