Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc.
Los Angeles Chapter


 The Newsletter for Risk and Insurance Management Professionals

L.A. RIMS News May 2005

President's Message                                                          

I hope that all who experienced the national conference found their experience a positive one. The conference gives the risk management community a chance to expand their knowledge and network with their peers.

The risk management discipline continues to develop and is getting a lot more complex. Risk managers are no longer just the "insurance buyers." Risk managers have expanded responsibilities to include health, safety, environmental compliance, transportation, security, litigation management, Sarbanes Oxley and, of course, insurance.  I have spoken to risk managers who have seen their duties expand in the insurance market, handling benefits and non-traditional lines, which have expanded their job descriptions.

Last month, in this message, I touched on the turmoil in the insurance business. I was surprised at the feedback I received. I guess this column is really read. I do believe reestablishing the trust with brokers and carriers is a top priority. I stand by the position that this needs to be done on an individual basis and is not the responsibly of this Chapter. Trust, creditability, and integrity are requirements in all we do. 

As a Chapter, we are also continuing to evaluate our programs to better serve our members. This includes establishing a professional designation program for the Fellow in Risk Management (RF) designation. We are working diligently on bringing this program to our members.

The next step in networking is our annual golf tournament. This tournament is our major fund raiser. Even if you are not a golfer, please make arrangements to come out and network in a very relaxed and informal atmosphere.

The conference is over and the golf tournament is May 16.  Please remember we start our monthly meetings again in June. The meetings are the heart and soul of our Chapter.  I have seen many new faces this year, as well as many members who have continued to find time in their schedules for meetings. We continue to maintain our balance of providers and risk managers at our meetings.  See you at the golf tournament and the June meeting.


Dennis Healy
L.A. RIMS President                                                 


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 Related Links

Calendar of Events

May 16th
L.A. RIMS Golf Tournament

Click Here to register

June 15th
L.A. RIMS Luncheon


July 20, 2005

L.A. RIMS Luncheon

Welcome New Members

Patrick Farber
Ringler Associates

Rich Hulme
Select Personnel Service


LA RIMS Board Officers 2005

Michael Carlin, ARM, CPC
Jacobs Engineering


Paula Ferrini
Los Angeles Times

Dennis Healy
Los Angeles Newspaper Group

Tanya Karn, ARM, ALCM
Fox Entertainment


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


Ruth Lindstrom, ARM
Jacobs Engineering


Todd Marumoto
Mattel, Inc.


Kathy Merkovsky
Port of Los Angeles


Scott Ritto, ARM
The Decurion Corp.

Becky Smith, ARM
Castle & Cooke, Inc.

Stacy Stevens, CPCU, ARM, AIC
Lowe Enterprises

Diane Wren, ARM
City of L.A. CRA

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 2005,
Risk and Insurance
Management Society,
Los Angeles Chapter


Chapter Clips

NEW GOLF TOURNAMENT LOCATION                                    

This year’s golf tournament will be held at the Rio Hondo Country Club in Downey.  We know you will enjoy this new location as they offer a challenging course, they have a brand new banquet facility, serve excellent food, three new big screen TVs, and all your favorite beverages.

If interested, go to http://thegolfcourses.net/golfcourses/CA/11130.htm for details about the course.

VOLUNTEERS AND PRIZES                                                      

Would you like to help out at the Annual Golf Tournament?  Would your company like to donate a prize for the evening’s raffle?  How about items for the golf ditty bags?  Email Mike Carlin at mailto:Michael.Carlin@jacobs.com  or Kathy Merkovsky at mailto:kmerkovsky@portla.org if interested.


What better way to advertise then by sponsoring a hole at the annual golf tournament?  The cost is $1,500 per hole, which includes a sign boldly displayed on the course to let other individuals and businesses know that you are helping support the L.A. RIMS Chapter. In addition, your company will be recognized in the program at the event, at luncheon meetings, in our Newsletter, and on our website, www.larims.org.  Or how about co-sponsoring the tournament for $5,000? For more information, contact Michael Carlin at 626-568-7059 or mailto:Michael.Carlin@jacobs.com


Glad you asked that question!  This past year, the L.A. Chapter was able to provide…

  • $5,000 in scholarships to Cal State University risk management students

  • $1,200 in tuition reimbursements for CPCU and ARM candidates

  • $3,000 to Toys for Tots

  • $2,000 to the L.A. Mission

  • $5,000 donated to Save the Children - Tsunami Relief

  • $1,200 donated to Red Cross for the recent mudslide victims

RIMS In Philadelphia

This year’s conference provided many highlights…

The opening speaker at Monday’s breakfast was Mr. Joe Plumeri of Willis.  He spoke about restoring trust in the insurance industry and abolishing contingency fees industry-wide.  He spoke strong and passionately about a new model based on client advocacy, transparency, and innovation.  His enthusiasm was welcomed by the crowd.

Tuesday’s luncheon provided a panel of speakers composed of Michael Cherkasky, CEO of Marsh, Patrick Ryan, executive chairman of Aon, Susan Meltzer, Assistant Vice President of Risk Management at Sun Life Financial Services and President of IFRIMA (International Federation of Risk and Insurance Management Associations), and Ellen Vinck, incoming RIMS’ president.  Ms. Meltzer and Ms. Vinck provided opinions and questions to which Mr. Cherkasky and Mr. Ryan gave responses, which were opposing at times.  Mr. Cherkasky believes that the market should eliminate contingencies and risk managers should just not deal with companies that accept commissions.  While Mr. Ryan stated that it’s a free market and its up to the buyer to determine its acceptability.  As a closing to the debate, Ms. Vinck expressed her disappointment of risk managers who have not yet made a decision as to how to address this issue.  She also brought to light the fact that the carriers’ “silence has been deafening, and they are the ones paying the fees.”

Wednesday’s keynote speaker was our Chapter’s well-known member, Mr. Stephen Wilder, Vice President of Risk Management for the Walt Disney Company.  Mr. Wilder spoke of risk management’s need for creativity and provided several examples that Disney has implemented.  Creativity has played a role in the safety of food handling and preparation, as well as distinctive safety measures and literature being brought to the attention of park visitors.

This conference provided memorable speakers and excellent topics.  RIMS has proved again why this conference is the finest of all risk management conferences by providing cutting edge topics with speakers who are on the frontline of the issues at hand.

Health & Safety

Change in Asbestos Laws

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) has issued a statement supporting President Bush's calls for passage of asbestos litigation reform legislation by Congress.  The organization claims that American companies have paid out an estimated $70 billion on 730,000 asbestos personal injury claims.  The litigation has forced some 70 companies into bankruptcy as well says ILR.

"Our asbestos litigation system has not only failed the sick people it was designed to help, but has also crippled companies and cost workers their jobs in the process," stated ILR president Lisa A. Rickard.  She said the Chamber hopes to work with the administration, Congress, and the business community to achieve "commonsense solutions" that will curb asbestos lawsuit abuse.

California Job-Based Insurance Reported in Decline

California's job-based health insurance system is rapidly eroding, according to a new report released by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The study, job based Coverage Drops for Adults and Children, but Public Programs Boost Children's Coverage, is based on data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey and provides a profile of non elderly Californians' health insurance coverage and lack of coverage.

E. Richard Brown, director of the center and lead author of the article, says job-based insurance was down among all income groups between 2001 and 2003.  "The uninsured are overwhelmingly working Californians whose low incomes put health insurance out of financial reach."

The study found that three-fourths of the uninsured are workers and their family members.  They include 4 million adults and children in families headed by at least one adult who worked full-time for an employer.

Most of the working uninsured lacked access to coverage because their employers did not offer it, or because they were not eligible for benefits.  Many could not afford the required employee share of the cost.

The full report is at http:www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu.

When Too Much Light Is a Bad Thing

Here's an important safety reminder about a hazard that might not be on your radar screen.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division is issuing a warning about the hazards of ultraviolet radiation from broken metal halide lights.

The alert comes from an incident at the school in the state where several teachers sat beneath a broken light for several hours during a training session.

Afterwards, many complained of temporary blindness, sunburn-like skin conditions and blurred vision.

Turns out, the protective glass on the 400 Watt halide light above had been shattered by a ball several weeks before.

Result:  People were exposed to the equivalent of one day's worth radiation in about eight minutes.

Get Online Medical Help For Work Injuries

The faster injuries are treated, the faster people usually recover.  But you've probably run into people who would much rather grin (or grimace) and bear it than step into a doctor's office.

Now there's help convincing those hardheaded types it's time to see the doc.  Virtual Hospital is a digital health sciences library from the University of Iowa to help meet the information needs of health care providers and patients.

The goal of the virtual hospital is to be a useful medical reference and health promotion tool.  The Virtual Hospital digital library contains thousands of textbooks and booklets on health care.  Click on "About Us" and then "Tour" for help navigating the site.  Click on http://www.vh.org/index.html.

New Position Postings

To view all job opportunities in their entirety, please use this direct link to the LA RIMS website:  http://www.larims.org/exec.html

D      Risk Management Specialist, City of Chula Vista