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Oct 24, 2023

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

While ERM can fit any organization, it is also different for every organization. How do you translate ERM from your previous organization to your new one? What areas of synergy might you have, and how do you navigate different governance structures and cultures? This session will provide insight from different perspectives and companies to demonstrate how you can implement a successful ERM program wherever you go.

In this episode, Justin interviews three guests: Sandra Fontenot, Manager of Risk Management at Omnicell, Alison Sweeney, Vice President and Fine Art Expert, and Michelle Stegmann, Vice President of Claims, both of Distinguished Fine Art & Collectibles. Justin and Sandra discuss her ERM career and her upcoming ERM Conference Session on Nov 3. Then Justin interviews Alison Sweeney and Michelle Stegmann about insuring fine art and their experiences in it.


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About RIMScast.

[:14] Register for the RIMS ERM Conference 2023, which will be held in Denver, Colorado on November 2nd–3rd. RIMS will also host an ERM-based tour of Ball Arena in Denver on November 1st. Limited seating is available. Visit to register and listen to this episode to hear the code for 10% off your registration!

[:41] About today’s episode where we will first talk about ERM and then get into a discussion about fine art and risk.

[1:01] All about exciting, upcoming RIMS events! The Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge is a six-month competition for university students where teams compete to develop and present the most comprehensive risk management report based on a case study.

[1:19] Eight teams will present their findings at RISKWORLD 2024 in San Diego, California to a panel of risk management professionals. The top three teams will be awarded cash prizes and recognized at the Spencer reception and during the  RISKWORLD Conference Finale. This is our annual international student competition. [1:39] Full details can be found on the Spencer website at The application period closes on October 31st, 2023. Get involved; participate. We hope to see you at RISKWORLD!

[1:52] The RIMS Legislative Summit is returning to Washington, D.C. on October 25th and 26th. Visit to register.

[2:04] The RIMS ERM Conference 2023 will be held November 2nd and 3rd in Denver, Colorado. On November 1st, RIMS is hosting an ERM-based tour of Ball Arena, where the Denver Nuggets and Denver Avalanche play. There is limited seating. Register at At checkout, type code 2023RIMSCAST for 10% off registration!

[2:52] The ERM Conference 2023 will be different than years past. We’ve got some great changes. Book your travel plans now! RIMS will host a Post-conference Workshop for the RIMS CRMP from 9:00 to 4:00 MT on November 4th and 5th. Save $100 when you register for the conference and workshop in one transaction. Links are in the notes.

[3:22] My first guest, Sandra Fontenot, is an ERM Manager for Omnicell in Texas. She was a recipient of the ERM Award of Distinctions Honorable Mention in 2021 for her work at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

[3:39] We will hear a bit about Sandra’s career and the session that she will co-present at the RIMS ERM Conference on November 3rd, titled “ERM: Same Process, Different Organization.” Sandra Fontenot, welcome to RIMScast!

[4:43] Sandra is the Manager of Risk Management at Omnicell, an autonomous pharmacy company. Omnicell works with hospitals and pharmacies, providing pharmacy staffing, software, and robotic dispensing machinery to make sure the right patient gets the right medication at the right time. Omnicell is global, based in Texas.

[6:18] Sandra describes her past work at DFW Airport. A month-and-a-half after she started there, DFW went on lockdown during COVID-19. It gave Sandra the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the airport while working in a hybrid situation. It also opened opportunities for construction and improvements to the facility.

[7:30] In 2021, DFW Airport was awarded the RIMS Global Award of Distinction for its Enterprise Risk Management program. Sandra describes how that came to pass. The infrastructure of an airport is like a city. It all has to run from the roads to the water to the bathroom tissues and the concessions. It has a police department.

[10:26] Sandra will be one of three presenters of a session at RIMS ERM Conference 2023, on November 3rd, called “ERM: Same Process, Different Organization.” One co-presenter, Trisha Sqrow, worked with Sandra at DWF Airport. Their presentation states that no matter what your enterprise is, the ERM process is typically the same.
[11:01] You have to make sure that you have a process in place to look at risks and opportunities and determine the likelihood and the potential financial impact of each risk or opportunity. The basis and principle are the same wherever you are. Risk professionals in ERM network and share ideas at ERM conferences.

[12:14] Sandra’s presentation will be on November 3rd at the RIMS ERM Conference 2023 in Denver, Colorado.

[12:31] When Sandra started at Omnicell, they had rolled out their first ERM survey the previous year. Now they are doing deeper dive conversations, adding onto that survey, and putting together a Risk Council. Sandra says she is a department of one-and-a-half, including the support and guidance of her great manager.

[13:38] Sandra is also looking forward to being an ERM Square. ERM Squares is the new conference finale! It will feature nine seasoned risk professionals answering questions that students will then agree or disagree with. At the end of ERM Squares, there will be a raffle for a complimentary registration to RISKWORLD 2024 for an audience member.

[15:57] RIMS plug time! RIMS wants you to submit your nomination for Risk Manager of the Year 2024. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding performance in the practice of risk management and will be presented at RISKWORLD 2024. Individuals must be RIMS members in good standing if they are selected to receive this award.

[16:22] You are also required to be a member to win any future award. Part 1 Nominations for the 2024 Risk Manager of the Year program are due by October 27th. Check the link in this episode’s show notes for more information and to view the guidelines for submission and judging criteria.

[16:42] Upcoming Virtual Workshops: Visit to see the full calendar. Our friend Chris Hansen was recently on RIMScast. He will be leading Managing Worker Compensation, Employer's Liability, and Employment Practices in the US on November 7th and 8th. Be sure to register for that course!

[17:16] Information about these sessions and others is on the RIMS Virtual Workshops page. Check it out and register!

[17:24] On October 26th, our friends from Zurich North America return to present PFAS Forever Chemicals – Regulations, Litigation, New Technologies. On October 31st, Resolver returns to present Building Your Business Case for GRC Software in 2024.

[17:49] Metrics That Matter has Enhanced Decision-Making Across Your Cybersecurity Program on November 7. CLARA Analytics makes its RIMS debut with Risk Management in the Era of Artificial Intelligence.

[18:08] On November 21st, Beazley returns to present Business Risk: Helping Your Executives to Navigate Today’s Volatile Risk Environment. 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 Tomorrow.

[18:32] Visit to learn more about these webinars and to register! Links are in the show notes. Webinar registration is complimentary for RIMS members.

[18:46] National Fine Art Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on October 25th. My next guests, Michelle Stegmann and Alison Sweeney, from the Distinguished Fine Art and Collectibles Group at Distinguished Programs, paint some broad strokes for us about how fine art and risk management intersect. 

[19:09] Michelle Stegmann and Alison Sweeney, welcome to RIMScast!

[19:44] Michelle is a 30-year claims veteran and an attorney. She has been with large carriers including CNA, Clemen Forster, and Firemans Fund/Allianz, and in the programs space, working with MGAs and now with an MGA, Distinguished Programs, on their fine art and collectibles team. Michelle has a huge passion and love for the arts space.

[20:38] Before joining Distinguished Programs, Alison was a fine art underwriter for AXA XL. Before that, she was a broker in the fine art space for eight years. For nine years before that, Alison worked in art appraisals, doing risk assessments and evaluations and working on claims. Alison is passionate about art and has a master’s in art history.

[21:52] Alison explains that commercial fine art policy is a property policy on items of a fine art nature, and antiques, jewelry, silver, rugs, and more that you might collect that have value. Art is subjective. For an insurance policy, it is something unique or unusual that has a market value and is replaceable.

[22:47] The policy makes the client whole by restoration or replacement of the item with one of similar value or as close to restoration or replacement as is possible.

[23:23] Michelle describes types of fine art policies for galleries, owners, collectors, and museums.

[24:05] Michelle lists use cases to show the value of a fine art policy to an organization or a collector. Many objects that have important value to the people who belong to an institution can be covered.

[25:07] The large majority of claims are not dramatic theft claims but damage or loss of the piece during transit; water damage from a burst pipe; damage from humidity, fire, or smoke; vandalism, linked to climate change protests; outdoor sculptures being subjected to the elements; natural catastrophic disasters; or accidental breakage.

[27:22] A total loss is quite uncommon, except in a fire. Much more frequently there are partial losses where something needs to be repaired to be restored to its original condition.

[27:51] In a partial loss, you may get the call while the loss is in progress. The first step is to make sure the artwork is removed from the dangerous situation to prevent further damage. When the situation is stabilized, you get a conservator involved to look at the piece, assess what needs to be done to repair it, and come up with a treatment plan.

[28:49] If the artist is living, the claims adjuster will confer with the artist under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) in America which gives artists the moral right to ensure that the essential meaning and intent of the piece is preserved even after sale, and make sure that the artist is on board with the treatment plan.

[29:14] Once everything aligns, the treatment plan is commenced and the piece is restored. Then there is an assessment done to determine if there’s any diminution in the value. Then there is a determination on whether any payments would appropriately issue. Finally, the claim is concluded and the restored piece is returned to the owner.

[29:56] Alison reveals that the greatest number of claims the industry has seen in recent years was the result of Superstorm Sandy. There was a huge inundation of water in Chelsea, where a lot of galleries and storage facilities were based. It impacted a huge number of commercial galleries. It took many years to sort through insurance claims.

[30:32] As a result of Superstorm Sandy, people have become more cautious about basement storage. A stillage warranty requires maintaining property a certain number of inches off the ground. There has been a huge embrace of water sensors that alert the owner to any sort of inundation from pipes or flooding, to get in and remove property.

[31:17] Michelle relates the story of the Picasso painting, Le Rêve, which was owned by casino magnate Steven Wynn in New York and sold to hedge fund manager Stephen Cohen in 2006 for a record $139 million. Before the transfer, when showing it to Nora Ephron and Barbara Walters, Wynn accidentally put his elbow through the painting.

[32:22] This resulted in a six-inch tear. The tear was repaired by an insurance carrier for $90 thousand. The painting sold again in 2013 to Stephen Cohen for a record $155 million. Damage to a piece of art doesn’t necessarily cause diminution in value.

[33:19] Alison addresses fine art insurance trends. Since COVID-19, art fairs, where multiple galleries exhibit, have been picking up again. Galleries have also made a big pivot to online sales, growing into new markets. That means an increase in transits and smaller sales. It leads to a change in the way to approach transit insurance.

[34:21] Michelle talks about dealing with reputable shippers and packers who know how to pack fine art. There has been an increase in people moving, and moving their personal items as well as their fine art. They must make sure the company they work with is very well-versed in how to move art.

[35:02] In 2019, Justin covered an event for RIMS, called The Business of Art. Alison was there. She remembers people coming up with creative and interesting questions. Events like that show what insurance industry professionals who don’t work in fine art are interested in. She hopes to attend more events like that soon.

[37:17] Michelle reflects on her career. From a claims perspective, this is exactly where she planned to be when she started. She was always interested in helping people solve their problems and fix something that had gone awry. That is also what attracted her to the law.

[37:49] In the fine arts space, people have an emotional connection to these pieces of beauty which means that there’s a human interaction that can’t be downplayed in the claims process, in facilitating that and making sure they get to where they need to be.

[38:00] Alison didn’t know when she started studying art history that there was a world in which you could be an advisor in an insurance capacity. She feels extremely fortunate to have this position to help people with the collections they are personally invested in. The items very often are family heirlooms.

[38:55] Alison has seen a huge trend in businesses toward maintaining a cloud-based management system for their collection. Having a photo document accessible with details on the location of the property, the values, and the dimensions is a gift. It’s great, from an insurance perspective to access that.

[39:28] Happy National Fine Art Day to you both! It’s been such a pleasure to have you hear on RIMScast. There is a link to an article from Distinguished on this episode’s notes. Hopefully, we see you at another fine art event in the city, and not put our elbows accidentally through anything and create a six-inch tear!

[40:00] Special thanks again to all of my guests. I have a link to an article from Distinguished about fine art and risk management. I’ve also got a link to RIMS coverage, including a piece I wrote, covering a fine art and risk management event in 2019. See the links in this episode's show notes.

[49:17] Go to the App Store and download the RIMS App. This is a special members-only benefit. Everybody loves the RIMS App!

[40:37] 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.

[41:20] 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.

[41:44] 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.

[42:00] 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

[42:21] Justin thanks 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:

RIMS ERM Conference 2023 | Nov 2–3 in Denver, CO! Enter 2023RIMSCAST at checkout for 10% off registration!

RIMS Legislative Summit — Oct 25 & 26, Washington, D.C.

Dan Kugler Risk Manager on Campus Grant

Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge 2024 — Be a Case Study or Join Judging Panel!

RIMScast to receive the 2023 Excellence in MarCom Award from the New York Society of Association Executives (NYSAE)!

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

Nominate someone to RIMS 2024 Risk Manager of the Year or another RIMS award


Fine Art coverage:

“The Risky ‘Business of Art’ Explored at Observer Event” | Risk Management Monitor

“The Intrinsic Beauty of Risk Management” | Risk Management Magazine

“Protecting the Priceless” | Risk Management Magazine

“Understanding Fine Art and Collectibles Insurance by Distinguished” | Distinguished Fine Art & Collectibles Insurance

RIMS Webinars:

PFAS Forever Chemicals — Regulations, Litigation, New Technologies | Sponsored by Zurich | Oct. 26, 2023

Building Your Business Case for GRC Software in 2024 | Sponsored by Resolver | Oct. 31, 2023

Enhance Decision-Making Across Your Cybersecurity Program | Sponsored by Metrics That Matter | Nov. 7, 2023

Risk Management in the Era of Artificial Intelligence | Sponsored by CLARA Analytics | Nov. 9, 2023

An Introduction to U. S. Custom Surety Bonds | Sponsored by Nationwide | Nov. 16, 2023

Business Risk: Helping your Executives Navigate Today’s Volatile Risk Environment | Sponsored by Beazley | Nov. 21, 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
Upcoming Virtual Workshops:

Captives as an Alternate Risk Financing Technique | Nov 1

Managing Worker Compensation, Employer's Liability and Employment Practices in the US | Nov 7

See the full calendar of RIMS Virtual Workshops
All RIMS-CRMP Prep Workshops — Including Chris Mandel’s Dec 13-14 Course

Related RIMScast Episodes:

“Harnessing Innovation’s Promise with ERM Conference Keynote Bob Roitblat”

“Celebrating International Podcast Day™ and Risk with Jay Gates and Elisa Stampf”

“Evolving Fire Risks with Ralph Bless”
“Trisha Sqrow Talks ERM in the Air and on the Ground”

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”

“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


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 Darius Delon!

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

Sandra Fontenot
Manager, Risk Management at Omnicell


Alison Sweeney

Vice President and Fine Art Expert, Distinguished Fine Art & Collectibles


Michelle Stegmann

Vice President of Claims, Distinguished Fine Art & Collectibles


Tweetables (Edited For Social Media Use):

DFW Airport is a mini-city within itself. We did have our own police department, so we made sure that they were able to get back and forth to work and scheduled overnight housing at hotels for them. — Sandra Fontenot


In the fine arts space, people have an emotional connection to these pieces of beauty which means there’s a human interaction that can’t be downplayed in the claims process, in facilitating that and making sure they get to where they need to be. — Michelle Stegmann


I didn’t know when I started studying art history that there was a world in which you could be an advisor in an insurance capacity. I feel extremely fortunate to have this position to help people with the collections they are invested in; often heirlooms. — Alison Sweeney