RIMS, the risk management society®, and American International Group, Inc. (AIG) today announced Deborah M. Luthi and William L. Mather as the 2019 inductees into the Risk Management Hall of Fame (RMHF). The RMHF maintains the history of the field of risk management and recognizes risk practitioners who have made significant contributions to advancing the discipline. The honors were presented at RIMS 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Boston.
The RMHF Selection Committee considers the following criteria for induction into the RMHF: considerable contributions to the field; significant achievements, innovation and trend setting; demonstrated leadership, character and service; and the highest caliber of ethical and professional conduct.
“Risk management has evolved into an essential, strategic business discipline due to the crowning achievements of exceptional leaders like our Risk Management Hall of Fame inductees Deborah Luthi and William Mather,” said RIMS CEO Mary Roth. “Both selflessly devoted their careers to the betterment of this profession, demonstrating the value of strong risk management practices within their organizations and paving the way for others to follow in their footsteps.”
“AIG is proud of our continued partnership with RIMS to recognize outstanding careers and achievement in the risk management community,” said David McElroy, Chief Executive Officer of Lexington Insurance. “Across their long, distinguished careers, Deborah and William made great contributions to their companies and to the industry. Their leadership, character, and talent helped develop and shape risk management into the essential discipline it is today.”
The 2019 inductees to the RMHF are:
DEBORAH M. LUTHI, ARM
Throughout her more than 35-year career practicing risk management, Deborah Luthi delivered forward-thinking programs that encapsulated her passion, energy and excitement for the profession.
Deborah developed and employed strategic-level processes and frameworks for identifying potential risks that may adversely affect organizational success, as well as facilitating the transformation of those risks into opportunities that advance missions and achieve strategic objectives.
She was the Enterprise Risk Manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) that, at the time, served 2.5 Million people in the Bay Area with high quality, reliable water and waste water services and provided clean, green power to San Francisco's municipal operations. While there, she successfully established a fully-functioning traditional risk management program including pre- and post-loss initiatives. She matured this program to an advanced risk management program, incorporating Total Cost of Risk and allocation of costs; as well as implementing an Enterprise Risk Management program that strategically viewed risk across the organization, that prevented losses and optimized risk-taking as a competitive advantage.
Prior to that, she served as the Director, Enterprise Risk Management at Matheson, a national transportation carrier, and was the Director, Risk Management Services at the University of California - Davis for 21 years.
At the university, Deborah was responsible for a diverse portfolio of risk management, benefits and human resource services to enable faculty, staff and students to strategically identify and manage enterprise risks. She initiated the first campus-wide enterprise risk assessment resulting in organizational agreement on significant risks, probability and impact on strategic objectives and actions to leverage risks. Most notably, she helped turn a hazardous scenario involving the campuses' olive tree lined streets that created slippery walkways for pedestrians, into a lucrative olive oil and olive product business that continues to generate revenue for the university today.
And, in her “reinvention” years, unable to kick the risk management habit, she continues to lend her risk management perspective. Most recently, as a volunteer, she has facilitated a risk assessment for her urban-located church identifying the risks associated with the “unsheltered” population occupying the campus. Turning the identified risks into opportunities to continue serving both this population and mindful of the safety and security of the congregation, the church discontinued serving daily take-away bag lunches and instead, partnered with other community churches to offer rotating sit-down hot lunches. The assessment also resulted in the development of an Emergency Response Team which recently participated in active shooter training in houses of worship. Deborah also provided leadership to the church’s Board of Directors helping them formulate a vision for the future of the church and the strategies needed to get them there.
Deborah was president of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS) in 2012, a member of RIMS Golden Gate Chapter, as well as RIMS Sacramento Valley Chapter which she helped to co-found in 1991. As a dedicated RIMS volunteer, Deborah also served as the director of the RIMS External Affairs Committee, board liaison to the Professional Development Committee and Member and Chapter Services Committee. Additionally, she served on RIMS' Technology Advisory Council, Executive Council, Nominating Committee, Strategic Planning Taskforce and was chair of the Member & Chapter Services Committee.
Deborah was recognized for her contributions to the risk management profession as a 2009 recipient of Business Insurance Magazine's "Woman to Watch" Award. She also holds an Associate in Risk Management designation.
A graduate of the University of Kansas in art education, she has focused her creativity and innovation for over 35 years on the art - and science - of risk management.
WILLIAM L. MATHER, ARM (1933-2017)
William (Bill) Mather was a dedicated, committed, passionate and influential risk management leader for over three decades.
Bill joined The Gillette Company in 1963 and would work within its insurance and risk management practice for the next 35 years. He held numerous positions within the Fortune 500 company, culminating as Administrator of Risk Management in 1971 – a position he held until his retirement in 1996. At Gillette, he was responsible for insurance and security, including development of a consolidated and refined risk management program to protect Gillette’s assets, its people, property, as well as sales and operations located around the world.
Navigating the insurance capacity and affordability crisis experienced in the 1980’s, Bill successfully implemented risk management techniques that kept the company’s cost of risk consistent. His program reassessed product liability losses, examined earthquake coverages, negotiated more favorable D&O rates and, among other initiatives, leveraged its captive to generate profit. He oversaw a wide range of complex risks including the dangers of aerosol, properties in remote locations like the Amazon jungle and an increase in fraud and theft attempts as Gillette gained international notoriety.
Bill served as president of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS) during the 1986-1987 term. Before his presidency, he had been active in the RIMS community since 1968, including his volunteer service as president of RIMS Massachusetts Chapter, a member of RIMS International Cooperation Committee, as well as a member of Risk Management Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board.
His RIMS’ presidency focused on advocacy and government affairs efforts. Under his leadership, the Society pressed for the reintroduction in the U.S. Congress of tax equity legislation to permit self-insurance reserves to qualify as tax deductible, a push for the expansion of the Risk Retention Act to include pollution liability risks, as well as other legal reforms.
Bill believed strongly in risk management education, mentoring and the value of sharing professional experiences. He taught courses on the fundamentals of insurance and risk management at Northeastern University and Bentley College. He was an active member of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Improvement, wrote numerous papers and delivered presentations on topical interests and issues facing the risk management profession.
Bill’s accomplishments at Gillette and his contributions to the profession earned him the 1988 Business Insurance Risk Manager of the Year Award that recognized outstanding achievement in the profession.
He earned his B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and his M.B.A in finance from Babson College.
Bill passed away in 2017. He is survived by his wife, Marcia, his two daughters Pamela Mather O’Neil and Suzanne Mather Stanton and their families.
About the Risk Management Hall of Fame
The Risk Management Hall of Fame (RMHF) is home to those risk professionals who have made exceptional contributions to advancing the risk management discipline. RMHF is a joint venture of the RIMS and AIG, and was created to preserve the history and tradition of the profession. Founded in 2011, nominees are considered from around the globe and inductees are selected by the RMHF Selection Committee. New members to the Risk Management Hall of Fame are announced yearly at the RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition. For more information, visit www.RiskHallofFame.org.
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