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The Rough Notes Company Inc.



March 28
12:49 2017

Philadelphia plays host to this year’s gathering of risk management professionals

Nearly a quarter-millennium after our nation’s revolution, 10,000 or so risk management professionals and their business partners from around the world are planning a revolution of their own—a risk revolution. And it will take place in the very city where our founding fathers signed the Declaration that grew out of their revolution—the City of Brotherly Love.

The event—The 2017 Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS) Annual Conference & Exhibition—kicks off on April 23 with the Annual Spencer/Gallagher Golf Tournament, a fundraising event that benefits the Spencer Educational Foundation’s work that funds education of future risk management and insurance leaders; the RIMS Chapter Leadership Forum; review sessions for Associate in Risk Management (ARM) professional designation candidates; and Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge Presentations, a closed event for teams of risk management students competing against teams from other colleges and universities.

Committee meetings, speaker and new attendee orientations, and the RIMS 2017 Opening Reception, themed “Disruption,” which takes place at the famed Franklin Institute, round out the day. Professional development pre-conference workshops take place on Saturday, April 22.

The first general session of the conference—the largest annual risk management event in the world—takes place on Monday, April 24, and features Opening Keynote Presenter Derreck Kayongo, CEO of The National Center for Civil and Human Rights and founder of the Global Soap Project. Kayongo’s topic: “Harnessing Your Power to Create Change.” The Atlanta-based civil rights center is a cultural attraction designed to connect the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. Global Soap Project takes partially-used hotel soaps recycled by Clean the World and distributes them through global health programs to people who lack access to it.

Monday features scores of risk management learning opportunities in the form of education, interactive, and breakout sessions. Two education groupings have been added to the agenda this year: an Executive Leadership Track and a Technology and Risk educational category.

The Executive Leadership Track is designed for senior professionals tasked with driving strategy throughout their organizations. The track features nine high-impact education sessions over the course of three days, which will be delivered by world-leading business thinkers and strategists.

Technology and Risk is one of a dozen-plus categories ranging from career development and cyber risk management to emerging risks and risk control. Education sessions in the Technology and Risk category will focus on technological innovations that keep business leaders up at night—issues like 3D technology, driverless cars, space technology, wearable technology, the Internet of Things and more.

Monday also marks the opening of the RIMS Marketplace Exhibit Hall, where 400 or so organizations will showcase products and services that can help risk managers and their business partners. New at RIMS this year is a Wellness ZENter, which is located centrally in the exhibit hall. The facility will offer attendees helpful tips, education sessions, and other amenities to make their RIMS 2017 experience positive and productive.

Also within the Marketplace Exhibit Hall is the RIMS Hub, home to the RIMS Thought Leader Theater, which offers attendees additional education through a series of succinct, interactive discussions on a variety of topics. These high-speed, 25-minute presentations are not offered at any other time during the conference.

Thought Leader Theater topics on the first day range from Career Success Secrets of Lifelong Learners and Becoming Your Company’s Catalyst for Change to Measuring the True Value of Return-to-Work Programs, Environmental Disaster: The Overlooked Cyber Threat, and #RISK! The Rewards and Risks of Using Social Media in Business.

The RIMS Awards Luncheon features a Leadership Keynote by Allison Massari, executive coach and visual artist. Described as life-changing, riveting, extraordinary, bold, and deeply moving, Massari’s address promises to be poignant and insightful. As the survivor of two life-threatening car accidents, and having suffered second- and third-degree burns on more than half of her body, she’ll share a story of absolute loss, forgiveness, understanding, and finally success and a life beyond anything she imagined.

Education continues throughout the afternoon, featuring the final round of the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management challenge. Witness undergraduate students studying risk management and insurance—the next generation of risk management and insurance superstars—as they present their risk management solutions to this year’s case study as part of a cash-prize competition.

Tuesday activities begin with the Risk Manager of the Year Breakfast and Risk Management Panel. The breakfast celebrates outstanding achievement in the field of risk management. Following induction of this year’s Risk Manager of the Year—the newest RIMS award and honor—four past honorees will engage in a vibrant discussion with attendees about the latest risk-related issues and trends. Topics will come straight off the business pages and reach back into times and events where unusual and thought-provoking circumstances challenged even the most experienced and capable risk leaders of the time.

More exhibit hall time and educational sessions follow the panel discussion. Thought Leader Theater topics for Tuesday include: Top 10 Tips for New Risk Professionals Handling Workers’ Compensation Claims; Blockchain: What Is It and Why Is It Important to Risk Management?; The Future of Insurance in the IoT World; and Top Five Practices for a Satisfying Insurer and Broker Relationship.

A highlight of Tuesday’s agenda is the RIMS Community Service Project in the Marketplace Exhibit Hall. This year’s project supports SuperSibs, a program of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation that’s dedicated to comforting, encouraging, and empowering siblings during their family’s battle against childhood cancer. SuperSibs sends sibling comfort and care mailings as well as parent toolkits and newsletters containing age-appropriate support resources and fun activities. RIMS attendees will do their part by helping to assemble family support packs, mailings and toolkits.

The conference education agenda concludes on Wednesday. Thought Leader Theater topics include Adding Value—Helping to Grow the Profession; and Why Certification? The RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional. The Marketplace Exhibit Hall Luncheon serves as the RIMS 2018 Kick Off—A Taste of the Alamo.

Award-winning actor and Parkinson’s disease advocate Michael J. Fox delivers the closing Keynote Address on Wednesday afternoon. The curveball that life threw Fox didn’t hold him back. Hear about his struggles in his own words, as he shares the remarkable lessons he has learned and the hard-won perspective that ultimately helped him view challenges as opportunities. Speaking about his life through the critical themes of work, politics, faith, and family, he walks audiences through his journey of self-discovery and reinvention. He encourages audiences not to build walls but rather to develop a personal policy of engagement and discovery.

Attendees who extend their stay will have an opportunity to take a “behind the scenes” look at the Comcast Center on the morning of Thursday, April 27. At 975 feet, the Comcast Center is the tallest building in Pennsylvania and the tallest “green” building in the country. The tour starts in the building’s 8-story Winter Garden and will include an up-close look at advanced engineering and sustainability features of the building, as well as the security features that make the building tick. They’ll also get a glimpse at the future of home entertainment and home security at the Comcast Technology Lab. Another post-conference workshop, this one on Contractual Risk Transfer, takes place April 27 and 28.

Agents and brokers attending RIMS 2017 can download the RIMS2017 Mobile App before the meeting begins. They and others can follow the latest RIMS updates on Twitter at, Facebook at, and Instagram at Use the #RIMS2017 hashtag to be part of the conversation.


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