Midwest Bios

Liz Aguinaga is Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officerat CNA. For more than a century, CNA has partnered with independent agents and brokers to meet the property and casualty insurance needs of businesses of all sizes. Headquartered in Chicago, CNA has offices throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

As Chief HR Officer, Liz is responsible for strategies and operations for human resources across the entire CNA enterprise. Liz leads a global team that includes HR Business Partners, Talent Management, Diversity and Inclusion, Compensation, Employee Relations and Benefits. Her team partners with the business to attract, develop and retain talent and inspire a culture oftop performance.

Liz joined CNA in 2010 as a Vice President and Human Resources Business Partner. Prior to her current role, her responsibilities included the development of talent solutions and a human capital strategy for CNA’s global business, encompassing 64 branches around the world.

Prior to CNA, Liz served for nine years in both recruiting and human resources generalist functions at Chubb.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois and a Master’s in Human Resources from Loyola University.

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Barbara Bufkin's nearly 4 four decades in the insurance and reinsurance industry has spanned executive leadership roles on a global platform encompassing Operational & Strategic responsibilities including underwriting, claims, risk management/corporate governance, ceded and assumed reinsurance, business and product development, while fostering a culture of innovation, mentorship, sponsorship and diverse talent.

Assurant: Barbara is the Executive Head of Business Development in the Lending Solutions Group. She is responsible for developing growth strategies, originating and fostering strategic partnerships, and creating innovative product solutions.

Hamilton USA: Barbara Bufkin was one of the founding members of the US leadership team, joining the company at its launch in September 2014, in a first of its kind InsurTech startup, reporting to the CEO.

Barbara was a strategic partner in every aspect of the company including business development, products, programs, new-age user interfaces for both agents and underwriters, origination and implementation of minimum viable products with strategic business partners. Barbara pioneered the development of an omni channel distribution plan, working in a "sprint culture" with data, analytics and technologists. Barbara was responsible for structuring and execution of ceded reinsurance and recruiting, sponsoring and leading top millennial talent.

In her role on the Executive Steering Committee, she was instrumental in the strategic design, organizational structure, final business plan, and launch of Attune, a technology-enabled small business platform, with joint venture partners AIG and Two Sigma.

Barbara joined Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC in August 2013 as Chief Operating Officer of Global Strategic Advisory. Prior to joining Guy Carpenter, Barbara served as Executive Vice President with Argo International Holdings, Ltd. In 2007, Barbara served as President of Peleus Re, the first of Argo Group's international specialty segments. Prior to Argo, she served as Director of Swiss Re New Markets, and as Chairman, President and CEO of Swiss Re subsidiaries, Facility Insurance Corporation (FIC) and Facility Insurance Holding Corporation (FIHC).

Barbara is an alumna of Leadership Texas, a past director of the Southwestern Insurance Information Service for 8 years, nominated to the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 2000, and selected to the 2004 Class of Leadership America. Bufkin was chosen as APIW 2012 Insurance Woman of the Year and was honored in 2015 by the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation with the Inclusion Champion Award. Intelligent Insurer, in 2014, 2015, 2016, has named Barbara as an Influential Woman in Re/Insurance. In 2017, she was awarded The Tangram Insurance Services Award of Woman of Distinction by Insurance Business America, and named as an Elite Women of Insurance.

Currently Barbara serves as Chair of the International Board of Governors for the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, Chair of the Leadership Council The Institutes- Griffith Foundation, Board of Governors of Gamma Iota Sigma, First VP and Program Chair of the APIW, the Advisory Board of the Entrepreneurial Insurance Alliance and as a director of The Centre on Philanthropy, Bermuda.

Barbara attended Wheaton College, Norton, MA and graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo, cum laude with a B.A. degree in Philosophy.

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Valerie Butt is the Global Head of Customer & Distribution Management for Zurich’s commercial business. Her primary responsibilities include leading the team responsible for developing and deepening relationships with their key global customers, devising and implementing the go-to-market strategy and partnering with strategic brokers to drive growth and retention. Under her leadership, Zurich won the 2016 Strategic Account Management Association’s Excellence Award for "Outstanding SAM Program Leadership for Mature Programs."

Valerie has been in her current position since July 2012. Prior to that, she held various leadership positions at Zurich including Head of Global Relationship Management in North America and Chief of Staff for Group Marketing and Corporate Communications. In addition, she has been a Risk Manager at a Fortune 500 company and also served as a Client Executive for a global broker. Valerie holds a BA and MBA in risk management and finance from the University of Georgia. In 2010, she was named Top Women in Insurance (͞Women to Watch͟) by Business Insurance Magazine. She serves on various Boards including the acting President of the M200.

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Stephanie C. Bush is Executive Vice President of The Hartford’s Small Commercial and Personal Lines insurance businesses.

Small Commercial provides insurance solutions to businesses with annual revenues under $20 million. The Hartford is an industry leader in writing small commercial insurance, with more than one million policies providing coverage for small businesses across the United States.

Personal Lines provides automobile, homeowners and personal umbrella coverages to individuals across the United States, and includes The AARP®Automobile and Homeowners Insurance Program serving more than 37 million members.

Bush returned to The Hartford in 2013 as chief product and underwriting officer for Small Commercial, and was promoted to head of the business in 2014. Previously she was senior vice president of product management in personal insurance at Travelers. Prior to that she spent 20 years at The Hartford in positions of increasing responsibility in commercial insurance product, underwriting and field operations.

Bush is on the board of directors of the National Council on Compensation Insurance. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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Tony Cañas is a Client Advisor with the property and casualty team of The Jacobson Group, the leading global provider of talent to the insurance industry. In this role, he provides property and casualty organizations with the temporary staffing and subject matter experts solutions they need to effectively manage workload fluctuations, special projects and other short-term needs.

Tony has worked in the insurance industry for nearly 10 years. His experience working across claims, underwriting, finance and sales at four different insurance carriers has provided him with a broad understanding of the industry. Tony is also the co-Founder and Chief Motivational Officer at Insurance Nerds, a website devoted to providing talent development and career management advice to the insurance industry, and co-author of the best-selling book Insuring Tomorrow.

Tony is extremely active in the insurance industry. He has completed a number of industry designations including Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Commercial Underwriting, Associate in Claims, Associate in Risk Management, Associate in Reinsurance, Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance, Associate in Personal Insurance, Associate in Insurance Services, and Associate in General Insurance. Tony has also achieved Toastmaster’s Competent Communicator and Advanced Communicator Bronze public speaking designations. He received his bachelor’s degree in managing information systems and a master’s in business administration from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Tony is very passionate about the industry’s efforts to recruit and retain young professionals. As such, he has been called upon to speak at a number of regional and national conferences including Insurance Business America’s Millennials in Insurance Conference and multiple CPCU Society events including the Annual Meeting, Leadership Summit and various chapter meetings. Tony has been featured in numerous publications, including The Edge, the national magazine of the CPCU Society, and Agent & Broker. Tony was also named one of the Top Young Agents of 2013 by PropertyCasualty360.

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Marcus Cooper is the Head of Middle Markets for Zurich North America Commercial Insurance. In this role, Cooper is responsible for Zurich’s middle markets business across North America including sales execution, underwriting results and talent management. He is a member of the North America Commercial Insurance senior leadership team.

Cooper has nearly 20 years of insurance industry experience. Prior to his current role, he was responsible for the South Region for Zurich North America’s former Commercial Markets business unit. Prior to joining Zurich in 2007, he held various leadership positions at American International Group and Crum & Forster.

Cooper is an active member of the Boards of Metropolitan Family Services, the Davey School of Risk Management at Butler University and the National African American Insurance Association.

Cooper holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a Certification in Leadership from the Kellogg School of Management.

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Felipe Jose Cuartas is a commercial insurance Account Executive at Gallagher creating strong and cost effective insurance risk management programs. He is responsible for advising his clients on how to protect their employees, and their balance sheet, from exposures through creative risk financing and risk transfer. Cuartas specializes in property and casualty insurance, which includes workers’ compensation and liability risk, as well as emerging cyber risks.

Cuartas is the son of two Colombian immigrants from Manizales, which lies in the shadow of el Nevado del Ruiz volcano, in the heart of the Colombian coffee region. He grew up in Southern Illinois, in Marion. Throughout his life he developed a passion for fútbol and community service; these interests continued growing during his time at Washington University in St. Louis where he led the Club Soccer team and double majored in Finance and Philosophy.

Upon his arrival in Chicago, he was determined to continue his passion for philanthropy, and saw that Chicago presented an opportunity to help a community that he always felt a special connection to – the immigrant community. Cuartas currently serves as the Treasurer, and formerly Event Chair, for HACE YPB (Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement Young Professionals Board) and Fundraising Chair for EAB (Erie House Associate Board). During his two years with HACE he has helped double event attendanceand profitability for their two annual events. Cuartas is also a graduate of the HACE Leadership Academy. In addition to his board leadership, he also teaches ESL classes, provides interview/resume help, and tutors.

As an insurance professional, Cuartas earned his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) professional designations. He also joined the CPCU Society Board, and the WING (Women’s Insurance Networking Group) Chicago Executive Committee, which promotes and works for women’s equality in insurance.Cuartas hopes to help make the insurance industry a leader of diversity and inclusion, and be at the forefront of innovation with emerging technologies.Additionally, he serves on the board for the Rising Risk Professionals (RRP), the affiliate board for associate professionals of the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS).

Soccer is still a weekly activity for Cuartas when he plays with his team in the Chicago Fire recreational league.Catholicism is a big part of Cuartas’ life and he frequently serves as a lector at Holy Name Cathedral.Cuartas is also a pianist, and enjoys reading; his favorite author is Hemingway, and he has been studying the influence and applications of blockchain.

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Katie Davies is President of AmWINS Special Risk Underwriters (SRU), a division of AmWINS Group Inc. The SRU team was founded in 2008 to underwrite catastrophe insurance risks. With over 4,200 employees in 100+ locations, AmWINS Group Inc., is a global specialty insurance distributor with an expertise in property, casualty, professional lines and specialty group benefits products. Under Katie’s leadership, SRU’s gross written premium has grown from $3M (2009) to $140M (2017) supported by 32 insurance carriers and capital markets. Katie’s team has been awarded both the AmWINS Team Culture and Top Financial Performance awards.

Katie began her career as a property insurance broker with Aon and subsequently Marsh, Inc. in New York and London. She later joined CHUBB (formerly ACE Limited) as an underwriter at their syndicate in Lloyd’s of London and most recently in Chicago as the Midwest regional property manager before joining AmWINS in 2009. Katie was the first woman to sit on the LMA US Property Board at Lloyd’s of London and was one of the first women to underwrite US property insurance in Lloyd’s.

As a graduate of Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in government, Katie continues her involvement with the Alumni Admissions Program. She serves on the Guild Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago and is involved in several committees at Sacred Heart School of Chicago. Katie lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons.

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Guy Fraker: For many incumbent insurance organizations the world has become a chaotic storm of disruption.Guy works with the Innovators Edge community ofmembers who are seeking advisory assistance on innovation challenges ranging from how/where to start, how to impact culture through success, talent management, operating labs, and achieving scaled growth.

Guy’s career in the insurance industry spans 30 years, the last 10of which have been dedicated to world class innovation best practices and those technologies and trends making the greatest impact on the insurance, reinsurance, and risk management industries.One recently published study, highlighted the importance of gender equality among executive roles as well ason early stage entrepreneurial teams.

Considered by many tobe one of the world’s leading authorities on the risks and opportunities associated with automated vehicles, Guy has worked with State & Federal regulators, foreign governments, startups and established firms to safely accelerate this societal shift in mobility.

Guy’s experiences include working side by side with premier global innovators such as IDEO, Global Business Network, X-Prize Foundation, Google-X, and Singularity University.As a speaker, Guy has shared his insights with more than 150 audiences spanning 4 continents.

As an innovation architect, Guy’s insurance and reinsurance clients have generated capital growth in excess of $300,000,000.00, successfully launched multiple industry 1st products and internal efficiency solutions, created non-insurance revenue streams, and cut insurance product development times from months to weeks. Through ITL’s alliance with The Institutes, Guy is also engaged in the development of a 3 tier insurance innovation curricula tobe released later this year by The Institutes.When not pushing technology frontiers, Guy and his wife Rebecca enjoy kayaking and fishing.

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InspiraWork LLC a leadership and organizational development company that brings leaders together to think bigger, work better together, and use their diverse strengths to solve common problems and create new opportunities.

InspiraWork’s founders, Rebecca Braitling, Poyee Chiu and Suzanne Covelli-Buntley, started their journey together in the insurance industry. Merging their expertise in Human Resources, Employment Law, Positive Psychology, and Talent Development, they partner with leaders from across the industry to design and deliver leadership development programs and out-of-the-box solutions that enable and empower organizations and their teams to thrive in our rapidly-changing world.

Prior to InspiraWork, Rebecca Braitling was Vice President of Employee Relations at Chubb Insurance, where she applied her former expertise as an employment lawyer with Ogletree Deakins to draft, administer, and advise on the company’s employment policies and practices. Poyee Chiu most recently held the position of Succession & Talent Planning Manager in the Global Talent Management Group at Chubb Insurance. Prior to working at Chubb, she held Talent Management roles with AllianceBernstein and Johnson & Johnson. Suzanne Covelli-Buntley spent half of her career in Insurance Underwriting & Operations Management before moving to HR, where her most recent position was the Global Talent Development Manager at Chubb Insurance. Rebecca, Poyee, and Sue are actively engaged moms and enjoy contributing their expertise to non-profits, including IICF, DiveIn, Leadership Forum at Silver Bay, Girls on the Run, and the YMCA.

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Dr. Jeanne Porter King is the Founder and President of TransPorter Group, Inc., and an inspirational teacher and speaker. Dr. Porter King received both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, the Master of Arts from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and the Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Communication (with an emphasis in Cultural Studies) from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Her diverse educational path and leadership journey enables her to develop the transformative leader in today’s global context.

In an age when women weren’t encouraged to enter technical fields, Jeanne was part of the wave of women in the late 1970’s that bombarded engineering schools, once the exclusive haven of men. Her industrial and systems engineering studies led to her entrance into organizational consulting. Starting out as a logistics engineer for a pharmaceutical company, Jeanne quickly gravitated toward the training and development dimensions of the work as she trained the users of the systems her team developed. From there, she moved into an Organizational Development role in the brake division of General Motors where she facilitated new organizational processes for engineers working on the first-generation anti-lock braking system. These early assignments became the crucible in which Jeanne’s lessons on influence were first forged.

Prior to launching her own consulting practice, Jeanne worked in a number of organizational development roles in Fortune 100 companies, including working as Senior Consultant in the Diversity Practice of PricewatehouseCoopers. As a global leadership consultant, Dr. Porter King has facilitated programs and worked with clients in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States in the retail, manufacturing, telecommunication, financial services, professional services, health care, science and technology sectors, as well as with community, government and faith based organizations. Her areas of professional expertise include leadership development; diversity and inclusion consulting and training; process facilitation; and communication coaching and training.

An educator at heart, Dr. Porter King served first on the faculty of DePaul University, and then North Park University, in Chicago, where she taught Organizational, Small Group and Multi-Cultural Communications courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs. She also had the privilege of serving as a visiting professor at the International School of Social Science Research in Tampere, Finland.

Dr. Porter King is an author and has published monographs that explored the dynamics of leadership in the Gullah communities of the Sea Islands. She is also the author of two inspirational books Leading Ladies and Leading Lessons, both published by Augsburg Press. In these books she challenges traditional notions of leadership that have prevented many women from making significant impact and offers fresh insight into leadership styles and models that truly transform lives. In 2017 Dr. Porter King and her team published a book of quotes for and by women leaders, entitled, “That’s What She Said! 366 Leadership Quotes by Women.”

An inspiring speaker, Dr. Porter King’s sessions are described as transformative and engaging, helping participants to reflect on and connect to their own unique style of influence, as well as to develop strategies for influencing others, and making a lasting impact. Visit to discover the full line of professional services offered by Jeanne and her consulting practice.

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Jennifer Hoolehan Kyung is an Executive Director in the Financial Services Advisory practice at Ernst & Young LLP, focused on large-scale transformations for Property & Casualty Insurance clients. She specializes in underwriting, operations, and the insurance workforce and workplace of the future. With over 25 years in the P&C Insurance Industry, Jennifer has shown a passion for improving the way we work and our talent and diversity in insurance.

While at Zurich North America, Jennifer held a number of leadership roles, including Head of the Underwriting Support field organization, Head of Underwriting and Claims Quality & Training, Director of Product Management Programs, and founding member and Chairperson of the Women’s Innovation Network. Jennifer most recently led the Zurich North America Headquarters effort, a 783,000 SF, award winning, built-to-suit Headquarters for 3,000 people in Schaumburg, IL. This effort included the design, development, technology and change management which drove the workplace of the future for the organization.

Jennifer was also a Senior Engagement Manager with Accenture performing strategic and process consulting engagements for Fortune 500 Property & Casualty Insurance companies.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Northwestern University and she sits on the Board of Directors for WINGS, Program, Inc., and is a Liaison on the Board of Directors of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) in the Midwest Region.

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Joan Lamm-Tennant, PhD is the Founder and CEO of Blue Marble Micro Limited, a for-profit social enterprise, capitalized by eight international insurance entities and focused on expanding risk protection to the underserved. Previously, Joan was the Global Chief Economist and Risk Strategist of Guy Carpenter Company LLC, a reinsurance and risk management operating company of Marsh & McLennan. Other professional experience includes President of GenRe Capital Consultants, where she led the global advisory arm of General Reinsurance following a 15+ year academic career. Joan was a tenured Professor of Finance at Villanova University where she held the Thomas Labrecque Chair in Business.

Upon joining industry, Joan was an Adjunct Professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania where sheheld the Laurence and Susan Hirsch Chair in International Business. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Process Center, University of Pennsylvania. Joan is the recipient of the 2017 Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016 WhartonMBA Excellence in Teaching Award, 2013 APIW Insurance Woman of the Year and the 2012 International Insurance Society Kenneth Black Award for service and commitment to the advancement of the global industry.

Joan currently serves on the Board of Hamilton Insurance Group and Element Financial Corporation as well as the International Insurance Society.Prior Board experience includes Selective Insurance Group (1994 to 2015) and Ivans, an insurance technology provider, (2001 to 2013). She was instrumental in the sale of Ivans to Ability, a portfolio company of Bain Capital.

Joan holds a Ph.D. in Finance and Investments from the University of Texas. In addition, Joan holds an M.B.A. in Finance and a B.B.A. with Honors in Accounting from St. Mary's University.

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Brian Leppard currently serves as Manager of Distribution Best Practices at Farmers Insurance. He leads a team focusedon activating organizational change through design, understanding through observation, listening and connecting people, and digital innovation.Brian is a graduate of Western Michigan University and is currently pursuing a post graduate degree in User Experience Design from the University of Michigan. Aside from working Brian enjoys hiking, gardening and spending time with his family.

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Anne Martin is Assistant Operations Manager, Central Region & Global Programs for XL Catlin. Working out of the Chicago office, some of Anne’s responsibilities include providing day-to- day account management and timely program implementation for the region’s largest global property insurance portfolio, analyzing and managing foreign regulatory requirements for solution development / policy implementation of global property insurance account and developing / maintaining strong working relationships with brokers while providing a high level of service for global property insurance accounts. She also manages underwriting operations support staff and actively manages and leads talent management processes (goal setting, development planning, continuous feedback, performance management).

Anne has held other positions at XL Catlin including Senior Global Risk Specialist, Global Risk Specialist and Underwriting Assistant. Prior to joining XL Catlin in 2014 Anne was a Business Analyst at EverBank.

She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Dayton.

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Kelly McDonald is a marketing and advertising expert and considered one of the nation’s top experts in multicultural marketing and consumer trends.

Her client experience includes brands such as Toyota, State Farm, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Miller-Coors, and Sherwin-Williams. Kelly was named #1 on the list of “26 Hot Speakers” by Successful Meetings Magazine. Advertising Age has twice named her company one of the top ad agencies in the U.S. She has been featured on CNBC, in Forbes, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, on and on Sirius/XM Radio.

She is the author of three books. Her first, “How to Market to People Not Like You”, was #7 on the list of Bestselling Business Books of 2011. Her second book, “Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You” was #5 on the list of Bestselling Business Books of 2013. Her latest, “How to Work With and Lead People Not Like You” was #1 on the Bestselling Business Books of 2017.

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David Mendelsohn focuses his practice in the area of insurance and reinsurance transactional and regulatory matters. He has experience representing many insurers, reinsurers, brokers and other clients on a wide variety of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, complex regulatory, and finite, structured risk and reinsurance matters. David’s practice also includes providing global regulatory and compliance advice to Fortune 500 and other international companies in a range of industries.

Based on peer and client reviews, David has been selected as one of America's leading insurance lawyers by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, which praises his "calm manner" and "reasoned approach" and calls him an "excellent lawyer" and "a specialist in transactional and regulatory work." Chambers also notes that his clients say he is "highly knowledgeable in his field," "very competent and business-oriented," "equipped with a broad understanding of the issues clients face" and "He's very effective at dealing with the disparate regulatory folk you come across." Chambers adds: "He is respected as a leading corporate lawyer with experience in a series of high-end insurance deals."

David is admitted to practice law in the courts of England and Wales and in the State of Illinois. He received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and his LL.B. from University College of London, with honors, and attended Lancaster Gate School of Law, with honors. He received his Associates in Reinsurance Designation as well as a Certificate of Completion in Insurance Regulation from the Insurance Institute of America.

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Nicole Michaels is a Principal with EY’s Financial Service Organization. Nicole is the Global Business Transformation Insurance Leader, the America’s Performance Improvement Insurance Leader and the Financial Services Advisory Leader for the Central Region. Nicole has more than 20 years of experience in a variety of operating model and implementation roles with extensive experience in property and casualty and general insurance claims. She has led successful assessments and deliveries at large and medium sized carriers based in 12 different countries, including a successful single platform delivery at a client spanning more than 20 countries.

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Margaret Resce Milkint is Managing Partner of The Jacobson Group. A member of the firm’s Executive Management Team, she is a key ambassador in establishing strategic client relationships and broadening the firm’s reach and breadth of insurance talent solutions. Margaret’s passion lies in counseling clients on leadership selection and she has successfully managed countless executive searches during her more than 30 years with the firm.

Margaret’s executive search career spans domestic and global C-suite, executive management and Board of Director roles with depth in the property and casualty, life, health, and reinsurance sectors, inclusive of start-up ventures. She has successfully conducted searches in disciplines such as actuarial, analytics, underwriting, claims, operations, risk, finance, investment, legal, technology, sales and marketing.

Margaret is a Trustee for The Actuarial Foundation and a Board Member for the Illinois Technology Foundation. Additionally, she serves as a member of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Employers Council and is a member of the Chicago Finance Exchange. She was also the Chair of the Board of Directors for Easter Seals, DuPage and the Fox Valley Region and served as a Board Member for nine years.

Margaret is a champion for diversity, inclusion and intersectionality in the insurance industry. She co-founded the Women’s Insurance Networking Group (WING), a platform for networking and career development among the insurance industry’s female leaders, emerging talent and enlightened males. Margaret is also the U.S. Committee Chair for The Insurance Supper Club, a global forum for senior industry leaders to engage with like-minded colleagues on business issues.

Margaret's expertise on career and recruiting issues is widely-recognized throughout the industry; and as such, she is an active industry speaker and thought leader. She was most recently called upon to share her perspectives with Best’s Review, Carrier Management, Diversity in Action, Insurance Networking News, and Risk & Insurance, and was a featured contributor inCarrier Management, IASA Interpreter, and NAMIC INsurance Magazine. Margaret is called on to speak at many regional and national conferences, including those of the Insurance Accounting and Systems Association, Insurance Data Management Association, Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, the SOA, and the Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters.

Margaret received her bachelor's degree in English with concentrations in French and marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to her tenure with Jacobson, she was employed by Allstate Insurance Company of Northbrook, Illinois, where she first developed her passion for the insurance industry.

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Swapna Sathyan has over 15 years of experience partnering with global organizations on their business and workplace transformation initiatives, with an emphasis on improving people and organizational performance. She has provided consulting and program leadership in business and workplace strategy, organizational design, workforce transitions, strategic change, culture and leadershipalignment, for clients across several industries.

As CannonDesign’s Workplace Strategy Consulting leader, Swapna is focused on helping organizations shape the future design of their workplace to promote broader business and talent objectives. Adept at design thinking, Swapna brings thought leadership and a data driven approach to enable work environments that reinforce organizational culture, increase employee engagement, enhance employee experience and drive productivity.

An architect by training, Swapna utilizes innovative methods and analytics to enable clients to maximize value through their organizational transformations. Over the course of her career, she has served in several leadership roles and has leveraged her versatile background and excellence in program management to deliver sustainable value to clients.

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Kathleen Savio has more than 25 years of experience working across several disciplines at Zurich. She became a member of the Executive Committee in October 2017 upon her appointment to the position of Chief Executive Officer-Designatefor Zurich North America. Ms. Savio assumedthe role of Chief Executive Officer for that business in January 2018. From2012through 2017,she served as theHead of Alternative Markets for Zurich North America, which delivers products and services to customers through multiple distribution channels, including direct, program administrators, crop agents, captive consultantsand brokers. Prior to that appointment, sheheld the position of Chief Administrative Officer for North America Commercial. Before assuming that role, sheled Corporate and Marketing and Communications for North America Commercial, as well as Strategic Initiatives for Marketing and Distribution. She also has held roles in product underwriting and corporate marketing and within key business units. Shejoined Zurich in 1991.

Ms. Savio is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Z Zurich Foundation and a member of The Chicago Network, an organization of Chicago’s leading professional women.

Ms. Savio earned a master's degree in communication and a bachelor's degree in speech communication from Illinois State University.She is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program and has participated in executive management programs at Northwestern University's Kellogg School.

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Amy Shore is President, Nationwide P&C Sales & Distribution.

Amy leads retail and direct to consumer sales and distribution for Nationwide P&C. Her team members lead staff sales supporting all channels, field sales operations for exclusive and independent agents, and relationship management for larger national agencies/brokers. In addition, her team leads Nationwide Sales Solutions, the direct to consumer phone and internet sales organization.

In addition, Amy is the executive sponsor for the All Women’s Associate Resource Group. The largest ARG at Nationwide.

Amy has 31 years of experience in the P&C industry, including 20 years in varying leadership positions across Nationwide. She has leadership experience in a variety of business functions including sales, underwriting, product/pricing, customer service and general management.

Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bowling Green State University. She also is a Chartered Property/Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). Amy is actively involved in her local community. Currently, serving on the board of the Columbus Symphony, the Columbus chapter of the American Heart Association, and the capital campaign committee for Bowling Green State University.

Amy and her husband, Alan, have been married for 31 years and have two children, ages 28 and 23.

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Piyush Singh is a business savvy executive and industry thought leader with an eye towards preparing for the uncertain future. He has the ability to connect the seemingly disparate dots from within and outside the insurance industry and establishing concepts/ideas to prepare for the emerging patterns.

Piyush has had a very successful corporate career – Director, Senior Vice-President, Chief Information Officer of Great American Insurance Group, Officer of American Financial Group, Chief Information Officer of RLI and consulting roles at Price Waterhouse Coopers Company, ANZ Bank and Citicorp.

Piyush is the Founder and CEO of Terrene Labs. Terrene is aiming to provide leadership to companies in disrupting the small business commercial insurance industry. It aims to provide the optimal balance of a delightful experience for agents/brokers with high veracity application data supplemented by additional risk evaluation data for the risk carriers on the other end. The outcome is the future of risk evaluation - pleasant experience for users and much better risk selection and pricing for insurance carriers and banks. Within a year of founding Terrene was already featured at 17 startups to watch for 2017.

Piyush has received the “Elite 8” award from Insurance and Technology in 2005 and 2013 and was a winner of the “Top 10 CIO Breakaway Leader” at the Global CIO Executive Summit in 2011.

Piyush has the travelling bug in him and loves indulging in photography. He has been to all seven continents and trekked to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

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Kevin G. Smith joined CNA in 2017 and currently serves as President and Chief Operating Officer for CNA Specialty. In this role, he is responsible for CNA’s Specialty business, whichhas market-leading positions in professional and management liability, financial institutions, healthcare and other specialized property and casualty insurance products and services, as well as the CNA’s surety, warranty and service contract business.

Kevin started his insurance career in 1990 as a Financial Institutions Underwriter in San Francisco. He also served as the Financial Institutions Underwriting Manager in Chicago where he oversaw the profitable growth of management liability lines of business,in addition to the standard property & casualty lines. Prior to that, Kevinserveda four-year period with Sedgwick as an Account Manager for healthcare and financial institutions. Smith became a Branch Manager at Chubb in 2001, and most recently served as Executive VicePresident and North American Field Strategic Development Officer for Chubb, where he was responsible for coordinating distribution relationships, Field Analytics/Producer Compensation Group, Cornerstone Program, field budgets, prospecting/cross-sell initiatives and field liaison for corporate growth initiatives.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Utah and an MBA in Finance/International Business from the University of San Francisco. He is a member of the Board of Governors for the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), andhas held leadership positions and is active with the Women’s Insurance Networking Group (WING) and WOMEN Unlimited, Inc.

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Jessica Spaman as Voice of Distribution, Jessica develops agent-centered insights for improved carrier/agency experiences by traveling around the country gathering agent perspectives on new products, technology and trends in the marketplace. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College, Jessica’s 11 years of insurance experience has been full of fun and unexpected adventures. A cultural enthusiast, she spends her free time seeing the world with her husband and hanging out with her family.

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Jen Tadin is the National Sales Director and Client Experience Leader for Gallagher Small Business. She is a small enterprise expert with a successful track record of leading sales teams with The Hartford and Travelers. Jen is also a member and editorial contributor of the Forbes Business Development Council and a mentor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

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Belen Tokarski joined Insureon in 2015, after a 14-year tenure at CNA. As CNA's VP Automation Strategy and Agency Solutions, she combined expertise in technology and operations to lead teams devoted to developing and executing on some of the company’s most critical day-to-day technological operations. In 2011, Belen was named to the Top 10 Women in Insurance Leadership list published by Insurance Networking News. A Certified Business Architect, she holds a BS from Cornell College and an MBA from DePaul University.

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Lyndsey Toeppen s a Vice President at Sandbox Industries, where she works on the firm's Insurtech team. Lyndsey helps manage the company's investments in Allay, Capson, and ID Experts. Prior to joining Sandbox, Lyndsey was a Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Homeland Security where she focused on cyber policy, and served at the Department of Defense under Secretaries Gates and Panetta. Previously, Lyndsey worked for Google within its New Business Development group, focused on technology adoption and pre-venture pilot and partnership opportunities. Lyndsey holds an M.S. and B.S. from Stanford University.

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Grace Vandecruze's career has been dedicated to the relentless mission of advising her clients in effectively executing growth strategy and managing change. Her purpose is to assist organizations, teams and leaders in realizing their highest potential by charting a range of possible futures, rather than one predetermined outcome. She is the Founder and Managing Director at Grace Global Capital LLC ( a consulting firm providing M&A financial advisory, restructuring, and valuation to insurance executives, boards and financial regulators since 2006. Throughout her career, Grace has delivered advisory expertise on over $5 billion of insurance transactions.

As Managing Director at Swiss Re, Grace was responsible for the firm's regulatory advisory practice in the insurance and financial services industries. Grace has extensive expertise in mergers and acquisitions and capital raisings, and most notably she provided expert testimony on the valuation of Conseco during the largest bankruptcy in the insurance industry. Prior to joining Swiss Re, she was a Vice President at a private equity firm specializing in the insurance industry and an Associate in the Financial Institutions Group at Merrill Lynch. Working with EY and Grant Thornton earlier in her career, she was an auditor with CPA credentials serving clients in the financial services industry.

She earned an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and a BBA in Accounting from Pace University in 1985. Before attending The Wharton School, she was an auditor for six years in the financial services industry at Ernst & Young and Grant Thornton. She is a Certified Public Accountant. Grace is also board member of SBLI USA and M Financial Group.

Grace has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Annapurna, the Himalayan in Bhutan and Everest Base Camp. She is also a licensed sailor. Grace has been featured in two books: "Be Happy at Work, 100 Women Who Love their Jobs and Why" by Joanne Gordon and "Doing it Ourselves: Success Stories of African American Women in Business" by Donna Ballard. Grace is frequently quoted in the financial press, including The American Banker, Insurance Journal, SNL Financial and AM Best TV and Journal. She is a regular keynote speaker on the M&A landscape at the Mid-West Zone Conference of National Association of Insurance Commissioners, M Financial Annual Marketing Meeting and The Baker Tilly Insurance Conference.

As an experienced mountaineer and entrepreneur, Grace sees the two worlds of business and adventure to be inextricably linked and interconnected. As the landscape of insurance is rapidly changing, mountains provide high-altitude laboratories and metaphors for leadership, team dynamics, collaboration and strategy management. Her stories of taking chances, thriving in uncertainty, and achieving results are dynamic, inspiring and transformational. She encourages her clients to transition from a traditional model of change and risk to moving beyond the status quo and embracing unchartered territory in order to maximize outcome.

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Kathleen Ziegler is the head of distribution at Blackboard Insurance, an AIG-owned technology-focused subsidiary. At Blackboard, she is responsible for developing and managing broker relationships and contributing to the overall build of the middle-market start up. She has an extensive background in operations, IT, and strategy with a focus on the insurance industry. She started her career as a consultant at Accenture and then progressed with roles at Zurich, Marsh, and more recently AIG. She has held several senior executive positions, including head of operations and technology for the US at Marsh and northeast regional vice president of Zurich’s commercial market business.

Kathleen is also a strong proponent of advancing women and is currently serving as the executive sponsor of AIG’s Women & Allies employee resource group in Chicago. She was on the steering committee of Marsh’s internal women’s group and founded the global women’s network at Zurich in 2007 which is still in place today. Kathleen received a bachelor of arts in English and French from the University of Notre Dame and a masters of arts degree in linguistics from the University of Kansas. Kathleen currently lives in Brooklyn and enjoys the outdoors, comedy, music, and exploring the national parks as well as NYC’s boroughs with her husband, Todd, and 9-year-old son, Milo.

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