Magazine article Risk Management

Rocky Mountain Chapter Works Hard for Its Members

Magazine article Risk Management

Rocky Mountain Chapter Works Hard for Its Members

Article excerpt

One of the high points at the 1993 Annual RIMS Conference held this past April in Orlando was the very first awards ceremony for the Society's new Chapter Recognition Program. And coming away with top honors in the category of membership development was the Rocky Mountain Chapter. In order to win the award, the chapter garnered high marks in such areas as membership promotion, recruitment success, welcoming efforts and contacting nonrenewals.

Rocky Mountain Chapter President Linda Huennekens (Vicorp Restaurants Inc.) notes that despite the sluggish Denver economy that has prompted business closings and corporate downsizings, the ranks have remained level (at around 70 members) over the years. This stability has been achieved as a result of aggressive membership recruiting, which she credits to current and past Membership Committee Chairpersons (respectively) Alyson Buchanan (U.S. West Inc.) and Sue Shultz (The Gary-Williams Co.). "What we do is special because of the lengths we go to invite potential members as guests, provide them with RIMS information, and utilize our communication network and our prospective member list," Ms. Huennekens says.

It was 20 years ago that a small cadre if risk managers established this 48th chapter of RIMS in Denver, Colorado, area. Dave Weisbrod, a charter deputy member and also a chapter past-present, recalls that "it was pretty rough when we started. We had only about 14 members, but we did have a pretty good cross-section form Denver industry and government." Chapter Past-President Phillip Kersey (Cherry Creek Public Schools) remembers that in the late 1970s, the chapter experienced a big increase in membership, partly due to the increased business that moved into Colorado when the oil boom hit the state.

A 15-year Rocky Mountain Chapter veteran who has served as president, and currently is RIMS first vice president, Lucille Gallagher (Monfort Inc.), feels that the chapter has "developed into a stronger, more cohesive group," over that time. As such, it has asserted itself in state politics. The chapter has recently retained the services of a lobbying firm to represent it on legislative issues, such as workers' compensation, that affect the membership. In addition, the chapter is in the process of narrowing the focus of the many issues that affect its members in order to better influence the course of the legislative process.

According to John Dunaway (Jefferson County Public Schools), the chairperson of the Chapter Governmental Relations Committee, "We felt hiring a professional lobbyist would enhance the flow of information to the legislators regarding our members' concerns. …

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