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Patrick is the Director of Insurance Journal’s Academy of Insurance. As an insurance learning professional, he is passionate about taking the complicated and making it accessible for everyone, especially the insurance community.
He started his insurance career as a commercial underwriter for an MGA that wrote fire departments, ambulance companies, home medical equipment dealers, and other niche markets. It was there that he also started his journey in insurance education by designing and implementing a new underwriter training program.
From there, he moved to one of the largest Florida-based property insurers to become an underwriter trainer. While there, his role expanded beyond classroom and online training to become a learning consultant. He spent time with his customers to determine their learning needs and develop a plan to meet those needs.
Patrick has earned several industry designations:
Patrick is also the 2021-22 President of SITE, the Society of Insurance Trainers and Educators.
Kathy Ryan, SPHR, is an award-winning author and owner of Pinnacle Coaching Group, LLC. Over the last 30 years, Kathy has influenced thousands of people in the business and non-profit sectors through her coaching, consulting, speaking and on-site training. Her expertise covers a wide range of subjects including leadership, communication, human resources management, team dynamics, and performance management.
Kathy earned her B.A. degree in psychology and history from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and has been awarded a lifetime certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Society for Human Resources Management. She has experience working with diverse industries including insurance, hospitality and entertainment. She is certified in the use of the Myer-Briggs Type Assessment (MBTI), as well as a number of other assessments and tools to support development.
Kathy is author of the book, "You Have to Say the Words" An Integrity-Based Approach for Tackling Tough Conversations and Maximizing Performance, which won a Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association. Her interactive training program based on the book has helped thousands of managers to improve their coaching skills and drive performance. Her articles on leadership and other personal development topics have been published in numerous magazines including the Insurance Journal. You can follow Kathy’s blog, Inspired Leadership, at www.CoachKathyRyan.com .
Frederick J. Fisher, J.D. is currently the President of Fisher Consulting Group, Inc. and was the Founder of E.L.M. Insurance Brokers, a Wholesale & MGA facility specializing in Professional Liability and Specialty Line risks. He is a Member of the Editorial Board for Agents of America; a Faculty Member of the Claims College, and Member of the Executive Council, School of Professional Lines sponsored by the Claims & Litigation Management Association and Instructor for the Academy of Insurance.
Since his career began, Mr. Fisher focused on one vision: providing financial security to the client. The result was a successful 40-year career in Specialty Lines Insurance. In 1975, Mr. Fisher began his career on the service side, as an Independent E&O claims adjuster. In 1982, he bought the Company, continued with claims, while expanding the firm’s services to include qualitative claim auditing, risk management & loss control services, and acting as a TPA. In only 4 years, the annual billings increased by 400%. His claim auditing techniques and recommendations resulted in substantial client savings (including the SCRTD now known as the Los Angles MTA). Many Insurers and self-insureds adopted not only the performance standards raised in the audits but adopted his recommended Attorney Management Guidelines as a base, which are still in use today by many major insurers.
In 1995, he formed what is now known as ELM insurance Brokers, a firm that has acted as an MGA and Wholesale Broker of Professional Liability Insurance and Specialty Lines. From nothing, the firm grew rapidly to a $30 Million dollar facility when sold in 2008. He has lectured extensively on professional liability issues since 1978 and authored over 64 articles in trade journals and periodicals. He is the author of BROKER BEWARE, Selling Real Estate within the Law. He designed a program to conduct on-site pre-underwriting risk management assessments of a clients' professional liability exposures. In 1993, he was elected to the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Board of Trustees. After serving in all Officer capacities, he was elected President in 1997. He remains a Special Materials Expert for several RPLU courses and is the Senior Technical Advisor for The Professional Liability Manual, first published by the International Risk Management Institute in 1990. He has taught over 100 CE classes and lectures. He testifies regularly as an expert witness in cases dealing with the duties and obligations of professionals as well as on coverage and claims-made issues.
Nancy Germond is the President of Insurance Writer, a consulting firm located in Phoenix, Arizona. With more than three decades of risk management experience, her unique insights and abilities help businesses better understand and manage their risk. Nancy has authored scores of risk management-related articles, white papers and has consulted and presented to both public sector and private sector insurance organizations.
A second-generation insurance professional, Nancy was the first risk manager of the City of Prescott, Arizona, and has worked in the private and public sectors as a claim and risk manager. In 1997 she founded Insurance Writer to assist insurance organizations to better manage their employment-related issues and to better penetrate the competitive insurance marketplace. Nancy holds a B.A. in Communication from Mills College and a Masters degree in sociology from Lincoln University. She also holds the Associate in Risk Management, the Associate in Claims designation from the Insurance Institute of America, the Insurance Training Professional Designation from the Society of Insurance Trainers and is a Senior Professional in Human Resource Management.
Chris Burand is the Owner/Founder of Burand & Associates, LLC. Chris is the only insurance agency consultant with an Institute of Business Appraiser’s Certified Business Appraiser Accreditation and one of the very few who are certified by the two largest E&O carriers to provide audits for agencies. With more than 35 years of experience in the insurance industry, Chris is acknowledged as a leading consultant and is a nationally recognized speaker and author. His broad experience and wealth of knowledge have enabled him to work with hundreds of agencies, taking great care to learn the client’s goals and understand their needs while developing a solution for their specific situation.
Chris combines education, experience, and knowledge from multiple perspectives at proven levels that few other consultants or educators can provide. This enables Chris to provide holistic solutions. Chris’s services help agencies, individuals, and carriers identify strengths and opportunities, optimize productivity and profits, implement real-world strategies, leverage resources, and develop realistic plans of action in order to maximize profitable growth.
Chris established Burand & Associates in 1992 (originally known as Growth Planning). As a consultant, Chris has consulted with hundreds of agencies and many major insurance carriers. He built and now facilitates two insurance agency networking associations. He is also a featured speaker across the continent. To date, he has presented more than 400 seminars and educational programs, and his articles have also been published more than 500 times. He is a monthly columnist for The Insurance Journal, a past columnist for American Agent & Broker for eleven years, and his articles have appeared in Rough Notes, The National Underwriter, A.M. Best, many regional insurance publications, and many other trade publications. He also publishes Burand’s Insurance Agency Adviser for independent insurance agents.
Areas of Expertise
Insurance Agency Appraisals: Chris Burand’s professional services include appraisals for Acquisitions and Sales, Buy/Sell Agreements, Mergers, Dissolutions, and Perpetuation Planning.
Contingency Contract Analysis: Contingency contracts offer opportunities to increase compensation through negotiations and strategically placing business. Chris Burand’s Contingency Contract Analysis® service provides the information agents need to take advantage of those opportunities.
Note: Chris Burand and Burand & Associates, LLC are advocates of agencies which constructively manage and improve their contingency contracts by learning how to negotiate and use their contingency contracts more effectively. We maintain that agents can achieve considerably better results without ever taking actions that are detrimental or disadvantageous to the insureds. We have never and would not ever recommend that an agent and/or agency implement a policy of, or otherwise advocate, increasing its contingency income ahead of the insureds’ interests.
PEP® (Productivity Enhancement): Chris’s innovative statistical algorithm method for identifying procedural consistency, compliance, activity cost, and opportunity cost savings.
Carrier MD® Stability Analysis: A unique analytical method for creating opportunities to learn negotiating points and insurance carrier stability from an agency’s perspective.
Producer Compensation Plans: Chris Burand develops plans that increase profits and motivate producers.
Chris Christian stumbled into insurance in 1985 as a temporary employee at GAF Insurance Services, a bank-affiliated insurance agency in San Diego. After six years with GAF, Chris moved to the carrier side, opening the San Diego branch office of RLI Corp, an underwriter of specialty lines of insurance. The San Diego office was dedicated to Directors and Officers Liability coverage, and was the launching pad for Chris’s specialization in professional liability.
Chris left RLI in 1997 to establish her own underwriting facility at London American General Agency and branched out thereafter into professional liability broking.
Chris joined U.S. Risk in November of 2005 and six months later relocated herself, her significant other, and 26 animals to Tennessee, where she continues her pursuit of the art and science of professional liability broking, and contributes to the industry as a frequent speaker, author and association participant.
Trent is a 27 year veteran of the insurance industry and currently serves as a Property Programs Instructor for Vale Training Solutions in Arlington, Texas. At Vale, his roles have included developing, research, and training. Trent also lectures across the country on a variety of insurance claim issues and has spoken at Property Loss Research Bureau's National and Regional conventions, has been a featured speaker at the Restoration Industry Association National Convention, guest presenter at the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies conference, Property Catastrophe Services conference, CPCU chapter meetings, claims association meetings, and others.
For the past few years he has been a guest lecturer at the University of North Texas department of risk management and he is a repeat webinar presenter for the Insurance Journal's Academy of Insurance. Trent authored the Green Risk Professional certification course at Vale, and in 2006 he wrote the e-book, Catastrophe Adjusting. He has earned the Associate in Claims (AIC) and LEED Green Associate designations. In addition, he is certified as a Corporate Social Responsibility Practitioner from the Institute of Environmental Management Assessment.
Trent has a Bachelor Business Administration degree from the University of North Texas (1986) where he studied insurance and real estate. His experience includes past tenures as an independent adjuster, agent, field adjuster at State Farm Insurance and former CEO of a fire and water restoration company. He has been at Vale since 2008. Trent has been married sixteen years to his wife, Heather. Heather is a Senior Account Manager at Cunningham Lindsey. They have three children who are very active in local sports and school. Trent has also been a volunteer little league baseball coach for 7 seasons. They live near Dallas.
Scott Simmonds, CPCU, ARM, CMC started his insurance career in 1979. He has provided insurance advice and counsel to hundreds of companies, large and small, throughout the US. Simmonds is a graduate of Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts. In 1987 he received the Certified Insurance Counselor designation from the Society of CIC. In 1995, Simmonds completed his studies to qualify for the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation conferred by the American Institute for CPCU. He completed the requirements for the Insurance Institute of America's Associate in Risk Management designation in 2005. In 2007 he was awarded the Certified Management Consultant designation by the Institute of Management Consultants USA.
Simmonds' insurance work has involved companies in a wide range of industries. He has handled insurance and risk management issues for public and private corporations, including many with international operations. His work includes nonprofits, banks, municipalities, and schools. He is licensed in property, casualty, life and health insurance consulting.
Scott is a member of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, an organization accepting only the top 1% of consultants nationwide. He is the first and only insurance consultant granted membership in this prestigious organization. He was recently granted "Board Approved" status, an honor afforded to fewer than twenty consultants worldwide.
In 2006 Dr. Alan Weiss founded the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame to recognize world class consulting achievement. Dr. Weiss is a consultant and prolific author. He is recognized worldwide as the Dean of Consultants. Scott is one of only 24 inductees into the hall of fame. He is the only insurance consultant so honored.
Scott's writing and comments have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Portland Press Herald, Mainebiz, Fortune, Money, Inc. Magazine, the New York Times, Boston Globe, Investors Business Daily, Kiplinger's, the Los Angeles Times, and countless trade publications.
Simmonds lives in Saco, Maine, with his family. He enjoys reading, hiking, snowshoeing, and bird watching. He is a past president of the trade association, Maine Association Of Professional Consultants and of the Biddeford Saco Rotary Club. He is also active in many trade associations and serves on the adjunct faculty at the York County Community College in Wells, Maine.
Owner and Developer of Insurance Trust Accounting Technology
President of Paulmar Group LLC, Software Developer and Trust Accounting Service Provider Company
California Department of Insurance- approved Class Instructor
Author of several published articles by Insurance Journal and other outlets on insurance trust accounting and financial management
Master Degree in Civil/Structural Engineering and Engineering Economics
Chris Amrhein, like most true believers in insurance, stumbled upon this business accidentally; specifically, after graduating from college and needing a job.
After beginning in this business as a life-health agent, he graduated to property-casualty sales where he first met the greatest mine of comedy material extant today, the ISO forms. Following several years as a producer and independent agency manager/owner, Chris spent many years as a full-time educator/VP-Education for the Florida Association of Insurance Agents and VP-Education for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. Those years found him traveling about the country teaching seminars on everything from agency management to the claims made CGL. It has also taught him the absolute truth of Jimmy Buffet's famous observation about those who make a career of the property-casualty business: "If we weren't all crazy we would go insane."
Chris is now a speaker, consultant, seminar leader and training developer, and resides in Lorton, Virginia, with the love of his life (and wife) Donna and youngest son Alexandru (17). His two older sons - Patrick, 34 and Kevin, 32 – are doing quite well without him. His email address firstname.lastname@example.org and website www.insuranceisfun.com, say it all.
Current Industry Activities:
Terry has been in the insurance industry since 1979. In an attempt to enjoy a little slower paced life he has joined the Correll Insurance Group of agencies as the President of Coastal Plains Insurance, LLC (CPI) and South East Coastal Underwriters (SECU) in beautiful Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Terry is part owner and responsible for the day to day operations of CPI and SECU.
Prior to Terry's joining CPI he was owner and CEO of Florida Insurance Educators , Inc. which is an insurance education and consulting firm that in conjunction with Florida Insurance School worked with state and national organizations provides a variety of educational courses and consulting services.
Terry continues to accept national speaking engagements and writes technical articles for a variety of state and national insurance publications. In his spare time Terry is also recognized by Federal and State courts as an expert on insurance coverages and serves as an expert witness.
Terry began his career in 1979 in Florida. The majority of this time was spent as the principal of an independent insurance agency in Florida where he specialized in a variety of Professional Liability programs as well as designing several specialty programs serving the Construction industry.
Terry has also worked with the Florida Department of Insurance where he was the Administrator of Agents Licensing. His primary responsibilities included the approving individuals for agent licensing and supervision the writing of all state insurance examinations. During this time he also represented the state of Florida on the National Test Development Committee which sets standards for agents licensing examinations.
Currently, Terry holds a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and is a National Faculty Member of the Society. In addition, he serves as the Educational Consultant in the States of North Carolina. Terry also holds a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriting (CPCU) and Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist CRIS) professional designations.
Erica R. Upmeyer, PHR, Search Associate, graduated from Emporia State University with a BS in Sociology.
Erica began her career in the Social Services field as an Employment Specialist before moving abroad for two years. During this time, Erica had the opportunity to earn her MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and gain valuable international work experience while completing an internship with one of the largest transportation companies in the world. Upon returning to the States, Erica transitioned into the staffing industry with the nation’s largest privately held staffing agency as an Account Executive and was quickly promoted into a Branch Manager role.
Erica’s most recent role was with Nationwide Insurance as an HR Field Manager where her primary responsibilities were supporting a start-up region overseeing all HR deliverables, with a large emphasis on recruiting insurance professionals. Her role with the CSG team includes working with candidates assisting them on their career searches as well as partnering with other team members at CSG on key searches, strategically positioning CSG within the insurance community, and sourcing best fit professionals for our client company staffing needs.
In her spare time, Erica enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, shopping, working out, reading and watching college basketball – Go Jayhawks!
Areas of Specialization: Mr. Warren has nearly forty years experience through increasingly responsible positions in finance and accounting within the Property Casualty insurance industry. Senior management experience includes operational and administrative management with a proven record of success in designing, developing and implementing successful strategies for profitable growth. Mr. Warren also has relevant experience with corporate governance, business processing systems selection and implementation, financial analysis, and mergers. Other areas of expertise include asset and cash management, reinsurance, loss reserve evaluation, product development and pricing, budgeting and expense variance analysis.
Industry Highlights: Mr. Warren has held senior management positions within the Property Casualty insurance industry and most recently served as Chief Financial Officer for the Ohio Mutual Insurance Group. Additionally, Mr. Warren served as Senior Vice President for German Mutual Insurance Company as well as Vice President and Treasurer for the Beacon/American Insurance Companies. Practical experience includes selection and implementation of business processing systems, accounting and investment systems, development of investment strategy and guidelines, demutualization and mergers, collaborating directly with board members, executive committees, rating and regulatory agencies, state examiners, and a variety of service providers. Industry related activities include past president of the Ohio Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and serving on the regulatory board for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.
Designations and Affiliations: Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (CPCU), Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Education and Training: Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio. Bachelor of Science, Accounting and Business Administration.
LAURA M. GREGORY, Esq., CPCU is a partner at Sloane and Walsh LLP, Boston, MA where she represents insurers in insurance coverage and bad faith matters, before state and federal trial and appellate courts. She provides coverage analysis and advice regarding claims and policies in New England and nationally. Her practice includes both first party and third-party policy issues, bad faith matters, and legislative and regulatory issues. She has specialized in insurance coverage and bad faith matters for more than 25 years and received the CPCU designation in 1999. She is also an elected official in Andover, MA, serving as a Selectwoman from 2017 to the present and chair from 2019 to 2020. She can be reached at LGregory@sloanewalsh.com or www.linkedin.com/in/laura-gregory.
Christopher J. Boggs joined the insurance industry in 1990. He is currently the Executive Director, Big I Virtual University and former Vice President of Education for Insurance Journal's Academy of Insurance.
During his career, Boggs has authored more than 300 insurance and risk management-related articles on a wide range of topics as diverse as Credit Default Swaps, the MCS-90, and enterprise risk management. This does not include the seven “e-books” (short, one-topic books covering various insurance and risk management-related subjects) Boggs has written.
Additionally, Boggs has written and published six insurance and risk management-related books
In addition to his writing, education, and training experience, Boggs worked in many areas of insurance. He began his career with Insurance Services Office as a rating and underwriting representative. Boggs has also worked as an agent (even owning his own agency), as the loss control and claims examiner for state-owned property in his home state, as a risk management consultant, and as the quality assurance specialist (auditing underwriting files) for the Southeast region of an insurance carrier.
A graduate of Liberty University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Boggs has obtained nine professional insurance designations: the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Risk Management (ARM), Associate in Loss Control Management (ALCM), Legal Principles Claims Management (LPCS), Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI), Associate in Premium Auditing (APA), Certified Workers’ Compensation Advisor (CWCA), Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS) and the Associate in General Insurance (AINS).
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