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Nov 28, 2023

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


Lawanda “Elle Michell” Hall joins me today to share her accumulated knowledge as a risk professional in the corporate space and as a passionate risk entrepreneur. Elle had known from her days in high school math that she wanted to be a risk management professional. She explains how she navigated that path through her chosen major, her student affiliation with RIMS, and by taking a position in claims to experience risk management from the client’s point of view. She shares some of her experiences in supply chain risk at Coca-Cola, and her plans for her company, Intelligent Intentions.


Having grown up in urban Atlanta, she is passionate about risk management in the community and for small businesses looking to participate in the supply chains of enterprise companies.

Listen in for a passionate plea for improved education and communication around risk management for all companies.


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About RIMScast.

[:14] RISKWORLD 2024 will be held in sunny San Diego, California, from May 5th through May 8th. Booth and sponsorship sales are open. Member registration opens in November 2023. Public registration opens December 6th, 2023. Visit for more information.

[:33] About today’s episode, a discussion of supply chain risks and professional development, with our guest, Lawanda Elle Michell Hall.

[:54] 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.
[1:13] Several Exam Prep virtual workshops are coming up, starting on December 13th and 14th with former RIMS president, Chris Mandel. On January 13th, 20th, and 27th, 2024, the RIMS-CRMP Exam Virtual Workshop will be presented in conjunction with Conrad Clark Nigeria.

[1:38] 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.

[1:55] 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!

[2:14] The deadline to submit award nominations is Friday, January 5th, 2024. A link to the awards applications and guidelines page is in this episode’s show notes. Go to’s About Us page and see the awards link there. Nominations for Risk Manager of the Year have closed but there are other awards that might appeal to you or a friend.

[2:42] Elle Michell Hall is the CEO of Intelligent Intentions. She is also very active with the Spencer Educational Foundation. She has a fascinating career that has dealt with enterprise risk management and supply chain, among others. Let’s hear about what she’s done and where she’s going! Elle Michell Hall, welcome to RIMScast!

[3:41] Elle is in the minority of people who joined the risk industry on purpose! She received a degree in risk management in insurance from Georgia State University. She had been inspired by a high school AP course called Decision Science; now it is called Quantitative Analytics. She was intrigued by the application of math in the world.

[5:27] Quantitative analytics is now used across many businesses to make projections and set themselves up for success.

[6:41] People were used to thinking of risk managers as the “parent” who would say “no,” so they were avoided at all costs until they absolutely had to ask.

[7:31] Elle has a lot of creative energy to create solutions and not have to say “no.” She works with people to figure out how to get to a “yes,” in a sensible way aligned with the business objective.

[7:56] Elle didn’t see risk management entry-level positions available after graduation. Entry-level positions tend to be in underwriting, claims, or the brokerage world but not in corporate risk management. She joined RIMS in college. At a RIMS luncheon, George Miller of AIG asked her what she wanted to do when she graduated.

[8:38] Elle wanted to be a risk manager but she didn’t know where to start. George told her we’re in this business because stuff happens and you need to figure out what that looks like when it happens, so I recommend that you start in claims. That will make you a more thoughtful risk manager on the front end as you’re making coverage decisions.

[9:00] George Miller gave her a phone number and told her that the AIG claims office was moving to Alpharetta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Elle said, great, and that’s where she started. She learned to make decisions. GSU had given her minimum information about claims so she studied and achieved her AIC. AIG was her career boot camp.

[9:39] In claims, you’re dumped into the deep end, dealing with problems. People are upset. Her territory was New York and she had New York attorneys calling her names all day, every day. She learned not to take things personally. She learned to manage a matter to completion. It was a beautiful beginning to her career in risk management.

[10:27] Elle grew up in Atlanta in the shadow of Coca-Cola. When she started at Coca-Cola, Elle was a little starstruck and nostalgic. Her previous position had been at Earthlink, where there were two risk managers who did everything. At Coca-Cola, there was a team of 12 to 15 people and the work was divided between them.

[12:24] Coca-Cola is crucial to the economy of Atlanta. A lot of native Atlantans work for Coke. Working there feels safe like you’re a part of Atlanta. You have an impact on your city and you’re able to do good work.

[13:14] Elle finds supply chain risk fascinating. She learns a lot about how culture impacts perception. People have different perspectives on the same risk, based on their cultural references. Elle learned how different types of products cross the borders of different countries. Border Patrols must respect Coke’s quality standards and seals.

[15:06] Some ingredients, such as Stevia, may appear to be something else. There have been colorful conversations around legalities and culture, the way things move, and the time in which they move, making sure that as things change hands, the insurance is in place and things are moving. There are difficult conversations.

[15:34] Elle recalls fun times. She was the risk point of contact when the FIFA trophy was touring in 2014. She toured the plane that took it to all the different cities. She got reports from each stop, making sure the trophy was safe. It was like a tour around the world, over 100 stops, without leaving her office. The trophy traveled in luxury!

[17:20] RIMS plug time! Upcoming Virtual Workshops: Visit to see the full calendar. December 7th starts the three-part course, Leveraging Data and Analytics for Continuous Risk Management, which will be led by our friend Pat Saporito.

[17:42] Fundamentals of Insurance returns on December 12th and 13th. It will be led by our good friend Gail Kyomura. Information about these workshops and others is on the RIMS Virtual Workshops page. Check it out and register!

[17:57] On December 1st at 5:00 p.m. India Standard Time, Prudent Insurance Brokers Private Ltd. returns to discuss Business Interruption. On December 7, 2023, our friends at TÜV SÜD GRC return to discuss Engineering Resilience: Strategies for Preventing Machinery Breakdown.

[18:18] On December 12th, Prepare Yourself for the New Generation of Risk with Riskonnect. On December 14th, Aon will be Addressing Today’s Risks While Preparing for the Risks of Tomorrow.

[18:31] On January 4th, RIMS’s Public Policy Committee will explore Nevada’s “Defense Within The Limits” Ban. On January 16th, RIMS will present How Risk Managers Can Combat Human Trafficking In 2024. Justin will host that session and will be joined by three expert panelists. He is looking forward to reaching you all with this session.

[18:53] Visit to learn more about these webinars and to register! Links are in the show notes. Webinar registration is complimentary for RIMS members.

[19:16] Elle sees a disconnect in understanding and communication around risk management and insurance. She’s had to say no a few times to external parties that wanted to do business but were not risk-responsible. Elle mentions some of the risks small suppliers don’t consider when they want to be part of a billion-dollar supply chain.

[21:07] Elle uses the example of bottle caps. If you supply the bottle caps, but you don’t show up with them, the entire operation is shut down. There is a lot that goes into the decision of who will supply the bottle caps. Every little piece matters in the big picture of keeping things moving. A tiny company can cause a multi-million-dollar shutdown.

[21:53] With joint and several liability, Coke is at risk for that loss. Small companies don’t understand their risk imprint and big companies don’t do a good job of explaining it. They just analyze it and say no, we can’t do it. In the world of supply chain, many challenges come from the lack of communication and education in risk management.

[23:44] In business incubators, small companies are told about CPAs, lawyers, and putting their finances in order. No one tells them about risk managers or understanding what their risks are. How do they make sure they are not a risk but a risk partner to the organization they want to help?

[24:16] That conversation is not happening and it needs to happen. Smaller companies need to be educated on the discipline of risk management. Elle is passionate about the risk profession. She is also passionate about community and she is a natural educator. [24:59] Manage your risk! Make sure that you’re not having an adverse impact on the companies you are doing business with or the people in your community!

[25:07] A big part of Elle leaving the corporate space and becoming an entrepreneur was driven by her wanting to serve her community. There aren’t people in the community teaching small businesses about risk management or even that they need to know these things.

[25:25] Elle thinks it’s important to give some plain language about what risk management is. Small companies get RFPs, contracts, and jargon without knowing what they mean. Elle grew up in a very urban area and she fully understands risk management. She can translate the concepts for small businesses to grasp quickly.

[26:24] Being able to apply her knowledge and do something with it is very meaningful to Elle. She always wants to know what she can do with this knowledge. She doesn’t want just “brain decoration.”

[27:18] Elle says the biggest thing is to make sure that the data your business depends on is solid and that you understand how to adjust it for real-time because it is built on historical data. Things are changing a whole lot faster than they have before. Use your data but watch for trends as they come on social media so you can prepare properly.

[28:53] Elle has always taken young people under her wing to mentor and help. She would sit with new members of the team, explain jargon to them, and help amplify their success and the success of the organization and the team.

[29:30] Elle got an opportunity with Georgia State University and Spencer Educational Foundation to create a Professional Development Academy for first-generation college risk management and insurance majors. The Academy will address opportunities and drill down to amplify all that is learned in the degree program.

[30:28] Elle is working with a professor at Georgia State University to create the Academy. It will open in January 2024. The announcement will come out soon on the Georgia State University Maurice Greenberg Risk Sciences web page.

[32:52] The Professional Development Academy will focus on the day-to-day experience of the profession with a menu of detailed career descriptions and access to people who have done it, to make informed choices. A link is on this episode’s show notes.

[33:45] Justin hopes to see Elle at RISKWORLD 2024 in San Diego in May!

[33:58] Special thanks to Elle Michell Hall. For more information about the program that we referenced in conjunction with the Spencer Educational Foundation, visit The link is also in this episode’s show notes.

[34:17] Go to the App Store and download the RIMS App. This is a special members-only benefit. Everybody loves the RIMS App!

[34:41] 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.

[35:23] 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 available only for RIMS members! You can find it in the App Store.

[35:46] 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.

[36:01] For the best reporting on the profession of risk management, read Risk Management Magazine at and in print, and check out the blog at Justin Smulison is Business Content Manager at RIMS. You can email Justin at

[36:22] 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!

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)


Spencer Educational Foundation — Grants Page 

Giving Tuesday for Spencer (Nov 28)

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 Risk Management Magazine: ERM Special Edition 2023

RIMS Webinars:

Business Interruption | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd. | Dec. 1, 2023

Engineering Resilience: Strategies for Preventing Machinery Breakdown | Sponsored by TÜV SÜD | Dec. 7, 2023

Prepare Yourself for the New Generation of Risk | Sponsored by Riskonnect | Dec. 12, 2023

Addressing Today’s Risks While Preparing for Tomorrow | Sponsored by Aon | Dec. 14, 2023

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:

Leveraging Data and Analytics for Continuous Risk Management | Dec 7

Fundamentals of Insurance | Dec 12

See the full calendar of RIMS Virtual Workshops

All RIMS-CRMP Prep Workshops — Including Chris Mandel’s Dec 13–14 Course

Related RIMScast Episodes:

Risk Management Education with David Cisneros

Celebrating #SpencerDay and Funding the Future of Risk Management

Risk and Compliance Tips for Importers and Exporters in 2022

Navigating Shipping Risks in 2022 with Capt. Rahul Khanna

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

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

“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 guest


Elle Michell Hall

Lawanda “Elle Michell” Hall’s professional career spans more than 20 years, serving in progressive Risk Management and insurance roles. Elle’s rich life & career experiences coupled with her love for serving people and adroit problem-solving skills are the perfect ingredients for a thoughtful and impactful life coach. She blends innate creativity, natural inquisitiveness, and analytical acumen to guide her clients through various life and career transitions. As the Founder and CEO of Intelligent Intentions LLC, Elle is an award-winning, nationally sought-after life & career coach, consultant, thought leader, trainer, and speaker. Her coaching style exists, at the intersection of business savvy and edgy urban intellectual. Elle has a way with words and an engaging presence that perfectly packages her messages which are laced with intelligence, intention, and integrity. A native and current resident of Atlanta, GA; Elle earned a B.B.A. (Major: Risk Management & Insurance) and studied for an MBA at Georgia State University. She also received a Life Coaching Certificate from the National Coaching Society. Elle is a passionate advocate for foster children and a faithful supporter of the arts.

Georgia State University Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Science 


Tweetables (Edited For Social Media Use):

Lots of folks are in the risk industry who kind of fell into it. I am in the minority of people who did it on purpose! — Lawanda “Elle Michell” Hall


I have a lot of creative energy to create solutions and not have to say “no.” Let’s work together and figure out how we can get to a “yes,” in a way that makes sense and is aligned with our business objectives. — Elle Michell Hall


The biggest thing is to make sure that the data your business depends on is solid and that you understand that you’re adjusting it for real-time because it is built on historical data. Things are changing a whole lot faster than they have before. — Elle Michell Hall