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Siri S. Gadbois

November 14, 1951 ~ April 29, 2018 (age 66)

Siri S. Gadbois nee: Scott age 66 of Glen Ellyn. She is the beloved wife of Mark T. Gadbois; loving mother of Anton T. & Victoria L. (Fiancé Tomasz Stopka), dear daughter of her late mother Violet Blomquist nee: Packard, late father William Scott and her late step-father Richard Blomquist; fond sister of Joanne (David) Heighway, Valerie (Joseph) Pavlik & the late Thomas Scott and aunt of many nieces & nephews. Visitation will be Friday May 4th from 4-8 at Leonard Memorial Funeral Home (630-469-0032), 565 Duane St. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 Funeral Mass, Saturday, 11 AM at St. Petronille Church, 420 Glenwood Ave. Glen Ellyn. Interment Private. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Siri G. Gadbois Leadership Endowment Fund c/o GBHEM, P.O. Box 340007, Nashville, TN 37203-0007. Siri graduated class of 73’ from Illinois Wesleyan then entered the Insurance Field. She worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Prudential Property & Casualty, Arthur J. Gallagher and EIIA (Education & Institutional Insurance Administration) where she retired as President/CEO. She was a dedicated member and cantor of St. Petronille Church in Glen Ellyn.

A detailed account of Siri's career!

Siri (Scott) Gadbois is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre with an interest in stage directing. With a family background in the insurance field Siri put her educational training to use in local street and children’s productions and went to work in the expanding commercial insurance market.  First working for Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and later with Prudential Property & Casualty and Arthur J. Gallagher, Siri’s experience and knowledge spanned group health and life products and the property and casualty insurance. After 12 years of sales and management experience at Arthur J. Gallagher and serving as Arthur J. Gallagher’s Corporate Risk Manager it was time for a change. 

Siri learned about Educational & Institutional Insurance Administrators, Inc. (EIIA) in 1991 and was hired as the Vice President for Risk Management.  The role required Siri to engage with national and international insurance company underwriters and major U.S. brokers to design an insurance program for the EIIA consortium of higher education institutions.  Siri brought her extensive knowledge on insurance regulatory and compliance matters to all the programs offered through EIIA. She led with vision the development of specialized risk management programs specific to higher education – programs that were typically not available from insurance companies. 

In addition to the mission to serve the consortium member institutions Siri was also engaged in governance related matters which included planning for and presenting to boards of directors and a variety of committees and to develop and nurture the EIIA Advisory Council.  In 1991 EIIA was serving the insurance and risk management needs of higher education institutions associated with the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  EIIA had served the United Methodist Church institutions since the 1960s when EIIA was formed to serve the Historically Black Colleges and Universities of the UMC. The breadth of services and focus on higher education attracted several other denominations. In the 1980s the institutions associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America also came to be served by EIIA.  Separate and distinct governance structures were established for the institutions associated with the two church denominations.  In the mid-1990s EIIA began serving institutions associated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in the early 2000s the American Baptist Churches institutions also joined the consortium.  By that time Siri and EIIA were not only running a commercial insurance brokerage operation for the consortium of higher education institutions but they were also administering and manning over 80 governance-related meetings a year.

In response to restrictive insurance markets and Members’ desire for coverage tailored to their unique exposures, in 2002 Siri led the consortia in organizing a captive insurance company named College Insurance Company.  And in 2002 Siri was named President and CEO of EIIA.

Growth, financial strength, and stability continued to be the hallmark of EIIA and in 2009, under the enabling federal Liability Risk Retention Act of 1986, Siri and EIIA organized College Risk Retention Group, Inc. as another captive insurance company providing financial security exclusive to the EIIA institution members.  Part of the underpinnings of organizing College Risk Retention Group, Inc. required Siri and the individual consortia boards of directors to reorganize their corporations into entities owned by their respective membership.  This involved significant governance and legal work to satisfy the requirement under the Liability Risk Retention Act of 1986 that risk retention group insureds must also be owners of the risk retention group, and likewise, the owners of a risk retention group must also be insured by the risk retention group.  On the heels of that extensive governance work and the organization of a second captive insurance company, it was time for another kind of change.

As EIIA membership grew, so did the complexity of the organization. Each consortium had its own board and while there was common agreement on the strategic direction of EIIA, the logistics of the many required meetings was daunting. So EIIA was simplified. Working with the individual denomination boards of directors for the consortia, in 2009 Siri coordinated and led the effort to consolidate the consortia into one surviving corporation – with one governance structure.  The individual consortia would merge into EIIA and the surviving corporation would be EIIA as EIIA was the organization commercially licensed in all jurisdictions.  This simplification of the governance structure was accomplished following the extraordinary effort by the consortia boards of directors and Siri in 2011.  Then EIIA was administering the EIIA governance meetings along with the College Insurance Company and College Risk Retention Group, Inc. meetings and those of two grantor trusts that EIIA administered for the employee benefits and student insurance programs for the member institutions.

In 2012 and now with an EIIA staff of over 35 individuals, Siri worked extensively with tax legal counsel to obtain IRS approval for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status for EIIA.  College Insurance Company successfully obtained 501(c)(3) status in 2005 and with the reorganization of EIIA and with the formation of College Risk Retention Group, Inc. similar tax exempt status was sought for EIIA and College Risk Retention Group, Inc. and its companion organization College Risk Purchasing Group, Inc.  The IRS approved the requests in 2015.

After 25 years serving the mission of EIIA, and upon completing 14 years of leadership of the organization, Siri S. Gadbois retired from EIIA in 2016.   

 

Siri S. Gadbois Leadership Endowment Fund

Upon the occasion of the retirement of Ms. Siri S. Gadbois, President and CEO of Educational & Institutional Insurance Administrators, Inc., and in recognition of her 25 years of dedicated service to faith-based institutions of higher education, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church has formed and endowed the Siri S. Gadbois Leadership Endowment Fund.

The purpose for the fund is to provide resources, foster dialogue and connection by and between United Methodist Church college presidents in the form of peer-mentoring and education on matters relative to leadership and strategic vision for United Methodist institutions.

The Siri S. Gadbois Leadership Endowment Fund recognizes that college and university presidents are equipped with a variety of strengths in order to lead liberal arts institutions in the development of today and tomorrow’s global citizens. Yet the challenges facing these institutions and their leaders are significant, including: financial pressure, regulatory burdens, changing employment demographics, competition from non-traditional sources and a shifting attitude toward the role of higher education in America.

The Siri S. Gadbois Leadership Endowment Fund promotes the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and experience by college and university presidents in facing the critical issues confronting higher education with the objective of creating new leadership paradigms for United Methodist institutions not merely to survive, but to thrive into the next century.

Peer-to-peer mentoring and resources are available on such issues as:

Faculty / staff turnover … Healthcare … Retirement … Technology … Fiscal management … Recruitment … Facilities … Accreditation … Public relations … Athletics … Student debt … Faculty engagement … Board of Trustees development and composition … Litigation … Financial aid “boot camp” … Enterprise risk management … Development and fund-raising … Trustee relations … Cleary Act Reporting … Title IX … FERPA … Developing specialized curricula … College Funds Installment Payment Plans – CFI … Section 508 EIT accessibility … and more.

Today’s and future liberal arts institution leaders need to be flexible, and resilient, even stalwart in their commitment to providing quality education and employment opportunities to faculty, staff, students and to the broader community. The most successful presidents will surround themselves with talented colleagues and draw upon external expertise and thought leaders as different and sometimes difficult needs arise.

The Siri S. Gadbois Leadership Endowment Fund provides a resource for identifying external peer-mentors and experts to call upon. In addition to gaining access to an expert knowledge base, career and lifelong friendships will develop to enrich lives and support decades long satisfaction and success in higher education leadership careers.

When more and more college and university presidents come from outside the academy to find themselves immersed in the liberal arts tradition, peer-mentoring provided by the Siri S. Gadbois Leadership Endowment Fund is a much needed resource.

 

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