Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc.
Los Angeles Chapter


 The Newsletter for Risk and Insurance Management Professionals

L.A. RIMS News August 2004


 L.A. RIMS Links

 L.A. RIMS Website
 Board Officers 

 Executive Referrals
Membership Info
List of Members

 Related Links

Calendar of Events

August 18th
L.A. RIMS Boat Tour Luncheon - The Port of Los Angeles

September 15th
Friends of RIMS Night
L.A. Times

October 20th
L.A. RIMS Luncheon

November 17th
Annual Meeting

December 8th
Holiday Party
The Jonathan Club


Welcome New Members

Jeanne Brollier



Steve Shim

Countrywide Financial Corp.


Jiles Smith

Riverside Transit Agency

LA RIMS Board Officers 2004

Michael Carlin, ARM, CPC
Jacobs Engineering

  Executive V.P.
Dennis Healy
Los Angeles Newspaper Group

Rae Knapp, CPCU, ARM
Automobile Club of So. CA

RIMS Delegate
Kathy Merkovsky
Port of Los Angeles

Tanya Karn, ARM, ALCM
Fox Entertainment

Stacy Stevens, CPCU, ARM, AIC
Lowe Enterprises

Paula Ferrini
Los Angeles Times

Becky Smith, ARM
Castle & Cooke, Inc.

Facilities & Communication
Diane Wren, ARM
City of L.A. CRA

Scott Ritto, ARM
The Decurion Corp.

Legislation & Compliance
Ruth Lindstrom, ARM
Jacobs Engineering

Public Relations
Madeline Ramirez, ARM

Todd Marumoto
Mattel, Inc.

Bill Witt
Fremont General Corp.

L.A. RIMS Office
Amber Brown

If you would like to submit articles for the monthly newsletter, please note that articles must be received by  the 15th of each month.   Submit articles to RIMS@emaoffice.com

Please submit a correction to the RIMS directory to

Copyright 2004,
Risk and Insurance
Management Society,
Los Angeles Chapter


President's Message

Hello again and I knew once I wrote about the cool weather that the summer would arrive with a vengeance.  During our last Board meeting, we had a lengthy discussion of the importance of our commitment to growing our local Chapter and make sure it is a commitment shared by all of our members. Why is it so important to grow our membership? Growing our membership continuously enhances the breadth and depth of our organization, which makes LA RIMS more valuable to our membership and the insurance community, and organizations will either grow or disappear.

For our membership, a growing organization increases opportunities and helps ensure we give our members the tools they need to succeed. Growth creates excitement and makes all of us want to participate. Participation can be achieved by attending our monthly luncheons, our West Coast Conference, being a Board member, participating on a committee, or writing an article for our Newsletter.

Through growth were able to consistently offer our membership more services, and a greater depth of insurance education. During the next several months, I challenge our members to invite a colleague to a monthly luncheon meeting they will not be disappointed and will hopefully consider joining our organization.

In closing, I again want to invite you to attend our strategic planning meeting which will be held on Wednesday August 18th, 2004, at the Port of Los Angeles. Well enjoy lunch and a boat cruise of the harbor prior to our meeting. If interested please call Amber at the L.A. RIMS office at (818) 842-6096.

Michael Carlin
L.A. RIMS President

Chapter Clips

RIMS 2004 Western Regional Conference

The Southern California Chapters of RIMS Cordially Invite You

to the RIMS 2004 Western Regional Conference

Registration for the conference is now open!  Dont delay, just go to http://www.larims.org/conference for the program schedule, registration, and additional information.  Register today before its too late!


This is a closed conference and can be attended only by corporate members, potential corporate members, educational members, students, and retired corporate members.

This conference provides the ideal setting for risk management professionals to gather and share knowledge, discuss current trends and issues with experts and peers, provide motivation to implement new techniques, and enhance your risk management career.  The conference is open to RIMS members only, which includes primary, secondary, and additional deputies as well as those who qualify for membership but have not yet joined.


If air travel is required to attend this conference, please note that the Hyatt Newporter provides complimentary transportation to and from John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, California.  Go to http://www.ocair.com for more information regarding this airport and other available ground transportation options.



Included in this registration packet are the following items:

Registration Form and Schedule of Sessions


Important Dates:

Early Bird Registration postmarked on or before July 30

Standard Registration postmarked July 31 thru September 7

Late Registration postmarked September 8 thru September 24

(Please refer to registration form for prices)


Corporate member donations only; no vendors please.

The Western Regional Conference Committee is looking for goody bag items to be included in registration bags that will be distributed to conference attendees.  Please send an email to kmerkovsky@portla.org noting the items your company would like to donate.  Additional information will be provided upon receipt of your email.  Thank you for your anticipated generosity!


Boat Tour of the Port of Los Angeles 




WHEN:           WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2004


 TIME:            BOAT TOUR & LUNCH 11:30 to 1:00 P.M.

Meet behind the L.A. Maritime Museum, north side of building, Berth 84 at the end of 6th Street, in San Pedro.

 RSVP (for boat tour/lunch only):

Seating is limited.  First come, first served. 

RSVP required by August 13th

Contact the RIMS Office at  818-842-6096.   No online       registration.


                       BOAT TOUR & LUNCH)



                   4th Floor, Room 403

 TIME:          1:30 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. (approx.)

 WHY:                       To become a member of the Board of Directors and plan for 2005, to determine how the Los Angeles Chapter can better support its members, and to become active in your Chapter!  Meeting will be held after boat tour at the Port of Los Angeles. 

 RSVP (for meeting only):  Kathy Merkovsky at 310-732-3971


Health & Safety
July 2004 is West Nile Virus Awareness Month

The L.A. Chapter would like to help you enjoy your summer vacation by providing information to keep you healthy and safe.  Please feel free to share the following information on the West Nile Virus (WNV) and Extreme Heat Exposure with family members and friends.  Information on the WNV is printed in at least 10 languages and you may contact our office for copies.  We have also provided a a link on our website at http://www.larims.org to a CD ROM video of the West Nile Virus, compliments of the Center for Disease Control which we encourage everyone to view. 

 West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne disease that infects birds, animals and can be fatal to humans.  The first reported U.S. case was in New York in 1999.  It has spread steadily westward and is now reaching California.  A number of local communities have reported the virus recently.  Californians should know about the WNV, learn ways to protect themselves against being infected and help prevent it from becoming a major outbreak.

How is the West Nile Virus Spread

West Nile Virus is transmitted to animals and humans through a mosquito bite.  However, most mosquitos are not infected with WNV and even infected mosquitos may not transmit WNV to every human they bite.  Human-to-human transmission of the virus does not result from close contact, but has occurred with blood transfusion and organ transplants.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Most individuals infected with WNV will not experience any illness at all.  Only one in five will have mild symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches.
  • For those who do get sick, the signs of WNV will be felt within 3-14 days of a mosquito bite and they generally last a few days.
  • The elderly are at greatest risk for developing more severe disease such as meningitis or encephalitis.

Animals That Have Been Infected

  • Horses can get WNV, with as many as 40% of infected horses dying.
  • Other mammals include dogs, cats, and squirrels have shown evidence of the West Nile infection.
  • Bird infections and deaths usually precede the detection of human cases, so dead birds are an excellent indicator of local presence of the West Nile Virus.
  • You can help the county and state's monitoring efforts for West Nile Virus by reporting any dead crows, ravens, magpies, jays, owls and hawks by calling 877-747-2243, or 877-WNV-BIRD.

Tips for Reducing Risks

  • Avoid spending time outside during dawn and dusk, those are the times when mosquitos are most active.
  • Avoid heavily wooded areas of marshy wetlands.
  • When you are doing outdoor activities, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect yourself.
  • Use insect repellent products (with no more than 35% DEET for adults and less than 10% for children.)

Protect Your Home & Yard

  • Get rid of all sources of standing water on your property.  Even a small amount of water in a flowerpot saucer is enough for mosquitos to breed.
  • Change the water in wading pools, birdbaths and pet bowls several times a week.
  • For ornamental ponds, get fish that eat mosquito larvae.
  • Make sure the doors and windows have tight fitting screens.
  • Repair or replace screens that have holes or tears.
  • Contact your local mosquito control agency if there is a serious mosquito problem where you live or work.

To learn more about the disease and ways of prevention please visit:  www.cdc.gov, www.lapublichealth.org

You can help detect WNV in the Los Angeles County and California.

Dead Bird Surveillance:

The tissue of dead birds can be tested for the presence of WNV.  You can help the county and state's monitoring efforts for WNV by reporting any crows, ravens, magpies, jays, owls, and hawks that have been dead for less than 48 hours by calling:

Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health:  1.877.747.2243.

California Department of Health Services:  1.877.WNV-BIRD

West Nile Virus Website Information

CDC:  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidedod/dvbid/westnile/indes.htm

California:  http://www.westnile.ca.gov/

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services:  http://www.lapublichealth.org/acd/index.htm/

For Medical Providers:

To report suspected human WNV cases and arrange for WNV testing call Acute Communicable Disease Control (ACDC) Program:  office:  213.240.7941 FAX:  213.482.4856


Local Mosquito and Vector Control Districts:

Los Angeles County Dept. of Health Services
Environmental Health - Vector Management Program

Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District:

West Los Angeles Vector Control District

San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District

Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District

Compton Creek Mosquito Abatement District

Orange County Vector Control District

Long Beach Vector Control Program


Extreme Heat  Exposure!  What To Do?

Heat Disorders


:  Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches
First Aid:  Take a shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores preventing the body from  cooling naturally.  If blisters occur, apply dry, sterile dressings and get medical attention.

Heat Cramps
Symptoms:  Painful spasms usually leg and abdominal muscles.  Heavy sweating.

First Aid:  Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle message to relieve spasm.  Give sips of water.  If nausea occurs, discontinue.

Heat Exhaustion
Symptoms:  Heavy sweating, weakness skin cold, pale and clammy, weak pulse, normal temperature possible.  Fainting, vomiting.

First Aid:  Get victim to lie down in a cool place.  Loosen clothing.  Apply cool, wet cloths.  Fan or move victim to air-conditioned place.  Give sips of water.  If nausea occurs, discontinue.  If vomiting occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

Heat Stroke (Sun Stroke)
Symptoms:  High body temperature (106+).  Hot, dry skin.  Rapid, strong pulse.  Possible unconsciousness.  Victim will likely not sweat.

First Aid:  Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency.  Call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services or get the victim to a hospital immediately.  Delay can be fatal.  Move victim to a cooler environment.  Try a cool bath or sponging to reduce body temperature.  Use extreme caution.  Remove clothing.  Use fans and/or air conditioners.  DO NOT GIVE FLUIDS.

Extreme Heat

Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses.  Know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun and ready to give first aid treatment.


  • Install window air conditioners snugly.

  • Keep heat outside and cool air inside.

  • Install temporary reflectors, such as aluminum foil covered cardboard, to reflect any heat back outside.

  • Keep the cool air inside by weather-stripping doors and windowsills.

  • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.


  • Protect Windows - Hang shades, draperies, awnings, or louvers on windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.

  • Conserve electricity - stay indoors as much as possible.  If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.

  • Eat well balanced light meals.

  • Drink plenty of water regularly.

  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.

  • Dress in loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible.

  • Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

  • Allow your body to get acclimated to hot temperatures for the first 2 or 3 days of a heat wave.

  • Avoid too much sunshine.

  • Avoid extreme temperature changes - A cool shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly and very young people.

  • Slow down - Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities.

  • Take salt tablets only if specified by your physician - Persons on salt restrictive diets should check with a physician before increasing salt intake.

  • Vacuum air conditioner filters weekly during periods of high use.

  • Learn the symptoms of heat disorders and know how to give first aid.

For Pets, Guide Dogs and Service Dogs Be Sure To:

  • Keep water bowls filled

  • Insure animals have adequate shade

  • Never keep animals in vehicles during the day

  • Insure both dogs and cats have licenses and identification on

  • Keep pet activity to a minimum

  • Take walks in the early morning or early evening

  • Don't let animals drink water from under cars or from street gutters

Don't Know Where to Call?

Department on Disability

The Department on Disability is committed to:  ensuring full access to employment, programs, facilities and services through strategic management and partnership education, advocacy, training, research and improved service delivery for the benefit of persons with disabilities, providers of essential resources and policymakers.

The Department on Disability

700 East Temple Street, Rm. 380

 Los Angeles, CA  90012

Phone: 213.485.6334

 Voice, or 213.485.6655 TTY 

213.485.8052 FAX

e-mail:  www.lacity.org/DOD/doddod.htm


Department of Aging


The Department of Aging has multiple funding sources (federal, state and local) to provide a wide variety of services, including:  legal assistance, in-home services, employment training and opportunities, transportation, and nutrition programs for persons sixty years of age and older.

The Department of Aging

2404 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 400

Los Angeles, CA  90057

Phone:  213.368.4000 Receptionist

 213.368.7260 TTY


e-mail:  www.lacity.doa/doadoa.htm


L.A. Animal Services


"The L.A. Animal Services provides services that enable people and animals to live together in safety in the City of Los Angeles."  The Department houses and cares for lost and abandoned animals in its six shelters located throughout the City, enforces animal-related laws, and acts to prevent cruelty to animals.  If you have a question about these or other services - just ask.  The Department's staff of professionals is ready to help you.

L.A. Animal Services


or 888.452.7381

887.875.8205 TTY

e-mail:  www.lacity.org/ANI/index.htm

Report any animal in distress to Animal Services 888.452.7381 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Job Opportunities
Title:  Supervisor, Risk Management
Business Unit:  Fox Entertainment Group
Department:  Risk Management
Location:  Los Angeles, CA

In this role you will be responsible for a broad range of duties including assisting with telephones, filing, data entry, generate various reports, maintain current insurance schedules.  You will also assist VP and Director in preparing and forecasting fiscal year budgets, administer claims and other projects.  In addition, you will update weekly cast logs, distribute claims letters and reports, monitor bonds, and service day-to-day insurance needs of feature and TV production companies, including coordination of cast insurance.

Candidates must possess proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Lotus Notes, PowerPoint and Outlook.  In addition, you must possess  a professional demeanor, telephone manner,  strong prioritization and organizational skills, and well as attention to detail with the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.  Two to three years Risk Management/Insurance experience.   Background within the entertainment industry preferred.

Ellen Goldsmith, Executive Director, Recruitment
fax: 310-369-8455
email: Ellen.Goldsmith@fox.com
No phone calls please.

Insurance Representative III

If you would like to work for an organization that makes a difference in the future, our youth, the Los Angeles Unified School District is the place for you.

LAUSD is currently looking for an INSURANCE REPRESENTATIVE III to assist our Office of Risk management and Insurance services with processing property and casualty insurance policies.  The position involves the interpretation of property and casualty coverages, limits and property and casualty contractual requirements.

This is a full-time, 40 hours/week position. The salary is $28,684 - $35,796/annually.  LAUSD offers a complete benefits package, including family medical, hospital, dental and vision coverage, credit union and retirement plans and tuition reimbursement.

The job bulletin and information about the Los Angeles Unified School District and potential applicants may down-load our application and supplemental application or apply directly on-line at www.lausdjobs.org

If you are interested in viewing the entire job bulletin it can be viewed on our website at:


Deborah Jansen
Human Resources Specialist
Personnel Commission- Recruitment
Los Angeles Unified School


RM Claims Analyst Position Description


Claims and Loss Control Specialist

Basic Function

Ongoing management of open claims and loss control activity will include, but not be limited to:

Specific Responsibilities


Claims Activity

     Management of open claims including reserve evaluation and severity management

     Ongoing contact with the TPAs and Insurance Carriers

     Maintenance of open claims database including notations on activity and factors preventing the closing of the file

     Production of a monthly report to internal management demonstrating progress on the above mentioned items

     Coordinate the claim reviews with the client location contacts as well as ensure status reports from the vendors are received by the locations at least one week prior to the reviews

Loss Control Activity

     Coordinate the loss control visits with the divisions and consultants/insurers

     Maintenance of open recommendations in a database format including notations on activity and factors preventing the recommendation

     Production of a monthly report to internal management demonstrating progress on the above mentioned items

Educational Requirements

Four-year degree preferred, but not required

Candidate Profile

Professional Experience

The successful candidate will have


     Two - three years experience in risk management

     Experience with workers compensation and general liability coverage and claims

     Minimum of intermediate to expert level with software applications including but not limited to Microsoft Excel, Word, and Power Point

Candidate Profile

Personal Attributes and Characteristics

     Effective at communicating complex issues in a logical and understandable manner

Please send resume to: Paul Sulaiman at careers@castlecooke.com


Risk Manager

Oakwood Worldwide is an international hospitality & real estate company, and pioneer in providing full service, upscale accommodations to corporations and individuals focusing on providing the finest customer experience.

We are currently accepting resumes for an experienced RISK MANAGER to be responsible for identifying corporate exposures to loss and implementing appropriate risk management techniques to eliminate or reduce the impact of such loss on the ability of the corporation to perform at a desirable level. Responsible for administration of the risk management function

Strategic Planning

  • Develop a risk management strategy for the corporation, identifying both short and long-term goals, and a Risk Management Mission Statement

  • Research, evaluate and make recommendations regarding current state-of-the-art trends in risk management, safety, loss control and claims management strategies

  • Identify and analyze potential impact of exposures of loss faced by the corporation

Standards Setting

  • Provide consultation and technical advise on insurance and risk management issues to corporate and business units management.

  • Prepare and present financial and development reports to management, as agreed upon

  • Develop and maintain a Risk Management Program Manual for distribution to corporate and business units management

  • Prepare and manage annual risk management and insurance budget, including cost allocations to business units

Insurance Purchases

  • Oversee the Property and Casualty insurance programs, including self-insured programs

  • Negotiate insurance placement pricing, structure and limits for all property, casualty and other insurance policies and service agreements

  • Conduct cost/benefit analysis of program alternatives

  • Evaluate adequacy of limits and appropriateness of retentions/deductibles

Program Processes and Procedures

  • Establish contract standards for insurance and indemnification wording

  • Develop standard processes and procedures for risk management functions

  • Review leases, contracts and other legal documents to evaluate appropriateness of wording and assure compliance with insurance and risk management policies

  • Develop and maintain historical exposure information

  • Develop and retain vital information regarding corporate risk management programs

Safety and Loss Control

  • Coordinate internal and external loss control activity

  • Work together with business units to establish and support Safety Committees

  • In conjunction with business units, develop a safety strategy for creating a safe work environment and for reducing the incidence of worker injury

  • Assist business units with their review and inspection of facilities with a focus on loss reduction

  • Review, report and provide recommendations on loss prevention reports

Claims Management

  • Oversee insurance claims management and claim litigation processes

  • Analyze loss data to identify trends and identify appropriate cost containment techniques

  • Investigate major losses and negotiate settlements

  • Collaborate with legal and other personnel on pertinent claims matters

  • Establish formalized claims services standards with service providers

  • Provide direction in development of effective Post-Loss Injury Management Program


  • Administer Risk Management Department Personnel issues including staffing, training and performance oversight


  • College degree, preferably with area of study in Business, Finance, or Risk Management

  • ARM or CPCU designation a plus


  • Minimum five years in risk management field

  • 7-10 years total industry experience

  • Managerial experience

  • Safety, loss prevention, and claims training desirable

Special Skills

  • Experience with Real Estate industry highly desirable

  • Strong skills in the areas of budgeting, cost allocations and use of captives

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Strong  interpersonal skills

  • Leadership abilities

  • Excellent administrative and organizational skills

  • Computer skills in Windows environment, working knowledge of Word, Excel, Access, software, on-line date base systems

Qualified candidates, please apply at www.oakwoodcareers.com   EOE/AA