2017 Risk All Star: Frank Russo

Risk Management in Memory Care

Risk management encompasses more than insurance and safety programs, thought Frank Russo, senior vice president of risk and legal affairs and the privacy officer for Silverado Senior Living. So, he asked himself, what could he do to utilize risk management practices throughout his company?

Frank Russo, SVP of risk and legal affairs, privacy officer, Silverado Senior Living

“We, both myself and the executive team, including our CEO, recognized that there were initiatives in place that could involve risk management. Risk could be part of the discussion,” he said.

“There’s no secret sauce to it; visibility, relationship building and trust would be key to integrating risk management.”

Russo approached department heads within Silverado—from finance to marketing, HR to sales—and spoke on risk management. He showed the value in having risk management practices within each aspect of the company, and soon Russo was gaining responsibility in areas managed by others.

In HR, he earned a place in the hiring process. In marketing, he started reviewing marketing strategies—reading over an article before publication or running through possible risks of a promotional video.

“Risk management and legal are a strong part of the company’s culture now,” Russo explained. “We’ve made ourselves available, made a place where people want to talk to us.”

Joanne Wankmiller, managing principal and senior care practice leader at Integro Insurance Brokers has worked with Russo since the start of his Silverado career.


“Frank continues to be very collaborative with brokers, third-party vendors and insurance carriers. He reins in as many resources as he can find,” Wankmiller said.

And Silverado’s seen the results. Frequency of employment practice liability claims was reduced by 19 percent since risk management became an integral component of Silverado operations.

Severity of EPL claims was reduced by 22 percent, frequency of general liability and professional liability claims was reduced by 19 percent and total cost of turnover was reduced by 10 percent.

“There’s no secret sauce to it; visibility, relationship building and trust would be key to integrating risk management.” — Frank Russo, SVP of risk and legal affairs, privacy officer, Silverado Senior Living

“Workers’ comp claims have been reduced, which I think translates over to resident safety,” said Wankmiller.

Russo didn’t stop at numbers; safety and protection were paramount, due to the nature of Silverado’s work, caring for elderly people who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other memory loss afflictions.

“We have families asking us to care for their loved ones, so there’s a lot of risk to think about,” said Russo.

One area where Russo improved safety protocols was in active shooter training.

“The assisted living industry, as a whole, never had assisted living-specific active shooter training,” Russo explained.

Russo and the Silverado team created their own active shooter training video and made it free to the industry.

“We saw the need and made it happen,” he added.

Having a CEO, an executive team and a board that wanted risk involved in the day-to-day operations made Russo’s initiative possible. &


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

See the complete list of 2017 Risk All Stars.

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Management

The Profession

As a professor of business, Jack Hampton knows firsthand the positive impact education has on risk managers as they tackle growing risks.
By: | April 9, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

Ellen Thrower, president (retired), The College of Insurance, introduced me to the importance of insurance as a component of risk management. Further, she encouraged me to explore strategic and operational risk as foundation topics shaping the role of the modern risk manager.

Chris Mandel, former president of RIMS and Risk Manager of the Year, introduced me to the emerging area of enterprise risk management. He helped me recognize the need to align hazard, strategic, operational and financial risk into a single framework. He gave me the perspective of ERM in a high-tech environment, using USAA as a model program that later won an excellence award for innovation.

Bob Morrell, founder and former CEO of Riskonnect, showed me how technology could be applied to solving serious risk management and governance problems. He created a platform that made some of my ideas practical and extended them into a highly-successful enterprise that served risk and governance management needs of major corporations.

R&I: How did you come to work in this industry?


From a background in corporate finance and commercial banking, I accepted the position of provost of The College of Insurance. Recognizing my limited prior knowledge in the field, I became a student of insurance and risk management leading to authorship of books on hazard and financial risk. This led to industry consulting, as well as to the development of graduate-level courses and concentrations in MBA programs.

R&I: What was your first job?

The provost position was the first job I had in the industry, after serving as dean of the Seton Hall University School of Business and founding The Princeton Consulting Group. Earlier positions were in business development with Marine Transport Lines, consulting in commercial banking and college professorships.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

Creating a risk management concentration in the MBA program at Saint Peter’s, co-founding the Russian Risk Management Society (RUSRISK), and writing “Fundamentals of Enterprise Risk Management” and the “AMA Handbook of Financial Risk Management.”

A few years ago, I expanded into risk management in higher education. From 2017 into 2018, Rowman and Littlefield published my four books that address risks facing colleges and universities, professors, students and parents.

Jack Hampton, Professor of Business, St. Peter’s University

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

The Godfather. I see it as a story of managing risk, even as the behavior of its leading characters create risk for others.

R&I: What is your favorite drink?

Jameson’s Irish whiskey. Mixed with a little ice, it is a serious rival for Johnny Walker Gold scotch and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey.

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

Mount Etna, Taormina, and Agrigento, Sicily. I actually supervised an MBA program in Siracusa and learned about risk from a new perspective.

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


Army Airborne training and jumping out of an airplane. Fortunately, I never had to do it in combat even though I served in Vietnam.

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

George C. Marshall, one of the most decorated military leaders in American history, architect of the economic recovery program for Europe after World War II, and recipient of the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize. For Marshall, it was not just about winning the war. It was also about winning the peace.

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

Sharing lessons with colleagues and students by writing, publishing and teaching. A professor with a knowledge of risk management does not only share lessons. The professor is also a student when MBA candidates talk about the risks they manage every day.

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?

Sensitizing for-profit, nonprofit and governmental agencies to the exposures and complexities facing their organizations. Sometimes we focus too much on strategies that sound good but do not withstand closer examination. Risk managers help organizations make better decisions.

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


Developing executive training programs to help risk managers assume C-suite positions in organizations. Insurance may be a good place to start but so is an MBA degree. The Risk and Insurance Management Society recognizes the importance of a wide range of risk knowledge. Colleges and universities need to catch up with RIMS.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?

Cyber risk and its impact on hazard, operational and financial strategies. A terrorist can take down a building. A cyber-criminal can take down much more.

R&I: What does your family think you do?

My family members think I’m a professor. They do not seem to be too interested in my views on risk management.

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