Magazine article Risk Management

Edith Lichota, Risk Management Visionary, Passes Away

Magazine article Risk Management

Edith Lichota, Risk Management Visionary, Passes Away

Article excerpt

Edith F. Lichota, a long-time member of RIMS and a prominent voice in the risk management community, passed away last November 21 at age 65. A member of RIMS Executive Committee, Ms. Lichota served as RIMS vice president of governmental affairs from 1979 to 1980 and also as a member of RIMS Governmental Affairs Committee, serving as chairperson from 1978 to 1979. Ms. Lichota also served with the Committee of 13, which was responsible for drafting the bylaws of the New York Insurance Exchange. In 1990, RIMS presented her with the Dorothy & Harry Goodell Award.

During her 28 years in insurance and risk management, Ms. Lichota developed a reputation as an energetic, knowledgeable and personable professional. "She was a leading light in the field," said Reginald Beane, manager of Florida operations at CARE Systems Corp. in Tampa. "The risk management profession was better because she was in it."

One of Ms. Lichota's areas of expertise was government affairs. "She was on the cutting edge in the risk management legislative arena," said John Harkavy, an attorney at Vermont Insurance Management in Burlington, Vermont and RIMS director of government and industry affairs from 1981 to 1989. "She was one of the first to take an activist role in the legislative area and to encourage other risk managers to get involved in legislative issues. With her passing, the loss to the risk management community is enormous."

Ms. Lichota's efforts in the regulatory arena "were years ahead of her time," said Don Brown, senior vice president at Georgia Bankers' Association in Atlanta. During her years as a lobbyist, Ms. Lichota was "a strong proponent of state regulation and suspicious of federal regulation," said Mr. Harkavy. "Yet at the same time, she was greatly concerned about the insular nature of the NAIC. She wanted to make the NAIC regulations consistent with international standards."

Ms. Lichota was also a pioneer in the alternative risk financing movement, said Richard Heydinger, director of risk management at Hallmark Cards Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. "Her attitude was always that we ought to find a flexible way to cover risks, and to develop new risk financing tools," he noted. "She had this vision of alternative risk financing mechanisms as the future of risk management."

In the early 1980s, Ms. Lichota played an active role in the development of Vermont's captive law. George Chaffee, president of Skandia International Risk Management in Burlington and Vermont's insurance commissioner at the time, recalled that Ms. …

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