2015 Risk All Star: Elizabeth Queen

Building a Unified Travel Program

For all the conference calls, video chats and shared documents, “there are still people out there” traveling around the world on business, said Elizabeth Queen, vice president of risk management for Wolters Kluwer.

Elizabeth Queen, Vice President, Risk Management, Wolters Kluwer

Elizabeth Queen, Vice President, Risk Management, Wolters Kluwer

“I have worked extensively in Asia-Pacific, a good amount of time in Europe and now split my time between the U.S. and the U.K,” said Queen, whose company provides information and publishing services in the legal, ​finance, risk and health care sectors.

Headquartered in The Netherlands,Wolters Kluwer does business in more than 180 countries, putting it at the front lines of global travel.

So, not only are Queen’s people out on the road, but she is one them.
In early 2014, one of Wolters Kluwer’s business units asked Queen’s group to review a travel assistance program they had in place for a handful of people.

“I was skeptical,” Queen recalled. “I thought it duplicated what we already had.”

After discovering the existence of another similar program at another unit, Queen’s team consolidated the RFP and elevated it to the enterprise level. That meant instead of serving 25 international travelers, the program would serve about 1,200.


“Despite the economy and additional cost, the business case for senior management was compelling,” said Queen. “That took a lot of teamwork, creativity and perseverance.”

The program that Queen and the team she is quick to credit created gives all of the company’s travelers worldwide insurance coverage and access to travel-relevant information through an application on their smartphones.

“There is a GPS feature, as well as travel advisories and alerts,” Queen said.

“But more importantly, on the back side, there is a travel tracker so we are able to more efficiently detect where our travelers are and how they are doing, so we can respond quickly should the need arise.”

The system was put into active service early this year, working with outside service provider International SOS and self-bundling coverage from several different insurers.

“I was skeptical. I thought it duplicated what we already had.” — Elizabeth Queen, vice president, risk management, Wolters Kluwer

“While in early stages, the program has been a success with both the business and our travelers. I believe we are better managing travel risks, not to mention already seeing savings,” said Queen.

At the same time, she wants to see something more robust from the market to address a gap in service and coverage that she has identified both as a traveler and in her risk management capacity.

“There are currently no bundled programs on the market that offer fully integrated risk, insurance, claims and travel support services for business travelers — domestic or international, expat or cross-border,” said Queen.

“There are concierge services — lost passport, medical advice, destination intelligence — but those services are not currently linked to insurance at a single point of contact for the travelers and the program managers.

“A more innovative and integrated approach to how travel risk and insurance programs are packaged brings opportunity to insurer and insured alike. If they build it, we, the clients, will come.

“Now, it is up to the market to rise to the call to help risk managers bring their programs to even higher levels.”

Responsibility Leader

Elizabeth is also being recognized as a 2015 Responsibility Leader®.

A Maternal Force

Any working mother will surely appreciate the following. Risk All Star Elizabeth Queen, a force in global risk management, has five children and has fostered a number of others.

Two of her children are adopted Pacific Islanders, and she has taken in several other children and families in need. She has served on the boards of nonprofits dedicated to child welfare and is a champion of diversity.


“Having grown up in the American South during the 1960s, I have a strong belief in the right and freedom of every person to work, eat, pray, go to school, love, live freely and on a level playing field irrespective of their ‘differences,’ ” she said.

Queen— who splits her time between the United State and the United Kingdom — is also credited with creating a comprehensive travel risk management program for her Netherlands-based company, Wolters Kluwer.

In March of 2014, the graduate of Tulane University and Tulane Law served as an expert panelist for an Aon presentation on cyber risk in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Queen also advocates for the risk management community in urging insurers to craft state-of-the-art travel insurance risk management programs, an area of keen interest for many companies.

“If they build it, we, the clients, will come,” she said.


R9-15-15p26_Intro_Allstar4-2.inddRisk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, perseverance and/or passion.

See the complete list of 2015 Risk All Stars.


Responsibility Leader 2015Responsibility Leaders overcome obstacles by doing the right thing over the easy thing to find  practical solutions that benefit their co-workers and community.

Read more about the 2015 Responsibility Leaders.

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

2018 Risk All Stars

Stop Mitigating Risk. Start Conquering It Like These 2018 Risk All Stars

The concept of risk mastery and ownership, as displayed by the 2018 Risk All Stars, includes not simply seeking to control outcomes but taking full responsibility for them.
By: | September 14, 2018 • 3 min read

People talk a lot about how risk managers can get a seat at the table. The discussion implies that the risk manager is an outsider, striving to get the ear or the attention of an insider, the CEO or CFO.


But there are risk managers who go about things in a different way. And the 2018 Risk All Stars are prime examples of that.

These risk managers put in gear their passion, creativity and perseverance to become masters of a situation, pushing aside any notion that they are anything other than key players.

Goodyear’s Craig Melnick had only been with the global tire maker a few months when Hurricane Harvey dumped a record amount of rainfall on Houston.

Brilliant communication between Melnick and his new teammates gave him timely and valuable updates on the condition of manufacturing locations. Melnick remained in Akron, mastering the situation by moving inventory out of the storm’s path and making sure remediation crews were lined up ahead of time to give Goodyear its best leg up once the storm passed and the flood waters receded.

Goodyear’s resiliency in the face of the storm gave it credibility when it went to the insurance markets later that year for renewals. And here is where we hear a key phrase, produced by Kevin Garvey, one of Goodyear’s brokers at Aon.

“The markets always appreciate a risk manager who demonstrates ownership,” Garvey said, in what may be something of an understatement.

These risk managers put in gear their passion, creativity and perseverance to become masters of a situation, pushing aside any notion that they are anything other than key players.

Dianne Howard, a 2018 Risk All Star and the director of benefits and risk management for the Palm Beach County School District, achieved ownership of $50 million in property storm exposures for the district.

With FEMA saying it wouldn’t pay again for district storm losses it had already paid for, Howard went to the London markets and was successful in getting coverage. She also hammered out a deal in London that would partially reimburse the district if it suffered a mass shooting and needed to demolish a building, like what happened at Sandy Hook in Connecticut.

2018 Risk All Star Jim Cunningham was well-versed enough to know what traditional risk management theories would say when hospitality workers were suffering too many kitchen cuts. “Put a cut-prevention plan in place,” is the traditional wisdom.

But Cunningham, the vice president of risk management for the gaming company Pinnacle Entertainment, wasn’t satisfied with what looked to him like a Band-Aid approach.


Instead, he used predictive analytics, depending on his own team to assemble company-specific data, to determine which safety measures should be used company wide. The result? Claims frequency at the company dropped 60 percent in the first year of his program.

Alumine Bellone, a 2018 Risk All Star and the vice president of risk management for Ardent Health Services, faced an overwhelming task: Create a uniform risk management program when her hospital group grew from 14 hospitals in three states to 31 hospitals in seven.

Bellone owned the situation by visiting each facility right before the acquisition and again right after, to make sure each caregiving population was ready to integrate into a standardized risk management system.

After consolidating insurance policies, Bellone achieved $893,000 in synergies.

In each of these cases, and in more on the following pages, we see examples of risk managers who weren’t just knocking on the door; they were owning the room. &


Risk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, clarity of vision and passion.

See the complete list of 2018 Risk All Stars.

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