Richard (Rich) Lafayette is no stranger to large and complex projects. Serving as the US Chief Technical Officer for Crawford’s Global Technical Services, it’s not uncommon for Rich to find himself handling unique and demanding claims on a weekly basis. From extensive commercial fires to catastrophic weather events, he never knows what the next week will bring – and that’s part of the appeal.
Rich began his career at Crawford back in 1974 as a trainee, due to the simple fact that trainees had the opportunity to climb their way to executive positions. Historically, Crawford has been known for promoting within to key leadership position. This tradition continues at Crawford today.
Soon after joining Crawford, Rich quickly advanced to a certified field adjuster and then claim manager responsible for serving in the New York area. By 1991, Rich became the first executive general adjuster at Crawford serving the Northeast regional office. With this new title, Rich was faced with larger, more challenging claims. This only motivated him more and eventually led to his appointment to the chief technical officer.
Terry Hunt, US President, Global Technical Services, recently had this to say about Rich and his contributions to the Crawford family.
“Rich Lafayette is one of the finest executive general adjusters in the industry, and Crawford is privileged to have him serve as our chief technical officer for GTS. He continues to handle some of the largest and most complex claims our industry has seen, and yet, somehow finds time to take an active role in developing our senior adjusters and assuring they pass his rigorous standards before being promoted to advanced positions.”
A mission to restore
Throughout his time at Crawford, Rich has had the opportunity to work on numerous claims for both the US and London Insurance Markets. One particular claim, involving a large retail complex, left a lasting impression. On a summer day, thunderstorms rolled in and produced damaging hail that left considerable damage in its wake. As a result, the property closed down for repairs, displacing 184 retail tenants. Over the next few months, Crawford worked closely with the property owner, tenants, and contractors. The goal was to get 25% of the tenants open by Black Friday, which is the biggest shopping day of the year.
A strategy was developed to increase the number of returning tenants by Black Friday. The strategy resulted from a study of the cost of contractors’ overtime versus the potential loss of revenue. As a result, more than 400 contractors worked day and night in the weeks leading up to Black Friday and 57% of tenants were able to open in time. “This project reemphasized our mission of restoring and enhancing lives, businesses and communities,” said Rich.
Work hard. Play hard.
When Rich isn’t devising solutions for complex challenges, he likes to spend his time relaxing with his wife and family as well as cycling which allows him to clear his mind. “This is the time that is all mine, no interruptions or distractions” mentioned Rich. He also enjoys spending time outdoors.