Chapter History

Sacramento Valley RIMS History 

By Deborah Luthi ARM, Strategic Opportunity Management Professional

When I ”fell” into my first risk management position my mentor, Ralph Perry, Risk Manager for Amfac, Inc.,  San Francisco, offered this advice, “If you want to progress in your risk management career, you have to join RIMS”.   And so I did by becoming a member of the Golden Gate RIMS chapter. There I met other risk professionals and increased not only my professional network, but expanded my risk management knowledge through the chapter’s monthly meetings.  

When I moved to Sacramento several years later to become the first risk manager for Sacramento Regional Transit I looked around and found… there was no RIMS chapter in the Sacramento Valley!  So, with Mike Barrett, then risk manager for Raley’s, we co-founded the Sacramento Valley RIMS chapter in 1991.  I believe that collaboration between public and private risk managers, in a public entity heavy Sacramento valley, illustrated the benefits of networking, professional development and education opportunities offered by RIMS for both industrial, service, nonprofit, charitable and governmental entities.

Fast forward twenty-five years and my mentor’s advice has proven to be so true. Participation in RIMS at the local, national and international level led to the honor of my serving as the 2012 President of RIMS international; as well as enabling me to offer my employers ever increasing risk management expertise and honed leadership skills.  And, twenty-five years later the Sacramento Valley RIMS chapter is still going strong.  In October 2015, for the first time in the history of the Sacramento Valley RIMS chapter, it hosted the 56th RIMS Western Regional Conference in Tahoe.  Though faced with challenges (a 100% turnover in the Chapter Officers and Board members due to job changes and accepting positions outside the chapter boundaries, as well as loss of a co-hosting chapter) the new chapter President, an Associate member/former President/Chapter Advisor and part-time chapter Administrator were not going to be the chapter that threw-in-the-towel. 


With renewed commitment (and I’m sure just a few sleepless nights), this hearty band planned and carried out a tremendously successful Western Regional Conference and developed stronger and more connected chapter leadership in the process! The Conference offered a golf tournament, welcome reception, opening keynote, lunch sessions, closing session and over 15 educational sessions throughout the three days.  Responses from the attendees was very positive.  With the hope that the processes, procedures and templates born out of the need to be efficient and effective can benefit other host chapters in the future, the Sacramento Valley Chapter submitted a RIMS a Chapter Achievement Award application.  I don’t think it’s too risky to say that I think the best is yet to come for the Sacramento Valley RIMS Chapter!