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2017 Break Out Awards, Midwest: Natalya Harvey

2017 Break Out Awards, Midwest: Natalya Harvey


Risk manager

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants

Countryside, Illinois

Age: 36

Natalya Harvey got into risk management quite by accident. She started with Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants in 2012 to oversee the company’s benefits program in its human resources department, but as the restaurant chain grew, so did her responsibilities as she asked more questions “and more things came under my umbrella.” Before Cooper’s Hawk, she worked in human resources for both Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. and Gift of Hope.

Best advice you’ve been given

Always ask questions and keep it simple. Those two have really been a driving force for me at Coopers Hawk. Being new to the restaurant industry, it was all about asking questions. Also, we use a lot of acronyms, we speak in insurance terms, and no one else knows what we’re talking about. Keep it simple, make it where everyone can understand.

Top industry concern

Cyber risk. For me, it’s such a faceless crime, and it’s one that really impacts so many different layers of the business. It’s the brand, it’s the reputation, it’s the financial piece, all of that falls into one. The guests and folks that we serve trust us with a lot of personal information. For us, it’s all about the cyber risk, understanding and making sure we mitigate that exposure as much as we possibly can.

Hobbies and interests

Event planning and decorating. I love planning parties and then creating all the decorations. It’s a way to escape from everything that’s going on and focus on what you’re doing in that moment. I think with risk management that project planning is already part of that, especially with all the different things that we work on.

Something people don’t know about you

I love zombies. I’m a horror movie junkie. I love zombie movies. That’s the only thing that I’ll watch. Anything zombie-related, I’ll watch it. If there’s a zombie apocalypse — I’m just saying — we’re ready.


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