Member Spotlight: Lan Nguyen

Member Spotlight on Lan Nguyen (By Katie Johanski)

Lan Nguyen has been a dedicated member of the San Diego Chapter of RIMS since 2018. Here is her story of resilience and a deep commitment to community:

Lan was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, six years after the Vietnam War ended. At the age of one, she moved to the United States. Her Great Uncle had already settled in San Diego after being granted asylum in Washington DC and traveling cross-country. Her father’s journey was more perilous, involving time in a Thai refugee camp after his boat sank en route to America. Raised by her grandparents, who grew up under a strict Communist regime, Lan was instilled with a strong sense of family and community responsibility.

Lan played soccer, basketball and tennis during her school years. Despite her grandparents' restrictions on sports and social activities like dances and football games, she graduated high school in three years by taking extra classes in the early mornings and evenings. She then briefly attended community college in the Orange County area while juggling jobs as a makeup salesperson and waitress.

Lan’s fluency in Vietnamese and drive to serve her community led her to Houston, where she spent two years as a Legal Assistant, helping Vietnamese families with legal matters ranging from personal injuries to estate planning. This role provided her with valuable insights into legal liability, corporate formation, family law, and liability claims, while she continued waitressing at night.

When Lan’s grandfather fell ill, she returned to San Diego to care for him and joined Sempra Energy in various temporary positions until landing a full-time position in the Information Technology department. Her first experience in risk management was when she was working in Sempra’s internal audit department. Her career took a pivotal turn during the 2007 Southern California wildfires when she was placed on a special projects team handling the litigation. Following the project, she moved to the Insurance and Risk Advisory Department handling audits, claims management for catastrophic events, and commercial insurance. During her 13-year tenure at Sempra, she also earned a B.A. in Accounting and Information Systems from the University of San Diego and had two children.

Following a major incident, where Lan was asked to spend months at a time in Los Angeles and away from her family. She decided to move on from Sempra and joined the San Diego Airport Authority as a Risk Analyst, where she managed commercial insurance and risk mitigation during the international terminal’s major renovation. This was an intense challenge for the risk and safety team to maintain a safe environment during the construction with millions of passengers using the facility.

Lan’s extensive experience in many areas of risk led her to BioMed Realty, where she is currently the vice president of risk management. She is proud to contribute to a company providing vital real estate for life science and technology companies, providing a platform for its tenants to work on groundbreaking research. She is given the autonomy to ensure her department functions at high levels of operational excellence and adds value daily.

Lan has been an active member of the San Diego RIMS Board for six years, serving as director-at-large, vice president, president, and now treasurer. She cherishes the sense of community RIMS fosters and is committed to empowering members to enhance risk management practices and build a supportive professional network.

Lan’s dedication to community extends beyond her professional life. She has or is volunteering for the Spencer Education Foundation, RIMS Risk World Programming Committee, and the California Coast Credit Union and its’ Foundation, which offers scholarships and grants to educators and students in San Diego and Riverside Counties. She lives in San Diego with her two children and enjoys the connection of her extended family nearby. For Lan, it’s all about building and supporting community.