Manny Chavez, Risk manager, Princess Cruises
Favored by cruise enthusiasts around the world, Princess Cruises was voted the Best Cruise Line of 2017 at the annual Cruise International Awards. Yet even with luxurious upgrades in service and technology, cruise lines continue to face a wide range of risks, including technical breakdowns and fire, threat of piracy and political turmoil, virus outbreaks, and natural disasters. However, Manny Chavez sees one key advantage to managing risks for a cruise line: “One area that is unique to our business is the ability to move our assets,” he says. “When facing hurricanes or other disasters, we can relocate our assets to safe locations, preserving both the asset from damage and the revenue from its use.”
For 10 years, Chavez has directed the insurance and risk management function at Princess Cruises, including managing P&C and marine policies, coordinating with staff and outside counsel on claims and litigation issues, supporting risk assessment for new projects, and enforcing regular loss prevention audits. For Chavez, the key to risk mitigation is remaining invested in the situation and people involved. “You have to conscientiously care about your work [and be] capable of understanding the risk exposure and collaborating with people who manage that risk,” he says. “Investing in our people with training is a key part of our mitigation strategy.”
Chavez has accumulated two decades of experience in maritime, entertainment and construction risks, with specialization in environmental, health, safety, security and fire protection. He served in the US Navy for four years as a shipboard firefighter and damage control officer, and currently is the president of RIMS’ Los Angeles chapter.