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Tribute marks Judd's retirement after 24 years.

When Ron Judd first accepted the job of managing director of the American Society of Insurance Management (ASIM), he noticed that pipes hung down from the ceiling, membership applications were generated on a duplicating machine and there were only two employees-a secretary and an accountant. Since three years was the longest he had ever held a job, both he and the society estimated his stay at no more than that.

"It was like Sam Spade operating out of his private eye office in the 1930s," Mr. Judd explains. "If I find myself doing the same thing twice, I look carefully at what I'm doing. The third time around I want out of the job."

Now, 24 years later, Mr. Judd marks his retirement as executive director of the Risk and Insurance Management Society. Contrary to what both he and the society expected, Mr. Judd never found himself doing the same thing twice. "This society keeps expanding," he says. "There is always a better way."

Mr. Judd was honored at a special tribute during the RIMS New Orleans conference for helping to build the society into the successful organization it is today. Outgoing President Cheri Hawkins opened the tribute by saying, "Little has occurred during the last 24 years at RIMS that Ron has not had a hand in. Ron carried RIMS' message and built a respected organization."

Indeed, during his tenure as executive director, RIMS has grown to an organization with 88 chapters in the United States and Canada, 4,500 corporate members and a staff of 50 employees. Under the banner of RIMS, Mr. Judd built the largest insurance educational conference, a profitable industry magazine and, through a strong governmental affairs effort, made sure regulators were aware of risk managers' concerns. Mr. Judd forged alliances with risk management associations overseas and today RIMS cosponsors conferences in both Monte Carlo and Singapore. He also sought to raise funds to enable the Spencer Educational Foundation to award scholarships and encourage students to study risk management.

At the tribute, former and current RIMS members and staff, insurance industry executives and other friends all paid tribute to Mr. Judd. In an emotional speech accepting the Dorothy and Harry Goodell Award for outstanding achievement in furthering the goals of risk management, Mr. Judd said: "We made a family out of this industry. As an African saying goes, I am because we were.'"

Rising to the Top

Born in Egbert, WY, in 1929, Mr. Judd served as a journalist and information specialist for the U.S. Navy in Japan and Korea. After working as an editor at Lebhar-Friedman Publications in New York and earning a bachelor's degree in economics from New York University, he joined the American Gas Association. In 1967, Mr. Judd joined ASIM.

When he took the job with the society in 1967, Mr. Judd recalls, few services were offered to members. He knew the only way to improve services was by building sources of revenue. Early on he saw two with great potential: the RIMS educational conference and Risk Management magazine. "It was strategic planning of the first order," he says. "Build the revenue base to fund the essential services and departments. Then we'd have a viable organization."

He says about his years with RIMS: "It was the greatest sleigh ride anyone ever took, with lots of ups and downs, but mostly ups." He cites as a high point the launching of the Student Involvement Program in 1978. Another fond moment came in 1990 when Douglas Barlow became the first risk manager inducted into the Insurance Hall of Frame.

A priority of Mr. Judd's has been trumpeting the cause of risk management around the world. "Many of the RIMS member companies operate internationally. RIMS is paving the way for these companies' local operations to implement risk management." Currently, Mr. Judd adds, there are 22 nations with viable risk management organizations.

The Future

Upon retirement, Mr. Judd plans to devote more time to a variety of social and civic causes both nationally and near his home on Long Island. Somehow, he maintains, he will keep [his] foot in the door to build a better insurance industry." In addition, he looks forward to spending more time with his wife, Jean, and children, Kim, Kathleen and Corey.

Mostly, Mr. Judd is feeling good about his own achievements and especially those of RIMS, since it is the society that has given him the chance to accomplish his lifelong goal of "leaving my tiptoes in the sands of time."
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Ron Judd
Author:Oshins, Alice H.
Publication:Risk Management
Date:Jun 1, 1991
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