Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc.
Los Angeles Chapter


 The newsletter for Risk and Insurance Management Professionals

L.A. RIMS News January 2004

Happy New Year! 

Hope you enjoyed our Holiday Dinner Dance and Installation.  Thank you for your attendance and support.  Michelle Darringer and Rae Knapp deserve many thanks for organizing this wonderful event.  I would also like to thank the Marines for assisting us with the Toys for Tots campaign.  We collected a barrel full, plus more, of toys to give to those who deserve it most.

This year we had the opportunity to have the RIMS National President, Lance Ewing, join us for this great event as well to swear in the board for 2004.  Hopefully you had a chance to meet him and enjoy his sense of humor.

I would like to thank the 2003 Board for a wonderful year. There is a tremendous amount of work that is done by the Board to maintain our Chapter and we often forget to say thank you. I would also like to welcome the 2004 Board and I look forward to working with you during the next year.

For 2004, our Chapter intends to continue to our fundraising efforts through our annual golf tournament as well as charitable events, broaden our educational efforts, award scholarships to our local college students, and co-chair the Western Regional Conference in Newport Beach this fall.  We hope you will join us in this endeavor.

Wishing you the best for 2004!


Michael Carlin

L.A. RIMS President



 L.A. RIMS Links

 L.A. RIMS Website
 Board Officers 

 Monthly Meetings
 Executive Referrals
Membership Info
List of Members


 Related Links

Calendar of Events

January 21, 2004
Topic:  Workplace Violence - Speaker:   Don Lyon, Marsh
(meeting will end at 2:00p.m.

-L.A. RIMS Luncheon

February 18, 2004
-L.A. RIMS Luncheon

March 17, 2004
-L.A. RIMS Luncheon

January 21, 2004 Meeting

Click Here:

Welcome New Members

Jan Berger
Smart & Final

Daniel Berman
Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman LLP

Philip Davidson, ARM

Nissan North America, Inc.

Penny Fonches
Nestle USA

Declan Friel
Deluxe Laboratories

Pam Gausman, ARM, CPCU

Leonel Gutierrez
Baker Commodities Inc.

Greg Hodgson
Deluxe Labratories

Eric Jarvis
Knight Management Insurance Services, LLC

Nancy Newbury
Amgen Inc.

Ross Pebly
Dreamworks LLC

Alleen Wilson
Knight Management Insurance Services, LLC


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

Copyright 2003,
Risk and Insurance
Management Society,
Los Angeles Chapter

Los Angeles Mission Donation

The L.A. Chapter wishes to thank all of our Members who supported the Thanksgiving Food Drive in November.  In addition to the food that was donated, our Chapter donated $1,000 to the Los Angeles Mission.  Thanks to you, many homeless and less fortunate individuals were able to have a warm, Thanksgiving meal.  Please see the thank you letter from the Los Angeles Mission, below.

December 5, 2003

LA Chapter Risk Insurance
Management Society
1804 W. Burbank Blvd.
Burbank, CA  91506

Dear RIMS L.A. Chapter:

Thank you for your generous donation of $1,000 dated November 3, 2003, which will touch the lives of thousands of homeless men, women and children of our community Skid Row.

The dedicated staff and volunteers who attend to the needs of these homeless people are continually challenged to deal not only with hurting bodies, but also with broken spirits and shattered lives.  Healing starts with love and recovery - sometimes just one act of kindness away.

We  have confidence that, with help from partners like you, lives can be restored and hope for the future can be realized.  Men and women can have the chance to return to society as productive citizens - on the tax role instead of the welfare role.

Thank you again for your very generous giving, and I sincerely hope that you will find our cause is an encouragement for your continued support.

In His service

Ezell W. Williams
Special Projects
Major Donor Office

L.A. RIMS Holiday Party

L.A. RIMS would like to thank the following Sponsors for the Holiday Party:

Arthur J. Gallagher

We would also like to thank those of you who generously donated additional raffle gifts.

Below is a list of winners of the raffle prizes:

Barbie Doll - Betsy Berger
                       Scott Ritto, Metropolitan Stevedore
                       Thomas Buckley, American Appraisal Assoc.
                       Michelle Darringer, Fox Entertainment

$20 Starbucks Gift Card - Sherry Perry, AIG

Sushi Basket - Roger Plotkin, Beckman Coulter

Cocoa Basket - Bill Witt, Fremont General

Movie Basket - Dennis Healy, Los Angeles Newspaper Group

Chip/Dip - Ruth Lindstrom, Jacobs Engineering

Macy's $50 Gift Card - Randall Yang, East West Insurance Services

Pasta Basket - Vincent Takas, The Walt Disney Company

Tea Basket - Mike Carlin, Jacobs Engineering

Disneyland Tickets - Thomas Brown, Thomas Brown Property Mgmt.

Cheese Basket - James McCullough

Ice Cream Maker - Bob Broome, Liberty Mutual

Martini Basket - Shirley Griffith Bourke, Aon/Albert G. Ruben

911 Book - Bob Remmel, AON
                     Roberta Pinner
                     Marilyn Hatch, AON Risk Services
Best Buy $75 Gift Card - Lindy Hardman, Zurich American

Red Wine Basket - Kathy Merkovsky, Port of Los Angeles

Nordstrom $100 Gift Card - Nurit Shehan, Arthur J. Gallagher

Helicopter Ride - Amber Brown, EMA

Dinner Cruise - Gail Portray, ABS Consulting

Champagne Basket - Paula Ferrini, Los Angeles Times

Beer Basket - Kirsten Dial

Grand Prize:  Del Mar Resort & Spa - John Pinner



 (U.S. Marines collect Toys for Tots Donations)

L.A. Chapter's Heart of RIMS Award

The Los Angeles Chapter has instituted the Chapter’s Heart of RIMS Award.  The Heart of RIMS Award is given to a Chapter member who exhibits qualities that further risk management within our Chapter. Through this individual’s actions, they keep the Chapter and the discipline of risk management alive and strong as well as provide a solid foundation to which the Chapter can rely upon. Our first recipient for this annual award is John Pinner, who recently retired from Mattel as its Assistant Treasurer. 

John has been the Chapter’s solid rock for many years.  We have turned to him for guidance, experiences, mentoring, and problem solving as not only a Chapter member but also a Chapter leader.  He has provided sound advice to many in the risk management community and has earned a grand reputation as a true risk management professional.

At the Chapter’s installation, John not only received the Chapter’s Heart of RIMS Award but a well-deserved standing ovation for his years of volunteerism and contributions to the Chapter and its membership.  Thank you John! 

RIMS Stars

The Los Angeles Chapter’s RIMS Stars were recently awarded to Becky Smith, of The Walt Disney Company, and Dennis Healy, of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.  To earn the Chapter’s RIMS Star, the recipient is a Chapter member who has brilliantly served the L.A. Chapter the past year.  Representing the Chapter in a professional manner, a willingness to get the job done, making valuable improvements, and being a team player are some of the qualities of a RIMS Star recipient. 

Our chapter is lucky to have two board members who have co-chaired the responsibility for our Chapter’s membership.  Becky and Dennis’ enthusiasm for the role they have shared and the enhancements they have made are most appreciated by the Chapter’s board of directors and its members.  Kudos to Becky and Dennis!

January Program

Our January Speaker will be speaking on Workplace Violence.  He will be Exploring work place violence with real life situations, suggestions and solutions.  You won't want to miss this one!

Donald W. Lyon
Vice President, Marsh Risk Consulting
Security and Emergency Response Management
Denver, Colorado


Current Responsibilities: Consultation services in the following venues: prevention of workplace violence and school violence; emergency response planning; crisis management and recovery; threat management; physical security assessments of buildings, manufacturing facilities, power generation plants, water treatment facilities etc.; transportation security; professional sports security and safety; hiring and termination practices; client consulting -international travel; counter-terrorism.

Director of Security & Safety for Colorado Rockies Baseball Club, Inc., Denver, CO, since inception in 1992. Assisted in design and installation of CCTV camera systems, intrusion alarms, and card access systems at Coors Field. Designed and implemented Day of Game security procedures, and hired off-duty Denver Police Command Officers to staff and ensure safety of fans. Deals closely with the ownership group on numerous personal and professional security matters, and with the coaches and players on issues of stalking, theft, gambling, and illegal and unethical social concerns.

Experience:                         From 1992 to 1999, Don was the Director of Safety, Security and Training for Nationsway Transport, and was responsible for all DOT and OSHA compliance issues; loss prevention; accident and injury prevention and investigations; Workmen Compensation claims; and the Modified Return to Work Program. Also responsible for the developing and implementing a safety culture in the 4 trucking companies operating under the N.W. Company umbrella.

Prior to 1992, Don spent 23 years with the U.S. Department of Justice – Federal Bureau of Investigation, during which time he spent 16 years as a Hostage Negotiator and Crisis Management Instructor.  From 1990 to 1992 he was the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent, Intermountain Division, Billings, Montana, and was responsible for the management of 9 FBI offices located in Montana. Created first Federal and state multi agency Drug Task Force. Worked closely with the Governor's office and heads of other Federal Law Enforcement Agencies to prioritize crime problems and manpower allocations.

From 1987 to 1990 Don was assigned to the FBI Headquarters, Washington, D. C., Counterterrorism Section, Middle East Unit. In concert with the CIA, U. S. Department of State and the military, coordinated U. S. Government efforts to locate and recover hostages held by Hezbollah in Lebanon. Also coordinated government investigations to identify and apprehend terrorists involved in the hijacking of U. S. aircraft and the kidnapping and killing of U. S. Citizens overseas.

During his FBI career, Don was a member of or performed the following: 

  • Hostage Negotiator and Crisis Management Instructor in seven state area and Canada. Primary negotiator in numerous hostage situations and several as advisor to local law enforcement.

  • Member of FBI “Critical Incident Negotiation Team,” a 20 man team formed to counter International Terrorism with specialized training in Nuclear and Biological negotiations.

  • Received over 200 hours of training in Crisis Management, Hostage Negotiation, and Abnormal Psychology.

Education:                              1969, B. A. Degree, University of Toledo – Economics

Legislative Updates

Ruth Lindstrom

Class Action Tort Reform Legislation

Could 2004 be the year that tort reform legislation is passed?  In late October, the Senate failed to garner the 60 votes needed to cut off debate and permit a vote on “The Class Action Tort Reform” legislation.  However, in mid-December, a bipartisan compromise was reached and the legislation could be voted on early this year.   Stay tuned……

Asbestos Litigation Reform Legislation

Did you know that in 1982, Congress began debating the creation of a fund to compensate workers who were sick by exposure to cancer-causing asbestos?  The courts were overwhelmed with lawsuits and asbestos manufacturers were going bankrupt. 

Well, 22 years later, Congress is still debating the issue.  The number of asbestos-related claimants are currently estimated at 600,000.  There are estimates that the number could reach 1.3 million to 3.1 million.1  In mid-July 2003, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved S. 1125-The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act (FAIR), to create a system to resolve claims of victims for injury caused by asbestos exposure.  No doubt, the financial stakes for the parties involved in asbestos litigation are high.  The insurance companies and businesses don’t want to pay any more than $110 billion in the asbestos-related claim fund and Labor and the trial lawyers are demanding nearly $155 billion.  Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., released a statement at the end of last year which expressed the desire of the Senate body to work toward consensus legislation.  Senator Frist will commence floor action on the asbestos bill by the end of March 2004.  Again, stay tuned and periodically check out the website of  “The Asbestos Alliance” for updated information on the asbestos litigation reform.  www.asbestossolution.org

California Workers’ Compensation Legislation

The year 2004 will also see round two in the battle for workers’ compensation reform.  This round will largely focus on how the system determines the level of disability incurred by an injured worker.  Currently, the system is very subjective and inconsistent.  Both the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Coalition for Workers Compensation Reform (CCWC) will be working with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his staff to provide legislative input for workers’ compensation reforms. 

Listed below are the major reform proposals submitted by Governor Schwarzenegger:2

·     Overhaul of permanent disability ratings;

·    Reform of penalty structures that give applicant attorneys incentives to file frivolous litigation;

·     Streamlining of the system to improve efficiency and save costs;

·     Use of more objective criteria in evaluating injuries;

·     Reform of the indemnity side of the system;

·    Improvements on the medical cost containment started in the session that just ended;

·     Expansion of utilization controls; and

·     Cleanup and clarification of language in the bills recently passed.

1.  Center for Legal Policy – Trial Lawyers Inc. Report.  [See Endnote 69. Rand Interim Report, supra note 67, at vi, 51; Deborah Hensler et al., Asbestos Litigation in the U.S.: A New Look at an Old Issue 29 (Rand Inst. For Div. Just., Aug 2001).

2.  December 18, 2003 California Chamber of Commerce Press Release


DOL Site for People with Disabilities Celebrates First Year

After a year in operation, the Department of Labor (DOL) website http://www.disabilityinfo.gov has been hailed a success.  Speaking on the occasion of the site's first anniversary, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao said 1.6 million visitors from 165 countries have visited.

In an effort to remove barriers for people with disabilities, President Bush issued an executive memorandum last August directing federal agencies to come up with a comprehensive website with one-stop access to government information on disability.  The site includes assistance on civil rights, education, employment, job accommodations, emergency preparedness, technology, and other topics.  It is managed by DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy.


Research Sheds Light on Cancer Among Flight Crews

The acknowledged higher cancer rate among airline pilots and flight crews is the subject of several studies published in the November issue of the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.  One study showed that female flight attendants who have been flying 5 or more years have twice the risk of developing breast cancer compared to those who have worked less.  Previously, it was only known that flight attendants generally had an elevated risk.  Another study showed that both male and female flight personnel have a higher risk of developing malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Commenting on the studies - by researches in Iceland and Sweden - Dr. Elizabeth Whelan of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that doses of cosmic ionizing radiation were found at higher altitudes, a possible reason.  She stated, however that additional research was required to clarify whether the higher risk is due to work or other lifestyle issues.  In the past, researchers have offered other reasons for the elevated risk, including irregular work schedules, higher altitudes, or the fact that flight personnel may spend more time on the beach than other people.