Lowell, MA – Fred C. Church (FCC), a leader in insurance and risk management for over 150 years, is pleased to announce the addition of industry veteran Mark Vermeal to join their nationwide outdoor-focused risk advisory and insurance practice.

Vermeal, former Vice President of Safety for Outward Bound, USA, has been selected as the Senior Risk Management and Safety Advisor for the newly launched Outdoor + Adventure Practice. Working together with longtime FCC account executives Sam Daume and Mike Lucas, Vermeal will serve the specific risk and safety needs of outdoor industry clients.

“Our business model aligns perfectly with the particular risk profiles of these organizations, so expanding our practice group and adding Mark and his unique qualifications to this practice just makes sense,” says Mike Reilly, President & Chairman of Fred C. Church.

The experience, knowledge, and relationships that Vermeal will bring to the Outdoor + Adventure vertical are critical for delivering customized insurance and risk services to clients. He is a nationally recognized expert in the field of risk management and has a 20-year track record of managing organizations to safely perform high-risk activities within hazardous environments.

Vermeal’s insight to the needs of the industry comes from his blend of outdoor industry experience in senior-level positions in the adventure and non-profit educational sectors. From 2007-2010, he served as the National Director of Risk Management and Safety for the Student Conservation Association where he developed and fostered a ubiquitous culture of safety for an organization that performs over 1.6 million annual service-hours of backcountry, front-country and inner city conservation. He also holds a Master’s of Education and served as the Director of the Wilderness Skills Program at the White Mountain School from 1995-2007, where he integrated experiential education and wilderness skills instruction with a rigorous, college preparatory program.

He is also an accomplished outdoorsman and a well-respected leader in his field outside the office. He is a certified American Mountain Guides Association Rock Instructor and Single Pitch Instructor Provider with rock, ice, and alpine guiding experience, both abroad and domestically. Currently, he serves on the Risk Oversight Committee for the Outward Bound Canada Board, the American Alpine Club Education Task Force, and the Steering Committee for the Wilderness Risk Management Conference, where he has also been a presenter since 2007.

“With this dynamic team, Fred C. Church will be able to better serve outdoor adventure organizations that really need professionals in their corner,” says Mike Reilly. “By having practice leaders with hands-on field safety and leadership experience, we are better able to serve our clients. Our tagline: ‘Because it’s not just the policy. It’s the people.’ really exemplifies how we will approach each and every client relationship we establish in the outdoor and adventure world.”

To connect with the many outdoor and adventure-based organizations who reside out west, Mark will open an office in Golden, Colorado. “I expect to hit the ground running at Fred C. Church,” he says. “There is a need in the industry for the depth of experience and knowledge this newly established team can bring to the market. With my background in the education and outdoor industry and Fred C. Church’s wealth of experience in the insurance business, there is no doubt that we will be successful in designing and negotiating cost-effective insurance programs, and helping our clients improve their risk profiles. In addition, we can help eliminate coverage gaps that will not only make their organization more financially sound, but, ultimately, safer overall.”