LC Bulletin: Risk management expert visits NMSU

November 1, 2013. Retrieved online November 4, 2013 from Todd G. Dickson, Las Cruces Bulletin

Class visits aim to fill profession’s ‘age gap’

[Excerpts below reprinted with permission: Read the complete Las Cruces Bulletin article]

Richard Roberts, a corporate risk manager for Ensign-Bickford Industries Inc., visited NMSU business classes Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 14 and 15, as part of the Spencer Educational Foundation’s Risk Manager in Residence program, which awards grants to colleges and universities to cover transportation, housing and incidental costs for a lecturing risk manager.

Roberts, who is based in West Hartford, Conn., has worked in the risk management field for more than 20 years and is also a consultant and educator. He designs, develops and manages risk management programs for aircraft manufacturers, explosives and pet food products. He also has developed programs for real estate management and real estate development projects.

“It’s really a very diverse field of work,” he said. “You have to kind of know a little bit about a lot of things.”

The work is challenging, he said, trying to balance minimizing risk – from safety to finances – with opportunities that come from taking risks. For some, risk management has a bad rap when those concerns squash something that was once done with risks ignored, he said. The risk manager should be someone who helps a company achieve its goals and prosper without losses of property, money or the safety and health of its workers, he said. “You don’t want to be that person who says no all the time,” Roberts said. “You have to assess the size of the risk and weigh the financial gain versus the risk.” In addition to making a presentation on the ethics of risk management, Roberts visited risk management and insurance classes, as well as had lunch with members of Gamma Iota Sigma – the professional society for student risk management, insurance and actuarial students.

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