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March 7, 2010

Lockton Dunning Benefits appointed Sheri Pixley to the newly created position of executive vice president and practice leader of the Dallas-based health and welfare practice. Pixley has been involved in consulting with employers on employee benefit programs for the past 28 years. She joined Lockton Dunning Benefits in 1992 as a consultant and has held various positions of increasing responsibility over the past 18 years.

Dallas-based Towerstone Inc., a wholesale insurance broker and managing general agency, announced that Rachel Blais, Jennie Conditt, J.B. Hill, Amy McCarty and Ryan Taylor have joined the company.

Conditt is an assistant vice president focused on sales for contract underwriting and brokerage. Blais joins as an account representative. McCarty and Taylor join as account managers responsible for supporting the underwriting team. Hill is a retail Web specialist who will work with insurance agents and brokers to promote the company’s online quoting program.

Iroquois Southwest hired Ed Budanauro as regional manager for New Mexico, Colorado and west Texas. He has more than 25 years of management and insurance consulting experience in the areas of sales management and agency operations. Prior to joining Iroquois, Budanauro operated his own consulting firm, and before that he served as senior vice president of new business development for a 75-year-old insurance agency. He was also vice president and regional manager for a $32 million computer training company based in Austin Texas, and a consultant for Marsh Berry in Ohio.

The Professional Insurance Marketing Association, a networking and business development forum for the insurance direct marketing arena, has elected its 2010 leaders, naming James P. Gallagher president. Gallagher is senior vice president, sales and client relations at USI Affinity, Collegiate Insurance Resources of Columbus, Ohio.

Other new PIMA officers are: President-Elect Denise S. Friday of Insurance Agency Inc., Chicago; Treasurer Edwin J. Miltenberger of Gilsbar Inc., Convington, La.; Secretary Sam Fleet of AmWINS Group Benefits/NEBCO, Warwick, R.I.; and Immediate Past President (ex-officio) Frank J. Fimmano of Aon Consulting, New York.

Newly elected directors are: Allen Bress of Merchants Benefit Administration, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Cathy Colburn of Corporate Call Center, Blue Bell, Pa.; and John Kelly of Prudential, Mandeville, La.

Returning directors for 2010 are: Ron Clarke of Affinion Group; Shane Eatinger of American General Life Cos.; Michael Mercer of Transamerica Affinity Services; Daniel O’Brien of New York Life; Joan O’Sullivan of Marsh Consumer; Susan Fox Ruggiero of NEA Member Benefits; Bill Tyson of AMPAC Insurance Marketing Inc.; and Michael Wise of IdeaStar Inc.

The President’s Distinguished Service Award was presented to Joan O’Sullivan, managing director at Marsh US Consumer. The PIMA Legend Award was presented to David Dunn, who recently retired from New York Life.

The Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA) elected long-time board member Bill Jeter, of College Station, Texas, to head the association’s governing committee for 2010-2011. Fred Strauss with Allstate Insurance, Northbrook, Ill., is vice chair. Peter Kelly of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Boston, Mass., was elected second vice-chair. Mike Gerik, with Texas Farm Bureau Companies in Waco, Texas, was elected secretary.

Houston-based energy insurance products and services provider Berkley Oil & Gas Specialty Services has announced three executive appointments.

Nancy R. Zoril was added as vice president and underwriting officer; Debra Moreno joined the company as senior energy account executive/umbrella products officer; and Eric Castillo was named information and systems officer.

Zoril has more than 28 years of experience in insurance underwriting, mostly related to energy risks. Most recently, she was vice president of underwriting energy casualty for a national insurer. Zoril holds the CPCU, ARM and AU designations.

Moreno has more than 22 years of energy-related insurance underwriting experience. She previously served as vice president, umbrella underwriting manager for a national insurer.

Castillo has more than 15 years of information technology experience, principally within the insurance and energy sectors.

Specialty insurer Ironshore Inc. promoted Jordan Gantz to senior vice president and chief underwriting officer of its U.S. Specialty Casualty unit. In his new role, Gantz will be based in New York and will be responsible for setting underwriting guidelines and strategies for existing and new product lines in the Specialty Casualty unit nationwide.

Ironshore also promoted Dutch Phillips to the expanded role of vice president, U.S. Specialty Casualty, responsible for the nationwide wholesale casualty operation based in St. Louis. Prior to joining Ironshore, Phillips spent seven years with AIG and has also held positions with American Home where he managed Excess Casualty lines in Texas and Louisiana.

The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) has awarded academic scholarships to students at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the University of Houston – Downtown (UHD). The students represent each school’s Insurance and Risk Management program.

In Dallas, ICT’s Education Foundation president Tony Gonzalez awarded the academic scholarship to Robert Sajovich, a student at SMU’s Cox School of Business. In Houston, ICT’s Mark Hanna awarded academic scholarships to UHD’s Amanda Underwood and Christopher Alvarado.

Both SMU and UHD were recently added to the list of colleges and universities that the ICT Education Foundation supports through academic achievement funds and student scholarships. To date, ICT’s Education Foundation has provided academic funding and scholarships to nine universities: University of Texas at Austin; Baylor University; University of North Texas; University of Texas at San Antonio; University of Texas Pan American, Huston-Tillotson University, Texas Southern University, Southern Methodist University and University of Houston-Downtown.

ICT’s Education Foundation has distributed more than $300,000 to 154 students and their degree programs in Texas.

Topics USA Texas Excess Surplus New York Underwriting Education Training Development Universities Casualty

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