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January 10, 2010

The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) elected Craig Sparks chairman of its board of directors. Sparks has been president of the Union Standard Insurance Company in Irving since 2000. Sparks’ insurance career began the day he graduated from the University of Central Arkansas when he joined Floyd West & Company as a special agent. Sparks was recently elected president of the Association of Fire and Casualty Companies of Texas (AFACT) and is the founding president of the Texas Committee on Insurance Fraud.

Jim Harms, branch vice president of the CNA Insurance Group, was elected vice chairman of ICT’s board. Dennis Devlin, regional vice president of the Travelers Companies, was elected treasurer. Joe Johnson, regional manager of the United Fire Group, was elected secretary. Dorothy Langley, vice president and general counsel of Kemper, will serve as immediate past chair president.

The other members of the ICT board of directors and their representatives are: Allstate Insurance Group – Robert Zeman; Chubb Group of Insurance Companies – Tom Fitzpatrick; Farmers Insurance Group – Frank Galitski; Liberty Mutual Insurance Company – Lee Ann Alexander; The Republic Group – Richard Mayer; State Auto Insurance Company – Lyndell Haigood; Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies – Mike Gerik; and USAA – Robert Gilbert.

James Drawert with the Republic Group also serves on the board as an advisory director.

Katharine C. Rathbun, MD, MPH, is now serving as medical director for Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation. Dr. Rathbun will be responsible for providing medical support for programs involving claims management, utilization review and medical networks. She will assist LWCC as it continues to develop and implement key strategic initiatives, including medical management guidelines. In addition, she will serve as a resource for LWCC, its policyholders and its provider network to improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Rathbun brings more than 30 years of experience in public health and occupational, family, and preventive medicine. Recently, she held the position of medical director for Concentra Medical Center in Baton Rouge. She has served as an associate professor at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans and the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Medicine.

Texas Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin has named new board members for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). The new board, whose terms begin Jan. 1, 2010, will be composed of four insurance company representatives, four members who reside in coastal counties (at least one of whom must be an insurance agent), and one member who resides outside of the coastal region. In addition, there is a non-voting member who must be an engineer.

The insurance industry representative members are: Alice Hardy Gannon, USAA; Michael Frank Gerik, Texas Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance; Peter James Kelly, Liberty Mutual Insurance; and Craig Peter Nadziejka, State Farm Insurance.

The non-seacoast territory representative member is Richard Clifton Craig of Neely, Craig & Walton LLP, Amarillo (Randall County)

The first tier coastal county resident members are: Garry P. Kaufman (Galveston County), Jahn Galveston Insurance Agency; Joseph Edward Minor, P.E. (Aransas County), Self Employed; Georgia Rutherford Neblett, (Nueces County), University of Texas Marine Science Institute; and Robert Ward Shepard (Cameron County), Shepard Walton King Insurance Group.

The non-voting engineer member is William David Franklin, Sr., P.E., with Aran & Franklin Engineering, LaMarque (Galveston County).

David Kirk has joined Higginbotham & Associates as an account executive in the insurance and financial services brokerage firm’s Denton, Texas, office.

Kirk brings to Higginbotham experience as an agency owner and a book of commercial property/casualty business concentrated in construction, surety, trucking and manufacturing. Kirk owned and managed Kirk Insurance Agency, a member of the SIG Insurance Services agency network practicing commercial and personal property/casualty insurance, in Lewisville, Texas, for nine years.

Before his insurance career, Kirk worked in residential general contracting, which helped him develop niche expertise in construction risk.

Farmers Insurance Group of Companies appointed Roy Smith as senior vice president – Field Operations, Southwest Zone. The Southwest Zone includes the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Smith joined Farmers Insurance in July 1985 as a Personal Lines underwriter in the Mission, Kan., Regional Office. He has served as vice president – State Operations since June 2006.

Farmers also named John Henle as South Texas state executive director. Henle replaces Larry Pratt who has been promoted to vice president – Sales in the company’s Los Angeles headquarters. Henle will be based in Austin.

Henle began his career with Farmers in 1999. After serving in various positions in California and in Washington state, he was promoted to senior marketing consultant, State Operations, for the Central Zone in 2006.

Terry Morgan Drayer has joined London American Risk Specialists Inc. as senior casualty broker. She will launch the firm’s new Allied Medical Department in the Houston, Texas, office.

Drayer brings to London American more than 20 years of senior level brokerage and account executive experience specializing in national health care professional liability insurance risks.

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) has appointed Bob Dean, president and chief executive officer of Dean & Draper Insurance Agency LP, to vice chair of the advisory board for UHD’s new Insurance and Risk Management program.

In this role, Dean will help ensure that program curriculum coordinates with industry needs and provide direction on career development tools for students. He’ll also help recruit qualified instructors and assist in fundraising activities. Previously, Dean served on the committee that developed the UHD program and the school’s Insurance and Risk Management Center.

National claims and risk management service provider Avizent, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, has named Brad Lipscomb vice president of the Performance Review & Optimization (PRO) Team. He will be based in Avizent’s Dallas office.

Lipscomb will oversee the newly formed quality and optimization unit charged with enhancing operational performance and outcomes.

Prior to joining Avizent, Lipscomb established outcome focused management strategies for workers’ compensation, auto and general liability claims services for other organizations. Most recently, Lipscomb served as vice president of Performance, Benchmarking & Quality for Xchanging. He has held key leadership positions with TIG Insurance Co., Prioris and Employer’s Casualty Company of Dallas.

James J. Maguire, founder of Philadelphia Insurance Cos., retired as chairman of the board of directors effective Jan. 1, 2010. Jamie Maguire, company president and CEO, will succeed James J. Maquire as chairman.

The elder Maguire will continue to serve on PHLY’s board of directors and will devote more time to his philanthropic endeavors through his charitable organization, The Maguire Foundation.

James J. Maguire founded Maguire Insurance Agency just four years after college. In 1987, he formed Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp., which owns Maguire Insurance Agency Inc., Philadelphia Insurance Company and Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, its flagship company.

Late last year, Philadelphia Insurance Companies was acquired by Tokio Marine Holdings.

Topics Carriers Agencies Texas Education Universities Casualty

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