November 5, 2006

Tom Rodell, resident managing director of Aon Risk Services of San Francisco, was named the 2007 chairman of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers. He is the first person to serve twice in the position. He succeeds Charles R. Daniels III, executive vice president of Rose and Kiernan Inc., of East Greenbush, N.Y.

Rodell, who has spent more than 30 years in risk management, was chairman of the Council in 2001. He will lead a committee of officers that includes Vice Chairman George A. Steadman, president and chief operating officer of Rutherfoord of Roanoke, Va.; Treasurer Markham McKnight, executive vice president and director of BancorpSouth Insurance Services Inc., Baton Rouge, La.; and Secretary H. Wade Reece, president of BB&T Insurance Services of Raleigh, N.C.

Addison, Texas-based Affirmative Insurance Holdings Inc. appointed Kevin Callahan CEO. Affirmative is a non-standard automobile insurance agency and carrier operating in 12 states, including Texas, Illinois, California and Florida. Callahan joined Affirmative as chairman of its board of directors in November 2005 and has been serving as the company’s interim CEO since that time. He previously was CEO of Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co.

Liberty Mutual named Melissa A. LeRoy regional vice president and managing director for its Major Accounts Division, which serves companies with annual cost of risk of $25 million or more. Based in Chicago, LeRoy leads the division’s sales and customer service efforts, managing eight account executives across the country. She has 16 years of experience in the insurance industry. Most recently, she served as vice president of sales for Specialty Risk Services.

OneBeacon Insurance Group appointed Paul DiFrancesco president of its AutoOne Insurance subsidiary, effective Jan. 1, 2007. He succeeds Carey Benson, president and CEO, who is retiring at year-end but will remain associated with the White Mountains Group.

DiFrancesco joined AutoOne in June 2005 as senior vice president and chief operating officer. Benson has been with the company since its formation in October 2001. Prior to AutoOne, DiFrancesco spent 26 years in the insurance industry, most recently at St. Paul Travelers. He was also president of Mendota Insurance Co.

Benson, who was one of the founding employees of AutoOne, was appointed its president and CEO in May 2002.

The Insurance Information Institute named Michael F. Barry director of media relations. He will be developing strategic communications and will serve as a spokesman for the Institute. He will also provide insurance information to the media, member companies, regulators, legislators and the general public. Barry joins III from the New York State Insurance Department, where he served since 2004 as the agency’s director of public affairs.

Tri-City Brokerage of San Francisco named Robert Olson a broker in the Palm Desert, Calif., area. Olson has more than 20 years of specialty commercial insurance experience from both an underwriting and brokerage perspective. With his help, the company hopes to grow its production efforts in Southern California as well as in other portions of the Southwest. Olson has expertise in the construction insurance marketplace.

Anna Whitlow joined McFall General Agency Inc. in its Gig Harbor, Wash., office as a commercial property underwriter. Whitlow has 20 years experience in the commercial insurance industry with Kemper Insurance Co., F.B. Beattie and Safeco. In addition to her underwriting duties, she previously worked as a commercial lines analyst filing rates, rules and forms with various state regulator authorities.

1st Community Insurance Services announced that Jeff David, a commercial lines specialist, has joined the firm as senior vice president and is now directing its new insurance center located in downtown Long Beach, Calif. David has been providing insurance solutions throughout Long Beach and Los Angeles for more than 20 years.

Integro appointed Jennifer Wheeler principal in its San Francisco office. Wheeler has 15 years of insurance brokerage experience, most recently serving as senior vice president at Marsh. Prior to joining Marsh in 2000, she was an assistant vice president with Sedgwick.

Cora Barran has been elected president of the Insurance Marketing Communications Association for the 2006-2007 year. Barran is advertising manager for Farmers Insurance Group in Los Angeles, where she oversees national brand and local agent co-op advertising campaigns. Barran joined IMCA in 1999 and has been a member of the board since 2003, including serving as executive vice president in 2005.

Ron Rice, events marketing manager for Russell Investment Group and IMCA president from 2004-2006, will serve as immediate past president.

Other officer and director appointments include: Richard Look, director of communications, Venture Programs, will serve as executive vice president. Mitch Dunford, CEO and publisher, Insurance Journal, will serve as vice president. Linda Collins, corporate communications manager, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., will serve as secretary/treasurer. Reg Pierce, ARM, managing partner, InMarket Partners, will serve as past president at large.

Also elected to the board of directors for 2006-2007 are: Darin Barney, MiniCo; Gregg Calestini, Mercator Risk Services; Jack Makuch, Allstate Insurance; Rob Martin, The Co-operators General Insurance Co.; Madeline Johnson, Cincinnati Insurance Companies; Randy Clinger, Swiss Re; Peter Broadbent, Wahlstrom Group; Mimi Keller, TM Advertising; Gary Kimball, Kimball Communications; and Tom Wetzel, Wetzel & Associates.

Bob Mestayer has retired from Yates & Associates Insurance Services in Tustin, Calif., after a long career in the insurance industry. Business is being conducted as usual. Alex Zardeneta will continue to oversee the underwriters in the Stockton, Calif., branch and the other Yates offices.

Topics Agencies Market Human Resources

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