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Mar 7, 2023

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


March is International Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day. It’s the perfect time for the RIMScast debut of Jennifer Santiago! Jennifer is the Director for Risk Management and Safety at Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. Jennifer has served in RIMS for years, is a RIMS-CRMP holder, and is one of the most visible, vocal, and fun ambassadors at events like RISKWORLD 2023, where we will see her on stage!


In this interview, Jennifer shares her background, what excites her in risk management, and her passion for DE&I and ESB. She says that the risk management industry has been extremely homogenous for decades, which is too long! Tune in for today’s informative and exciting conversation!


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About the RIMS Membership.

[:14] Registration for RISKWORLD 2023 is now open!

[:26] About RIMScast.

[:38] About today’s episode.

[:47] All about upcoming RIMS webinars, workshops, events, and more!

[1:53] March is International Women’s History Month.

[2:07] About today’s episode with Jennifer Santiago.

[2:43] Justin welcomes RIMS 2023 President Jennifer Santiago to the podcast!

[3:11] Jennifer tells how she feels as President of RIMS, after years of involvement.

[3:36] How RIMS advances the risk management profession and individuals.

[4:44] How Jennifer moved her career in risk management through RIMS.

[5:23] Jennifer shares the 2023 RIMS theme of personal and organizational resilience. [6:30] The risk profession can lean on RIMS to get R.E.A.D.Y. for what is next.

R — Reconnecting and strengthening the bonds of the risk community.

E — Education as a critical path to personal and professional development.

A — Advocating for the profession around critical legislation.

D — DE&I, the foundation from which everything else stems.

Y — YOU, what RIMS can do for you as an individual RIMS professional.

[7:46] Why Jennifer is “long” on the risk management profession and CRO roles.

[8:31] Jennifer’s passion for DE&I. Why risk professionals should use DE&I. The industry has been extremely homogenous for decades. It’s not acceptable any longer.

[10:52] Meaningful things executives can do, such as forming Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and having DE&I Officers, to support DE&I in their organizations.

[13:01] What challenges are there for women to break into the pipeline and reach professional success? There should be no more one-size-fits-all stereotypes.

[15:22] Does Jennifer golf? Where are the deals being made now?

[16:08] RIMS plug time! About the RIMS DE&I Strategy page, RISKWORLD 2023, and in-person workshops in Atlanta before RISKWORLD.

[17:10] Justin revisits his interview with Josh Linkner, highlighting why live events are so critical, with the demand for human connection in this era of remote and hybrid work.

[19:18] About Jennifer’s career at Novartis, Penn State University, and Wakefern Food Corp. and her move from one to the other. Jennifer tells about being a change agent.

[20:36] Jennifer’s interest in company culture and the risk toolkit in different industries.

[21:16] How Jennifer does a deep dive when she takes on a new role and finds where she will bring the biggest value with the biggest impact.

[22:57] How Penn State and other Universities are like cities. The risk profile is extremely diverse and you are thrown into it, even in a pandemic.

[24:54] How risk management has a line-of-sight view around an organization and connects the dots to see the enterprise risk.

[26:09] About the evolution of risk management education. It’s being highlighted more and more as a necessary skill set. About the RIMS Rising Risk Professionals group.

[27:52] What resources the Spencer Educational Foundation provides for students.

[29:22] An example of a risk management insurance major graduating to a career.

[30:41] What Jennifer is excited about with running RISKWORLD 2023, post-COVID-19!

[33:11] Has Jennifer ever hosted a big event like RISKWORLD? She’s looking forward to using a transparent prompter!

[34:55] About the great keynote speakers for RISKWORLD, including Danica Patrick!

[35:38] Justin thanks Jennifer for being on RIMScast and tells of the links in the show notes, and how to sponsor a RIMScast episode! Justin describes other offers.


Mentioned in this Episode:

RISKWORLD 2023 — April 30‒May 3 in Atlanta, Georgia! Public registration is open!

Riskworld: In-Person Workshops April 29-‒30 | Save 30% on pre-conference workshops when you register to attend RISKWORLD!

RIMS Leadership Corner

“Jennifer Santiago Named RIMS 2023 President” (Press release)

RIMS Diversity Equity & Inclusion page

Contribute to Risk Management Magazine. | Learn more and donate today.

Upcoming Webinars:

“The Evolution of ESG” | Sponsored by Zurich | March 9, 2023

“Cyber Solutions: Parametric Protection of the Digital Supply Chain” | Sponsored by Parametrix | March 30, 2023

“Forced Labor and Supply Chains” | Sponsored by Sayari Analytics | April 13, 2023

See the full calendar of RIMS Virtual Workshops

Related RIMScast Episodes:

“Riskworld Keynote Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM President and CEO” (2023)

“Innovation and Improvisation with RISKWORLD Keynote Josh Linkner” (2023)

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

“Diversity as a Successful Business Division with Rodney Johnson”

“Spencer Educational Foundation 2022 Honoree Neeti Bhalla Johnson on Access to Education, DEI & ESG”

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

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

“Zurich’s Construction Sustainability Outlook for 2023”

“Aon’s 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Overview”

“ESG Through the Risk Lens” | Sponsored by Riskonnect

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

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

“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.

“Prioritizing People: 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.

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

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

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

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

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

“RIMScast: 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

RIMS Events, Education, and Services:

RIMS Risk Maturity Model®

RIMS Events App Apple | Google Play


RIMS Buyers Guide

Dan Kugler Risk Manager on Campus Grant

Sponsor RIMScast: Contact or for more information.

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

RIMS Advisory Services — Ask a Peer

Risk Management Magazine

Risk Management Monitor

RIMS Risk Leaders Series

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Stories — New interview featuring LA RIMS President Scott Ritto!

Spencer Educational Foundation

RIMS DEI Council

RIMS Path to the Boardroom


Want to Learn More?

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Join the Conversation!

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Follow up with Our Guest:

Jennifer Santiago on LinkedIn
RIMS Leadership Corner with RIMS 2023 President Jennifer Santiago


Tweetables (For Social Media Use):


“[Being in the RIMS community] is truly like a virtuous cycle of giving and receiving.” — Jennifer Santiago


“We need diverse perspectives from people; different backgrounds, knowledge, and experience to be effective and successful. … The industry has been extremely homogeneous for decades.” — Jennifer Santiago


“I think women bring all the same and more skills to the table as men do so there should really be no longer a one-size-fits-all stereotype of any gender, race, ethnicity, male, woman, and everything. … Women make excellent leaders.” — Jennifer Santiago


“I’m definitely a change agent and I haven’t met a challenge that I didn’t like. And that’s just me as a person, so not everyone has the appetite for that. … I’m comfortable being out of my comfort zone.” — Jennifer Santiago


“RISKWORLD is the premier event for all things risk management and for anyone in risk, … [or] you want to get in it, it’s a very inclusive, open environment for risk people. … I look forward to it every year.” — Jennifer Santiago