BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.

To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.

To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.

Login Register Subscribe


Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services Inc.


Managing Director, Public Entity & Scholastic Division
Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services Inc.
Baton Rouge, La.
Age: 49


Like many industry professionals following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, 2006 was a busy year for Nancy Sylvester, whose accomplishments include co-authoring legislation allowing Louisiana state public housing programs the flexibility of combining lines of coverage and testifying before lawmakers to gain its approval, and working as a contractor for the Orleans Parish School Board to navigate its post-Katrina insurance issues. Earlier this year, she was contracted as a consultant to assist New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center with its insurance program. After spending 15 years as a public entity risk manager for various municipalities and school districts, she is revered for her in-depth understanding of risk management issues facing public entities. A top producer since joining Gallagher in 2000, Ms. Sylvester was recognized in 2006 as a top 10 producer for all of Arthur J. Gallagher’s North American retail brokerage operations and producer of the year for its mid-South region.


Greatest influence: "Early in my career, I was fortunate to associate with a very wise and experienced insurance/claims professional, Ben Franklin. (Yes, his name is Ben Franklin. He currently is the claims supervisor for Calcasieu Schools in Lake Charles, La.) From Ben, I learned so much: show up early, work hard, read the fine print, speak the truth and, most importantly, treat people how you wish to be treated. Add a little humor to the mix and everything works out fine. All very basic, all very critical."


Best professional advice: "Years ago as I was struggling with a board matter, the finance director at the time, Steve Fortenberry (currently with McKinney Independent School District in Texas), made a comment, 'Know the difference between preference and principle.'"


Early aspirations: "I wanted to be a lawyer and life got in the way. My next choice was risk management, which led to my current position. With risk management and insurance, every day is different. I have never been bored."

2007 Women to Watch Home

Read Next

  • 2007 Women to Watch

    Business Insurance's "Women to Watch" feature is our attempt to identify some of the women who are doing outstanding work in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.