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Risk Management Hall of Fame honors McGannon, Mikulina

Posted On: Apr. 11, 2016 12:00 AM CST

Longtime industry professionals William H. McGannon and David Mikulina were inducted into the Risk Management Hall of Fame at Monday's annual awards luncheon at the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. conference and exhibition in San Diego.

The Hall of Fame exists to maintain the history of the field of risk management and to honor risk practitioners who have made significant contributions to advancing the discipline.

“Although the risk management profession has evolved significantly, the achievements of its early pioneers continue to have lasting influence on the processes and strategies used today,” said RIMS CEO Mary Roth. “Whether it was enhancing their organization's already complex risk program or devoting themselves to supporting the promising careers of future risk management leaders, this year's Risk Management Hall of Fame inductees have unquestionably made substantial contributions to the profession and RIMS.”

Mr. McGannon, who died in 2015, has long been considered a risk management pioneer in Canada. His wife, Kay McGannon, received the honor Monday on his behalf.

Mr. McGannon was one of the first Canadian risk managers to establish a full-service risk management department including loss prevention and statistical support at Nova Chemical Corp. in Calgary, Alberta. His unique approach combining risk management, safety, health and environment could be considered an early version of enterprise risk management, RIMS said.

He retired in 1998 and established the William H. McGannon Foundation, working to help provide resources in the form of scholarships, research grants and student involvement initiatives to advance risk management. He also held several board positions with the society's Southern Alberta Chapter and was co-chair of the 1998 RIMS Canada Conference in Calgary.

Mr. Mikulina, a retired vice president of risk management for Hyatt Hotels Corp. and longtime RIMS member and educator, joined Ms. McGannon on the stage to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Before spending 35 years in the industry, Mr. Mikulina graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1967. Shortly thereafter, he joined the U.S. Army, serving with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. Later, he embarked on a career in risk management and insurance, holding positions in such companies as GATX Corp., Kraft Foods Group Inc. and Alexander and Alexander Services Inc. In 1984, he joined Hyatt, his last post before retiring in 2007.

In his 23 years at Hyatt, the organization grew from 130 hotels to 350 worldwide. Mr. Mikulina played an integral role in expanding and developing the program to include risk transfer methods, claims management and crisis management. He also helped integrate risk management into the hotels' day-to-day life, driving a culture of safety and risk management.

In addition to presenting at RIMS conferences, he has given presentations at the University of Wisconsin's School of Business and DePaul University's School of Hospitality Leadership.