Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, RIMS held its first Community Service Day in New Orleans in 2007. With the 2015 RIMS Annual Conference returning to New Orleans, Community Service Day returned to its roots. RIMS Executive Director Mary Roth and the CEO of Zurich’s North American Commercial Division, Mike Foley, discuss a long-term commitment to community service and the resilience of cities like New Orleans.

This year, Ms. Roth said, RIMS Community Service Day will benefit the St. Bernard Project and Blessings in a Backpack.  Zurich is sponsoring the event for the fourth year. More than 100 risk managers gave their time to fixing homes and helping build new one in conjunction with the St. Bernard Project.

The Blessings in a Backpack event took place in the exhibit hall, where RIMS attendees stuffed backpacks with food and books. RIMS partnered with Educare, who will distribute the backpacks to students in the Bayou district of New Orleans.

Mr. Foley said Zurich had been sponsoring the New Orleans Classic golf tournament since 2005.  After hurricane Katrina struck the area, “we were the first major sporting event back into New Orleans”, where the event delivers $40 million of economic activity each year.”  Zurich has also been involved with the St. Bernard Project.  The St. Bernard Project has also been involved helping people rebuild their homes in Joplin Missouri and in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy as well.  “It’s a great example”, Mr. Foley said, “of an organization that is focusing on getting people back into their homes post disaster.” Since 2005, 600 families have returned to their homes in New Orleans.

According to Mr. Foley, Zurich is involved in these programs because “it connects us more deeply to the community…and our people feel that they are giving something back“

If you’d like more information on the charities benefiting from RIMS Community Service Day, visit the St, Bernard’s Project website , or the Blessings in a Backpack site .

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