Agency Checklists’ look at the latest hiring news as well as the awards and accolades achieved this week from both in and around the Massachusetts insurance industry…
Appointment – Narragansett Bay Insurance Company
Glen Tiziani Named Senior Vice President of Sales & Distribution for Narragansett Bay Insurance Company
Glen Tiziani has been named Senior Vice President of Sales & Distribution for Narragansett Bay Insurance Company (“NBIC”) effective May 21, 2018. Mr. Tiziani will be responsible for profitably growing NBIC’s distribution and agency relationships. Additionally, he will manage a team of field managers and oversee all sales activities, agency marketing support, communications and training.
Mr. Tiziani has nearly 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, working in underwriting, sales, and sales management. He has worked on both the agency and carrier sides, and has extensive experience working with independent agencies and brokers. He most recently served as Sales Regional Vice President for American Modern Insurance Group. There he managed the eastern United States sales operations and was responsible for providing strategic direction and driving sales growth across a 17-state region, representing $300 million in premium. Mr. Tiziani’s previous work experience includes serving as a Regional Insurance Manager for AAA Allied Group, Inc., and as a Senior Sales Professional at SAFECO Insurance Company.
“We are pleased to welcome Glen to the NBIC leadership team,” said Tim Moura, President of Narragansett Bay Insurance Company. “Glen’s experience managing field sales operations, agency relationships and revenue growth positions him as the ideal fit to help NBIC grow and expand in the coming years.”
Mr. Tiziani received his Bachelor’s degree from University of Connecticut. He achieved the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) professional designations and has been recognized on numerous occasions for his sales acumen. Mr. Tiziani resides in Colchester, Connecticut with his wife and two sons.
Appointment – Insurance Center of New England
ICNE Welcomes New Chief Financial Officer, Lori A. Slezek, To Our Leadership
ICNE, Insurance Center of New England, is pleased to announce that Lori A. Slezek has joined our Leadership Team in the key role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
As CFO, Slezek will report directly to William Trudeau, President and CEO, and will oversee accounting, human resources, IT, and financial planning and analysis as well as assist with any of the company’s future acquisitions.
“I am thrilled to be part of such a talented team and I am committed to helping ICNE continue to grow profitably,” says Slezek. “I look forward to providing financial planning and analysis support to the entire management team and continuing to ensure that ICNE remains a premiere employer in the region.”
Prior to arriving at ICNE, Slezek was the Director of Finance and Administration at the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, a private non-profit organization in Wethersfield, CT, where she was in charge of annual budgeting, writing critical policies and procedures, implementing employee motivational programs, streamlining the hiring process, and adding employee benefits that would attract the most qualified individuals. During her time at The Partnership, Slezek was instrumental in securing $2.5 million in public and private funding through her grant management activities and leading a significant conversion of the company’s software to QuickBooks.
“We feel very lucky to have Lori join our team,” says Trudeau. “With over 20 years of experience in finance, human resources, information technology and operations, she will be an enormous asset to ICNE as we look to continually innovate, improve and advance as a company to better serve the needs of our clients.”
In addition to her work with The Partnership, Slezek served as Director of Administration and Finance for the Mental Health Association of Springfield, MA. However, while she has exceptional experience in the non-profit industry, it is in the insurance world that her real passion lies.
Slezek has served in a variety of financial roles for local insurance carriers and agents, including Statutory Financial Analyst for Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC), a workers’ compensation carrier, in Portland, ME; Chief Operations Officer for FieldEddy, Inc., an independent insurance agency in East Longmeadow, MA; and Chief Financial Officer/Vice President of Administration, for Dowd Insurance Agency, an independent insurance agency in Holyoke, MA.
“The insurance industry is an extremely exciting and challenging environment to work in,” explains Slezek. “The marketplace is constantly changing, so companies like ICNE have to be ready to adapt quickly. It gives me great satisfaction to have the opportunity to support this team as they stay on top of industry trends and educate their clients on how best to protect themselves and their assets.”
Slezek received an MBA from Western New England University and a BS in Business Administration from Westfield State University. She holds both a Massachusetts and Maine Producers License in property/casualty and life/health and is also a Graduate of the Leadership Holyoke Program.
Having grown up in Westhampton, MA, and now living in Southampton, MA with her husband and two daughters, Slezek personally understands how crucial it is to be committed to the community. She says, “It is a great feeling to work for a company that believes in creating long-term relationships with all clients and to be part of a team that will be there for their neighbors
Appointment – XS Brokers
XS Brokers Expands in Mid-Atlantic Region Hires Jessica Holzinger as Assistant Vice President
XS Brokers (XSB), a leading independent insurance underwriting and wholesale brokerage group, announced the hiring of Jessica Holzinger as Assistant Vice President. This recognizes the continued growth and expansion of XS Brokers throughout the East Coast due to an increased demand for their expertise and services.
As Assistant Vice President, Jess will create and develop business opportunities for XS Brokers focusing on the Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic region. Her responsibilities will include underwriting/brokering business and strategic staff recruitment. Jess brings 13 years of production underwriting and leadership experience to the firm and numerous insurance professional designations, recognizing her dedication to the industry.
“Jess’s professionalism and energy are key elements to continuing our growth in this region,” stated Eric Wirkus, Executive Vice President, XS Brokers. “Jess will make an excellent addition to our Philadelphia area team, spearheaded by Alan Dudkiewicz, VP, who has been successfully introducing XS Brokers to this region for the past two years. Together, they will continue to achieve the development of sustainable/profitable books of commercial and personal lines business for XSB in this area.”
Award – Kaplansky Insurance Agencies
MAIA Renews Kaplansky Insurance Agencies Five Star Designation
The Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents is proud to announce that Kaplansky Insurance Agencies of Bradford, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Concord, Fairhaven, Framingham, Marlboro, Maynard, Milford, Needham, North Chelmsford, Truro, and Weymouth, MA has renewed their Five Star Agency Designation. They have been a Five Star Agency since 2001 and continue to demonstrate excellence in the five imperatives associated with the designation: Customer Focus, Management/Leadership, Human Resource, Product & Process and Future Success Initiatives.
“It is hard to continue to grow at the rate that the Kaplansky Insurance Agencies has grown and continue to achieve the same level of excellence that they have had. Through good planning, teamwork, and a bit of hard work and determination Kaplansky Insurance Agencies has been able to do just that. Not only does a large number of strengths exist throughout the agency, it also has a culture that is instilled among all staff to continuously look at ways to become better. They are a great agency focusing on what matters – their customers, company partners, and each other. It is without reservation that we continue to award Kaplansky Insurance Agencies the Five Star Agency Designation.” stated Heather Kramer, review team member and Vice President and COO of MAIA.
MAIA awards the Five Star Agency Designation to independent agencies that go through a vigorous review based on key criteria that affect an insurance agency and how it operates. Upon earning a qualifying score, an agency becomes a Five Star Agency Designee and must go through an intensive review process every 3 years to again prove that they continue to provide superior service, knowledge and value. It is a very select group that has attained this designation.
Award – Vermont Mutual
Vermont Mutual Receives Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business Award
Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce announced on Thursday, May 24, that Vermont Mutual Insurance Group has been named the winner of the prestigious Deane C Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award. The announcement was made during Vermont Business Magazine’s Best of Business Awards at the Vermont Chamber Business Expo 2018.
Presented by Governor Phil Scott, the award honors a Vermont business that demonstrates an outstanding history of sustained growth while displaying an awareness of what makes Vermont special.
Dan Bridge, Vermont Mutual’s president and CEO said “We could not be more grateful to be named the Deane C Davis Outstanding Business of the Year. It is, without question, an honor to stand alongside the other notable Vermont companies that have received this prestigious award in prior years.” Bridge continued “The recognition means a great deal to our organization and we could not have earned it without the incredible teamwork and dedication of everyone at Vermont Mutual.”
Year over year, Vermont Mutual has consistently demonstrated exceptional growth, producing over $66 million in new business in the past year alone as well as increasing the company’s employee count by 24% over the past five years. As well, in 2017, Ward Group®, the industry’s premiere rating agency, named Vermont Mutual one of the top 50 property & casualty insurers in the nation, an honor Vermont Mutual has received for the past nine consecutive years. In addition, through its Charitable Giving Fund, Vermont Mutual has contributed more than $300,000 to worthy, non-profit organizations that directly help their local communities.
“We are very proud to be named the Deane C Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the year” remarked Vermont Mutual’s Executive Vice President and COO, Mark McDonnell. “Without question it speaks to the exceptional commitment of our employees and the positive and productive relationship we enjoy with our independent agent partners.”
Along with Governor Phil Scott, the Best of Business Awards presenters included VBM Publisher John Boutin and Vermont Chamber President Betsy Bishop.
“We are proud to have Vermont Mutual Insurance Group as the recipient of the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award,” said John Boutin, publisher of Vermont Business Magazine. “They truly are deserving of this honor.”
Vermont Business Magazine is the state’s most respected business publication. Since 1972, Vermont Business Magazine has published statewide business news, economic and political news and commentary, business and individual profiles, data, analysis and statistics.
The Vermont Chamber is the largest statewide, private, not-for-profit business organization, they represent every sector of the state’s business community. Its mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and the preservation of the Vermont quality of life.
Scholarship Opportunity – DEADLINE TODAY
Reminder – The Ruth E. Roberts Scholarship Award
The Essex Chapter of The Massachusetts Association of Insurance Women is now accepting applications for its 2018 Ruth E. Roberts Scholarship Award. The $500 Scholarship is awarded to an individual for use as a college scholarship or as a reimbursement for those with a passing grade for a licensing course and/or exam of an insurance designation course.
To be eligible applicants must be either in the insurance industry or a family member of someone who is employed in the insurance industry planning on attending college, or attending a higher education/trade school, acquiring a new insurance designation or acquiring a new insurance or work related license.
The submission deadline for this year’s scholarship is May 31, 2018. Applications may be obtained from Scholarship Chair:
41 Pine Street, #43
Peabody, MA 01960
or by emailing her at: MARILYN.MICHALAK@COMCAST.NET
Scholarship Opportunity – Deadline August 1st
Reminder – The Frances R. Soderberg Scholarship
Soderberg Insurance Services, Inc. is offering an educational scholarship dedicated in memory of the agency’s co-founder Frances Soderberg. Frances was an active member of the North Shore community for over 50 years. In addition to her commitment to her family, she dedicated her life to improving the lives of those with special needs.
Her youngest daughter Karen was born with Down’s Syndrome. Mrs. Soderberg was instrumental in the integration of recreational and educational programs for children and young adults who are mentally disabled. The co-founder coordinated an instructional tennis program that ran for fifteen years. Mrs. Soderberg, along with the assistance of the special needs participants and North Shore community, organized an annual fundraiser for 25 consecutive years to raise money for the recreational, educational, and social programs for the special needs young adults.
The Frances R. Soderberg Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to an individual who shares her same passion to help those with special needs. This scholarship will be awarded to a current college student, or college bound student who shares her commitment for education of individuals with disabilities and improving their overall quality of life. Mrs. Soderberg believed that integration of the handicapped in society is beneficial to all. When a community embraces the disabled, the community evolves into a more passionate, caring place for all residents.
Preferential consideration will be given to North Shore residents. This resident must be a student pursuing a degree or other higher education/vocational career that will help those with disabilities. The selection committee would also like to see evidence of the student’s involvement with the special needs community. Whether it is in a hospital, school, or community event, the selection committee seeks evidence of the applicant’s commitment to this important line of work.
To be considered for the scholarship, please send a personal statement, including personal and professional goals to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be accepted through August 1st. The award will be made in September 2018.
Kathryn Soderberg, CPCU