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Four Seasons, Austin, TX
September 26-27, 2017

Early Confirmed 2017 Speakers

Brian Snow, Managing Director – West Region, AIG

Brian is the Managing Director of AIGs Property and Casualty field offices in the Phoenix and Denver Territories. The territory includes the states of AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY and Southern Nevada. He is responsible for leading business development in the territory as well as executing client engagement and broker management strategies. Brian joined AIG in February 2013. Brian is a graduate of the Indiana State College of Business where he majored in Risk Management and Insurance. He remains active with ISU faculty and their research in Risk Management.

Brian started his career with Marsh in Detroit working in the firm’s Automotive Practice Group. He eventually moved in-house and spent nine (9) years as a corporate risk manager in the sporting goods manufacturing and aviation industries. Prior to joining AIG he was a Managing Director at Lovitt & Touche, a regional retail broker based in Phoenix.

Balaji Gopalakrishnan, Director of Product & Risk Analytics, American Family Insurance

Balaji Gopalakrishnan is Director of Product & Risk Analytics at American Family Insurance. He is passionate about Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence and strongly believes in its transformative power to help insurance industry innovate and optimize the deployment of product and services. He leads key areas such IoT and Fraud Analytics at American Family Insurance as well as strategic data initiatives to support big-data analytics in the cloud.

Balaji has over fifteen years’ experience in the data science space supporting industry verticals such as retail, telecommunications, media, and financial services. Before joining American Family Insurance, Balaji was the head of risk management practice at the Advanced Analytics Lab at SAS Institute where he supported banks and institutional investors implement risk and compliance solutions.

Balaji received his Ph.D in Operations Research and MS in Applied Mathematics from Georgia Institute of Techninology. He has several publications and patents in optimization and its applications.

Woody Hill, Vice President – Customer Experience Officer, Texas Mutual

Woody Hill has led the Safety Services division of Texas Mutual Insurance Company—the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance—since 2013. Prior to that, he served as vice president of loss control for EIG Insurance Services, a publicly traded P&C insurer in California specializing in workers’ compensation. He previously was assistant vice president, loss control for ABD Insurance and Financial Services.

Hill first became passionate about workplace safety while serving as an associate industrial hygienist for the California Division of Occupation Safety and Healthy (Cal/OSHA), a position he held for more than 11 years. Hill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and environmental science from Eastern Kentucky University.

Sharon Dean, Vice President Product, Encompass Insurance

In Sharon’s nearly 30 years with the company, she has been promoted through an impressive array of roles. Among her many accomplishments over the years, one of Sharon’s most notable successes was playing an instrumental role in the start of the North Light Specialty Insurance Company, an excess and surplus lines carrier serving Allstate agents and policyholders. This venture, along with her additional product experience, agency background and general management skills, have prepared her to successfully lead the product strategy division at Encompass.

Sharon is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University.

Ted Stuckey, Head of Global Innovation, QBE

As Head of the Global Innovation Lab for QBE Insurance Group, Ted supports the global markets that QBE operates in by exploring how the latest technologies can drive growth, improve efficiency and build stronger partnerships with our customers. Ted’s accountability include establishing partnerships in a variety of areas including academic and start-up communities and overseeing the Group Digital Innovation Lab which provides QBE with the capacity, resources and skills needed to effectively experiment with emerging technologies.

Paul Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Journey

Paul Smith is the chief operating officer at Journey, a new startup designing insurance solutions for the sharing economy. Responsibility areas include building a differentiated digital customer experience, designing and implementing product solutions and systems, analytics, claims oversight and financial functions. Prior to Journey, Paul held the Head of Claims Innovation position at Liberty Mutual and served as the VP Operations & Analytics with Direct General Insurance. He also mentored startups at MassChallenge, and spent the earlier part of his career both in private equity and the online travel industry.

Dean Sivley, President, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

Dean Sivley has been instrumental in building some of the travel industry’s most recognized brands. He has been a key figure in launching several successful startups, and has driven new growth strategies and implemented strategic and tactical process improvements. His travel industry experience includes serving as chief executive officer of Atlas Travel Technologies, vice president of marketing and chief information officer of Rosenbluth International, and chief operating officer at Orbitz.

Dean took his travel experience and combined it with insurance in 2009 as chief executive officer of AIG-Travel Guard.  Dean left insurance to build the revolutionary technology-driven car service company GroundLink, and then returned to lead Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance’s travel insurance division in May of 2015. Dean currently serves as the president of the Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection.

Dean earned his MBA with honors from Columbia University, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where he was recognized in 2011 with their Distinguished Alumni Award.  In addition, Dean currently serves on the GBTA Risk Committee, and has served on numerous boards, including the United States Travel Insurance Association.

Vishwa Kolla, AVP, Head of Advanced Analytics, John Hancock

Vishwa is the head of Advanced Analytics (AA) at John Hancock Insurance (JHI). AA at JHI involves Descriptive, Predictive, Prescriptive, Nudge, Cognitive and Experimental Analytics.

He is a seasoned leader, speaker, collaborator, mentor and a coach in several areas including Advanced Analytics, Data Science, Big Data and in Communication. He oversees the transformation of John Hancock and continues to turn it into an Data, Analytics, Insight, Model and Action rich organization.

Vishwa helped F5-500 companies on a variety of problems using Predictive Analytics as a means. Select clientele includes Deloitte, Walmart, Caterpillar, AIG, AT&T, Cablevision, HP, Cardinal Health and Orlando Health, IBM, and Sun Microsystems (now Oracle).
Vishwa has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, an MS from U. Denver and BS from BITS Pilani, India.

Jon-Michael Kowall, AVP Property & Casualty Innovation, USAA

Jon-Mike Kowall heads up a strategic team at USAA focused on taking innovation to the next level for the USAA Insurance Company. With 18 years of financial industry experience ranging from actuarial, underwriting, product development, finance, and emerging analytics, Jon-Michael is currently the Assistant VP of Property & Casualty Innovation. The Innovation team is finding new and better ways to create value for the 11 million members of USAA by leveraging new and emerging technologies, creating strategic partnerships, and thinking outside the box.ologies.

Jonathan Charak, AVP Actuary – Business Insights, Zurich North America & Vice-Chair – Automated Vehicle Task Force, Casual Actuarial Society

Jonathan currently works at Zurich where he participates in the planning, execution, and measurement of strategic initiatives. He is responsible for driving execution across the Programs and Direct Markets business.

In his over 10-year career within the insurance industry, he has spent the majority of it as an actuary in both pricing and reserving roles, both in the US market as well as Australia.

Jonathan volunteers with the CAS as the Vice-Chair of the Automated Vehicle Task Force. Further, he volunteers on the Asia Regional Committee, the International Member Services Committee, and the Education Structure Implementation Task Force CERA.

Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University, is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS), and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).

Craig Copland, SVP Digital Catalyst (IoT Lead), Swiss Re

Craig is the founder and chief strategy behind the SwissRE Digital Catalyst in Boston, instrumental in setting up the ecosystem, hiring the team and building the marketing to the internal business units. Craig has over 16 years in bringing together Business and Technology through communications systems with Bluechip organizations and startups.

Craig lead the growth of Telematics at Agero Group, the principle designer and decision maker for the Endavour telematics platform; the first to cater to multiple connected vehicle OEM’s together with a variety of infotainment, insurance and mobile applications.

He also built teams and strategy in organizations around mobility, IoT and big data, bridging the gap between business and IT. Moreover, Craig performed merger and acquisition analysis on potential targets and opportunities for partnerships leading to the acquisition of ATX Group (150MIL) and divestment to SiriusXM (530MIL). He is also responsible for the creation of corporate intellectual property through 6 patents and the creation of an innovation council.

Manish Agarwal, General Partner, AXA Strategic Ventures

Manish is the General Partner of AXA Strategic Ventures, based in New York City. His primary focus is on making early stage investments in the US and helping young companies grow and scale. Manish sits of the boards of a number of ASV portfolio companies including, among others, Neura, Bee Financial, Limelight Health and PriceMethod.

Prior to joining ASV, Manish held a number of investing, operational and strategic roles. Most recently, he was the Head of Financial Protection for AXA US, responsible for the company’s life insurance business. He also led AXA’s investment in Planmember and the disposal of the MONY closed block.

Manish started his career at McKinsey & Co. where he led client teams in engagements across strategy, corporate finance and operations & technology. Manish earned his M.S. and Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University and B.Tech. at the Indian Institute of Technology. He lives in New York City with his wife and two kids.

Phil Edmundson, Founder & CEO, Corvus Insurance

Mr. Edmundson was an executive at Corroon & Black (now Willis) before co-founding William Gallagher Associates (WGA), a specialist in insurance for technology companies.  WGA was sold to Minet in 1995.  After Minet was sold to Aon, Mr. Edmundson bought WGA from Aon, growing it to be one of the largest brokers in the US with over $500 MM in premium.  He sold WGA to Arthur J. Gallagher (NYSE:AJG) in 2015.  

Mr. Edmundson is a past Director of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB), in Washington, D.C.  He is a past President of the Insurance Library Association of Boston.   He represented WGA on the Worldwide Broker Network for 15 years. He serves as Chair of the Board of Overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is a Trustee of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

He is a graduate of Amherst College, with a B.S. in Psychology/Neuroscience, where he was elected to Sigma Xi, the national scientific honor society.  Mr. Edmundson received his MBA from Babson College. He also received a Masters of Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School at Harvard University.

Sean Harper, CEO, Kin Insurance

Sean Harper is co-founder of Kin, the big data homeowners insurance company.  Previously Sean ran Product at two PE backed businesses – 2checkout (payments) and Livewatch (IoT).  Before that he ran the payments group at Groupon, where he joined after Groupon bought his payments technology company FeeFighters in 2012.  Prior to becoming and entrepreneur worked at a VC firm and in the financial services practice at BCG. Sean has an MBA from the University of Chicago, where he also studied Economics and CS as an undergraduate.

Julianne Callaway, Strategic Research Actuary, RGA

As Strategic Research Actuary for RGA’s Global Research and Data Analytics (GRDA) team, Julianne Callaway researches emerging areas of interest to the insurance industry. Her insights on wellness, wearable technolnogy, genetics, and other strategic research initiatives are shared with clients in presentations, white papers and articles.

Julianne joined RGA in 2013 as an Assistant Actuary in GRDA, where she oversaw research development for the department. Later Julianne was part of RGAx, the wholly-owned innovation incubator subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated, for two years where she developed economic models for business concepts and market intelligence in support of innovative business initiatives.

Prior to joining RGA, Julianne spent nine years with Towers Watson, where she was a Senior Actuarial Analyst, responsible for loss reserving for several lines of business, establishing funding amounts for self-insurance funds, developing predictive models, and developing methods to estimate asbestos liabilities for corporations and insurers. She began her actuarial career at American Family Insurance, where she priced business lines insurance and was responsible for rate adequacy in several states.

Julianne has Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees, both in economics, from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She is a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries (FSA), an Associate in the Casualty Actuarial Society (ACAS), and Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA). A prolific author, she has written and published several articles and white papers on a broad range of insurance topics. She is also a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and is currently a member of the Society of Actuaries’ General Insurance Research Committee.

Luke Harris, Director of Claims, Metromile

As Director of Claims at Metromile, an innovative pay-per-mile insurance provider, Luke Harris is responsible for the management and oversight of Metromile’s claims operations. Luke has more than 12 years of experience in the insurance industry including 10 years working in various management positions at Progressive Insurance. Luke has extensive hands-on expertise as a claims professional and works daily at Metromile to deliver on one of Metromile’s core values, “create fiercely loyal customers”, while focusing on resolving claims as accurately and efficiently as possible. Luke received a Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing from Baker University.

Chris Jarvis, Special Investigations Lead, Metromile

As the Special Investigations Lead at Metromile, an innovative pay-per-mile insurance provider, Chris Jarvis is responsible for the management and oversight of Metromile’s Specialized Handling Unit. Chris has more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry including 13 years working in various claims management and SIU positions at Progressive Insurance. Chris has extensive hands-on expertise as a claims professional and works daily at Metromile to make that claims are resolved as accurately and efficiently as possible. Chris received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has been recognized as a Certified Insurance Fraud Investigator (CIFI) by the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU).

Christopher Lee, CEO, Albus Insurance

Christopher is the CEO of Albus Insurance, an insurance company specialized in telematics-driven insurance premiums for commercial auto. Heavily backed with Silicon Valley capital, Albus Insurance will be launching a specific insurance product for driverless trucks later in 2017. Before founding Albus Insurance, Christopher was an Associate at Accel Partners, a leading tech investment firm. Christopher holds an AB in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Harvard University.

Paul Garofoli, VP Marketing, National Western Life Insurance

Paul Garofoli has spent the past 12 years representing National Western Life as a Marketing Vice President. His career has spanned 33 years and includes the disciplines of underwriting, product development, marketing and sales.

In addition to his professional expertise, Paul brings to NWL some distinguished academic credentials as well. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is a Fellow in the Life Management Institute.

Known alternatively as “The Sheriff of Sales” and “Mr. Incredible”, Paul earned his nicknames with his enthusiasm for servicing and supporting agencies and producers. A nationally recognized speaker, he is known for his entertaining presentations. Most recently, he was featured at the NAFA Annuity Distribution Forum.

Chris Downer, Associate, XL Innovate

Chris is an Associate at XL Innovate focusing on insurtech investments in North America, Europe and Asia. Before joining XL Innovate, Chris worked in alternative investments at Goldman Sachs, in New York City and London. Chris graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College. Outside of XL Innovate, Chris is a dedicated cyclist, avid New York Rangers fan and American history buff.

Nino Tarantino, CEO, Octo North America

Nino Tarantino is currently the CEO of Octo North America, a position he has held since 2010. Mr. Tarantino has more than two decades of experience in the global telecommunications industry building startups and developing strategic business operations. Mr. Tarantino received his M.S. from the Sapienza University of Rome in 1989. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Tarantino led the global business development effort for Iridium/Motorola. From 2000 to 2003, he served as Vice President of Business Development for Anoto/ Ericsson. He was CEO of Acotel USA/Flycell from 2003 to 2005, where he launched the first mobile premium messaging and consumer content services in North America. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Tarantino was Principal of T4Advisory. He has also held several product and business development positions within the Telecom Italia Group.

Brett Hiltbrand, Innovation Champion, Farm Bureau Insurance of Idaho

Brett Hiltbrand is the Software Quality Assurance Architect for Farm Bureau Insurance of Idaho. He has a passion for working with the latest emerging technologies in the IoT realm and automating as much of his daily life as possible. He is always looking at new ways to use existing technologies to better daily life.

In the past, Brett has worked in the financial industry striving to bring technological advances to that field through various financial aggregation applications. He is currently working to develop technologies and infrastructures at Farm Bureau that will be used to mitigate claims risk, assist in effective underwriting, and increase processing efficiency.

Scott Bradley, Founder & CEO, Trym

Gina Minick, Product Management, Arity

Gina Minick is a Product Manager of Insurance Solutions at Arity, a technology company founded by The Allstate Corporation that provides data science and insight solutions for customers across the globe. Gina is responsible for enabling insurance companies both inside and outside of the Corporation to execute on their goals around telematics.  She enjoys the challenges of Product Management in solving for customer needs through innovative approaches and a different way of thinking.

Gina joined Allstate in 2007 and played an integral role as Product Manager of the countrywide roll-out of Drivewise®, the Allstate telematics program.  She also led the product strategy and implementation for Allstate Rewards?, a program that rewards safe drivers.  Gina also held positions at Allstate in Risk Management, Catastrophe Management and Marketing.

Prior to Allstate, Gina was a Competitive Intelligence Consultant at Progressive Insurance and State Analyst in Commercial Auto.

Gina earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Mount Union University.

Garrett Koehn, President Northwestern Crump Offices and Western Regional Director, CRC Insurance

Garrett has 20+ years of complex commercial insurance experience with 20+ years experience in a senior executive position. Partner or senior management equity holder in 4-successful buy/sell private equity transactions. He is an active angel investor with focus on financial transactions, the progression of decreased marginal costs – portals, marketplaces, fintech, insuretech and others…

Garrett’s areas of insurance practice: Cyber Insurance (since ’95), Directors and Officers Insurance, Intellectual Property Insurance. Highly experienced in insurance product creation and insurance distribution strategy.

Roel Peeters, CEO & Co-Founder, Roost

Roel Peeters is the CEO and Co-Founder of Roost, a technology company based in Sunnyvale, California. Roost has developed the Home Telematics Platform that provides the hardware, software and data solution enabling the transformation of the Property Insurance industry. Peeters is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of startup experience ranging from enterprise software to consumer electronics and semiconductors. Most recently, he was the co-founder of Ozmo Devices, a pioneer in low-power Wi-Fi where he successfully raised angel and venture funding rounds for the company and executed Ozmo’s go-to-market plan.

Gillian Julius, Project Manager for Innovation, Erie Insurance

Gillian coaches innovation project teams with the small yet mighty Innovation R&D function at Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania.  She helps teams explore technology and market trends and connect them with emerging customer and business opportunities.

Matt Park, VP of Sales, dacadoo

Matt Park is Vice President of dacadoo americas, based in Boston, MA.  Dacadoo is the “Health Score” company – providing a mobile-first digital health platform that helps people live healthier, more active lives.  The dacadoo platform allows organizations to offer a fun, engaging experience that measures, coaches and improves people’s health across three key dimensions: lifestyle, biometric and emotional wellbeing.  Dacadoo takes inputs from a variety of tracking devices, as well as its own app and applies a research-backed, patented process to calculate a single, composite health score for each individual.  Dacadoo’s customers include large and mid-sized companies, health and life insurance companies, and health & wellbeing service organizations.

Matt has 30 years’ experience as a Sales & Marketing executive in the software industry, including 15 years working in the Human Resources/Talent Management space with SAP, Successfactors, Jobs2Web and Softscape.

Rick McCathron, Head of Insurance, Hippo Insurance

Rick brings nearly 25 years of P&C experience to his role as Hippo’s Head of Insurance where he is  responsible for pricing, risk management, compliance and expanding Hippo’s offerings beyond California. Rick is a Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter and a Certified Insurance Counselor and has held senior executive positions at well-respected insurance companies including President and CEO of First Connect Insurance Services, Vice President of Mercury Insurance, Chief Distribution Officer of Home Value Protection and President & CEO of Superior Access Insurance. At Mercury General, Rick was responsible for overseeing half of Mercury’s operations geographically as well as standardizing the company’s underwriting procedures nationally. At First Connect, Rick shifted the paradigm and brought to market a entirely new way of thinking about car insurance.  Rick has a passion to modernize the insurance industry from distribution, through product design, to customer service and expectations.

John Popolizio, CSO, Riverdale (currently working with Blue Cross Blue Shield)

John Popolizio leads the Riverdale Group.  JP serves clients as an interim Chief Security and Risk Officer, and a trusted board advisor. His experience covers global enterprise risk, security services, enterprise change, governance, regulatory and compliance in CSO and Executive Risk roles with Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorganChase, MetLife, Citibank and Booz, Allen. He is currently an Interim Chief Security and Risk Officer with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Prior to that, he served New York Life Insurance Company as an Interim Enterprise Chief Security Officer and Chief Risk Officer for Enterprise Technology.

Rhonda Longo, User Experience Analyst, Erie Insurance

Rhonda works with project teams across a variety of functions to help them achieve an experience for end users that balances industry best practices with internal branding strategies.  She is passionate about human centered design and advocating for users.

Adam Bondi, Software Engineer, Erie Insurance

Adam is a Software Engineer for Erie Insurance Group in Erie, Pennsylvania.  He specializes in Web development and has worked extensively with C#, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.  He enjoys designing and constructing robust application front ends, exploring new technologies, and all things Angular.

Jodie Fisher, NA Business Unit Executive, Watson IoT Insurance Solutions

Jodie is the North American Business Unit Executive for Watson IoT Insurance Solutions. Her practice focuses on IoT enabled insurance solutions which reduce risk and claims while increasing  customer engagement and adding new product offerings. Prior to IBM, she held several executive positions with Fortune 50 insurance carriers as well as CFO and COO roles in healthcare, retail and technology.

Alan D. Cohn, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University & Of Counsel, Blockchain Alliance, Steptoe & Johnson

Alan Cohn is an attorney and consultant in Washington, DC. He advises clients from a range of industries on cybersecurity, blockchain, and distributed ledger technology issues, and other national security and emerging technology issues. Alan is of counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP and co-chair of the firm’s Blockchain and Digital Currency practice. He serves as counsel to the Blockchain Alliance, a public-private forum established by a broad coalition of companies and organizations to help combat criminal activity on the blockchain, and advises companies and investors concerning a range of issues associated with the adoption and use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Alan also coordinates the Coalition for Responsible Cybersecurity, which was formed by leading cybersecurity companies to prevent dual-use export control rules from harming defensive cybersecurity products, services, and technologies.From 2006 to 2015, Alan served in senior policy positions at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), most recently as the assistant secretary for strategy, planning, analysis & risk and second-in-charge overall of the DHS Office of Policy. While at DHS, Alan established the cyber policy office within the DHS Office of Policy, and helped shape department policy on issues such as cybersecurity information sharing, cybercrime and cyber-related sanctions, and cyber incident management. He also represented DHS on the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) and related national security review processes for foreign investments, acquisitions, and US license applications. Alan also designed and led the first two Quadrennial Homeland Security Reviews—comprehensive year-long reviews of homeland security—and helped implement DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s Unity of Effort Initiative, a major corporate-level DHS governance, integration, and management reform effort.Alan is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and a fellow at the school’s Center for National Security and the Law, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. He is co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cybersecurity and a member of the Forum’s Cybercrime initiative. Alan earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

James Kuhr, Research Associate, Center for Transportation Research – University of Texas at Austin

James Kuhr is a Research Associate with The University of Texas Center for Transportation Research (UT-CTR). Mr. Kuhr has tailored his research at CTR to focus on short- and long-range mobility planning for connected and autonomous vehicles. To this end, his current projects include examining the impending implementation of autonomous vehicles and connected infrastructure for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and working on the Texas Department of Transportation-sponsored advanced vehicle-to-vehicle communication and sensor fusion technology prototyping. Mr. Kuhr received a degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M in 2007 and  J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in 2010 and is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas.

Gwenn Bezard, Partner, Aite

Gwenn Bézard is a Co-Founder of and Research Director at Aite Group, where he leads the Insurance practice (encompassing P&C Insurance, Life Insurance, and Healthcare Insurance). He also oversees the firm’s Banking & Payments practice and the Research Design & Data team. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is researching how technology is creating new market opportunities for insurers.

Mr. Bézard has over 15 years of experience assisting financial institutions, payments companies, and technology vendors with advisory services and strategy consulting. Prior to founding Aite Group, he was a senior analyst within Celent’s banking group, where he helped build an industry-leading payments practice. Before that, Mr. Bézard was with BNP Paribas, where he headed the research team of L’Atelier, the bank’s technology and Internet intelligence division. He also served as an analyst at Plénitudes, a management consulting firm that specializes in change management.

Mr. Bézard holds a Maîtrise degree in contemporary history from the University Rennes II, France, and is fluent in English and French.

Albert Betts, Executive Director, Insurance Council of Texas

Albert has served as Executive Director  for the Insurance Council of Texas since March 31, 2014.  Prior to joining ICT, he was a partner at the law firm of Thompson Coe Cousins and Irons, LLP, practicing in the firm’s Insurance law and Governmental and Legislative Advocacy Group. While there he served as general counsel for ICT, and represented other insurance related clients at the Texas Department of Insurance and the Texas legislature.

In 2005, he was appointed by then Texas Governor Rick Perry as the first Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation for the State of Texas, and reappointed in 2007. He served as Commissioner from 2005 through 2008. Prior to being appointed Commissioner, Mr. Betts served as Chief of Staff for the Texas Department of Insurance.

Overall, Albert has nearly 25 years experience as a lawyer, public policy administrator, and in executive management.  He is also co-editor of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Handbook and is a frequent speaker to insurance, risk management, and employer groups on property and casualty insurance and workers’ compensation issues.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, and has been a licensed attorney since 1991.

Tracy Spadola, VP Industry Relations, IDMA

Tracy Spadola is Vice President of Strategic Data Operations at ISO. Tracy manages ISO’s data strategy to improve the organization’s ability to deliver products, services and analytics, and provide insights to customers. She is a key contributor in the Insurance Data Management Association (IDMA): currently she is Vice President of industry relations and formerly served as the president and chair of the board. Previously Tracy was the practice lead for insurance industry consulting at Teradata.

Tracy is a recognized leader in the insurance data management field and a frequent speaker at industry and training events run by a range of leading organizations, including ACORD, the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and IDMA. She has authored several articles on the topics of data management, data governance, and stewardship.

Tracy graduated with a bachelor of science in management information systems from Excelsior College and a master of science in organizational leadership from Quinnipiac University. She has earned designations as a Fellow of Insurance Data Management Association (FIDM), a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), and a Certified Insurance Data Manager (CIDM).

Matteo Carbone, Founder & Director, Connected Insurance Observatory

Matteo is Founder and Director of the Connected Insurance Observatory, Global InsurTech Thought Leader.

He is internationally recognized as an insurance industry strategist with a specialization on innovation. Matteo is author and world-renowned authority on InsurTech – ranked among top international InsurTech Influencers – and he has spoken to audiences worldwide.

Matteo has advised many International Insurance Groups and has wide experience which includes set up of industrial and commercial plans, growth strategy definition and support in the start-up of new initiatives, digital strategy development, insurance products development, channel strategy and commercial model definition, startups mentorship and advice M&A deals.

Before creating the Connected Insurance Observatory, he spent 11 years in Bain & Company’s Financial Service practice. Matteo received his degree in Business Administration from Bocconi University, Milan.

Charles Mondello, President, Property Drone Consortium

Charles Mondello is the President for the Property Drone Consortium, an industry collaboration among insurance carriers, construction industry leaders and supporting enterprises who have agreed to work together to promote research, development and the assessment of regulations for the use of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) technology across the insurance and construction industries. Charter Members of the Property Drone Consortium include Allstate, American Family Insurance, Erie Insurance and other leading American carriers. Prior to heading up the Property Drone Consortium, Charles was an Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Pictometry International.

Nick Ford, Chief Technology Evangelist, Mendix

Nick’s focus at Mendix is helping organizations embrace the business opportunities that are created through the adoption of digital technologies. Digital initiatives are disrupting the status quo which presents challenges but also opportunities for those that can’t rapidly embrace and execute digital strategy.

Dave Wang, CEO, Striiv

Dave has over 15 years of experience leading marketing and product planning across wearables, consumer electronics, and non-deterministic sensor processing. His prior positions include VP of Marketing at Booyah, Senior Director of Marketing at SiRF and Centrality Communications, and engineering positions at Cisco Systems and the U.C. Berkeley Wireless Research Center. Dave graduated from Stanford University with a dual M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Management Science and Engineering, and he received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley.

Nolan Ramsey, Director, Application Delivery, EPI-USE

Application Developer, Process Engineer, Project Manager, and Business Intelligence Professional with 12+ years designing, developing, and delivering solutions to medium and large sized organizations across multiple industries. Six Sigma Black Belt certified, leading important projects to completion following the rigors of the DMAIC and DMADV processes, as well as in recent years managing projects according to the PMBOK. Nolan has most recently been consulting clients in the use of Mendix (Platform As A Services, or PaaS) to develop cloud application that integrate with other cloud and on/off-premise systems.

Dave Miles, Managing Principal, Manchester Story

Dave Miles is a co-founder and Managing Partner of ManchesterStory Group, a venture capital firm making early stage investments in companies in InsureTech, FinTech and HealthTech. ManchesterStory is backed by a consortium of leading insurance industry players, and invests across the United States.

Dave has been an investment professional and entrepreneur for the last thirty years, most of that time as owner of Miles Capital, Inc., a $4.8 billion insurance company-focused asset management firm. In addition to his investment experience, he brings leadership and operating experience to the firm and to our partner companies.

His career experience includes leadership roles in insurance, corporate and personal trust, banking, and the mutual fund industry. He presently serves as non-executive chair of Miles Capital, Inc., and president and director of the Miles Funds, Inc., and is on the board of directors of Winnebago Industries and Northwest Financial Corporation. Dave received a B.A. from Drake University, J.D. from Harvard Law School and MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

David Bishop, SVP – Head of R&D, Hitachi Solutions

David Bishop is the Senior Vice President of Product Development and R&D at Hitachi Solutions.  As part of a global organization having delivered 1,500 analytics-based projects in the last 14 years,  David’s focus is helping customers achieve significantly improved, measurable results through Advanced Analytics.  In his career at Hitachi, he’s helped build and take to market some of Hitachi’s most advanced solutions driving predictive analytics and optimization through machine learning, bots, the internet of things and much more.

A headshot of Bob Newkirk

Bob Newkirk, CMO, Strategy & Partnerships, Tourmaline Labs

Bob Newkirk heads marketing, strategy and partnerships for Tourmaline Labs, a leading provider of driving behavior intelligence data services.  Tourmaline Labs state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) data analytics engine provides deep insight into driving behaviors to proactively assess risk and establish a culture of eco-friendlier, safer driving. Insurance firms now have the means to easily acquire, interpret and analyze hyper-localized and contextualized telematics-based metrics.  Tourmaline Labs solutions are deployed in 90+ countries and integrated with 2400+ device types/models. 

Prior to Tourmaline Labs, Bob was the Director of Channels at CalAmp Corporation (NASDAQ: CAMP), a pure-play pioneer in the connected vehicle mobile resource management (MRM) and broader Internet of Things (IoT) marketplace. CalAmp recently acquired LoJack, a renowned vehicle tracking and recovery leader.

Christina Cragholm, Global Enterprise Partnership Lead – Insurance, Nest Labs, Inc.

Christina Cragholm is the Global Enterprise Partnership Lead – Insurance for Nest Labs, Inc. Christina joined the company in 2016 to spearhead the growth of Nest’s Safety Rewards program with insurance carrier partners.

Christina is a pragmatic strategist and practitioner of the Internet of Things (IoT) with expertise in building software ecosystems.  Before joining Nest, Christina worked at QUALCOMM, Inc., developing business by recruiting membership into the leading open source IoT ecosystem and selling end-to-end solutions to device manufacturers.

Prior to working with connected device companies, Christina grew businesses throughout the mobile industry value chain:  hardware strategy at Samsung, carrier sales at iSkoot, embedded software partnerships at Kodiak Networks, service provider data analytics at Globalstar, and billing consulting at Accenture.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Christina is an active advocate for increased STEM-focused curricula and the next generation of female business leaders.

Christina has an A.B. from Princeton University and M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Bent Sorensen, Sales and Business Development Director Americas, Z-Wave

Bent Sorensen is Sales and Business Development Director Americas for Z-Wave, the de facto low-power wireless home automation standard. He has in-depth experience as IoT advisor to both start-ups and big OEM/ODMs, SW platform providers and international service providers in Europe, US and Latin America looking to offer customized home automation, monitoring/security, energy-savings packages and IPTV solutions. He works with technical staff and top executives to identify their needs and subsequently match them with software platform providers and OEMs. ??He has over 20 years of international sales management and business development experience. Prior to joining Z-Wave in 2007, Bent was the General Manager for a European brewery in the US, and before that he was the overseas sales manager for a radio and satellite communications manufacturer. Bent holds an MBA in International Management, an MA in International Business Communications and a Certificate of Management Practices from New York University.

Bill Galusha, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Kofax

Bill Galusha is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Kofax. He is responsible for worldwide marketing of the Kofax Kapow robotic process automation software platform. He has fifteen years product marketing and product management experience managing various software products and solutions. Prior to joining Kofax, he spent seven years at EMC as a product marketing manager for the EMC capture, BPM, and case management products and solutions.

Larry Cochran, Founder & CEO, Claimatic

Larry Cochran is the founder and CEO of Claimatic. Cochran steered the conception, development and implementation of this ground-breaking claims automation Software as a Service (SaaS) over several years as owner and CEO of one of the largest independent loss adjusting and TPAs in the US. Prior to his career in claims since 2006, Cochran was a CPA and business consultant for two international consulting firms specializing in management, disputes and turnaround consulting and also owned and operated a Permian Basin-based oil and gas exploration and production company. Over the past decade Cochran has been an active author and speaker on claims process improvements and automation.

Ryan Kim, CEO, Phyn

Ryan Kim is the CEO of Phyn, a joint venture of Belkin International and Uponor, a leading manufacturer of plumbing infrastructure.  Prior to leading Phyn, Ryan served as the VP of Engineering at Belkin, responsible for Hardware, Firmware, Software, Quality, and Program Management. During his tenure at Belkin, Ryan led the vision, architecture and development of the WeMo platform, one of the most recognized and widely adopted brands in the Smart Home category. Ryan is also the author of dozens of patents in and around the IoT space.

2017 Advisory Board

Ted Stuckey, Head of Global Innovation, QBE

As Head of the Global Innovation Lab for QBE Insurance Group, Ted supports the global markets that QBE operates in by exploring how the latest technologies can drive growth, improve efficiency and build stronger partnerships with our customers. Ted’s accountability include establishing partnerships in a variety of areas including academic and start-up communities and overseeing the Group Digital Innovation Lab which provides QBE with the capacity, resources and skills needed to effectively experiment with emerging technologies.

Paul Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Journey

Paul Smith is the chief operating officer at Journey, a new startup designing insurance solutions for the sharing economy. Responsibility areas include building a differentiated digital customer experience, designing and implementing product solutions and systems, analytics, claims oversight and financial functions. Prior to Journey, Paul held the Head of Claims Innovation position at Liberty Mutual and served as the VP Operations & Analytics with Direct General Insurance. He also mentored startups at MassChallenge, and spent the earlier part of his career both in private equity and the online travel industry.

Philip Schwartz, Chief Global Architect for Insurance, IBM Watson

Philip L. Schwartz is the Chief Global Architect for Insurance in the IBM Internet of Things division. The role of his team is to drive the creation of global common architectures and solutions across IBM to support customer needs. He is a senior IT professional with deep experience in the areas of financial services, strategic management of data, data architecture, messaging, design, performance, systems programming, development, IoT, cognitive computing and analytics. He is a frequent presenter at industry and technology conferences. He holds three patents for the design FSS systems. His prior position at IBM was the Financial Services Sector CTO, under IBM Analytics. Before joining IBM he was a First VP at Pershing, DLJ.

Robert Bauer, Managing Director Commercial Strategy & Innovation, AIG

Rob serves as Managing Director for Commercial Strategy and Innovation, AIG Commercial. This newly formed group helps AIG define, articulate, and drive AIG’s most strategic Commercial business priorities. At present the group is working across AIG to realize opportunities presented by the Internet of Things and Sharing Economy.

Rob joined AIG in January 2012 as Head of Communications for Casualty. He added communications responsibility for three additional business units: Property, Specialty, and Multinational in the next three years. Rob’s work crafting AIG’s “innovation” narrative including first-ever presence at the Consumer Electronics Show, several whitepapers and investment in an industrial wearables company led to his latest assignment.
Prior to joining AIG, Rob spent seven years with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), based in Washington, Los Angeles, and Seoul, leaving in 2010 as Director of Global Strategic Planning and Communications. From 2009-2011, Rob was Director of External Affairs for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation where he planned and managed a global campaign to honor the 100th birthday of America’s 40th President. The effort that included a $15 Million sponsorship with GE, statue dedications and street namings in Prague, London, Moscow, Krakow, and Budapest earned the 2012 PR Week “Campaign of The Year.”

A lawyer by training, Rob earned his BA and JD from Georgetown University. He has written speeches for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, US President George W Bush, and Mongolian President, Elbegdorj Tsakhia. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Bellwether Forum, Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator, and Together for Safer Roads – a private sector non-profit he helped create for AIG in partnership with peers at Facebook, Walmart, and IBM.

Brooks Tingle, Senior VP Marketing & Strategy, John Hancock

Brooks Tingle is Senior Vice President, Marketing and Strategy, for John Hancock Insurance — Manulife Financial’s U.S. Insurance Division. In addition to leading all of John Hancock’s insurance marketing activities, Mr. Tingle is charged with developing and implementing John Hancock’s market expansion strategy.

Mr. Tingle is driving the modernization of the company’s marketing function through initiatives such as an ambitious digital strategy, the build out of a strong advanced analytics team, sharpened focus on customer experience/engagement, and channel expansion. Much of his focus is on innovation to enhance the relevance and attractiveness of insurance products to today’s consumers. His leadership in identifying, developing, and implementing the recently launched John Hancock Vitality solution is an example of such focus.

Luke Harris, Director of Claims, Metromile

As Director of Claims at Metromile, an innovative pay-per-mile insurance provider, Luke Harris is responsible for the management and oversight of Metromile’s claims operations. Luke has more than 12 years of experience in the insurance industry including 10 years working in various management positions at Progressive Insurance. Luke has extensive hands-on expertise as a claims professional and works daily at Metromile to deliver on one of Metromile’s core values, “create fiercely loyal customers”, while focusing on resolving claims as accurately and efficiently as possible. Luke received a Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing from Baker University.

George Paslaski, Director R&D, Farmers Insurance

Dr. Paslaski has a PhD in Mathematics from Louisiana State University. He worked at Capital One for eight years where he started up their Analytics Testing Lab. For the last ten years Dr. Paslaski has been at Farmers Insurance where he led the Commercial R&D group until 2016. Currently he is focused on identifying opportunities to leveraging emerging technologies to drive innovation in Commercial Insurance.

Brian Poppe, VP Innovation, Mutual of Omaha

Brian is the Vice President of Innovation Strategy at Mutual of Omaha, a new role designed to harness both internal and external innovation, building the skills necessary internally to think and act more innovatively, and fostering relationships with external FinTech/InsureTech companies. Previously, Poppe served as the VP of Enterprise Risk Management and served as a pricing/product development actuary for various product lines both at Mutual of Omaha and Lincoln Financial Group. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Insurance Accelerator, is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, and is an alumnus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Adam Waldron, Chief Investment Officer, Farm Bureau Insurance of Idaho

Adam Waldron is the CIO for Farm Bureau Insurance of Idaho. He is known as an innovative, collaborative, and team-oriented leader who delivers results with a mix of proven methods and novel approaches. He has a bias towards action and is passionate about building relationships that foster new opportunities. He is driven by curiosity and an intense desire for results and progress.

Adam previously worked in the healthcare industry leading transformation efforts as a healthcare executive, technology consultant, and professor for health information systems. He currently serves as board President for a large regional health center. Adam holds two Masters Degrees: Business Administration and Public Administration.

Sergio Gomez, Deputy Director Corporate Innovation, MAPFRE

Sergio counts on seventeen years of experience in the financial sector, mainly in the insurance space. His main areas of expertise are business innovation, strategic planning, advanced customer management (strategic segmentation, loyalty programs, customer retention, sales campaigns and market analysis), efficiency and organizational and operational CRM. Sergio started developing his career in technological and strategic consulting with organizations such as IBM and Ernst & Young. He then joined MAPFRE -the sixth insurance group in Europe and market leader in Spain- in 2010. Sergio currently holds the Deputy Director for Corporate Innovation position.