The Ron Judd Heart of RIMS Award recognizes the volunteer contributions of a RIMS member who serves as a role model while keeping the chapter, and hence the Society, vibrant and resilient, thereby truly exemplifying the "Heart of RIMS."
More than 30 years ago, the predominate association in Nevada for those in the risk management and insurance field was the Nevada Self-Insurers Association (NSIA). This association was focused on self-insured workers compensation programs but was primarily a lobbying group focused on Nevada state workers compensation laws. Mark Habersack served as a lobbyist from 1991 through 1997 and worked with both sides of the aisle in educating Nevada lawmakers about workers compensation. During this time, the state's workers compensation laws were revised and rewritten, and the State of Nevada got out of the "business" of workers compensation.
That change left a void, however. The state now lacked a broader-based association that looked at all facets of risk management. So, in January 1987, Habersack and a handful of risk managers formed a steering committee and reached out to the Risk and Insurance Management Society to find out more about the association, and what they needed to do to become an official chapter. After an initial meeting with the organization, Habersack and his co-founders joined RIMS as members. From there, they began a push to reach the minimum membership goal required to form a chapter.
Their efforts proved to be a huge success, and since then, Habersack, who serves as director of risk management for MGM Grand, has volunteered and worked tirelessly over 30 years to make the Nevada RIMS chapter as strong and vibrant as it can be.
NEVADA CHAPTER FLOURISHES
"Our first meetings were held at the Gold Coast Coffee Shop with a whole seven dollars in our treasury," Habersack recalled. "But it was a start. From there, we had a lot of challenges as Las Vegas and Nevada is not a hub for insurance. Our primary industries were gaming,...