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Canadian risk management leader dead at 79


William H. McGannon, a Canadian risk management pioneer, has died at the age of 79.

Mr. McGannon died in Calgary, Alberta, this week of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, according to his death notice.

According to the website of the William H. McGannon Foundation, Mr. McGannon was one of the first risk managers in Canada to set up a full service risk management department with loss prevention services and statistical support at NOVA Chemicals Corp. in Alberta in 1979. He retired from that position in 1998 but continued to be active in the profession.

The Calgary-based William H. McGannon Foundation was established following the release of a study by the RIMS Canada Council in 1999 that evaluated the need for a Canadian organization to support risk management education and advance the profession of risk management in Canada. “The foundation was established to provide resources in the form of scholarships, research grants and student involvement to advance risk management by way of education, research, mentorship and work experience programs,” according to the foundation’s website. The website added that the foundation is modeled after the Spencer Foundation in the U.S. and acts independently from Spencer and the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.

The foundation was named after Mr. McGannon given he was a longtime supporter of risk management education, according to the website.

“Bill was an icon in the Canadian risk management community,” said Joe Restoule, president of the foundation. “He was a great mentor, colleague and friend to many. His visionary leadership provided for the evolution of risk management practices to advance to the success it is today. His generosity to his peers assisted them both professionally and personally. This pioneer of risk management will be greatly missed within our community. We all will benefit from his legacy of giving through the William H. McGannon foundation."

Mr. McGannon is survived by his wife, Kathleen, three children and four grandchildren.

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