Risk Management

The Profession

Roger Andrews on playing dodgeball in the barn rafters.
By: | September 2, 2014 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

It was as a dishwasher at the Log Cabin Diner in Newport, Maine, where I grew up. Everyone called it “The Little Place with the Big Plate” because it served such a heaping amount of good seafood. I’m still washing dishes for my family.


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

I sort of backed into it. Early on, I wanted to go to law school, and worked at the Travelers as an underwriter in the San Diego office and in the international department in Hartford to help pay for it.

My wife and I wanted to live in Maine, where I ended up at the Maine Bureau of Insurance managing the property casualty division right out of law school. I got to know the executive secretary to the advisory board, who was ready to retire. I won the position, where I essentially placed the state’s insurance and later drafted legislation to create a state risk management division.

Roger Andrews, director of risk management for E.D. Bullard

Roger Andrews, director of risk management for E.D. Bullard

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

I really do have a lot of mentors … Steve Wilder at Disney is one. I really admire the work he does and the service he gives. Mark DeLillo [director of risk management for builder and land developer Taylor Morrison] is another. He got me involved in RIMS on a national level, inviting me to chair a task force to rewrite RIMS’ constitution and bylaws. And Susan Meltzer, [vice president of risk] at Aviva Canada, always has the answer when pressing issues arise.

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

I’m motivated by accomplishment. I am proud of the work I have done at Bullard. In addition, a few years ago while working for Bullard I did some consulting for a company that faced imminent bankruptcy over 200 lawsuits.

Within five months I got them dismissed from nearly every case. Management was told by their agent of 25 years that he could not find a record of their old insurance policies. I did the archiving and found 10 policies in critical exposure years. These insurance policies helped them cover defense costs while I was working to get the cases dismissed.

The company had three very high-priced law firms involved and they were making no progress in getting dismissals but were charging enormous fees. I replaced those three law firms with two in the relevant states. Within six months, the company was back on its feet and focusing on manufacturing its products. I’ve loved doing stuff like that.

R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?

Eighty to ninety percent of my time is spent on managing litigation, so they seem to think I do legal work. This is accurate, I guess. However, risk management is much broader than that.

R6-14p42_Profession.inddR&I: What is the risk management community doing right?

It’s seeking education on different issues and growing in terms of the body of knowledge risk managers need to be proactive in their jobs.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?

I think we could be doing a better job of communicating the value we bring to our respective entities, public or private.


R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?
Cyber risk. Second to that: Supply-chain risk.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

I really like Sydney, Australia. I spoke there as newly elected RIMS president. My wife and I did some hiking and stayed at Darling Harbor and it’s very scenic and diverse.

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

The emphasis on enterprise risk management.

R&I: What insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion of?

Several are highly rated in my mind for different reasons. We have a long-term relationship with surplus lines carrier Admiral Insurance Co., for instance, and a great relationship with Chubb, which is very customer-friendly. Fireman’s Fund is another company we’ve had a long-term relationship with, which we use for property.

R&I: How much business do you do direct versus going through a broker?

None at all right now. We’ve done workers’ comp on a direct basis, but not of late.

R&I: Is the contingent commission controversy overblown?

Yes. Full disclosure is the issue and risk managers have always been able to insist on that.

R&I: Are you optimistic about the U.S. economy or pessimistic and why?

Generally, I’m an optimist but in terms of the economy, I am not. I am concerned about the long-term viability of our economy. We have too much government intrusion, which smothers the free enterprise system that made this country great.

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

The Bible and the Book of Mormon are what I read most frequently because of my faith. As for movies, I really loved “The Lord of the Rings” series of films.

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

Right here at home, my wife’s cooking. She makes this lemon pasta with salmon that’s very good. She sometimes serves it with chicken, too.

R&I: What is your favorite drink?



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

Playing dodgeball as a kid. We had a three-story barn and used to play up in the rafters, running across the beams while someone below threw a ball at us!

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

I think we need a modern hero; it’s something that’s lacking right now. I wish one would emerge and become a role model and a source of virtue for the world.

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

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Scenario

The End of Summer

A failure to purchase product contamination insurance results in a crushing blow.
By: | October 15, 2018 • 9 min read
Risk Scenarios are created by Risk & Insurance editors along with leading industry partners. The hypothetical, yet realistic stories, showcase emerging risks that can result in significant losses if not properly addressed.

Disclaimer: The events depicted in this scenario are fictitious. Any similarity to any corporation or person, living or dead, is merely coincidental.


Reilly Sheehan, the Bethlehem, Pa., plant manager for Shamrock Foods, looks up in annoyance when he hears a tap on his office window.

Reilly has nothing against him, but seeing the face of his assistant plant operator Peter Soto right then is just a case of bad timing.

Sheehan, whose company manufactures ice cream treats for convenience stores and ice cream trucks, just got through digesting an email from his CFO, pushing for more cost cutting, when Soto knocked.

Sheehan gestures impatiently, and Soto steps in with a degree of caution.

“What?” Sheehan says.

“I’m not sure how much of an issue this will be, but I just got some safety reports back and we got a positive swipe for Listeria in one of the Market Streetside refrigeration units.”



Sheehan gestures again, and Soto shuts the office door.

“How much of a positive?” Sheehan says more quietly.

Soto shrugs.

“I mean it’s not a big hit and that’s the only place we saw it, so, hard to know what to make of it.”

Sheehan looks out to the production floor, more as a way to focus his thoughts than for any other reason.

Sheehan is jammed. It’s April, the time of year when Shamrock begins to ramp up production for the summer season. Shamrock, which operates three plants in the Middle Atlantic, is holding its own at around $240 million in annual sales.

But the pressure is building on Sheehan. In previous cost-cutting measures, Shamrock cut risk management and safety staff.

Now there is this email from the CFO and a possible safety issue. Not much time to think; too much going on.

Sheehan takes just another moment to deliberate: It’s not a heavy hit, and Shamrock hasn’t had a product recall in more than 15 years.

“Okay, thanks for letting me know,” Sheehan says to Soto.

“Do another swipe next week and tell me what you pick up. I bet you twenty bucks there’s nothing in the product. That swipe was nowhere near the production line.”

Soto departs, closing the office door gingerly.

Then Sheehan lingers over his keyboard. He waits. So much pressure; what to do?

“Very well then,” he says to himself, and gets to work crafting an email.

His subject line to the chief risk officer and the company vice president: “Possible safety issue: Positive test for Listeria in one of the refrigeration units.”

That night, Sheehan can’t sleep. Part of Shamrock’s cost-cutting meant that Sheehan has responsibility for environmental, health and safety in addition to his operations responsibilities.

Every possible thing that could bring harmful bacteria into the plant runs through his mind.

Trucks carrying raw eggs, milk and sugar into the plant. The hoses used to shoot the main ingredients into Shamrock’s metal storage vats. On and on it goes…

In his mind’s eye, Sheehan can picture the inside of a refrigeration unit. Ice cream is chilled, never really frozen. He can almost feel the dank chill. Salmonella and Listeria love that kind of environment.

Sheehan tosses and turns. Then another thought occurs to him. He recalls a conversation, just one question at a meeting really, when one of the departed risk management staff brought up the issue of contaminated product insurance.

Sheehan’s memory is hazy, stress shortened, but he can’t remember it being mentioned again. He pushes his memory again, but nothing.

“I don’t need this,” he says to himself through clenched teeth. He punches up his pillow in an effort to find a path to sleep.


“Toot toot, tuuuuurrrrreeeeeeeeettt!”

The whistles of the three lifeguards at the Bradford Community Pool in Allentown, Pa., go off in unison, two staccato notes, then a dip in pitch, then ratcheting back up together.

For Cheryl Brick, 34, the mother of two and six-months pregnant with a third, that signal for the kids to clear the pool for the adult swim is just part of a typical summer day. Right on cue, her son Henry, 8, and his sister Siobhan, 5, come running back to where she’s set up the family pool camp.

Henry, wet and shivering and reaching for a towel, eyes that big bag.

“Mom, can I?”

And Cheryl knows exactly where he’s going.

“Yes. But this time, can you please bring your mother a mint-chip ice cream bar along with whatever you get for you and Siobhan?”

Henry grabs the money, drops his towel and tears off; Siobhan drops hers just as quickly, not wanting to be left behind.


“Wait for me!” Siobhan yells as Henry sprints for the ice cream truck parked just outside of the pool entrance.

It’s the dead of night, 3 am, two weeks later when Cheryl, slumbering deeply beside her husband Danny, is pulled from her rest by the sound of Siobhan crying in their bedroom doorway.

“Mom, dad!” says Henry, who is standing, pale and stricken, in the hallway behind Siobhan.

“What?” says Danny, sitting up in bed, but Cheryl’s pregnancy sharpened sense of smell knows the answer.

Siobhan, wailing and shivering, has soiled her pajamas, the victim of a severe case of diarrhea.

“I just barfed is what,” says Henry, who has to turn and run right back to the bathroom.

Cheryl steps out of bed to help Siobhan, but the room spins as she does so.

“Oh God,” she says, feeling the impact of her own attack of nausea.

A quick, grim cleanup and the entire family is off to a walk-up urgent care center.

A bolt of fear runs through Cheryl as the nurse gives her the horrible news.

“Listeriosis,” says the nurse. Sickening for children and adults but potentially fatal for the weak, especially the unborn.

And very sadly, Cheryl loses her third child. Two other mothers in the Middle Atlantic suffer the same fate and dozens more are sickened.

Product recall notices from state regulators and the FDA go out immediately.

Ice cream bars and sandwiches disappear from store coolers and vending machines on corporate campuses. The tinkly sound of “Pop Goes the Weasel” emanating from mobile ice cream vendor trucks falls silent.

Notices of intent to sue hit every link in the supply chain, from dairy cooperatives in New York State to the corporate offices of grocery store chains in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

The three major contract manufacturers that make ice cream bars distributed in the eight states where residents were sickened are shut down, pending a further investigation.

FDA inspectors eventually tie the outbreak to Shamrock.

Evidence exists that a good faith effort was underway internally to determine if any of Shamrock’s products were contaminated. Shamrock had still not produced a positive hit on any of its products when the summer tragedy struck. They just weren’t looking in the right place.


Banking on rock-solid relationships with its carrier and brokers, Shamrock, through its attorneys, is able to salvage indemnification on its general liability policy that affords it $20 million to defray the business losses of its retail customers.


But that one comment from a risk manager that went unheeded many months ago comes back to haunt the company.

All three of Shamrock’s plants were shuttered from August 2017 until March 2018, until the source of the contamination could be run down and the federal and state inspectors were assured the company put into place the necessary protocols to avoid a repeat of the disaster that killed 3 unborn children and sickened dozens more.

Shamrock carried no contaminated product coverage, which is known as product recall coverage outside of the food business. The production shutdown of all three of its plants cost Shamrock $120 million. As a result of the shutdown, Shamrock also lost customers.

The $20 million payout from Shamrock’s general liability policy is welcome and was well-earned by a good history with its carrier and brokers. Without the backstop of contaminated products insurance, though, Shamrock blew a hole in its bottom line that forces the company to change, perhaps forever, the way it does business.

Management has a gun to its head. Two of Shamrock’s plants, including Bethlehem, are permanently shuttered, as the company shrinks in an effort to stave off bankruptcy.

Reilly Sheehan is among those terminated. In the end, he was the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Burdened by the guilt, rational or not, over the fatalities and the horrendous damage to Shamrock’s business. Reilly Sheehan is a broken man. Leaning on the compassion of a cousin, he takes a job as a maintenance worker at the Bethlehem sewage treatment plant.

“Maybe I can keep this place clean,” he mutters to himself one night, as he swabs a sewage overflow with a mop in the early morning hours of a dark, cold February.


Risk & Insurance® partnered with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions to produce this scenario. Below are their recommendations on how to prevent the losses presented in the scenario. This perspective is not an editorial opinion of Risk & Insurance.®.

Shamrock Food’s story is not an isolated incident. Contaminations happen, and when they do they can cause a domino effect of loss and disruption for vendors and suppliers. Without Product Recall Insurance, Shamrock sustained large monetary losses, lost customers and ultimately two of their facilities. While the company’s liability coverage helped with the business losses of their retail customers, the lack of Product Recall and Contamination Insurance left them exposed to a litany of risks.

Risk Managers in the Food & Beverage industry should consider Product Recall Insurance because it can protect your company from:

  • Accidental contamination
  • Malicious product tampering
  • Government recall
  • Product extortion
  • Adverse publicity
  • Intentionally impaired ingredients
  • Product refusal
  • First and third party recall costs

Ultimately, choosing the right partner is key. Finding an insurer who offers comprehensive coverage and claims support will be of the utmost importance should disaster strike. Not only is cover needed to provide balance sheet protection for lost revenues, extra expense, cleaning, disposal, storage and replacing the contaminated products, but coverage should go even further in providing the following additional services:

  • Pre-incident risk mitigation advocacy
  • Incident investigation
  • Brand rehabilitation
  • Third party advisory services

A strong contamination insurance program can fill gaps between other P&C lines, but more importantly it can provide needed risk management resources when companies need them most: during a crisis.

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