By Joseph Deems, NRRA Executive Director
Over the course of the last decade and a half, the National Risk Retention Association (NRRA) has had eight chairs, four have been women and four have been men. In our present environment, while we all talk about diversity and inclusiveness, in doing so, we sometimes overlook the opportunity to demonstrate how some people lead by example and how their diversity has brought success to that process.
NRRA presents the reader with a good case in point. With significant industry-changing legal cases which have leveled the playing field for risk retention groups; an ever-growing positive relationship with our regulator friends at the NAIC; an extensive virtual library of resolved state insurance regulatory challenges; and increased collaboration between all national and state captive associations, among others, all of these accomplishments would not have been possible without the support and leadership of the NRRA board of directors over the years, and especially that of our present and past chairs.
While each and every one of NRRA’s chairs over the past fifteen years have brought to the table a variety of management skills and exemplary leadership contributions, this year will draw to conclusion a period characterized by growth and challenges which could not have taken place without the soft-spoken, humble guiding hand of our soon to be outgoing chair, Nancy Gray.
“Chair Nancy” has guided NRRA through what we all have experienced as one of the most complicated periods of our lives. NRRA is not a large association, making us vulnerable to all the exigencies of the pandemic and resulting economic uncertainty, but thanks to her leadership and thoughtful approach to our circumstances, she led NRRA through a period where the odds of survival could have turned negative.
What most people do not know is that Nancy served as our NRRA Treasurer for six years and is now completing three more years as NRRA’s Chair of the board. She still makes it a point to attend all committee meetings. Because of her background and knowledge of our financials, she helped us weather the storm of the pandemic. NRRA did not need to borrow any money. Were we a little poorer? Of course, but we made it. Because of the pandemic, Nancy and the entire board agreed to forgo any transition and stayed on to voluntarily serve for an additional year. Meanwhile, with the assistance of her leadership, the association has continued with its mission to create new programs, ideas, and strategies to improve the existence of RRGs and purchasing groups.
No doubt, NRRA has been the beneficiary of Chair Nancy’s background and experience in all that NRRA has accomplished over her tenure. She is the Regional Managing Director for the Americas for Aon Captive & Insurance Management. She is responsible for Aon’s captive and insurance management operations, which include operations in the United States, Bermuda, Cayman, Barbados, and Vancouver. In addition to her management responsibilities and role with Aon, the largest captive manager of RRGs, Nancy acts as a senior advisor to several large companies as well as assisting new clients in evaluating and implementing captive programs.
With over 25 years of experience, Nancy has developed extensive expertise within the captive industry. As a captive consultant, she provides innovative solutions and ideas for clients looking to establish or expand their existing captives or deal with coverage challenges or regulatory hurdles. Nancy has an excellent knowledge of captive regulations across the global domiciles and of compliance issues impacting captive insurance companies.
In addition to everything else, she serves as a director and officer for a number of captive insurance company clients. Previously, she has served as a Director and Treasurer of the International Center for Captive Insurance Education (ICCIE) and as a Director and Treasurer of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA).
With all of these things on her veritable “plate,” it is a wonder how NRRA has been able to take advantage of her leadership and talents. The answer is really quite simple. Nancy’s greatest quality is that she leads by example. This is not a person who has to be the center of attention. She does not engage in self-aggrandizing activities! She does not do what she does for the glory, but rather for whatever good she thinks she can bring to the table.
NRRA is grateful for Nancy’s effective leadership during a difficult period and will take the lessons learned from her tenure to heart.
For more information on NRRA visit the NRRA website riskretention.org.
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