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Posted On: Jul. 29, 2007 12:00 AM CST


Risk Manager
TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc.
Lake Forest, Ill.
Age: 28


Responsible for coordinating all risk management activities worldwide at TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc., Melissa O. Leuck is also in charge of business system management and business continuity planning. Before joining TAP, she specialized in structuring and placing alternative risk programs and consulting on commodity, foreign exchange and financial market risk at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and energy merchant Aquila Inc. As a member of the Insurance Institute of America’s Associate in Risk Management Advisory Committee, she’s served as an outside author for the ARM 54 and 56 textbooks. To help guide future professionals, she is a part-time instructor at Concordia University in Mequon, Wis., teaching undergraduate and masters-level finance, economics and international business courses.


Advice to young women: "Feed your inner quant. Quantitative disciplines are at the core of risk and insurance. Take an extra course in actuarial science, applied mathematics, finance, probabilities or statistics. Solid quantitative skills will expand your career options and enhance the credibility of your work."


Professional role model: "Pamela Rogers (currently of Marsh USA) has advanced risk management as a corporate function with unwavering passion. Sara Benolken, presently of Willis North America Inc., embodies risk innovation while maintaining work-life balance. Both women are lifelong learners, with an intuitive sense of which questions to ask and how to listen. They actively serve as mentors to the next generation of risk professionals."


Early aspirations: "I wanted to be a CPA and work for the National Flood Insurance Program. The Midwest, including my hometown of Baraboo, Wis., was devastated by flooding during the summer of 1993. FEMA, NFIP, and state and local volunteers did an invaluable job clearing the destruction and financing Baraboo’s recovery. I wanted to be a permanent part of the process."

2007 Women to Watch Home