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Q&A: Stephanie Malish, NuStar Energy

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Stephanie Malish is director of risk management at NuStar Energy L.P. in Helotes, Texas, and president of the South Texas chapter of the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc., which is the host chapter of the 2018 RIMS conference and exhibition. She recently spoke with Business Insurance Reporter Rob Lenihan about her expectations for the conference and issues affecting risk managers in Texas. Edited excerpts follow.

Q: What was your reaction when you heard that RIMS was coming to San Antonio?

A: I was very excited. San Antonio is a great convention city that the majority of the attendees probably have never visited. So this will be a great opportunity to show off our city.

Q: And what does it mean for the local chapter when the annual conference comes to your area?

A: It does mean a little more work and attendance at RIMS functions than in the past, when we’re just a guest. It’s also an opportunity for our chapter to gain national exposure and interact with the key leaders within the RIMS organization whom we don’t typically get to see.

Q: What are your goals for the conference?

A: I would like to get as many of our local chapter members involved with the conference as possible, because many of them don’t get to attend when it’s not in San Antonio. I think it’s important for them to get the full RIMS conference experience to solidify their local RIMS memberships, so they know what the value really is. As a chapter, we hope to show our Texas hospitality and ensure everyone has a great RIMS experience.

Q: What are you most concerned about in hosting the conference?

A: The weather. It’s the one thing we can’t control. While San Antonio is always very thankful for any rain that we can get, I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll just experience the typical near-perfect weather and no rain.

Q: What are the risk management issues that you deal with?

A: The past year, we’ve experienced record-breaking catastrophic events. The majority of risk managers are having to deal with the effects of those catastrophes on their insurance programs. The other elephant in the room is cyber. It receives more and more attention each year from our executives, and it filters down to risk managers to analyze that risk and possible solutions to respond back to those executives.

Q: What are some of the things that come to mind when you say cyber?

A: Number one, it’s determining what your exposure is. We’re risk managers, we’re not IT people, so partnering with the IT folks to sit down and figure out what are the exposures and then figuring out what are the solutions. Are they realistic? Do they really cover what the exposures are? Just getting your arms around that, because it’s not very new but many companies still don’t have risk or cyber policies.

Q: How will the RIMS conference help you in addressing the risk management issues that we’re discussing here?

A: To me, the greatest advantage of the conference is that it provides access to the insurance industry, whether it’s insurers, brokers, vendors, peers. So the conference allows us to discuss these topics with an array of different perspectives to gain some additional knowledge that you don’t typically get. And of course, there’s multiple educational opportunities throughout the conference to learn more about these risks. One thing I think RIMS does a great job of is selecting educational topics that are relevant and fresh that matter to risk managers.