Ala.’s Bell Heads State Regulators; Kansas’ Praeger Next in Line

December 12, 2006

Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners elected 2007 officers during last week’s winter meeting in San Antonio.

Alabama Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell was named president, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger was chosen as president-elect, New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny was elected vice president and West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane Cline was elected secretary-treasurer.

“The strength of state-based regulation lies in our connection to our communities,” Bell said. “As the next president of the NAIC, I pledge to continue the NAIC’s efforts to protect consumers, enhance regulatory modernization and provide national uniformity through programs such as SERFF and the Interstate Insurance Commission.”

Bell became Alabama insurance commissioner in January 2003.

He currently serves as a member of the NAIC Executive Committee and is chair of the Speed to Market Task Force. He is also a member of several other NAIC Committees, Task Forces and Working Groups, including the Government Affairs Task Force, Internal Administration Subcommittee (Vice Chair), Life Insurance and Annuities Committee, International Insurance Relations Committee, Information Resources Committee, the NAIC/Consumer Liaison Committee, and the Life and Health Actuarial Task Force.

He began his insurance career as a financial professional with The MONY Group in 1983. He served as their national director of emerging markets from 1996 until 1999, at which time he became vice president of corporate diversity in New York City, leading diversity marketing and recruiting initiatives until his retirement in 2002.

Bell’s career also includes a stint in banking, where he served as branch manager of AmSouth Bank in Mobile, Ala., from 1979-1983. In 1974, he was community relations director with the Urban League in Indianapolis, Indiana. His other business experiences include serving on the board of directors of EnergySouth, Inc., and having a partnership interest in the Mobile Bay Bears minor league professional baseball team.

Praeger was elected Kansas’ 24th commissioner in 2002, and was re-elected in 2006.

In addition to serving on the NAIC’s Executive Committee, she currently holds several positions with the NAIC. She is chair of the Long-Term Care Working Group and the Information Systems Task Force, vice chair of the Life and Health Actuarial Task Force, and serves on the Life Insurance and Annuities and the Health Insurance and Managed Care Committees, as well as the NAIC/Consumer Liaison Committee and the NAIC/Industry Liaison Committee.

Praeger previously served three terms in the Kansas Senate and one term in the Kansas House of Representatives. She also has served as mayor of Lawrence, Kan. and was a member of the Lawrence City Commission.

Praeger has testified before the Labor and Human Resources Committee of the U.S. Senate on the topic of “balanced federalism,” as it relates to health regulatory issues. She also appeared before the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee expressing concerns about association health plans. She was a recipient of the prestigious Dr. Nathan B. Davis Award, bestowed annually by the American Medical Association to individuals who have made a significant contribution to public health through elected and career government service.

Sevignywas appointed as New Hampshire insurance commissioner in 2003. Prior to becoming commissioner, Sevigny held the position of assistant commissioner and he also worked in the insurance industry at Travelers Insurance for more than 30 years in a variety of technical and management positions.

Cline was named West Virginia insurance commissioner in January 2001. Prior to her appointment, Cline operated a government consulting firm, Jane L. Cline & Associates. From 1989 to 1997, she served as Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles. Prior to her DMV appointment, Cline served as deputy commissioner for the West Virginia Division of Highways.

Source: NAIC

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