People – West

June 3, 2013

Washington, D.C. lobbyist Matthew Gannon was named head of federal affairs at Farmers Insurance.

Gannon replaces Mike Moran, who left Los Angeles, Calif.-based Farmers to take a position with Zurich North America as assistant vice president of government Affairs.

Gannon joins Farmers Insurance after nearly three years with the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, where he served as NAMIC’s lead federal lobbyist for property/casualty insurance and related issues.

Earlier in his career, Gannon served as a campaign fundraising director at the National Republican Congressional Committee. He also oversaw lobbying and related political activities at the American Financial Services Association.

Farmers Group Inc. is wholly owned by the Zurich Insurance Group.

Chris Peterson recently joined Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker Insurance in Oregon as a commercial insurance producer.

Peterson is past president of the Professional Insurance Agents of Oregon and Idaho. He has nearly 15 years of experience insuring Northwest technology and contracting risks.

Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker is an independent insurance agency that provided specialized insurance products and services to Northwest consumers.

Santa Rosa, Calif.-based McDonald-Leavitt Insurance Agency named Steve Heglin as a benefits specialist.

Prior to joining the agency he worked for MetLife. Heglin previously owned a real estate appraisal company.

McDonald-Leavitt Insurance Agency is part of the Leavitt Group.

San Francisco, Calif.-based Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. announced that Stan Loar will become the chairman of the board and Doug Morton will transition from the role of chairman to become executive director. Charlie Rosson will continue as CEO.

Woodruff-Sawyer also named Chad Follmer health care practice Leader.

As executive director, Morton’s full-time focus will be on business development, strategic initiatives, staff recruitment and mentoring. He will continue to actively work with clients and serve as a member of Woodruff-Sawyer’s board of directors.

Loar will become chairman effectively immediately. Before becoming Woodruff-Sawyer’s vice chair in 2008, he served as CEO for 13 years. He is also past chairman of Assurex Global and its international executive committee.

Follmer has focused his 20-year career on insurance and risk management strategies developing and leading platforms to serve health care organizations and life sciences companies. He has lead several practices around this specialty and was most recently managing director, health care and life science practice leader for the Western Region of a national brokerage firm.

Woodruff Sawyer’s health care practice is based out of the company’s San Francisco headquarters.

Woodruff-Sawyer is an active partner of Assurex Global and International Benefits Network and has offices throughout California and in Portland, Ore.

Managing general agency Tangram Insurance Services has named Rekha Skantharaja president.

Skantharaja will be working to expand the company’s existing programs, as well as to develop new programs nationally.

Skantharaja has more than a decade of experience in the insurance industry on both the brokerage and underwriting sides of the business. Her career began with assembling management liability programs for Fortune 1000 companies.

She was named vice president of business development in 2005 for an insurance company’s specialty and commercial business units. In 2009, Skantharaja became senior vice president of Tangram.

Barney & Barney LLC has hired insurance executive Sarah Vallette for its office in San Francisco.

Vallette will work with a team of professionals offering commercial property/casualty insurance, employee benefits, workers’ compensation, compensation consulting, executive liability, personal lines and surety.

She has 12 years of insurance industry experience. Prior to Barney & Barney, Vallette was with Heffernan Insurance Brokers in San Francisco, most recently as vice president. Before that, she was a senior underwriter at The Hartford.

In the San Francisco Bay area, Barney & Barney specializes in working with life sciences, technology, construction, food services and professional services firms, along with nonprofit organizations.

Barney & Barney is headquartered in San Diego, with offices in San Francisco and Orange County.

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Insurance Journal West June 3, 2013
June 3, 2013
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