Speakers

Alexander S. Adams Vega

Insurance Commissioner, Puerto Rico

Alexander S. Adams Vega was appointed Puerto Rico’s Insurance Commissioner by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Dec. 20, 2021. Commissioner Adams has served in the Puerto Rico Office of the Commissioner of Insurance for more than 10 years, first as a legal adviser and later as deputy commissioner for legal affairs.

In these roles, Commissioner Adams gained extensive experience on a wide range of insurance regulatory matters and led policy implementation in diverse areas of the insurance industry, such as financial solvency, market conduct, licensing, credit for reinsurance, holding company regulation, health care plans, and property/casualty (P/C). Prior to working for the Puerto Rico Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, he served as a law clerk in the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, where he began his professional career. Additionally, Commissioner Adams has participated in multiple NAIC meetings throughout the years. Commissioner Adams earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a master’s degree in public administration from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus.  

Cynthia Amann

NAIC Executive Liaison and Marketplace Coordinator,
Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance

In 2017, Cythia returned to the Department of Insurance (DOI) in a role as the NAIC Executive Liaison and Marketplace Coordinator. Working under the Director and Deputy Director/General Counsel, they engage in various department-wide initiatives, focusing on streamlining and improving processes across departments within the DOI. Her main responsibilities include involvement in NAIC committees, working groups, and task forces, overseeing compliance with NAIC’s Strategic Plan, managing continuing education, coordinating cybersecurity examinations, and contributing to market regulation reforms.

Additionally, Cynthia participates in the Governor’s Organizational Health Initiative (OHI) as a Department Co-Chair, focusing on innovation and technological improvements. They evaluate and enhance examination procedures, monitor audits, and refine data analytics for better marketplace understanding. She also engages in research, policy development, and special projects related to the insurance industry. She aims to establish an inter-disciplinary division across departments within the DOI for more efficient responses to marketplace actions, utilizing existing data and staying informed about industry developments.

Cynthia’s extensive background includes years of service as a Compliance Auditor at the State of Missouri Insurance Department, where she oversaw examinations, developed protocols, provided legal support, and contributed to the implementation of market analysis concepts. She has received awards for her contributions to the regulatory field and have been active in various industry committees and organizations. Throughout her career, she has maintained a high level of expertise in insurance, state regulation, and national standards, particularly focusing on market analysis, examination procedures, cyber security, and catastrophe response planning.

Andrew Beal

Acting Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Andrew J. Beal joined the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 1999. He served as General Counsel from 2000 until July 2006, when he was promoted to the position of Deputy Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer in February 2009. In his current role, Mr. Beal’s duties include managing the day-to-day operations of the organization, with special focus on strategic planning and implementation of key initiatives, as well as engagements in innovation and emerging technologies in the insurance sector.

During its 2023 Spring National Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, the NAIC appointed Mr. Beal as Acting Chief Executive Officer.

His prior legal experience includes serving as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps and as legal counsel with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. He has also worked in private practice as well as in-house legal counsel for an insurance company. His main areas of focus have been in the areas of corporate, business, and insurance regulatory law.

He earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Oklahoma City University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Oklahoma.

Brian Blake

Executive Director, Central United States Earthquake Consortium

Brian Blake is the Executive Director of the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), which was established in 1983 under the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. Brian’s primary role is to lead and coordinate activities related to earthquake preparedness and mitigation in the CUSEC Region. This involves working with local, state, and federal partners to create and implement programs which help communities prepare for, respond to, and mitigate against the effects of earthquakes.

Brian has worked on numerous multi-year earthquake outreach and planning projects including the New Madrid Seismic Zone Catastrophic Planning Initiative, the New Madrid Bicentennial, CAPSTONE-14, and the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.

Philippe Brahin

Head of Americas for Public Sector Solutions (PSS), Swiss Re

Philippe Brahin is Head of Americas for Public Sector Solutions (PSS) since August 2020. He is developing risk transfer solutions and providing risk services to the public sector on natural catastrophes, climate risks, agriculture, credit & surety, as well as life & health, in North America and Latin America. He is leading a dedicated team engaging with Federal and national governments, State authorities, municipalities, as well as the World Bank Group and regional development banks.

Prior to joining PSS, Philippe was Head of Investor Relations at Swiss Re, from October 2014 to July 2020. He managed the relationships with equity and fixed-income investors and provided investors and analysts with relevant corporate disclosure to assess Swiss Re’s securities. Until 2014, Philippe was Head Qualitative Risk Management at Swiss Re. He was responsible for the global monitoring of regulatory developments, the engagement of Swiss Re in sustainability and ESG initiatives, the identification of emerging risks and the coordination of Group operational risks.

Philippe joined Swiss Re in 2000 as a financial analyst in Alternative Investments. From 2003 to 2007, he was responsible for the production of Swiss Re’s financial reports as well as content management on strategic topics. Prior to joining Swiss Re, Philippe was Deputy Director for International Affairs at the French Insurance Association (FFA) and worked for the California Department of Insurance.

He graduated in 1992 from the University of Sorbonne in Paris with a Master’s degree in Banking and Finance, and Magistère d’Economie from the University of Sorbonne/ENS/EHESS.

Jeff Briggs

Earthquake Program Manager,
Missouri State Emergency Management Agency

Jeff Briggs is the earthquake program manager for the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency. He heads SEMA’s earthquake preparedness and outreach activities, and coordinates operations for the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission and the Missouri SAVE (Structural Assessment and Visual Evaluation) Coalition. He’s also past-president of the National Earthquake Program Managers work group. He’s worked in state government for 30 years, handling communications, training and project management for SEMA as well as the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Alton Byrd

Managing Director, Aon

Alton Byrd is a Managing Director at Aon, which is a global professional services company providing a range of risk, retirement, and health solutions across over 120 countries. Within Aon, Alton works within Aon Reinsurance – Public Sector and focuses on developing innovative solutions to help governments, quasi-government organizations and other public institutions reduce volatility, build resiliency, and increase capacity of their mission. Public Sector is part of Aon’s effort to build greater collaboration and synergy towards tackling the major global challenges, such as climate risks, protection gap, and vulnerable communities. Prior to joining Public Sector, Alton worked as a Country CEO in South Africa, where he lived for 8 years and developed a network of private and public institutions across the continent. His previous experiences consisted of reinsurance broking in Chicago, private equity finance in New York and mutual fund auditing in Boston. Alton holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and MBA in Finance and Strategy from the University of Chicago. In addition, he carries the following certifications – Certified Public Accountant, Associate in Reinsurance, Associate in Risk Management and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter. Alton is based in Washington D.C. USA.  

Lori Croy

Director of Communications, Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance

Lori Croy is the director of communications for the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance. Her focus is on helping Missouri citizens understand “who we are, what we do and how we can help them.” In addition, she is responsible for communicating with industry partners in the areas of insurance, banking, credit unions and professional licensing to ensure the protection of consumers while also maintaining a safe, level and competitive playing field. While this may sound boring, Lori gets to talk about everything from bail bondsmen to earthquakes – yes, that’s really a thing in Missouri! 
 
She also has 24 years of experience in higher education and private consulting. Lori is interested in a truly integrated communications strategy – taking down the traditional departmental silos and putting the needs of the audience first. She has a passion for people and internal communications and believes humor is one of her communications superpowers. 

 In addition to being creative in her government role, Lori is also a published children’s book author and a food blogger.  

Jeffrey Czajkowski

Director of the Center for Insurance Policy and Research, National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Dr. Jeffrey Czajkowski serves as the Director of the Center for Insurance Policy and Research (CIPR) for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The CIPR provides research and education to drive discussion and advance thought leadership as well as action on current and emerging insurance issues amongst insurance regulators, policymakers, industry, and academics. This is accomplished through CIPR’s events, research publications, newsletter and website, the Journal of Insurance Regulation, and its extensive NAIC research library holdings.

Prior to joining the CIPR, he served as the Managing Director for the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania, conducting research on various economic and risk-related issues of natural disasters and resilience, as well as on issues of environmental economics. His work has been published in leading risk management, insurance, natural hazards, and environmental economics journals. A significant amount of his research involves working collaboratively in cross-disciplinary research teams and applying research findings through various interactions with top policymakers and senior executives in the insurance industry. This has included serving on two National Academy of Sciences committees, being an academic advisory board member for the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report, a member of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) Resilience Policy Council, and a fellow for the Willis Research Network.

He holds a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in environmental and urban systems from Florida International University, and a Ph.D. in economics from Florida International University.

Preceding graduate school, he worked in New York City as a research associate for Coopers & Lybrand Consulting and was a vice-president for JP Morgan. He has taught economic courses for over15 years at a number of universities and was an adjunct assistant research professor at the International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) at FIU.

John M. Huff

President and Chief Executive Officer, Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers

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. 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 US 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. A former practicing attorney, his knowledge of the insurance industry is global in scope, spanning the United States, Bermuda, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia markets. He brings to the table a keen understanding of the public policy, regulatory, legal, financial and operational challenges that insurance and reinsurance companies face.

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.

Daniel Kaniewski

Managing Director, Public Sector, Marsh McLennan

He was also Chair of the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) High Level Risk Forum, comprised of risk managers from the 36 OECD member nations.

Before FEMA he led the Global Resilience practice at AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe risk modeling firm. He was also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security. He previously led the resilience mission area at a homeland security research and development center. Earlier he was Assistant Vice President and Deputy Director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University.

 Dr. Kaniewski was Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Response Policy in the George W. Bush Administration, where he managed over 200 Presidential disaster declarations.

He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from George Washington University, an M.A. in National Security Studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and a B.S. magna cum laude in Emergency Medical Services from George Washington University.

Harold Magistrale

Principal Research Scientist, FM Global

Harold is a Principal Research Scientist and the technical team leader for geohazards in Research at FM Global. Prior to joining FM Global in 2009, he was an Adjunct Professor at San Diego State University where he studied southern California faults, earthquakes, and crustal structure. Harold has a B.S. in Earth Sciences from U.C. Santa Cruz, a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Caltech, and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Alan McClain

Insurance Commissioner, Arkansas Insurance Department

On April 3, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Alan McClain as Arkansas Insurance Commissioner. McClain began his career in state government in 1992 with the Arkansas Insurance Department after working with Sedgwick Insurance Group. He worked for the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission for 13 years and was the CEO of that Commission for almost nine years.

Most recently, McClain served as Commissioner of the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS). In this role, which he assumed in 2015, he administered the day-to-day operations of ARS, which administers the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act.

McClain has also served on the Arkansas Workforce Development Board and the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. He is a past president of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards & Commissions and the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation.

He holds an undergraduate degree from Hendrix College and a master’s in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Chlora Lindley-Meyers

Director, Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance
President, National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Chlora Lindley-Myers was appointed director of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance. She was confirmed by the Missouri Senate on April 13, 2017. She leads the department that protects consumers and ensures a strong and stable insurance market through the regulation of professionals and businesses that impact Missourians’ lives daily.

She has served in several senior positions in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government. She has also served in leadership roles in the regulatory and insurance industries, as well as within the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). In addition to Missouri, she has worked for both the Kentucky Department of Insurance and the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, and for the NAIC.

She holds an undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and a law degree from the University of Connecticut. Chlora is licensed to practice law in various states, including Missouri. She has received national recognition for her work. As the Deputy Commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Commerce and Insurance, she was awarded the Robert Dineen Award for Outstanding Service and Contribution to the State Regulation of Insurance. In August of 2020, she received the Al Greer Award for her exceptional dedication, knowledge and support of the field of insurance regulation by the Insurance Examiners Regulatory Society (IRES).

Director Lindley-Myers currently serves as President of the NAIC. She continues to serve on the Executive (EX) Committee and the Government Relations Leadership Council. Chlora currently also serves in additional leadership roles with the NAIC: Chair of the Reinsurance (E) Task Force, Co- Chair of the Special (EX) Committee on Race and Insurance, and Vice Chair of the Internal Administration (EX1) Subcommittee, as well as serving as a member of many additional NAIC committees.

Brian Powell

Deputy Insurance Commissioner &
Director of the Office of Risk and Resilience,
Alabama Department of Insurance

Brian Powell serves as Deputy Insurance Commissioner and Director of the Office of Risk and Resilience and has been with the Alabama Department of Insurance since 2006.

Innovative in its design, the Office of Risk and Resilience actively creates opportunities to help solve issues within the insurance industry in Alabama. By assessing insurance market issues and determining market vulnerabilities, the office is tasked with creating and implementing risk controls to help sustain a healthy insurance market in Alabama.

The Strengthen Alabama Homes program, a nationally recognized grant program, is located within the Office of Risk and Resilience. The program issue grants up to $10,000 to Alabama homeowners to mitigate their homes to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s Fortified Standard, hardening them against severe storms. The Strengthen Alabama Homes Program is a springboard for the Fortified program in the United States and is the model program other states are adopting to lessen the risk of loss and ensure a healthy local insurance market.

Brian currently serves on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Climate and Resiliency Task Force and is a member of the NAIC Modeling Center for Excellence Advisory Council. Brian is Alabama’s representative on Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), and he is a member of the Alabama Resiliency Council (ARC) recently established by Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey.

Brian earned undergraduate degrees in political science and business from Troy University, a Master’s Degree in Business (MBA) from Auburn University, and the Certified Public Manager (CPM) designation from the National Certified Public Manager Consortium. Brian is a United States Army Veteran and for the past 35 years, has been in continuous public service roles for the State of Alabama.

Thomas Pratt

Thomas Pratt

Research Geophysicist,
U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program

Dr. Thomas Pratt is a Research Geophysicist in the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards program, where he serves as the Regional Coordinator of Central and Eastern U.S. activities. His research interests are in subsurface imaging of active fault systems, computer modeling of geologic structures, the tectonic settings of active faults, and understanding ground motions during earthquakes. His past research has focused on active faults throughout the continental U.S. and Alaska, as well as Japan and Panama, and on ground motion studies in the Pacific Northwest and the eastern U.S.  Dr. Pratt has worked for the USGS in Golden, CO, Seattle, WA, and now Reston, VA. He currently has projects looking at ground motions over the Atlantic Coastal Plain strata of the southeastern U.S., precariously balanced rocks in the eastern U.S., and subsurface imaging of faults in Charleston, SC, and Puerto Rico. Dr. Pratt served as Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, from 2016 to 2021. He received his bachelor’s degree in geology from Cornell University in 1980, his master’s (1982) and doctorate (1986) degrees in geophysics at Virginia Tech, and was a Research Associate at Cornell University before joining the USGS in 1991.

Jim Remillard

Deputy Director, Missouri State Emergency Management Agency

Jim Remillard was born and raised in Washington, Missouri. He graduated from Washington Senior High and Washington Vocational School, then worked as a machinist and volunteered with the Washington Fire Department from 1982-1989. 

Remillard began his career in public service with the Missouri State Highway Patrol on January 1, 1990. He graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy on June 9, 1990. Remillard’s first assignment was Troop C in St. Louis County. During the Flood of 1993, he provided security detail for President Clinton while he toured flood-damaged areas. Remillard was promoted to Corporal and advanced as Sergeant at Troop C. During his time there, Remillard provided security and traffic control for the 1996 U.S. Olympics as the teams traveled through St. Louis to Atlanta, security detail for Pope John Paul II’s visit, and security detail for President George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore’s presidential debate in 2000. In September 2001, Remillard was recognized as Troop C’s Officer of the Year for his efforts developing the Hazardous Exposure Control Plan, which is utilized statewide. He also served as a medic for the Troop C SWAT team from 1992-2002. 

 In March 2002, Remillard rose to the rank of Lieutenant at Troop I. In 2005, he received the Honorary Washington Firefighter Award of Merit because of his swift life-saving actions to save a family from floodwaters while off duty. In 2007, he attended the FBI National Academy. In April 2010, Remillard received the Troop I Masters Public Service Award due to his extraordinary contributions to community and law enforcement. In June 2014, he promoted to Captain of Troop I and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2019. Remillard served on the MoDOT/MSHP Insurance Board from 1999-2019 and was the co-chairman of the Traffic Incident Management System from 2001-2019.

Remillard joined SEMA as the Deputy Director on June 1, 2019. During his career in law enforcement, responding to disasters was a fundamental part of Remillard’s responsibilities. In 2011, he worked with local police, fire and EMS agencies for the flooding response, and again for the Joplin tornado response. 

Jim is a member of the Casco United Methodist Church in Leslie, Missouri, and provides wood for fellow church members who are elderly or disabled. In his spare time, Jim enjoys volunteering for Faith-Based mission trips, including areas affected by natural disasters.

Brenda Rourke

Communication Research Scientist, 
National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Dr. Brenda Rourke serves as a Communication Research Scientist in the Center for Insurance Policy and Research at the NAIC. Prior to joining the NAIC she worked for 10 years as a Network Operations Specialist at COX Communications and 4 years as an assistant professor and researcher at Northwest Missouri State University.

She holds a B.A. in English and Communication from Rhode Island College, an M.A. in Communication and a PhD in Communication from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Rourke has presented at regional, national, and international conferences, and published several articles in notable communication journals.

Katie Sabo

Senior Managing Director & Government Segment Leader,
Aon Reinsurance Solutions

As Senior Managing Director and Practice Leader for the Governmental Segment within Aon Reinsurance Solutions, Katie oversees the partnership with state, local and quasi-governmental entities across the full range of Aon’s reinsurance solutions. In this role, Katie focuses on partnering with public entities to help reduce current and emerging risks using innovative reinsurance solutions.

Katie has over twenty years of experience with state, local and quasi-governmental entities. Prior to joining Aon, Katie worked in both government and government affairs with a focus on budgetary, policy and financial solutions to reduce fiscal risk to general funds and taxpayers.

During her time working in local government Katie served in many roles including as a budget analyst, policy director and chief of staff. During her time in government affairs, Katie managed local, state, and federal policies, budgets, and relationships across a range of issues including pension reform, capital planning, healthcare, and natural disasters.

While Katie focuses on all reinsurance solutions for her clients, she has a unique focus on the deployment of customized risk transfer product for public entities to reduce fiscal losses tied to natural

Andrea Spillars

Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Andrea Spillars has been a career public servant for over 30 years. From 2009 to 2015, she had a lead role in the Missouri state response to natural disasters as the Deputy Director for the Department of Public Safety, including the devasting Joplin tornado in 2011, the prolonged flooding in 2011, drought relief efforts in 2012, and historic ice storms in 2009. Her work at the Department of Public Safety also included leading the state’s successful effort to establish an interoperable public safety communication system. 

Throughout her career, she has worked to protect the people of Missouri, especially during times of disaster. In 2011, the Joplin Police Department recognized Spillars for her work leading the successful round-the-clock effort to account for those reported missing after the Joplin tornado. In 2014, Spillars received the Patrick Henry Award from the National Guard Association of the United States, which is presented to those civilians in a position of responsibility who have distinguished themselves with outstanding and exceptional service to the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard.

 From 2015 to 2017, Spillars served as Senior Advisor and Legal Counsel in the Missouri Governor’s Office, and ultimately as Counsel to the Governor. She began her career as an attorney in the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, serving from 1989 to 1995 and again from 1997 to 2009. While at the Attorney General’s Office, she was Chief Counsel and Director of Public Safety Division from 2004 to 2009, providing legal representation to the Missouri Department of Public Safety. She has also served as assistant prosecuting attorney in Boone County and General Counsel for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Prior to joining FEMA Region 7, Spillars served as the Executive Director of the Missouri Board of Law Examiners, overseeing all aspects of the attorney admissions process.

 She obtained her law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Missouri.

Christopher Sykes

Managing Director, Guy Carpenter & Company

Christopher Sykes is a Managing Director at Guy Carpenter & Company with over 35 years’ experience in reinsurance underwriting, catastrophe reinsurance syndication, and client services. He joined Guy Carpenter in 2008, where he focuses on catastrophe risk finance as part of a his broader broking & account management responsibilities. Chris is a member of Guy Carpenter’s Public Sector Practice and helps lead Guy Carpenter’s efforts to close the protection gap. Chris graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney, NSW Australia and holds an MBA from Auckland University, New Zealand. 

Megan Zimmerman

Senior Product Manager, Verisk

Dr. Megan Zimmerman is a Senior Product Manager on the Extreme Event Solutions team at Verisk. Before moving to this role in 2022, Megan spent 6 years in the research department developing seismicity models, with specific focus on the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Megan earned a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from The University of Florida, a B.S. in Physics from The College of New Jersey, and has completed the Associate in General Insurance (AINS) program. She is currently working towards completing the Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) program.