2019 Speakers

Jerry Bessette

Jerry Bessette

Managing Director — Ankura

Prior to joining Ankura, Jerry retired from the FBI after a highly successful 24-year career as a special agent and executive manager. He held numerous leadership positions around the country managing investigations of different criminal and national security violations as well as technical surveillance programs.

Jerry is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), FBI certified Crisis Management Coordinator, and SANS GIAC Information Security Fundamentals certified. He also maintains a current Top-Secret security clearance. 

Jill B. Brooks, CPCU, ARM-E, MLIS, CRIS, ERIS

Jill B. Brooks, CPCU, ARM-E, MLIS, CRIS, ERIS

Director, Risk Management — Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages

Drawing upon more than 25 years of risk management experience, Jill Brooks manages Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages’ risk and insurance programs and protocols. She has driven efficiencies, better coverage, and cost savings by assessing company risks and reengineering insurance programs to better fit those risks.
Jill holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Georgia. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and Strategy from Southern Methodist University. Jill was among D CEO Magazine’s Best Risk Managers in 2012.

Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper

U.S. economist for Hartford Investment Management Company, investment manager — The Hartford

Stephen Cooper is the U.S. economist for Hartford Investment Management Company, investment manager of The Hartford, working on the Macro and Rates strategy team. His research and analysis on the economy drives alpha generation in portfolio management, as well as insights that improve outcomes for the lines of business at the Hartford. Stephen joined HIMCO in 2014 after earning his MA in Economics and BA in Economics from Bowling Green State University. Stephen lives in southeastern Connecticut and in his spare time manages a small horse farm.

David Crowe

David Crowe

Senior Vice President, Claims — Berkshire Hathaway

David Crowe is responsible for the group’s Claims function. Crowe has been in the industry for over 25 years, most recently as Global Head of Commercial Property Claims at AIG. Prior to joining the AIG companies, Crowe was with Aetna Casualty & Surety and Envision Claims Management where he handled both commercial and personal lines property and casualty claims. Crowe holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Business from Washington & Je­erson College and a Juris Doctorate degree from New York Law School.

Robert Curtis

Robert Curtis

Senior Vice President — SCOR Reinsurance Company’s Alternative Solutions Division

Robert Curtis is currently a Senior Vice President for SCOR Reinsurance Company’s Alternative Solutions Division.  This group is responsible for developing unique, parametric and structured solutions for both the reinsurance and corporate segments of the business.

Prior to SCOR Mr. Curtis held various senior positions at Zurich Insurance, including leading its US Energy Property, Structured Solutions, and Mergers & Acquisitions units.

Scott Curtis

Scott Curtis

Senior Vice President, Managing Director — Specialty Practice — Lockton Companies

Scott Curtis is Lockton Midwest’s point person for specialty insurance placements. In addition to Scott’s broking experience, he has nine years of risk management experience, including experience as the Manager of Corporate Insurance for Emerson Electric Co. Scott also has property insurance underwriting experience with FM Global and has developed alternative risk programs for property insurance clients.

Scott has considerable experience with multinational programs and has traveled extensively in Asia Pacific, Mexico, and Europe.

Jeff Esper

Jeff Esper

Director of Marketing — RWH Myers & Company

Jeff Esper is the Director of Marketing at forensic accounting firm, RWH Myers & Company. Jeff created rwhMyersInsights.com as a vehicle to inform policyholders about the challenges of insurance claim preparation and recovery. Jeff is a Thought Leader at InsuranceThoughtLeadership.com, a RIMS Member and licensed broker. Jeff previously worked at Willis Towers Watson and Ebix.

Miranda Fabian

Miranda Fabian

Vice President, Account Executive — Lockton Companies

Miranda Fabian is approaching 13 years of experience in consultative brokerage of executive and financial risks specialty insurance products for publicly-traded, privately-held, and non-profit organizations.

Miranda’s responsibilities include client development, service, strategic direction, analysis, and placement of risk transfer.

Miranda specializes in risks associated with publicly-traded and complex private company directors and officers, mergers and acquisitions/transactional program design and integration, industry exposures and trends, policy language negotiation, and multinational evaluation/structure.

Richard Frese, FCAS, MAAA

Richard Frese, FCAS, MAAA

Principal & Consulting Actuary — Milliman

Richard Frese is a Principal & Consulting Actuary at Milliman’s Chicago office. Richard has presented at many conferences and has published several articles in nationwide insurance publications such as Business Insurance, Risk Management, The Self-Insurer, Healthcare Financial Management and Risk & Insurance including “Does Your Self-Insured Program Need a Tune-up?”, “A Second Look At Your Self-Insurance Allocation”, “Conversations With Your Actuary: Getting To the Right Number”, “Why Independence Matters In Actuarial Services“, and “How Do You Compare? Benchmarking Your Insurance Program.

Vince Gaffigan

Vince Gaffigan

Executive Vice President Director — Risk Consulting, Lockton Companies

Vincent J. Gaffigan leads Lockton’s Strategic Consulting Practice for the Midwest. He is also a member of Lockton’s National Risk Practices Group.

In this capacity, Vince collaborates with Fortune 1000 clients to develop high impact, multi-year strategies around property, casualty, risk finance, analytics, global services, and risk control.

With over 30 years of experience broking and underwriting global accounts, Vince is well versed in most property/casualty rating plans, including large deductibles, self-insurance, captives, and alternative risk structures.

In 2011, Vince was named a “Power Broker” by Risk and Insurance Magazine.

Paul Horgan

Paul Horgan

Head of North America Commercial Insurance — Zurich NA

Paul Horgan is the Head of U.S. Commercial Insurance for Zurich North America and is responsible for the direction, management and performance of all commercial and specialties business in the U.S. He joined Zurich in 2007 and has served as Head of Global Corporate in North America; Head of Group Reinsurance, serving at the company’s worldwide headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland; and Chief Underwriting Officer for Global Corporate in North America.

Horgan has more than 30 years experience in the insurance industry.

Matthew Merna

Matthew Merna

Division President, Major Accounts — Chubb

Matt Merna is Division President, Chubb North America Major Accounts. He has executive and operating responsibility for Chubb’s retail commercial property and casualty insurance businesses that serve the large account and corporate market in the U.S. and Canada. He is responsible for all aspects of the Major Accounts division, including strategy, production, product development and management, and profit and loss performance.

Merna is an 18-year veteran of the large-risk and national accounts marketplace.

Ellen Marie Michael

Ellen Marie Michael

Manager of Sales – East Region — TUV SUD/Global Risk Consultants

Ellen Michael is the Manager of Sales – East Region for TÜV SÜD GRC, responsible for managing and delivering the core services of TÜV SÜD GRC to her clients and maintaining oversight of all consulting activities on her accounts.  Ms. Michael is an experienced leader of property risk control consulting services and has been involved in the Highly Protected Risk (HPR) property insurance industry throughout her career. Her areas of expertise include Account Management, Property Risk Control, Risk Identification and Assessment, Natural Catastrophe Analysis, Building Relationships, Leading Successful Team Efforts, and Problem Solving.

Mark Moitoso, FCCAS, MAAA

Mark Moitoso, FCCAS, MAAA

Executive Vice President — Risk Practices Leader

As the risk practices leader, Mark is responsible for Lockton’s national
practices, delivering customized solutions in the areas of property, casualty, captive consulting, risk finance, private equity, analytics, global services,
risk control and claims. These solutions are delivered within a strategic
risk consulting framework aligned with clients’ corporate operational and
financial goals.
Having developed more than 25 years of underwriting company experience
prior to joining Lockton, Mark leverages quantitative capabilities to drive
decision-making and deliver superior results.

Joanne Moynihan

Joanne Moynihan

Vice President of Workers Compensation Claim Product Development and Strategy – Travelers

Joanne is the vice president of Workers Compensation Claim Product Development and Strategy.  In her role, her mission is to foster an environment synonymous with thought leadership, innovation and superior customer-centric claim services.  Joanne is deeply involved with Travelers delivery of workers compensation predictive modeling solutions and digital innovations. She also leads cross-functional teams focused on analytics, marketing and communication and claim and medical strategies.

Joanne has over 25 years of industry experience.

Shelley Norman

Shelley Norman

Financial Lines Lead Regional Executive for the U.S. — AIG

Shelley Norman is the AIG Financial Lines Lead Regional Executive for the U.S.  Shelley has oversight over the regional teams responsible for Management Liability and Professional Liability underwriting in the territory.  Shelley joined AIG in 1995 as an Underwriter in Financial Lines and has held several different roles within Financial Lines including Underwriting Officer for the Private Non-Profit Management Liability Division and Head of the Private Non-Profit Management Liability Division.  She graduated from the University of Illinois with a BA in Economics.

Stephen Peacock

Stephen Peacock

Assistant Vice President, Excess Workers’ Compensation Claims — Safety National

Stephen Peacock is Assistant Vice President, Excess Workers’ Compensation Claims at Safety National where he oversees a team of experienced Excess Claims Analysts handling catastrophic work-related injuries across the U.S.  Steve has worked within the workers’ compensation industry since 1989.  He began his career at Aetna Life & Casualty as a WC adjuster before joining Sedgwick CMS where he worked predominantly with national healthcare accounts.

Joe Powell

Joe Powell

Vice President of Analytics — Gallagher Bassett

Joe is responsible for the Analytics function within Gallagher Bassett’s U.S. Operations.  Joe’s team provides a wide range of analysis services — from basic claims reporting to advanced analytics.  Responsibilities include client stewardship, claims operations analytics, managed care analytics, and internal management reporting.

Joe joined Gallagher Bassett in January of 2014.  Previously he was a consultant at Bain & Company.  Joe holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Dr. Rick Rigsby

Dr. Rick Rigsby

President and CEO — Rick Rigsby Communications

In 2017, Dr. Rick Rigsby delivered one of the most passionate speeches ever heard. More than 200 MILLION PEOPLE worldwide viewed the speech in a video that went viral in just a matter of days.

Dr. Rigsby is President and CEO of Rick Rigsby Communications.
The former award-winning journalist followed a television career with graduate school–and two decades as a college professor.

Dr. Rigsby’s dynamic presentations motivate, empower and inspire worldwide–from Africa and Asia, to the Americas, Europe and Canada.

Jarrod Schlesinger

Jarrod Schlesinger

Executive Vice President — Chubb

Jarrod Schlesinger is an Executive Vice President at Chubb where he runs the Public Company Management Liability portfolio for North America Financial Lines. Prior to the acquisition of Chubb by ACE, Jarrod was a Vice President at ACE USA since 2009.

Prior to ACE, Jarrod was at AIG for 6 years where his last role was as Senior Vice President managing the Financial Institution E&O business.

Jarrod holds a B.A. in economics from Emory University, a J.D. from The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and an M.B.A. in finance from The Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University.

JJ Schmidt

JJ Schmidt

Senior Vice President — York RSG

JJ Schmidt is Senior Vice President of CareWorks, the managed care division of York Risk Services Group, Inc.  Mr. Schmidt oversees TeamComp, York’s approach to managing workers’ compensation claims that combines sophisticated data analytics, medical and claims expertise and adaptive technology to improve claims outcomes and lower costs.  He is responsible for developing the algorithms that drive TeamComp.  In addition he works to identify emerging trends and future cost drivers as part of the organization’s innovation strategy.

Mr. Schmidt has almost 30 years of industry experience.  

Sharon Scott

Sharon Scott

Vice President, Medical Programs — ESIS

As the vice president of medical programs at ESIS, Sharon Scott leads a team that manages more than $30M in revenue, providing all aspects of managed care for workers compensation and liability insurance markets. She possesses more than 30 years of insurance industry and managed care experience, having worked for a diverse range of organizations including commercial insurance carriers, workers compensation third-party administrators, and managed care firms. In her role with each of her employers, Sharon was able to garner the respect of her peers and clients alike.

Dr. Adam Seidner, MD, MPH

Dr. Adam Seidner, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer — The Hartford

Dr. Adam Seidner, MD, MPH, is the chief medical officer for The Hartford medical responsible for The Hartford’s strategy and policy across all lines of business with a particular focus on workers’ compensation and disability management.

Previously, he was global medical director for Travelers Insurance, where he was responsible for medical policy development, quality assurance and improvement and worksite health promotion.

Mike Silver

Mike Silver

Senior Vice President of Underwriting and Product Development — Old Republic Professional

Mike is the Senior Vice President of Underwriting and Product Development at Old Republic Professional.  He also leads the Central Underwriting team that focuses on underwriting and developing relationships with brokers and customers throughout the region. 

Mike has nearly twenty-five years of experience in underwriting various lines of professional liability with an emphasis on public and private company management liability. He is a graduate of Indiana University.

Scott Skifstad

Scott Skifstad

Senior Vice President, Risk Control Manager — Lockton Companies

Scott Skifstad is a risk control services manager who is committed to providing the best service in the industry to his clients. He is responsible for managing the Claims and Loss Control departments in the Midwest Series.

Skifstad implements the strategic deployment of all risk control services resources and staff and provides thought-leadership to all office locations while identifying opportunities to achieve location goals and objectives.

Prior to joining Lockton, Skifstad spent 26 years with Travelers in various positions. He gained extensive knowledge during this period which he utilizes in his position at Lockton.

Said Taiym

Said Taiym

Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer — Lockton Companies

Said Taiym is executive vice president and chief digital officer for Lockton, the world’s largest privately held, independent insurance broker and consultant. Taiym’s focus is on digital innovation and new technologies to help Lockton Associates transform how they deliver best-in-class strategic solutions for clients. He is an expert in leading change and creating technology innovations that improve the customer experience.

Taiym has more than 10 years of experience in the insurance industry.

Jim Thayer, AIS, AINS

Jim Thayer, AIS, AINS

Vice President and Manager of U.S. Casualty Claims for Liberty Mutual Insurance’s East and South Regions

Jim manages the overall performance and service delivery of the National / Middle Market Liability Claims department. He effectively manages annual claim volumes in excess of 120,000 a year. He’s responsible for providing superior customer service to national and global customers and brokers.

Jim began his career at Liberty Mutual 35 years ago as a senior claims adjuster. He quickly assumed roles of increased responsibility, including a variety of leadership roles across the commercial claims business.

Brad Witt

Brad Witt

Corporate Risk Manager — Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC

Brad has served for the past 21 years as the Corporate Risk Manager for Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC, a $5 billion nationwide agricultural chemical, fertilizer, and seed distributor with its corporate office located near Memphis, TN.  He received his B.S. in Safety & Risk Management from the University of Memphis, holds 9 professional designations, serves on various corporate boards, and is a past president of the Memphis RIMS chapter.

Peter Zaffino

Peter Zaffino

Chief Executive Officer, General Insurance Global Chief Operating Officer — AIG

Peter Zaffino is Chief Executive Officer of AIG’s General Insurance business, which is a leading provider of insurance products and services for commercial and personal insurance customers. General Insurance has over 30,000 colleagues in more than 80 countries and generates $35 billion in annual gross written premiums.
Peter is also Global Chief Operating Officer of AIG and serves as a member of AIG’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT).
Peter has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry.