Cheri J. Hawkins, CPA


Cheri J. Hawkins, CPA, was the assistant treasurer and director of insurance for Weyerhaeuser Company, the international forest products company, headquartered in Tacoma, Washington. As an officer of the company, she managed four insurance specialty divisions: property, casualty, marine and bonds. She joined the company's risk management department in 1971 and was named director of insurance in 1990. In l992, she was given the Weyerhaeuser President's Award for her efforts on environmental settlement. Her retirement in 1996 came after 25 years with Weyerhaeuser, at which time she was made an honorary member of the RIMS Washington Chapter as well as an honorary member of RIMS International.

Ms. Hawkins was an officer/director of Weyerhaeuser's captive insurance subsidiaries in Bermuda and Vermont; their captive insurance agency in California, Forest Insurance Ltd.; a Bermuda-based association captive, the Bermuda Risk Exchange Association; and on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association, where she was voted an honorary member. She was a former member of the Risk Management Steering Committee of the American Forest and Paper Association.

Ms. Hawkins was a member of the Washington Chapter of RIMS since 1972 and served as its President and Society Director. She formed the RIMS Western Regional Conference Committee in 1980, and chaired it until 1984, at which time she was elected to RIMS Executive Council.

Ms. Hawkins served on a variety of RIMS Committees throughout the 1980s and was elected the first vice president for the l989-90 term. She was a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Risk Financing Alternatives, which developed the 1986 Insurance Availability Study. Prior to retirement in 1996, she was chair of RIMS Environmental Committee and a member of the EPA Task Force.

Ms. Hawkins was the 1990-91 president of RIMS, the first female president of the Society in its history. RIMS is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated to advancing the practice of risk management.

She spoke at RIMS Conferences in the U.S., Canada, Singapore, and Australia. In 1990, she gave guest lectures in Tokyo to over 300 top executives of the KEIDANREN (Business Roundtable) and the insurance industry. In 1994, she was a guest speaker in Tokyo at the first-ever “Risk Management Executive Seminar,” sponsored by Nikkei, Japan’s financial newspaper with a 3 million readership. She lectured at Washington State University, and in l996 was selected to be the 4th Annual Walton Lecturer to the community, faculty and students. She also presented "The Risk Management Process" symposium,sponsored by the Risk Management Section of the Society of CPCU in three cities.

Ms. Hawkins was named the “1991 Insurance Woman of the Year” by the APIW, a national association of professional insurance and reinsurance women headquartered in New York, an award given each year to honor a woman in a senior management position for her career achievements.

She was a member of the Board of Directors of Panol Insurance Company, the U.S. Olympic Committee's wholly-owned captive based in Colorado and on the Board of USA Hockey. She was also one of five Board members appointed in l996 to the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), a public risk management organization.

In 2000, Ms. Hawkins was selected by Business Insurance as one of its first “100 Leading Women” to celebrate women at the top of our industry. Selection criteria included a woman’s professional achievements, her influence on the marketplace she works in, her contributions to the advancement of women in the business including serving as a role model, privately mentoring other women and helping to create a more woman-friendly atmosphere where she works.

Ms. Hawkins graduated from Green River Community College and the University of Puget Sound. She was also a Certified Public Accountant.

Ms. Hawkins was married to Gary Baxter, a Business Insurance 2001 Risk Manager of the Year Honoree. She passed away in 2013.