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2016 Women to Watch: Victoria Nolan

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Victoria Nolan
Risk and benefits manager
Clean Water Services
Hillsboro, Oregon
Age: 56

Victoria Nolan is held in high regard by her colleagues at Clean Water Services, where she conceived and championed the establishment of a captive insurer for the utility.

While captives are common among commercial organizations, they are not widespread among public entities.

Ms. Nolan, risk and benefits manager for the Hillsboro, Oregon-based utility, laid out the reasons why Clean Water Services should form a captive and was instrumental in launching the captive in July, said Diane Taniguchi-Dennis, her direct supervisor and the utility’s deputy general manager.

“She made a great business case as to why we should look at this, and once we made the decision to look at it further, she jumped right in,” she said of the Hawaii-domiciled captive, Clean Water Insurance Co. L.L.C., of which Ms. Nolan serves as president.

And her attention to detail, helps her win support for her ideas, said Mark Poling, Clean Water’s business operations director.

“She likes to get out there and meet everyone and answer their questions, even on small, detailed things,” he said.

Ms. Nolan is also recognized outside of Clean Water Services. In 2015, she received the Ron Judd Heart of RIMS award presented by the New York-based Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc., which honors an individual who keeps their chapter vibrant and relevant.

Ms. Nolan, who has worked at Clean Water Services for more than 26 years, said she became involved with RIMS because “I’ve always strived to learn more.” Her personal circumstances — Ms. Nolan transitioned to female in 2011 — have also made her more empathetic in her approach to risk management, she said: “Being able to be myself has allowed me to show more empathy, especially toward claimants.”

Ms. Nolan has her own business, Victoria Nolan Enterprises L.L.C., to assist organizations with diversity and inclusion and to give her the opportunity to “help someone by being in a position to help others understand what it’s like, what we go through.” 

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