September 17, 2018

Sam Siddons and Craig Morelos have joined the property/casualty practice at EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants as principals.

Siddons will be responsible for new business development, the design, placement and management of property/casualty insurance programs; and providing risk management strategies and solutions for mid-market and large clients across a range of industries. His primary area of focus is in construction and commercial real estate.

Siddons joins EPIC from USI Insurance Services in Austin, Texas, where he was a sales executive. Previously, Siddons held positions with Frank Siddons Insurance Agency in Austin.

Morelos will be responsible for new business development, the design, placement and management of property/casualty and workers’ compensation insurance programs; and providing risk management strategies and solutions for mid-market and large clients across a range of industries.

Morelos joins EPIC from USI Insurance Services in Austin, where he was vice president, Property & Casualty. Previously, Morelos also held positions with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency.

Amanda Tilford joined Houston-based managing general agency, Myron Steves, to lead the company’s Claims operations.

She will be responsible for operating the claims processing unit, including the timely and proper disposition of claims in accordance with bound coverage. She will oversee insurance claims on loss-based coverage, appraisal, and verifiable damage. Tilford will also ensure complete and sound claim settlements, legal reviews and investigations in accordance with Myron Steves policies and procedures.

Tilford joined Myron Steves after several successful years working for Nationwide E&S Specialty as a claims adjuster, where she had a proven track record of investigating and determining liability, evaluating coverage, reviewing third party contracts and diligent handling customer service. Her career with Nationwide E&S Specialty also included experience in underwriting as both a brokerage underwriting assistant as well as operations with underwriting support.

Prior to beginning her insurance career with Nationwide E&S Specialty, Tilford was an enrollment advisor with the University of Phoenix.

She is a licensed claims adjuster in Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.

First United Bank in Durant, Oklahoma, has hired Howard McClure as the new president of Universal Insurance, a First United Company. He will be responsible for leading the First United Bank insurance teams throughout Oklahoma and Texas.

Prior to joining First United, McClure was president and chairman of the board of Fifth Third Insurance Agency.

With over 30 years of experience in insurance and team leadership, McClure is also looking forward to building high-performing teams and partnering with his clients.

Shanan Wagoner also joined Universal Insurance as an insurance advisor. He will partner with current bank locations and customers in Seguin, Schertz, San Antonio and Austin, Texas.

Wagoner joins First United as a successful insurance sales advisor, with many long-standing clients in the San Antonio area and throughout the country. Wagoner is currently a vice chairman and director at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo, master agent for the Texas Automobile Repair group, board member for the Children’s Majik Theater in San Antonio, and former board member of the Independent Insurance Agents of San Antonio.

Established in 1900, First United has more than 85 bank, mortgage and insurance locations throughout Texas and Oklahoma

The Austin (Texas) Association of Insurance Professionals (AAIP) has elected Danny Journeay with Specialty Insurance Managers Inc. as president of the group for 2018/19.

Other officers and directors installed for the coming year are: President-Elect Lindsey Burton, Specialty Insurance Managers Inc.; Vice President Robby Moore, PLUS Inc.; Recording Secretary Rachel Bean, Marsh|Wortham; Treasurer Tamra Johnson, Marsh|Wortham; Director Amy Gayhart, Marsh|Wortham; Director Sherri Hendricks, Specialty Insurance Managers Inc.; Director Ronda Brown, Texas Associates Insurors; Director Bonnie Love, Marsh|Wortham.

The 2017/18 Insurance Professional of the Year award was presented to Lindsey Burton, Specialty Insurance Managers, for her hard work and dedication to AAIP this past year.

Buddy Combs has been named the new deputy commissioner of insurance business transfers at the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID).

The move is in preparation for the new Insurance Business Transfer (IBT) law, which becomes effective in November. The IBT law creates a way for insurers to transfer entire blocks of business to Oklahoma based insurance companies. The law is expected to bring an economic boost to Oklahoma, according to the insurance department.

Combs previously served as OID deputy commissioner.

Dallas-based insurance and risk management staffing agency, Questpro, added several team members.

Jason Keck has been hired as director, life insurance recruiting. Keck focuses on developing long term relationships with life/annuity insurance and life/annuity reinsurance companies. In this role he helps identify and deliver top talent for full time and permanent positions, from mid-career to C level, in all departments from actuarial to underwriting.

Taylor Jones joined Questpro as college recruiting manager. Her responsibilities include managing client, candidate, and university relationships within the QGrads division, along with recruiting for early career, entry-level, and internship roles.

Meredith Haaker has been added to the sales team at Questpro to expand relationships in the Texas markets, across all divisions of the business, Questpro, QTemps, QGrads and QExecs.

Orlando Hernandez, a 28-year veteran of the fire and emergency services professions, has been selected to serve as the interim state fire marshal, the Texas Department of Insurance announced.

Hernandez has been the life safety coordinator at the Texas Department of Public Safety since 2014. He began his state career at the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office as a fire inspector in 1991, working his way up the ranks to become director of inspections. He is a certified fire and arson investigator, peace officer, and fire safety inspector.

At the national level, Hernandez was a senior advisor on fire protection and emergency services at the National Fire Protection Association. Early in his career, he served as the Bexar County fire marshal and as the assistant fire marshal in Kendall County.

During his career, Hernandez has served as the local emergency management coordinator during six federal disaster declarations, acted as the administrator for a U.S. advisory group for the International Organization for Standardization, provided expert witness testimony on fire and safety inspections, and trained the Beijing Fire Service on fire investigations.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is part of the Texas Department of Insurance.