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Apr 16, 2024

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


Justin Smulison interviews Emily Buckley about her career after ten years at Kroenke Sports Entertainment and two years at Specialized Bicycle Components. Emily shares how she learned and developed, working with people around the world at Kroenke, and then how she moved to Specialized Bicycle Components seeking greater opportunities for advancement. Emily is a Board Director at the RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter after being recruited to the chapter by Peggi Miller, her first risk management boss. Emily speaks of her enjoyment of risk management, and how she has been supported and mentored. In keeping with the laid-back atmosphere at Specialized, Justin and Emily keep the bicycle puns in motion throughout the interview.

Key Takeaways:

[:01] About RIMS and 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

[:31] About today’s EPISODE of RIMScast. My guest is Emily Buckley. She is a Board Director of the RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter and the Insurance Risk Manager for Specialized Bicycle Components.

[:57] The timing of Emily’s RIMScast debut is strategic. You’ll find out why in a moment!

[1:02] As you know, RISKWORLD 2024 is coming up from May 5th through May 8th, 2024, in sunny San Diego, California. Registration is open at Register today! There’s a link in this episode's show notes.

[1:22] In Episode 276 of RIMScast we had opening keynote Peter Diamandis join us. Check out that episode for just a taste of what’s in store for RISKWORLD 2024. The full roster of keynotes has been announced! I’m so excited! We will be welcoming Academy Award-winning actress, director, and activist, Marlee Matlin!

[1:46] For our industry keynote, we will be rejoined by Evan G. Greenberg, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chubb Limited and Chubb Group. That session will be sponsored by Chubb. Just announced, our closing keynote on May 8th will be Daymond G. John. You know him from Shark Tank. He’s also the Founder of FUBU. I’m a big fan!

[2:11] I’m extremely excited about that closing keynote on May 8th! Experience all the energies of our keynotes at RISKWORLD! Register at We want to see you there!

[2:25] There’s a strategic reason Emily Buckley is now making her RIMScast debut. April is Supply Chain Integrity Month and May is National Bike Month, which has a Bike to Work Week, starting May 13th, Bike to Work Day on May 17th, National Ride a Bike Day on May 5th, and several other special days.

[2:53] When Justin thinks of bicycles and supply chains, Emily Buckley comes to mind because of her great work leading risk at Specialized Bicycle Components. Considering recent events, it’s a good time to speak about supply chain risk management with Emily.

[3:09] It’s an opportunity to discuss what it’s like to work for a globally recognized brand and get an update from the RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter and what’s happening in Colorado.

[3:18] Justin and Emily met at the RIMS ERM Conference 2023. Emily Buckley, welcome to RIMSCast!

[3:31] Emily Buckley was an ambassador to Global RIMS at the RIMS ERM Conference. Emily is excited to be on the show!

[3:59] May 5th is National Ride a Bike Day and April is Supply Chain Integrity Month. Emily is the Insurance Risk Manager for Specialized Bicycle Components! Emily is also a Board Director for the RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter.

[4:36] When Justin met Emily he thought she was like the queen of Colorado. Emily was involved on the periphery of the RIMS ERM Conference. RIMS organized a tour of Ball Arena, and Emily worked there with Peggi Miller, VP of ERM at Kroenke.

[5:21] Emily was in the Risk Management Department of Ball Arena for 10 years. Peggi was her boss for all her time there. Peggi was the one who took a chance and hired her as a 20-something-year-old who knew just enough about insurance to be dangerous.

[5:52] In 10 years, Emily rose from Analyst to Director of Risk Management under Peggi’s mentorship. Peggi’s knowledge and experience in the industry are invaluable. Peggi launched Emily in her career; Emily says she will always be in Peggi’s debt.

[6:17] Working for KSE at Ball Arena exposed Emily to a portfolio of different industries, lines of business, and risks. Emily led several projects. It took her a couple of years to build a reputation. As she developed, she asked Peggi for more responsibility and Peggi gave her anything she wanted to take on.

[7:03] Peggi Miller is the Vice President of Risk Management at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) and the Vice President of the RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter.

[7:53] Before Emily started at the Ball Arena, they hosted the Democratic National Convention. She recalls March Madness. The Monster Jam sticks out to her. They hauled in lots of dirt and the building smelled like dirt for days. Years ago, they did a circus with animals. Walking past the caged tigers was fun!

[10:03] Emily loved her job and the people at KSE but the opportunity to advance further wasn’t there. She was looking at the job market and saw a posting for Specialized. She thought that this could be an opportunity to build something.

[10:39] Going through the interview process, she found this was a new position for them. They were looking for someone with experience to come in and build a program and department from the ground up. She couldn’t say no. This was in August of 2022.

[11:30] Emily is a department of one person at a global company. She gets to meet or talk to many teammates from around the world. Every day is a new adventure. The challenge is that,  as a department of one, things can’t get bottlenecked through her. She has learned to delegate a lot and automate as many of the simpler items as she can.

[12:28] Having a broker who understands and supports Emily’s role has been very helpful. The broker has taken things off her plate and has been as helpful as possible going above and beyond what a broker normally does.

[13:06] Emily is working on taking off the training wheels at Specialized. She is not yet a cyclist but she has her eye on a mountain e-bike that she’s very excited about.

[14:21] Specialized Bicycle Components is headquartered in Morgan Hill, California. Emily believes it is the best bicycle company in the world. Their products are unmatched. They make e-bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, a fantastic line of bikes for kids, and e-bikes for kids. Their riders are the best in the world.

[14:59] Emily works remotely. It was a challenge at first but after COVID-19, working remotely has become the norm. Justin says working remotely takes a little greasing the wheel to build rapport. Emily gets to locations as much as she can to have face time, shake hands, and have lunch with people to get to know them on a personal level.

[16:02] Emily explains how her experiences heading projects at KSE are beginning to apply to her work at Specialized Bicycle Components. Now that Specialized has a dedicated person/department to focus energy and resources, they can accomplish ERM projects they have wanted to do for some time. The executives tell her to run with them.

[17:58] They ask Emily, how can we help you, how can we support you? She loves that Specialized empowers its employees to run with projects and ideas and bring them to the next level.

[18:17] RIMS plug time! You can sign up now for RISKWORLD pre-conference workshops. They will all be held on May 4th and 5th at the San Diego Convention Center. The link is in this episode’s show notes.

[18:30] The topics include but are not limited to Applying and Integrating ERM, Fundamentals of Insurance, and a RIMS-CRMP Exam Prep Workshop. Go to, go to Learn, and then Workshops and you’ll find them there.

[18:46] RIMS Virtual Workshops: Visit to see the full calendar. Virtual workshops are in session, beginning in June, starting with Leveraging Data and Analytics for Continuous Risk Management. That’s a three-part course that begins on June 6th. We’ve got Fundamentals of Insurance on June 11th and 12th.

[19:07] We’ve got Fundamentals of Risk Management on June 18th and 19th and we’ve got Captives as an Alternate Risk Financing Technique on June 26th and 27th.

[19:16] More 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 show notes.

[19:24] RIMS Webinars: On April 18th, Hub International returns for the second installment of its Ready For Tomorrow Series, Challenging the Status Quo: Rethinking Your Casualty Risk Strategy.

[19:37] Archer makes its RIMS Webinars debut on April 23rd at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. The session is titled Advancing RMIS: Strategies for Modern Risk Management. On April 30th, to close out Supply Chain Integrity Month, we welcome Moody’s, who will present Resilience in Turbulent Times: Navigating Geopolitical Challenges in Supply Chains.

[20:05] Visit to learn more about these webinars and to register! Links are in the show notes. Webinar registration is complimentary for RIMS members.

[20:18] The RIMS ERM Conference 2024 will be held on November 18th and 19th in Boston, Massachusetts. RIMS continues to present the best conference agenda by featuring the most engaged and knowledgeable risk professionals leading the discussions.

[20:34] RIMS wants to hear from you. Submit your session by Friday, May 3rd. A link is in this episode’s show notes. The best submissions will address current and future issues facing ERM practitioners and provide takeaways for an audience of risk professionals, business leaders, students, government officers, legal professionals, and more.

[20:55] You must keep it relevant to ERM and Strategic Enterprise Risk Management. Remember, product sales pitches are not acceptable nor appropriate as part of the RIMS ERM Conference Education Program.

[21:19] Emily speaks of the culture at Specialized Bicycle Components, a California-based company. It’s built around fun, adventure, and creativity. Emily says risk managers are often known as the “fun police.” Risk management is a balance there. She is there to advise and keep the company safe.

[23:42] With COVID-19, the supply chain was a challenge for a lot of companies. Specialized saw thefts coming in and out of Los Angeles. That was a huge challenge that Specialized worked to circumvent by diverting out of L.A. and putting in some controls. Within a few months, thefts were down. That was all before Emily was hired.

[24:52] A recent supply chain challenge was the barge that hit the Key Bridge in Baltimore in March. Besides the losses to families, the shipping containers may never reach their destination, leading to cargo losses and claims.

[26:22] Regarding the war in Ukraine and Russia, when Emily was at Kroenke, the concern was to make sure there were no employees there and that Kroenke complied with sanctions about paying companies there. With sports teams, there are players from around the world. Ukraine and Russia have not caused disruptions with Specialized.

[27:45] The challenge with e-bikes is the batteries make underwrites and engineers incredibly nervous. Media carry reports of homes burning from batteries. It’s becoming mainstream for homes to have some sort of Lithium-ion battery in them. The industry is scrambling to figure out how to manage these risks.

[29:28] Engineers are still developing best practices for Lithium-ion batteries, including how to store them in warehouses. Insurance is about relationships, and being able to get in front of people and tell your story. Specialized Bicycles has an amazing story to tell and they want to tell it to their underwriters.

[30:33] The RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter has a brand new website! One of the Directors, Taneal Pickles, revamped the website to improve the chapter’s image.

[31:17] The RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter hosted the RIMS Western Regional Conference in 2023. It was hosted in Vail in early October. Emily says it was fantastic and they could not have picked a better week to do it. The fall colors were popping. They did some hiking. There was great content with great speakers.

[31:58] Emily says the RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter is “just a bunch of insurance nerds who like to have fun and talk about insurance now and then.” The chapter President, Neil Colclough, supports Emily and the ideas she brings forward. Emily started a social events committee for fun monthly events with peers.

[32:41] Peggi recruited Emily into the RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter. It took a few tries but Emily is glad she succeeded. It has been a fun ride. On June 20th there will be a Rockies game and picnic for members. The 28th annual golf tournament will be in Littleton, Colorado at Arrowhead Golf Course in August. It’s already sold out.

[33:28] To learn more about the RIMS Rocky Mountain Branch, go to

[34:04] Emily’s advice to new risk managers: “Network! This industry is all about whom you know; your connections are going to be invaluable. This industry, at the foundation, is your relationships with people and how you know them.” It’s work and you have to be intentional with it. It pays off!

[34:53] Justin is glad he and Emily spoke! Just before RISKWORLD, Emily is going to speak at the World Broker Network Global Conference in San Diego, on a client panel. She will also attend RISKWORLD. Justin thanks Emily for being on RIMScast!

[36:03] Special thanks again to RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter Board Director, Emily Buckleyn for joining us here on RIMScast! Visit for more information about that fantastic chapter! Justin is looking forward to seeing her at RISKWORLD, as well, in San Diego, from May 5th through May 8th.

[36:26] 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!

[36:51] 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.

[37:34] Become a RIMS member and get access to the tools, thought leadership, and network you need to succeed. Visit or email for more information.

[37:51] 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.

[38:06] For the best reporting on the profession of risk management, read Risk Management Magazine at It is written and published by the best minds in risk management. Justin Smulison is the Business Content Manager at RIMS. You can email Justin at

[38:27] 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

RISKWORLD Pre-Conference Workshops



RIMS DEI Council

Spencer Educational Foundation — Grants Page

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Virtual Workshops

RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter

RIMS ERM Conference 2024 — Nov 18-19 — Boston, MA — Call For Session Submissions by May 3.

National Supply Chain Integrity Month (April)

National Bike Month Days and Events (May)


RIMS Webinars:

Hub’s “Ready for Tomorrow” series: “Challenging the Status Quo: Rethinking Your Casualty Risk Strategy” | Sponsored by Hub International | April 18, 2024

Advancing RMIS: Strategies for Risk Management | Sponsored by Archer | April 23, 2024

Resilience In Turbulent Times: Navigating Geopolitical Challenges in Supply Chains | Sponsored by Moody’s | April 30, 2024

Upcoming Virtual Workshops:

See the full calendar of RIMS Virtual Workshops

RIMS-CRMP Prep Workshops

Related RIMScast Episodes:

“RISKWORLD 2024 Keynote Peter Diamandis”

“Bridging The Workers' Comp Talent Gap with Nikki Jackson”

“RIMS 2023 Rising Star Emily L. Bloedel”

“Risk and Compliance Tips for Importers and Exporters” (2022)

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

“Elevating RMIS — The Archer Way” | Sponsored by Archer (New!)

“Alliant’s P&C Outlook For 2024” | Sponsored by Alliant

“Why Subrogation is the New Arbitration” | Sponsored by Fleet Response

“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


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-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Stories — New interview featuring Manny Padilla!

Spencer Educational Foundation

“Leveraging Insurance and Risk Management to Address Political Risk” — RIMS Executive Report


RIMS Events, Education, and Services:

RIMS Risk Maturity Model®

RIMS Events App Apple | Google Play


Sponsor RIMScast: Contact or for more information.


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About our guest:

Emily Buckley: Insurance Risk Manager —
Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.

Board Director, RIMS Rocky Mountain Chapter

Tweetables (Edited For Social Media Use):

Specialized Bicycle Components was looking for someone to come in, who had experience and could build a program and a department from the ground up. The stars aligned and I couldn’t say no. — Emily Buckley


The executive team at Specialized says, Yes, whatever you want to do, let us know, and run with it! Go! We need this! This is important! How can we help you? — Emily Buckley


Learning the culture and philosophy of the company has been a lot of fun at Specialized Bicycle Components. — Emily Buckley


Network! This industry is all about whom you know; your connections are going to be invaluable. This industry, at the foundation, is your relationships with people and how you know them. — Emily Buckley