Michelle Hollingsed, Risk All-Stars

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Michelle Hollingsed - Savage Enterprises
Michelle Hollingsed
VP Risk Management

Savage Enterprises

What is your educational background?

I have a BS in accounting and MBA from University of Utah. I also have my CPA, CPCU, and CRM.

Did you know you wanted to go into the risk profession? If not, what was your journey to get here?

Definitely not! Like most people in the insurance industry, I have a sordid tale of how I got into risk. I started in accounting at a Workers’ Compensation Fund of Utah, left to do forensic accounting, and was recruited back as a large-account underwriter. I then worked with Marsh and finally with Savage, which was one of my clients when I was at Marsh.

How long have you been working in the risk profession?

I have the insurance trifecta – 10 years as a risk manager, eight years as a broker, and three years as an underwriter.

What do you love most about what you do?

Since I work for an ever-growing and changing company, I never have a boring day and am always learning. I get to work with smart and amazing people. Having the accounting background, I still get to be analytical and detail oriented, but I also get to be social by visiting operations and going to underwriter meetings and risk functions. To me it’s the best of both worlds.

Has managing risk changed over the course of your career?  If so, how?

Of course, if we don’t change, we become obsolete. Ten years ago, we weren’t thinking about truck technology, the extreme importance of contractual risk management, or any of the scary aspects of cyber risk.

What advice would you give to someone who is about to start their career in the risk profession?

It’s a great career as you can be analytical and social – and see and experience new and interesting things. Educate yourself now and in the future. You’re lucky to be starting now as there are going to be huge opportunities as the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers retire. You’re in the right place at the right time!

Do you have a personal motto? If so, what is it?

If you don’t laugh, you cry.

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