2021 SPEAKERS

Thanks to the experts who shared their knowledge with us in 2021!

David Altmaier

Florida Insurance Commissioner; NAIC President

David Altmaier was appointed as the Florida Insurance Commissioner in April 2016 by the Financial Services Commission. He leads the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) and has oversight of one of the largest insurance markets in the world. Under Altmaier’s leadership, OIR has worked to cultivate a market in Florida in which insurance products are reliable, available, and affordable.

Altmaier began his public service at OIR in 2008, serving in a number of roles including Chief Analyst of the Property and Casualty Financial Oversight unit and Deputy Commissioner of Property and Casualty Insurance.

Commissioner Altmaier was voted President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for 2021, after serving as President-Elect in 2020 and Vice President in 2019. In his role as NAIC President, Altmaier serves as Chair of the Executive Committee, Internal Administration Subcommittee, Government Relations Leadership Council, and Co-Chair of the Special Committee on Race and Insurance. Commissioner Altmaier also serves as a Vice Chair of the Executive Committee for the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), representing insurance regulators and supervisors of more than 200 jurisdictions worldwide.

Commissioner Altmaier was appointed by Governor DeSantis to serve as a member Florida’s Blockchain Task Force and, during the COVID-19 pandemic, selected to participate in the Governor’s Re-Open Florida Task Force Industry Working Group on Agriculture, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Management and Professional Services.

Prior to joining OIR, Altmaier worked as a Florida licensed 2-20 and 2-14 insurance agent and as a high school math teacher. Altmaier graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

Portrait of David Altmaier
Portrait of Angela Bretz
ANGELA BRETZ

svp, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Nationwide

Angela is the senior vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, serving in a matrix reporting relationship to Nationwide’s chief executive officer and chief administrative officer. In this role Angela establishes and oversees the development, implementation and operation of all corporate diversity, equity and inclusion work, including strategic programs, procedures and policies to advance Nationwide’s culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. Externally, Angela advances our brand and reputation, through diverse strategic partnerships, philanthropy and community engagements. Angela is the company diversity, equity and inclusion thought leader and strategic business partner to senior leadership.      

A career Nationwider, Angela has demonstrated strong leadership, a deep background in strategic planning, project management and claims with extensive knowledge of property and casualty operations, as well as training and development. Angela is a long-standing diversity champion at the company, having been an active participant and strong proponent of our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, prior to her current role. Past leadership experiences include chief of staff for the property and casualty president and chief operating officer; associate vice president for the mid-west claim zone and associate vice president for claims strategy.    

Angela is also active in the community and currently serves on the Board of Directors at Columbus Works, Advisory Committee for the United Way of Delaware County – Women’s Leadership Network, the City of Columbus Recovery and Resiliency Advisory Committee and the Columbus Partnership – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council.    

Angela has a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and an MBA, both from Franklin University. She also has the Certified Diversity Executive designation from the Institute of Diversity Certification.    

Matteo Carbone

Founder and Director, IoT Insurance Observatory; NED and Chairman of the Innovation Advisory Board, Net Insurance; Global Ambassador, Italian InsurTech Association

Internationally recognized as an insurance industry strategist and world-renowned authority on InsurTech, Matteo Carbone has worked in 20 different insurance markets around the world.

Before creating Observatory and co-founding Archimede SPAC, he spent 11 years in Bain & Company. He received his degree in Business Administration from Bocconi University, as well as an executive program certificate in IoT from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Portrait of Matteo Carbone
Portrait of Rebekah Clement
Rebekah Clement

Head of Communications & Engagement, Lloyd’s

Rebekah has more than 20 years of experience in corporate affairs, working as a trusted adviser to a number of government and business leaders across a broad range of sectors in the UK and New Zealand. Rebekah joined Lloyd’s in 2015 and leads their global communications and engagement team, together with Futureset – Lloyd’s newly launched global platform to drive greater societal resilience to the world’s biggest risks.

Prior to Lloyd’s, Rebekah led the global media and PR for London tourism, as part of the GLA subsidiary London & Partners from 2013-2015. Before moving to the UK, Rebekah held a number of senior advisory roles in the New Zealand Parliament and central government, most recently as the Press Secretary and Speechwriter for two successive Governors-General of New Zealand from 2009-2013. This included providing strategic support across major events of national and international significance such as the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Rebekah holds an Executive MBA from Cranfield University, together with a Bachelor of Communications from Massey University of New Zealand, and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Lard Friese

CEO and Chairman of the Executive and Management Board, Aegon N.V.

Lard Friese was appointed CEO and Chairman of the Executive and Management Board of Aegon N.V. on May 15, 2020.

Lard has worked most of his professional career in the financial services industry—including ten years at Aegon—lastly as CEO at NN Group N.V., the Netherlands. During his tenure at NN Group N.V., he led a wide range of businesses in Europe and Asia. He has extensive experience in the areas of insurance, investment management, customer centricity, mergers and acquisitions, and business transformation.

Lard began his career in 1986 as a tax consultant at Kammer Luhrmann Van Dien & Co (currently PwC). Two years later, he joined NOG Verzekeringen, where he held various positions. From 1993 to 2003, he worked at Aegon, as member of the Board of Directors of Aegon Levensverzekering N.V., and as Senior Vice President of Aegon in Japan. Before being appointed CEO of Nationale-Nederlanden in 2008, Lard was employed by VNU/ACNielsen and by insurance company Česká Pojišťovna a.s.

Portrait of Lard Friese
Portrait of Jon Godfread
Jon Godfread

North Dakota Insurance Commissioner

Jon Godfread was elected North Dakota’s 22nd Insurance Commissioner on Nov. 8, 2016. In service to the citizens of North Dakota, Godfread has prioritized consumer advocacy, ensuring North Dakotans are better aware of the services offered by the North Dakota Insurance Department beyond industry regulation. He has also worked to restructure the Department for efficient and effective use of tax-payer dollars, along with employee satisfaction. On a national level, Godfread has been an active voice in discussions about insurance regulations including the use of technology, air ambulance service and health care reinsurance. He currently chairs the Innovation and Technology Task Force for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Prior to serving as Commissioner, Godfread was most recently Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Greater North Dakota Chamber in Bismarck. His background also includes banking and professional athletics. He has held prominent roles in discussions around the Affordable Care Act (ACA), across-the-board tax reductions for North Dakotans, the creation of the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund, K–12 education efforts and more.

Godfread earned a law degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of North Dakota in 2011. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business with honors from the University of Northern Iowa in 2005.

Gina C. Guzman, MD, DBIM, FAAIM, FALU, FLMI

Vice President and Chief Medical Director, Munich Re US (Life)

Dr. Guzman is Vice President and Chief Medical Director at Munich Re US (Life) with over 20 years of Insurance Medicine experience. She manages Munich Re’s medical team with oversight responsibilities for the medical content updates to EDGE, the online underwriting manual, and the company’s mortality research on impairments. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Rush Medical College, then completed her residency training at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago.  She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Insurance Medicine.  An in-demand presenter at local, regional and national underwriting meetings in North America, she was an invited speaker for the 2016 ICLAM meeting in the Netherlands.

She currently serves on the MIB Board of Directors and the Board of Managers of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) Medical Section, where she serves as Past-Chair of the Medical Section. Dr. Guzman was the 2013 president of the American Academy of Insurance Medicine (AAIM) and has also served twice as President of the Midwestern Medical Directors Association (2007 and again in 2016). She served on the Board of Insurance Medicine for six years. Dr. Guzman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Insurance Medicine, a Fellow of the Life Management Institute and a Fellow of the Academy of Life Underwriting.

Portrait of Gina Guzman
Portrait of Jack Kudale
Jack Kudale

founder of Cowbell Cyber

Jack Kudale is the founder of Cowbell Cyber, an AI-powered cyber insurance provider that aims to close insurability gaps for all businesses. Jack brings 25+ years of enterprise software experience, having led 3 venture-backed silicon valley cybersecurity and data analytics startups after a long stint as an executive in charge of distribution at a Fortune 500 software company. Cowbell delivers standalone, admitted and customized cyber coverage to businesses under $1B in revenue in 5 minutes and with limits up to $15 million using proprietary data, artificial intelligence, and its patented multivariate risk rating factors — Cowbell Factors.

Miriam H. Lewis

Chief Inclusion Officer, Principal Financial Group®

Miriam Harris Lewis is chief inclusion officer at Principal Financial Group®. In that role, she has global responsibility for designing, leading and implementing strategies that foster a more inclusive workplace, increase employee performance, drive better outcomes for customers, and ultimately improve business results.

Prior to joining Principal® in July 2019, Lewis worked for 16 years at The Clorox Company, where she earned roles of increasing responsibility in D&I and supply chain. She also co-chaired the company’s employee giving campaign, which generated about $9 million in donations for nonprofit organizations. Lewis previously held positions with The Coca-Cola Company and First Family Financial Services, which was later acquired by Citigroup Financial Services.

Lewis helps to foster diversity and inclusion efforts across the life insurance industry as chair of The American Council of Life Insurers’ (ACLI) CDO “Big Think” Group, which is responsible for strategies to integrate D&I into ACLI’s industry portfolio.

She gives back to her local community in numerous ways. As a board member of the Atlanta Ronald McDonald Charities, she helped the organization to increase staff connectivity, develop a better understanding of customers/families, and significantly increase board diversity. Lewis is evaluating a variety of opportunities to serve the community in Des Moines, where she lives with her husband, Ray.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from The University of Alabama.

Portrait of Miriam Lewis
Portrait of Glen Mulready
Glen Mulready

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner

Glen Mulready became the 13th Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner after receiving 62 percent of the vote statewide. He was sworn into office on January 14, 2019.

Glen is a long-time insurance professional and private sector businessman who is a recognized leader and champion in the insurance industry. Starting as a broker in 1984, Glen rose to serve at the executive level of the two largest health insurance companies in Oklahoma. In 2007, he joined Benefit Plan Strategies, a company helping businesses provide employee benefits and health insurance to their employees.

Glen has served as President of both the Tulsa and Oklahoma State Health Underwriters Associations and has been named State Health Underwriter of the Year.

In 2010, Glen successfully ran for state representative and quickly became the point person for the House of Representatives on insurance issues and was appointed chairman of the Insurance Committee after the 2014 elections. In 2011, Governing Magazine named Glen as one of 17 “GOP Legislators to Watch.”

Glen’s many successes led to him being tapped for the leadership position of Majority Floor Leader in 2017. As an influential state representative, Glen passed legislation which expanded insurance options and resulted in more insurance companies offering service in the state. His consumer awareness was most evident when he reformed a state employee insurance program to save Oklahoma millions of dollars a year while also saving thousands of dollars for those families. Seeking to improve the Oklahoma business climate, Glen sponsored the Insurance Business Transfer (IBT) Act that is now law and is recognized as one of the most innovative pieces of insurance legislation nationally. As of today, two major multimillion-dollar IBT transactions are underway in Oklahoma.

As Commissioner, Glen has brought a business-like, bottom-line approach to budgeting and management of the Insurance Department. Glen launched the Department’s first-ever data-driven “Traction” management process that centers on solving identified issues within a limited and specific timeframe. Under Commissioner Mulready’s, model each business unit, within the Insurance Department, is empowered to cut through bureaucracy to maximize efficiency and responsiveness to taxpayers and the industry alike.

Glen and Sally, his wife of 32 years, are the proud parents of three teenage sons, Sam, Jake and Will. In 2008, Glen and Sally were the recipients of Leadership Tulsa’s Paragon Award for their work with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Glen is very active in the community, having served on numerous boards and committees, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, March of Dimes, Shepherds Fold Ranch Christian Summer Camp, Crime Commission and Tulsa Tough.

George Nichols III

President and CEO, The American College of Financial Services

George Nichols III currently serves as the 10th President and CEO in the storied history of The American College of Financial Services. His experience in the public and private sector included a 17-year stint at New York Life, where he held principal roles in sales, strategic initiatives, and public policy. He most recently served as executive vice president in charge of the Office of Governmental Affairs, which encompasses all of the legislative, regulatory, and public policy issues at the company.

Prior to joining New York Life, Nichols was Kentucky’s first African American insurance commissioner, regulating the state’s $10 billion insurance industry through his expertise in health insurance reform and financial services integration. Along with his role as Kentucky’s first African American insurance commissioner, Nichols was the first African American president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (2000).

These accolades were born from opportunities that he is passionate about extending through The College’s diversity initiatives. Because of his bold leadership in launching a Four Steps Forward plan to promote upward mobility and wealth creation for Black America, Nichols was recently honored as one of “The Ten to Watch in 2021” by WealthManagement.com.

Nichols currently sits on the Boards of City Year, a nonprofit organization committed to partnering with teachers and school leaders in urban areas to provide high-impact student, classroom, and school-wide support, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Main Line Health, and Republic Bank, a regional bank originated in Nichols’ home state of Kentucky. He is also a member of the Board of Regents at one of his alma maters, Western Kentucky University. Nichols received his associate’s degree from Alice Lloyd College, a liberal arts school in eastern Kentucky, before earning his bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University. He began his career in financial services after receiving his master’s degree from the University of Louisville.

Portrait of George Nichols the Third
DOUG OMMEN

Insurance commissioner of Iowa

Doug Ommen began his service as Iowa Insurance Commissioner in December 2016. Ommen leads the Iowa Insurance Division, which has oversight over Iowa’s strong and vibrant insurance industry.

Commissioner Ommen’s commitment to high quality regulation is defined in the Division’s mission statement of protecting consumers through consumer education and a fair, flexible and positive regulatory environment. Ommen’s dedication and desire to serve the public began in the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, where as an assistant attorney general, he prosecuted criminal frauds and led the fight to protect consumers over the course of three decades. Ommen has also served as Missouri’s Insurance Director and as Missouri’s Securities Commissioner.

Commissioner Ommen served as chair of the NAIC’s Life and Annuity (A) Committee for two key years during the development of the 2020 Annuity Best Interest model regulation #275, which is now being adopted across US jurisdictions. Commissioner Ommen has also provided ongoing and thoughtful leadership to the NAIC’s Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Working Group as it evaluates innovations being used by the insurance industry. In recent years, Commissioner Ommen has also been representing the NAIC on the EU-US Insurance Dialogue Project.

Commissioner Ommen obtained his law degree in 1985 from the Saint Louis University School of Law. Ommen and his wife, Sharon, have two married children and six grandchildren.

Ali Payne

President, ethOs

As the President for ethOs, Ali Payne leads a team of engagement and wellbeing experts who work with clients to not only develop a strategy to drive employee engagement, but also to help them focus on the right employee experience and resources for all of the demographics in their workplace.

Ali has more than 20 years’ worth of knowledge and expertise in the organizational wellbeing, culture, and employee experience industry. She:

  • Understands first-hand the value and importance of integrating organizational goals with strategies to engage talent.
  • Helps her clients improve their employee retention and productivity through successful strategy development, implementation, and execution.
  • Is an organizational engagement/culture expert and an award-winning thought leader.
  • Has been recognized for her work in the industry: Ali was named the Employee Benefit Adviser’s Wellness Adviser of the Year in 2018.
Portrait of Alie Payne
Portrait of Dana Popish Severinghaus
Dana Popish Severinghaus

Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance

Dana Popish Severinghaus, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, brings extensive legal, policy, government relations and insurance industry-related experience to her new role heading a state regulatory agency. Popish Severinghaus was formerly Legislative and Regulatory Counsel at Allstate Insurance Company where she advised Allstate and its subsidiaries on legal, regulatory and legislative matters across the Midwest. Before that, she served as Senior Policy Advisor at the State of Illinois in Central Management Services where she oversaw the Bureau of Benefits. Prior to that, Popish Severinghaus served as the Director of Government Relations for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

Popish Severinghaus is a Member of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Board Member of the Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund, Secretary of the Illinois Insurance Association, Advisory Board Member and Co-Chair of Government Relations Advisory Council for the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Women in Law Mentor at Chicago Kent College of Law and Auxiliary Board Member of ChildServ.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Journalism & Mass Communications from the University of Iowa and Juris Doctor from Chicago Kent College of Law.

Governor Kim Reynolds

43rd Governor of Iowa

As Iowa’s 43rd Governor, Kim Reynolds is determined to show the world that opportunity lives here in Iowa.

Whether it’s preparing Iowans for cutting-edge careers, fighting for education, improving healthcare and access to mental health resources, or empowering Iowa’s rural communities, Gov. Reynolds’ priorities are making a difference in all four corners of the state.

A native of St. Charles, Iowa, Gov. Reynolds has a long record of public service as Clarke County Treasurer, a state senator, and Lt. Governor. In 2018, she had the honor of becoming Iowa’s first woman elected governor.

She’s traveled the world telling Iowa’s story and gets to all 99 counties in Iowa each year, but always puts family first. She and her husband, Kevin, have three daughters who are happily married and living in Iowa. The Governor also has eleven very active grandchildren.

Portrait of Governor Kim Reynolds
Portrait of Jessica Snyder
Jessica Snyder

President and Chief Executive Officer, GuideOne Insurance

Jessica joined GuideOne in June 2017 as President and CEO. She came to GuideOne from State Auto Insurance Companies in Columbus, Ohio, where she most recently served as Senior Vice President – Commercial and Specialty Lines. Jessica held several other positions during her tenure at State Auto, including Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the company’s specialty subsidiary, and Senior Vice President of Specialty.

Prior to joining State Auto, Jessica was a member of a three-person team that raised the capital for the formation and startup operations of Rockhill Holdings, a niche property and casualty business that was purchased by State Auto in 2009. She was also the Chief Financial Officer for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.

In 2016, Jessica was named one of Insurance Business’ Elite Women of the Year. Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida.

Jessica serves on the Bravo Greater Des Moines’ Board of Directors, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Board of Directors, the Greater Des Moines Partnership Board Executive Committee, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Board of Directors, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) Board of Directors, the Open Lending Board of Directors and the WestLAB Board of Directors.

Walter White

President and Chief Executive Officer, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

Walter White is president and CEO of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life), based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prior to assuming his position as CEO, White served as chief administrative officer, leading Operations, IT, Compliance, Suitability and the Central Project Office.

Before joining Allianz Life in 2009, White was president of Woodbury Financial Services, a securities broker/dealer, and led the formation of the company after Hartford Life purchased Fortis Financial Group in 2001. At Fortis, White held senior management positions in marketing and operations. Prior to joining Fortis, White was president of MONY Brokerage, the MONY Group’s life insurance brokerage subsidiary.

Portrait of Walter White