By CYRIL TUOHY, managing editor of Risk & Insurance®
Scott Clark, the new president of the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc. (RIMS), vowed to strengthen the organization's chapter structure and promised a stronger lobbying effort for RIMS causes at the state level.
"I came from the chapters," said Clark, risk and benefits officer for the School Board of Miami-Dade County, Fla. "That's ... where I believe on a ground-up basis this organization exists."
While RIMS has always had a high-profile lobbying presence in Washington, D.C., according to Clark said, RIMS has been less effective at the state level. RIMS lists 72 separate chapters in 37 U.S. states, 10 chapters in 8 Canadian provinces, and one chapter each in Japan and Mexico. Around the world RIMS represents 10,000 members, making it the largest risk management and insurance organization on the planet.
"One of my goals is to really reach out and connect with the chapters and the chapter presidents," Clark said.
Speaking Jan. 13, at an acceptance ceremony at the Penn Club of New York, Clark also said that he would reach out to the state chapters through newsletters, e-mails, websites and social networking sites.
Clark, a member of RIMS since 1987, has served on the RIMS board since 2000. He has also served as former RIMS secretary and as former treasurer, as well as on the Member and Chapter Services committee and the Safety and Health committee of the board. Clark is also the founder of the RIMS Greater Miami chapter, where he served as president from 1992 to 1993 and again from 2003 to 2004, and a past chairman of the Florida Joint Chapters Conference, serving in that role in 1997 and again in 2004.
RIMS board members said that Clark would bring a renewed vitality and energy to the top post in the organization.
AIMING FOR STATE LEGISLATORS
Clark, who noticed exorbitantly high costs of drugs prescribed to injured workers, raised red flags before the Florida legislature, which passed House Bill 5603--subsequently vetoed last May --that would have forced limits on what physicians in that state can charge for workers' comp medicines.
Every year, RIMS conducts its federal "RIMS on the Hill" initiative, during which risk managers are invited to come to Washington and visit with congressional lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Clark plans to expand the "regional RIMS on the Hill" concept. RIMS currently conducts meetings with state lawmakers in California and Connecticut, and similar meetings are about to take place in Florida.
The near future will be "really exciting" as risk managers pressure Tallahassee lawmakers to implement agendas important to risk managers, RIMS and its member organizations, the dues-paying employers, Clark said.
Elected representatives hearing from individual risk managers are, in fact, hearing not so much from risk managers themselves but from a school district, a county, or a municipal or statewide authority, nonprofit groups and corporations.
"That makes a big difference, and we believe that initiative expanding RIMS on the Hill to the state level is going to be very, very important," Clark said.
Clark takes the helm of the organization at a time when it is financially healthy and has launched a new branding campaign symbolizing the three areas of service most important to members: resources, networking and education.
Clark succeeded Terry Fleming, who is director of the division of risk management for Montgomery County, Md. The RIMS presidency is a one-year term.
January 18, 2011
Copyright 2011© LRP Publications