June 7, 2010

Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corp. (LWCC) President and CEO Kristin W. Wall has been elected to the board of directors of NCCI Holdings Inc., a provider of workers’ compensation and employee injury data and statistics.

Wall is among five new board members elected by the organization’s membership during NCCI’s Annual Issues Symposium 2010, held in Orlando, Fla.

The others are Juan Andrade, president and COO of Property and Casualty Operations at The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.; Elizabeth R. Haar, president and CEO of Accident Fund Holdings Inc.; John Schapperle, president and COO of Island Insurance Co. Ltd.; and Ernest J. Mrozek, retired vice chairman and CFO of The ServiceMaster Co.

John T. Leonard, president and CEO of Maine-based workers’ comp insurer the MEMIC Group, has been elected chairman of NCCI.

Kevin Brown has been promoted to Austin market president for Frost Insurance, overseeing all insurance divisions in the Austin and San Marcos, Texas, locations. He also serves as the statewide practice leader for the employee benefits brokerage and consulting division.

Previously, Brown served as employee benefits manager for Frost Insurance’s Austin and San Marcos offices. Brown has 26 years of insurance experience, five of which are with Frost in the field of employee benefits, with an emphasis in self funded health and welfare plans.

Don Goff has joined the Frost Insurance employee benefits department as a senior account executive, servicing large group clients. Goff specializes in funding, projections and renewal negotiations as part of his new role. He previously was a vice president with Aon Consulting and has 31 years of experience.

Frost also has hired Trelle Sanders to oversee the service and sales support teams in Austin and San Marcos for the employee benefits division of Frost Insurance.Sanders is the former manager of medical field operations for Principal Financial Group. She has 11 years of industry experience.

Rebecca Hawes has been hired as account executive to serve as a resource and liaison for Frost Insurance large group clients, providing renewal expertise and top level service for these accounts. She formerly was a senior consultant with Aon Consulting and has 13 years experience in the industry.

Surplus lines wholesaler and managing general agency, U.S. Risk Insurance Group Inc., has named JoAnna Kearns a broker/underwriter in the U.S. Risk Brokers Austin, Texas, office. Kearns has nearly 10 years of insurance experience in the excess and surplus lines arena.

She will serve as a “blend,” accessing major brokerage markets as well as utilizing in-house underwriting authorities, specializing in a broad range of commercial accounts and providing general liability, excess liability and pollution liability coverages. She most recently was a senior underwriter at Rockhill Insurance working on casualty risks.

America First Insurance, a Liberty Mutual Agency Markets regional company, has added key agent support positions in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Donnie Brackins has been appointed commercial lines underwriting manager for Louisiana, and will be based in America First Insurance’s branch office in Ruston.

A native of Louisiana with more than 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry, Brackins will share oversight of Louisiana underwriting operations with commercial lines underwriting manager Sue Ramsey, who is based in the company’s Richardson, Texas, home office.

Daniel Newton, based in Oklahoma City, has been appointed territory manager for Oklahoma. In this position, Newton will broaden agency relationships and further regional goals in tandem with territory manager Hal Curry, also serving the Oklahoma territory.

Newton has more than 13 years of agency and company experience, most recently working in a marketing capacity with Bowen, Miclette and Britt Inc. in Houston, Texas.

XL Insurance appointed Gary S. Kaplan to the newly created position of executive vice president and North America Construction leader. Kaplan, who will be based in New York, joins XL Insurance from Zurich North America Commercial where he served as president of its Construction business unit.

During his 15-year tenure with Zurich North America, he held several senior level positions in underwriting management, operational transformation and strategic planning. His industry experience also includes energy, oil and chemical industry underwriting management positions with The Home Insurance Co. and Industrial Risk Insurers.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio has appointed Rep. Larry Taylor, an insurance agent from Friendswood, to the state’s Sunset Advisory Commission. Taylor, who serves on the House Committee on Insurance and the House Committee on Ways and Means, will fill the unexpired term held by Rep. Carl Isett of Lubbock, who is resigning from the panel.

The Sunset Advisory Commission was created in 1977 and is a 12-member body of legislators and public members who are appointed by the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

The agency’s goal is to identify and eliminate waste, duplication and inefficiency in government agencies. The chairmanship and vice-chairmanship of the commission alternate every two years between the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate.

A Springdale, Ark., insurance agent, Mark Darr, has won the Republican nomination in Arkansas for lieutenant governor.

Darr will face state Sen. Shane Broadway in the fall to take over the lieutenant governor spot vacated by Bill Halter, who’s challenging U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln in a Democratic runoff.

Darr owns The Mad Pizza Co. in Rogers and is an agent for Wealthbridge Financial Services.

National insurance and risk management provider, Irwin Siegel Agency Inc. (ISA), has appointed Curt Beytebiere as a new business development director. ISA also announced it has opened a new office facility in Houston, Texas. Beytebiere’s expertise includes knowledge and underwriting experience related to the social services field.

Houston-based HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. announced that Scott W. Wise has resigned from the company’s board of directors. Wise has served as a HCC director since 2008 and was the chairman of the board’s Investment and Finance Committee as well a member of the board’s Enterprise Risk Oversight Committee.

CNA Select Risk – which includes Excess & Surplus (E&S) business, as well as wholesale property accounts – announced growth in its casualty unit with the opening of new locations in New York City and Los Angeles. The two new branches will be housed within existing CNA branch offices.

Sean McPhillips, who recently joined CNA Select Risk as regional assistant vice president, will lead the New York office and focus on developing CNA’s northeast presence. McPhillips has 23 years of casualty insurance experience, mostly as an E&S underwriter. He most recently served as manager of the First Mercury Emerald office in New York City.

Jim Faley, CNA Select Risk’s newly appointed regional assistant vice president, will lead the Los Angeles office.Faley joins CNA with diverse insurance industry experience that includes serving as vice president for XL Re and, most recently, managing excess and umbrella as western region manager for First Mercury Emerald.

Freedom Specialty Insurance Co. has named Teresa Black as vice president of commercial directors and officers underwriting. Black has more than a decade of experience underwriting D&O liability insurance for Reliance National, The Hartford and most recently ACE USA.

Atlanta-based Crawford & Co., an independent provider of claims management solutions, has named Bentley R. Laytin vice president, western regional manager for U.S. Property & Casualty operations. Laytin has worked his entire 14-year career in the insurance industry with Crawford, and has served in positions of increasing responsibility since being hired as a multi-line claims adjuster in 1996.

Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. named Lauren Bailey vice president of entertainment in commercial insurance.In this new position, Bailey will be responsible for managing the direction and priorities for the entertainment business and accountable for driving profitable growth. Bailey has been at Fireman’s Fund for 25 years and most recently served as a regional underwriting executive in personal insurance.

Aviva North America, part of global insurance and annuities company Aviva plc, has appointed Dan Guilbert to the role of chief risk officer (CRO). Guilbert will be responsible for bringing together all aspects of risk – Enterprise, Financial, Operation and Regulatory, Life Insurance, and Property and Casualty under one function, allowing for an aggregate view across all of the company’s major risk categories.

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Insurance Journal West June 7, 2010
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