William H. (Bill) McGannon had a resounding impact on Canada’s risk management profession.
Bill was a risk management pioneer. He was one of the first Canadian risk managers to establish a full-service risk management department that included loss prevention and statistical support at NOVA Chemical Corporation in Alberta. His unique and integrated approach to this business function that combined risk management, safety, health and environment and could be considered a premature version of Enterprise Risk Management.
Although Bill retired in 1998, his work in the profession was far from over. Upon his retirement, the William H. McGannon Foundation was established in his honor. Formed following the release of a study by the RIMS Canada Council, the Foundation continues to provide resources in the form of scholarships, research grants and student involvement initiatives to advance risk management by way of education, research, mentorship and work experience programs.
Bill frequently lectured at the University of Calgary where he was instrumental in setting up the Chair of Risk Management position and served as 'Executive in Residence' from 1998-2000. Additionally, Bill participated in the Risk Manager in Residence program, travelling to the University of Caledonia in Glasgow, Scotland to mentor aspiring risk management and insurance students.
He was an active member of RIMS. A frequent presenter at RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition, Bill held several Board positions with the Society’s Southern Alberta Chapter. He was also the co-chair of the 1998 RIMS Canada Conference in Calgary where he was presented with the Donald M. Stuart Award – the highest honor presented to a Canadian risk professional.
Bill passed away in 2015. He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren and has left behind an unparalleled legacy on the risk management community.