December 24, 2006

Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners elected 2007 officers during the group’s winter meeting in San Antonio.

Alabama Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell was named president, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger was chosen as president-elect, New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny was elected vice president and West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane Cline was elected secretary-treasurer.

Praeger was elected Kansas’ 24th commissioner in 2002, and was re-elected in 2006. She previously served three terms in the Kansas Senate and one term in the Kansas House of Representatives. She also has served as mayor of Lawrence, Kan., and was a member of the Lawrence City Commission.

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, headquartered in Indianapolis, named Nancy Grover as its new media relations director. Grover, who will be based in NAMIC’s Washington, D.C., office, will promote the positions of the organization and the member companies it serves to key target audiences,

Grover has been a journalist in the broadcasting and publishing fields for two decades, serving most recently as managing editor for a Florida-based publishing company where she wrote a newsletter devoted to workers’ compensation, as well as articles for Risk and Insurance magazine. She was an account representative for MetLife.

Toledo, Ohio-based Hylant announced that Marla Wholf was selected as Insurance Woman of Toledo’s Insurance Professional of the Year. A 25 year industry veteran, Wholf spent many of those years with the Hylant Group. She is active in IWOT and serves as the immediate past president. Wholf will compete against other award winners from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky when IWOT hosts the Region IV Conference in March 2007.

Southfield, Mich.-based First Mercury Financial Corp. hired Thomas A. Greene, Jr. as a senior vice president of CoverX. In this newly created position, Greene will be responsible for overseeing and expanding the company’s professional liability product line. His duties will also include the management of the company’s general agency relationships.

Greene has 20 years of underwriting, marketing and management experience in the reinsurance industry, with an emphasis in specialty casualty business. Most recently he was senior vice president, Casualty Treaty Underwriting at Alea North American Co.

North Pointe Holdings Corp. promoted Paul B. Deemer to the newly created position of vice president and chief actuary. Deemer will be responsible for directing actuarial services for North Pointe’s specialty insurance coverages.

Deemer joined North Pointe in March of this year. Prior to joining North Pointe he was employed at Acuity, where he developed underwriting, profitability and financial pricing models within the property and casualty market.

The Insurance Institute of Michigan recently elected 2007 officers and Executive Committee members. Elected to lead the organization during 2007 are: chair – David Field, regional counsel, Allstate Insurance Co.; vice chair – Mike Puerner, vice president, secretary and general counsel, Hastings Mutual Insurance Co.; secretary – Bob Donnay, manager industry and government relations, GMAC Insurance; and treasurer – Jeanette Hisek, Michigan agency product manager for Progressive Insurance.

Companies and their representatives elected to the Executive Committee for terms expiring on Dec. 31, 2009, are: Bill Cilluffo, vice president, government gelations, AAA Michigan; Jim Robinson, executive vice president, Farm Bureau; Tom Messner, vice president and chief operating officer and treasurer, Michigan Construction Industry Mutual; Mike Reynolds, claims director, ProAssurance Group; and Bruce DeFouw, market manager; Secura Insurance. Steve Hess, executive vice president and general counsel, Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America, was elected for a term expiring Dec. 31, 2008.

Executive Committee members continuing their terms are: Dan Schrock, executive director – Michigan, Farmers Insurance; Reginald Stith, Underwriting/Product officer-Michigan, Nationwide; Kurt Foley, president and CEO, Pioneer State Mutual Insurance Co.; Mark Odland, vice president of operations, State Farm; and Mike Widick, consultant, Westfield Cos.; Jim Wilds, vice president, Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Co.; Rich Rassmussen, chief operating officer, Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co.; Mike Costello, senior vice president and general counsel, Star Insurance Co.; and Jim Laing, president, Wolverine Mutual Insurance Co.

Headquartered in Lansing, IIM is a state level trade association representing the property/casualty insurance industry in Michigan.

Willis Group Holdings, an insurance broker, has added three senior level executives in its Denver office. The appointments of Dennis Miceli, senior vice president and employee benefits practice leader; Brian Janeck, senior vice president; and Bethany Ross Peterson, vice president and account executive will help the company grow its Employee Benefits business and expand in Colorado.

Prior to joining Willis, all three were employed at the Van Gilder Insurance Corp. in Denver.

USI Holdings Corp. has promoted Andrew Catapano to president of the Northeast office.

Catapano joined USI in 2005 as regional chief sales and marketing officer from Marsh and McLennan in New York City where he was a managing director. Catapano will be based in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., and will continue to report to James M. Butler, regional CEO of the Northeast regionthrough which USI distributes insurance and financial products and services in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

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