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LULU Event Speakers

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LULU 2019 Speakers

Michael Aberle
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 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 Cruz
Operation Manager
California FAIR Plan Association

Scott Freiday
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
Creative Ventures

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.

Cheena Malicki
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.

Jerry McCormick
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. 

Justin Pierce
Underwriting & Operations Manager
California FAIR Plan Association

Dean Rocco, Esq.
Wilson, Elser Insurance Defense Firm

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.  

Patricia Smith
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. 

Todd Sorrel

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.

Darin Vick
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.