Austin, Texas-based insurance education provider, The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, selected Kathleen G. Speer as director of national business for the not-for-profit organization. Prior to joining The National Alliance, Speer was a home office underwriting consultant for FCCI Insurance Services in Sarasota, Fla., where her responsibilities included quality assurance reviews for 16 active states to comply with regulatory and legal standards and adhere to underwriting guidelines. In addition, during a span of 23 years she held a number of management positions with Aetna Casualty & Surety Insurance Co.
Brian O. Varner was named account representative for Dallas-based wholesale insurance broker and managing general agency, Towerstone Inc. Varner will work out of Towerstone’s new offices, 14185 Dallas Parkway, Suite 1000, in Dallas. Varner holds a BBA in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He also holds a minor in Business Law.
Swiss Re appointed Walter A. Bell chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corp. He will provide supervisory governance of the Americas businesses and also will oversee and direct regulatory and public affairs for all of Swiss Re’s North America businesses, helping provide state and federal legislators, regulators and others with the insights they need for effective policy-making.
Bell most recently was insurance commissioner of the Alabama Department of Insurance, a position he has held since 2003.
Richard G. Spiro was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer of The Chubb Corporation.
Spiro will join Chubb as executive vice president on Oct. 1 and will assume the CFO position in early November. He succeeds Michael O’Reilly, vice chairman and CFO, whose retirement was announced previously. O’Reilly, who served 39 years at Chubb, will remain at company until the end of 2008 to assist in the transition.
Spiro joins Chubb from Citigroup Global Markets Inc., where he was a managing director in its financial institutions investment banking group. He held a variety of positions in Citigroup’s financial institutions group, including head of North America, global head of insurance investment banking and co-head of the insurance, asset management, exchanges and processors group.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry named Rod Bordelon of Austin as commissioner of the Workers’ Compensation Division at the Texas Department of Insurance, replacing outgoing commissioner Albert Betts. Bordelon’s term expires Feb. 1, 2009.
Bordelon most recently served as public counsel and executive director at the Office of Public Insurance Counsel. He is an advisory member of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission and board member of the Insurer Guaranty Association.
The Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana (PIA of LA) has elected Dale H. Spaht as president for 2008-2009. Spaht is the co-owner of Fife-Spaht Insurance Agency in Gonzales, La., and has served on the PIA of LA Board of Directors since 2001. Spaht previously chaired PIA of LA’s Governmental Affairs Committee from 2006 to 2007. His term as president began Sept. 1.
PIA of LA also named Brian Prejean as 2008-09 president-elect. Prejean, of Rod Prejean & Associates Inc. in Brusly, La., has served on the association’s board since 2005. He most recently served as PIA of LA’s Governmental Affairs Chair from 2006-07. He also the 2005 recipient of PIA of LA’s Agent of the Year Award.
Duane Dimattia was named as 2008-09 secretary/treasurer. Dimattia, of Dimattia Insurance Agency Inc. in Baton Rouge, was elected to the PIA of LA board in 2006. He served as chair of PIA of LA’s Governmental Affairs Com-mittee in 2007-08 and is the 2008 recipient of PIA of LA’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Dimattia served on the Young Insurance Professionals of Louisiana board from 2004-06.
David “Hal” Stiel III will serve as immediate-past president. Stiel is president of David H. Stiel Jr. Insurance in Franklin, with additional Stiel Insurance locations in Hammond, Lafayette and New Orleans. Stiel has served on the group’s board since 2000. He served on the board for the LA Citizens Property Insurance Corporation from 2003-08.
PIA of LA directors for 2008-09 include:
Karen Bryant, All Premier Insurance Agency LLC, Denham Springs; Richard A. Clements, National Director, Clements Insurance Services LLC, Chalmette; Dennis H. Cook Jr., LA Independent Insurance Agencies Inc., Metairie; Manuel DePascual, Alliance Insurance Agency Services Inc., Metairie; Dawn Duhé, Dave Millet Insurance Agency of Hammond LLC; John Erny, The Erny Insurance Agency; Darryl Frank, Frank & Associates Inc., Metairie; Gene Galligan, Gene Galligan Insurance Agency Inc., Monroe; Dick Gibbs, Independent Insurance Associates, New Orleans; Joe Lohman, Lohman & Lohman Insurance Services LLC, Baton Rouge; William T. Mitchell, Mitchell Insurance Services Inc., Denham Springs; Robert Page, PIA National President, Charles A. Page and Sons Insurance Agency Inc., Houma; Morris “MB” Slocum, Slocum & Associates Inc., Lake Charles; and Barbara Roberts, White & Roberts Insurance Associates Inc., West Monroe.
Shreveport, La.-based insurance wholesaler Specialty Risk Associates Inc. added Cathy Simon, who specializes in Transportation underwriting, to the staff of the firm’s Ridgeland, Miss., office.
Simon began her career in Jackson, Miss., and has 24 years of experience in surplus lines underwriting, with extensive knowledge of the Mississippi market.
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