Adam Lopez doesn’t wait for others to take action. That explains why the Argo Group risk management consultant spends hours organizing blood drives, health fairs, food drives and more for the underserved agricultural workers in Ventura County, California, through his church. He also serves as commissioner on the community relations board for the City of Oxnard.
Lopez brings the same focus to his career in risk management.
“My passion is people,” he says. “When it comes to safety, it’s all about the human element, because it’s about behavior, your approach and your attitude.”
A family-first outlook
The oldest of four siblings, Lopez was born and raised in Monterey County in Northern California. He was studying business in college when his mother was diagnosed with cancer.
“Life happens,” he says, of postponing his studies and relocating to Oxnard to help his mother as she recovered. He worked, met his future wife, married and built a family.
Family is priority for Lopez, who plans family reunions that bring together 150 relatives each year. When he isn’t working, volunteering or spending time with his family, Lopez sings at church and private events.
Why pursue a career in risk management?
Lopez found his way to a safety career through the agricultural industry. A strawberry grower hired him as a translator and interpreter for employees. In that role, Lopez learned about workplace safety and eventually took a position with a company that allowed him to develop his expertise in claims, underwriting and loss prevention.
As he grew in his safety career, Lopez learned an important lesson that informs his work today. Lopez was frustrated by the high injury frequency rate in a region he was responsible for. His manager encouraged him to take a mini vacation to see if the break sparked a solution to the problem. Lopez took a trip to Palm Springs, California, and when he returned to Oxnard, he hit on success.
“I started reflecting on all the injuries, screening and reporting, started studying all the elements of the safety program and started training all these people,” he says.
His eventual recommendation helped reduce the injury frequency rate in the region by more than half in two years, saving the client, Select Staffing, $4.6 million.
“It proved to me that sometimes we try to give up without really exhausting our options,” he says. “It gave me the encouragement I needed to continue in this career path.”
Lopez took his first job in the insurance industry in 2015 with Marsh & McLennan Companies. His clients included hospitals, construction, manufacturing and the food industry.
Keeping safety paramount
Lopez joined Argo Group in 2018. He’s pursuing a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety and his certified safety professional (CSP) certification.
“Everything we encounter and face in life prepares us for the future,” he says. “All these different choices I made, they prepared me by giving me the foundation I needed to take off and not stumble.”
Lopez views Argo Risk Tech as a way to revolutionize safety reporting, with benefits for clients and their customers. The custom-tailored app can help reduce the frequency and severity of customer and employee accidents.
“It’s an excellent tool that is going to expedite reporting,” he says. “It’s going to give consistent and continual support in regard to the safety element.
“My goal is to make sure all of our clients embrace Argo Risk Tech,” he says. “It’s a platform designed for them.”
Never stop learning, network, and trust yourself
His own experience of juggling career, family and community commitments while completing his education informs Lopez’s advice to young professionals.
“It’s more difficult to do schooling when you are consumed with life,” he says. “Equip yourself and educate yourself early on. Get certifications and the proper designations, continue to learn and never stop.”
Lopez also encourages those pursuing a career in risk management to learn from experienced colleagues whenever possible and to trust their own knowledge and skills.
A sense of accomplishment motivates Lopez to strive for excellence.
“I get the opportunity to engage with clients every single day,” he says. “I get the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of employees and customers, to enhance the work environment and culture.”
Learn more about Argo Risk Tech.