Meet the Committee

The Global Insurance Symposium is led and planned by a committee of insurance leaders from around the country. There are also six standing voting member organizations: the Iowa Insurance Division, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa Insurance Institute, Federation of Iowa Insurers, Iowa Economic Development Authority, and the Global Insurance Accelerator.

2023 Co-Chairs

Jason Gross, Vice President & Head of Platform, ManchesterStory

Jason Gross is an award-winning innovation, strategy and technology leader with over 20 years of experience leading organizations and transformation initiatives for three multi-billion-dollar property and casualty insurance and financial services companies. As Vice President and Head of Platform for ManchesterStory (a premier early-stage InsurTech venture capital firm based in Des Moines, Iowa), Jason is leading efforts to accelerate the engagement between our insurance carrier “Strategic Partners,” our portfolio companies, and the industry at large.

Prior to joining ManchesterStory, he served as Vice President of Innovation for a top-60 carrier that partnered with over two dozen InsurTech companies, invested in nine and was awarded the InnovationLeader award from InnovationIowa, two Best-In-Class Innovation Awards from NAMIC and the Corporate Innovator Award from the Plug and Play Tech Center. Jason also has 10 years of experience working in public policy, including serving as the Assistant Chief Clerk of the Iowa House of Representatives, Executive Director of the Iowa Commission on National & Community Service and as Executive Director of Iowa Citizens for a Sound Economy.

He is currently Co-Chair of the Global Insurance Symposium and has served as Vice Chair of the Global Insurance Accelerator, as a Founder on the Advisory Council of the InsurTech Alliance and on the Board of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

In addition to his professional activities, Jason has been an advocate for the homeless, developing leaders and the arts; serving as Board Chair of Iowa’s largest homeless shelter (Central Iowa Shelter and Services), Chair of the Leadership Iowa Board of Governors and on the Board of Trustees of the Des Moines Art Center.

Aaron Pearce, General Counsel, Continental Western Group

Mr. Pearce currently serves as General Counsel for a number of W. R. Berkley operating units that provide admitted and non-admitted commercial property and casualty insurance products throughout the United States. Those companies include Continental Western Group, Berkley Agribusiness, Berkley North Pacific, Berkley Southeast Insurance Group, Berkley Financial Specialists, and Berkley Crime and Intrepid Direct Insurance. His work and legal practice with these organizations is primarily focused on insurance regulation, employment law, business planning and general corporate practice. Mr. Pearce has been practicing law in the insurance industry for 14 years.

Mr. Pearce is a graduate of Central College (Bachelor of Arts, Social Science), the Ave Maria School of Law (Doctorate of Jurisprudence), and the University of Iowa, Tippie College of Business (Master of Business Administration). He is also the President of the Iowa Insurance Institute and a board member of the Iowa Insurance Guaranty Fund. He is also the 2023 and 2024 Co-Chair of the Global Insurance Symposium held in Des Moines, Iowa.

In recent years Mr. Pearce has been an active supporter of the March of Dimes, JDRF, and the Dallas Center-Grimes, Iowa, high school football program as an assistant football coach.

Mr. Pearce is located with Continental Western Group and Berkley Agribusiness in the Berkley office in Urbandale, Iowa.

In his free time, he enjoys politics, reading, working out, playing golf and cooking.

2023 Planning Committee

Jay Byers – Greater Des Moines Partnership
Brett Clausen – Farm Bureau Financial Services
Kevin Croft – Drake University
Michael Gould – Iowa Economic Development Authority
Beth Honnold – ITA Group, Inc.
Dan Israel – Global Insurance Accelerator
Jesse Linebaugh – Faegre Drinker
Chance McElhaney – Iowa Insurance Division
Melissa Moyer – Greater Des Moines Partnership
Tom O’Meara
Doug Ommen – Iowa Insurance Division
Rahul Parsa – Iowa State University
Julie Pearce – American Enterprise
Eden Pearson – Nationwide
Susie Prue – ITA Group, Inc.
Andy Schafer – Principal Financial Group
Jolene Schurman – Iowa Insurance Division
Mike Swesey – Greater Des Moines Partnership
Terri Vaughan – Vaughan Institute of Risk Management
Christian Walk – Global Atlantic
Scott Whitaker – Perr Knight