November 1, 2009

David Daniel was inaugurated as the chairman of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) at the recent Big “I” Leadership Conference in New Orleans, La. He will lead the organization as chairman for the 2009-2010 term.

Daniel is president of Daniel & Eustis Insurance in Baton Rouge, La.

Prior to his election to the Executive Committee by IIABA’s national Board of Directors in 2004, Daniel served on the Board of Directors of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana (IIABL) for eight years and became president in 1997. For his commitment to the state association, Daniel received IIABL’s Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Outstanding Committee Chairman Award.

On the national level, Daniel has also served on IIABA’s Technical Affairs Committee and was chairman of the Big “I” Governance and Communications Task Force.

The Big “I” also installed Michael “Mike” Miley of Gibson Insurance Group as the chairman-elect.

Miley began his insurance career in 1973 and joined Gibson Insurance Group in 1983. He began his involvement with the association at the local and state level, serving as president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana from 1995 to 1996. In 1997 Miley was elected to Big “I” Board of Directors representing Indiana. The Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana has twice named him the Indiana Agent of the Year.

At the national association level, he has served on various boards and committees, and is presently a member of the Planning Committee and Finance Committee.

Liberty Northwest, a Liberty Mutual Agency Markets regional company, has appointed Margie Cooper to vice president of claims. She succeeds Gary Kentner, who is retiring.

Cooper comes to Liberty Northwest from Inner-City Underwriting in Chicago, where she served as vice president, Client Services, with oversight of sales, marketing, account acquisition, development and retention. Liberty Northwest is based in Portland, Oregon, and provides property/casualty insurance throughout the Northwest. Prior to her work with Inner-City Underwriting, Cooper was regional assistant vice president for The St. Paul Cos. in Chicago.

The Buckner Company has hired J. Bart Laybourne, an insurance professional with more than 20 years experience, to join its Ogden, Utah, location.

Laybourne began his insurance career in 1982 with a family-owned agency selling personal home and auto insurance.

In addition to attracting Laybourne to the company, Buckner has also hired an additional business insurance associate, Kyle Payne, and two account managers to handle the new business.

Westrope General Insurance Agency, of Kansas City, Mo., has hired Chris Frost, who joins the company as a production underwriter in the company’s office in Irvine, Calif. Frost has experience underwriting all classes of commercial general liability, garage liability, excess liability and property coverage including difference-in-conditions and inland marine. He was previously with Yates & Associates Insurance Services for nine years. The Irvine office opened in June of this year. Westrope is the country’s seventh largest wholesale broker.

Troy Markel has been named president of VFIS, a division of Glatfelter Insurance Group based in York Township, Pennsylvania.

Markel has almost 20 years of service with VFIS, starting in 1990 as a sales and marketing representative for VFIS Life and Group operations. In 1992, he became a regional marketing representative for VFIS Property & Casualty operations, with responsibilities gradually expanding over the years into his present role of regional vice president/Eastern Region. Since joining VFIS, Markel has been responsible for sales, marketing and distribution management for all VFIS lines of business.

W. R. Berkley Corp. has appointed Carol J. LaPunzina as senior vice president of human resources. In her newly established position, she will oversee human resource operations and personnel development for the company.

LaPunzina began her career with W.R. Berkley more than 11 years ago and brings legal, human resources and personnel related experience to her new role. Since 2004, she has served as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Berkley Insurance Co., with prior oversight of human resources for several of the corporation’s operating subsidiaries. She previously served as an associate attorney at a private law firm in New York, and she has over 23 years of experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry.

The company has also appointed Sandra C. Nelson as president of Monitor Liability Managers. Nelson most recently served as executive vice president of Monitor – an underwriting management company specializing in professional and executive liability insurance – and has been with the company since its founding in 1992.

Aon Corp. has named John Bayeux as managing director of Aon Risk Services. He will work with clients, the financial institutions markets and other financial institutions specialists to design coverages that address the exposures caused by the current financial crisis.

Prior to joining Aon, Bayeux served as executive vice president and financial institutions industry leader for Willis, a position he had held since 2004. Previously, Bayeux had spent 14 years at Aon Risk Services and its predecessor companies, ultimately serving as managing director of the firm’s financial institutions practice where he led the efforts to deliver products and services specifically geared to address the risk management needs of sophisticated financial institutions.

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