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Senior Director-Risk Management
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Julie K. Long joined Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in December 2004 as senior director-risk management. At Wal-Mart, she is responsible for achieving strategic objectives in managing loss exposure risks, including directing placement of property and liability insurance programs for all of Wal-Mart’s domestic and international operations as well as the retailer’s captive insurance company, Broadstreet Insurance Co. Before joining Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart, she was with SBC Communications—now AT&T; Inc.—as executive director, risk management. She holds both the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and Associate in Risk Management professional designations and is a past president of the St. Louis chapters of the Risk & Insurance Management Information Society Inc., Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society and the Assn. of Professional Insurance Women.
Advice to young women: "Embrace the thought of becoming a 'perpetual student' of the world, the industry, your company and your aspirations. The field of insurance, brokerage and/or risk management should be considered as a career opportunity…not just an occupation and is not about what most people think—‘you just buy or place insurance.’ You are a knowledge worker in a multidisciplinary field—involving contracts; finance; accounting; tax; tort; compliance with federal, state and non-U.S financial responsibility laws; claims—that touches all aspects of a company, from non-management persons to the office of the chairman and all operations in between. The challenges are as dynamic as the company and the external factors impacting the company. The responsibilities are much broader than placing insurance and managing an insurance transaction, although the use of insurance is an important risk financing tool, but only one of several options. You will have the opportunity to work in a global marketplace."
Professional role model: "I have had several role models during my professional career, both male and female. The first, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, was Lois Weber, who was the customer service representative coordinating the placement and services for several large construction accounts for a regional broker in St. Louis. Lois did not have a college education, but held a responsible position servicing these accounts and went on to obtain the CPCU designation. Her achievement and encouragement inspired me to begin a serious pursuit of my formal education and professional designations. I joined Southwestern Bell in 1985, one of the…'Baby Bells' created after the break-up of 'Ma Bell.' During the period before the telecommunications industry began to consolidate again, I had the opportunity to network with many experienced risk managers hired by the Baby Bells. The peer network was very strong and, for a period in the early 1990s, the directors of risk management for the seven Baby Bells were all women. We all had great fun with that fact. Last, but certainly not least, my husband, my best friend and my mentor, A. Hunter Long. Hunter began his insurance-based career in the 1960s and was an early contributor and advocate of RIMS and risk management as a profession. His success and the lasting friendships he made during his career were additionally motivating to me."
Best professional advice: "There is not a single incidence of professional advice that stands out in my recollections. What I do recall is having a personal desire to achieve that was strongly supported and encouraged by family, friends, co-workers and teachers combined with the good fortune of having worked for companies that also strongly supported and encouraged continuing education, professional development and professional development by peer networking and professional affiliations."