Steve Holland Receives Distinguished Risk Manager Award

Steve Holland Receives Distinguished Risk Manager Award

By Alexis BlueUniversity Communications
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The UA's Steve Holland (right) was honored as a 2008 Distinguished Risk Manager, along with Mike Bale of Oklahoma State University.
The UA's Steve Holland (right) was honored as a 2008 Distinguished Risk Manager, along with Mike Bale of Oklahoma State University.

When you work or study at an institution that generates 1,000 tons of hazardous waste a year, you want to know those materials are being disposed of safely.

Enter The University of Arizona's Department of Risk Management and Safety, which handles everything from training people to use fire extinguishers to ensuring the proper disposal of hazardous waste materials from scientific laboratories in an effort to keep all areas of campus safe and sound.

For 21 years, Steve Holland has been dedicated to that mission as the department's director. In September, he was honored for his contributions to the risk management field with the 2008 Distinguished Risk Manager award, given by the University Risk Management and Insurance Association, an international nonprofit educational association based at Indiana University.

The UA is one of more than 500 institutions belonging to URMIA, which aims to promote risk management principles and practices in higher education institutions.

Holland – a co-recipient of the award along with Mike Bale, director of risk management for Oklahoma State University – said it was an honor to be recognized by his peers in URMIA, an organization of which he served as president from 2003 to 2004.

"It was cool because the people in that organization understand and appreciate what comes with the job," he said.

Those who belong to the association nominate fellow members for the award, and a committee selects winners based on their performance in four areas: service to URMIA, service to higher education risk management, professional accomplishments and length of risk management service, said Christie Wahlert, URMIA communications and marketing associate.

Holland has a long history at the University. After earning his bachelor's degree in psychology from the UA and with no job prospects on the horizon, Holland – whose father worked in safety for Pima County – began volunteering in the University's risk management department in 1981. At that time, his job description consisted of hauling industrial waste across campus.

Holland became an industrial hygienist for the UA in 1982. He went on to earn a master's degree in finance, with an emphasis in safety management, and became director of the Department of Risk Management and Safety in 1987.

Holland received the Distinguished Risk Manager award at URMIA's 39th annual conference Sept. 12 in Washington D.C.

A certified risk manager, he was specifically recognized for some of the following contributions to the risk management profession:

  • Heading a department that performs its duties more cost effectively than 75 percent of 50 comparable institutions, according to a benchmarking survey.
  • Serving as chairman of the URMIA constitution and bylaws committee from 1998 to 1999, as director from 2000 to 2001 and as URMIA president from 2003 to 2004.
  • Providing expertise to URMIA as a conference program developer and member of the Inter-Association Alliance Committee and by hosting one of URMIA's regional conferences in 2007.
  • Providing instruction for the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research's Certified Risk Manager designation.
  • Serving on the board of directors of the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research.

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