People and Places

May 8, 2006

Carol Sipe has been named vice president and general manager of operations; Francis “Fran” Graham has been named Southeast director of sales; and Chris Neyrey has been named Southwest director of sales and agency relations of the Lakeland, Fla.-based Summit, according to Rick Hodges, president and CEO.

Sipe will manage the claims, loss control, premium audit, policy administration, information technology and facilities departments. A Lakeland, Fla., native, Sipe joined Summit in 1989 and moved through the ranks as director of operations in Claims until 1999, when she became vice president of operations.

In a new position, Graham will oversee the sales force in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee; working with more than 500 independent agents.

Graham spent 31 years in Virginia with Utica National Insurance, where he eventually became regional vice president, responsible for marketing, underwriting, claims and policy issuance.

In 2004, Graham became territory manager for Montgomery Insurance in Virginia.

Nuyrey will be based in Summit’s Baton Rouge office and will help manage the company’s expanding business presence in the region.

A native of Metairie, La., Neyrey worked for 12 years in the Louisiana workers’ compensation market, most recently as a vice president for Christensen & Associates, a marketing consulting firm in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Neyrey will oversee Summit’s sales operations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.

Diana G. DeValCourt and Steve E. Alexander, Jr. have been named principles in Integro’s Atlanta office.

DeValCourt will advise client service teams on international policy and issuance, and servicing. She will also guide and manage Integro’s global partner relationships. She has more than 30 years commercial property and casualty experience, with the last 17 years focused on international risk management. DeValCourt most recently served as International Practice leader for Wachovia Insurance Services/Palmer and Cay, and has also held positions with Marsh USA and Sedgwick Global.

Alexander has 24 years of experience in property and casualty sales and risk management. He joins Integro from the Steve Alexander Agency, a division of Southern States Insurance, where he was president for 16 years.

John Darragh has joined Atlanta-based Crawford & Company’s Global Property and Casualty Services sales team.

In 1973, Darragh joined Crawford as a claims professional in the White Plains, N.Y., branch. He was promoted to branch supervisor and branch manager of the White Plains office and later became regional director for the Northeast Region.

Darragh was branch manager of the New York City and Wayne, N.J., branches as well as regional account executive and most recently, regional quality manager for the Northeast Region.

Susan ‘Susie’ Booth, one of two employees who in 1979 started the St. Petersburg, Fla. branch of Hull & Co., retired March 31 and will be replaced by Larry Beller, who will take over as Tampa Bay branch manager.

During Booth’s tenure as branch manager, Hull’s Tampa Bay branch grew significantly to become the second largest in the Hull network.

Beller, who was formerly assistant branch manager and head of Commercial Lines, will replace Booth as the new vice president and branch manager. He is a Hull & Co. veteran, who joined the firm working in the Fort Lauderdale office. Twenty-two years ago he transferred to the St. Petersburg office.

Anthony M. “Tony” Grippa has been named profit center manager for the Daytona Beach, Fla. retail operation of Brown & Brown Inc.

Grippa will oversee Brown & Brown’s original and largest retail profit center in Daytona Beach and at the same time continue his responsibility for the company’s Public Risk Insurance Agency operations in Lake Mary and Tallahassee, Fla.

Grippa has been responsible for PRIA’s operations since May of 2005.

For two years, prior to joining Brown & Brown, Grippa was president of the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association; while for more than eight years he also concurrently served as executive director of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance Guaranty Association Inc.

Grippa began his insurance career with the Florida Department of Insurance and at one time served as the legislative director for the Office of the State Insurance Commissioner.

Since 2001, Grippa has also been a Leon County, Fla. commissioner and was the Commission Chairman in 2003. Grippa is on the board of directors of the American Society of Workers’ Compensation Professionals and has also served on the board of governors of the Florida Residential Property Casualty Joint Underwriting Association.

Maurice “Chico” Sabbah, a Greensboro, N.C. businessman and philanthropist died at the age of 77 after a long illness.

Along with Kenneth Kornfeld, also of Greensboro, Sabbah co-founded Fortress Re of Burlington in 1972.

Fortress Re is a reinsurer, an insurer for insurance companies, allowing them to pool financial resources when they need to settle extraordinary and larger than usual claims.

In 2003, Business Week magazine named Sabbah among America’s 50 most generous philanthropists. He supported the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, donated funds to build a gym at Beth David Synagogue in Greensboro and a hospital wing in Israel, where he had a house.

Sabbah was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and grew up in Great Neck, where his parents founded a temple.

Sabbah is survived by his wife and daughters Leeor and Ronee Sabbah.

From This Issue

Insurance Journal West May 8, 2006
May 8, 2006
Insurance Journal West Magazine

Product Liability Stretches Across the World

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