September 6, 2010

Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corp. (LWCC) promoted two key executives. Paul Buffone is now senior vice president of Risk Management Services, and David T. White is now vice president of Internal Audit.

Buffone started with LWCC in 1993 as a law clerk. He later held various attorney positions for the company before becoming senior corporate counsel. Buffone was named director of Litigation Services in 2001. He was promoted to assistant vice president of Risk Management Services in 2006, then to vice president of Risk Management Services in 2008.

White joined LWCC in 2007 as director of Internal Audit. He was previously Audit Unit manager for General Reinsurance’s North America and Australia operations and also held several finance, accounting and audit positions with NYNEX, which is now Verizon Communications.

Mary E. Travis joined Houston-based IMS Insurance Market Solutions as vice president of Contract Underwriting.

Travis is known throughout the insurance industry, having been a lead commercial underwriter in the Houston area for more than 20 years. She served the previous 10 years as top producer and area vice president for Leicht General Agency.

Mandeville, La.-based FARA Insurance Services, a provider of claims administration and risk management solutions nationwide, added Kayla Tortorich and Brandt Lorio to its management team.

Tortorich will serve as vice president – Healthcare Management. She will be responsible for overseeing all healthcare management-related duties including utilization review and case management.

Tortorich joins FARA after successfully running a consulting firm where she assisted Medical Management companies develop Medical Secondary Payer Compliance Programs as well as performed Medicare set-asides and case management.

Lorio will serve as assistant vice president – legal and compliance. Lorio will be responsible for litigation management, government regulatory compliance, company licensing, contract administration and providing legal advice to the executive team and the board of directors. Immediately prior to joining FARA, Lorio was an attorney for Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr and Smith focusing on maritime/admiralty and environmental/product liability law.

Darren Beck was named CEO of Business Insurance Now, an online marketplace for commercial insurance for small businesses. He will also serve as a member of the Allen, Texas-based company’s board of directors.

Previously, Beck was chief marketing officer of Inc., parent company of the LendingTree online loan marketplace. Prior to LendingTree, Beck served in marketing roles across a variety of industries for companies like Capital One Financial, catalog retailer Jackson & Perkins, management training firm Covey Leadership Center, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Rick Bondurant joined Frost Insurance Agency in Austin, Texas, as statewide Commercial Lines Practice leader. In this role, Bondurant is responsible for leading the planning, organizing and operating activities of the Commercial Lines Practice for the agency’s six branch offices.

In addition, he will establish strategic programs and best practices to deliver top level service to Frost clients statewide and beyond, as well as build and manage relationships with carriers.

Bondurant has 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. Most recently, he was director of Agency Management Resources for the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas.

Texas-based regional independent insurance brokerage firm, Higginbotham & Associates recruited insurance brokers Blake Havran and Brian Schneider to its Commercial Property & Casualty division. Both are account executives based in the firm’s Ft. Worth home office.

Havran was most recently a real estate agent at Weaver 3B LLC, before which he worked in land acquisition for oil and gas projects.

Schneider came to Higginbotham from State Farm Insurance, where he ranked among the top three for sales in its agency training program and managed multiple offices in North and South Texas. He is licensed in property/casualty, life/health, Series 6 and Series 63.

Havran and Schneider will complete Higginbotham’s Producer Mentor Program, an insurance sales training course that supports individuals in building profitable books of business.

Amerisafe Inc., a specialty writer of high-hazard workers’ compensation insurance headquartered in DeRidder, La., promoted Geoffrey R. Banta to president, in addition to his continuing role as chief operating officer.

Banta has served as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer since 2008. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He joined Amerisafe in 2003.

Banta previously held the positions of president and CEO, and chief operating officer at Scruggs Consulting, an actuarial and management consulting firm. He also served as chief financial officer of the Atlanta Casualty Companies, an issuer of nonstandard auto insurance whose holding company was a subsidiary of American Financial Group Inc.

C. Allen Bradley Jr., will continue as Amerisafe’s chairman and CEO.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon named Scott Kipper as the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Health. Kipper will also have oversight of all lines of health insurance, supplemental health products, and the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP).

Kipper previously served as Deputy Commissioner of LDI’s Office of Health from September 2005 to December 2007. Most recently, Kipper served as Nevada’s Commissioner of Insurance, where he worked from December 2008 until this appointment. Previously, Kipper served as the Oregon Insurance Administrator from December 2007 to December 2008.

Kipper began his regulatory career with the Wyoming Department of Insurance working as a life and health insurance standards consultant, as well as a consumer and legislative liaison. He began his insurance career as a life and health agent.

Topics Agencies Texas Market Training Development Risk Management

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Insurance Journal West September 6, 2010
September 6, 2010
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