A weekly round-up of the latest news involving promotions, appointments, awards, accolades any other accomplishments of interest to the Massachusetts insurance industry…
Promotions & Appointments
Matt Masiello Promoted to Chief Executive Officer of SIAA
A changing of the guard has been announced at SIAA, the agency alliance located in New Hampshire. In a company announcement, SIAA Founder and Chairman, Jim Masiello, announced his successor stating, “Matt Masiello is the Chief Executive Officer of SIAA effective December 1, 2018. I am pleased and proud to announce this significant move as Matt has proven to be an effective and productive leader who will ensure the continued success of our organization now and in the future.”
Jim Masiello will remain actively involved with the organization as Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer.
“It’s a natural evolution for us at this point in time. As we continue to reiterate to our member agencies that they must evolve or become irrelevant, the same is true for SIAA – and Matt’s move into the CEO role reflects our commitment to progress as a partner for our Master Agencies, Member Agencies, and Strategic Partner Companies,” stated Masiello.
Matt Masiello currently holds the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SIAA and has maintained responsibility for operational management of the largest alliance of independent insurance agencies in the United States and its related companies since 2011. His tenure with SIAA started in 1995 (the same year SIAA was established).
Matt will continue to hold the position of Chief Executive Officer of SAN Group, SIAA’s original and largest Master Agency (of which he has been a part for 25 years). He was formerly the CEO of Masiello Insurance Agency, Inc., the founding independent insurance agency of SAN Group.
A frequent contributor to many industry publications, Matt has authored articles for Insurance Journal, Best’s Review, PropertyCasualty360, National Underwriter Magazine, PIA Magazine, and The Standard.
He was also named to Insurance Business America’s Hot 100 in 2016 – a list of influencers, innovators, and game-changers in America’s insurance industry.
Matt resides on the seacoast of New Hampshire with his wife and three sons.
Jeff Holmes Promoted to Chief Operating Officer of SIAA
In addition to Mr. Masiello’s appointment, SIAA also announced this month that Jeff Holmes will be promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer of the alliance.
“Jeff Holmes has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SIAA, effective January 1, 2019. Jeff has strengthened our Agency Foundation and Development Services nationally, working to build a model for all SIAA master agencies. I am confident he will bring the same level of leadership and expertise to our overall daily operations, with a focus on helping our member agencies to succeed.”
In his new role, Holmes will report directly to Mr. Masiello. Mr. Holmes started with SIAA in 2013.
“As our alliance has grown significantly in the last several years, this is a natural transition. We have seen the impact of Jeff’s decisions and guidance and know he will provide a unique insight for integrating SIAA resources to help our member agents grow, in addition to enhancing our position as the proven distribution channel for our strategic partner companies.”
According to Mr. Masiello, Mr. Holmes will work with executive management to ensure that SIAA is positioned to meet the overall needs of internal and external customers – continually evaluating, developing and executing plans and projects needed to achieve business goals. Working closely with all stakeholders, he will help align staffing and strategies for success while maintaining the quality and efficiencies of SIAA.
Since joining SIAA and SAN Group, Mr. Holmes has been instrumental in the national rollout of SIAA’s agency development program, currently oversees SAN Group’s AccessPlus operation, and has provided extensive mentoring for agents and staff. He is a senior insurance professional with over 21 years of management, marketing, underwriting, training, sales, claims management and risk evaluation experience.
Mr. Holmes and his wife reside in southern New Hampshire.
Arbella Names Mark Wheeler Director of Personal Lines Underwriting
The Arbella Insurance Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Wheeler to the position of director of personal lines underwriting. Wheeler will oversee the underwriting teams for both Massachusetts and Connecticut and will report to Jim Hyatt, senior vice president of personal lines.
“Mark brings an outstanding blend of skills and experiences to this new position,” said Hyatt. “His career has spanned both personal lines underwriting and product management roles which makes him uniquely qualified to lead our underwriting teams. Additionally, he has deep experience in delivering ease of doing business improvements in auto, home, dwelling fire and umbrella insurance for our partner agents. We are thrilled to have Mark in this new role.”
Wheeler joined Arbella in 2001 as a business analyst in personal lines research and development and was promoted to a team manager position in 2005. In 2010, Wheeler became a manager in personal lines underwriting and was elevated to his current role of manager of personal lines product in 2013. In those positions, Wheeler became a critical contributor in all of Arbella’s major product and underwriting initiatives. Prior to joining the company, Wheeler held personal lines underwriting positions with The Hartford and Travelers Insurance.
A resident of Norton MA, Wheeler earned his Bachelor of Science in Management at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and his Master of Science Business Administration at San Diego State University. Wheeler also holds a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation from The Institutes Risk & Insurance Knowledge Group
Boston Mutual Life Insurance Appoints Christine Williams as Second VP – Chief Compliance, Privacy & Anti-Money Laundering Officer
Brings Extensive Experience in Compliance and Regulatory Risk Management to National Life Insurance Carrier
Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company has announced the appointment of Christine Williams as Second Vice President – Chief Compliance, Privacy, and Anti-Money Laundering Officer. In her new role, Ms. Williams will be responsible for fostering a fully compliant environment at Boston Mutual, including interfacing with state and federal regulators.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Christine to Boston Mutual to oversee our compliance and privacy strategies,” said Grant Ward, Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary at Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company. “The depth of her experience, particularly her compliance expertise and understanding of the various industry regulations, will be a terrific asset for our company.”
Most recently, Ms. Williams was the AML and Compliance Officer at Matrix Venture Capital. Previously, she served as Assistant Vice President, Compliance, at Global Atlantic Financial Group. She held various positions at Aviva USA, including Director, Compliance; Director, Operational and Regulatory Risk; Senior Risk Analyst; and Market Conduct Analyst, as well as Manager, Licensing & Commissions. She began her career at Sun Life Financial.
Ms. Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in psychology from Fitchburg State College, and a master’s degree in business administration with concentrations in leadership and entrepreneurship from Walden University.
She is a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS). She holds an Associate Customer Service (ACS) designation from Life Office Management Association (LOMA), as well as a Sanctions Compliance Certificate. Ms. Williams has been a member of the Risk Insurance Management Society (RIMS) and the Society of Insurance Licensing Administrators (SILA). She is also a notary public in Massachusetts.
Awards, Accolades & Other Accomplishments
Arbella’s 10th Annual “Pink Day” Raises More than $50,000 for Cancer Screening
Arbella employees team up with the Arbella Insurance Foundation for day-long fundraiser to benefit Dana-Farber’s Community Benefits Program
October 16 marked the tenth annual Pink Day in which Arbella employees joined forces with the Arbella Insurance Foundation to raise funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The more than $25,000 funds raised by Arbella employees supports cancer screenings and education for medically underserved populations. Those funds were matched by the Arbella Insurance Foundation for a total donation of more than $50,000.
During the all-day fundraiser, Arbella employees wore pink to work, purchased Dana-Farber bracelets, donated money to dress casually, and contributed to and participated in departmental gift basket drawings. This year, employee contributions will support cancer screening for men and women including Dana-Farber’s Blum Family Resource Center Van community visits in 2019, as well as, Dana-Farber’s Mammography Van stops. To date, Pink Day has raised more than $322,000 for cancer awareness and screening.
“It is truly a testament to our dedicated and passionate employees that we are now celebrating our tenth Pink Day,” said John Donohue, chairman, president, and CEO of the Arbella Insurance Group and chairman and president of the Arbella Insurance Foundation. “We are proud to support Dana Farber and its outstanding services to advance prevention, detection and treatment for breast cancer and skin cancer. We are truly grateful to be able to support such an influential cancer institute, especially one that works on causes that have impacted the lives of so many in our Arbella family and in our New England communities.”
Aimed at educating men and women on cancer prevention, Dana-Farber’s Blum Family Resource Center Van works to reduce the incidence of skin cancer in Massachusetts through teaching sun-safe practices and free skin cancer screenings for the public. This past summer, the Blum Family Resource Center Van was present at three Massachusetts beaches including Revere Beach, Nahant Beach and Carson Beach to screen for skin cancer. In total, 155 individuals were screened, 11 were referred for further testing and three were recommended for biopsy.
This year, Arbella welcomed Dana-Farber patient Chris Silver to Pink Day. Chris has been receiving treatment for melanoma under the supervision of Dr. Beth Buchbinder since 2016. His therapy includes a new class of drugs called checkpoint inhibitors or immunotherapy agents and he is now doing well. While Chris was undergoing treatment at Dana-Farber, his wife, Melissa, was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and is now cancer free.
“I cannot thank Dana-Farber enough for their efforts to treat my melanoma,” said Chris Silver, a Dana-Farber cancer patient who spoke at Pink Day. “It is through the support of Dr. Buchbinder and the whole team at Dana-Farber I am here today to tell my story. Thank you to everyone at Arbella for your kindness and generosity and for helping those at Dana-Farber to screen-for and treat cancer.”=
As the only mobile mammography program in Massachusetts, Dana-Farber’s Mammography Van provides free mammograms and breast health education to medically-eligible women aged 40 years and older. The Mammography Van partners with community-based organizations and neighborhood health centers in its mission to decrease breast cancer morbidity and mortality among medically-underserved women and increase survival rates for those diagnosed with breast cancer.
Founded in 2009, Pink Day was created by former Arbella employee Dot Olson after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent treatment at Dana-Farber. Her experience inspired her to create Pink Day, and since its inception the event has been instrumental in furthering Dana-Farber’s mission to garner continued support for cancer awareness and research. Now retired, Olson continues to attend the annual Pink Day celebration, which is now coordinated by the Arbella Activities Committee (AAC), a group of employees committed to promoting a culture of teamwork and camaraderie through corporate citizenship and fun.
Sarah Peterson, senior community outreach specialist at Dana-Farber, visited Arbella’s Quincy headquarters during the Pink Day event to thank employees for their continued support and generosity.
“Arbella’s Pink Day support has been instrumental in expanding the breadth of Dana-Farber’s community outreach programs over the past ten years,” said Peterson. “The generous support from the employees and Arbella’s Foundation allows us to bring life-saving cancer detection and prevention resources to men and women across Massachusetts. We are enormously grateful.”