Throughout her more than 35-year career practicing risk management, Deborah Luthi delivered forward-thinking programs that encapsulated her passion, energy and excitement for the profession.
Deborah developed and employed strategic-level processes and frameworks for identifying potential risks that may adversely affect organizational success, as well as facilitating the transformation of those risks into opportunities that advance missions and achieve strategic objectives.
She was the Enterprise Risk Manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) that, at the time, served 2.5 Million people in the Bay Area with high quality, reliable water and waste water services and provided clean, green power to San Francisco's municipal operations. While there, she successfully established a fully-functioning traditional risk management program including pre- and post-loss initiatives. She matured this program to an advanced risk management program, incorporating Total Cost of Risk and allocation of costs; as well as implementing an Enterprise Risk Management program that strategically viewed risk across the organization, that prevented losses and optimized risk-taking as a competitive advantage.
Prior to that, she served as the Director, Enterprise Risk Management at Matheson, a national transportation carrier, and was the Director, Risk Management Services at the University of California - Davis for 21 years.
At the university, Deborah was responsible for a diverse portfolio of risk management, benefits and human resource services to enable faculty, staff and students to strategically identify and manage enterprise risks. She initiated the first campus-wide enterprise risk assessment resulting in organizational agreement on significant risks, probability and impact on strategic objectives and actions to leverage risks. Most notably, she helped turn a hazardous scenario involving the campuses' olive tree lined streets that created slippery walkways for pedestrians, into a lucrative olive oil and olive product business that continues to generate revenue for the university today.
And, in her “reinvention” years, unable to kick the risk management habit, she continues to lend her risk management perspective. Most recently, as a volunteer, she has facilitated a risk assessment for her urban-located church identifying the risks associated with the “unsheltered” population occupying the campus. Turning the identified risks into opportunities to continue serving both this population and mindful of the safety and security of the congregation, the church discontinued serving daily take-away bag lunches and instead, partnered with other community churches to offer rotating sit-down hot lunches. The assessment also resulted in the development of an Emergency Response Team which recently participated in active shooter training in houses of worship. Deborah also provided leadership to the church’s Board of Directors helping them formulate a vision for the future of the church and the strategies needed to get them there.
Deborah was president of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS) in 2012, a member of RIMS Golden Gate Chapter, as well as RIMS Sacramento Valley Chapter which she helped to co-found in 1991. As a dedicated RIMS volunteer, Deborah also served as the director of the RIMS External Affairs Committee, board liaison to the Professional Development Committee and Member and Chapter Services Committee. Additionally, she served on RIMS' Technology Advisory Council, Executive Council, Nominating Committee, Strategic Planning Taskforce and was chair of the Member & Chapter Services Committee.
Deborah was recognized for her contributions to the risk management profession as a 2009 recipient of Business Insurance Magazine's "Woman to Watch" Award. She also holds an Associate in Risk Management designation.
A graduate of the University of Kansas in art education, she has focused her creativity and innovation for over 35 years on the art - and science - of risk management.