MaryAnn SackmanPosted On: Dec. 4, 2011 12:00 AM CST
RMI Consulting L.L.C.
Port Washington, N.Y.
In 1980, MaryAnn Sackman and James Barber co-founded RMI Consulting L.L.C., a Port Washington, N.Y.-based risk management firm specializing in on-site consulting to minimize liability for clients across the commercial spectrum, including food retailers and wholesalers, real estate and health care. At RMI, where she has been president since the company's founding, she established the RPG Management division, aligning industry-specific clients for advantageous group purchasing power for the most comprehensive, cost-effective coverage. Ms. Sackman has been recognized for her leadership role as a businesswoman and named a Top Influential Woman by both the Long Island Business News and New York Real Estate Journal. She is currently a board member for the Long Island chapter of the March of Dimes, as well as St. Mary's Hospital for Children in Bayside, N.Y. She is an avid hunter and received the Diana Award in 2009 for being the most prolific female huntress in the world as recognized by Safari Club International.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
Listen to what the clients want and then fulfill their needs with good service. We're really proactive with our clients about determining their needs and then finding ways to service those needs.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE LEARNED IN YOUR CAREER?
I think uncovering how to make a positive difference in my clients' businesses has been most interesting. I like the problem-solving aspect of my job—hearing a problem or a concern, figuring out a way to fix it and then actually fixing it.
DID YOU HAVE A MENTOR EARLY IN YOUR CAREER?
I actually came into the business because of my brother-in-law, whom I used to work for part-time. He is a brilliant insurance man. He gave me an opportunity, and from that opportunity I went ahead and made my career happen. I left my first career as a nurse to start working with him full-time.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB, OUTSIDE OF YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
I actually had my dream job when I started my career as a nurse. The hours and the pay were wearing, though. In my current career, I still am able to help people, and that is where my dream truly is. Whether it's in the insurance business or nursing, helping people get to where they need to be is my dream job.
OUTSIDE OF FAMILY AND COLLEAGUES, WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
The people I admire most are those individuals who have disabilities and shortcomings in some way—whether it's financial or physical, or they may have learning difficulties—as they work hard to overcome their obstacles and succeed in life.
WHAT'S YOUR CAN'T-MISS TV SHOW?
I don't have much time for television, but “True Blood” would be my show if I had to have one. I just find it entertaining and not reality.
BEYOND WORK, WHAT ONE THING DO YOU WANT TO DO OR ACCOMPLISH IN LIFE?
I work on the board of St. Mary's Children's Hospital in Queens. I am working to with them to start a continuing life community for disabled children through adulthood. We're trying to develop 10 group homes on one property in Long Island to give back to the community. Ideally, there will be eight to 10 kids per home with a recreation center in the middle. Kids with different disability levels can work in the community, serving the community of kids who are more disabled. St Mary's Children's Hospital is 100% behind the project, and together we will make this happen.
DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA? IF NOT, WHY NOT?
I am on Facebook and LinkedIn. I very rarely use social media, though. It takes a lot of time, and I don't really find it productive.