RIMS, the risk management society®, has announced Luke Figora, Senior Associate Vice President and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer at Northwestern University, as the 2019 RIMS Risk Manager of the Year. The 2019 Risk Management Honor Roll inducted David Stills, Vice President, Global Risk Management for Walmart Inc. Both individuals will be recognized at RIMS 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibition scheduled for April 28th through May 1st in Boston.
The Risk Manager of the Year program aims to raise the profile of the risk management profession and the outstanding programs the honorees have implemented within their organizations. The program was initiated in 1977 and the Risk Management Honor Roll was added in 1981.
“Building a strong risk management program demands a blended approach that effectively addresses exposures while also supporting new, value-generating initiatives,” said RIMS CEO Mary Roth. “Luke Figora masterfully captures this focus at Northwestern University. His accomplishments have resulted in tremendous cost-savings and have paved the way for many wonderful educational opportunities for its students. It is an honor to present Mr. Figora with the prestigious Risk Manager of the Year award.”
“Similarly, David Stills has embraced the evolving, more strategic role expected of today’s risk professional. Deservingly, we proudly welcome Mr. Stills to RIMS Risk Management Honor Roll and recognize him for his extraordinary success advancing Walmart’s robust risk management program.”
Any full-time professional who administers risk management programs for a corporation, nonprofit institution or government entity is eligible for submission in the Risk Manager of the Year program. The nominations are judged by an independent panel comprising prior honorees and other risk management and insurance industry leaders.
ABOUT THE WINNERS
RISK MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Luke Figora
Luke Figora is the Senior Associate Vice President, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer for Northwestern University, a premier research university with approximately 33,000 students, faculty and staff that generates approximately $2.5 Billion in annual revenue.
Luke oversees a portfolio of risk governance operations, including risk management, internal audit, compliance, and environmental health and safety. He holds responsibility for the organization’s enterprise risk management (ERM) program and leads interaction with the Board of Trustees Audit, Risk, and Compliance Committee. Luke also manages a portfolio of business services, including procurement and payment services and auxiliary operations.
Luke’s innovation, opportunistic and forward-looking approach to risk finance and insurance has helped the university realize immediate success. He has demonstrated a focus on developing solutions and strategies that enable Northwestern’s business model, rather than impede.
Notable accomplishments include the risk management team’s role in the formation and ongoing success of Northwestern Prison Education Program at a local correctional facility, collaboration with athletic department leadership to ensure the safety of its student athletes, as well as the continuing rebuild of the University’s compliance program. Additionally, his command of Northwestern’s captive program solved an immediate grant-related issue that ultimately saved the university close to $1M.
Under his leadership, Northwestern’s ERM program combines risk awareness and transparency, with actionable operations on key risk issues. The program has helped make strides in the areas of athlete safety, minors on campus, venue security, crisis communications, conflict of interest, and Title IX. His ERM efforts are currently focused on embedding an expectation of escalation of key issues across a federated university, and improving the University’s process for handling investigations and issues that arise.
Luke strongly believes in mentoring. He continues to work with Northwestern Student Holdings NFP, helping its student members navigate risks associated with its business. Currently, Luke serves as the President of University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA) and has served on its board of directors since 2014.
RISK MANAGEMENT HONOR ROLL: David Stills
David Stills is the Vice President, Global Risk Management at Walmart Inc. He leads a team of over 550 risk management and risk finance professionals who collectively have responsibility for Walmart's Global Risk Management Division.
David’s responsibilities include global property insurance, global management liability insurance, global casualty and excess casualty insurance, global cyber insurance, aviation and FBO insurance, and all other global insurance programs. He also has responsibility for insurance claims impacting the globally-relevant policies and management of Walmart's captive insurance company. Annually, David’s team manages more than 180,000 casualty claims.
The risk management team at Walmart embraces the company’s focus on technology to improve productivity. Among its many accomplishments, the team has implemented processes for instant closed circuit television access in its stores and clubs, case manager Scorecards to better identify, emulate, teach and reward best practices, a mobile app for a more efficient accident intake, bot technology and more.
Collectively, these advancements will fuel more than $6 million in annual claims administrative cost savings, generate significant time savings at the store level and improve the quality of claims outcomes.
David and his team also created a dynamic Casualty Allocation System (CAS) that allows Walmart to allocate the ultimate costs of accidents to the stores faster. CAS is now utilized in the more than 5,000 Walmart, Sam’s Club and supply chain locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. In its first year, CAS has resulted in an over $90 million favorable and sustained actuarial adjustment.
David is Board Director for the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, past chairman of the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation, a founding member of the Medicare Advocacy Recovery Coalition and a frequent speaker at RIMS events and conferences.