CLM Voices: Getting to Know Crystal Ware
This former insurance defense attorney made the jump to oil & gas risk management and never looked back.
By Eric Gilkey
This former insurance defense attorney made the jump to oil & gas risk management when to she went to work for Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA Inc. as the company's risk manager, and she never looked back. See why she made the move and her philosophy for success and sustainability.
Finding Her Way
Ware says that as an attorney, she was required to specialize in one area. But when a running partner with a similar background showed her how much real technical knowledge she could gain by working in insurance and risk management and the variety of fields she would learn about (each of which could have claims), she was sold and made the move to the buyer side.
Good to Be Great
“To be a great risk manager, you need to have a mastery of your policies, thoroughly understand the claims process, and be a skilled negotiator. That means understanding what is important to the underwriter as well as to the client (whether internal or external).”
Ware puts a premium on continuing education because, in diverse and dynamic industries like insurance and oil & gas, innovation and understanding the future of both industries is important. In addition to earning her CPCU designation, she is on the steering committee for the Houston Energy Risk Managers, an industry collective that organizes quarterly seminars to stay ahead of trends.
Power of the People
“I probably expedited my knowledge of CIPs by a year.” Ware, commenting on the value of finding her “tribe” with the Houston Energy Risk Managers group, which promotes an open line of non-proprietary communication among peers.
Keeping It Going
“One mantra I live by and that I try to push through the organization is ‘Is it sustainable?’” Ware, talking not only about how her company can deliver energy in cleaner and diversified ways, but also how it considers and shifts risk.
What to Watch
Ware says the use of liquefied natural gas as fuel in hauling vehicles is an emerging risk that she is watching, even though her company does not currently own or operate such vehicles. Understanding the potential risks is just one way Ware stays in tune with innovation in her industry and the larger marketplace.
“I’m an avid runner, and recently qualified for the Boston Marathon, which I hope to run in 2020. My goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states.”