Speaker Bios

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Speaker Bios


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Barb Bergmeier

Barb Bergmeier is a senior manager consultant within the Financial Services–Risk Advisory Practice of EY. She has more than 30 years of audit, accounting, regulatory, information technology, compliance, and risk management experience and served in the roles of a chief audit executive, chief risk officer, and chief compliance officer for more than 20 years at large financial institutions. She is a licensed CPA, CIA, CFSA, CRMA, CISA, CRISC, CLU, CFP, FLMI, and AHIP.

 


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Lynn Baranski

Lynn Baranski, managing director, is the global head of investments for BlackRock Private Equity Partners (PEP) within BlackRock Alternative Investors. She is a member of PEP's Management Committee, Investment Committee, Valuation Committee, and Investment Operating Committee.

Lynn’s service with the firm dates back to 1997, including her years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), which merged with BlackRock in 2006. Before joining PEP in 2001, she worked for four years as a high yield portfolio manager and research analyst in the fixed income division. She joined MLIM from Bank of America Securities, Inc. (formerly NationsBank), where she was a member of the Financial Sponsor Advisory group. In this position, she advised clients on optimal capital structures for leveraged buyouts and reviewed several private equity fund commitments on behalf of the bank.

Lynn currently serves on the advisory boards of certain funds managed by Black Diamond, Tailwind Capital Partners, 1315 Capital, and Z Capital Partners. Additionally, she is on the board of directors of Juweel Holdings, Travel Leaders Group, and Guardian Alarm and is an observer to the board of directors of TowerCo 2013 and Canbriam Energy Inc. She previously served on the board of directors of Evenflo and was an observer to the board of directors of TowerCo II.

Lynn earned a B.A. in History and Art History from Wake Forest University and an MBA in Finance from Vanderbilt University.

 


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Keith Bingham

Keith Bingham is a program manager for Employer Services at the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. He has over 10 years of experience assisting employers with their workers’ compensation insurance in Washington. Keith is responsible for the overall management of the Employer Services program, which provides key services to more than 182,000 Washington businesses who insure nearly 3 million covered workers. The program includes Account Services, Classification Development, Special Risk, Technical Support, Early Contact, Logger Safety Initiative, Stay at Work Program, and Outreach.

 


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Richard Burleigh

An Idaho attorney with over 30 years of experience, Richard Burleigh is currently the general counsel/assistant fund manager for SIF. His valuable knowledge in insurance regulation and application, contracts, and legal analysis guides SIF as it insures over 35,000 Idaho businesses. Before joining SIF, Richard worked as lead counsel for the Idaho Department of Insurance and spent 11 years as in-house counsel with Albertsons and its successor, SuperValu. His early practice focused on civil litigation in environmental law, water law, and contract disputes and resolutions. Richard previously sat on the board of directors for Kids' Chance of Idaho.

 


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Grant Butterfield

Grant Butterfield has been with Pinnacol Assurance since 2004. As the company’s lead counsel, he provides strategic legal support to business operations teams and represents Pinnacol and its policyholders in legal proceedings. Grant has been representing employers and Pinnacol in workers’ compensation matters for over 20 years. He provides educational outreach as a presenter, academic guest lecturer, and author on various topics in workers’ compensation. Grant holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Denver.

 


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Jason Clark

Since March 2009, Jason Clark has served as president and chief executive officer of CompSource Mutual Insurance Company, where he previously served the role of executive vice president and also formally led the company’s claims operation. Jason is a member of the board of directors for Paycom Software, where he serves as the chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and also serves as a member of the Audit Committee. He serves as a council advisor to the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, a president of AASCIF, founder and vice president of Kids’ Chance of Oklahoma, a member of the board of directors for United Way of Central Oklahoma, a member of the Oklahoma Economics Club, the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, and Vistage Worldwide and has previously served in leadership positions for multiple industry and trade associations. Jason has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry specializing in workers’ compensation insurance. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Central Oklahoma.

 


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Aaron K. Cohen

Aaron K. Cohen is a partner with Capitol Counsel, LLC. He is a senior level management and legislative professional with more than 20 years of experience in public policy and political strategy on Capitol Hill and in the private sector. Cohen has extensive experience in healthcare policy and political campaigns at the federal and state level.

Cohen served as chief of staff for U.S. Senator John Ensign (R-NV) where he oversaw day-to-day operations in four offices located in Washington, D.C. and Nevada, including management and personnel issues and administration of the budget. He was also the principal adviser to the senator on legislative, communications, and political strategies.

Before entering the private sector, Cohen served as the chief policy adviser to Senator Ensign on federal issues related to health care, Social Security, and veterans’ affairs. He worked on comprehensive Medicare reform and prescription drug coverage, national medical liability reform, health profession recruitment and retention, FDA user fee programs, bioterrorism defense, and health care coverage and delivery for veterans.

Cohen graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Karrie, and their three daughters.

 


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Kendra DePaul

Kendra DePaul is the interim director of underwriting at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). In this role, she oversees new application processing, combination of policies, the PEO unit, and BWC’s Other States Coverage program.

Kendra currently is the advisor of the AASCIF Policyholder Services and Underwriting Committee. She also is a Certified Workers’ Compensation Professional®, completing the AMCOMP program in 2016. In 2017, the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions also named Kendra as a NexGen award winner. The award recognizes talented new leaders in workers' compensation who are making their mark. Kendra is also a Prosci® Certified Change Practitioner, earning the certification in 2018.

She lives in Columbus with her husband, Andrew and son, Charlie.

 


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Harvey Flewelling

Harvey Flewelling is associate general counsel and appeals counsel at Pinnacol Assurance. A Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, Harvey has over 25 years of workers’ compensation defense experience and has handled hundreds of appeals, including over 40 published decisions. He negotiates and drafts legislation and has testified many times before the Colorado General Assembly. He is a speaker at numerous educational events for insurance professionals, employers, and attorneys each year, including providing monthly case law updates for the past 15 years. Harvey has a B.A. in English writing and secondary education from Morningside College and a J.D. from the University of Iowa.

 


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Jeff Floyd

Jeff Floyd is the safety & loss control manager at KEMI. He has over 30 years of experience working with business owners, safety professionals, supervisors, and employees developing, implementing, and maintaining loss control plans and employee training programs. During that time, Jeff has worked within a broad range of industries throughout Kentucky and encountered a varied assortment of unique scenarios and situations that relate to safety and workers’ compensation.

Jeff received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Kentucky University. He is an OSHA construction industry outreach trainer with additional training from the OSHA Training Institute, the KYOSH Division of Education and Training, the American Society of Safety Engineers, and the National Safety Council.

 


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Derek Fues

Derek Fues is an enterprise architect at the Idaho State Insurance Fund. He has more than 25 years of experience in software development and has been designing data-driven workers’ compensation solutions for more than 20 years. His passion is to hide the complexity of the technology behind simple and intuitive experiences that focus on customer expectations and needs.

 


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 Dima Ghawi

Dima Ghawi is the founder of a global talent development company with a primary mission for advancing individuals in leadership. Through keynote speeches, workshops, training programs, and executive coaching, Dima has empowered thousands of professionals across the globe to develop critical business skills and expand their leadership potential. In addition, she has provided guidance to business executives to help them understand the value of gender diverse leadership and to develop a multi-year plan for advancing quality leaders from within the organization.

Dima draws from two decades of corporate experience leading global teams and developing future leaders worldwide. She has worked across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa for several Fortune 100 companies, including IBM, Merrill Lynch, and Intuit. Through her work, she has honed a keen expertise in developing leaders to meet the demands of the global workforce. For more information, visit DimaGhawi.com and BreakingVases.com.

 


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Ryan Guppy

Ryan Guppy is the director of Work Disability Prevention at Linea Solutions. His experience spans nearly two decades in workers’ compensation specializing in work disability prevention and mitigation, vocational rehabilitation and return-to-work, interdisciplinary chronic pain management, psychosocial interventions, and leadership. Most recently, Ryan led the design, implementation, and management of innovative evidence-based work disability prevention and mitigation interventions for a large state fund that produced historically positive human and financial outcomes. He currently sits on IAIABC’s Work Disability Prevention and Return to Work Committee and was the past president of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals—Washington Chapter. Ryan was a finalist in 2019 and 2021 for the Comp Laude Award and in 2017 received the Governor’s Leadership in Management Award.

 


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Kevin Harlen

Kevin Harlen is a Ph.D. trained data scientist who uses his expertise in data analytics and modeling to apply best practices in claims data analytics through an equity lens. Kevin works to help agencies build out analytical frameworks, models, and principles that enable incorporation of key sociodemographic and socioeconomic data into the claims analytics process. Kevin also leads teams in developing AI and machine learning models to assess potential impacts of inequities spanning the socioeconomic and sociodemographic spectrums. Prior to this work, Kevin earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University and developed novel data and analytics methods in the biotechnology industry.


 

 


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Danielle Higley

Danielle Higley has been in the safety and health profession for 27 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and environmental health from Brigham Young University and her Master of Public Health (industrial hygiene emphasis) from the University of Utah. She currently is a director, safety & risk with WCF Insurance. She leads and mentors six of the 30 members of the safety & risk team on a regular basis and plans the day-to-day assignments for the entire team. Danielle works with policyholders, including construction trades, healthcare, manufacturing, local government, and industrial settings in injury prevention. She also performs industrial hygiene work for customers. Danielle loves the profession and helping people stay safe on and off the job.

 


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Lanny Hubbard


 


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Michael Huff

Michael Huff, CPCU, joined KEMI in December 2004. He has held several positions within the Policyholder Services unit. He was named to his current position as business development and specialty accounts manager in April 2014.

Michael oversees KEMI’s Business Development unit, which is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with agents, policyholders, and the business community. Michael also manages the underwriting team that is assigned to all workers’ compensation policies for specialized risks, such as coal mining, education, temporary staffing, and employee leasing accounts.

Michael graduated from Sullivan University in 2002, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration. He obtained his Associate in General Insurance designation in December 2011 and his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in February 2014. Michael has been married to his wife, Amy, for 21 years, and they have two boys, Sean and Tyler.

 


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Adam Hughes

Adam Hughes has worked in the Safety and Loss Prevention Department at CompSource Mutual for 16 years—eight years as a field consultant and eight years in a management role. During that time, he and his team of safety professionals have assisted thousands of policyholders, both large and small, to successfully create or improve their safety programs. In addition, they routinely partner with their agent community as well as their internal underwriting and claims departments to ensure that communication is strong for all parties.

Adam is married and has three children. He and his family enjoy spending time together on their farm raising registered show cattle as well as attending church and school events.

 


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James C. Hunter

James C. “Jim” Hunter is the author of three internationally best-selling books: The Servant, The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle, and The Culture: Creating Excellence With Those You Lead. His books are used in many MBA and other higher education curricula around the world. They have been translated into dozens of languages and have sold over 5.5 million copies worldwide.

Jim speaks on leadership to audiences around the world and assists organizations in creating a culture of excellence by growing leaders and building high-performing teams. His clients include many of the world’s most admired organizations, including the FBI, American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and all four branches of the U.S. military.

For more information, visit www.jameshunter.com.

 


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Greg Jamison 

Greg Jamison was promoted to senior vice president, underwriting for The MEMIC Group in March 2015. In this role, he oversees the group’s writings in Maine as well as the underwriting department’s administrative function areas.

A 29-year veteran of the insurance industry, Greg joined MEMIC in 2002 as underwriter for alternative markets and was then promoted to executive underwriter. In 2007, he assumed the new post of assistant vice president, underwriting. Once again, Greg was recognized for his leadership skills and promoted to vice president, underwriting in 2014. 

Greg graduated from of the University of Maine in 1986 and earned his MBA from the University of Southern Maine in 2002. He is a licensed property and casualty, surplus lines producer in 50 states plus D.C. 

Active in his community, Greg is a part of the National CPCU Society, the Maine Chapter of CPCU Society, the University of Southern Maine Business School Alumni Association, and University of Southern Maine Advisory Board in Risk Management and Insurance. He currently serves on the Junior Achievement of Maine board of directors. In 2014, he was the recipient of the Lee Allen President’s Award for Excellence from the CPCU Society’s Maine Chapter.

 


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Corey Jenkins

A video producer with over 15 years of experience, Corey Jenkins is currently the creative services supervisor at SAIF in Oregon. He oversees all graphic design and video production. In 2014 Corey launched SAIF’s YouTube channel, which garnered attention with his production of the world’s first office ergonomic rap video, “Go Ergo!” Since then, Jenkins has produced dozens of safety and wellness videos for internal and external use.

Corey received a bachelor’s degree in radio, TV, and digital media production from the University of Idaho, and he studied film production at Vancouver Film School in British Columbia. He spent seven years in the private sector, traveling the globe while working on documentaries, marketing and training videos, and television commercials. He has filmed with celebrities and political figures, but his favorite subjects are everyday people who are passionate about their work. 

Corey lives in Salem, Oregon, with his wife, Brooke, their five children, an assortment of music instruments, and way too many costumes.

 


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David Jones

David Jones is a founding partner of Capitol Counsel LLC, one of the top bipartisan federal government affairs firms in Washington. With over 25 years of political and lobbying experience, Jones has developed effective strategies for trade associations, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, individuals, and small businesses.

Prior to co-founding Capitol Counsel, Jones served on the staff of, or as a consultant to, the political committees of the majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, multiple senior members of Congress and United States senators, Vice President Al Gore, and President Bill Clinton. For that work, Campaigns & Elections magazine named him a “Rising Star in American Politics.”

Jones currently serves as deputy national finance chair of the Democratic National Committee and on the Board of Advisors of Washington University’s Gephardt Institute. He previously served on the Council of Trustees at Kutztown University of PA and the Board of Visitors of Mount Vernon and Board of Trustees, American Council of Young Political Leaders. Jones was the 2014 Volunteer of the Year for the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery. He is an associate member of the Army-Navy Club of Washington, DC.

Jones has been quoted on campaign-related matters by The Washington Post, Politico, Roll Call, The Hill, National Journal, The Wall Street Journal, and PBS News Hour.

 


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Victoria "Vickie" Kennedy

Vickie Kennedy is the vice president of workers’ compensation at Linea Solutions. With decades of experience, she has partnered with organizational leadership, external stakeholders, and legislators to improve workers’ compensation practices. She has been a member of the board of directors for the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) where she also chairs the Work Disability Prevention and Return to Work Committee. Last year, Vickie was honored for her contributions to the industry with IAIABC’s Frances Perkins Award. She has been awarded the Comp Laude Award from WorkCompCentral.com as well as Washington’s Governor’s Distinguished Manager Award.

 


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Sandra Kipust

Sandra Kipust is a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and has over 20 years of insurance experience. She recently started a new role as senior vice president at Guy Carpenter, where she is the analytics lead for the Workers Compensation Center of Excellence. Prior to that, Sandra was a senior managing actuary at Liberty Mutual, where she led a team of credentialed actuaries and analysts responsible for commercial lines pricing. Sandra has served on the actuarial committee at NCCI as well as other state bureaus. She earned her B.A. in mathematics from City University of New York, Queens College.

 


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Kristin Klein

Kristin L. Klein, ARM, AU, WCP®, joined Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company (then IWIF) in the claims department as a vocational rehabilitation specialist. In that role, she realized it was in everyone’s best interest to prevent injuries before they happen, which led her to occupational safety and health. She started working in the safety arena with state agencies and other local governments.

Kristin was promoted to the position of director of safety services in 2011. In this role, she oversees a team of safety professionals, setting strategic direction to best service their diverse customers. She also serves as chair of the SERMA (State Employee Risk Management Administration) Committee, which includes representatives from 14 of Maryland’s largest state agencies.

Kristin has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston University and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. She holds the Associate in Risk Management (ARM), Associate in Claims (AIC), and Associate in Underwriting (AU) designations; is a Workers’ Compensation Professional (WCP®); and is a Certified Healthcare Safety Professional (CHSP).

 


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Bryan Klipfel

Bryan Klipfel’s 45-year career is highlighted by a personal dedication to the citizens of North Dakota. In February 1977, he started as a trooper with the North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP). He worked his way through the ranks and, in November 2003, was appointed by Governor John Hoeven as superintendent of the NDHP. After a 30-year career, Bryan retired in August 2007. The recipient of numerous awards, Bryan has been honored with the Lone Eagle Award in recognition for outstanding and dedicated law enforcement in the state of North Dakota, as well as the Meritorious Service Medal upon retirement from the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

In September 2007, Bryan accepted a position with Job Service North Dakota (JSND) as a member of Job Service’s Industry Liaison Team. He worked diligently with the energy constituents within Governor Hoeven’s target industries to identify predominant workforce needs and develop solutions to meet those needs.

In March 2009, Bryan was appointed director of North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) by Governor John Hoeven. He was reappointed by Governor Jack Dalrymple in December 2010. He was reappointed again by Governor Doug Burgum in December 2016.

Under Bryan’s leadership, WSI has continued a strategic journey that has improved customer service, enhanced financial security, continued to develop internal processes, and continued to help employees learn and grow in all aspects of their jobs.

In December 2019, Bryan was asked to lead both WSI and JSND. As executive director of JSND, he led the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted the economy and created a once-in-a-generation workforce and unemployment challenges for our citizens and businesses.

He returned to a leadership role full time with WSI after his interim role at JSND ended on February 28, 2022.

Bryan is a native of Ashley, North Dakota. He graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration in 1975. He graduated in 1987 from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and holds national certifications as a Senior Professional in Human Resources.

 


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Sandra Kipust

Sandra Kipust is a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and has over 20 years of insurance experience. She recently started a new role as senior vice president at Guy Carpenter, where she is the analytics lead for the Workers Compensation Center of Excellence. Prior to that, Sandra was a senior managing actuary at Liberty Mutual, where she led a team of credentialed actuaries and analysts responsible for commercial lines pricing. Sandra has served on the actuarial committee at NCCI as well as other state bureaus. She earned her B.A. in mathematics from City University of New York, Queens College.

 


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Krisi L. Kunz

After 13 years of being the change instigator (a.k.a. internal auditor) for Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI), Krisi Kunz took on the role of change management specialist for WSI. In this role, Krisi works toward bringing the practice of change management into daily business operations. In addition to change management, she provides strategic planning support and special project management.

Krisi holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration, and a master’s degree in leadership, all from the University of Jamestown (Jamestown, North Dakota). The drive to be a lifelong learner has led to Krisi creating an alphabet soup after her name with numerous certifications within the internal auditing and workers’ compensation industries. In 2020, she earned certifications as a Project Management Professional and Change Management Practitioner from Prosci, Inc. as well as a Prosci, Inc. Level 1 and Level 2 Trainer.

 


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Lee Landrum

Lee Landrum, managing director, is a member of BlackRock's U.S. Private Credit Team. Prior to joining BlackRock as part of its acquisition of Tennenbaum Capital Partners (TCP), Lee was a managing partner of TCP. Before TCP, he worked with The Carlyle Group as a member of its Global Market Strategies Investment Team. Prior to joining Carlyle, he was employed by Babson Capital Management LLC (now Barings), where he focused on junior capital investing in middle-market buyout transactions and buyout and special situation fund investments. Lee was previously a banker with the capital markets team at First Union (now Wells Fargo), where he served in a variety of roles, including investment banking and sales and trading. He received his MBA from Vanderbilt University and his B.A. from The University of Georgia. In addition, he spent time during his undergraduate studies at Jesus College at Oxford.

 


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Steven J. Lichtenberg

Steven J. Lichtenberg, CSP, ARM, CSPHA, is employed at SFM Mutual Insurance Company as a loss prevention specialist. He has more than 40 years of diverse loss prevention experience ranging from his submarine sub-safe work in the U.S. Navy, his stints as battalion fire chief at Koch Oil Refinery and safety manager at two professional employer organizations, 10 years as a loss control consultant at an insurance agency, his job as safety manager for a national chemical company, and now, his current position at SFM.

Steve’s current book of business includes working with hospitals, long-term healthcare facilities, school districts, animal producers/processors, metal fabricators, social service companies, and automotive service and parts companies.

Having worked on all three sides of the “Insurance Equation” (carrier, agency, and private industry), Steve brings a unique approach to helping policyholders prevent losses. Steve is married, has a son and a daughter in college, and currently lives in Buffalo, Minnesota.

 


Steve_Lichtenberg_Headshot.png Kelly Lutinski

Kelly Lutinski, CPA, RIMS-CRMP, has been at Pinnacol since January 2016. In 2019, she was promoted from the director of enterprise risk management (ERM) to the chief risk officer at Pinnacol. Prior to joining Pinnacol, she had been involved in the financial services industry for over 25 years with specializations in ERM, process improvement, internal control optimization, Sarbanes Oxley Section 404, accounting and finance, and internal audit.

As the chief risk officer, Kelly is responsible for developing and maintaining a comprehensive process for monitoring, controlling, and reporting key financial and business risks. She also manages the documentation and testing of internal controls over financial reporting and is responsible for the completion of Pinnacol’s ORSA report, which was submitted for the first time at the end of 2017. 

Kelly is a CPA, has her Certificate in Risk Management and Insurance from UC-Denver, and is a Certified Risk Management Professional (CRMP) through the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS).

 


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Michael D. Lynch

Michael D. Lynch is senior vice president of legal services at Beacon Mutual Insurance Company. He was previously a partner in the Providence law firm of Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney, where he practiced primarily in the area of workers’ compensation defense, representing employers, insurance carriers, and self-insureds. Michael graduated from Providence College with a degree in business administration and received his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law. He is a member of the Rhode Island Bench-Bar Committee on workers’ compensation and is a member of the sections on Litigation and Tort and Insurance Practice of the American Bar Association. He has actively participated on the National Issues and Law Committees of AASCIF for many years and before that he actively participated in the same committees of the American Law Firm Association. Michael lobbies at the Rhode Island General Assembly on workers’ compensation issues and has extensive experience on all matters relating to public policy and workers’ compensation insurance. He also actively leads and participates in many non-profit businesses, including the Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England and the Rhode Island Legal Educational Partnership.

 


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Mark Murray

Mark Murray is a Managing Director in Guy Carpenter’s Strategic Advisory Unit with primary responsibilities focused on helping clients in the areas of rating agency relations, enterprise risk management and capital modeling analytics. Prior to joining Guy Carpenter in 2014, Mark worked for JLT Re/Towers Watson as a Senior Vice President in their Rating Advisory Unit and worked with A.M. Best while at Towers Watson to help them develop their stochastic based BCAR factors. Prior to that, Mark was a Senior Financial Analyst at A.M. Best covering a portfolio of U.S. P&C and global reinsurance companies. Mark is a graduate of Temple and Drexel Universities and currently works out of Guy Carpenter’s Philadelphia Office.

 


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Rob Norris

Rob Norris is a senior analyst in Celent’s North America Property/Casualty practice. In this role, he advises CEOs, CIOs, and other senior leaders in the insurance industry about digital strategy, innovation, and technology management.

Prior to Celent, Rob spent 25 years in executive roles at two different workers’ compensation insurers leading IT, corporate strategy, and innovation. In 2017, he founded the insurtech startup Cake, a digital MGA that achieved breakthrough levels of customer satisfaction in commercial insurance.

Throughout his career, Rob has won numerous awards for innovation. His work has received extensive press coverage and been the focus of numerous case studies. Rob has a passion for entrepreneurism, with deep experience in strategic planning, product management, and product marketing, having led those functions within the insurance industry as well as for companies in media and technology sectors.

 


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Nadia Patel

Nadia Patel, CFA, is director and head of West Coast and practice area lead for Personal Lines & Workers' Compensation. She is responsible for overseeing the firm's investment management relationships and activities with clients in the segment as a member of the North American Financial Institutions Group within BlackRock. Nadia began working at BlackRock as a member of the Canadian institutional business, where she covered a wide range of clients across the Canadian institutional investor landscape, including insurance, endowments, and foundations, along with pension plans. Following that she served U.S. corporate and public pension plans covering some of the largest plan sponsors in the country. Nadia worked in RBC's investor relations group, followed by a role in commercial real-estate research with Veritas Inc. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in business administration and earned her CFA charter in 2013.

 


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Mike Potter

Mike Potter is the chief information officer and vice president of strategic alignment for CompSource Mutual Insurance Company, a role he has held since June 2016. Mike brings over 30 years of experience in information technology and leadership to CompSource Mutual. Mike joined CompSource Mutual from the energy industry, where he held both technology and leadership roles with EDS, Halliburton, Deloitte, and Devon Energy. Mike earned a B.S. in computer science from the University of Houston in 1984. He served as the 2018 AASCIF IT Committee chairperson. Mike is serving as the 2022 chairperson of the Guidewire Workers Compensation User Group. He is a member of the board of directors of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and a member of the Oklahoma City Rotary Club.

 


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Daniel "Dan" Rogers

Daniel (Dan) Rogers joined Missouri Employers Mutual (MEM) in January 2017. In his current role as director of underwriting and premium consultation, he leads teams in the underwriting, premium auditing, underwriting analytics, and system support disciplines. He also directs and leads the predictive modeling application to underwriting, book profile improvement, and pricing consistency efforts. Dan also serves on several cross-functional teams at MEM.

Rogers gained previous experience at Liberty Mutual in a wider variety of roles in underwriting and product management leadership. He holds a B.S. from William Jewell College and has also obtained the Charter Property Casualty Underwriter designation. In addition, Dan has spent over 20 seasons working for the National Hockey League in a variety of roles, including official scorer and video replay official. In 2002 he was selected to represent the NHL at the Olympic Games.

 


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Stacy Rose

Stacy Rose is a regional manager for Safety Services with Texas Mutual Insurance Company, the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance. She leads a team responsible for providing employee safety training, workplace safety evaluations, and safety and risk management consulting services to Texas Mutual policyholders in the Central Texas, Coastal Bend, and Rio Grande Valley areas. Her goal is to ensure that policyholder and agency service supports the vision and mission of Texas Mutual.

Stacy is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she earned B.S. degrees in kinesiology and industrial engineering and an M.S. in safety engineering with a specialty in ergonomics. She completed some doctoral work in interdisciplinary engineering with a focus on upper extremity disorders. In 2011, Stacy became a certified safety professional.

Stacy lives in Austin with her family, including two precious dogs, Charlie and Biscuit. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling, and golfing.

 


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Bernie Ryan

Based in Boston, Bernie Ryan has more than two decades of experience in financial services and is the team lead for relationship management, working with insurance companies to identify appropriate investment solutions. He has been with DWS since 2007 and before that held sales and relationship management roles at Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. Bernie earned his MBA from Boston University and has a BBA from the University of Massachusetts. 

 


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Stan Smith

Stan Smith initially founded Gradient AI as a unique practice within Milliman to focus on the risk management and insurance industry’s most challenging business problems. He subsequently acquired the business from Milliman in 2018. 

With nearly 30 years of experience growing AI and technology organizations, Stan’s leadership ensures that Gradient is applying the latest AI and machine learning technologies to the insurance industry, resulting in proven financial performance for its stellar list of customers and better treatment and outcomes for individuals. 

Stan has held founding or executive-level roles for multiple startup companies, including vice president at MatrixOne, executive vice president and general manager at Agile Software, and CEO and founder at OpenRatings.

Stan also led the development of patented technologies, including technology that predicts bankruptcies for small, privately held suppliers; a global database to improve supplier performance for more than 80 million companies; and technology that combines assessments with performance data to identify opportunities for reducing inefficiencies through lean initiatives.

 


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Shelia Schmidt

Sheila Schmidt, CSP, ARM, is a safety risk services regional manager for Missouri Employers Mutual. Specializing in risk management, she has more than 19 years of experience working in insurance. She enjoys worker’s compensation the most. Education, construction, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing are among the industries she has consulted closely with throughout her career. Working alongside a diverse customer base, Sheila provides control strategies to include, foremost, injury prevention, workplace safety and productivity, claims management best practices, safety program recommendations, and employee and management training. Outside of work, Sheila is a wife, a mom of two, and a runner, and has the best dog on the planet.

 


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Vernon Steiner

Vernon Steiner was appointed president and CEO of State Fund on June 9, 2014. He has 30 years of insurance industry experience, the majority in workers’ compensation. As president and CEO, he reports directly to the board of directors and is responsible for the day-to-day operations at State Fund.

Vern began his career in 1990 as a claims examiner. Early in his career, he experienced the workers’ compensation system from the point of view of a third-party administrator, a self-insured/self-administered employer, and a managed care organization. In 1995, Vern joined AIG as a service center manager, and by 2003, when he left AIG, he was the regional vice president, Northwest. He worked for CNA from 2003 to 2007, starting as the vice president of field operations and ultimately served as vice president of workers’ compensation. Prior to joining State Fund, Vern served as senior vice president of claims at Zenith Insurance from 2007 to 2014.

Vern was a member of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute’s (WCRI) advisory board from 2009 to 2016, and he served as the California Workers’ Compensation Institute's (CWCI) board of directors chair and as a member of the Fraud Assessment Commission from 2014 to 2016. He is currently on the CWCI board and the executive committee of the board and has served on the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau governing committee since 2014.

Vern received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles.

 


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Johnathan Tudor

Jonathon Tudor is the senior vice president of corporate marketing & communications at California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund. Jonathon joined State Fund in 2018 after more than 15 years in marketing, advertising, and communications roles at various organizations, including Amazon.com, InsWeb.com, Wachovia Bank, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Jonathon has a passion for making things easy to understand and easy to use, and he spends a lot of his time driving initiatives that support those two aims. The intrepid Googler may still find examples of Jonathon’s early Amazon writing. (Hint: “lawn mower racing”)

 


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Tim Wahlin

Timothy J. Wahlin, J.D., is the chief of injury services and has been with WSI for 20 years. Prior to accepting a position with WSI, he practiced law with a private firm, primarily in civil litigation. At WSI, he acted as staff counsel, where his main role was to provide advice and training for claims staff and manage WSI litigation. He has been chief of injury services for 11 years and oversees claims, return to work services, medical services, customer service, and office services.

Tim’s undergraduate degrees include a major in biology and minors in chemistry and Earth science. Tim received his Juris Doctorate from the University of North Dakota. This background uniquely qualifies him for his current position with WSI.

Tim has sat numerous times on AASCIF working committees and has been a speaker at numerous national workshops. Tim is licensed to practice law and carries the designation of Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of North Dakota.

 


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Martin J. Welch

Martin “Marty” Welch was appointed chief executive office of Hawaii Employers Mutual Insurance Co. (HEMIC) in August 2012, bringing over 30 years of workers’ compensation and commercial property and casualty insurance experience to his position. Marty previously served as president and chief operating officer for Employers Holdings, Inc., a publicly traded, multi-state workers’ compensation specialty carrier based in Reno, Nevada.

Prior to Employers Holdings, Marty spent 25 years with the former Wausau Insurance Companies, a national multi-line insurer, serving in various underwriting, marketing, management, and executive roles. He currently serves on the board of governors of the American Property Casualty Insurers Association, the board of directors for the National Council on Compensation Insurance, and the board of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai`I, and he is the chair of the Local Leadership Board for the Arthritis Foundation of Hawai`i.

Marty earned his undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Illinois, and he is a Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter.

Marty and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Honolulu.

 


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Thomas Wiese

Thomas Wiese joined MEMIC in 2016 as vice president of claims, where he oversees MEMIC’s Maine-based claim services and compliance as well as nationwide managed care services. Thomas began his career in the insurance industry managing regional field claim offices for Cigna. He has spent the last 20 plus years in senior level claims and managed care positions with Zurich North America, Fairfax, Tower Group, and Sedgwick.

Thomas earned his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota with an emphasis on insurance and environmental law. He graduated from Bethel University in Saint Paul as a double major in biology and psychology and earned a certificate in strategic business leadership from the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.

 


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Mickey Willard

Mickey Willard graduated from Winona State University with a paralegal major and spent the first 13 years of his career working as an insurance defense paralegal. He started out working in the private sector and then moved to an in-house law firm at American Family Insurance Co., where he handled personal injury litigation and workers’ compensation. In 2001, he transferred to the HR space while at American Family, working as a talent acquisition specialist. Mickey handled all staffing-related matters for the American Family office in Minnesota, as well worked with staffing initiatives in the company’s expansion states. His total time spent at American family was 25 years. Mickey joined SFM in 2018 as an HR business partner. At SFM, he directs all talent acquisition matters as well as managing SFM’s ATS, job description database, and compensation program as well as other duties as assigned.

 


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Rhonda Wills

Rhonda Wills started with SFM Mutual Insurance Company in 1988. She began her career in Claims and moved on to a variety of other disciplines, including the underwriting technical area. Rhonda joined the company’s subsidiary, SFM Risk Solutions, eight years ago as the business manager of the multidisciplined Assigned Risk Plan Team, which administers 75% of the Minnesota Assigned Risk Plan and 20% of the Wisconsin Assigned Risk Pool.


 


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Ryan Worthen

Ryan Worthen is the director of marketing and customer experience for KEMI, where he has served for 20 years. He is focused on enhancing the voice of the customer, building KEMI's brand, and encouraging community engagement throughout the company.

Ryan currently serves on the board of directors for Lexington Habitat for Humanity and the Hearing & Speech Center. He is also a board member and has served multiple terms as president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Thoroughbred Chapter. He previously served for four years as chair of the Marketing & Community Awareness Committee on the board of directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass, as well as Communications Committee chair for the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds.

Ryan is a former collegiate tennis player and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky.

 


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Shadya Yazback

Shadya Yazback serves as the public sector leader for the Workers’ Compensation Transformation practice at Deloitte Consulting. In this role, she leads the effort to bring together public sector and commercial insurance resources to provide insight and innovative solutions for public and private state funds across the country. 

Prior to Deloitte, Shadya was chief of Enterprise Services in Ohio’s State Fund, where she led the agency’s IT, analytics, compliance, PMO, and business transformation functions. During her tenure, she led the agency through a successful Core Systems replacement project, and, working with other senior leaders, she also established and led the agency’s award-winning Inclusion & Diversity program.

Shadya’s recent projects include leading the human-centered redesign of a policyholder portal, leading a modernization study examining the benefits and potential application of a Customer Relationship Management system in a state fund, and serving as the workers’ compensation subject matter advisor to several technical implementation projects. Her current research efforts focus on improving both the worker and policyholder customer experience by enhancing trust and embracing inclusion.