John was born in 1928 in Berlin, Germany. He came to the United States with this parents and brother Karl in 1939 and with brief stays in New York City and San Francisco came to Los Angeles in 1941. After graduating from Los Angeles City College John was drafted into the Army during the Korean War and served for 2 years in Japan and Korea. Upon his discharge he took courses in Accounting and Auditing at Southwestern Law School and International Correspondence Schools while at the same time holding various positions performing banking and accounting functions.
In 1961 John was hired as an auditor by Mattel, Inc. the world’s largest toy company. For the first five years he worked in various financial functions at Mattel when one day he was informed that he would also be responsible for Mattel’s corporate insurance function. Not knowing anything about insurance except for personal insurance he asked what was involved in this function. He was told you just call your broker and ask for three quotes and accept the lowest quotes. That did not sound quite right so he contacted Jim Lang who was the Corporate Insurance Manager for Litton Industries. Jim became his mentor and also got him to join RIMS (I think it had a different name at that time). John took several RIMScourses and attended numerous Risk Management seminars, learning the fine art of Risk Management. His financial background was of help. Other insurance professionals such as Steve Wilder of Disney, Jim Davis of Willis Corroon and Wayne Tippie of Marsh were of great assistance in broadening his knowledge of Risk Management. John was on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of RIMS for about 20 yearsandalso served as President of the Chapter. During this time he was awarded the RIMS Speaker Recognition awards in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001 for presentations at the National RIMS Conferences, the Los Angeles “Our RIMS Star” Award for brilliantly serving the Los Angeles Chapter in 1999, the Los Angeles Chapter “Heart of the Chapter” award in 2003, and the “Ron Judd Heart of RIMS” award in 2003. John was promoted to Assistant Treasurer and for a period time was also was also responsible for Mattel’s Real Estate function. He also formed Mattel’s Captive Insurance Company in Bermuda.
In the 1970’s as a result of his participation in Mattel’s settlement ofa D&O claim and also a fire in Mexicali that resulted in a large Business Interruption claim he became a much sought after speaker at both National and local RIMS functions.
John traveled extensively in Europe , the Far East and Bermuda. European travels included England, Germany, France, Italy and Spain and Far East Travels included Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. During those travels he acted in both his Risk Management and Real Estate functions. John also traveled to Mexico, Jamaica , and various parts of the U.S.with Dr. Jim Davis of Willis Corroon as a member of his Risk Management Council.
Todd Marumoto and Kristina Behrens-Narvaez were two of John’s outstanding mentoring students. Todd is now Director of Risk Management at Mattel and Kristina was awarded several RIMS scholarships during her years in college.
John retired in 2003 from Mattel after 42 years of service. He now enjoys retirement with his wife Roberta and his son and wife and their three children.