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Responsibility Leaders

Feeling the Passion

The 2015 Risk All Stars Responsibility Leaders are community leaders and ardent advocates for their profession.
By: | September 14, 2015 • 9 min read

In judging this second installment of our Risk All Stars award, one thing became abundantly clear.

It didn’t matter the background of the candidate or the type of risk they were managing. The thing that unified the winners, and which clearly unifies these Responsibility Leader® winners, is passion.

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Risk All Stars displayed creativity and perseverance in managing thorny risks for their organizations. Those that won this additional designation, that of Responsibility Leader®, impressed us by doing all of that and more.

They did it by acting as leaders in their communities, being ardent advocates for justice, caring deeply about the future of their profession, or showing the courage to stand up to formidable forces and say, in effect, “This is the way I know it should be done.”

When I asked Elizabeth Queen, vice president of risk management with Wolters Kluwer, why she dedicated so much time to protecting child welfare and building professional and cultural diversity, she wrote this:

“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.’ ”

I don’t mind admitting that I was moved by her eloquence and resolve.

When I spoke to Angeli Mancuso, the manager of employee health and safety for Cottage Health in Santa Barbara, Calif., I was reminded once again of the core passion of many nurses and doctors.

When she finishes her work week, which is dedicated to making her fellow nurses and doctors safer, Mancuso takes to the streets and parks of Santa Barbara, acting as a nurse with Doctors Without Walls, a group that offers free medical assistance to the homeless.

Mancuso told me that making a difference in her community is extremely important to her. But she goes beyond her community, and also serves as a nurse with Aeromedicos, a group of Santa Barbara medical personnel that flies into Mexico and offers free dental and medical assistance there.

Talking to these professionals is akin to watching sunshine break through cloud cover. I’m glad to have made their acquaintance and to call them Responsibility Leaders.

Here are the 2015 Risk All Stars Responsibility Leaders.

Teaching and Preaching Safety

The University of California system of higher education is lucky that Brent Cooley cares enough to have established a center of excellence in theater safety that is now in use at all 10 campuses.

Brent Cooley, Arts Health and Safety Advisor, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Brent Cooley, Arts Health and Safety Advisor, University of California, Santa Cruz

Drawing on the theater safety wisdom of Disney and with the support of OSHA, he created the first, and much needed, safety manual for the UC theater programs.

Cooley travels constantly to make sure that theater departments from the University of Calfornia, Santa Cruz down to the University of California, San Diego are taking the responsibility for safety to heart.

But the impact of Cooley’s professionalism goes far beyond even that massive system of higher education. Cooley also serves as a mentor at the annual United States Institute of Theater Technology conference, working with the Institute’s Health & Safety Commission to support its initiatives.

He is also the co-chair and the co-founder — for good measure — of the Campus Safety Health and Environmental Managers Association’s Performing Arts Safety Community of Practice.

A passionate basketball fan, Cooley also coaches basketball at the middle school level and in community youth leagues.

Read Brent’s Risk All Star profile

 

Risk Management School

The company that Tracey Gasper works for is growing fast, organically and through acquisitions. That’s the good news.

Tracey Gasper, Risk Manager, TBC Corp.

Tracey Gasper, Risk Manager, TBC Corp.

The challenge, one of many faced by the risk manager, is that her team is quite young. The most veteran member of the team has been in risk management for about a year.

Gasper recalls the days when she knew little about the property/casualty insurance industry, risk management or the specialty in risk management we know as workers’ compensation.

That’s why she’s turned her department into a mini risk management university, teaching the finer points of concepts like loss reserves and the nuances of regulatory oversight in weekly meetings.

“I’m trying to broaden their horizons so that they are aware of the bigger picture because it plays such a role in the finances of the company,” Gasper said.

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Gasper’s Risk All Star nominators at Sedgwick laud her for her work in creating a return-to-work program that has made a huge impact, not only on the bottom line of TBC Corp., but in the lives of injured workers.

“She has been able to keep people working in their respective communities, decrease turnover and inspire other loyal employees,” Sedgwick executives said.

Read Tracey’s Risk All Star profile

 

Illuminating the Darkness

When we spoke to him, AARP’s Albert Fierro thanked us for shedding some light on the corner of the world he works in, managing risk for AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons.

Albert Fierro, Director, Risk Management, AARP

Albert Fierro, Director,
Risk Management, AARP

There is a lesson in Fierro’s humility.

Consider for a moment the impact of the work he does. By returning millions in equity to his parent organization through his innovative work in captive creation, Fierro is helping to expand programs that serve a vital social need.

His work helps fund programs that provide nutrition for low-income seniors. His work helps provide funding for those over 50 who might be homeless, looking for a job but lacking the necessary training.

His work ensures that money that would have been spent on premiums to insurance carriers is instead funneled back into an organization that has no profit goal, only a public service goal.

Albert thanked us for this attention.

But to Albert Fierro and Peter Persuitti, the multiple Power Broker® winner from Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. who nominated Fierro and whose nonprofit practice supports not only Fierro’s work, but the work of other nonprofits, we can only say, no, thank you.

Read Albert’s Risk All Star profile

 

The Entrepreneurial Gene

Tim Fischer and his risk management colleagues were given nine months to put all the pieces together to enable the spin-off of the power generation company Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises from the nuclear and governmental operations of BWX Technologies.

Tim Fischer, Chief Risk Officer, BWX Technologies

Tim Fischer, Chief Risk Officer, BWX Technologies

Plenty of work to do there. But Fischer was thinking much further down the road and even more expansively. Who was going to serve as the risk manager for the spun-off company?

Fischer had his eye on a candidate, Rachel Rozelle. He’d been bringing her along, mentoring her, and when the higher-ups were trying to decide who should manage the insurance program for the new company, Fischer thought it was time to make his voice heard in that regard.

He put his own reputation on the line and told the C-suites to look at Rozelle as a candidate.

“It took some pressure from my side to get the organization to recognize that they had a great internal candidate,” Fischer recalled.

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That’s what we call the “entrepreneurial gene” — caring enough about the company and its outcomes to consider avenues that arguably could be well outside your job description. Going above and beyond, in other words.

We know Tim Fischer from the multiple times he won a Power Broker® designation when he worked at Marsh. We’re delighted to name him a Risk All Star and a Responsibility Leader®.

Read Tim’s Risk All Star profile

 

Taking It to the Streets

After a hard week at work making the Cottage Health hospital in Santa Barbara, Calif., safer, Angeli Mancuso takes it to the streets, literally.

Angeli Mancuso, Manager, Employee Health & Safety, Cottage Health

Angeli Mancuso, Manager, Employee Health & Safety, Cottage Health

As a nurse with the nonprofit Doctors Without Walls, which also goes by the name Santa Barbara Street Medicine, Mancuso visits the public parks in Santa Barbara to offer medical services to the homeless. There are multi-pronged benefits to the work that Mancuso and Doctors Without Walls perform.

One, seeing the disenfranchised in public cuts down on emergency room visits, freeing that service for those who in many cases are in much more urgent need of care.

Doctors Without Walls does manage chronic wounds in the homeless population, but many times the doctors and nurses in the program are needed to just lend a sympathetic ear. Or to refer someone to another service.

“It’s a lot of talking,” Mancuso said.

The group also brings along students who are interested in a career in medicine to work as scribes and on outreach.

Mancuso also serves with Aeromedicos of Santa Barbara, a nonprofit formed in Santa Barbara decades ago that flies professionals to Baja California in Mexico once a month to staff free medical and dental clinics. The hard-working Mancuso made three trips with that group this year.

Read Angeli’s Risk All Star profile

 

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.

Elizabeth Queen, Vice President, Risk Management, Wolters Kluwer

Elizabeth Queen, Vice President, Risk Management, Wolters Kluwer

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 an enterprise-level travel risk management program for her Netherlands-based company, Wolters Kluwer.

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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.

Read Elizabeth’s Risk All Star profile.

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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.

 

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

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Report: Manufacturing

More Robots Enter Into Manufacturing Industry

With more jobs utilizing technology advancements, manufacturing turns to cobots to help ease talent gaps.
By: | May 1, 2018 • 6 min read

The U.S. manufacturing industry is at a crossroads.

Faced with a shortfall of as many as two million workers between now and 2025, the sector needs to either reinvent itself by making it a more attractive career choice for college and high school graduates or face extinction. It also needs to shed its image as a dull, unfashionable place to work, where employees are stuck in dead-end repetitive jobs.

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Added to that are the multiple risks caused by the increasing use of automation, sensors and collaborative robots (cobots) in the manufacturing process, including product defects and worker injuries. That’s not to mention the increased exposure to cyber attacks as manufacturers and their facilities become more globally interconnected through the use of smart technology.

If the industry wishes to continue to move forward at its current rapid pace, then manufacturers need to work with schools, governments and the community to provide educational outreach and apprenticeship programs. They must change the perception of the industry and attract new talent. They also need to understand and to mitigate the risks presented by the increased use of technology in the manufacturing process.

“Loss of knowledge due to movement of experienced workers, negative perception of the manufacturing industry and shortages of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and skilled production workers are driving the talent gap,” said Ben Dollar, principal, Deloitte Consulting.

“The risks associated with this are broad and span the entire value chain — [including]  limitations to innovation, product development, meeting production goals, developing suppliers, meeting customer demand and quality.”

The Talent Gap

Manufacturing companies are rapidly expanding. With too few skilled workers coming in to fill newly created positions, the talent gap is widening. That has been exacerbated by the gradual drain of knowledge and expertise as baby boomers retire and a decline in technical education programs in public high schools.

Ben Dollar, principal, Deloitte Consulting

“Most of the millennials want to work for an Amazon, Google or Yahoo, because they seem like fun places to work and there’s a real sense of community involvement,” said Dan Holden, manager of corporate risk and insurance, Daimler Trucks North America. “In contrast, the manufacturing industry represents the ‘old school’ where your father and grandfather used to work.

“But nothing could be further from the truth: We offer almost limitless opportunities in engineering and IT, working in fields such as electric cars and autonomous driving.”

To dispel this myth, Holden said Daimler’s Educational Outreach Program assists qualified organizations that support public high school educational programs in STEM, CTE (career technical education) and skilled trades’ career development.

It also runs weeklong technology schools in its manufacturing facilities to encourage students to consider manufacturing as a vocation, he said.

“It’s all essentially a way of introducing ourselves to the younger generation and to present them with an alternative and rewarding career choice,” he said. “It also gives us the opportunity to get across the message that just because we make heavy duty equipment doesn’t mean we can’t be a fun and educational place to work.”

Rise of the Cobot

Automation undoubtedly helps manufacturers increase output and improve efficiency by streamlining production lines. But it’s fraught with its own set of risks, including technical failure, a compromised manufacturing process or worse — shutting down entire assembly lines.

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More technologically advanced machines also require more skilled workers to operate and maintain them. Their absence can in turn hinder the development of new manufacturing products and processes.

Christina Villena, vice president of risk solutions, The Hanover Insurance Group, said the main risk of using cobots is bodily injury to their human coworkers. These cobots are robots that share a physical workspace and interact with humans. To overcome the problem of potential injury, Villena said, cobots are placed in safety cages or use force-limited technology to prevent hazardous contact.

“With advancements in technology, such as the Cloud, there are going to be a host of cyber and other risks associated with them.” — David Carlson, U.S. manufacturing and automobile practice leader, Marsh

“Technology must be in place to prevent cobots from exerting excessive force against a human or exposing them to hazardous tools or chemicals,” she said. “Traditional robots operate within a safety cage to prevent dangerous contact. Failure or absence of these guards has led to injuries and even fatalities.”

The increasing use of interconnected devices and the Cloud to control and collect data from industrial control systems can also leave manufacturers exposed to hacking, said David Carlson, Marsh’s U.S. manufacturing and automobile practice leader. Given the relatively new nature of cyber as a risk, however, he said coverage is still a gray area that must be assessed further.

“With advancements in technology, such as the Cloud, there are going to be a host of cyber and other risks associated with them,” he said. “Therefore, companies need to think beyond the traditional risks, such as workers’ compensation and product liability.”

Another threat, said Bill Spiers, vice president, risk control consulting practice leader, Lockton Companies, is any malfunction of the software used to operate cobots. Then there is the machine not being able to cope with the increased workload when production is ramped up, he said.

“If your software goes wrong, it can stop the machine working or indeed the whole manufacturing process,” he said. “[Or] you might have a worker who is paid by how much they can produce in an hour who decides to turn up the dial, causing the machine to go into overdrive and malfunction.”

Potential Solutions

Spiers said risk managers need to produce a heatmap of their potential exposures in the workplace attached to the use of cobots in the manufacturing process, including safety and business interruption. This can also extend to cyber liability, he said.

“You need to understand the risk, if it’s controllable and, indeed, if it’s insurable,” he said. “By carrying out a full risk assessment, you can determine all of the relevant issues and prioritize them accordingly.”

By using collective learning to understand these issues, Joseph Mayo, president, JW Mayo Consulting, said companies can improve their safety and manufacturing processes.

“Companies need to work collaboratively as an industry to understand this new technology and the problems associated with it.” — Joseph Mayo, president, JW Mayo Consulting

“Companies need to work collaboratively as an industry to understand this new technology and the problems associated with it,” Mayo said. “They can also use detective controls to anticipate these issues and react accordingly by ensuring they have the appropriate controls and coverage in place to deal with them.”

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Manufacturing risks today extend beyond traditional coverage, like workers’ compensation, property, equipment breakdown, automobile, general liability and business interruption, to new risks, such as cyber liability.

It’s key to use a specialized broker and carrier with extensive knowledge and experience of the industry’s unique risks.

Stacie Graham, senior vice president and general manager, Liberty Mutual’s national insurance central division, said there are five key steps companies need to take to protect themselves and their employees against these risks. They include teaching them how to use the equipment properly, maintaining the same high quality of product and having a back-up location, as well as having the right contractual insurance policy language in place and plugging any potential coverage gaps.

“Risk managers need to work closely with their broker and carrier to make sure that they have the right contractual controls in place,” she said. “Secondly, they need to carry out on-site visits to make sure that they have the right safety practices and to identify the potential claims that they need to mitigate against.” &

Alex Wright is a U.K.-based business journalist, who previously was deputy business editor at The Royal Gazette in Bermuda. You can reach him at [email protected]