California Surplus Lines Association Elects Houska Chair, New Board

March 4, 2016

The members of the Surplus Line Association of California have elected Chris Houska, Western region managing director of R-T Specialty LLC, chair of the SLA Board of Directors.

Houska’s election was finalized after the SLA tallied the final ballots from members who were unable to attend the SLA Annual Meeting, which took place Feb. 16 and Feb. 18 in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Also elected to leadership were Tom Ciardello, senior executive vice president of Worldwide Facilities, Inc., who becomes vice chair, and Robert Gilbert, director, underwriting and production with Markel West Insurance Services, who becomes secretary/treasurer.

Houska takes over from Denis Brady, president of Burns & Wilcox Brokerage, who completed his 2015 term as chair and was elected to a seat on the board.

Completing the 13-member board are the following individuals who also served on the 2015 board:

  • Janet Beaver, HCC Casualty Insurance Services
  • Ian Fitt, Catalytic Holdings, LLC
  • Rupert Hall, M.J. Hall & Company, Inc.
  • Chris Kiley, AMWINS
  • Davis Moore, Worldwide Facilities, Inc.
  • Terri Moran, Vela Insurance Services
  • Pam Quilici, Crouse & Associates Insurance Services of Northern California, Inc.
  • Les Ross, Wholesale Trading Co-Op Insurance Services, LLC
  • Gerald Sullivan, The Sullivan Group

SLA members also reelected Harry Low, a former insurance commissioner and retired presiding justice of the California Court of Appeal, as mediator.

All people elected to the 2016 board will serve until balloting is completed following the SLA annual meeting in February 2017.

Based in San Francisco, the SLA operates as a self-governed private organization. Appointed by the Commissioner in 1994, the association serves as the statutory surplus line advisory organization to the California Department of Insurance and facilitates the state’s capacity to monitor and direct surplus line brokers’ placements of insurance with eligible nonadmitted insurers.

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