Press Releases


Alan J. Ruben of DRI Companies Receives Gary E. Bird Horizon Award for Restructured Safety Program

Release Date: Oct 10, 2006

Release Date: October 11, 2006
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SAN DIEGO—Alan J. Ruben, Chief Financial Officer of DRI Companies, was honored today at the 26th IRMI Construction Risk Conference with the Gary E. Bird Horizon Award. Mr. Ruben received the award for completely restructuring the loss prevention and control techniques and processes pertaining to DRI Companies’ workers compensation program. As a result of implementing numerous safety initiatives, policy changes, and the development of a patented tool to make the workplace safer, the DRI Companies were able to significantly reduce their experience modifier while the companies’ revenue and payroll grew tremendously during a 5-year period of time.

The Gary E. Bird Horizon Award is presented annually by IRMI to recognize a demonstrated commitment to improving construction risk management through the implementation of innovative, cost-effective, and efficient risk management techniques.

The panel of industry experts selected by IRMI to judge the award submissions made perceptive comments about the winning submission. "This program is well rounded but not complicated, and any contractor could implement this accountability-based program,” offered one judge. Another judge remarked that "to drive down claim costs the way this organization did is truly remarkable. A reduction in workers compensation claims from $1.4 million in Fiscal 2000 to $258K in Fiscal 2006 is amazing!” "Realizing that safety practices in their industry were not the best, they thought outside the box and created a new fall arrest device to help them achieve a safer work environment,” commented a third judge.

The other finalists for the award were Rick Callor, Corporate Safety Training Director, Washington Group International (on behalf of the Washington Group International Safety Training Team); Jeff Hanesworth, Corporate Risk Manager, KS Industries, LP (on behalf of the KS Industries LP Team); Rick Maursetter, Risk Manager, Duininick Companies (on behalf of the Minnesota Highway Equipment Contractor Training Group); and Marsha K. Rinehart, Executive Vice President, Kokosing Construction Company, Inc.

The award was named for Gary E. Bird, a nationally recognized risk management expert who was known for his significant and cutting-edge risk management solutions. The next award will be presented on October 31, 2007, at the 27th IRMI Construction Risk Conference in Orlando. In addition to recognition, the winner receives complimentary registration, travel, and lodging to the next IRMI Construction Risk Conference. To find out more about this award, its qualification requirements, and how to apply, contact Christine Fuge of IRMI at 1-800-827-4242, ext. 346, or visit the IRMI website at and go to the "Conference” section of the site.