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2017 Women to Watch: Kendra Schropp

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Kendra Schropp
Director of risk management and safety
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
Irving, Texas
Age: 47

Being a successful risk manager is all about the data, according to Kendra Schropp: “You have to look at your data and watch it regularly. The data shows red flags that need to be addressed.” 

She’s done that since joining On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina in December 2015 as senior manager of risk management and safety. Based in Irving, Texas, she has created a program driving safety awareness at the restaurant level and moved the chain’s Texas restaurants from the state workers compensation program to a nonsubscription program, which has reduced claim costs more than 75%, said Diane Sanford, the company’s chief people officer.

Ms. Schropp was promoted to director of risk management and safety in February, overseeing a $3.41 million budget. She’s made improvements across several lines of insurance, improving the company’s risk position overall, Ms. Sanford said.

“Kendra is extremely smart, but she’s also very savvy,” she said. “She came in as a subject matter expert but didn’t come across that way. She built relationships across our departments and with the operators in the field, and then began to apply change.” 

Ms. Schropp, who has a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and an MBA from Texas Woman’s University, said she benefited from having mentors.

“I was absolutely lucky to find people along the way who were willing to show me,” she said.

That began in 2000, when she was working as an auto claims adjuster and a recruiter kept calling about a risk management job, a role she’d never considered. She applied and found her first mentor when she was hired at Archon Group L.L.C. in Irving.

“That completely opened my world view of the profession,” she said. “For something I didn’t know I wanted to do, I have really enjoyed doing it every day.” She found another mentor in Raymond Alletto, vice president of risk management at United Rentals Inc. in Irving, where she worked as a data analyst from 2006-2010.

Ms. Schropp said that now she herself has become a mentor.

“When you see someone with ability and talent, you really need to take that next step,” she said.

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