2024 Spencer Risk Manager on Campus Program Brings Robin Roeder to UCA College of Business

Robin S. Roeder

Each year, an Insurance and Risk Management (IRM) professional is brought to the UCA College of Business for visits with students, faculty, and other industry and community professionals. Early this week, we were thrilled to welcome Robin S. Roeder, senior vice president of risk management for Sedgwick, to share her experience with us. The program is supported by the Spencer Educational Foundation.

Roeder visited campus for two days. At the luncheon on Monday, April 15, we were joined by many students, faculty, and insurance professionals, including Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Alan McClain, who spoke a few words to highlight the significance of the IRM industry in Arkansas.

(Pictured from L to R: UCA Insurance Center Director Mr. Ivan Hudson, Ms. Robin Roeder, Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Mr. Alan McClain, and Mr. Kelley Erstine, UCA Board of Trustees Member and CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas.)

During her presentation, Roeder shared a compelling presentation called “Katrina: The Catastrophe, the Cost, the Claim.” She shared photos of the impact Hurricane Katrina had on Louisiana, but shifted to focus on the experience from the purview of Memorial Medical, a local hospital that had been known to weather many storms in the past. After the hurricane hit and levees broke, thousands of medically fragile patients and visitors were left stranded in the hospital; as the disaster unfolded over the course of days, hospital officials were forced to make heartbreaking decisions about who to evacuate, when, and how.

Many Memorial Medical patients died in this unprecedented catastrophe, and decisions made by Memorial Medical officials during that time were later analyzed as incorrect decisions. Roeder asked those in attendance what decisions they would have made if they were in charge at Memorial Medical during Katrina; still so many years later, the audience struggled with how to correctly respond, now knowing the devastation, limited communications, and scarce resources officials, individuals, and families faced during and after Katrina.

Despite the difficult question, Roeder stressed the need to make a plan for catastrophes such as Katrina and how risk and loss are addressed. In closing, Roeder shared lessons learned, and impacts that survivors — and the risk management profession itself — faced in the years since the disaster, including laws passed because of Hurricane Katrina.

See more photos from the luncheon.

Later in the evening several students and faculty were invited to dinner with Ms. Roeder and her fiancé. This is a valuable time for students to network and ask questions with the Risk Manager on Campus.

On Tuesday, April 16, Ms. Roeder visited the student risk management organization Gamma Iota Sigma to speak about how soft skills can enhance their careers. With this group of students and faculty, Roeder held an interactive forum for groups to answer practical questions and complete exercises that occur as part of job interviews.

Ms. Roeder brought a wealth of experience to UCA. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Memphis and later earned a master’s degree in risk management and insurance from Florida State University. She is a RIMS Fellow and holds the Certified Risk Manager, Associate in Risk Management – ERM, Certified Environmental Strategist and Associate in Captive Insurance designations. She served as the senior manager for risk management and treasury at Wright Medical Technology for nearly 11 years before joining Sedgwick in 2011. There Roeder developed the strategic risk management vision and framework for the company’s program. Today, she leads operational risk management activities and oversees the management of claims, safety and loss control, physical security and travel risk management. Roeder is also responsible for risk management planning and response related to business interruption, crisis management, and business resiliency. Aside from her busy career, Roeder is highly involved in service to the IRM industry and education sector. Read more about Ms. Roeder.

The 2024 Risk Manager on Campus gave students, faculty, and community members a valuable opportunity to network with Ms. Roeder, an experienced Risk Manager who they may not have otherwise met. Her presentations were enlightening and thought-provoking. Many thanks to Ms. Roeder for traveling to UCA’s campus and to the Spencer Educational Foundation for the grant funds that brought Ms. Roeder to UCA.

To bring the Risk Manager to campus this year, the University of Central Arkansas Insurance and Risk Management program was awarded a grant from the Spencer Educational Foundation, supporting a key experiential learning opportunity for students. The Spencer Foundation has supported the Risk Manager on Campus program for years, bringing Bailey Pipkin in 2023 and Lance Ewing in 2022.