Founding of the New Jersey Chapter of the Risk and Insurance Management Society
The New Jersey Chapter of RIMS was formed in 1966 by a small group of New Jersey based insurance managers, as they were then known. Some of the founders had been attending meetings of the New York chapter, a group which had been in existence for some time. Others learned of the organization through their contacts and were happy to participate in a chapter closer to home.
The national RIMS organization was founded in 1950 as a successor to the Risk Research Institute, a New York based group which began in the 1930s. When the society went national in 1950, local chapters sprang up rapidly around the country. At the time, the moniker for the national organization was ASIM, the American Society of Insurance Managers. The current title, Risk and Insurance Management Society, or RIMS, was adopted in 1974.
The group of founders of the NJ Chapter included W.B. (Ben) Womeldorf of Lipton, Gordon Sterling of American Cyanamid, William Pennock of Hoffmann LaRoche, and Stan Tarr of Rutgers. These pioneers were the first four presidents of the organization, starting with calendar year 1967.
Stan Tarr, one of the founding group, recalls that the task of preparing the first set of chapter by-laws fell to him. Marty Siegel, his friend and colleague from NYU, gave him a copy of the New York chapter s by-laws, which served as a model. After review and acceptance by the group, the New Jersey chapter was created and officially acknowledged by the national office.
Early meetings were dinner functions held in the northern part of the state. The chapter started out with about 20 members, with many of the NJ based pharmaceutical companies participating.
During Stan s term, the founding group and others participated in the creation of the ARM curriculum. Meeting at Bill Pennock s offices, they reviewed study materials and answered proto-type test questions. Education was a major focus of Stan s presidency during 1971 and 1972. The chapter awarded its first scholarship to Risk Management students at Temple University, using funds accumulated from dues and fundraising.