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Jun 21, 2022

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


In celebration of Pride Month, Juneteenth, and National Indigenous History Month, Justin is joined by Denise Williamee, the Director and Vice President of Corporate Services at Steel City Re, and Tara Lessard-Webb, the Director of Corporate Governance at Intact. Both Denise and Tara are prominent members of the RIMS DE&I Council and are here to discuss why Indigenous People’s Heritage is so critical to them personally; how we, as a community, can better support the Indigenous population; and what organizations and associations can do to craft a successful DE&I campaign that can bring more awareness and support to underrepresented groups.


Awareness is the starting point. Tune in to learn more about what you can do to get more involved with these important dates, and better support and uplift as an ally.


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About the RIMS Membership.

[:16] About RIMScast.

[:27] About today’s episode with Denise Williamee and Tara Lessard-Webb.

[:50] Upcoming RIMS webinars and workshops.

[1:19] About the upcoming RIMS Canada Conference in Halifax.

[1:45] About the RIMS ERM Conference 2022.

[2:24] More about today’s episode!

[3:16] Justin welcomes Tara Lessard-Webb and Denise Williamee to RIMScast.

[3:33] About Denise’s role at Steel City Re and how she contributes to RIMS as a member of the RIMS DE&I Council.

[4:07] About Tara’s full-time role and how she contributes to RIMS alongside Denise.

[4:25] Tara shares about National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous People's Day, why they are both so critical, and what we can do as a community to support our Indigenous population.

[7:20] Denise shares about her background and what inspired her to join the RIMS DE&I Council.

[8:18] How RIMS leaders and risk management professionals globally can support Indigenous communities.

[10:42] Denise’s thoughts on what we can do to make companies more sustainable and better support Indigenous communities.

[12:11] RIMS plug time! All about upcoming RIMS events, workshops, and more!

[14:54] Tara’s recommended summer solstice reading list in the spirit of Heritage Month.

[16:14] Tara shares her recommendations on how companies and associations can craft a successful DE&I campaign.

[20:20] Denise shares her advice on how to run a successful DE&I campaign and examples of what it might look like in practice.

[21:16] How do days like National Independence Day/Juneteenth, reverberate inside and outside the U.S.?

[22:54] How you can support as an ally during Juneteenth.

[24:21] About the resources in the links below.

[24:32] Tara highlights the importance of Pride Month.

[25:32] Denise shares her final thoughts on the importance of DE&I.

[26:25] Justin thanks Tara and Denise for joining the podcast and shares some of the links to check in today’s show notes.


Mentioned in this Episode:

Indigenous Services Canada

Learn more about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples across Canada (

Risk Management Magazine (June 2022) | "The Critical Role of Allyship in DE&I Initiatives

"Summer Solstice Reading Suggestions"

Indigenomics: Taking a Seat at the Economic Table, by Carol Anne Hilton

The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet, by Sheila Watt-Cloutier

RIMS Events, Education, and Services:

RIMS Diversity Equity & Inclusion Vision Statement


RIMS Canada 2022 — Turning Tides — Sept. 11th‒14th in Halifax!

RIMS Advocacy — Legislative Summit Returns on September 20th!

Spencer Educational Foundation | Annual Gala Returns Sept. 22, 2022

RIMS ERM Conference 2022: Call For Session Proposals — Due June 22!

RIMS Buyers Guide

RISKWORLD registrants can still access educational sessions on-demand through the RISKWORLD app and through desktop here.

Dan Kugler Risk Manager on Campus Grant

RIMS Announces Gary LaBranche as New CEO

Sponsor RIMScast: Contact or for more information.

In-Person Events:

The 2022 Florida RIMS Educational Conference | Naples, FL | July 26‒July 30

Create a Contract that Effectively Transfers Risk | Naples, FL | July 30‒31

Virtual Workshops: 

“Managing Worker Compensation, Employer’s Liability and Employment Practices in the U.S.” – June 22‒23 | 10 a.m.‒5:30 p.m. EST

“Captives as an Alternate Risk Financing Technique” – July 13‒14

“Fundamentals of Risk Management” – Aug 10‒11


June 28, 2022 | “Your Greatest Asset: Smart Risk Management in the Age of Workforce Transformation” | Sponsored by Travelers

June 30, 2022 | “What Really Happens When You Negotiate with a Hacker?” | Sponsored by Gallagher Core Insights 360

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

“How to Reduce Lithium-Ion Battery Fire Risks” | Sponsored by TÜV SÜD (NEW)

“Managing Global Geopolitical Risk in 2022 and Beyond” | Sponsored by AXA XL

Keeping Subcontractors Safe Through Partner Elevation” | Sponsored by Highwire

“ESG: A Responsibility and a Growing Megatrend” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Focusing on Your Team to Deliver Exceptional Quality and Service to Your Clients” | Sponsored by Gallagher Bassett

“Bermuda Opportunities in 2022 with BDA Chair Stephen Weinstein” | Sponsored by Bermuda Business Development Agency

“SyncR: A Tool to Enhance Your Risk Quality & Insurance Strategy” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Navigating the Risk Landscape in 2022” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Prioritizing People: Expertise and Innovation” | Sponsored by Gallagher Bassett

“Risk Findings for the Industrial & Manufacturing Industry” | Sponsored by Aon

“Establishing the Right Assurance to Request From Business Partners” | Sponsored by HITRUST

“Aon’s 2021 Retail Industry Overview” | Sponsored by Aon

“A Legacy of Resilience” | Sponsored by J.B. Boda Group

“The Golden Era of Insurance” | Sponsored by The Hartford

“Insurance Investigation Trends Happening Now” | Sponsored by Travelers

“What Could a CRO Do for Your Business?” | Sponsored by Riskonnect

“Hard Reality: A Look at Rising Rates in Property & Excess Casualty” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Property Valuation Deep Dive” | Sponsored by TÜV SÜD

“Property Loss Control Engineering” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers

NEW RIMSCAST VIDEO: “Climate Change and Insurance: A Fireside Chat with Dev Bhutani and Deepak Madan” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

Related RIMScast Episodes:

“Launching DEI Initiatives with Tara Lessard-Webb”

“Pride Month 2021: How Risk Pros Can Protect and Uplift LGBTQ+ Employees”

“Diversity as a Successful Business Division with Rodney Johnson”

“Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021”

“Discussing Black History Month and the Risk Profession with Tammy Franklin of Marsh”

“Pride Month with RIMS D&I Council Members, Kevin Thomas, and Victoria Nolan”

“Talking Diversity and ERM at the RIMS ERM Conference 2019”

“The Current State of the Risk Management Profession’s Talent Supply, Future Outlooks, and the Influence of Diversity and Inclusion Programs”

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

Upcoming RIMS Webinars

On-Demand Webinars

RIMS Advisory Services — Ask a Peer

Risk Management Magazine

Risk Management Monitor

RIMS Coronavirus Information Center

RIMS Risk Leaders Series

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Stories — New interview featuring RIMS Treasurer Jennifer Santiago!

Spencer Educational Foundation

RIMS DEI Council

RIMS Path to the Boardroom


Want to Learn More?

Keep up with the podcast on and listen on iTunes.

Have a question or suggestion? Email:


Join the Conversation!

Follow @RIMSorg on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Follow up with Our Guests:

Tara Lessard-Webb’s LinkedIn

Denise Williamee’s LinkedIn


Tweetables (For Social Media Use):


“Now is the time to reflect and recognize where we are in our present state and look forward to what we can do better in the future. First, we need to promote healing within the [Indigenous] community.” — Tara Lessard-Webb


“I think education is the foundation. It’s an important starting point to create more awareness. … Awareness is key.” Tara Lessard-Webb


“Diversity is a constantly evolving, living issue that’s going on. [DE&I is] something that needs to be implemented.” — Denise Williamee