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When Russ Opferkuch and his wife check in at the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. conference, they both will receive "member" badges.

Mr. Opferkuch isn't the only risk manager in the family. He also is not the only risk manager of a billion dollar-plus company in the house. His wife, Carla Eberling, is director of risk management for New York-based apparel manufacturer Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.

The two met in 1988 when Ms. Eberling was a student in an Associate in Risk Management class Mr. Opferkuch was teaching.

"We both appreciate the activities and the stresses that we each are under," the Bankers Trust Co. vp of corporate risk and insurance says of being married a little more than four years to a risk manager.

"He's a great sounding board, and hopefully I provide sort of the same thing for him," Ms. Eberling said. "He's certainly been a real help to me."

Ms. Eberling nominated her husband for the award.

Mr. Opferkuch cautioned that "you don't want everything you do to revolve around your job." But he allowed that "it's good that if you're at a business function and business starts being discussed, the other isn't left out."

"I'm sure it's helpful and convenient if both members of a couple are able to understand each other's business," said Alan Friedlander, a senior vp at Aon Risk Services Inc. in New York.

However, Mr. Friedlander, who has known Mr. Opferkuch for more than 20 years, and knows Mr. Opferkuch and Ms. Eberling socially, said, "Quite frankly when I get together with both of them I prefer to forget risk management totally."

By all indications, that is easy to do. Their high-level risk management positions aren't always evident.

"You wouldn't know it when you go to visit them. There isn't a lot of business discussion," said Claudia Mastrapasqua, a vp at Johnson & Higgins in New York. "They have very varied interests."

Among other things, the two are huge New York Yankees fans and enjoy going to games together often.

They were to attend the Yankees' home opener April 11 before heading to RIMS, with Ms. Eberling saying she and Mr. Opferkuch looked forward to seeing their team receive its 1996 World Series championship rings.

"Hopefully we'll start the weekend with a win before going to RIMS," she said.

"Our first date was at Yankee Stadium, as well," Ms. Eberling said. "I've been a Yankee fan all my life, and it's great to meet someone who shares that."

Mr. Opferkuch has two sons by an earlier marriage, David, 13, and Keith, 11.

"He's a great father, a very dedicated father," said Ms. Mastrapasqua, who has known Mr. Opferkuch since the late 1980s when she was risk manager at Security Pacific Bank and they met through their involvement in RIMS. "And I think his employees respect that and the concern he has for them and their families as well."

Mr. Opferkuch has been quite involved in RIMS throughout his career, serving on the board of the New York chapter for more than 10 years and holding offices including president, vp and vp of programs, education and communication. He's scheduled to be the New York group's society director next year.