While their adjunct colleagues--claims specialists, safety managers, human resources personnel--were being updated on loss prevention, aggressive medical treatment methods, rehabilitation services and professional employee organizations at the 7th Annual National Workers' Compensation & Disability Conference and Exhibit in Chicago's South Loop, Midwestern risk managers were gathering at REBEX '98 a few blocks north.
REBEX is the annual regional risk management conference sponsored by the Chicago, Chicago Suburban and Wisconsin chapters of RIMS. Money generated by the conference generally supports scholarships for local students to pursue, and funds for schools to offer, risk management-related studies. As part of RIMS' new directive to reach out to local chapters, RIMS national had a sizable presence at REBEX. Linda Lamel, executive director, presented her views on risk management and risk managers today.
Ms. Lamel asked members of the keynote breakfast audience to indicate whether they had intended to pursue a career in risk management when they graduated from college. Not one hand was raised, a fact that helped Ms. Lamel make her point. "If there is any group of people able to deal with challenge and change," said Ms. Lamel, "it's risk managers. Most of you probably didn't even know what risk management was when you first set out to find a career. What this says is that you adapted from what you were doing to what you are now doing. The ability to adapt and the willingness to take a risk allowed you to make the jump into risk management."
Ms. Lamel also said that risk managers must position themselves prominently as individuals in the profession and in an organization of professionals such as RIMS. The daunting challenges and uncertainty of the future are best addressed by a Society that can harness the collective energy of risk managers throughout the United States and Canada.
By way of example, Ms. Lamel referred to the FRM designation being developed by RIMS and the code of ethics accompanying the program. One attendee from Milwaukee, a former risk manager, now a broker, said she was tendering her resignation at the end of the week in order to get back into risk management, because she thinks it's more interesting and more ethical. Ethical considerations are a top priority at many large companies and RIMS president Mark DeLillo has cited ethics as one of the major issues in risk management. …