Readers’ Tributes to Steve Yahn
Long-time Risk & Insurance® contributor Steve Yahn passed away at the age of 69 on June 28.
We knew Steve as an enthusiastic, skilled reporter who seemed to take a special joy from his ability to make connections and turn information from those contacts into interesting, many times groundbreaking stories.
In 2008, a three-part series reported and written for Risk & Insurance® by Steve and Peter Rousmaniere won a national gold award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors.
The series documented the workers’ compensation plight of first responders to the terror attacks that brought down the Twin Towers.
Steve’s journalism career was long and impressive.
Just to note a few hallmarks, he was the first editor of Crain’s Chicago Business in 1978, served as the editor of Ad Age in the 1990s and later included in his resume stints as an editor with the Philadelphia Daily News, the New York Daily News and the Pittsburgh Business Times.
Since his death, we’ve received a number of notes from readers and Steve’s industry contacts. In tribute to Steve, we’d like to share some of those letters with you.
“I just today learned that Steve Yahn passed away in June. I was very sorry to hear about it. I only just met Steve in early June for a story he was writing. We ended up having several rambling and wonderful conversations about the insurance market.
“We had a follow-up call one evening while I was at home, and he heard my 10-month old son babbling in the background. He insisted on sending him a couple of knitted caps that his friend had made, and they are adorable. I knew that he needed information for his article, but he had a way of being so kind and genuine that I really wanted to help him with his story as much as possible.
“I don’t know if there is any point in writing this or who will read it. But I was so sorry to hear about his death that I just wanted to express it to someone who might have known him. I want to say to his family and his colleagues that I am so sorry for your loss.”
Vice President of Insurance, Next Insurance
“Steve was such a great reporter and I enjoyed working with him on art insurance articles. Especially as we got to know each other through the years doing Power Broker® articles. He was always so encouraging whenever I talked to him. It was always a pleasure to hear from him – courteous and professional to the core.
“He will be missed and I will definitely keep his family in my prayers.”
Vice President, Huntington T. Block Insurance Agency, Inc.
“I had the opportunity to serve as a resource to Steve for news content a number of times over the years. Steve was a quintessential professional who always took great care and pride to gather information accurately and to provide the most substantive and authoritative content he could access. And he was always just a pleasure as a person. We will miss him as a respected and esteemed journalist.”
Lawrence M. Shindell
Chairman – ARIS Title Insurance
“I met Steve in the 1970s when he became the first editor of Crain’s Chicago Business.
“Over the years we stayed in touch and soon found that we shared a common interest – the Art World. Steve would call or email me to ask if I had any interesting and unreported art related incidents to share. He was always looking for a scoop so that he could best the competition. I had the good fortune to be one of his primary sounding boards and sometimes he even quoted me with my permission.
“Steve’s keen investigative mind and his superior writing skills were his professional hallmarks. I will miss his ‘sweet’ personality and sincere friendship, and so will my secretary, Linda Fritz.”
Senior Counsel,Bryan Cave LLP
“Steve was irresistible. Despite how busy I always was when he contacted me, he compelled me to put everything aside and get interested in whatever topic currently intrigued him. His passion and good nature were irresistible.
“I will miss him and think of him often. I will miss those opportunities he brought me to step back and reflect on the greater issues facing us in risk and insurance and grasp the wider view of the dynamics at play. I am saddened by this loss.”
Senior Vice President – Fine Art, Jewelry, & Specie, Willis Towers Watson
“While I didn’t know Steve Yahn as well as many did and never had the pleasure of meeting him personally, I did have the opportunity to work with him on several projects he was involved in for Risk & Insurance®, including a wonderful profile of EPIC that he wrote in October 2014.
I was consistently impressed by Steve’s process, his attention to detail, his interest in understanding and accuracy, and his obvious passion for the work he did and his craft — as well as his genuine good nature, friendliness and sense of humor. There was just something about the man that I connected with, enjoyed and appreciated. I was truly saddened by the news of his death. I think we have lost one of the ‘good guys’ here.”
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants
“I had the pleasure of working with Steve on stories for nearly 20 years. I only got to meet him once in person when RIMS was in Philadelphia and (former Risk & Insurance® editor) Jack Roberts held a little get-together for us communications folks and R&I writers.
“He was a true professional who made sure he got to the heart of a story, even an insurance story. And he took a personal interest in his contacts.He always asked about my daughters and I in turn loved to hear stories of his boys. He was a proud papa in addition to a pro writer.
“He’s the kind of guy that makes our jobs more enjoyable.”
Communications Director, Marketing & Communications-North America, XL Catlin
“I had no idea of Steve’s passing. What incredibly sad news. I just spoke to him a few weeks ago and he just sent me a hat and blanket for my baby.
“Never have I met someone who was so enthusiastic about insurance and learning something new.
“His energy and sincere interest in our conversations was touching and inspiring. Steve was a great collaborator and truly fun to interact with.
“Please give my regards to his family and colleagues that he leaves behind.”
Vice President, DeWitt Stern
“Steve will be most sincerely missed! He was always a delight and his curiosity was contagious. I was always so pleased to work with him on his stories and appreciated his enthusiasm for even the most technical and esoteric details around our industry! My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Jennifer M. Schipf
Senior Vice President Fine Art & Specie-Americas, Specialty Broker Client Management-Americas, XL- Catlin
The CPCU Society expects to see some 7,000 CPCU conferees in Honolulu at its September meeting, which acts as a graduation ceremony for new designees.
In addition to the CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter) designation, the Malvern, Pa.-based The Institutes also provides training and materials for designations such as the ARM (Associate in Risk Management) and the AU (Associate in Commercial Underwriting).
According to Brian Savko, president of the CPCU Society — a community of CPCU-credentialed insurance professionals — that’s an enormous jump from the 750 or so designees who attended last year’s celebration in Indianapolis.
That’s no knock on Indianapolis, which has its own charms. But Hawaii is, after all, Hawaii.
An added incentive for those professionals who complete the eight courses comprising the designation — including a course on ethics — is that most of their companies not only pay for them to take the course, but will also fly them along with a spouse or friend to Honolulu.
As a result, the number of CPCU students that choose to complete their course study in time for the Hawaii event “just flood in,” said Savko.
The Institutes moves the event around from year to year. Future sites include San Diego and Orlando, both warm weather locations that can be fun to visit.
Hawaii Gets the Most Attendees
Hawaii, though, is the location every seven or eight years that gets the most attendees, hands down.
Savko, a State Farm executive, said if you are considering getting the designation, you might want to get it done in time to take full advantage the next time the event is in Hawaii.
When they are not considering how big the waves might get on the beach at Waikiki, underwriters, claims professionals and others pursuing the CPCU designation have a host of real-world issues to consider that will be impacting the insurance industry.
Chief among them, according to a recent survey by The Institutes, are the challenges presented in cyber security.
The other top challenges that Institutes members believe will have an impact are the sharing economy, in particular ride-sharing; predictive analytics; terror threats; and the rising use of drones.
As for threats facing their own companies, recruiting and retaining talent, with a response rate of 39.8 percent of those surveyed, was far and away the biggest in-company worry.
According to the CPCU Society’s Savko, that’s one more reason to celebrate the fact that more than 7,000 CPCUs will be honored in Hawaii.
“Certainly it’s well needed now due to all of the departures we are seeing in the industry,” he said. &
Webinar – Healthcare Insecurity: A Global Growth Impediment
A recent survey of business executives found that approximately 73 percent of companies surveyed deploy five percent of their workforce overseas. Companies striving to grow in today’s global economy need to have the reach and resources to position key personnel around the world. But a threatening impediment to that growth is the issue of Healthcare Insecurity.
Healthcare Insecurity is the indecision that can result when an individual falls ill while abroad and doesn’t know where to turn for treatment. Frequently, clinically unnecessary evacuation and unnecessarily expensive treatment can result, with sub-optimal patient outcomes becoming a risk.
Adding to the detrimental effects of Healthcare Insecurity is the increasing amount of political risk, not to mention terrorist activity that is compounding the stress levels of employees stationed overseas.
This one-hour webinar will delve into the topic of Healthcare Insecurity and tap expert resources to give companies guidance on, among other things:
- How to provide on-the-ground support to globally-mobile expatriates that increase their sense of security and encourage them to utilize local health care options.
- Developing a global program that provides employees with timely updates on issues that could impact their health and well-being, including political instability, pandemics, or terror threats.
- Determining whether a streamlined approach to vendor services for overseas employees might be the right fit.
- Finding the right mix of insurance coverages to both protect the company’s bottom line and provide for the health and welfare of overseas staff.