People & Places

October 16, 2023

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (Big “I”) installed Michigan’s Mike McBride, president of Mason-McBride in Troy, as the 2023-2024 chairman at the recent Big “I” Fall Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

With over 35 years of experience in insurance and financial services, McBride is the former Michigan director on the national association board. He previously served as chair of the Trusted Choice board of directors and, more recently, as its executive committee liaison. He has also been a member of the technical affairs committee. He was elected to the Big “I” executive committee in 2017.

Todd Jackson, McGowan Insurance Group, Indianapolis, Indiana, was sworn in as Big “I” chairman-elect, and Lou Moran III, Inter-Agency Insurance Service, Knoxville, Tennessee, became vice chair.

McBride succeeds chairman John Costello, senior vice president at USI Insurance Services in Rochester, New York, who will remain on the Big “I” executive committee for an additional year as immediate past chair.

Embroker, headquartered in San Francisco, California, appointed Gene Linetsky its new chief technology officer (CTO).

Linetsky has more than 30 years of experience. Most recently, he acted as the CTO of healthcare technology company AllStripes and as CTO of financial technology software company TrueML. He also served as principal at TTM.AI and senior director of engineering at Poynt.

Colonial Surety Co. appointed Kevin Grzelak as chief financial officer (CFO).

In his new role, Grzelak will be responsible for assembling a financial team and creating a strategy for exploring potential acquisitions and partnerships. He will also lead the company’s strategic expansion initiatives. Additionally, Grzelak will assume responsibility for overseeing all Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and statutory reporting functions, as well as managing reinsurance agreements.

Prior to joining the Colonial Surety team, Grzelak held the role of chief financial officer – U.S. Insurance and Holding Companies at SiriusPoint.

Chris Duble, chief executive officer and client executive at Fred C. Church, announced he plans to retire at the end of 2024.

Duble began his career in 1976 with Chubb Insurance. Following a decade of service on the carrier side, he joined Fred C. Church, headquartered in Lowell, Massachusetts. In 1994, Duble co-founded Fred C. Church’s Education Practice. He was appointed CEO of the firm in 2015.

Sam Daume, Fred C. Church senior vice president and client executive, will assume the role of education practice leader effective Jan. 1, 2024. Daume joined Fred C. Church in 2009. Daume got his start as an underwriter at Chubb nearly four decades ago.

The Hanover Insurance Group Inc., headquartered in Worcester, Massachusetts, appointed Stephanie E. Seibold president of alternative markets and Arthur J. Barrett president of programs.

Seibold joined The Hanover in 2007 as a middle market underwriter, eventually serving as vice president of underwriting and most recently serving as the chief underwriting officer of specialty property and casualty. She previously served as a commercial underwriter for General Casualty.

Barrett came to The Hanover in 2021 and has served as the company’s vice president of underwriting for its programs business. Previously, Barrett held various leadership roles at Chubb within the company’s programs and brokerage division, as well as positions at CNA.

ReSource Pro, headquartered in New York, New York, named Brittany Boyer vice president of Product.

Boyer has more than 17 years’ experience in the insurance industry. Before joining ReSource Pro, Boyer served as executive director of client strategy at Y Media Labs and product, technology and customer experience director at State Farm.

Distinguished Programs, based in New York, New York, named Ursula Kerrigan as general counsel.

Kerrigan brings over 30 years of legal experience in the insurance space. Before joining Distinguished, Kerrigan served as SVP and general counsel of the Americas region for AXA XL, a division of AXA. Kerrigan also held general counsel positions at XL Catlin, Valiant Insurance Group and Liberty International Underwriters.

Jenny Wong has joined Ryan Transactional Risk (RTR) as vice president, North American tax insurance.

Wong, based in New York, New York, has 19 years of experience as a tax practitioner, including roles as an in-house tax professional advising on structuring and oversight at HSBC, head of tax strategy at Enstar Group, tax advisor at PwC and as a tax insurance broker at Atlantic Global Risk.

RTR is headquartered in London, England.

Steven Stauss has joined Alliant Insurance Services, headquartered in Irvine, California, as vice president within its Alliant Americas division.

Based in Buffalo, New York, Stauss will work with clients across western and central New York, western Pennsylvania and the broader Northeast region. Before joining Alliant, Stauss was vice president, property/casualty insurance at USI Insurance Services and senior risk advisor at Stahlka Agency Inc.

Robert Jacobson has joined Rockford Mutual, headquartered in Rockford, Illinois, as chief operating officer.

Jacobson has over three decades of property/casualty insurance experience, having held senior as vice president at Liberty Mutual, vice president and chief underwriting officer at AAA The Auto Club Group and most recently as vice president, operations, at Kingstone Insurance Co.

Ohio Mutual Chief Financial Officer David Hendrix will retire from the company effective Dec. 31.

Current Corporate Controller Andrew M. Wallen will assume the role of chief financial officer.

Hendrix joined Ohio Mutual, headquartered in Bucyrus, Ohio, as controller in 2005 and was promoted to CFO the following year. Before his tenure at Ohio Mutual, Hendrix served as forensic accounting manager for the Office of the Ohio Insurance Liquidator, and was an audit manager for Ernst & Young, LLP.

Wallen joined Ohio Mutual as controller in 2022 after serving 15 years at Nationwide Insurance in a variety of accounting and financial reporting roles and as senior vice president, controllership operations director for Huntington Bank in Columbus, Ohio.

Privately held insurance broker, Hylant, made a number of personnel changes.

Alejandro Reyes will lead Ohio-based Hylant’s business risk consulting teams, which help clients manage operational risks. He has more than 10 years of domestic and international experience in insurance and risk consulting, including captive insurance programs.

Hylant is expanding its presence in North Carolina with new associates and plans to add an office in the Raleigh-Durham area.

Amber Bodette, an employee benefits executive, will move from the Toledo office.

Becky Mayer, already a resident of Raleigh, recently joined Hylant as an employee benefits executive.

Troy Vermillion also joined as an employee benefits executive.

Grange Insurance Co., headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, named Beth Murphy as chief legal officer, effective Jan. 1, 2024. LaVawn Coleman retires from the post at the end of the year after nearly 34 years with the company.

With Grange for 21 years, Murphy has been with Grange for 21 years, serving in several leadership roles within the general counsel’s office, most recently as senior vice president, general counsel and assistant secretary. Before joining Grange, she was a private practice attorney for several years.

Brian Montgomery has joined Alliant Insurance Services as vice president within its employee benefits group in Houston, Texas.

Montgomery joins Alliant, based in Irvine, California, with over a decade of sales, benefits and insurance experience. Before joining Alliant, Montgomery worked as a producer at USI Insurance Services, group sales director at OneAmerica and an employee benefits representative at Sun Life Financial.

Alliant also added Nick Bates in it Alliant Americas division as vice president in Austin, Texas.

Bates joins Alliant with 20 years of experience, including roles as vice president at both McGriff and USI Insurance Services, as well as regional director at Bisnow.

Alliant Insurance Services named Jennifer Dimura executive vice president and national director of pharmacy for its employee benefits group, based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dimura, previously vice president and director of pharmacy solutions at a global insurance brokerage, will be responsible for operational leadership and national strategy.

Insurance Office of America (IOA) named three new members to its western division team based in Encino, California.

Ricky Choi is a senior advisor and leader of IOA’s newly launched Korean practice. Choi has more than two decades of expertise in the insurance industry. Before joining IOA, he was a senior vice president and Korean practice leader at The J. Morey Company. He was senior vice president at EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants prior to that.

Brian Y. Chu joins IOA in a strategy and business development role, bringing more than a decade of experience.

Before joining IOA, Chu was senior vice president, strategy and business development, at The J. Morey Company, and vice president at EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants.

Adam Lopez is a commercial lines producer with more than two decades of experience in safety and loss control, claims management, health and environmental coverage and risk management. Before joining IOA, Lopez was director of loss control at the J. Morey Company.

Kendall Bundy has joined Burns & Wilcox and will lead its San Diego, California, office.

Bundy most recently served as a vice president at RT Specialty and also worked as project manager at Fieldwork Network.

Burns & Wilcox is headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan.