ON THE JOB
R&I: What was your first job?
I was a margin clerk in financial futures at Kidder Peabody & Company.
R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?
While I was at General Dynamics working in HR, the opportunity to transition
to risk management was afforded to me. I was
very fortunate that the risk manager at the time
took a chance on me and taught me so very
much. Coming from a manufacturing facility
with multiple unions helped prepare me for any
R&I: How has your experience in human
resources helped your career in risk
I believe my HR background has helped my
risk management career immensely. Both areas
are interrelated. People are fundamental to
accomplishing goals and people can help or
hinder those results. Human resources is tasked
with bringing in and nurturing the right people,
and risk management is tasked with keeping
R&I: What is the risk management community
Education, keeping up with industry trends and having resources available to
better prepare organizations. There is always something new or a new way to
view a situation.
R&I: What kind of resources can risk managers bring to the table?
Data and analytics have come so far, and the systems out there are able to drill
down into good quality information that can be used more effectively.
R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?
Within the community, we all understand the role of risk management, but
getting organizations to understand the importance of considering risk during the
strategic decision-making process as opposed to treating it like an after-thought
can be a challenge. Risk should be involved in day-to-day operations — not just
when a problem arises.
R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry
The emergence of cyber security.
since you’ve been in it?
R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?
Catastrophic events, both natural and manmade, are becoming more of a norm
of late. We need to look at analytics and the role they play in understanding
these disasters and subsequent losses to help organizations prepare, manage and
recover from these types of events.
R&I: What insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion of?
We have always valued relationships. We have a few long-standing partners that
immediately come to mind. FM Global, Great American and Safety National
have all been immensely important to our company and our growth.
R&I: Is the contingent commission controversy overblown?
If you have trust and faith in your broker and they have full disclosure, then yes,
it is overblown. But I have seen the cost of hidden commissions and the effect on
the bottom line.
R&I: Who is your mentor and why?
I had a mentor early on in my career in HR,
Marie Haggerty. She instilled in me the
mindset to speak up and be heard and not to
shy away from an adverse opinion but to be
strong in my convictions.
R&I: What have you accomplished that you are
Being awarded FM Global’s Highly Protected
Risk award in 2011. The award is granted
when a location has no human element
recommendations, no uncontrolled high-risk
exposures and no other major loss exposures.
Mohegan Sun has worked hand-in-hand
with FM since 2000 on loss prevention
recommendations and improvements.
Our engineering team as well as our fire
department have been instrumental in our ability to achieve this award. We have
always tried to meet or exceed the advice we receive from FM’s engineers. This has
made our property better protected as well as helped to keep our premium in line.
R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?
I only read nonfiction and personal development books. Katie Couric’s “The Best
Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives” is one of my favorites.
R&I: What is the most unusual or interesting place you have ever visited?
The Pearl Harbor memorial. I love history and to stand over the Arizona was
R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?
R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?
That I can make a difference in either a safer workplace or on the bottom line,
and that every day is different. I love the diversity of what I do and the constant
change and ability to continue to grow and learn.
R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?
I definitely get the deer in the headlights look when I tell people what I do — I
don’t think any of my family or friends truly understand it.
“Human resources is tasked with bringing in
and nurturing the right people, and risk management
is tasked with keeping them safe.”
From mentors to employees to risk engineers, Mohegan
MARY LOU MORRISSETTE
Gaming’s director of risk management recognizes the
value of the people around her in creating success.
Corporate Director of Risk
Company: Mohegan Gaming
Years in risk management: 27
Previous position: Director of
Place of birth: Plainfield, N.J.
Alma Mater: Susquehanna University & Rensselaer
Degrees and certifications: B.S. Finance; M.S. Human