Here’s What It Takes to Be Named a Risk All Star — And How 9 Risk Professionals Did Just That

Those that are named Risk All Stars are inevitably faced with a challenge that would phaze a lesser professional. But they face up to that challenge and wear it down with their will power.
By: | September 1, 2019

Try to plumb a narrative on a risk management and insurance topic and you might get blocked by numbers. A well-meaning broker or risk manager, knowing that underwriters quantify losses and set premium prices with numbers, will use numbers/data to tell their story, prop up an argument, even justify their salary or commission.

And numbers are important. Quantifying risk and paying the right price to cover it matters. But the weight of numbers is insignificant against the weight of human well being.

How absurdly ironic it is that insurance executives are largely viewed by an unknowing public as cold number crunchers, indifferent to human suffering, when the reason they do what they do is to protect people.

When people are harmed, insurance is employed to help heal them. Insurance underwriting, and its sister risk mitigation, can also be used to prevent people from getting hurt in the first place.

Our 2019 Risk All Star winners offer clear examples of why the insurance industry is in business to begin with.

Consider the work of 2019 Risk All Star Ron Martin. He offers a bulwark against humanity’s most horrific crime, the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

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It was November of 2011 when news wires burned with the horror of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. A coach for one of the country’s best football programs, Penn State, stood accused of multiple child rapes over decades.

Post-Sandusky, a wave of sexual abuse and molestation claims swept the country. As the manager of a Northern California educational insurance pool, Martin and his colleagues at Keenan got to work and built a sexual abuse and molestation, or SAM, program for the pool’s 366 member schools.

As a result of the training that Martin and his team did, sexual abuse and molestation claims in the involved California schools have plummeted. Yes, the fund is in a much better place financially, but more importantly, students in that district have a bulwark against being groomed by an adult for sexual exploitation.

A different type of human safety is being provided by Jeff Delmore, a vice president and corporate risk manager for FM Global.

As a former attorney, Delmore knows full well what kinds of liabilities are created when business travel goes awry.

Banking on his company’s deep engineering and risk management experience, Delmore created a web platform that provides real-time information on conditions in any country where FM Global claims adjusters or other executives might be traveling.

Not yet satisfied, Delmore and his team are looking into GPS tools that will allow them to geofence the whereabouts of traveling FM Global employees.

Congratulations to Ron Martin, Jeff Delmore and the rest of our 2019 Risk All Stars. They are working hard to make people safer. That’s the higher purpose of insurance and risk management; something we can all get behind. &

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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 2019 Risk All Stars.

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

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