LULU 2019 Speakers
Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer
Michael Aberle has more than 15 year of specialty commercial lines experience and is the former Senior Vice President for CannGen Insurance Services and is the Godfather of Commercial Cannabis and Hemp Insurance. Currently Michael is the CEO for MindMeld Studios and the Executive Producer of myCEcourse.com. Over the past years, he played a significant role in developing industry guidelines, standards, local and state regulations, and the actual policy forms utilized today in P&C industry. Michael’s extensive knowledge of the insurance and cannabis industry is only surpassed by his passion developing, educating and providing the most comprehensive coverage available in the market.
Mindy L. Cruz
California FAIR Plan Association
Mindy Cruz is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all aspects of training for the Production, Logistics, Underwriting, and Customer Service teams as well as creating and maintaining best practices throughout these departments. She began working at the California FAIR Plan as a Claims Manager in 2012. In 2018, she left the Claims department to lead the effort on process improvements in Operations. As Operations Manager, Mindy was instrumental in the implementation of a new inspection system allowing for effective identification and management of potential underwriting risks. With nearly three decades in the industry, she has a wealth of knowledge and experience in handling Personal and Commercial lines from the beginning of the policy life cycle to the end and expertise in coverage analysis for products offered by the FAIR Plan.
Vice President of Consulting & Product Development
Sandeep Deva heads the consulting and transformation practice at Exdion. He brings more than two decade of experience in Insurance business process improvement, offshoring and solution rollout. Armed with a graduation in Technology and Masters in Mathematics & Finance, he brings analytical reasoning tempered with strong business sense to solve intractable problems. In his recent assignments, he has been helping agencies adopt AI/ML solutions in their digital transformation journey. Sandeep is a AIS and AINS from “The Institute of America”.
Vice President & Commercial Loan Officer
Scott has more than 20 years of experience in domestic and international banking and financial services. He is a seasoned commercial loan officer for the bank’s lending products for independent agents. He is adept at lending to companies globally with a specialty niche in financial services. His past positions include an extensive tenure at WorldBusiness Capital, Inc. in Hartford, CT, where he was Senior Vice President and Managing Director. His employment history also includes UPS Capital Business Credit, where he was Vice President and served in a number of departments including Commercial Lending, Credit and Capital Markets. He is a graduate of Trinity College with a MA in economics and holds a BA in economics from the University of Delaware.
Steve Harvill, President and CEO of Creative Ventures, has been sharing his concepts and strategies with companies for 30 years. From the Fortune 500 to small startups Steve and his Creative Ventures team have developed programs that cross industry lines and challenge the status quo. A scientist by education and the past president of two companies, Steve uses his leadership experience and empirical data to reinforce his assertions. Whether he is presenting, teaching, or consulting his programs on Leadership, Sales, Marketing, Innovation, and The Client Experience are guaranteed to leave you with actionable steps to take your business to the next level. With a client list that includes Apple, Zappos, IBM, Frito Lay, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo, Steve’s resume is a testament to the value he brings to each project.
Business Development Specialist
Emily leads Patra's IIABCAL team. She started her insurance career as an underwriter and eventually moved to the brokerage sector, focusing on commercial lines. She's experienced in helping agency leaders leverage processing technology and expertise to drive profitable growth.Emily takes pride in her role at Patra and brings a competitive and exciting approach to partner relationship building. Based in California, she is always open to talking about new insurance ideas. Feel free to reach out at EJonas@patracorp.com.
Chief Executive Officer
A Harvard graduate with a degree in Computer Science, Jason Keck started his career managing strategic partnerships at industry unicorns like Tumblr and Shazam, coining deals with major mobile distributors including: Apple, Google, Verizon, AT&T, TMobile, Sprint, Samsung, LG. He gained intimate knowledge of digital & mobile technologies and developed an expert opinion on data privacy in the digital age. Today, Jason’s reimagining the future of commercial insurance as the CEO and Founder of Broker Buddha – an award-winning technology platform that transforms the insurance application and renewal process into a simple, broker-friendly online experience.
Director, Outreach & Education
Cheena Malicki, as the new Director of Outreach and Education for the California Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB), creates communication channels between insurer organizations and the WCIRB to enable increased understanding of the unique California workers’ compensation industry. She brings more than 15 years of workers’ compensation industry experience in underwriting, premium audit and marketing. Cheena is supported by a team of education, customer experience and marketing experts who help her connect with insurer organizations in new and impactful ways.
Managing Director, Active Shooter/Workplace Violence/Crisis Management
McGowan Program Administrators
Paul Marshall has of over 25+ years of insurance and risk management expertise and is responsible for the formation, growth, profitability and overall strategy, of McGowan Active Shooter / Workplace Violence Programs. Since the program’s inception in 2016 he has insured over 1,000 businesses, organizations and events throughout the Unites States and was recently presented with Insurance Business America’s Top Influencer / Innovator / Game-Changer Award. Over the last 25 years, Marshall has had direct experience in retail agency sales, program management, underwriting and claims. He has authored various articles and frequently presents at industry conferences. McGowan Program Administrators (MPA) is one of America’s leading writer of innovative insurance programs. MPA is a Managing General Underwriter and Program Manager. MPA designs, administers and markets highly-pecialized programs of insurance. They are offered on “A” Rated, paper and are available in all 50 states.
Stuart oversees the firm’s National Emergency Response Team and, a member of Wilson Elser’s executive committee, and co-chair of the national Transportation practice. Stu frequently assists in pre-suit liability investigations and determination of causation. Retained as counsel of choice by notable retailers and transportation, security and construction companies, Stu enjoys a well-earned reputation for defending high-exposure personal injury claims and leads the development of a growing “active shooter/crisis” specialization. Stu brings the same practiced discipline and tenacity to all general liability cases, whether defending a national restaurant chain, a “big box” retailer or any one of a number of Fortune 500 companies or other prominent self-insureds that regard him as trusted counsel. Increasingly involved in Active Shooter programs in the U.S., Stu is a sought-after speaker on that subject and premises violence in general, from the workplace to schools and universities to public venues. He works with insurers in London and the United States to develop responsive programs that cover such events, from preventive measures and protocols through engaging with police to gather information, assess further danger and provide remedial services.
Chief Safety Officer
Personal Safety At Work
Jerry delivers transformational training and keynote seminars in the area of security and personal safety that have long-lasting effects for participants. His unique experience and approach leverage the inherent strengths of existing infrastructures and facilities to maximize safety, while delivering an unparalleled return on investment to cost-conscious companies around the world. Following his eight years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Jerry has worked and served for more than 28 years as a police officer in North Carolina. He is a recognized expert in the areas of public and personal safety, emergency management, corporate security, hazard mitigation and incident management. After studying at Duke University, Jerry received his Bachelor's Degree from Shaw University and went on to post graduate studies at North Carolina State University. During his career he has taught and trained thousands of police officers, teachers and corporate security personnel on response strategies to mitigate “active shooter” incidents and other threats in the home, school or workplace environment. Having personally studied hundreds of cases of active shooters, Jerry has developed a unique approach goes beyond that to take safety to a personal level, with transferable knowledge and skills that participants can learn and apply in their everyday life.
Underwriting & Operations Manager
California FAIR Plan Association
Justin Pierce is the Manager of Underwriting and Operations for the California FAIR Plan. He began working at the California FAIR Plan in 1995 in the file department and transitioned into the Operations unit where he prepared policies for issuance. He joined the CEA unit full-time in 2000 and helped the organization transition to the direct processing of these policies. In 2001 he moved to the Underwriting department where he reviewed submissions in all lines of business as eligibility for the Plan was opened up statewide. In 2008 he assumed his current role where he leads the Underwriting and Customer Service teams.
Dean Rocco, Esq.
Dean is a pragmatic, results-oriented attorney who leverages the firm’s geographic reach and strength across multiple disciplines to the benefit of clients. He takes great pride in building longstanding partnerships with clients through responsive communication and consistent, positive results in keeping with clients’ business philosophies and litigation objectives. Dean is the Western Region Chair of the firm’s national Employment & Labor practice. In that capacity, he maintains a significant practice representing employers and management in a wide range of employment litigation. He lends his knowledge and perspective to building effective personnel programs and policies, counseling employers and managing risk during difficult employee issues, and training employers on legal compliance and best practices. He also serves as co-chair of the firm’s national Cannabis Law practice. Dean works with clients inside and outside the cannabis industry to navigate the complex and quickly evolving framework of recreational and medical marijuana laws impacting their businesses.
Vice President & Client Service Manager/Business Development
Patricia, a banking professional with more than 25 years of experience, directs InsurBanc’s Client Service Division and is responsible for business development in 50 states. Patricia Smith manages a team of professionals that provide deposit products and cash management solutions tailored to the needs of independent insurance agents. She is also responsible for developing new client business while ensuring delivery of all bank products and programs, including acquisition and perpetuation financing needs. Prior to joining InsurBanc, She was the Sales Director & Vice President for Liberty Bank in Connecticut. She developed and managed overall sales strategies for 34 retail bank locations including management of 55 (SBLI) insurance representatives who were responsible for the sale and delivery of financial products and services. Her employment history also includes being a 10-year veteran with Fleet Bank, N.A. where she was Vice President and responsible for small business development and management of various retail branches throughout Connecticut.
ABEN Network Manager
Business Professionals' Network, Inc.
Sally Smith has served as the National ABEN Network Manager since its inception in 2010 under the BPN continuing education corporate umbrella, growing the vertical from 9 independent insurance associations to its current total of 43 participating states. Her role includes serving as liaison between the independent insurance association education directors and executives and the on-line streaming platform with the ultimate goal of providing agents with high quality education options and excellent customer service. In addition to her role as ABEN Network Manager, Sally serves as the BPN corporate accountant.
Todd Sorrel is the co-founder of ePayPolicy, a digital payment processer providing services solely to the insurance industry. Being an entrepreneur at heart, he is always improving processes and operations in his everyday life. When he’s not speeding up insurance receivables, securing payments, or working on his short game, he loves spending time with his wife, Meghan, and their three awesome kids, Paige, John and Redford.
Chief Sales Officer
Darin brings more than 30 years of extensive experience in the insurance industry to the miEdge team. As the former CEO of USI Northwest, Darin understands the challenges facing producers both in the Employee Benefits area as well as the Property Casualty. In addition, he has served in leadership roles to launch several technology firms including, Prospx and Succeed Management Solutions, a Web-based risk management center offered to brokers and carriers. He is also the past President of the Oregon Association of Health Underwriters.
Steve Young, Esq.
Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Steve provides counsel on all corporate legal matters affecting the non-profit trade association and its subsidiaries, represents the interests of independent insurance agents and brokers at regulatory hearings conducted by the California Department of Insurance and other state agencies, coordinates the Association’s involvement in litigation affecting insurance producers, and provides legal research and support to the Association’s legislative advocates. Young has served on the Insurance Law Committee of the State Bar of California, was a charter member of the Agent and Broker Advisory Committee to the California Insurance Commissioner, and is a frequent speaker and author on legal and regulatory developments affecting the business of insurance. He was the 2007 recipient of the Ramsden/Sullivan Memorial Award, the Association’s most prestigious honor for service to the American Agency System, insurance industry and community. Prior to joining IIABCal, he was Western Region counsel for the American Insurance Association, and also worked at Cassel & Abraham, a San Francisco labor law firm representing employers. He holds a Juris Doctor Degree, as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism, from The University of Kansas, and is a former member of the Chancellor’s Club Advisory Board of the KU Endowment Association.