2013 Speakers      

Dr. Eric J. Barron


Florida State University

Dr. Eric J. Barron is the 14th president of Florida State University. He is a 1973 FSU alumnus with a bachelorís degree in geology. He earned masterís and doctoral degrees in oceanography from the University of Miami. In the past three years, Dr. Barron has led his alma mater to new heights as a dynamic, elite research institution with a central focus on being one of the most student-centered universities in the country. While directing Florida Stateís rise to a U.S. News & World Report ranking as the most efficiently operated university in the nation, he worked with Florida policymakers to have FSU named one of two pre-eminent universities in the state. His goal now is to use this new designation and accompanying funding to move it into the Top 25 rankings of the highest quality universities. Dr. Barron is widely recognized for scholarly work in his field. Prior to assuming the Florida State presidency, he served as director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and prior to that was a dean at both the University of Texas at Austin and Pennsylvania State University. He is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society and the Geological Society of America.

Doug Bennett

Executive Vice President

QBE North America

Doug Bennett was appointed Executive Vice President, Head of Program Business in August 2012. Bennett joined QBE in January 2011 as Head of Sales for the Program Business and was named interim leader in April 2012. Prior to joining QBE, Bennett was Senior Managing Director for Aon Benfield, where he spent a decade leading its MGA Specialty Practice Group. Bennett also served as President of Five Mile River Underwriting Managers, LLC, (before it was acquired by Benfield), and as Executive Vice President for TIG Reinsurance (now Odyssey Reinsurance). He was also Second Vice President for General Reinsurance. In leading Program, Bennett oversees development of the overall Program business strategy, with particular responsibility for sales, service, customer relationship management, underwriting and program management.

John Bowen

AVP, Marketing

Zurich North America

Jeffrey Chesky

President & CEO


Jeffrey Chesky is the President & CEO of Insuritas, the nationís leading insurance agency outsourcing solution for banks and credit unions nationally. Mr. Chesky was the Founder & President of Banc Insurance Services, Inc., where he pioneered the design, installation, and outsourced management of insurance agencies for financial institutions nationally. BIS was purchased by Jack Henry & Associates, the nationís leading bank core processing company in 2004. (JKHY Ė NASDAQ). Mr. Chesky and two private equity firms repurchased the company from Jack Henry in June of 2008, and renamed it Insuritas.

Robert Cohen

Chairman & CEO

The IMA Financial Group, Inc.

Robert Cohen is the Chairman and CEO of The IMA Financial Group, a diversified financial services company comprised of three primary businesses; IMA, Inc., a retail US insurance broker; Towerstone, Inc., a wholesale insurance broker; TrueNorth, Inc., a discretionary money manager as both a registered investment advisor and a limited broker dealer. A native of Kansas, he received his bachelorís degree in Risk Management and Finance from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his CPCU designation and is a graduate of Leadership Denver and 50 For Colorado. His professional memberships include Assurex Global, Intersure (Past President, Board member), World Presidentsí Organization, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (Board member), and PAR, Inc. (Board member). He is involved in numerous for-profit and non-profit Boards, notably Boy Scouts of America Denver Area Council, Colorado I Have A Dream Foundation, Commerce Bank, Denver Sports (Founder & Chairman Emeritus), the Metropolitan State University of Denver Board of Trustees (Chair), the United States Olympic Foundation, and Visit Denver. Additionally, Rob served as a member of the Transition Committees for both Governor Ritter and Governor Hickenlooper. Some of Robertís recognitions include the 9News ďLeader of the YearĒ award (1999), the National Philanthropy Day in Colorado ďOutstanding Volunteer FundraiserĒ award (2002), the Colorado Fatherís Day Councilís Father of the Year award (2007), the Goodwill Community Leader Award (2010), and The Denver Business Journalís Partners in Philanthropy ďCorporate Citizen of the YearĒ award (2011). He and his wife, Molly, have three sons and one daughter.

Leland de la Garza


Shackelford, Melton & McKinley, LLP

Leland de la Garza is a trial lawyer practicing law in Texas and Tennessee. For almost thirty years, Lelandís practice has been devoted to litigation, frequently involving issues affecting insurance agencies and their producers, including covenants not to compete, trade secrets, employment matters, and professional liability issues. Leland has drafted, enforced, and defended against covenants not to compete for middle-market and retail agencies and producers. Through his experience, Leland has learned what it takes to make non-competition covenants enforceable and how to beat them.

Leland graduated from SMU with degrees in business, political science, and law. Leland is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law, founded the Trial Skills Section of the Dallas Bar Association, and is the chairman of the Texas Supreme Courtís Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee.

Leland C. de la Garza


Shackelford Melton & McKinley LLP

M. Steven DeCarlo



M. Steven DeCarlo has served as Chief Executive Officer of AmWINS since December 2000. Prior to joining AmWINS, Steve held various management positions with Royal & SunAlliance USA, Inc. from 1988 to 2000, including Senior Vice President for Business Insurance (1998-2000) and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Royal Specialty Underwriting Inc., Royal & SunAllianceís excess and surplus division (1988-1998). He has served on the AmWINS board of directors since he joined AmWINS in December 2000. In 2009, Steve was the winner of Ernst & Young LLC's prestigious Entrepreneur of the Yearģ award in the Carolinas for the financial services category.

Kirby Drake


Klemchuk Kubasta LLP

Kirby Drake, partner, has extensive experience in all areas of intellectual property law, including trade secret, patent, trademark, copyright and confidential information matters. She focuses primarily on intellectual property litigation and patent prosecution in a broad range of technologies, including chemical, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, aerospace, and computer-related matters. She is also has expertise in electronic discovery in litigation matters, including writing and speaking on the subject. In addition, she has experience in general commercial litigation, including breach of contract and shareholder litigation. Kirby earned a J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in chemistry from Duke University.

Dan Epstein


ReSource Pro

Dan joined ReSource Pro in 2005 when it was a start-up with 4 clients and 30 employees. Since then, ReSource Pro has grown to 160 clients and 1,200 employees. Recognized as one of the top 100 Global Outsourcing companies by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, ReSource Pro has also been listed in Inc. Magazineís fastest growing private companies for the past three years. Before joining ReSource Pro, Dan worked for ten years with technology startup companies, helping them to find funding, plan and execute market entry strategies. In 2000, Dan founded a non-profit organization devoted to fostering partnerships between U.S. and Israeli high tech companies. Prior to that, Dan ran the Commercial Section of the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC and served in the Armored Corps of the Israel Defense Forces. With working experience spanning the US, China, Israel and East Africa, Dan enjoys leveraging cross-cultural relationships to enhance capabilities and build compelling solutions. Dan holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Masters degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Justin D. Faust

Vice President & CFO

Dowling Capital Partners

Mr. Faust is Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Dowling Capital Partners, a Connecticut-based private equity fund focused exclusively on investing in the insurance industry. Mr. Faust joined DCP from Northaven Management, a public and private equity investment manager specializing in the financial services industry. Prior to Northaven, Mr. Faust spent nearly 10 years as an investment banker focused predominantly on the insurance industry, most recently with Guy Carpenterís investment banking division, also known as GC Securities, where Mr. Faust provided M&A advice and catastrophe bond structuring solutions to insurance companies. Prior to joining Guy Carpenter, Mr. Faust was an investment banker with Hales & Company, a boutique insurance industry advisory firm and the predecessor to Dowling Hales; and Marsh & McLennan Securities Corporation, a predecessor to GC Securities. Mr. Faust began his career with CIBC World Marketsí Financial Institutions Investment Banking Group. Mr. Faust received a BS in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in finance.

Jonathan Levine

Marketing Executive

Zurich North America

Joseph M. Natoli


Market Smart 360

Joe has helped Independent Sales Organizations in the financial sector bring products and services to market for over 30 years. He has served as an active voting director for numerous companies such as Retriever Payments Systems and National Processing Company, two of the nationís largest independent sales organizations serving the credit card industry. He currently serves on the boards of Adtrak 360, Ballistic Technology, Merchant Town USA, and Commercial State Bank of Texas (El Campo). Joe has been a member of the Electronic Transaction Association ( E.T.A.) for over 20 years, where he has received numerous awards for his work on many industry shaping committees. He has served as Chairman of the planning committee and is one of five industry experts picked to help create and write the certification process for individuals to test and receive a Certified Payment Professional (C.P.P.) designation - the current industry standard test. Joe has authored numerous articles on go to market strategies; his ĎTrain The Trainer" series has been a popular and heavily attended regular session at the E.T.A. annual convention where over 3,000 people participate. Joe is currently the CEO of Market Smart 360, a revolutionary marketing platform that gives the user the ability to easily combine all their traditional and digital marketing data in one place, enabling the business owner to make quick, accurate, smart business decisions. Joe lives in Tomball, Texas with Michele, his wife of 26 years, and their 5 children.

Jonathan J. M. Nobil

Vice President

Dowling Hales

Jonathan Nobil is Vice President of Dowling Hales, a leading national investment banking firm focused on serving the insurance sector. Jonathan is experienced in advising middle market insurance entities on merger & acquisition and capital raising engagements having started his career in the insurance investment banking group at FBR & Co., where he helped insurance companies raise over $800 million of equity capital and assisted in advising on over $1 billion of aggregate merger, acquisition and advisory volume through a variety of public and private transactions. Prior to Dowling Hales, Mr. Nobil was the main Business Development contact at a mid-sized multiline insurance carrier, assisting with the evaluation of acquisitions and new initiatives, capital budgeting and other corporate finance matters. He has received degrees in Economics and History from Duke University and studied History at New College, University of Oxford. Mr. Nobil is licensed as a property & casualty insurance producer in the state of New York and is registered with FINRA as a General Securities Representative (Series 7 and 63) and a Limited Representative Ė Investment Banking (Series 79).

Malcolm Randles

Enterprise Risks 510

R.J. Kiln & Co. Limited

Malcolm Randles started his career with Lloydís in June of 2004 and joined Kiln in 2009. He is a founder member of the Enterprise Risk division and has specialised in intangible risks, namely cyber risk since 2007.

Robert S. Schimek

President & CEO of the Americas

AIG Property Casualty

Robert S. Schimek is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Americas for AIGís property casualty business. He is responsible for the divisionís insurance business in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Previously, Mr. Schimek was located in London where he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of EMEA. Before that, Mr. Schimek was Chief Financial Officer of the division, responsible for all worldwide financial operations. Before joining AIG, Mr. Schimek was a partner at Deloitte & Touche L.L.P. where, for 18 years, he used his public accounting experience to serve global financial institution clients, including MetLife, The Prudential, and Merrill Lynch. Mr. Schimek is a C.P.A. He earned his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Rider University in New Jersey. Mr. Schimek sits on the Rider University Presidentís Council and the Accounting Advisory Council as an alumni member.

Greg Thompson


Markel Specialty

Greg Thompson, CPCU, ARM, CPL graduated cum laude from Washington and Lee University with a liberal arts degree in 1973 and obtained an MBA at the University of Virginiaís Darden School in 1975. Greg served on the faculty of the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France for several years before joining Marsh & McLennan in New York in their Multi-national Services Division. In 1979, Greg and his father, Roy Thompson, jointly founded Thompson Insurance Enterprises, Inc. (THOMCO) headquartered in Atlanta. Over the last 30+ years, Greg built THOMCO from a fledgling wholesale insurance operation to a Program Administrator writing $170,000,000 in annual premium involving over 15 national programs. Greg is also a former President and a current Board member of the Program Administratorís Association (Target Markets). On January 1, 2012, THOMCO was sold to the Markel Insurance Company with Greg staying on board to run the THOMCO business until November of last year, when he was promoted to President of Markel Specialty. In 2013, Markel Specialty will write in excess of $900 million in written premiums in a number of property and casualty niches involving both commercial and personal lines. Greg and his bride of over 30 years, Mary, live in the Atlanta area and have one 20-year-old daughter, Julia. Greg also sits on the board of Catholic Charities in Atlanta. His personal interests include golf, travel abroad, snow skiing and scuba diving.

Linc Trimble

Executive Vice President, eCommerce


Linc Trimble is Torusís Executive Vice President in charge of eCOMMERCE platforms. Torus was established in 2008 as a global specialty insurer and has grown to over $1 billion in written premium with a staff of nearly 600 employees working in 14 offices worldwide. Itís main focus is to provide niche solutions to distributors and customers, whether those niches are driven by industry group, line of business, or in the case of Lincís responsibilities, through technology and delivery. Torusís ďEscapeĒ suite of products as launched in August 2010, and has been received well in the industry (including by Marketscout) and has received awards for its ground-breaking technology. The Escape products embody Torusís desire to be value-added, customer-focused and technology driven. Linc spent the first 15 years of his career with Chubb in various management positions, including leadership for its offshore subsidiary, Chubb Atlantic, before repatriating to the US to help launch St. Paul Travelersí excess casualty unit. Before joining Torus, Linc also founded and led a successful MGA specializing in small commercial umbrella. What characterizes Lincís career is a track record of building businesses, most recently in the SME space. As the industry responds to changes in technologies, there will be increasing opportunities to innovate and build value-added businesses in vast expanse of the SME landscape.