In the Beginning
In Alberta, a RIMS chapter was first formed in July 1965 as ARIMS. Edmonton risk managers participated in this chapter but the meetings were mostly held in Calgary and it was felt there was enough need and interest to form a separate chapter in Edmonton.
Dave Murray enlisted some Edmonton newcomers, Ladis Vegh and John Grunde both from QRIMA and George Wilkinson from ORIMS and the new group began meeting informally over lunch at the Mirabelle Restaurant. More recruits were actively pursued and eventually ten corporate members were enlisted. The NARIMS chapter was incorporated on July 10, 1979 – the sixth RIMS chapter in Canada. Ladis Vegh, who spearheaded that first membership drive, became the first NARIMS president.
The original members were:
Canadian Utilities Limited - Ladis Vegh, Shelley Hall
Government of Alberta - Dave Murray, Rich Whitehouse
Luscar Ltd - John Grunde
Syncrude Canada Ltd - George Wilkinson
R. Angus Alberta Ltd - Terry Connell
Alberta Gas Chemicals Ltd - Bob Woods
Allarco Developments Ltd - Eric Berry
City of Edmonton - Don Shaw
Alberta Government Telephones (later Telus) - Frank Parrota, Hal Neldner
Great Canadian Oil Sands (later Suncor Ltd) - Doug Martin
NARIMS has a history of strong programming. Early programs consisted of members-only meetings focusing on such subjects as types of coverage, policy wordings, loss control and broker selection. Today the topics tend to be more complex and are presented by outside experts.
Edmonton's first Industry Day took place in 1988. Topics presented included a market forecast, Risk Management fundamentals for new members and a discussion of Liability and Property insurance issues. This all-day event has evolved into an annual Professional Development Day, which is now a permanent fixture on the NARIMS Calendar of Events.
The first NARIMS Golf Tournament was held in 1981. This is an event that continues to be a popular occasion which brings together golfers from all sectors of our industry.
NARIMS has hosted three very successful and innovative Canadian Risk Management Conferences:
Prior to this, Canadian Risk Management Conferences were open to Risk Managers only. NARIMS took a bold, historic step by opening the 1984 registration to the general insurance industry. Other ‘firsts’ were also introduced at that conference – a trade show that featured a dozen exhibitors, a guest program, and a Gala evening with entertainment. NARIMS recruited high calibre speakers from the ranks of brokers, adjusters, risk managers and insurers and the program offered numerous issues-oriented sessions, including a Donahue-style panel. The conference was a notable success and it established a pattern for future Canadian conferences.
Buoyed by the success of 1984, the Chapter agreed to host another conference seven years later in 1991. The issues-oriented program generated strong attendance. The Gala featured multi-cultural food and world-class entertainment including the Shumka Ukrainian Dancers, Japanese drummers and a Maori dance troupe from New Zealand.
NARIMS' tradition of innovation continued with the 2000 conference which was held at the Edmonton Convention Centre. The conference was the most financially successful Canadian conference to date. It attracted a record number of exhibitors and the exhibit hall featured a central meeting area – a 50’s-style diner where, for the first time, delegates could access the Internet and e-mail. Attendees bopped the Gala night away to a 50’s theme and music.
Don Stuart Award Winners
The Ontario Chapter of RIMS annually, since 1979, presents the Don Stuart Award to a risk manager who has made outstanding contributions to the field of risk management in Canada. We are proud that four award recipients are from the NARIMS chapter - Ladis Vegh (1983), George Wilkinson (1987), Richard Whitehouse (2002) and George Simpson (2008).