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Jan 2, 2024

Welcome to RIMScast. Your host is Justin Smulison, Business Content Manager at RIMS, the Risk and Insurance Management Society.


We’re kicking off the new year with an interview with RIMS CEO Gary LaBranche. We look back on 2023, with almost 10,000 attending RISKWORLD 2023, and how RIMS reacted in a dangerous crisis, but mostly ahead to what’s in store for 2024. This includes Riskworld 2024 in San Diego, CA with its “infinite opportunities,” greatly expanded space for DEI, innovative keynote Peter Diamandis, and developments with the RIMS-CRMP, growing by roughly 20% yearly.

Listen in to CEO Gary LaBranche’s plans for chapters, what he foresees for AI in insurance and risk management, and more.


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About RIMScast.

[:14] Public registration for RISKWORLD 2024 is now open. Explore infinite opportunities with RIMS from May 5th through May 8th, 2024, in San Diego, California. Register at

[:30] About today’s episode of RIMScast. It’s our first episode of 2024 and we will be rejoined by RIMS CEO Gary LaBranche.

[:52] The RIMS-CRMP is the only competency-based risk management credential. That matters because earning the certification shows employers and recruiters that you have the skills necessary to manage risk and create value for your organization.
[1:08] Several Exam Prep virtual workshops are coming up, starting on January 13th, 20th, and 27th, 2024, the RIMS-CRMP Exam Virtual Workshop will be presented in conjunction with Conrad Clark Nigeria.

[1:26] The RIMS-CRMP-FED Exam Prep Virtual Workshop will be held on January 30th and February 1st. That’s a two-day course. Visit the certification page on for more information. A link is on this episode’s show notes.

[1:44] RIMS is gearing up for awards season. At RISKWORLD 2024, we will honor individuals, organizations, and chapters for their outstanding achievements in risk management. If you know someone who is truly making an impact on the risk profession and paving the way for future generations, consider drafting a nomination!

[2:02] The deadline to submit award nominations is Friday, January 5th, 2024. Last call for nominations! A link to the awards applications and guidelines page is in the show notes. Go to’s About Us page and see the awards link there. Nominations for Risk Manager of the Year have closed; other awards might appeal to you or a friend.

[2:33] The first episode of 2024 kicks off with a dialog with RIMS CEO Gary LaBranche. Gary is here to discuss some of the things that went really well for us in 2023, challenges that became opportunities, a preview of RISKWORLD 2024, and other fantastic opportunities for the greater risk management community and risk profession.

[3:15] Justin introduces RIMS CEO Gary LaBranche and welcomes Gary back to RIMScast for the first episode of 2024! Gary compliments Justin for the diversity of guests and notes that the RIMScast audience is just exploding! 

[4:14] In the next two weeks, we’re going to hear Sacha Coburn from New Zealand, the CEO of Coffee Culture, and on January 16, FERMA CEO Typhaine Beaupérin will be on the show.

[4:42] In February, Gary goes to New Zealand to participate in the New Zealand conference. On the same trip, he will stop by the Australia chapter, and then go to Singapore, where he will meet with RIMS-CRMP holders before making his way home.

[5:05] In October, Gary will attend the FERMA (Federation of European Risk Management Associations) meeting in Madrid. The FERMA President is Charlotte Hedemark, a RIMS-CRMP holder.

[5:47] Gary discusses 2023, his first full year leading RIMS. It’s been fun, challenging, and a learning adventure. Gary had come to RIMS in June 2022 from the Investor Relations Society, and at first, coming up to speed was like drinking from a firehouse. In 2023, he felt he could slow down from sprinting all day to jogging at an even pace.

[7:31] Gary says RISKWORLD 2023 was wild. If you’ve never been, you don’t fully appreciate the energy, the size, and the scope of it, with almost 10,000 attending, and amazing sponsors and exhibiting partners. It was fun, exciting, and engaging. As CEO, Gary was running around, meeting, greeting, and speaking for about 16 hours a day.

[9:08] Getting so many people together in person, fully engaged in learning, networking, and doing business, was a blast.

[9:40] Justin fills in the audience about the active shooter situation a couple of miles away at the close of the conference and prevented the closing keynote speaker from coming in. Gary LaBranche and the RIMS leadership handled things really well on what should be locked down. They turned the experience into an educational opportunity.

[10:44] About two-and-a-half miles away, in mid-town Atlanta, four women were shot, and another woman was killed in a shooting. No one affiliated with RISKWORLD or RIMS was involved.

[11:24] Police put up a security perimeter to apprehend the shooter and extract and treat the injured. The perimeter included four of the 32 hotels where RISKWORLD guests were staying and two of the eight shuttle bus routes were shut down. Gary tells of conflicting reports about the shooter at the time of the shutdown.

[13:10] They decided to cancel the closing general session and the famous closing party, out of concern for safety and out of respect for the families of the shooting victims. The gunman was not apprehended for eight hours.

[14:02] Immediately after the incident, RIMS leadership began a detailed, comprehensive after-action report and analysis. They wanted to understand what they did right, what they could have done better, and what they wanted to do differently in the future. They had executed their 72-page crisis management plan but they learned it wasn’t enough.

[14:33] As a result, RIMS officers Gary LaBranche, Stuart Ruff-Lyon, and Josh Salter have spoken at the ASAE meeting, the Expo! Expo!, a U.S. Chamber gathering of association CEOs, and the Professional Convention Management Association in San Diego on the same topic, sharing their after-action analysis, and what they did outside of the plan.

[15:50] They will continue to speak on the analysis. RIMS is producing a convention safety toolkit later this year; a guideline of best practices for convention and event safety to take care better of the hundreds of thousands of people who attend association and other events and meetings throughout the year.

[16:33] RIMS plug time! RIMS Virtual Workshops: Visit to see the full calendar. On January 16th and 17th, 2024, our friend and former RIMS president Chris Mandel will lead a two-day course, Captives as an Alternate Risk Financing Technique.

[16:54] On January 23rd and 24th, our friend Gail Kyomura will return to host Fundamentals of Insurance. Information about these workshops and others is on the RIMS Virtual Workshops page and a link to the full calendar is in this episode’s notes. [17:10] On January 4th, RIMS’s Public Policy Committee will explore Nevada’s “Defense Within The Limits” Ban. Katherine Henry of Bradley Arant was on RIMScast on a prior episode. She will be one of the co-presenters of that session.

[17:28] On January 16th, RIMS will present How Risk Managers Can Combat Human Trafficking In 2024. I’ll be hosting that session and will be joined by three expert panelists. I’m really looking forward to delivering this session and reaching you all.

[17:43] Visit to learn more about these webinars and to register! Links are in the show notes. Webinar registration is complimentary for RIMS members.

[17:56] A quick shoutout to our friends at the Spencer Educational Foundation, which funds the education of next-generation risk management and insurance talent. Spencer’s scholarships program is open but coming to a close on January 31st for undergraduate and graduate students and on March 1st for Ph.D. applicants.

[18:15] Also, Spencer’s course development grant cycle is entertaining submissions through February 15th. Students and risk management and insurance faculty with interest can visit for additional details.

[18:30] Gary LaBranche will be appearing at Embrace The Unknown: Unleashing the Power of Risk, a day-long event in Auckland, New Zealand, on February 12th, 2024, hosted by the RIMS New Zealand & Pacific Island Chapter. It will be a lot of fun and very informative. Innovation, technology, AI, and more will be explored.

[18:54] We had one of the speakers, Dr. Gav Schneider, on the show recently, and we had New Zealand chapter president Kerry Bakkerus on with us recently. Later this month, we will also be joined by Coffee Culture CEO Sacha Coburn who will be a speaker there, as well. Registration is still open. The link is on this episode’s show notes.

[19:24] The keynote speaker for RISKWORLD 2024 will be Peter Diamandis. Gary is a big fan. Peter has challenged Silicon Valley, tech in general, and entrepreneurs to push the envelope of innovation. He founded the X Prize Foundation to incentivize “moonshot” thinking in space travel and environmental and other kinds of activity.

[20:43] Peter Diamandis is an advisor to many of the biggest names in tech and is highly respected. With Steven Kotler, he wrote Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think. Gary calls Abundance one of the most fascinating books about the future and why it is better than you think it will be; with innovations that can make the world a better place.

[21:41] Gary highly recommends reading Abundance and coming to San Diego in May to see and hear Peter Diamandis. Justin asks Gary to get Peter Diamandis on RIMScast!

[22:15] DEI will have an expanded presence at RISKWORLD 2024. It won’t just be a lounge. The lounge space in 2023 was insufficient for how popular it was and the conversations that were held there. This year, it will have a theater. There will be a DEI reception to explore and celebrate the diversity that we so warmly embrace.

[23:17] Justin and Gary list some of the DEI advocacy groups that will be represented at RISKWORLD 2024. Their involvement is meaningful to RIMS and meaningful to the diverse communities. We need to work to enhance equity, inclusion, and diversity. [24:29] Looking to the future, there will be a fight for talent in a wave of retirement. Attracting and retaining the best and the brightest in this field will become more important than ever. It’s all hands on deck. We have to pursue every viable and reasonable strategy.

[24:59] Justin and Gary discuss the momentum of the RIMS-CRMP. RIMS-CRMP is RIMS’s fastest-growing program. There will be 1,200 certification holders in 2024, in 40+ countries. It’s growing roughly 20%, yearly. It is the only ANSI-accredited global risk management certification. RIMS announced a collaboration with PARIMA in 2023.

[26:15] Household name companies are now bringing RIMS-CRMP courses to their employees, 50 at a time. That’s helping to grow the program and raise awareness of it.

[27:04] RIMS Membership is growing. It declined during the COVID-19 pandemic when chapters couldn’t meet. It’s not quite back to pre-pandemic levels but it’s getting close. RIMS grew about 10% in 2023. That is very exciting. Chapters are getting back online and back to their business of bringing people together.

[27:54] RIMS launched a program in 2023 to help provide higher-quality websites for the branches. About 30 chapters have accepted this free program. That will continue to grow in 2024. RIMS provides a management infrastructure for chapters to help with administrivia. Running a chapter is a lot of work. All chapters run on volunteer effort.

[30:39] As we re-emerge from the height of the pandemic, Justin and Gary agree that the future of the chapters is looking bright with face-to-face and digital presence. Gary hints at interesting programming ahead. Trying to skate to where the puck is going to be is a challenge for any organization, especially for large organizations.

[31:25] At RISKWORLD 2024 in San Diego, they are dedicating an entire stream of programming sessions to AI, which will be the big game changer for insurance management and risk management. It’s already starting to impact the way insurance is analyzed and priced, and how worker’s compensation claims are managed.

[32:11] We all owe it to ourselves to continue to monitor and learn about Generative AI and, generally speaking, other forms of large language models. I think it’s going to be critical for us, going forward.

[32:28] Thanks to RIMS CEO Gary LaBranche for rejoining us on the first 2024 episode of RIMScast!

[32:37] RISKWORLD 2024 will be held from May 5th through May 8th in San Diego, California. Learn all about the infinite opportunities to be had at RISKWORLD by visiting The link is in the show notes.

[32:52] Go to the App Store and download the RIMS App. This is an exclusive members-only benefit with all sorts of RIMS resources and coverage. Everybody loves the RIMS App!

[33:19] You can sponsor a RIMScast episode for this, our weekly show, or a dedicated episode. Links to sponsored episodes are in our show notes. RIMScast has a global audience of risk professionals, legal professionals, students, business leaders, C-Suite executives, and more. Let’s collaborate! Contact for more information.

[34:02] Become a RIMS member and get access to the tools, thought leadership, and network you need to succeed. Visit or email for more information. The RIMS app is a benefit of RIMS membership and is available only for RIMS members! You can find it in the App Store.

[34:28] Risk Knowledge is the RIMS searchable content library that provides relevant information for today’s risk professionals. Materials include RIMS executive reports, survey findings, contributed articles, industry research, benchmarking data, and more.

[34:44] For the best reporting on the profession of risk management, read Risk Management Magazine at, and check out the blog at Justin Smulison is Business Content Manager at RIMS. You can email Justin at

[35:06] Thank you for your continued support and engagement on social media channels! We appreciate all your kind words. Listen every week! Stay safe!


Mentioned in this Episode:

Riskworld 2024 — San Diego, CA | May 5–8, 2024

RIMS Riskworld Award Nominations — Jan. 5, 2024, is the deadline to submit nominations!

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)


Spencer Educational Foundation

Spencer Educational Foundation — Grants Page

Embrace The Unknown: Unleashing the Power of Risk | Hosted Live & In-Person by RIMS NZ & PI | Feb. 12, 2024

Dan Kugler Risk Manager on Campus Grant

RIMS Webinars:

Nevada’s “Defense Within The Limits” Ban Explored | Presented by RIMS Public Policy Committee | Jan. 4, 2024

How Risk Managers Can Combat Human Trafficking In 2024 | Presented by RIMS | Jan. 16, 2024

Upcoming Virtual Workshops:

See the full calendar of RIMS Virtual Workshops

RIMS-CRMP Prep Workshops

Related RIMScast Episodes:

“2023 Risk Year In Review with RIMS Risk Management Magazine Leaders Morgan O’Rourke and Hilary Tuttle”

“Legal and Risk Trends with Katherine Henry”

“Solving Wicked Problems with Dr. Gav Schneider”

“RIMS Global Perspectives with 2023 RIMS chapter presidents featuring Kerry Bakkerus”

“RIMS Public Policy and Advocacy 2023”

“Strategic Moves with RIMS CEO Gary LaBranche” (2023)

“Taking the ‘Next Steps’ with NAAIA Executive Director and COO Omari Jahi Aarons” (2023)

“Risk Insight with AAIN Leadership” (2023)

“Introducing RIMS CEO Gary LaBranche” (2022)

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

Why Subrogation is the New Arbitration” | Sponsored by Fleet Response (New!)

Cyclone Season: Proactive Preparation for Loss Minimization | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Subrogation and the Competitive Advantage” | Sponsored by Fleet Response

“Cyberrisk Outlook 2023” | Sponsored by Alliant

“Chemical Industry: How To Succeed Amid Emerging Risks and a Challenging Market” | Sponsored by TÜV SÜD

“Insuring the Future of the Environment” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Insights into the Gig Economy and its Contractors” | Sponsored by Zurich

“The Importance of Disaster Planning Relationships” | Sponsored by ServiceMaster

“Technology, Media and Telecom Solutions in 2023” | Sponsored by Allianz

“Analytics in Action” | Sponsored by Alliant

“Captive Market Outlook and Industry Insights” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Using M&A Insurance: The How and Why” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Zurich’s Construction Sustainability Outlook for 2023”

“ESG Through the Risk Lens” | Sponsored by Riskonnect

“A Look at the Cyber Insurance Market” | Sponsored by AXA XL


RIMS Publications, Content, and Links:

RIMS Membership — Whether you are a new member or need to transition, be a part of the global risk management community!

RIMS Virtual Workshops

On-Demand Webinars

Risk Management Magazine

Risk Management Monitor

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Stories — New interview featuring Chris Mandel!

Spencer Educational Foundation

RIMS DEI Council


RIMS Events, Education, and Services:

RIMS Risk Maturity Model®

RIMS Events App Apple | Google Play

RIMS Buyers Guide

Sponsor RIMScast: Contact or for more information.


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About our guests


Kerry Bakkerus — President of the RIMS New Zealand and Pacific Island Chapter.

Morgan O’Rourke and Hilary Tuttle — The leaders of the RIMS flagship publication, Risk Management Magazine.


Tweetables (Edited For Social Media Use):

It’s exhausting, is what the year 2023 was! It’s been fun, it’s been challenging, it’s been exciting, it’s been a learning adventure! — Gary LaBranche


Immediately after the shooting incident, we began a very detailed, comprehensive, thorough after-action report and analysis because we wanted to understand what we did right, what we could have done better, and what we wanted to do differently in the future. — Gary LaBranche


We all owe it to ourselves to continue to monitor and learn about Generative AI and, generally speaking, other forms of large language models. I think it’s going to be critical for us, going forward. — Gary LaBranche