Annette Ficalora Insurance and Risk Manager Office: Financial Affairs Campus: Old Westbury
Member of NYIT Since: 2002
From NYIT's Weekly Update:
Taking Care of “Risky” Business In these complex and uncertain times, it’s always good to keep one or two steps ahead of the curve. You could say Annette Ficalora's been doing that most of her life. In her role at NYIT, she oversees our insurance program (everything from automobile, property and casualty to foreign travel and medical malpractice) and works closely with colleagues and outside agents to identify, prioritize, address, and—most importantly—reduce or prevent operational, financial, and compliance risks. She’s also the “go-to” person if your department or club needs a certificate of insurance for an upcoming event. An NYIT graduate (M.B.A. ’08), she has spent most of her career in the insurance/risk industry and currently chairs a professional organization consisting of peers from U.S. Northeast universities. Though surrounded each day by charts, graphs, spreadsheets, and contracts, Annette is a self-described “people person” who says her primary goal is to help protect our most valuable resource—the members of the NYIT community.
What are some of today’s risk management challenges in higher education? Global universities, such as NYIT, must deal with different foreign business practices, financial regulations and currencies, and languages and cultures. Fortunately, I found and am now working with a full-service global insurance broker who is helping us address these issues.
What’s the hot issue in the field? Definitely the H1N1 Influenza (swine flu). NYIT’s student health insurance carrier has agreed to cover the administration for the vaccine, based on recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I’m glad to see NYIT has been taking all the right steps with respect to H1N1 as it pertains to our community members worldwide.
Favorite book? Night Fall by Nelson DeMille. It’s about members of an elite anti-terrorist task force who are looking into the possible cover up of TWA Flight 800, which exploded in mid-air off Long Island (N.Y.) and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in July 1996. I go to Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton during the summer, and this is where much of the crash investigation took place, so I'm very familiar with many locations in the book.
How do you stay energized and healthy throughout your busy work week? I hit the gym each morning at 6 a.m. for a cardio workout and/or yoga or Pilates class. I also maintain a non-smoking, vegetarian lifestyle.
What personal risks have you taken that have paid off? I have the ability to evaluate and, when necessary, walk away from situations that no longer benefit me. For example, after ending a long-term relationship, I became the sole owner of my home. I struggled for a while, but sold it a few years later at the height of the Long Island real estate market. It paid off handsomely!