People & Places

March 23, 2020

EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants, a retail property and casualty insurance brokerage and employee benefits consultant, has expanded its insurance offering in the farm and ranch insurance market with a new practice being led by Chris Moore, president of EPIC Farm & Ranch.

The Farm & Ranch practice will be a culmination of specialists in Indiana and Florida serving clients across a national footprint. Moore joined EPIC from ONI Risk Partners, where he led the Farm & Agribusiness practice.

ONI Risk Partners was a part of the acquisition of Prime Risk Partners by EPIC in November 2019. Moore currently works with more than 100 farm clients across 12 states.

The Farm & Ranch practice’s primary focus is working with clients to proactively manage emerging risks. The practice will work in partnership with the team from the Jerry Parks Agency, a division of EPIC and their specialty expertise in equine insurance.

Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. has named Jay Coon as deputy commissioner for the Maryland Insurance Administration. Coon is a veteran insurance executive with 30 years of industry experience. Most recently, Coon was second vice president and commercial portfolio lead – agent workstation at Travelers Insurance Co., where he led a team responsible for business solutions and business architecture for commercial insurance software products.

Before his six-year tenure at Travelers, he was an assistant vice president for commercial specialty operations/business architecture at The Hanover Insurance Group for nearly nine years. Earlier in his career, he was an executive at USF&G/St. Paul Cos. and Aetna Life and Casualty.

Wye River Insurance has appointed Katherine Santarelli as president, leading day-to-day operations and providing strategic brokering and consulting services for the newly-formed insurance brokerage.

The Baltimore, Md.-based boutique brokerage serves real estate and construction professionals in the multifamily industry. Santarelli will work closely with Bozzuto Group Vice Chairman Rick Mostyn, who will now concurrently serve as CEO of Wye River Insurance.

Mostyn will offer strategic counsel and guidance based on his more than 40 years of experience in apartment development, acquisition, homebuilding, property management and construction.

The startup of Wye River Insurance is a natural evolution for Santarelli, who for 15 years during her time in the insurance industry oversaw the placement of complex controlled insurance programs for The Bozzuto Group and other real estate and construction clients. Prior to joining Wye River Insurance, Santarelli served as the Real Estate and Construction Practice leader at RCM&D, in which she directed the placement of builders risk programs for multifamily and retail projects.

Allstar Financial Group has added Cathy Cobbs to its advertising division as its public relations manager.

Cobbs has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of journalism, public relations, and community engagement. Most recently, she worked at Transitions Homeless Center in Columbia, S.C., in the areas of fundraising and community outreach.

Cobbs’ functions will include community engagement locally and nationally for Allstar Financial Group’s family of companies. She will work with the Allstar Charitable Foundation to raise public awareness about both the foundation and the company, and its employee volunteer engagement program.

The Allstar Charitable Foundation is financed by Allstar’s employees, which is then matched by the company annually. The foundation uses a significant portion of its annual budget to fund 10 regional charities, while other funds are donated to a national organization.

Southern Insurance Underwriters, Inc. (SIU) has added Jose Perez to the Commercial Property and Casualty underwriting team. Perez comes to SIU with more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry and a penchant for developing strong relationships with the independent insurance agents he partners with.

Prior to partnering with SIU, Perez served as a commercial property and casualty broker and wrote more than $3 million in new business last year. He also has experience writing personal lines, managing sales and production, and as a compliance officer.

Established in 1964 by W.C. Duesenberg, SIU is a 54-year-old managing general agency located in the Atlanta area. SIU offers a range of products and markets to over 3,000 independent insurance agents including personal property, workers’ compensation, inland marine, professional lines, forest products, commercial transportation and commercial property and casualty.

Carleen Patterson joined Alliant Insurance Services in Dallas, Texas, as first vice president and practice leader within the company’s Public Entity Group. Patterson is regarded for her property and casualty expertise for large governmental and higher education clients. Additionally, she has experience working with city, county and state governments, as well as school districts, from coast-to-coast.

In her new role, Patterson will serve as a national resource to existing clients and prospects. Prior to joining Alliant, Patterson was a managing director with a global insurance brokerage firm.

Greg Brandon has been appointed as executive director of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLTX). Brandon succeeds Don Meyer, who had served as interim executive director of SLTX since October 2019.

For the past 18 years, Brandon has worked for Valero Energy Corporation in San Antonio, Texas. Most recently, he served as director of Property Insurance & Risk Control Engineering since 2007. In this position, he was responsible for management and procurement of global commercial and captive insurance products, directing risk engineering programs, and coordinating annual review and analysis of company claims data.

Brandon has been involved with the San Antonio Chapter of the Risk Insurance Management Society (RIMS) for several years, and has held several leadership positions in the organization.

St. Louis, Missouri-based POWERS Insurance & Risk Management has hired Casey Parisoff and Kathy Fagan to lead its new POWERS Surety Bonds division. Parisoff serves as the national director of Construction Services. He will oversee and manage the new division, which specializes

in insurance, bonding and risk management for various blue-collar industries.

Parisoff previously was the managing member and founding partner of a middle market insurance agency based in Overland Park, Kan.

Fagan joins Parisoff in the new division as senior bond account executive. She will lead the daily account services of the surety department. The new division will focus on bond products and services for all surety programs to help safeguard the financial well-being of construction clients. These tailored surety services include industry-specific niche specialties in construction, commercial, environmental, healthcare, court and real estate bonds.

Grange Insurance in Columbus, Ohio, named Priscilla Hammonds as assistant vice president of Diversity & Inclusion and Community Relations. Hammonds has served as assistant vice president of Diversity & Inclusion since joining Grange in 2015. She adds the community relations role as Patricia Eshman retires after more than a decade leading Grange’s community relations team.

Before joining Grange, Hammonds served as a senior diversity consultant at Nationwide Insurance, where she developed and executed on diversity and inclusion strategies in support of key company initiatives. Prior to Nationwide, she served in several leadership roles at State Farm Insurance, including as director of Diversity and corporate diversity consultant.

The Surplus Line Association of California announced that Pat McAuley, who had served most recently as the senior vice president for the education and compliance department, officially retired on Feb. 28 after more than 25 years with the association.

McAuley, who had previously led the SLA’s data analysis department, closed her career by spearheading the launch and implementation of the SLA’s new online learning center. The SLA also recently made two new executive moves.

David Kodama has taken on a newly created role as the SLA’s executive vice president, and JoAnn Del Gatto, the new vice president for the education and compliance department, steps into McAuley’s former job.

Kodama will oversee the education and compliance, financial analysis and digital communications departments. He previously worked for the American Property Casualty Insurers Association. His responsibilities there included the association’s policy development in surplus lines insurance. Previously, he was an actuarial manager and business operations director for CNA.

Del Gatto previously worked for 14 years at AIG, where she was chief compliance officer and oversaw global compliance functions. She also recently worked as a regulatory risk and compliance consultant.

Insurance Office of America has added Aaron Cohen to its Western region. Aaron will expand the firm’s team of cannabis industry specialists as a risk management consultant, and he will be based in Encino, Calif. IOA is an insurance agency headquartered in Longwood, Fla.