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A Jam-Packed Year for RMIS

By Kennedy Gohman, RMIS President Spring Semester 2023

May 25, 2023

The 2022-2023 academic year for the Risk Management and Insurance Society (RMIS) was filled with speaker events, social events, town halls, case competitions, and conferences.

In the fall semester, RMIS president Alfonso Tello organized seven speaker events.

  • Our first event was panel style, where we welcomed Andy Adams, Corporate Risk Manager at Kraft Heinz, and Seung Yoo, Director of Global Risk & Property Management at Regal Beloit Corporation. They shared their backgrounds, their careers in the risk management and insurance industry, and some personal advice.
  • Marta Pilch, Vice President Western Territory Financial Institutions, and Gretta Di Silvestro, Underwriting Consultant, spoke on financial institutions underwriting.
  • Austin Bennett, Vice President of Risk Management at JP Morgan Chase, spoke on financial risk management and credit risk.
  • We hosted an event with the Actuarial Club where Church Mutual gave an overview of the catastrophic losses that plague the price and casualty insurance industry.
  • Devyn Cegelski, Senior Manager of Enterprise Risk Management at Zillow Group, talked about the challenges and opportunities in the real estate risk management field.
  • Bill Hazelton, Head of North America Industry Practices and Real Estate & Hospitality Industry Practice Leader at Chubb, spoke on current trends and the state of the insurance market.
  • Ben Massey, Assistant Vice President of Aviation & Aerospace at Marsh, discussed contractual risk transfer.

In the spring semester, I had the honor of being president and was able to host four speaker events.

  • Lara Pearson, the Director of Risk Management for Culver’s Franchising System, spoke about IT security and privacy.
  • Kennedy Stumpf, Financial Crime Compliance Sr Analyst at Goldman Sachs, discussed the synergy between finance and risk management and insurance, and the legal risk-based tie-ins that many finance roles at firms like Goldman Sachs have.
  • Brent Pickens, the Vice-President of Risk Management at TrueBlue Inc., explained strategic risk management and how to build and run a risk management department at a big company.
  • Alex Singla, Senior Partner of McKinsey & Company and global leader of QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, talked through the basics of insurance and hot topics in the industry. 

Beyond these speaker events, Lauren Kelly ran a multitude of town halls on various topics such as dining etiquette and making business cards. Anna Beyer, Case Winter, and Zoe Triatik ran social events including Valentine’s Day cookie decorating and our 7 Iron Social. Finally, we sent some of our students to the Chicago RIMS Conference in the fall, where they were able to attend educational sessions and network with industry professionals. 

We ended the year by sending eighteen students to the National RIMS Conference in Atlanta. There, four students (Rebecca Cox, Jing Kai Ong, Lauren Kelly, and Michael Reeser) placed first in the global Spencer Educational Foundation Risk Challenge, an eight-month-long case competition first consisting of a ten-page written report that was later followed by a twenty-minute presentation. We are beyond proud of all their hard work.

I am very grateful to have been a part of such an outstanding organization over my years at UW-Madison. We were able to host incredible events this academic year, and I am excited to see the amazing things the club will continue to do!