Symposium Speakers
Speaker Photo Kathryn Emmerson
CEO, InsuranceNoodle
Kathy Emmerson serves as Chief Executive Officer of InsuranceNoodle, an on-line aggregator distributing small commercial property and liability insurance through independent agencies. She also serves as Senior Vice President, Commercial Segment, Small Medium Enterprise of Willis North America Inc.

Kathy is part of a team which formed InsuranceNoodle in 2000, built the company from 2000 through June of 2007 at which time it was acquired by Willis.

Prior to joining InsuranceNoodle in April, 2000, she was Senior Vice President of Marsh USA in Chicago. At Marsh, Kathy’s responsibilities included leading Business Solutions Group, as a member of Marsh’s Global Transportation Practice, and as Client Director for several major clients.

From 1969 to 1998, Kathy was with Aon Risk Services and was responsible for developing and maintaining client relationships (specializing in the rail industry), developing new products and services, evaluating and implementing staffing changes and creating interdependency and synergy between various independent segments of business. From 1992 to 1998, Ms Emmerson served as Executive Vice President with responsibilities including the creation and leadership of industry focus groups, technical services (claims, loss control, risk management consulting), and marketing services ( surety, marine, international and workers’ compensation services).

Kathy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University. She is past Chairman of the Board of the Association of Lloyd’s Brokers, a member of the Board of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and a past Chairman and current member of the Board of the Surplus Lines Association of Illinois.
Breakout Session - SEMCI Success

Speaker Photo Kim Garland
President, Open Seas Insurance
Kim Garland is president of Open Seas Insurance, Safeco’s new product research and innovation arm. In this position, he is responsible for developing product and service breakthroughs to differentiate Safeco in the marketplace.

Garland joined the company in 2001 to serve as vice president of Auto Product Management. He was the lead architect of Safeco’s new auto product structure for personal lines, a move that enabled the company to significantly expand its market appetite for auto insurance and helped improve the line’s profitability and growth.

He came to Safeco after 13 years at GEICO, where he held a variety of leadership positions in actuarial pricing, product management and service organizations. He has a Master's in Mathematics from the University of Virginia and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society.
Keynote Address

Speaker Photo Eric Gewirtzman
CEO, SeaPass Solutions, Inc.
Eric Gewirtzman, Chief Executive Officer, Eric Gewirtzman co-founded SeaPass Solutions in 2000 with Ari Katz. Prior to co-founding SeaPass, Gewirtzman was co-CEO and co-founder of Shadow Computers Ltd., a successful insurance software development company.

While at Shadow, Gewirtzman worked at various corporations as a computer consultant, specializing in implementing computer technology in a business environment. Gewirtzman served as a software engineer in the Israeli Air Force. He was head instructor of computer programming and utilization at the Israeli Air Force Academy and the Israeli Air Force Officer's Academy. He also developed real-time simulation software for the Air Force. Gewirtzman studied computer science and economics at Tel Aviv University, and has an engineering degree in aerodynamics and mechanical engineering from the Israeli Air Force Academy.
Breakout Session - Insurance Technology Panel

Speaker Photo Bill Hartnett
General Manager of Financial Service Strategy and Solutions, Microsoft
Bill Hartnett is Microsoft’s General Manager of Financial Service Strategy and Solutions, responsible for developing the company’s worldwide strategic direction and its implementation across financial services industries.
Keynote Address

Speaker Photo Tony Jeary
CEO Coach
When many of America’s top executives seek a strategic communications expert they are eventually led to Strategic Facilitator, Tony Jeary. Jeary has invested his life and career in helping others discover new clarity for their vision, develop focus on direction and create powerful execution strategies that strategically impact achievement and results. It doesn’t matter if the meeting participants are business leaders, business development people, sales team members, reps, management groups, or the entire organization.
White Glove Luncheon Speaker - "Strategic Acceleration"

Speaker Photo Larry Johnson
Mr. Johnson is Chief Information Officer for UPAC Premium Finance. He is a member of the IIABA Agents Council for Technology and sits on the steering committee for their Get Real Time campaign to encourage and support independent agents using the latest technologies.

Mr. Johnson is also a regular contributor to the High TECC conference sponsored by The Automated Agency Report and represents UPAC on the ACORD insurance standards committee.
Breakout Session - Premium Finance

Speaker Photo Richard Kerr
Founder, MarketScout
Richard Kerr is Chairman and CEO of MarketScout Corporation. MarketScout is an eInsurance exchange that develops product distribution portals and other e-commerce business models. has grown to become the world’s number one site for accessing “Best of Class” insurance companies and specialty underwriters.
Keynote Address - "e" = electronic, entrepreneurial, and exceptional

Speaker Photo John Kraska
Managing Director, Hales & Company
John is a partner of Hales & Company and led a management buyout of the firm from Arch Capital Group, Ltd. in 2004. Throughout his career, he has led over 100 corporate finance transactions, including mergers & acquisitions and equity investments with a focus on insurance brokerage, insurance company and financial services clients. Some recent transactions led by John include advising Summit Global Partners in its 2005 sale to USI Holdings, TravelGuard in its 2006 sale to AIG and Marsh & McClennan in its sale of certain non-core assets in 2005 and 2006.

Prior to joining Hales, John was Managing Director of Firemark Investments, a $200 million investment firm focused on insurance and healthcare. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School.
Breakout Session - Valuing Innovation

Speaker Photo Alex Letts
After graduating from Oxford, Alex spent 15 years working in the international advertising sector. SMI Group which he founded in 1988 went on to become the largest business advertising agency in Europe, specialising in technology clients and pioneering web-based communications. SMI was bought by Groupe Publicis in 1997 where Alex served as Worldwide President and CEO of Publicis Technology.

Alex founded RI3K in May 2000 to build an electronic trading exchange for the insurance sector. In May 2007 a consortium led by Michael Spencer of ICAP and the hedge fund Eton Park took majority control of RI3K. RI3K employs about 70 staff and has a network of more than 170 companies trading on its service.

Alex is married with 4 children and lives in London.
Keynote Address - Successful Reinsurance Exchange

Speaker Photo John Lupica
President & CEO, ACE USA
John Lupica was named President & Chief Executive Officer of ACE USA in May 2006 after serving as President & Chief Operating Officer of ACE USA since January 2005. He previously served as President of ACE Professional Risk and ACE USA Regional Operations. As President of ACE Professional Risk, Mr. Lupica had senior management responsibility for the Management Liability, Professional Liability, Programs, Surety, and Aerospace units. In April 2004, Mr. Lupica assumed the additional position of President of ACE USA Regional Operations, responsible for driving distribution strategies with brokers on both a national and regional basis, as well as expanding ACE’s product and marketing approach to local distribution sources.

Mr. Lupica joined ACE USA as Executive Vice President of Professional Risk in January 2001. Prior to joining ACE, Mr. Lupica served as Senior Vice President for Munich-American Risk Partners, Inc. He also held various management positions at AIG, including Divisional Vice President of one of National Union’s Directors and Officers Groups, and Regional Manager of AIG Risk Management’s Mid-Atlantic Region.

Mr. Lupica received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.
Keynote Address - ACE's Innovation

Speaker Photo Kenny McBride
Executive Strategic Director for Financial Services, Verizon Business
As Verizon Business’s Executive Strategic Director for Financial Services, Kenny McBride is responsible for developing the company’s global strategic direction, and implementing it within the financial markets.

In consecutive years, McBride was recognized as a strategic thinker, visionary and industry leader in Institutional Investor’s Online Finance Top 40 for 2005 & 2006. He joined Verizon Business in 2006 with more than 25 years’ experience in the financial and technology markets. McBride started his career as a management trainee with National Westminster Bank (NatWest). After relocating to London, he joined NatWest’s Treasury department and developed a career in the foreign exchange market. During his trading days he became a highly regarded market-maker, from where he broadened his market understanding by establishing Johnson McBride Associates. The company supported a large number of global institutions, focusing on staffing, compensation, fundamental business and technological changes affecting global markets.

With the evolution of the Internet in the financial markets, McBride relocated to Seattle in 1998 to co-found Financial Market Solutions (FMS). FMS, a startup software firm, created sophisticated Web-based transaction software for the financial markets. The firm focused on utilizing commodity technologies to create state of the art trading solutions that leveraged the ubiquity of the MSFT office and server suites. McBride subsequently joined Microsoft as Global Industry Manager for the Capital Markets and Securities industry. During his 4.5 year tenure, Microsoft .Net and server technologies achieved unprecedented levels of adoption within the financial markets.

McBride’s business career reflects constant growth and evolution. He has always embraced new business theories and models and demonstrated his appreciation for technological solutions that expand and improve the trading capabilities and reach of the financial markets.
Breakout Session - Insurance Technology Panel

Speaker Photo Dennis Maroney
Tata Consulting Services
Dennis Maroney has recently joined Tata Consulting Services (TCS) bringing his industry experience to bear on developing strategy and solutions for the North America insurance and health care markets. His focus will be on leveraging TCS and partner assets to assist clients in their transformational efforts in a new group called TCS Financial Solutions.

Prior to TCS, Dennis led Microsoft’s insurance practice over a 5 year period first as Managing Director for the global insurance industry and prior to that position being created as the US Industry Manager for insurance within Microsoft’s Financial Services Group. During this time, Microsoft experienced significant growth within the industry on a global basis.

His insurance activities at Microsoft focused on developing and expanding the Insurance Value Chain (IVC) of partners who are dedicated to reducing cost and complexity to enable the insurance enterprise to innovate and compete on a global basis. Dennis worked closely with leading companies such as Accenture, HP, SunGard and others to obtain their support for the IVC. In addition, tight cooperation with his Microsoft colleagues in Europe, Canada and the US led to significant progress in the reinsurance and life segments particularly in the financial advisor/wealth management arena.

His ongoing work with industry standard bodies like ACORD and OMG has revolved around business processes and data modeling as well as the expansion of standards use globally.

Breakout Session - Insurance Technology Panel

Speaker Photo Tim McTavish
President and CEO, InsureMe
InsureMe’s fearless leader since the company’s inception in 1993, Tim’s goal has always been to provide a positive experience for everyone who comes into contact with InsureMe. Tim has advanced the company by leaps and bounds since the early 90s—most people are surprised to learn that Tim started InsureMe in a small condo, faxing insurance leads to agents and brokers.

Now, over a decade later, InsureMe has done away with the fax machine, and operates in an office with a mountain view. And with the help of the servant-leadership team, Tim has infused his deep-seated ethics into every aspect of the InsureMe company.

Tim is also known for his fiscal prudence, which is why he’s affectionately known around the office as “The Frugal Scotsman.” This is great news for our customers, as The Frugal Scotsman is always looking for ways to help people save money on insurance.

When he’s not taking InsureMe to new heights, Denver-born Tim enjoys spending time with his family, providing backup vocals and guitar during church praise services, and taking advantage of the great outdoors. He recently bought dirt bikes for his entire family to roam the rolling hills of his favorite Colorado landscape.

Tim will share with the attendees a primer on Search Engine Marketing in the insurance industry and how to make the most of their marketing dollars.
Breakout Session - Search Engine Marketing: Leveraging Your Marketing Dollars in the Search Engine Competitions

Speaker Photo Joseph J. Plumeri
Chairman and CEO, Willis Group Holdings
Since joining Willis in October 2000, Joe has not only enhanced the company’s position as one of the world’s leading insurance brokers, but has personally led the brokerage industry in an era of unprecedented scrutiny and change. Joe has guided Willis through a period of expansion built on organic growth, strategic acquisitions, sector-leading margins and an insistence on transparency and passionate client service. His achievement in an industry that he only joined in 2000 was acknowledged in 2006 when he was honored as the Insurance Leader of the Year by St. John’s University School of Risk Management.

Soon after taking the Willis helm, Joe returned the company to public ownership after a period of private ownership under Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Joe’s success at Willis has been built on the creation of what he calls a “One Flag culture” centered on the Client Advocate® model and Glocal service (global resources, delivered locally). The model has proved successful with clients and investors. Willis, the world’s oldest insurance broker, has led the brokerage sector in many growth measurements for much of the past several years.
Keynote Address

Speaker Photo Jose Rivera
Marketing & Field Automation Specialist, American Family Insurance
Jose A. Rivera is a Marketing & Field Automation Specialist with American Family Insurance, a multi-product insurance company with its national headquarters in Madison, WI and regional offices in 19 states. He leads interactive and multimedia projects for the company’s website as well as new technology initiatives for customers and the company’ s agent force. Prior to American Family Insurance he worked as a commercial director for Television and internet delivered advertising campaigns for the US Hispanic market and other Spanish speaking markets such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

Raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jose now lives with his wife and two daughters in Madison. His experience with media and advertising has led him to manage the design of new rich internet applications for quoting and estimating insurance products on Jose currently manages American Family’s Spanish website, The first effort in the company’s multilingual internet websites using automated translation technology.
Breakout Session - Foreign Language Web Initiative

Speaker Photo Frank Sentner
Director of Strategic Technology, CIAB
Frank Sentner has been providing technology solutions to the insurance industry for over thirty years. He began in 1976 with Insurnet where he managed the development of the first ACORD forms-based agency policy and claims management system. In 1984, he founded Creative Information Systems Co. where he designed and directed development of the first ACORD AL3-based agency management system – known today as Sagitta and used by the majority of large insurance agencies and brokerage firms. In 1992, CISCo merged with the Gemini division of Aetna to form CISGEM, which was acquired by AMS Services in 1995. He served as Senior Vice President of Technology for AMS until September 1996 when he founded Soulware Ltd. to provide consulting services to improve business process integration between insurers and agents/brokers. Among many long-term engagements, Frank has been the acting Director of Strategic Technology for The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers since 1997. Frank is regularly consulted by insurance carriers and intermediaries, industry groups, and insurance software vendors, and is frequently interviewed by national trade publications on technology issues affecting the insurance industry.
Breakout Session - Insurance Technology Panel (Moderator)

Speaker Photo Blake Stock
Partner/CEO, Combined Group
Blake Y. Stock is Chief Executive Officer of the Combined Group, its affiliates and subsidiaries (“Combined”) and is responsible for strategic and operational affairs of the organizations. Stock joined Combined in 1992 within its financial services division as Corporate Controller and Chief Financial Officer and named Chief Executive Officer 2002.

The Combined Group is a leading provider of on-line insurance services. The company provides commercial insurance products, claims management, risk management and premium finance services that increase productivity for insurance agencies throughout the United States. The Combined Group’s QuoteExpress™ service provides real-time rating for commercial lines business including workers comp, BOP, commercial auto, mono line property and general liability, and excess and surplus. Its technology subsidiary, Quantum Integrated Systems, provides software development of leading carriers and agencies nationwide. The web-based electronic aggregation initiative of QuoteExpress provides producing agents a simple, cost effective quote and bind platform for multi-carrier markets.

Stock is a Board of Director member for both the Texas Association of Business, an association representing over 25,000 Texas businesses, and the Texas Alliance of Nonsubscriber, an association of the state’s leading nonsubscribing employers. Stock Chaired the 2005 Legislative Committee Nonsubscribers Task Force for TAB.

In 2001 Stock became an executive member of the Texas Surplus Lines Automation & Technology Committee founded to establish SLSOT standards for the Electronic Forms Technology platform which provides electronic filing functionality to excess and surplus agencies.

In addition to his professional roles, Stock is Founder and President of Share A Smile Foundation a 501(c)(3) Organization founded in 2002 to treat children with vascular birth anomalies. This organization, in partnership with The Fogelson Craniofacial Surgery Center for Children and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, provides medical services to children in need.

Stock graduated from the Small Business Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership in 2000 with honors. Stock received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas in 1985.
Breakout Session - Insurance Technology Panel

Speaker Photo Mario P. Vitale
Deputy CEO, Zurich Global Corporate
Mario P. Vitale is Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Global Corporate and Chief Executive Officer of Zurich's Global Corporate in North America (GCiNA) business unit. He is also a member of Zurich's Group Management Board.

As Deputy CEO of Global Corporate, Mr. Vitale capitalizes on business opportunities created through Zurich's unique transatlantic capabilities and extensive global network. He oversees day-to-day activities of the organization's operation--particularly those that are market-facing--to ensure implementation of strategic priorities. Vitale also directs a Global Energy international management team, meeting the needs of oil and gas, petrochemical, natural resources, mining and power generation customers worldwide. Vitale is also leading broker relationship management in the US for Global Corporate and is a member of Zurich's Growth Council.

In 2007, Mr. Vitale launched the industry's first fully-integrated global M&A unit, created to position Zurich as the preferred partner and trusted advisor in M&A transactions dedicated to serving all acquisitions and divestitures of the global corporate business.

Mr. Vitale joined Zurich from Willis Group Holdings where he was CEO of Willis North America and a member of both Willis' Group Executive Committee and the Office of the Chairman. He is a graduate of St. John's University College of Insurance, and serves as a member of their board of trustees. Vitale also sits on the Board of Directors of AICPCU, the Board of Directors of the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers and the Board of the American Insurance Association (A.I.A.).
Keynote Address

Speaker Photo Pat Walsh
INSTEC Corporation
Pat brings 27 years experience as a provider of technology solutions across the multiple disciplines of hardware and software development, account management, marketing, and business development. Pat has also gained the perspective of both a software vendor and multi-national systems integrator, with notable emphasis on Commercial P&C.

Pat joined INSTEC in 1997 as Vice President, Sales and Marketing where he has responsibility for business development and revenue generation. Under Pat's leadership, INSTEC has achieved consistent and record revenue growth and introduced the successful Program Business program and several other offerings.

Prior to joining INSTEC Pat worked for seven years at MCI Systemhouse (now part of EDS) where he initiated and led the development of the MCI Systemhouse Insurance practice in the Midwest Region. In this capacity, he led the development of service offerings, established vendor alliances, and developed profitable business relationships with Fortune 500 clients. Pat started with MCI Systemhouse managing the sale and subsequent project delivery of client engagements, across multiple industries.

Prior to MCI Systemhouse, Pat started his career with AT&T Bell Labs as a hardware and software developer.

Pat received a MS in Electrical Engineering from the Cornell University in 1981, and a BS in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1980.
Breakout Session - Insurance Technology Panel

Speaker Photo Leah Woolford Founder and CEO
Leah Woolford is an Internet visionary whose background started in 1993 developing Internet strategies and business models for Fortune 500 companies in the Telecommunications, Travel, Hospitality, Real Estate and Public Sectors. In 1993 Woolford pioneered the successful online marketing strategies used by many marketing and advertising organizations today. She is founder and CEO of (

Leah is known for a record number of firsts in the field... breakthroughs in search engine marketing, eCommerce, online branding, lead generation online and customer relationship marketing. She is a sought after strategist, published author, speaker, and trusted advisor to some of the world’s most notable travel brands., which Woolford founded and serves as CEO, is a leading Interactive Agency and Media Company, widely recognized in the industry. With more than 176 clients, including some of the leading brands in North America, and around the world, is acknowledged by the news media as an online marketing innovator.
Breakout Session - Online Marketing

Speaker Photo Richard Zolty
Senior Vice President - Specialty Workers' Compensation, AIG
Richard Zolty is Senior Vice President, Specialty Workers Comp Division of the American Home Company and is responsible for USL&H Business Segment, Programs, and Direct Assignment Workers Comp.

Prior to joining AIG in 2000, Richard gained experience in workers’ comp, underwriting, and insurance stock and surplus lines serving as Vice President, Workers Comp Division with Philadelphia-based Reliance Insurance Company and Chief Operating Officer and Northeast Divisional President with ManagedComp, Inc., as well as several New England regional brokerage firms, and various insurance stock and surplus lines insurance companies including INA and AIG.

Richard is married with two sons and resides in Maple Glen, PA.
Breakout Session - Product Innovation

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