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RIMS 2015 agenda includes sports and risk management student competition


Attendees of the 2015 Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.'s conference and exhibition in New Orleans will have ample opportunity to indulge their love of competition while supporting good causes.

Running for fun

People looking to break a sweat while helping to raise money for the Spencer Educational Foundation Inc. can attend the inaugural Spencer 5K Fun Run, sponsored by Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc.

The idea for the run came to Jarrod Magan, Memphis, Tennessee-based vice president of client technology services for Sedgwick, during last year's RIMS conference.

“While running with one of our clients in Denver last year, it occurred to me that the RIMS conference would provide an ideal platform for staging a 5K run given the industry's focus on health and wellness,” Mr. Magan said. “It was my moment of inspiration, and it has snowballed from there.”

The race is scheduled for 7 a.m. on April 28 and will start and finish in front of Harrah's Casino, taking runners through a 3.1-mile course along the historic waterfront of downtown New Orleans. Mr. Magan calls the course selection a “no-brainer” and said people unable to participate can sponsor a runner in the race.

“We are already approaching 60 runners and are still a month out from the conference date,” he said. “We have been impressed with the turnout thus far, but we can take as many as 200 to 225 runners and still be comfortable.”

Hitting the links

While the Spencer 5K is new this year, the traditional Spencer/Gallagher Golf Tournament is being sponsored by insurance brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. for the 24th year. The tournament will tee off at 8 a.m. April 26 at Lakewood Golf Club.

In addition to their clubs, golfers may want to bring their appetites, said Butler Bourgeois, Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based area vice president with Gallagher and tournament chairman. Participants will find a series of Louisiana culinary treasures from gumbo to jambalaya to shrimp po'boys waiting for them every two holes along the course.

“Because we are in Louisiana, we decided to do something a little unique with our home-course advantage,” Mr. Bourgeois said, noting the treats will be provided by some of New Orleans' finest restaurants, including Bourbon House, Bayou Burger & Sports Company, Copeland's of New Orleans, Danny Barry Catering, as well some of Gallagher's own employees. “The whole idea is to eat your way through the course.”

Mr. Bourgeois also said he was looking forward to being on the course, which is nestled among regal cypress and oak trees.

Finding the next generation

A different type of competitive spirit will be on display at the second annual Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge, which will pit eight teams of risk management students from various universities against each other.

The teams of four or fewer students are tasked with presenting a comprehensive plan to solve a real-world risk management problem furnished by the Walt Disney Co. before a judging panel of risk management professionals and potential employers.

“When you look at the last few years, one of the most exciting things we have gotten involved with at Spencer is the Risk Management Challenge,” said Brion Callori, Providence, Rhode Island-based chairman of the Spencer Educational Foundation and senior vice president of engineering and research at FM Global.

Mr. Callori said he was struck by the quality of the presentations during last year's challenge.

“As we are exposed to the types of students coming through these schools, you are also getting people in the industry more excited about its future,” he said. “It's really impressive to see the talent that's out there.”

Twenty teams from across the United States and Canada were selected to participate in a three-month competition for the slots. The eight finalists are from Appalachian State University, Butler University, Florida State University, Missouri State University, St. Mary's University, Temple University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Georgia.

The top three teams will be recognized during the conference finale and awarded cash prizes.

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