Carolina People

Carolina People: Janet Hoernke

“We are tasked with protecting the University’s portfolio of assets so our mission-critical functions can continue to be performed on a daily basis.”

Janet Hoernke
(courtesy of Janet Hoernke)

Janet Hoernke
risk manager
Risk Management Services and Mission Continuity
22 years at Carolina

Describe a typical day in your job.

My typical day has definitely changed as a result of the pandemic. The majority of my day pre-COVID was dedicated to obtaining the mandated health insurance for UNC-affiliated, international travel for faculty, staff and students, whether they were traveling for research, conferences, formal study abroad programs or other global engagement opportunities. This was in addition to managing the automobile coverage and facilitating those claims.

With the current global travel restrictions in place, my day during COVID has transitioned to assisting in the renewal process for some of our other policies. In April 2020, one of our colleagues retired, so now there are only two of us in Risk Management to split the workload.

How does your job support Carolina’s mission?

Our area is insurance and mission-continuity focused. We are tasked with protecting the University’s portfolio of assets so our mission-critical functions can continue to be performed on a daily basis. We also house departmental mission-continuity plans through software branded as Tar Heel Mission Ready.

What is your favorite part about your job?

I’ve been in Risk Management for my entire UNC career. Even though our small unit (two to three people) may have changed and merged during the past 22 years, I’ve never felt the need to move around. My work family has helped me thrive in my department.

There is plenty of variety from insurance to claims. We have a wide range of insurance policies from the common ones of property and automobiles to fine arts and drones. Insurance is usually not a “fun” topic. With Zoom being the method of meeting new people this past year, I’m hoping that my colleagues will feel more comfortable approaching me with their insurance issues.

What’s the one thing about your job that others might not know?

As a state agency, our insurance purchase process is different than the standard market and regulated by state statutes. Our office is the point of contact between the NC Department of Insurance and the state’s agent of record.