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President of Adventist insurance, risk management services dies

Sweezey 'honored' to play role in protecting church's assets, colleague says

President of Adventist insurance, risk management services dies

Robert L. Sweezey, president of Adventist Risk Management, died October 16. [photo: courtesy ARM]

Robert L. Sweezey, president of Adventist Risk Management (ARM), who is credited with responsible handling of the church's insurance and risk management services for more than a decade, died in Florida on October 16.

Sweezey, 52, regularly traveled to Ft. Lauderdale as part of his doctoral program in International Business at Nova Southeastern University. The cause of his death remains unknown, ARM board members said.

As the risk manager for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Sweezey served as president of Gencon Insurance Company of Vermont, the church's captive insurer, and Gencon Insurance Company International, Ltd.

Sweezey will be remembered as someone who used his "vision and direction" to lead the company through "challenging financial deficits" when he took over in 1992, an ARM press release said today. He worked to underwrite insurance policies that currently ensure 90 percent of the church's facilities and institutions worldwide, the release said.

A graduate of Walla Walla University (then Walla Walla College) in College Place, Washington, in 1980, Sweezey earned bachelor's degrees in business and theology. In 1987, he graduated from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California with an MBA. Later, he earned a Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sweezey, a strong believer in continued growth through education, was a few months away from writing his doctoral thesis at the time of his death, ARM officials said.

During his career, Sweezey was designated as a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter by the American Institute for Property Liability Underwriters. He was licensed as an insurance broker, a registered representative and a registered principal, as well as a Risk Management Fellow of the Risk & Insurance Management Society.

Sweezey was also an active member of the Baltimore First Seventh-day Adventist Church, serving as the church's first elder and a member of its school board.

"The Adventist Risk Management family is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Rob Sweezey," said Lowell Cooper, ARM board member and a world church vice president. "He displayed an unshakeable commitment to the Adventist Church and felt honored to have a role in protecting its assets."

Sweezey is survived by his wife, Dr. Karen "Muffy" Piper, and three children: Herb, Katie and Benny.

A memorial service for Sweezey is planned for 4 p.m. on Friday, October 23 at the Baltimore First Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ellicott City, Maryland.