2009 Women to Watch: Carolyn SnowPosted On: Dec. 6, 2009 12:00 AM CST
Director, Insurance Risk Management
Carolyn Snow proved to senior management that she was capable of much more than her responsibilities as an insurance programmer and was promoted to director of insurance risk management for Humana Inc. in 2002. She is responsible for operational and clinical risk management, which includes oversight of the corporate property/casualty insurance program. Additionally, she manages the company's captive and risk management information systems, consults on corporate contracts and workers compensation claims management, and is a member of the corporate mergers and acquisitions team. She is the risk manager in residence at Temple University in Philadelphia and Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Ms. Snow also is a board member of the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. and a volunteer for the book buddy program for the Jefferson County schools in Louisville, Ky.
Your professional role model: It's been a combination of people, picking up ideas and good practices in different places. In my early career, I had some really great managers who not only taught me the science of underwriting, but the art of underwriting and agency management. Janice Ochenkowski, immediate past president of RIMS, is one of my recent role models, and Jim Bloem, chief financial officer of Humana, is someone I respect for his ability to blend management of tough financial issues with great people skills.
Best professional advice you've received: The best advice I've ever received was from my father. It was to always treat each person with respect. It is not only great professional advice, it is even better advice for life.
Advice for women entering the field: I would encourage young women to enter the field of risk management. It's a great career. You touch every aspect of the organization; you have opportunities to learn so much and to work with many different people including senior management. It's really a great career if you really want to be a part of everything that is going on in the company and really be involved. Advice I give to risk management students is to take the opportunity that you get, if it's on the brokerage side or the company side, and make the most of it. It's great training to move into risk management later on. There are other opportunities in the industry.
What you wanted to be professionally while growing up: I intended to be a home economics teacher—I had some good role model examples of teachers. I've taught CPCU and IIA courses and I enjoy the learning process and working with interns and people new to the field. I fully intended to become a teacher; I just got distracted along the way.
The best book you've read recently: "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It's a bestseller and it's about the occupation of the Guernsey Islands by the Germans in World War II. It's a great book, very interesting and very well written.
Phone or e-mail and why: I prefer e-mail because it is so convenient. And I really hate to admit that.