May 19, 2008, the Web site with a searchable online directory that brings together agents seeking property/casualty insurance markets with the market providers, is expanding its content to include in-depth analysis and reporting on technical and coverage issues.

Christopher J. Boggs has been named associate editor and will spearhead the expansion of the content. Boggs will produce and edit articles and commentaries focusing on coverage issues, market trends, policy comparisons, risk evaluations and sales approaches agents and brokers can use to give them an edge on their competition and to educate their clients. The articles will complement the site’s searchable directory of more than 25,000 insurance providers and programs for risks ranging from accountants and blasting contractors to hotels and truckers.

Boggs brings nearly 18 years of experience in insurance and risk management, a background that includes teaching pre-licensing and insurance continuing education courses and writing on coverage and insurance-related issues. He has been an account executive for several property/casualty agencies and a senior risk analyst for one of the largest risk consulting firms in the Southeast.

He is a former associate director of education for the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina, Inc. and a former loss control and claims specialist for the North Carolina Department of Insurance. International Risk Management Institute’s (IRMI’s) The Risk Report, The John Liner Review, RIMS’ Risk Management magazine, and the American Public Power Association magazine have featured several of his articles.

In addition to teaching others and writing about insurance and risk management, Boggs has himself earned a host of insurance designations, including CPCU, ARM, ALCM, LPCS, AAI and APA. is published by Wells Publishing, which is also publisher of Insurance Journal publications and

Alabama-based Alfa Insurance has named Patrick A. Smith as senior vice president, North Alabama marketing. He replaces J.C. Ralph, who is scheduled to retire June 30.

Smith is a former associate vice president with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., and started his insurance career as an agent with Louisiana Farm Bureau in 1995. He later moved into management positions at Newcourt Financial in Toronto and the Erie Insurance Group in Erie, Pa.

In 2001, Smith joined Nationwide as a district sales manager in Birmingham, Ala. In 2003, he was promoted to regional sales director for the company’s southern states operation responsible for leading field sales in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. In late 2006, Smith was promoted to the Philadelphia, Pa. office where he served as a regional sales officer. He was named associate vice president in early 2008.

As senior vice president of North Alabama marketing, Smith will oversee more than 250 agents and nine district managers in the northern portion of the state. He will work out of the company’s headquarters in Montgomery.

Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based American Collectors Insurance has named three new vice presidents.

Laura Bergan was named vice president of marketing, Debra Maher was named vice president of underwriting and policy service and Melissa Romagnoli was named vice president of operations.

The promotions come amidst a company-wide restructuring of American Collectors that includes expanded call-center capabilities, streamlined new-business processes and a broader online distribution system.

Bergan, who began her career at American Collectors seven years ago, will leads marketing for the firm and will oversee business relationships with insurance agents, insurance carriers, and customers.

Maher, who joined American Collectors in February, will lead underwriting and call center management. Prior to joining American Collectors, she was a vice president at AIG. Her 30 years of insurance industry experience also includes positions at Reliance Insurance and Zurich Insurance.

Romagnoli, a 12-year veteran of American Collectors, will lead American Collectors’ technology and operations activities. Romagnoli began her American Collectors career as assistant supervisor in the mailroom and progressed through positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as manager of operations.

The American Academy of Actuaries appointed Grace Hinchman as its new executive director. Hinchman was previously the senior vice president of public affairs and technical activities for Financial Executives International, a professional association of chief financial officers, controllers, treasurers, and tax directors.

Among other responsibilities as executive director, Hinchman will be charged with developing and recommending programs and policies for the execution of the Academy’s vision, mission, and strategic plan through its core function areas, including public policy, professionalism, and communication.

While with Financial Executive International, Hinchman was instrumental in advocating the passage of Sarbanes Oxley Act sections 406 and 407, which call for an ethical code of conduct for chief financial officers and audit committee financial experts. Her 25 years of public policy experience also include stints as the manager of public affairs for Digital Equipment Corp. and as the managing director of Telocator Network of America. Hinchman’s career began on Capitol Hill, serving on the staffs of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Rep. David Emery.

Hinchman will succeed Kevin Cronin, who retired in March.

Larry Bloomenkranz has been named chief marketing officer for The Progressive Corp. Bloomenkranz was previously vice president of brand management, advertising and sponsorships for United Parcel Service, Inc. in Atlanta, where he was responsible for brand strategy, identity and advertising across the enterprise globally, as well as all sponsorships and events. Bloomenkranz also held other positions with UPS, including director of International Brand Communications in Atlanta and Brussels; and International Advertising manager in Brussels, London and Greenwich, Conn.

The Progressive Corp. is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Insurance Journal West May 19, 2008
May 19, 2008
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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