Chris Hoch

Name: Chris Hoch

Title, Company: Director of Risk Management, Raymour & Flanigan Furniture

Years of Experience: 23

Chris began his Risk Management career as a claims examiner for Liberty Mutual Insurance in 1998. He spent six years in that role before accepting a Risk Manager position for the Syracuse City School District.

He eventually moved on to assume the role of the Director of School Business for Liverpool Schools. He then transitioned into the Rochester City Schools as the Director of Risk Management and HR. In 2018, Chris joined the national retail furniture chain, Raymour & Flanigan as their Director of Risk Management, where he remains today. He is responsible for the implementation of quality risk management and performance improvement plans for the company's 130+locations and 5,000+ employees.

Since 2013, Chris has also enjoyed his role as an adjunct professor at SUNY Oswego School of Business. He instructs and mentors undergraduate and graduate (MBA) students in courses that include: Introduction to Risk Management, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), and Risk Management for Schools and Municipalities.

When speaking with Chis, his enthusiasm for the Risk Management discipline is contagious. He finds that understanding the financial side of of a firm's particular industry is one of the most important factors in mitigating risk. An important part of this process is to take a high level view of what is driving the successes and failures of a firm. Once those are identified, analyze the "risk from losses" in order to "understand where you are organizationally." This is where a risk professional can make a lasting impact on the long term objectives within the success trajectory for the company.

Another recurring theme while speaking with Chris is his emphasis on relationships. He works hard at encouraging the growth of the next generation of risk professionals as a college professor. The way he speaks about his students is that of a proud parent. He encourages them to think long term and within the mind frame of "perpetual learning." Utilizing this thinking naturally lends itself to an enterprise Risk Management approach. Chris stresses that a risk professional should understand "the value of relationships with the carriers, your brokers and the underwriters in order to think long term."

The difficult operational environment which many businesses find themselves today is not a Risk industry secret. Chris believes that financial understanding, strong relationships and perpetual learning will allow a risk professional to walk the "fine balance of risk and retention."

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