VCU hosts 10th annual risk and insurance conference

The VCU School of Business held its 10th annual RISC Trends Conference Tuesday, March 8. The event was designed to connect local insurance professionals and students to discuss this year’s theme on “emerging technology and risk taking.”

The conference featured many speakers well established in the industry. This included Joel Erb, CEO of INM United; Charlie Kingdollar, vice president of General Reinsurance; and Robert Bradshaw, CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia, among others.

“Never has it been less true that the past has been predictive of the future,” Kingdollar said in his lecture to the conference. “The science of today will not be the science of 5 years from now, so something that’s perfectly safe today 5 years from now may not be.”

According to Tim Cook, Director of the Risk and Insurance Studies Center at VCU, technological advancements create an ever changing landscape for the insurance industry as insurers adapt to risks caused by new devices.

“So much is happening in technology that the industry is having to respond to,” said Cook. “Today’s conference is bringing in industry experts as well as technology folks and having a discussion on how technology and insurance can work together.”

The event allowed the university’s Risk and Insurance Studies Center to strengthen working relationships with local insurance agencies.  

“Every year we promote to the local industry an emerging risk or a new idea that’s coming out, and we have a conference built around that,” Cook said. “We have this synergy and collaboration with our local group, so it allows this interaction.”

The event also allows students to build professional relationships with local insurance professionals.

“We are basically creating the employees of the future by them coming through the program and having them interact our industry professionals,” Cook said.

According to Cook, this year’s conference was the largest one yet.

Granton Clem and Woody Stanchina, president and vice president of Gamma Iota Sigma president, respectively, and seniors in risk management, said the conference allowed them to interact with potential employers.

“Its a chance for our students in our program to come out with professionals in our industry and learn about new emerging risk,” Stanchina said.

Despite being held the week of spring break, many students were in attendance at the conference.

“Some of us are using this as our business start, keeping our business hats on,” Clem said. “The students here at the VCU School of Business in our risk department are very driven and we are ready to get into the industry. Having that 15 students here shows their dedication to launch their careers.”

Planning for next year’s conference is expected to begin next month.  

“In April we will have our committee gather and start planning for next year’s conference, coming up with a theme, finding speakers and building the conference for next year,” Cook said.

Print News Editor, Andrew Crider

Andrew Crider, photo by Brooke MarshAndrew is a junior economics major who has written for student newspapers since he was in high school. Andrew is interested in political history, aviation, photography and running. He has a tendency to refer to his peers, coworkers and bosses as “ma’am” or “sir,” but is getting better about referring to his friends at the CT by their first names instead. // Facebook

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