Douglas L. Ashbridge, CPCU, GCA, Director of Special Investigations, Farmers Insurance
Ashbridge is the director in charge of Special Investigations for Farmers Insurance Group of companies. Prior to his current assignment, Ashbridge served as a Business Service Center Executive, State Executive, Director of Claims Investigations, and worked in a number of other management positions in Claims, Marketing, and Human Resources.
Mr. Ashbridge is a graduate of the University of Oregon, holding a BS degree in Management. Other educational accomplishments and designations include:
- Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter
- Graduate in Claims Administration
- Fraud Claims Law Associate
Prior to his insurance career, Ashbridge served more than 10 years as a police officer and criminal investigator in Oregon.
Ashbridge is a nationally recognized leader in the fight against insurance fraud with accomplishments including:
- Developed and staffed Farmers Special Investigation Unit program
- Faculty – National Insurance Crime Bureau Academy
- Member – Insurance Fraud Advisory Board (CA)
- Past Officer – Insurance Committee for Arson Control
- Past Officer – International Association of Special Investigations Units
- Board Member and 2010/11 Chairman – Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
Christina Bramlet, Editor, Claims Magazine
Christina Bramlet is Editor in Chief of Claims Magazine and Claims Channel Editor for PropertyCasualty360.com. She joined Claims in 2008 as Senior Editor and has extensive professional writing and editing experience in the trade magazine area.
George Carr, Partner, Swartz Campbell LLC
George Carr is of counsel in the Orlando office of Swartz Campbell. He has more than thirty years’ experience in all forms of civil trial work with an emphasis in defending corporations and individuals in tort and contract cases. Currently, Mr. Carr is Partner at Swartz Campbell specializing in Insurance Defense & Insurance Coverage Specialization. Mr. Carr has presented at numerous gatherings of mental health professionals in Central Florida on professional liability and ethical considerations and at numerous seminars for lawyers on insurance coverage issues.
Nick Ciabattoni, Vice President, Property and Marine Claim, CNA
Nick is responsible for the development and execution of Claim Strategies for both the Property and Marine claim organizations within CNA’s business worldwide. He also has direct oversight of the large loss property claim operations ensuring technical claim excellence and superior customer service.
Before joining CNA in 2007, Nick was Vice President of Property Claims Operations at the Hartford Financial Group. Previously, Nick worked at the Houston Casualty Company and Aetna Life & Casualty where he held Claim leadership positions of increasing responsibility.
Nick holds a B.A. degree in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University.
Nick has earned numerous certifications, including AIC, AIM, AAM, ARM and is a CPCU. Additionally, Nick is an active member of the PLRB Advisory Board.
Karen Clark, Karen Clark & Company
Karen Clark is President and CEO of Karen Clark & Company, a company she formed in 2007 to help insurers and other entities better understand and manage catastrophe risk. Ms. Clark developed the first hurricane catastrophe model and in 1987 founded the first catastrophe modeling company, Applied Insurance Research (AIR) which subsequently became AIR Worldwide after acquisition by Insurance Services Office in 2002. She has spent over 20 years working closely with meteorologists, seismologists, engineers and other experts to develop the most scientifically advanced catastrophe models, and she has led the development of software applications that are used globally as standard tools for catastrophe risk assessment and management.
In 2000, Ms. Clark was selected by Business Insurance as one of the “Top 100 Women in the Insurance Industry.” In 2001, she was honored as “Woman of the Year” by the Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW). In 2007, she was honored with the Review Worldwide Reinsurance Award’s Lifetime Achievement award. Most recently, Ms. Clark has been honored with an award certificate for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize bestowed on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for her support of the work of the IPCC since its inception.
Ms. Clark has appeared numerous times on national television and was featured in two History Channel specials on Northeast hurricanes and earthquakes. She holds a Masters Degree in Economics and an MBA, both from Boston University.
Peter Conforti, Subrogation Supervisor, Cumberland Insurance Group
Peter graduated from Monmouth University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. He has worked at Cumberland Insurance Group in Bridgeton, N.J. since 1989. A member of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals, he has his Certified Subrogation Recovery Professional (CSRP) and Associate in Claims (AIC) designations. He has more than 30 years of claims experience.
James C. Daues, Senior Vice President – Property Claims, Farmers Group, Inc.
Mr. Daues joined Farmers in Sept. 4, 2000 as Executive Director— State Operations, after careers in the insurance field, electronics and household furnishings. Effective June 2001, he was assigned as Vice President—Property/Field Operations. In July 2001, Mr. Daues was assigned to his current position as Vice President—Property Claims. On May 1, 2007, he was promoted to Senior Vice President—Property Claims.
Bachelor of science degree, Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Master’s degree, business, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Daues and his wife, Suzanne, have a son, Ryan, and live in the Palos Verdes Estates area of Southern California.
Domenick C. DiCicco, Jr., J.D., M.B.A., Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Alexander Gallo Holdings, LLC
Domenick C. DiCicco serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Esquire Solutions. With more than 20 years of corporate litigation experience, DiCicco’s leadership spans litigation and business performance management, including enterprise best practices, indemnity reduction and cost reduction.
Prior to joining Esquire Solutions, DiCicco served as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of NAC for Zurich Insurance Group, where he oversaw litigation and corporate management. Previously, DiCicco was a partner with Edelstein, Martin, Nelson, & DiCicco Law Firm in Philadelphia from 2002-2004. During his tenure as a trial attorney, Mr. DiCicco was recognized for obtaining several multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements by being invited to be a member in the Million Dollar Advocate Forum. For CNA Insurance Companies, he served as Counsel for Large Accounts and National Subrogation Counsel. DiCicco began his career with Post & Schell in Philadelphia.
DiCicco holds a Master of Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude, from Pennsylvania State University and a Juris Doctor from the Delaware Law School. He is Co-Chair of CLM’s Advisory Board and Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Excess and Surplus Lines. Most recently, DiCicco was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly, representing the 4th District, which covers parts of Gloucester and Camden counties.
Recently published articles by DiCicco include:
• Rescission of a D & O Policy, DRI Journal of Professional Liability, April 2009
• Managing Defense Costs in the Large Exposure Case, DRI Journal 2009
• The Bermuda Form, ABA Journal of Excess and Surplus Insurance, 2009
• The Claim Professional’s Role in Litigation Management, CLM Quarterly, Second Quarter 2008
• An Update on the “Sudden and Accidental Exception to the Pollution Exclusion, ABA TIPS Journal, Fall 2008
DiCicco personifies Esquire’s commitment to community, coaching baseball, ice hockey and boys and girls basketball programs. He also represents District 4 in the New Jersey Assembly.
Karen Furtado, Strategy Meets Action
Karen Furtado, a Partner at Strategy Meets Action is an industry expert in the core systems space; including policy administration, rating, billing and claims. She has more than 25 years of technical and business experience within the insurance industry. While her specific areas of expertise include application development, complex system implementations, vendor selection processes, project management, and business process and technical outsourcing, throughout her career she has focused on delivering high-value solutions for core issues facing insurance carriers.
Previously, as the Insurance Practice Director at Collaborative Consulting, Karen played a key role in bringing the insurance vision and service offering view to Collaborative’s IT consulting practice.
Prior to her tenure at Collaborative Consulting, Karen served as Vice President of CGI’s Insurance Practice. She was a dynamic leader responsible for the development and execution of the strategic direction for CGI’s software services and ASP practices as well as the development of it’s core Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) practice.
Karen has been frequently quoted in leading insurance trade journals, and has been a keynote speaker at leading conferences such as ACORD/LOMA Forum, IASA and ISOTECH. Karen holds a Bachelor of Science from Springfield College.
Gary Gilver, VP of Claims Operations, Cincinnati Financial
Mr. Givler has forty years experience in claims handling, supervision and management with Hartford Insurance Group and The Cincinnati Companies. He has previously served as Manager Claims Technology, Southern Regional Casualty Claim Manager, D&O Claims Manager and NE Ohio Claims Manager for the Cincinnati Companies. Personal accomplishments include the leadership of several successful information technology projects including the selection and implementation of the enterprise claims system, the claims business warehouse, the claims financials data stage project, and the Cincinnati Specialty Underwriter’s policy administration system.
Susanna Gotsch, Lead Analyst, CCC Information Services Inc.
With 15 years of experience in the arenas of data warehousing and reporting, Ms. Gotsch specializes in data analysis around the automotive industry and property casualty insurance – primarily in auto claims. Ms. Gotsch is responsible for the generation of the trend analyses of the insurance and automotive industries published by CCC since 1995, and has presented her research at various industry meetings and symposia. Her specialties include business systems analysis, data analysis, data warehousing and data reporting.
Jim Hammonds, FCLS, CFEI, Lead Investigator, GEICO Southeast SIU, Atlanta Field Office
Jim Hammonds has been with GEICO since July 2003 and is assigned to the Atlanta Field Unit in Region 3 as a Lead Investigator. Jim has been assigned to all types of cases throughout the Region since his start with the company. He was the first field investigator to work the State of Alabama and Columbus, GA areas. Jim was the Investigator of the Year for the Southeast Region in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Jim has completed Cause & Origin training at the State of Georgia Arson Academy as well as Level 1 & 2 of the Georgia Fire Academy. He is an Accident Reconstructionist and has been sworn as an expert witness in court. He has an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Chattahoochee Technical College and spent 8 years as a reservist with the U.S. Navy. He has obtained the FCLS designation and is a Certified Fire and Explosives Investigator.
Prior to coming to GEICO Jim spent almost 10 years as a member of the Decatur, GA Police Department. He was last assigned as the Sergeant on patrol and well as the supervisor of the Traffic Unit. He was previously assigned as the K9 Handler and a Field Training Officer.
Jim also provided his expertise in preparing training modules used in our Academy, as well as the Internet Training course presented to SIU Associates throughout the country. He is also an instructor at the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) Mega-Academy.
Alan Hlad, Claims – Field Operations – Eastern Division, Westfield Group
Alan Hlad is the Field Operations Claims Leader for Westfield Insurance. Alan has 22 years of Property & Casualty claims experience with 15 years serving in executive and senior executive roles. Over the course of his career, Alan has held a variety of leadership roles including Regional Claims Executive, Senior Executive – Home Office Claims, and Senior Executive – Field Operations. Alan’s expertise is with building and leading teams for commercial and personal lines claims.
Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.
Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, CPCU
Associate in Claims, AIC
Professional Societies and Associations:
Board of Directors, American Red Cross of Medina County
Property Casualty Insurers of America
Central Claims Executive Association
Jim Kinzie, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Jim has 21+ years of global vendor, consulting and operational experience in the P&C insurance industry with a strong emphasis on claims management; personal and commercial lines, including workers’ compensation. His areas of functional experience and consulting expertise include advanced/predictive analytics, risk management, claims operations, call centers, shared services/centers of excellence, program/project management, and outsourcing advisory support. While at USAA, Jim was responsible for international claims operations, held other executive staff leadership roles and led a key business process excellence transformation initiative in claims.
Jim has assisted leading global/national/regional carriers, TPA’s and large self-insured/administered organizations by transforming operations through organizational redesign, process reengineering and technology enablement. Jim co-leads Deloitte’s North American P&C claims practice and created their foundational Claims Operational Assessment Methodology.
Jon McNeill, CEO, Enservio
Jon McNeill’s experience as an insurance industry entrepreneur earned him a reputation as both an innovator and implementer. McNeill has piloted Enservio from its beginnings in 2004 through several years of triple-digit growth to its current position as the leading provider of contents-claim-related services in America servicing more than 200 companies and valuing more than $2.0B in losses. While scaling a high-growth business, he identified a need for an insurance-specific payment platform and has guided Enservio’s entry into the payment services market through its ReStore Payment Solutions subsidiary. McNeill’s prior successes in building highly valued insurance-focused service companies include Sterling Collision Centers and First Notice Systems. McNeill co-founded Sterling Collision Centers in 1997 and grew the company from a single store to a 60-store national chain of auto body repair centers focused on turnaround time and customer service. Acquired by Allstate Insurance Company in May of 2001, Sterling employs over 1,200 and continues to add store locations. In 1993, McNeill founded First Notice Systems, Inc., a 24-hour property & casualty insurance claim services firm located in Boston. He served as CEO until 1997, when it was acquired by a public company, Concentra Managed Care. Prior to First Notice Systems, McNeill was a consultant with Bain & Company, an international strategic management consulting firm. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Stephen Packard, Firm Director, Insurance Strategy & Operations, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Stephen Packard is a Director in Deloitte Consulting’s Insurance Strategy & Operations practice, based in Hartford, Connecticut. He has more than 25 years of experience assisting insurance companies deal with some of their most complex business and legal issues, including: claims and litigation management; staff counsel operations; business strategy formulation and execution; competitive benchmarking; and claims and underwriting performance improvement.. Stephen is the leader of Deloitte’s Insurance Claims Litigation Management Practice.
Stephen is an experienced trial attorney and a current member of the Bar of the States of New York and Connecticut. Prior to joining Deloitte, Stephen served in a variety of senior executive positions at Aetna, Travelers, and The Hartford Insurance Group. He was formerly a partner in Accenture’s global insurance strategy consulting practice.
Stephen has written and spoken on numerous insurance topics at various U.S. and international industry forums. He is a fellow in the Council on Litigation Management and a Research Committee Member of the International Insurance Society.
Jim Pratt, Vice President
Corporate Payment Systems, WrightExpress
Jim Pratt has worked for Wright Express since 1998 and has been Vice President, Corporate Payment Systems since 2007. In this capacity he is responsible for identifying new opportunities and working to build market share for the Wright Express Universal Card and MasterCard areas, in which he has a highly successful track record.
From 2006 to 2007 Jim was Vice President, General Manager of MasterCard business for Wright Express and from 2000 to 2005 he was Director of the company’s MasterCard Line of Business. From 1998 to 2000 he sold CoBrand fleet programs for Wright Express as Director of Relationship Management.
Prior to joining Wright Express Jim spent 10 years With Digital Equipment Corporation in various sales and management positions. From 1996 to 1998 he worked as a consultant for 3Com. His got his career start selling radio and television advertising.
Jim grew up on Long Island, New York. He has a BA degree from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and has completed graduate courses at the University of Southern Maine.
James D. Ruotolo, Principal – Insurance Fraud, Global Fraud and Financial Crimes Practice, SAS Institute Inc.
James D. Ruotolo is currently the Principal for Insurance Fraud Solutions in the Global Fraud & Financial Crimes Practice at SAS®. He is responsible for the planning, management and marketing of fraud detection solutions for the property, casualty, life and disability insurance markets worldwide.
Before joining SAS® Mr. Ruotolo was the Director of SIU Strategic Operations for the property & casualty Special Investigations Unit for The Hartford Financial Services Group, one of the nation’s largest insurance and financial services operations. In that role he established and managed a 20-member analytical and intelligence operation within the SIU and designed analytical protocols for investigating auto, property, liability, and workers’ compensation claims.
Mr. Ruotolo also spent several years as a Manager in the Group Benefits Division Special Investigations Unit at Hartford Life, supervising a team of Investigative Analysts and developing tools and resources for investigating suspicious life and disability claims. Prior to joining Hartford in 1999, he was a Product and Markets Manager with the Fraud Solutions Group at Lexis Nexis.
Mr. Ruotolo holds a Master’s degree in Economic Crime Management, a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and has taught graduate courses as an adjunct faculty member of the Utica College Economic Crime and Fraud Management MBA program. He is also a Certified Fraud Specialist (CFS) and a Fraud Claim Law Specialist (FCLS). Mr. Ruotolo is also the co-inventor of a patent-pending fraud detection model that utilizes determinate and indeterminate data.
Mr. Ruotolo has served as an executive board member of the New England Anti-Fraud Association (NEAFA) and his public speaking engagements include training sessions for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA), National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA), and the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU), as well as working groups for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement agencies.
Follow Mr. Ruotolo on Twitter at twitter.com/jdruotolo
Steven Rutzebeck, Director of SIU/Claims Security, GEICO
Steven Rutzebeck has been with GEICO since December 1999. He began his career in GEICO as the SIU Operations and Training Manager. In June of 2000 he assumed the position of Director. He is responsible for SIU operations from a company wide perspective providing corporate direction and vision to GEICO’s SIU. GEICO currently has over 310 insurance fraud investigators.
Mr. Rutzebeck came to GEICO after retiring as a Captain from Maryland State Police after 25 years of service. During his career with the Maryland State Police he served in a number of management capacities including Commander of Professional Development, Commander of Training, Associate Director Mid-Atlantic Regional Community Policing Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Commander Violent Crime Strike Force and the Commander of the Crime Prevention Unit. He also supervised the agency’s Analytical and Tactical Sections within the Criminal Intelligence Division. He was also a nationally recognized educator on topics such as community policing, strategic planning, organizational change, time management, problem solving and facilitation.
Mr. Rutzebeck has a Bachelor of Arts in Pre Law from Pennsylvania State University and a Masters in Legal Studies from the University of Baltimore.
William T. Salzer, Partner, Esq., Swartz Campbell LLC
William T. Salzer is a shareholder in the Philadelphia-based firm of Swartz Campbell LLC and has concentrated his practice for over twenty years in the areas of insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. Mr. Salzer has represented and counseled primary and excess insurers on insurance coverage matters involving general liability, first party property and casualty claims, environmental, professional liability, worker’s compensation risks and defends insurers in declaratory judgment and bad faith actions in federal and state court.
Mr. Salzer received his B.A. degree from the University of Virginia in 1980 with high distinction and his J.D. degree from Rutgers University School of Law in 1984. He is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the Eastern District and Middle District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is a member of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations. Mr. Salzer has been consistently recognized since 2005 as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and is peer rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell.
John Sargent, Director Special Investigation Unit, MetLife
John T. Sargent Director Special Investigation Unit MetLife John T. Sargent is director, special investigation unit (SIU), at MetLife. Sargent was named to this position on October 4, 2004. In this role, he is responsible for the areas of fraud prevention, detection and investigation. He oversees this function for auto, home dental, disability, long term care and group life claims. Sargent joined MetLife in December 1995 as a manager within the SIU. In addition to his role in managing the fraud prevention program at the company, he was instrumental in the development of fraud detection technology which increased the overall efficiency of the program. Prior to joining MetLife, Sargent held various SIU positions with other carriers and began his professional career as a police officer in Massachusetts. Mr. Sargent is currently the Chairman of the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud; he sits on the Board of Governors for the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts; is the treasurer of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud and is an advisor to the CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Don Spears, Subrogation Manager, Farm Bureau Insurance Companies
Don Spears was promoted to the position of Subrogation Manager at Louisiana Farm Bureau in 1999. Under his leadership Louisiana Farm Bureau has ranked first in Total Net Recovery and Recovery Percentage among Southern Farm Bureau.
In light of a one year statue of limitations, Don and his staff have recorded in excess of sixty million dollars in Subrogation Recoveries. Don has previously presented at Southern Farm Bureau’s manager conference and Execusumitt.
He is an active member to National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) and a proud graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
William Sylianteng, Member, Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg, LLC
William Sylianteng is a member of Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg, LLC and focuses primarily on large loss property subrogation. Will is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. As co-chair of the firm’s subrogation department, Will represents insurers in the capacity of both national large loss counsel and regional counsel (Mid-Atlantic).
Originally from southern California, Will attended California State University, Northridge, and received his B.A. in Political Science. After graduation, Will attended Temple University Law School (Philadelphia, PA) where he received his J.D.
In 2007, Will was named a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer and PA Law Weekly, an honor given annually to 35 attorneys under the age of 40 who are recognized by their peers and the judiciary as the future leaders of the Commonwealth’s legal community. Will was also named a Pennsylvania SuperLawyer Rising Star in 2007 and 2008 by Law and Politics, in accordance with its procedures, a designation bestowed on only the top 2.5% of Pennsylvania attorneys under the age of 40.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors and as the Co-Chairman of the Insurance Coverage & Subrogation Committee of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute (PDI), an organization made up of insurance attorneys, insurance executives, and self-insureds.
Will is active in the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP). He has lectured at NASP conferences on “subrogation ethics” and he was a featured speaker on the “Insured Made Whole Doctrine” at both the 2008 NASP Annual Conference and the 2009 NASP Litigation Skills Conference. Will also served as a “track leader” for the 2010 NASP Litigation Skills Conference in Tucson, AZ.
Will has represented NASP, PDI and the Pennsylvania Insurance Federation as amicus curiae in several appellate courts in cases involving the “insured made whole” doctrine and bad faith claims arising out of subrogation handling.
Will has authored the following articles: Subrogating Spoliation, The Subrogator, p.60 (Fall 2007 ed.); The Road to Partnership in Generation Next, The Legal Intelligencer (2008, Generation Next Supplement); and Pennsylvania Courts Address Subrogation “Priority” and the Issue of “Bad Faith”, The Subrogator (Winter 2010 ed.).
Carl Van, President & CEO, International Insurance Institute, Inc.
Carl Van, President & CEO of International Insurance Institute, Inc., graduated from California State University, Sacramento where he received his bachelor’s degree in INSURANCE. He has been in the insurance claims industry since 1980 and has held the positions of Claims Adjuster, Claims Supervisor, Claims Manager, Division Claims Manager and Regional Manager over Claims, Loss Control and Premium Audit.
Mr. Van has set up 5 in-house claims training programs for various insurance companies throughout the nation, and has written over 50 articles for Claims magazine, Claims Education Magazine, Claims People magazine, The National Underwriter, and California Insurance Journal.
He has been a keynote speaker at claims conferences around the country, a trainer at an international U.S-Japanese executive training program, a guest speaker at hundreds of claims association seminars, and selected as the opening presenter at some of the most prestigious claims conferences in the nation.
Mr. Van is the Dean of the School of Claims Performance, and serves as Regional Vice President of the Society of Insurance Trainers and Educators.
He is owner and publisher of Claims Education Magazine, and board president of both the Claims Education Conference and the International Claims Executive Academy.
Mr. Van is creator, presenter and producer of all claims training videos at Claims Education On Line, and is the author of the highly acclaimed book The 8 Characteristics of the Awesome Adjuster.
Other credits include being an arbitrator, a licensed agent, a TASA certified expert witness for insurance Bad Faith suits, as well as a national auditor for a federal regulatory agency.