Tamieka Weeks, Southwire manager of property and casualty insurance, was chosen in 2020 to be the first-ever African American president for the Atlanta Chapter Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS). Now, under her leadership, the Atlanta Chapter is one of three across the country that achieved the 2021 Enhancing Chapter Outcomes (ECHO) Award.
RIMS is a global nonprofit organization committed to advancing the practice of risk management throughout the world, with a goal to bring networking, professional development, certification and education opportunities to their 10,000+ risk management professional members in over 60 countries. The ECHO Award was created in 2017 as a way to help chapters with strategic planning throughout the year to work towards attainable goals.
At the end of the year, chapters are encouraged to submit their ECHO template, outlining the goals they had, how they did or did not achieve them and the lessons they learned as a chapter, which are then judged and narrowed down to a few select winners. This year’s winners were recognized at RIMS Live 2021 virtual event, which took place April 19-30, and each winning chapter received a cash award for their accomplishments.
“This award confirms that, as a chapter, we are dynamic,” said Weeks in her acceptance speech. “We are always looking to improve and expand our chapter’s presence and program. The Atlanta RIMS board of directors recognized in the beginning of the pandemic that we had to be creative with how we engaged with our chapter and, by doing that, we were able to add a new position that will allow us to bring more awareness. I look forward to continuing to serve this community in 2021 and for years to come.”
Beyond the virtual events the chapter hosted to increase participation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the extra mile Weeks’ team went to promote diversity and inclusion is what set them apart. According to RIMS magazine’s announcement of the award, the chapter demonstrated its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by creating a formal board seat devoted to diversity issues. Additionally, 25% of the elected board in 2020 were individuals of varying ages, genders and ethnicities that had not previously been involved in the chapter’s leadership. According to Weeks, by adding more diverse leaders to the board, it will leave a legacy for generations to come.
“I’m extremely proud of Tamieka,” said Jan Wilson, Southwire’s senior director of risk management. “Everything she does, she goes all in. I encouraged her when she first started at Southwire back in 2013 to become a member of RIMS and to not be a silent participant but get involved. She has definitely taken that head on and, by doing so, is growing professionally and helping our organization stay current and involved.”