RISKWORLD 2024: And This Year's RIMS Award Winners Are...

Hilary Tuttle


May 8, 2024

Eamonn Cunningham wins the 2024 RIMS Goodell Award

Throughout this week’s RISKWORLD 2024 conference in San Diego, RIMS bestowed the risk management association’s top honors on members of the risk and insurance community.

In recognition of a lifetime of achievement and contribution to the risk management community, the Harry and Dorothy Goodell Award went to Eamonn Cunningham, current president of the RIMS Australasia Chapter and former chief risk officer for Westfield Group, one of the world’s largest developers of shopping centers. Cunningham has had a significant influence on the development of the risk and insurance industry in Australia. Not only did he play a key role in establishing a formal RIMS presence in Australia and New Zealand, he also served as chairman of the Property Council of Australia and worked closely with government officials on developing the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC), the local equivalent of the U.S. Terrorism Risk and Insurance Act (TRIA).

“Throughout Eamonn’s remarkable risk management career, he has unselfishly dedicated his time and expertise to not only advancing the profession but to creating opportunities for other risk leaders to succeed along with him,” said RIMS CEO Gary LaBranche, FASAE, CAE. “The Harry and Dorothy Goodell Award celebrates the best-of-the-best in risk management. RIMS is sincerely grateful to Eamonn for his extraordinary contributions and his unwavering commitment to sharing his experiences. It is an honor to present him with this prestigious award.”

Steven Robles wins the RIMS 2024 Risk Manager of the Year Award

Steven Robles, assistant chief executive officer overseeing risk management and privacy for the County of Los Angeles, was named the 2024 Risk Manager of the Year. Robles and his staff have built a complex risk management program to address the needs of the county’s 100,000 employees, 38 departments, $44.6 billion budget, as well as its 10 million residents, 88 cities and more than 120 unincorporated communities.

“Steven’s approach to managing risk for this behemoth enterprise—that boasts the 21st largest economy in the world—has been singular: minimize the cost of risk. Key to achieving that focus has required a commitment to improving the county’s risk culture and operational capabilities,” according to RIMS. “Among many accomplishments, his team has implemented a multi-year plan to control costs and reduce liability that includes: the expansion of purchasing commercial insurance to protect against the risk of catastrophic losses; an aggressive claim closure program to finalize workers’ compensation claims for employees who no longer work for the county; and the development and implementation of a comprehensive risk financing plan to lower the long-term workers’ compensation liabilities.”

According to Robles and his team, risk management has taken the county “from a fully self-insured organization to a fully insured entity for nearly all risks.” Further, RIMS noted, “It has instituted a robust loss recovery program that recovered over $19 million last year; a compromise and release program that has closed over a thousand workers’ compensation claims and saved the county millions over the last decade; a risk management privacy program; a parametric earthquake program; and countless other innovative strategies.”

Mrunal S Pandit, senior manager of insurance for Tata Consumer Products Limited, was inducted into the Risk Management Honor Roll. In addition to overseeing insurable and non-insurable business risks for one of India’s leading consumer goods companies, Pandit is also a fellow of the Insurance Institute of India, a holder of the RIMS-CRMP certification, and the author of risk management articles that have appeared in various industry publications.

For outstanding contributions on the chapter level, the Ron Judd Heart of RIMS Award went to Julie Bean, director of risk management for the Chamberlain Group and a leader within the RIMS Chicago chapter.

RIMS also recognized both past and future leaders in the risk community. The RIMS Rising Star Award went to Chelsea Andrusiak, insurance and risk analyst for Federated Co-operatives Limited, recognizing her demonstrated exceptional initiative, volunteerism, professional development, achievement and leadership potential. After dedicating their careers to advancing the profession, Joe Restoule and Millicent Workman were inducted into the Risk Management Hall of Fame. 

Before his retirement, Restoule was a risk management leader at Nova Chemicals Corporation and chaired the American Gas Association Risk Management Committee in 1997. After serving as chair of the RIMS Canada Council from 1997 to 2000, he held various positions on the RIMS board of directors and ultimately served as RIMS president in 2009. When he died in March 2024, he was serving as president of the William H. McGannon Foundation, a nonprofit he helped create to support risk management education in Canada through grants, educational programming and student-focused initiatives.

Workman was a trailblazer in the risk management industry, ultimately becoming the first female recipient of the Business Insurance’s Risk Manager of the Year award in 1992, one of the “100 Leading Women in the Insurance Industry” in 2000 by Business Insurance magazine, and an early inductee into the Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame in 2002. She was president of the CPCU Society in 2005 and was cofounder of the Business Emergency Preparedness Council and the Memphis Disaster Recovery Business Alliance, coalitions that focus on business continuation planning. She joined the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) in 2007 and served as director of training and education until her retirement in 2023. 

“Risk management is filled with exceptional professionals who devote their time, share their experiences, and generously empower others in the field,” said LaBranche. “Joe Restoule and Millie Workman exemplify the risk community, and their legacy will continue to be a beacon of inspiration for risk professionals for years to come. RIMS is proud to celebrate Joe and Millie’s contributions to risk management and insurance and induct them into the RIMS Risk Management Hall of Fame.”

For more about the winners and their journeys as risk professionals, check out the 2024 RIMS Awards Edition of Risk Management.

Hilary Tuttle is managing editor of Risk Management.