People Moves: Zurich North America Changes Leadership in Captives, Crop, Construction, Customer Office

January 18, 2022

Zurich North America announced the following changes:

  • Jason Meador, currently head of Captives at Zurich North America, has been appointed to lead the Rural Community Insurance Services crop insurance business following the impending retirement of head of RCIS Mike Day.
  • Alban Laloum, currently head of Customer, Distribution, Marketing & Regional Management for Zurich Canada, has been selected for the role of Chief Customer Officer for Zurich North America.
  • Dawn Hiestand, currently head of Operations for Zurich North America’s Direct Markets business serving auto dealers, has been selected to replace Meador as head of Captives.
  • Kelly Kinzer has officially become head of Construction after serving in an interim role following the departure of Karen Reutter.

Rural Community Insurance Services

Meador, who has been at Zurich since 2013, will move to Zurich’s crop insurance business, Rural Community Insurance Services, on Feb. 1 as head of RCIS. Reporting to Zurich North America CEO Kristof Terryn, Meador will be responsible for the direction and strategic planning of Zurich’s crop insurance business, including the expansion of precision agriculture and other advanced technology, and relationships with key stakeholders in the agriculture industry, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), crop agents and the U.S. Congress. He will work with Zurich’s Government & Regulatory Relations team in Washington, D.C., on issues and advocacy related to the federally funded crop insurance program.

Day will stay on through March 31 to assist in Meador’s transition. Day’s retirement comes after nearly 40 years in crop insurance, which included serving on the NCIS Executive Committee and the Executive Committee of the Crop Insurance & Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB).


Succeeding Meador as head of Captives on Feb. 1, Hiestand will be responsible for the overall strategy and operational management of Zurich North America’s Group Captives insurance business, which includes member-owned, agency and fronted captives. She will report to Paul Horgan, head of U.S. National Accounts.

Since joining Zurich in 2000, Hiestand has held leadership positions in claims, operational transformation and underwriting. She served as chief operations officer for Alternative Markets before serving in the same role for Direct Markets. She is also head of the Women’s Innovation Network, Zurich’s largest employee resource group. She previously practiced law at private firms.

Customer Office

Laloum has been selected for the role of chief customer officer, reporting to Kristof Terryn. Effective Feb. 1, Laloum will be responsible for setting the strategic direction for the expanded Customer Office, which now will encompass distribution in addition to marketing and customer experience functions. This will include building on digital and technical capabilities.

Laloum has been with Zurich since 2013, joining as global broker relationship leader after leading Marsh’s multinational practice globally for three years. His 26 years of experience as a broker include roles leading Marsh’s international practice for the Midwest region and its risk management and client executive practice.


Kinzer, previously head of Construction Casualty and, before that, head of Construction Property at Zurich North America, had been leading Zurich’s Construction business on an interim basis since November, following the departure of Karen Reutter. Kinzer officially became head of Construction on Jan. 1. She will be accountable for underwriting results, sales execution, talent management strategies and innovative products and services, such as the Zurich Construction Weather Parametric solution that she helped launch in 2021. She will report to Horgan.

Kinzer started her career at Zurich before moving to roles at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty then Marsh & McLennan, where she was senior vice president. She then spent four years at Willis Towers Watson, where she progressed to executive vice president and head of Construction Broking for North America before rejoining Zurich in 2019.