Lifestyle Personal Lines the April 2023 issue

Riva Dumeny

COO, Benefits Division, Amwins
By Chris Hann Posted on April 2, 2023
Q
You’ve said your favorite thing about Amwins is “our humility.” What did you mean by that?
A
We have a culture where the senior leaders truly believe it’s our job to support the employees and our distributed sales force in particular. I appreciate the lack of ego that comes along with truly supporting an environment around an inverted pyramid.

Favorite vacation spot: The Bahamas

16-month-old son’s favorite Activities: Playing outside and dancing (“He’s the only kid at the baby gym who, all of a sudden, he hears a song and he stops walking and he just starts bouncing to the beat.”)

Favorite Movie: The Usual Suspects

Favorite Actress: Kristen Bell

Favorite Musician or Musical Group: Maroon 5

Favorite Book: Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance, by Atul Gawande, and Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, by James Clear

Favorite Orlando Restaurant: Cooper’s Hawk (“It’s a chain from Chicago that has great wine. We’re wine club members.”)

Favorite Charlotte Restaurants: Peppervine and Steak 48

Q
You split your time now between Charlotte and Orlando. Tell me about how that works.
A
It’s a little crazy, if I’m being totally honest. I have a 9-year-old stepdaughter who is in Orlando, and I have a 16-month-old son. We’ve maintained two residences, my husband and I have, ever since we started dating—one in North Carolina and one in Florida. Now my son makes the trip back and forth with us. He started traveling with us when he was four months old. We travel back to be with my stepdaughter. My family and my brother are still in central Florida. So we get a lot of time with them on the weekends and consider ourselves two-state residents. It’s chaotic, but we’ve made it work so far.
Q
Wow. Are you doing this every week?
A
I travel most weeks. We try to keep the baby’s travel to once or twice a month. I’d venture to guess he’s been on 30 or so flights over his first year of travel. He gets upgraded on occasion, which is always really cute—and probably a little annoying for the other passengers, if I had to guess.
Q
Do you sometimes wake up and have to think a minute to figure out where you are?
A
I think I’ve gotten used to it over the years. My first year at Amwins, in 2014, I did something like 130 flights the first year. I think this is actually much less chaotic than that was. The alternative is they stay put and I travel and I’m not with them two or three days a week. That’s not something I’m willing to accept quite yet.
Q
You started a Women’s Leadership Program at Amwins. Do you try to be something of a mentor to other women in the field?
A
Oh, for sure. I think one of my top values is around authenticity and just being genuine. So I try to inspire them with the same kind of candor and support that has helped me over the years. My focus is inspiring women…thinking about how their work aligns with who they are, their values, their passions, their goals, and doing their best to align that.
Q
How would your co-workers describe your management style today?
A
Communicator, collaborator. Honesty is important to me. I know that the people that work for me say they’ve gotten the best feedback they’ve ever had in their careers. I think you can be friends with the people that work for you and still put the best interests of the company above everybody, including yourself. Maybe that’s a little idealistic, but that’s the way I like to think about it.
Q
If you could change one thing about the insurance industry, what would it be?
A
It still feels like we, as an industry, have a pretty short memory. I think those who don’t learn from history tend to repeat it, right? I’d love to see long-term, sustainable capacity solutions for the kind of real risks that exist in the property and casualty market and new and emerging risks that exist in healthcare markets.
Q
What do you think gives you your leader’s edge in the industry?
A
I think it’s a combination of my passion and authenticity. I enjoy what I do every day. I enjoy the people I work with. I think from an early age I’ve been pretty comfortable in my own skin, and I think that makes me a better person and a better leader.
Chris Hann Associate Editor Read More

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