LIVE from RISKWORLD 2022: Pamela Bradshaw, Varsity Brands
Live from the R3 Continuum booth at RISKWORLD 2022, Pamela Bradshaw, Director of Risk Management at Varsity Brands, stopped by to talk with host Jamie Gassmann. While Pamela has attended numerous RISKWORLD conferences, this was her first with Varsity Brands. She shared the details of her conference presentation, which focused on young risk professionals and bridging knowledge between generations, bringing DEI front and center, encouraging the younger generations to continue creating positive change, and much more.
Workplace MVP is underwritten and presented by R3 Continuum and produced by the Minneapolis-St.Paul Studio of Business RadioX®.
This show was originally broadcast from the RIMS 2022 RISKWORLD Conference held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.
Pamela Bradshaw, Director of Risk Management, Varsity Brands
Pamela Bradshaw is Director of Risk Management for Varsity Brands and joined the company this year.
She has over 30 years of success and experience in Corporate Claims and Risk Management with public and privately-held organizations in the Retail, Restaurant, Oil/Gas, Manufacturing, Direct Selling, and Insurance industries.
As part of the DFW RIMS Chapter, she had a presentation at RISKWORLD 2022 focused on the next generation and young risk professionals.
Varsity Brands is BSN Sports, the recognized leader in team athletic gear, Varsity Spirit, the driving force in spirit, and Herff Jones, the most trusted name in celebrating student milestones.
They partner with educators, coaches, and students to build school pride, student engagement, and community spirit.
With a mission to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for young people, Varsity Brands elevates the student experience, promotes participation and celebrates achievement through three unique but interrelated businesses: BSN SPORTS, a Varsity Sport Brand; Varsity Spirit; and Herff Jones, A Varsity Achievement Brand. Together, these assets promote personal, school, and community pride through their customizable products and programs to elementary and middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities, as well as church organizations, professional and collegiate sports teams, and corporations. Through its dedicated employees and independent representatives, Varsity Brands reaches its individual and institutional customers each year through competitions, camps and sales.
About Workplace MVP
Every day, around the world, organizations of all sizes face disruptive events and situations. Within those workplaces are everyday heroes in human resources, risk management, security, business continuity, and the C-suite. They don’t call themselves heroes though. On the contrary, they simply show up every day, laboring for the well-being of employees in their care, readying the workplace for and planning responses to disruption. This show, Workplace MVP, confers on these heroes the designation they deserve, Workplace MVP (Most Valuable Professionals), and gives them the forum to tell their story. As you hear their experiences, you will learn first-hand, real-life approaches to readying the workplace, responses to crisis situations, and overcoming challenges of disruption. Visit our show archive here.
Workplace MVP Host Jamie Gassmann
In addition to serving as the host to the Workplace MVP podcast, Jamie Gassmann is the Director of Marketing at R3 Continuum (R3c). Collectively, she has more than fourteen years of marketing experience. Across her tenure, she has experience working in and with various industries including banking, real estate, retail, crisis management, insurance, business continuity, and more. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications with special interest in Advertising and Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Paseka School of Business, Minnesota State University.
R3 Continuum is a global leader in workplace behavioral health and security solutions. R3c helps ensure the psychological and physical safety of organizations and their people in today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable world. Through their continuum of tailored solutions, including evaluations, crisis response, executive optimization, protective services, and more, they help organizations maintain and cultivate a workplace of wellbeing so that their people can thrive. Learn more about R3c at www.r3c.com.
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Intro: [00:00:03] Broadcasting live from Riskworld 2022 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, it’s time for Workplace MVP. Brought to you by R3 Continuum, a global leader in helping workplaces thrive during disruptive times. Now, here’s your host.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:22] Hi, everyone. Your host, Jamie Gassmann here, broadcasting to you from Riskworld 2022 at the R3 Continuum booth. And joining me is Pamela Bradshaw from Varsity Brands. Welcome, Pamela.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:00:35] Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:37] So, tell us a little bit about what Varsity Brands does.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:00:40] Yes. Varsity Brands is based in Farmers Branch, Texas, which is Dallas, Texas, comprised of three corporations. BSN Sports, which you’ve seen all the high school and collegiate sports, whether it’s football, basketball, tennis uniforms. We do the apparel as well as distribution and sales. Another company is called Varsity Spirit, and you’ve heard of cheerleaders, so you have the cheerleading competition, dance competitions, and all the products related to that for sales. And, also, Herff Jones. Herff Jones is an older company of Varsity Brands. I know you’ve seen all the class rings, and diplomas, and cap and gowns, and so we manufacture those as well.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:01:19] Wonderful. And so, what is your role at Varsity Brands? What do you do for them?
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:01:24] Sure. I am the Director of Risk Management. I oversee all the procurement for all the insurance programs, the insurance renewals, oversee the claims, also oversee anything related to risk control. And I’m new to the company I just joined the company actually a couple of weeks ago.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:01:38] Oh, wonderful. So, is this the first time you’ve been to RIMS or have you come a couple of times?
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:01:42] Actually, gosh, I’ve been in the industry over 35 years, so I’ve been at least 10 or 15 RIMS conferences. And this has been, of course, the first for a lot of us due to the pandemic in the last two years. So, happy to be here.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:01:54] Wonderful. I know we’re in day two of it, but how’s it been going for you so far in terms of sessions and other things that you’ve been sitting through?
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:02:01] So far busy meeting with our broker. I have another meeting after this, as a matter of fact. But highlighting my session today, that’s the main reason why I’m here is for the session that I’m a part of. I’m part of the DFW RIMS Chapter, and I submitted a session regarding our next generation in the upcoming risk professional, the minority perspective. And so, that’s today at 1:30 p.m. in Room 205, so a little plug there.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:02:28] Yeah. Absolutely. And so, tell me a little bit about what are some of the things you’re going to be covering in that presentation and talking about?
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:02:33] Sure. I have a panelist – actually, there’s three panelists of young risk professionals. We really want to focus on how the next generation sort of can bridge the gap. As I mentioned before, a lot of us who have been in the industry for some time, we noticed that there’s a gap over the years in terms of training as far as developing the young professional so that they can take on the jobs and responsibilities that we have in their organizations from a risk perspective.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:03:02] And specifically for the minority, I do have a panelist as an Asian-American, I have an African American male, I also have a black female, she’s actually South African. And so, we want to make sure that they feel included from a DEI perspective. I think that a lot of companies toot their horn on being inclusive and also being a DEI corporation, but we’re noticing there’s not enough action in making sure that there’s representation of these individuals. And so, that’s the focus.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:03:32] That’s fantastic. So, it’s not just words that are being spoken, but actually putting something into motion that’s going to help to kind of address building that program from an inclusive perspective.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:03:42] Absolutely.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:03:42] And in a way, the presentation sounds like you’re kind of helping them to establish that legacy of professionals that’ll be coming up the chain of command. That’s incredible.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:03:52] Absolutely. We see in our industry a lot of retirements. And due to, of course, the migration, if you will, great resignation, if you will, what’s happening post-pandemic, it’s very, very vital that we make sure that our industry survives, not just from the technical piece of it, but just the equality from equal pay, from making sure that we’re in the room, making sure that that glass ceiling is not concrete.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:04:20] So, we want to make sure they understand that they can and achieve anything they want to achieve in this industry, just as we have. It’s just that we were a little bit shy about it from being a black female. In particular, we were quite a bit shy coming up and fearful that there would be retaliation if we spoke up.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:04:39] I think this generation, the generations coming up, the millennials and the Gen X, Y and Z, they’re speaking out. And I think it’s fair to say that because of their voices being heard, the companies are now understanding because they are the consumer and the buyer, not just from risk management for all industries, but it’s important that we listen and make sure that we listen to them.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:05:01] Absolutely. And there’s so much value in having a very diverse work environment. I mean, there’s so many perspectives that different individuals can bring to a conversation, even business decisions.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:05:12] Absolutely.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:05:12] That, you know, if just one mind and one approach, you’re losing an opportunity for some comprehensive, more integrated approaches that can actually strengthen your business’s outcome. So, that’s fantastic.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:05:25] And ultimately increase sales, because your reach is a lot farther than if you just stay a homogeneous product, your reach is definitely a lot farther. And the ideas that come again from, not just the the younger generation, but from a cultural standpoint you’re reaching is just so much further to the audience and to the ultimate consumer.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:05:44] Yeah. Well, and your employees perform better when they feel like they have inclusive leadership, when they feel like they have a leader that wants to take that time to understand what makes them tick as a human. And tapping into some of those perspectives and strengths that they have.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:06:02] I love that your presentation is creating empowerment is the word that’s coming to my mind as I’m listening to you. Empowering people to let your voice be heard and bring your story to the leaders at your organization. So, that’s fantastic.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:06:15] Absolutely. And I’m excited. I think that there’s quite a few young professionals here in the risk industry, and so they’re eager. They want to learn. They’re ready to learn. And we have to be responsive to that.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:06:29] Yeah. So, I always ask my guests that are speakers the three takeaways that you want that audience to be left with that when they walk out of that room after hearing that panel, what would they be?
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:06:42] I would say, number one, that we hear you. Number two, that we are learning to understand you. I think as a seasoned professional, we have a tendency to think that we know it all and that we’ve learned so much that we can’t quite see the fact that the younger ones, we can learn just as much from them as we do from each other as seasoned risk professionals. And then, I would say, the speak up, speak out. Continue to do that, because I truly believe the next generation, they are going to change the world and they’re going to change the way that we do business.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:07:18] Especially post-pandemic, things are not going to be the same. I think we need to get over that. They’re not going to be the same. And so, how do we develop a new normal, a new way of thinking, and the younger generations are definitely showing us and telling us that they’re willing, ready, and able to do that.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:07:37] That sounds like a wonderful presentation. I wish you luck. I hope it goes well. I’m sure it will. Just hearing the topic and how you’re presenting it here on the show, I know you’re going do a fantastic job.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:07:47] Thank you so much. And I appreciate your time for having me.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:07:51] Absolutely. Thanks for being a guest.
Pamela Bradshaw: [00:07:53] You’re welcome. Thank you.
Outro: [00:07:57] Thank you for joining us on Workplace MVP. R3 Continuum is a proud sponsor of this show, and is delighted to celebrate most valuable professionals who work diligently to secure safe workplaces where employees can thrive.