Jones Announces Insurance Diversity Task Force for California

January 12, 2012

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Thursday announced the formation of an Insurance Diversity Task Force to make recommendations about diversity in the insurance industry, including the diversity of corporate governing boards and procurement from diverse businesses.

Task force members will identify and promote insurance companies that are doing a good job on diversity issues, examine the diversity of insurance company governing boards, identify actions the Department of Insurance can take to encourage insurance companies to utilize diverse suppliers, and make recommendations for changes to the law, according to the Department of Insurance.

Commissioner Jones recently requested voluntary supplier diversity data from the top 200 insurance companies. Assembly Bill 53, authored by Assembly Insurance Committee Chairman Jose Solorio, would require top insurance companies to report their diversity efforts. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“Insurance is a $125 billion industry in California,” Jones said in a statement. “I am hopeful this task force will help us identify measure and increase what the insurance industry procures from California’s minority- and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.”

The first task force meeting was held January 6, 2012.

Members of the task force include:

  • Melinda Guzman, task force chair, sole shareholder of Melinda Guzman Professional Corp. She serves as director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, as a Trustee for the California State University and as the general counsel to the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and is the former general counsel of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Guzman has over 23 years of experience representing insurance companies and insured in coverage, defense and bad faith matters.
  • Scott Syphax is president and CEO of The Nehemiah Cos., a Sacramento-based social enterprise and development corporation. He leads the development team of Township 9 – a 3,000 unit master-planned, smart-growth community in downtown Sacramento. Syphax serves as the vice-chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and is a director of the board of Norcal Mutual Insurance Co.
  • John Casas is president and majority owner of JT2 Integrated Resources, a Hispanic-owned third-party administrator, handling workers’ compensation and liability claims programs for California’s self-insured public and private entities. He is a member of the boards of directors for the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, the Spanish-Speaking Unity Council and the Oakland Work Investment Board.
  • Cecil Autry is an associate vice president and regional counsel for the Nationwide Insurance Group. The firm has won myriad diversity awards and recognitions.
  • David A. Castillo is president and CEO for The Gray Casualty & Surety Co., a national surety providing support to standard and specialty markets. He oversees Gray’s national expansion and has helped create bond programs for the city & county of San Francisco and Oakland.
  • Sam Kang is the general counsel for the Greenlining Institute, a national policy, organizing and leadership institute working for racial and economic justice. He oversees Greenlining’s legal advocacy.
  • Phyllis Marshall serves as counsel for the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, and LLP. She has more than 15 years of experience lobbying the California Legislature.  Marshall provides pro bono legal services to the California Black Chamber of Commerce and Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE).
  • Robert H. Mulz is the founder and owner of Video Electronics in San Diego, and chairman of The Elite SDVOB Network, a nonprofit national organization of service disabled veteran-owned businesses. He retired from the United States Navy.
  • Michael G. Keeley is the president of MGK Risk and Insurance, a minority business enterprise. He has worked for 32 years in the insurance industry in both carrier executive and broker capacities. Keeley was a founding member of the Black Insurance Professional Associations in Sacramento and Los Angeles, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Black Chamber of Commerce, SMUD Community Advisory Partners, Board Member of the Greater Sacramento Urban League and the Insurance Education Foundation.

Topics Carriers California Market Diversity

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