2018 Risk All Stars

The Complete List of 2018 Risk All Star Winners

Passion, creativity and persistence distinguish the winners of the 2018 Risk All Star award.
By: | September 14, 2018 • 2 min read

Crisis Preparedness at its Best

Elizabeth Queen, vice president of risk management, Wolters Kluwer

Elizabeth Queen led the development of a best-in-class incident management program that protects both employees and clients.

Protecting Those Who Care for Kids

Rebecca Cady, vice president, chief risk officer, Children’s National Medical Center

Rebecca Cady hard-wired communication into operations, allowing leaders to manage problems quickly and minimize litigation risk.

The ‘Lunch Pail’ Risk Manager

Jim Cunningham, vice president, risk management, Pinnacle Entertainment

Pinnacle’s Jim Cunningham earns the Risk All Star title for displaying a persistent, pragmatic approach to controlling losses.

Risk Taker Teaches Risk Management

Jack Hampton, professor of business, director of graduate business programs, St. Peter’s University

Jack Hampton’s passion for making a difference is why the risk management program at Saint Peter’s University is thriving.

Fostering Seamless Acquisition

Alumine Bellone, VP of risk management, Ardent Health Services

Alumine Bellone’s commitment to due diligence aided Ardent Health Services in a successful year of growth and acquisition.

Saving the Public Purse

Dianne Howard, director of Benefits and Risk Management, Palm Beach County School District

Creativity and drive helped Dianne Howard find ways to protect thousands of schoolchildren without breaking the bank.

Silo-Busting, Meeting by Meeting

James Curbeam, risk manager, Las Vegas Valley Water District

James Curbeam knew the only way to achieve true ERM was by making every department aware of how their risks intertwined.

Unifying Stakeholders to Drive Change

Rosa Royo, director, workers’ compensation, Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Rosa Royo discovered the ideal balance between controlling costs and providing high-quality care for injured workers.

Weathering Harvey

Craig Melnick, senior manager, risk management, Goodyear

Goodyear’s Craig Melnick used consistent communication and foresight to help his company rebound quickly from a major storm.

Critical Cat Data at the Industry’s Fingertips

Ryan Bank, managing director, Geospatial Intelligence Center, National Insurance Crime Bureau

Ryan Bank leads a coalition that’s helping insurers and government agencies better understand severe weather risks.

How Farm Life Shaped a Tenacity for Risk Management

Kevin Farthing, environmental health and safety manager, Sparton Electronics

Growing up under the Kentucky sun trained Kevin Farthing for any risk and equipped him with a go-getter work ethic.

Restructuring the Way Out of Claims Chaos

Kathleen Peck, director of risk management, MVP Staffing

For a staffing company with claims out of control, Kathleen Peck tore the program down and built it back up to achieve success.

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

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

In the Fast-Paced World of Retail, This Risk Manager Strives to Mitigate Risks Proactively and Keep Senior Leaders Informed

Janine Kral works to identify and mitigate risks, building strong partnerships with leaders and ensuring they see her as support rather than a blocker. 
By: | October 29, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

My very first paid job was working on my uncle’s ranch in British Columbia in the summers. He had cattle, horses and grapes — an unusual combo. But my first real job out of college was as a multi-line claims adjuster at Liberty Mutual.

R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?

Right out of college I applied for a job that turned out to be a claims adjuster at Liberty Mutual. I accepted because they were offering six weeks of training in Southern California, and at the time that sounded really fun. I spent about three years at Liberty Mutual and then I spent a short period of time at a smaller regional insurance company that hired me to start a workers’ compensation claims administration program.

I was hired at Nordstrom as the Washington Region Risk Manager, which was my first job in risk management. When I started at Nordstrom, the risk management department had about five people, and over the years it has grown to about 75. I’ve been vice president for 11 years.

R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?

I would say that technology has probably been the biggest change. When I started many years ago, it was all paper and no RMIS.


R&I: What risks does the retail industry face that are unique?

We deal with a lot of people — employees and customers. With physical brick and mortar settings, there are the unique exposures with people moving in and out in a public environment. And of course, with ecommerce, we have a lot of customer and employee data, which creates cyber risk — which is not necessarily a unique risk in today’s environment.

R&I: Can you describe your approach to working with senior leaders and front-line staff alike to further risk management initiatives?

It starts with keeping the pulse of what’s happening with the business. Retail moves really fast. In order to identify and mitigate risks proactively, we identify top risk areas and topics, and then we ensure that we have strong partnerships with the leaders responsible for those areas. Trust is critical, ensuring that leaders see us as a support rather than a blocker.

R&I: What role does technology play in your company’s approach to risk management?

Janine Kral, claims adjuster, Nordstrom

We have an internal risk management information system that all of our locations report events into — every type of incident is reported, whether insured or uninsured. Most of these events are managed internally by risk management, and our guidelines require that prevention be analyzed on each one. Having all event data in one system allows us to use the data for trending and also helps us better predict what may happen in the future, and who we need to work with to mitigate risks.

R&I: What advice might you give to students or other aspiring risk managers?

My son is a sophomore in college, and I tell him and his friends all the time not to rule out insurance as a career opportunity. My advice is to cast a wide net and do your homework. Research all the different types of opportunities. Read a lot — articles, industry magazines, LinkedIn. Be proactive and reach out to people you find interesting and ask them about their careers. Don’t be shy and wait for people and opportunities to come to you. Ask questions. Build networks. Be curious and keep an open mind.

R&I: What are your goals for the next five to 10 years of your career?

I have always been passionate about continuous improvement. I want to continue to find ways to add value to my company and to this industry.

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

My favorite book is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It’s a true story about a man who was in prison in Australia after being convicted of armed robbery, and he escaped to India. While in India, he passed himself off as a doctor in a slum. It’s a really interesting story, because this is a convicted criminal who ends up helping others. I am not always successful in getting others to read the book because it’s 1,000 pages and definitely a commitment.

R&I: What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?

Fiorella’s in Newton, Massachusetts. Great Italian food and a great overall experience.


R&I: What is your favorite drink?

“Sister Carol.” I have no idea what is in it, and I can only get it at a local bar in Seattle. It’s green but it’s delicious.

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

Skydiving. Not tandem and without any sort of communication from the ground. Scary standing on a wing of a plane, but very peaceful once the chute opened, slowly floating down by myself.

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

I can’t think of one individual person. For me, the real heroes are people who have a positive attitude in the face of adversity. People who are resilient no matter what life brings them.

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

It’s rewarding to help solve problems and help people. I am proud of the support that my team provides others. &

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