2023 Speakers

Check back often to learn more about our speakers.

Wendi Bukowitz

Wendi is Vice President, Director of Strategic Innovation at Cincinnati Insurance, a national carrier that offers business, personal and life insurance products through independent agents. Previously, Wendi established an Innovation Lab for Munich Re’s US P&C Operations. She held pioneering roles in innovation as the Head of Innovation for a predecessor company of Willis Towers Watson and as founder of a boutique innovation strategy firm serving customers such as QBE, Xerox and PwC. She has an MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Religion from Duke University.

Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark joined the Iowa Insurance Division in 2020 and currently serves as the Division’s Chief Accounting Specialist. His responsibilities include providing accounting, reinsurance and investment expertise to the financial regulation functions of the Division. He also represents Iowa on related National Association of Insurance Commissioners working groups including as Vice Chair of the Statutory Accounting Principles Working Group. Prior to joining the Division, Mr. Clark was a Director of Accounting Policy at Athene Holding, Ltd, where his experience spanned both GAAP and statutory accounting, with specialization in investments, reinsurance and insurance liability accounting. He also previously worked as an auditor with Deloitte.

Mr. Clark is a Certified Public Accountant and has a BA in Accounting from the University of Northern Iowa.

Mike Consedine

Michael F. Consedine serves as the NAIC's Chief Executive Officer. As CEO, he principally focuses on strategic planning, policy development and implementation in the areas of state, federal and international affairs and relations. He advocates for NAIC members and represents their interests before federal and international policymakers, state government associations, and consumer and industry groups. Consedine is also responsible for management of the NAIC’s Executive Office and staff.

Consedine currently serves as an Executive Committee Member on the IAIS and speaks frequently on both domestic and international insurance matters. He is also on the advisory board for Plug and Play Tech Center and is very involved in both insuretech and fintech issues.

Before joining the NAIC in January 2017, Consedine served as the Global Head of Government and Policy Affairs at Aegon, one of the world's largest financial services companies with operations in 20 countries serving more than 30 million customers. At Aegon he led government relations in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Concurrently, Consedine was Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, and Executive Director of Government Affairs of Aegon’s U.S. subsidiary, Transamerica. In this role, he oversaw all aspects of the company's state and federal government relations activities.

Consedine has spent his entire career in the insurance industry as an attorney, regulator and executive. Most notably, he served as the Insurance Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 2011 to 2015. While Commissioner, he was elected by his peers to serve as an officer of the NAIC as Secretary-Treasurer, Vice President and President-Elect. He served on a number of NAIC committees focused on both international and domestic matters, including as Chair of the International Insurance Relations (G) Committee, the Reinsurance (E) Task Force and the Health Care Reform Alternatives Working Group. In November 2011, the U.S. Treasury Department named him as one of the first members of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, which advises the Federal Insurance Office on domestic and international policy. Consedine acted as the NAIC's representative to the U.S.-EU Insurance Dialogue Steering Committee, which was tasked with resolving mutual recognition/equivalency between the two biggest markets in the world. He was also active in the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), where he served on their Executive Committee.

Earlier in his career, Consedine was a Partner at Saul Ewing LLP and was Vice-Chair of its Insurance Practice Group.

Jim Donelon

Jim Donelon has served as Commissioner of Insurance for the state of Louisiana for more than 15 years. He was first appointed as Insurance Commissioner in February 2006 when the seat was vacated by the incumbent. He was later elected to fill the unexpired term in 2006 and has been re-elected to four consecutive full terms in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.  His current term will expire in 2023.

A native of New Orleans, Jim graduated from Jesuit High School, the University of New Orleans and Loyola School of Law.

Prior to becoming Commissioner of Insurance, Jim served in several leadership positions within the Department of Insurance including as Chief Deputy Commissioner and Executive Counsel.

Jim was elected as the President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) in 2013 and currently serves as Chairman of the Surplus Lines Task Force of the NAIC and on its Executive Committee.

Jim has served the state of Louisiana for decades. He was first elected to public office in 1975 as Chairman of the Jefferson Parish Council. He also served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1981-2001, where he served as Chairman of the Committee on Insurance.

His public service career also includes 33 years in the Louisiana Army National Guard where he retired with the rank of Colonel and received the prestigious Legion of Merit medal. Jim serves on the Board of Directors for the Blood Center for Southeast Louisiana.

Jim and his wife Merilynn reside in Jefferson Parish. They are the parents of four daughters and grandparents of eight grandchildren.

Eric Dunning

Governor Jim Pillen appointed Eric Dunning Director of Insurance effective January 5, 2023. Prior to his appointment, Eric served as Director of Insurance, and before that as the director of government affairs at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. He has over 15 years of experience as an attorney for the Department of Insurance, having advised the agency leadership on legal matters pertaining to insurance regulation from 1998 to 2013. His professional career began as an attorney for the Colorado General Assembly. 

Eric earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and he holds a juris doctor from the University of Notre Dame Law School. Eric currently serves as Treasurer of the Nebraskaland Foundation. 

In his spare time, Eric enjoys spending time on his family’s place in Wheeler County, Nebraska. He is happily married with two children. 

Lard Friese

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 an extensive experience in the areas of insurance, investment management, customer centricity, mergers & acquisitions, and business transformation.

Lard Friese 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.

Will Fuller

Throughout Will Fuller’s nearly 30-year career in financial services, he has worked relentlessly to help consumers and their families achieve a lifetime of financial security. Whether he’s serving in senior leadership roles or engaging in industry-wide advocacy efforts, Will is passionate about meaningful work that makes a difference in people’s lives.

Will was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Transamerica Corporation in March 2021. Transamerica is one of the nation’s largest insurers, with millions of customers throughout the United States and Canada, and approximately $500 billion in assets across its core businesses of life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, asset management, and employee benefits.

Alongside the Transamerica senior leadership team, Will is driving the company’s strategic and financial transformation. He is also chairman of the Americas Management Board, and a member of the Transamerica Corporation Board of Directors and the Management Board of Aegon N.V., Transamerica’s parent company.

Prior to joining Transamerica, Will served in senior leadership roles for Lincoln Financial Group and Merrill Lynch.

Throughout his career, he has been actively engaged in the financial services industry, most recently in the formation of the Alliance for Lifetime Income and serving as chairman of the Operating Committee. He is a member of the Board of the American Council of Life Insurers and formerly served as board member of LL Global, Inc. (LIMRA/LOMA), Forum for Investor Advice, Money Management Institute, and Insured Retirement Institute—which honored him with its 2019 Industry Champion of Financial Security Award as well as its 2014 Leadership Award. These honors reflect his commitment to improving retirement security through advocacy, communication, and education that helps Americans plan for a meaningful retirement.

Will is a graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business and finance.

His favorite way to learn is through experiences, like traveling and learning about different cultures. Will lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He relishes time spent with his daughters and being outdoors.

Peter Gailliot

Peter Gailliot, Managing Director, is the Global CIO of the Financial Institutions Group (FIG) and Head of Fixed Income FIG Portfolio Management. He is responsible for portfolio performance, strategic positioning, and customized solution creation across the full FIG platform at BlackRock.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Gailliot was Head of US Fixed Income for FIG within BlackRock's Global Fixed Income team. In this role he was responsible for setting the group's Multi-Sector Total Return strategies, as well as managing client portfolios as a Senior Portfolio Manager. Mr. Gailliot joined BlackRock in 2004 in the Institutional Client Business Group and was responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with insurance and other taxable clients.

Mr. Gailliot began his career in 2002 as an Internal Wholesaler on the AXA Distributors Annuity Sales Desk at AXA Financial.

Mr. Gailliot earned a BA degree in economics from Duke University in 2002. 

Lisa Gobber

Lisa Gobber started her career with Nationwide in 1990 in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has extensive underwriting leadership experience in regional operations, which includes serving as Associate Vice President of Underwriting and Product in Lincoln, Nebraska, Des Moines, Iowa, and Gainesville, Florida. In January 2010, Lisa was named the Regional Vice President in Gainesville, where she led SERO through continued change and coastal management activities. In December 2012, Lisa took the Vice President of Middle Market Commercial role, building out Middle Market Commercial Strategies & Capabilities for Nationwide with her team. In September 2016, she was named Vice President of Small Commercial Insurance & Premium Audit with operational oversight of 500 plus associates and almost $2 billion in Small Business insurance premium nationally. In October 2019, Lisa transitioned to lead PL National Sales and Distribution for Property and Casualty, including the Nationwide Sales Solutions Direct Agency. Today, Lisa leads Personal Lines Alternative Direct Distribution and is accountable for a nearly $1B division made up of PL direct to consumer and Alternative Distribution independent agent business.

Lisa holds her CIC designation and is an active community member. She is an alum of the Des Moines Business Record "Forty Under 40" and has been involved with United Way in Gainesville and Des Moines. Lisa currently serves on the Des Moines Performing Arts Board and chairs the Assets Committee. Lisa received the All Women ARG 10th Anniversary Excellence in Mentoring and Professional Development Award in 2019. In 2020, she transitioned into the Executive Sponsor in Des Moines for the Women Empowered Associate Resource Group as well as the Midwest & Iowa Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Business Unit Council. Lisa volunteers her time by mentoring and supporting professional development in many ways. Lisa is married with two children—her husband, son, and daughter-in-law are involved in the family farm in S.E. Nebraska, and her daughter is a junior at Iowa State University.

Jason Gross

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.

Beverly Harris

Beverly Harris is the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Product at Texas Mutual Insurance Company. She has nearly two decades of experience analyzing and influencing operations, developing budgets and business plans, and recommending adjustments to ensure success. Beverly harnesses the power of research and data to develop strategy and uses storytelling to foster organizational buy-in of strategic plans. She is passionate about innovation and strategic thinking and helping leaders prepare for known and unknown challenges of the future. Beverly is also passionate about supporting leaders in growing to become the best version of themselves.

Christine Holmes


  • Senior Audit Partner specializing in Global Insurance, Insurance Services, Asset Management
  • Joined EY 1988, Partner 2002
  • United Way of Central Iowa Board Member (Audit Committee); NC State Poole College of Management Advisory Board Member and past Chair; NC State Investment Fund Board Member and Audit Committee Chair; NC State Foundation Board Member
  • Education – Bachelor of Arts, Accounting, North Carolina State University

Professional experience

  • Christine has over 30 years of auditing experience, all of which have been with EY serving the insurance and asset management industries, including life and annuity, reinsurance, broker dealers, mutual funds
  • Control and Methodology Leader for the US Financial Services Practice 2013 – 2019
  • Capital Markets Partner assisting European companies access the US capital markets 2008 – 2012
  • Two international rotations: Japan and The Netherlands
  • Current and prior client responsibilities include: Principal Financial Group, American Enterprise Group, Aon, Aegon/Transamerica, Lincoln/Jefferson Pilot, ING

John Huff

John Huff is President & CEO of the Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR). He directs the association’s worldwide public policy, regulatory, advocacy and education initiatives.

In 2021, he was named to the Bermuda Risk Transfer Hall of Fame and was recently elected to serve as Chair of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA) AML/CTF Working Group. Huff has spent his entire professional career in the Insurance sector.

He served as the 2016 President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the nation’s chief insurance regulators, and as Director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, a position he held for eight years.

In 2010, he was the first state insurance commissioner appointed to serve on the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Prior to entering public service, Huff served in executive positions with leading global insurers and reinsurers in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Huff earned his JD from Washington University School of Law and holds an MBA from St. Louis University and a BSBA from Southeast Missouri State University. He previously served as an adjunct professor of insurance law at both Washington University and St. Louis University.

Bruce Hentschel

Bruce Hentschel, Vice President of Enterprise Strategy and Innovation with Principal Financial Group, is responsible for leading the corporate planning process, working directly with the board of directors, executive management team and business leaders to advance the corporate vision and develop and execute plans to evolve strategy across the enterprise. This includes sourcing potential engagements with emerging companies and entrepreneurs around the globe for innovative solutions that help execute our strategy, differentiate in the market, and serve customers. 

Bruce has more than 35 years of experience serving the insurance and financial services industry, leading strategy and innovation functions for Principal’s businesses in the United States before also assuming responsibilities in early 2019 to address the needs of the organization worldwide. 

Bruce earned his bachelor’s degree of science from the University of Wisconsin and has continued his commitment to education through numerous trade organizations and industry associations. Serving on numerous industry committees, councils and boards, he is a recognized resource for speaking engagements, thought leadership, and publications.

Pat Hughes

Pat Hughes is a strategic adviser, public policy advocate and regulatory attorney for insurance industry clients across all product lines and services. Clients turn to Pat when important regulatory, legislative and policy matters in various arenas—state and federal agencies, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), legislatures and international regulatory bodies—create challenges or opportunities for their businesses. He leverages a dynamic, multi-jurisdictional team that is able to deploy proactive national and local regulatory and public policy strategies where clients’ needs are most complex and significant.

Pat served 10 years as a senior regulator and attorney with the State of Illinois. His experience includes:

  • General Counsel to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which then included the Division of Insurance.
  • Chief Legal Counsel to the Office of the Governor, where he oversaw regulatory affairs and directed legal representation for 45 executive branch agencies and several hundred attorneys and outside counsel.
  • Special Deputy Receiver and CEO with the Office of the Special Deputy, administering the receiverships of 47 companies in liquidation, rehabilitation, and conservation.
  • NAIC leader, chairing NAIC working groups on critical issues, including Dodd-Frank implementation and complex receivership oversight.

Mike Kreidler

Mike Kreidler is Washington’s eighth insurance commissioner. A former member of Congress, he was first elected as insurance commissioner in 2000. He was re-elected to a sixth term in 2020.

A doctor of optometry with a master's degree in public health from UCLA, Kreidler practiced at the former Group Health Cooperative in Olympia for 20 years. He served 16 years in the Washington State Legislature. In addition, he was the regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a member of the Northwest Power Planning Council. 

He retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Army Reserves with 20 years of service.

Kreidler is a staunch advocate for consumer protection and known as a fair and balanced regulator. He earned the "Excellence in Consumer Advocacy Award" from consumer advisors to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

From the boardroom of his local school district to the state Legislature and halls of Congress, Kreidler has represented Washingtonians for nearly 50 years.

Doney Largey

Doney Largey is Chief Executive Officer of Everlake Life Insurance Company, an Illinois-based insurance company specializing in life insurance and annuities that was was established through the purchase of Allstate Life Insurance Company and Allstate Assurance Company by entities managed by Blackstone in November 2021. Prior to Everlake, Mr. Largey served as Blackstone’s Managing Director and Head of Transformation, where he focused on working to identify opportunities and drive efforts to optimize the effectiveness and the efficiency of cross-functional processes. Mr. Largey has significant senior leadership experience in a number of prior insurance leadership roles, including at AIG, where he was the Chief Operating Officer for Finance and the Chief Finance Transformation Officer. Prior to AIG, Mr. Largey was Executive Vice President—Global Operations and Reengineering at ACE Group and Executive Vice President—Finance and Accounting Center of Excellence at EXL Services.

Mr. Largey received a BS in Accounting from Wake Forest University.

Andrew Mais

Andrew N. Mais was nominated by Governor Ned Lamont to be Connecticut’s 33rd Insurance Commissioner. Mais was elected as Vice President and serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners beginning January 1, 2022. He currently serves on the International Relations, Property & Casualty, and Financial Regulation Standards committees. He also serves on the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) Macroprudential and Executive Committees. The IAIS is the international standard-setting body responsible for developing and assisting in the supervision of the insurance sector.

Mais has led discussions in several forums on race, diversity, and inclusion at the state level and within the insurance industry and in insurance practices. He has also joined the efforts led by Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz to address social inequities in Connecticut, including the Council on Women and Girls and cultural competency initiatives.

Mais is also a member of the NAIC’s Special Executive Committee on Race and Insurance, charged with conducting research and analyzing issues of diversity and inclusion within the insurance sector.
Mais previously was a member of Deloitte’s Center for Financial Services, providing industry-leading thought leadership and insight on U.S. and international regulatory affairs.

Prior to that, he was a Director at the New York State Insurance Department. There, he served four governors as part of the Department’s senior leadership team through numerous events including the financial crisis of 2008 and major state and federal changes in health insurance regulations and laws.

Even outside the government, Mais dedicated much of his life to public service. He most recently served as chair of the Council on Ethics for the town of Wilton, CT, where he lives. Other recent service includes the Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk; the American Red Cross; the Board of Finance of the Town of Wilton; and the Rotary Club of Wilton.

Basil Morris

Basil Morris is senior vice president and chief strategy officer for The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., a leading property and casualty insurance carrier. In this role, he is responsible for leading the company’s corporate strategy development, with an emphasis on enhancing its long-term strategic vision and accelerating exploration of new opportunities for profitable growth and business transformation. He also serves as executive sponsor of The Hanover’s inclusion, diversity and equity council. 

A seasoned insurance leader, Basil joined The Hanover as chief strategy officer after 11 years at Nationwide, most recently serving as vice president, corporate strategy for the past eight years, where he was a key thought partner to the president of the $18 billion property and casualty business. Prior to that, he held key roles on The Hanover’s personal lines state management and marketing teams. He also has held leadership roles in consumer banking with Chase and Bank of America, and in management consulting with McKinsey & Company, Inc. 

Basil holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. He has been honored by “Who’s Who in Black Columbus” and Diversity MBA Magazine. Basil serves on the Anna Maria College board of trustees.

A native of New York City, Basil lives in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, with his wife and family.

Susan Neely

Susan K. Neely is President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), whose mission is to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. ACLI’s member companies represent 94 percent of industry assets and provide financial security products and services to 90 million families.

In her role, Neely has forged groundbreaking initiatives and partnerships on tax and retirement security policy, including passage of the SECURE Act in 2019 and SECURE 2.0 in 2022. Under her leadership, ACLI announced the formation of a historic initiative, 360 Community Capital, to exponentially expand the industry’s impact investing capability, beginning with affordable housing to meet the needs of underserved communities.

Neely is widely recognized as one of the most influential people in association leadership. She is a two-time trade association CEO of the year, one of Washingtonian’s “most influential people” and “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington.”

A native of Iowa, Neely holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and French civilization from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University. She is the mother of two adult children, Eve and Ben.

Doug Ommen

Doug Ommen was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad as Insurance Commissioner in January 2017, after serving as Interim Commissioner since December 2016. Ommen has a strong and varied public service background. Ommen’s dedication and desire to serve the public began in seeking justice for victims of fraud in the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, where as an assistant attorney general and then as chief counsel, he led the fight to protect consumers over the course of three decades.

Ommen served as Deputy Insurance Commissioner at the Iowa Insurance Division from August 2013 to December 2016. Ommen also served in the Missouri Department of Insurance during 2005 – 2008, and as Missouri’s Insurance Director was instrumental for several key regulatory reforms.

Ommen obtained his law degree in 1985 from the Saint Louis University School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in both Iowa and Missouri. Ommen and his wife, Sharon, have two married children and four grandchildren.

Aaron Pearce

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.

Samuel Ramos

Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel & Secretary Samuel is General Counsel and Secretary of Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited. He is responsible for Global Atlantic’s Legal, Compliance, Corporate Governance, Regulatory and Government Affairs departments. Prior to Global Atlantic, he worked with numerous businesses in Goldman Sachs’ Securities Division. He also served as law clerk to Judge C. Arlen Beam of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals before joining the New York law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, where he specialized in securities law.

Randa Rawlins

Randa Rawlins currently serves as President and CEO for Shelter Insurance Companies with headquarters in Columbia, MO. The duties and responsibilities she assumed on July 1, 2021, include oversight and operations of Shelter Mutual Insurance Company and its 10 subsidiary and affiliated companies, as well as related benefit plans and the Shelter Foundation. The companies currently operate in 21 states with a premium base of over $2 billion and assets under management of over $6 billion. She joined Shelter’s Board of Directors in July 2018. Her previous positions at Shelter include General Counsel, Secretary, Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President. Rawlins is the first woman to serve as Shelter’s President and CEO.

She is a 1982 graduate of the University Missouri-Columbia Law School and a 1979 graduate of Truman State University. Prior to Shelter, she was in private practice for 20 years in Kansas City, Missouri.

She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. Locally, she currently serves on the Columbia Missouri Airport Advisory Board, the governing boards of the Missouri Innovation Center and the Regional Economic Development Inc.

She manages her family farm in Hale, Missouri, where she grew up and continues as a fifth-generation farmer.

Mark Roth

Mark Roth is the Executive Director of the Federation of Iowa Insurers, the state trade association for Iowa’s life insurance, annuity and financial services industries and health and managed care organizations. Mark is also a partner of the BrownWinick Law based in Des Moines, Iowa, where his practice focuses on trade association management, insurance company regulations and compliance, insurance and pension plans investment funds; and advocacy and campaign finance compliance advising candidates and candidate committees, connected and non-connected PACs, SuperPACs, 527 organizations and advocacy groups on legal compliance matters in state and local elections, including presidential elections, congressional and senatorial races, governor and state offices, in Iowa and other states.

Prior to joining BrownWinick about 20 years ago, Mark served fifteen years in various management positions for an international energy company. Mark received his J.D. from the Drake University and graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and from the University of Chicago with an MBA with a concentration in finance.

Carolyn Sakstrup

Carolyn Sakstrup is executive vice president, chief growth and generosity officer of Thrivent, a Fortune 500 diversified financial services organization. 

In her role, Sakstrup is responsible for building the organization’s brand, delivering an exceptional, integrated client experience, and enhancing generosity offerings. She uses client insights to advance Thrivent’s transformation into a digital-first, holistic financial services organization and will define our generosity strategy to mobilize clients to do good in communities. 

She has extensive experience from her role with Target as senior vice president of Insights, Strategy and Innovation. She led the development of Target’s long-term strategic agenda, consumer insights-driven annual strategic planning processes, and development of the innovation pipeline to support longer-term growth. Before that, she served as senior vice president of marketing where she led the team responsible for launching Target Circle to generate brand loyalty via personalized offerings. In its first year, the Target Circle program grew to more than 80 million members. Prior to her 12 years at Target, Sakstrup spent seven years at McKinsey & Company as a strategy consultant focused on marketing and organizational strategy for clients. 

Sakstrup has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Minnesota and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. She serves as vice chair for the board of the YMCA of the North in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She lives in Hopkins, Minnesota, with her husband, Kai, and their sons.

Bill Suneson

Bill Suneson is the CEO and co-founder of Bindable, the full-stack, tech-enabled solutions provider for alternative insurance distribution. In addition to co-founding Bindable, Suneson is the co-founder and currently serves on the board of GradGuard, the leading digital insurance platform for college students. As CEO of Bindable, Suneson is responsible for implementing the company’s strategic vision as the leader in bespoke insurance solutions via alternative channels.

Leveraging his demonstrated track record of building successful affinity distribution ventures and partnership strategies for Fortune 500 brands, Suneson has pioneered the use of flexible, market-ready insurance solutions like embedded insurance and API-enabled digital choice marketplaces to reach consumers where, when, and how they want to shop for insurance.

Before venturing into the InsurTech space, Suneson served as a senior vice president at JPMorgan Chase, where he was responsible for the distribution of consumer finance products through multiple channels including affinity groups, employers, and retail bank branches.

Suneson previously served as vice president, partnership sales at Affinity Marketing Group (now part of Arthur J. Gallagher), where he led the sales efforts for several leading insurance companies and consumer brands.

Suneson is a past president of the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA), the leading national industry group for sponsored insurance distribution. He also stays active and involved in his community as chair of the South Coast Development Board for My Brother’s Keeper, an organization that provides resources, furniture, and food to families in need in Southeastern Massachusetts. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Marquette University.

Tom Swank

Tom Swank is Chief Executive Officer at American Enterprise Group (AEG). As CEO, Tom’s focus is on helping our customers be well. His primary responsibilities in support of that focus are creating the company’s strategic vision, overseeing the implementation of tactical plans that bring that strategic vision to reality, and working closely with over 400 employees dedicated to making a positive difference in our customers’ lives.

Prior to joining AEG in 2015, Tom served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Aegon Asset Management U.S., an asset management company with approximately $150 billion under management. Previously, Tom was President and Chief Executive Officer of Aegon’s Individual Savings and Retirement division, which markets mutual fund and annuity products nationally under the Transamerica brand. 

Before working at Aegon, Tom spent 17 years with Security Benefit Corporation as President and Chief Operating Officer. He held earlier roles with US West, United Bank of Denver, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Denver. 

Tom holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Miami University of Ohio and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado.

Craig Taylor

With more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, both from a Carrier and Agency Background, a master’s degree in Management and Leadership, and experience holding a Series 6, 63, 26 & 51 as well as his Chartered Leadership Fellow Designation and others. Craig is a great leader and asset to Senior Market Sales®. As Assistant Vice President, Associate Director, Med Solutions, Craig has the experience it takes to promote all of Senior Market Sales® broad portfolio of Med Solutions and Ancillary products, and to provide support, sales solutions, and managerial guidance to many agents and agencies. His knowledge helps put these agents in touch with top National and Regional Carriers that provide superior compensation across these numerous product lines.

Craig enjoys his work at Senior Market Sales very much because working at SMS feels like a family away from home. Our experienced marketers are some of the most knowledgeable and friendly in the industry, making this what he loves most about his job. He also loves working with one of the most technically savvy and advanced companies in the business.

Craig is from Omaha, NE, is married and has two daughters at home and a stepson off at college studying to be a business major. He loves to golf and has a goal to compete in a long drive contest, but don’t ask him to chip or putt.

Bill Wheeler

William J. Wheeleris a Vice Chairman of Athene Holding Ltd. (“Athene”). Previously, he served as President of Athene from 2015 to 2022. Prior to joining Athene, Mr. Wheeler was President of the Americas group for MetLife Inc. (“MetLife”) where he oversaw the insurance and retirement business in the United States and Latin America. Previously, Mr. Wheeler had been Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at MetLife. Prior to joining MetLife, Mr. Wheeler was an investment banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Mr. Wheeler has an AB from Wabash College, where he is a member of the board of trustees, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He currently serves on the boards of Evercore Inc., Venerable Holdings, Inc., and the American Council of Life Insurers. 

Brent Williams

Brent Williams is the founder and CEO of Benekiva, a configurable SaaS technology platform that transforms the end-to-end life claims and servicing experience. He is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations for the company. Brent Williams was a trusted Financial Advisor where he built, grew, and managed a successful Financial Services Practice. He is an experienced Financial Advisor with Life Insurance, Risk Management, and Investment expertise. Brent Williams is a father, speaker, educator, thought leader, and writer with a passion for sharing what he has learned. His mission is to provide innovation in the insurance industry with a "beneficiary first" mindset and digital transformation and claims transformation technology. Brent is passionate about helping organizations think "Beneficiary First" with their processes and customer experiences. Brent’s determination and commitment to innovation, his customer-centric approach, and thoughtful leadership of industry-evolving solutions have earned him the reputation as an industry leader.

Benekiva uses technology to solve specific problems within the life and annuity industry while providing a beautiful customer experience in the form of a 100 percent rules-driven digital claims process. They also offer a customer servicing platform to tackle the day-to-day servicing processes on policies. The customer servicing and claims platform allow these processes to be completed anywhere, anytime, and on any device for the policyholders/beneficiaries, the internal claims/customer servicing staff, Agents/Advisors, and other third parties of the carriers.

Williams brings more than 18 years of experience in insurance and financial services consulting to his position, focusing on digital transformation and the insurance world's disruption through consumer engagement, experience, and technology. He recently accepted mentorship positions at both MIT and Drake University where he will advise and guide VMS students on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Throughout his career, he has always emphasized the importance of building strong relationships and creating a collaborative approach between the software provider/client to ensure project success. He has a proven track record of building and managing driven teams, managing successful vendor relationships, and leading organizations to deliver “WOW” to customers or clients.

Before founding Benekiva, Williams held senior leadership positions and built a successful Financial Advisory Firm. Before working in the financial field, he launched, owned, and operated a series of automotive repair facilities, where he completed successful exits. He served as a police officer and as a college instructor at three separate colleges.

Williams is a graduate of Simpson College, where he received a degree in Business Administration and Management. He held ChFC designation from the American College of Financial Services.

Mike Wolf

Michael Wolf is a global economist at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. He provides written commentary and analysis on global economic issues that affect the firm and its clients. He has been quoted by various media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and NPR. Michael began his career as an economist at the U.S. Labor Department and has since held economist positions at Moody’s Analytics, Wells Fargo Securities, and PwC. He has two graduate degrees, one in economic policy from Columbia University, and the other in statistics from Baruch College. Michael also has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland.

Ross Zilber

Ross Zilber is the Chief Actuary for Transamerica. He leads a team of 190+ employees consisting of actuaries, actuarial students, actuarial technicians, and risk analysts. His groups are responsible for Life, Health, Fixed Annuity/Pension and VA Valuation, IFRS 17, Actuarial Integrity, and Appointed Actuary. Previously, Ross spent 10 years at John Hancock where he was most recently the company’s Chief Actuary. In that position, he led the teams dedicated to Modeling, Experience Analysis and Assumptions, IFRS Financial Reporting and IFRS 17 Implementation. Before his time at John Hancock, Ross held roles in Asset Liability Management and Pricing & Product Development at Sun Life. Previously, he worked at AVIVA and Aetna.

Ross graduated from Yeshiva University in New York City with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He holds Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, Member of the American Academy of Actuaries and Chartered Financial Analyst designations, among others.

Ross lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children.