Reginald A. “Reg” Pitchford was the most prominent mentor and advocate of risk management in Manitoba and RIMS Manitoba Chapter (MARIMS) – a risk management legacy that began even before Manitoba achieved official RIMS chapter status in 1976.
Reg began his career as an underwriter with Insurance Brokers until 1954 when he was transferred to Montreal with an insurance company as an inspector. In 1960, he transferred to Winnipeg with the same company as Prairie Manager. In 1967, Reg was offered a senior position with United Grain Growers (UGG) Insurance Department which led to a promotion as Corporate Risk Manager in 1967. He held this position until his early retirement in 1984.
Reg’s enthusiasm, charisma and thoughtful belief of a primary risk function established a strong foundation within UGG would ultimately lead to one of the first successful early applications of a series of risk processes that would later be referred to by many as “Enterprise Risk Management.” He applied the concept of “Cost of Risk” at UGG…a principle that is still tracked at the organization today. By the time Reg retired from UGG, he had planted the evolutionary seed within the organization that would see basic risk principles be applied within essentially all areas of business activity.
A Donald M. Stuart Award winner in 1984, Reg was instrumental in maintaining the MARIMS Chapter during its early years, running annual contests for the risk managers that attended and welcoming newcomers with open arms. During those early years, he served as MARIMS Chapter President, as well as serving as president of the Insurance Institute of Manitoba and sitting on the Council of the Insurance Institutes of Canada.
He was a Fellow of the Insurance Institute of Canada where he taught during the 1960’s and 1970’s. He also authored several articles and organizational publications including “The Employees Role in Risk Management” for UGG.
Reg joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) Volunteer Reserve, Medical Service at the beginning of the World War II and was called for active service in February, 1941. He later joined the Staff Commonwealth Air Training Programme in Canada at the RAF base hospital in Moncton, NB.
Reg passed away in October 2014 at the age of 92.