Bob Bowman, Risk All-Stars
Sr. Director, Risk Management
The Wendy’s Company
Did you know you wanted to go into the risk profession? If not, what was your journey to get here?
I had no awareness of, nor interest in, risk management. My degree is in restaurant and hospitality management, and I was working in that field. My wife relocated to pursue her master’s degree, and as a result, I entered the insurance industry as a claims adjuster. After about 7 years, I moved into risk management in the business community. I spent about 15 years on the risk management team at Macy’s, where I gained valuable experience across a number of areas associated with managing risk. That experience prepared me for my current opportunity with The Wendy’s Company.
How long have you been working in the risk profession?
I began my career in the insurance industry in 1990 and have been a part of the risk management profession ever since.
What do you love most about what you do?
The best thing is the requirement to learn continually. I’ve been in the industry for 30 years, and I am more conscious now of what I don’t know, what I haven’t yet learned, and what I need to know to survive and thrive.
Has managing risk changed over the course of your career? If so, how?
Absolutely. When I began my career, managing risk may have been more academic theory than practical business application, aside from buying insurance. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the industry as subject-matter areas and components have developed and become impactful influences in business. I’ve also been a part of the transition as those individual components have combined and integrated to create a cross-functional, enterprise-level industry that’s capable of positively contributing to nearly every aspect of business.
What advice would you give to someone who is about to start their career in the risk profession?
Read, observe and listen. You’ll learn more — and learn that there’s always more to know, as you take in wisdom (the combination of knowledge and experience) from others.
Do you have a personal motto? If so, what is it?
One step from the spotlight is often the most rewarding seat in the house.
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