Editor’s Note: Robin was awarded the prestigious Ron Judd Heart of RIMS Award at the 2016 Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) annual conference in San Diego, CA. She was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the Memphis RIMS chapter and advancing the study of risk management throughout the area. Her fellow Sedgwick colleagues are very proud of Robin and her accomplishments on behalf of Sedgwick. Congratulations, Robin!
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin
When I began my risk management career, I was completely overwhelmed. Everyone in the industry seemed to have their own language that I had not yet learned, and I was not sure that I would ever “get it.” Were it not for some key people who mentored me, learned alongside me, and some who did both, I would not be where I am today.
At an early point in my career, I was asked to participate in my local RIMS chapter and, despite my intimidation and hesitation, I agreed. I have never once regretted that choice. I made professional connections, learned more about my chosen industry, and began to feel like what I was doing mattered to risk management students and professionals outside of my company. As years passed, I became more deeply involved in Memphis chapter leadership, and was privileged enough to make critical connections (and dear friends) at the RIMS Society headquarters in New York. Through conversations with these individuals about how I could become more involved, I volunteered and was fortunate enough to be selected for the Society’s Member and Chapter Services Committee. Serving on this committee over the course of four years, in addition to making lifelong friends, I was able to see examples of amazing things that other chapters were doing to effect change in their areas, and was further inspired to contribute to my local chapter.
I have been told that it is “better to be lucky than good,” and this has proven to be more than true for me. I was lucky enough to become involved with several universities in the Mid-South through my work with the Memphis RIMS Chapter, and now have longstanding relationships with the remarkable faculty leadership at the University of Mississippi, University of Central Arkansas and Mississippi State University. Through my more recent involvement with the Spencer Educational Foundation, the RIMS Student Advisory Council and Gamma Iota Sigma, my involvement and educational connections have expanded to a national level, and I am continually heartened by the promise and energy that I see in our next generation of risk management leaders.
I have been privileged enough to recruit, hire, and cultivate two of the most amazing risk management professionals I know – Matt Neil at Wright Medical and Anna Bendgen at Sedgwick. I can hardly wait to see where their futures take them, and hope that I have had some small impact on their professional development and direction. Additionally, my remarkable daughter Judy, currently a sophomore in high school, is currently insistent that she wants to pursue a career in risk management. Judy has recently completed her school’s capstone project on the impact of the September 11th attacks on the interaction between business and insurance companies – specifically in regard to contract certainty and policy language, as well as the changes in emergency protocols and the prioritization of business continuity planning within companies, which was fundamentally altered at the company and federal level. Nothing could make me more proud than knowing that at the age of 15, she is already starting to “get it.” She is intrigued by what I do every day, seeing that no two days are the same, none of them are boring, and every single one of them is fulfilling.
I believe that volunteering and mentoring at any and every level is both crucial to the future success of the industry and necessary to cultivate the next generation. Serving as teachers, role models and ambassadors, we not only build new relationships and future professionals, but we strengthen our own connections to others in the industry, and are blessed enough to continually learn from each other.
Robin Joines, SVP Risk Management, Sedgwick