People & Places

October 4, 2021

Specialist insurer Beazley has promoted Florian Beerli to lead its newly formed specialty risks and U.S. programs team.

In addition to his new responsibilities, Beerli will remain as global lead for product recall.

Prior to joining the insurer in April 2020, Beerli was senior vice president of product recall for Chubb, formerly ACE Group, where he worked for seven years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Previously, he was vice president of crisis management at Crum & Forster. He also had a crisis management role at Catlin, where his LinkedIn profile said he worked from February 2007 to May 2009. Prior to that, he held various roles at AIG for nearly six years.

The American Property Insurance Company (API), a commercial insurance carrier providing property and liability insurance products to small and mid-sized businesses, named Douglas C. Gorman to the new position of chief operating officer, effective immediately.

In this role, Gorman will oversee business operations as well as growth and profit strategies. He will continue to report to the company’s CEO.

Prior to co-founding API in 2014, Gorman had business experience both in the insurance industry as well as with Wall Street financial firms.

API is a licensed and admitted property/casualty carrier domiciled in the state of New Jersey. Tracing its roots back to 1956, the company is authorized to underwrite property/casualty insurance business in 23 states with current underwriting operations conducted in 17 states.

Concord Specialty Risk hired Ayanna Lewis-Gruss as vice president and underwriting counsel in its litigation insurance practice.

Lewis-Gruss will be based in New York, New York. She has more than 18 years of experience in all aspects of litigation and arbitration, including managing and mentoring other attorneys.

Prior to joining Concord, Lewis-Gruss was with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. She also served as an intern for Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Concord Specialty Risk specializes in transactional risk insurance and loss mitigation evaluation services that address the risk of loss arising from mergers and acquisitions, uncertain tax positions, litigation and more.

Go Transportation & Translation (Go T&T), a national transportation and translation company serving the workers’ compensation industry, hired Colby Cotta as vice president of operations.

In this role, Cotta guides Go T&T’s day-to-day account management, compliance, information technology and product development operations. He brings nearly 20 years of experience to the company’s management team, most recently serving as senior operations manager at Access on Time.

Previously, Cotta worked for Optimal Translation and Transportation as transportation operations manager. At that time, Greg Engelman, who is now the CEO and an owner of Go T&T, owned Optimal.

Go T&T delivers non-emergent transportation, on-site and over-the-phone interpreting and document translation services in the workers’ compensation industry, serving insurance carriers, third-party administrators and employers. Based in Winter Park, Florida, it provides services nationally.

Distinguished Programs, a national insurance program manager, has hired Brett Johnson to its sales team as regional sales executive for its Southeast territories. He will be based in Atlanta, Georgia, and operate remotely.

Johnson brings 10 years of experience in property, liability and workers’ compensation insurance to this new role. In this role, Johnson will work with agents and brokers in the Southeast territory comprised of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee to choose proper insurance programs for clients across the full range of specialized products and services offered through Distinguished.

Prior to joining Distinguished Programs, Johnson served as regional sales manager for SIS Insure, based in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was responsible for revenue and profitability for the Southeast region.

In a previous role as territory marketing manager for Trident Public Risk Solutions, Johnson was responsible for sales and marketing efforts across five states in the Southeast.

Incline P&C Group in Austin, Texas, made several new hires and a promotion within the company.

Sheel J. Patel joins the company as chief financial officer, and Sameer Khan joins as chief risk officer. Cesar Gregorio was added as controller, and Allen Halbrook has been named chief legal officer.

Patel has more than 20 years of experience in financial management and business leadership strategy. She was previously chief financial officer for Covariance Capital Management, and Simmons & Company, an energy-focused investment bank. She was also CFO of Houston Endowment, a $1.8 billion private foundation and spent more than 10 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Khan has more than 20 years of experience in attest and advisory services, including delivery of complex business transformation projects for Fortune 100 companies.

Gregorio has more than 10 years of accounting experience with eight years public accounting experience. Gregorio previously was financial reporting manager and Citizens Inc. and assurance senior at BDO USA LLP.

Halbrook previously served as general counsel.

J.M. Wilson promoted Mary Ricks and Jennifer Councell to executive fleet underwriters in its Portage, Michigan, office, where they are responsible for underwriting new and renewal transportation fleet submissions (11 plus units), as well as building relationships with independent insurance agents and company underwriters.

Ricks and Councell have been with the J.M. Wilson team for 18 years and 14 years respectively and have held various positions in the transportation department. Most recently, they held the positions of senior fleet underwriters.

J.M. Wilson promoted Ryan Tokarz to transportation renewal underwriter in its Arlington Heights, Illinois, office. Tokarz joined the company in December 2020 as an assistant underwriter with previous experience as an underwriting operations associate for four years, as well as a sales manager for eight years.

The company promoted Andrea Farr to senior property/casualty underwriter in its Kansas City, Missouri, office. Farr is responsible for underwriting a wide variety of P/C risks, as well as building relationships with independent insurance agents and company underwriters in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

She joined J.M. Wilson in 2015 with prior experience as an underwriting supervisor for seven years. She holds the INS (Associate in General Insurance), AU (Associate in Commercial Insurance) and SM (Supervisory Management) professional designations.

Jenna Hans was promoted to executive property/casualty underwriter in J.M. Wilson’s Arlington Heights, Illinois, office. Hans is responsible for underwriting a wide variety of new and renewal property and casualty risks, as well as building relationships with independent insurance agents and company underwriters in Illinois and Iowa.

She has been with J.M. Wilson for eight years where she began as an assistant underwriter. Most recently, Hans held the position of senior property/casualty underwriter.

J.M. Wilson promoted Seth Mahaffey to senior transportation underwriter in its Westerville, Ohio, office. Mahaffey is responsible for underwriting a wide variety of new and renewal transportation risks, as well as strengthening relationships with independent insurance agents and company underwriters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

He joined JM Wilson in 2017 as an assistant underwriter before being promoted to an underwriter that same year.

Bruce Bahn joined Risk Placement Services (RPS) in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, as vice president of business and product development.

In this new position, Bahn is responsible for leading the firm’s new product and program development strategy and execution in collaboration with key carrier and reinsurance partners.

Prior to joining RPS, he was vice president of product for BCS Financial.

Bahn brings more than 20 years of product management and development experience with leading multiline and specialty insurance companies to his new role.

Avalon Risk Management in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, named Michael S. Brown president and CEO.

Brown succeeds Lisa M. Gelsomino who, after 23 years as a founding partner and 13 years as Avalon’s president and CEO, is stepping down to spend more time with her family.

Gelsomino will continue to serve Avalon as a senior advisor focusing on her continued role in the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) through various working groups. She will also continue to participate in the Trade Support Network (TSN) and various government affairs on behalf of Avalon and the trade.

Brown joined Avalon in 1998, opening the company’s Boston office. He has served as senior vice president, sales, and most recently as executive vice president where he oversaw sales and marketing activities nationwide, as well as Avalon’s Eastern and Midwest divisions, national account and marketing departments.

Avalon Risk Management provides insurance and surety solutions to the logistics industry.

Local service is provided through 10 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Lockton Cos. added two executives focused on both construction and corporate bond products in Arizona. Joining Lockton’s Scottsdale office is Jim Bracy, senior vice president and client advocate, and Andrea Windish, assistant vice president.

Bracy joins Lockton after seven years with Willis Towers Watson.

Windish joins Lockton after nine years with Lovitt & Touche.

The Scottsdale location now has 58 people working out of the office. Lockton, is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.

Island Insurance Cos. named Diane Inouye vice president of its commercial insurance division.

Inouye is currently president of IC International, a wholesale provider of excess and surplus lines insurance, which recently joined the Island Insurance family of companies.

Inouye will continue her role as President of IC International in addition to her duties as vice president of the commercial insurance division.

Inouye has over 35 years of experience in the insurance industry.

She joined IC International in 2014 as executive vice president and was promoted to president in 2017.

Island Insurance Company is a locally-owned property/casualty insurer, offering a range of insurance solutions including personal auto, homeowners, condo, renters and umbrella insurance, and commercial insurance.