Conference Speaker Biographies

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Conference Speaker Biographies

Mark Breading is a Partner at Strategy Meets Action, a strategic advisory firm offering a

unique blend of advisory, research, and project-based consulting services to both insurance companies and solution providers. Mark is well known for his perspectives on innovative uses of technology in insurance and the future of the insurance industry. Mark leads the research program at SMA, and has exceptional knowledge and experience in all aspects of advanced technologies and solutions that provide value across the insurance enterprise – including data and analytics, customer communications, enterprise content management, and mobile technologies.

Steve Callahan is a Practice Director for The Nolan Company with over 30 years of

executive and consulting experience in the insurance and financial services industry. In addition to his time as practice director, Steve has held various senior executive positions leading systems, agency, customer service and business operations departments at Firemans Fund, American Express, GNA, GE Capital, LLTC Group and Matrix Direct. His deep expertise includes: strategic planning; business line diversification, acquisition and integration; operational optimization and outsourcing; organizational design; enterprise change management; partnership development and management; and portfolio based project management.

Matthew Cluck has been working with Attadale Partners since 2010, helping

industry-leading clients incorporate data and analytics into their decision making to enhance their strategies and operations. Matthew’s work has included primary and secondary research into market dynamics and consumer preferences, repurposing and enhancing existing company data to create new business insights, and developing tools and methodologies to improve measurement and management of organizational performance. Matt has led the analysis and utilization of Net Promoter Score across multiple industries, including the LOMA insurance survey.

Prior to joining Attadale, Matthew worked at an investment bank, where he analyzed the impacts of proposed financing and refinancing activities on clients’ financial positions. Matthew has a BA in Economics and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. He is currently an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.


Geoff Colgan founded Attadale Partners in 2007 and currently serves as the Managing Partner for Attadale. Geoff has more than 20 years as a practitioner and consultant to insurance and other data intensive companies. Prior to founding Attadale, Geoff

consulted to Insurance and Life Science companies as a Principle at Charter Consulting and in progressive roles with Gemini Consulting. Geoff worked in Insurance Operations with Sun Alliance Life Assurance in Australia, before coming to the United States.

In addition to his Firm responsibilities, Geoff is a member of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Council and is active in the Australian expatriate community. Geoff lives in Chicago with his wife and four daughters. Geoff received an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude, and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia.

Eddie Ericson is a project manager on Mike’s team at Western & Southern Financial Group

and has been with this team for just over two years. He joined them after 15 years with the Unifi Companies (Union Central Life and Ameritas Life) in Cincinnati, OH. His

background includes Annuities Operations Management, Life/DI/Annuity Contact Center Management and strategic project management. Eddie has his MBA from University of Phoenix, is a certified Project Professional and is close to earning his Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification.

Frank Memmo is an Executive Director in the insurance advisory services practice of EY

(Ernst & Young LLP). His focus is on improving Insurance operations including customer service, contact centers, end to end processing (new business thru claims) and

shared/outsourced services. Frank has extensive background leading service operations for premier financial services companies across a wide spectrum of products and markets, including: life and annuities (fixed, variable), retirement plans (403b, 401k), mutual funds and group benefits. His operations and technology experience extends to outsourcing and third party administration as co-founder of a highly successful BPO provider.

Susan Gaffney is a Director of Insurance Operations at John Hancock and has been with

the company for 30+ years. For more than 20 of those years she has worked in Customer Service and has experienced the evolution of changes in our industry. Susan currently oversees John Hancock's individual life call centers for both producers and consumers. For the last several years John Hancock has focused heavily on creating self service tools and enhancing web services for consumers and producers. Susan and her eService team have been involved each step of the way and have assisted with the development, design, implementation and subsequent administrative support for; eForms, ePay, ePresentment. web registration and web site enhancements. Outside of work Susan enjoys spending time with her family and cheering on the New England champion sports teams.

Jasmine Green is vice president and Chief Customer Advocate for Nationwide.

Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the country’s largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations. She is responsible for the Office of Customer

Advocacy. Green serves as a champion for customers across all of Nationwide’s

businesses. Her role is unique within the company and there are few like it in any industry. It underscores Nationwide’s commitment to focus on the customer and help them protect what’s most important.

She has a distinguished career with Nationwide that began over 20 years ago in the Claims organization. Green previously served as associate vice president in the Office of the President for Nationwide Insurance Western Operations. During her tenure at Nationwide, she has also served in leadership roles in Product and Claims in Tennessee, Kentucky,


Scott Helgeson joined Securian in 1992 in the Information Technology department, designing and building systems to support inforce life insurance policyholder servicing. In 2005, Scott transitioned out of IT and into the Life Product Manufacturer strategic business unit and assumed accountability for all individual inforce life insurance contracts including service support to policyowners and firms. His responsibilities include all policy change activity, administration, compensation and customer service support. Scott recently chaired and is an active participant on LOMA's Individual Insurance Services II committee.

Kaenan Hertz, PhD is an Executive Director in the Financial Services Customer Experience

Practice of Ernst & Young LLP.

Kaenan specializes in helping our clients leverage the strategic use of information and analytics to drive their relationship acquisition, growth, and retention objectives, and more generally to effectively execute on the overall customer agenda. Kaenan has extensive experience helping companies to: shape their customer experience strategy; enhance offerings thru digital, traditional, contact center, and third party/agent channels; and understand the implications of changing market and competitive dynamics on our Client’s customer strategies. He has held leading roles within Marketing and Decision Management functions within top Insurance, Banking, and Finance companies, including USAA, Citibank and Sallie Mae.

Ann Hickmann serves as Director in the Enterprise Solutions Department at Northwestern

Mutual. In her role, Hickmann has oversight for key business technology solutions that provide customer service support for Financial Representatives, back office operations and end clients. Since joining Northwestern Mutual in 1986 she has held many positions including roles in IT, Investment Client Services, New Business, and Audit.

Hickmann received her B.S. degree in Finance and Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Marquette University. She is a CPA and a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (FLMI).

Hickmann and her husband, John, have two sons, Alex and Matthew. Ann is an active volunteer in local school, music, and sporting organizations.

Larry Hogan’s entire career has been focused on designing, developing and managing

innovative IT-enabled business transformation initiatives for the insurance and financial services industry. For the past 20+ years , he has been dedicated exclusively to solutions and strategies which dramatically improve how Insurance and FS organizations

communicate with their customers, agents, employees and other key stakeholders. Larry has been responsible for Thunderhead’s Insurance Solutions since 2008. Prior to joining Thunderhead, Larry was the Insurance Industry Executive at Exstream Software, spending 5 years with this organization, and was the Director of Product Marketing, Insurance and Financial Services Sector at the e-billing, e-statement presentment software pioneer BlueGill Technologies; transitioning to an expanded role after CheckFree Corporation (now part of FiServ) acquired BlueGill in 2000. During much of the 1990’s Larry was a Senior Consultant within Capgemini’s Global Insurance Division. Larry is a graduate of Michigan State University.


Kathy Hutson

IBM Global Insurance, specializing in technology solutions that help insurers develop compelling customer experiences and winning distribution strategies. She has over 14 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry working with insurance companies globally, including roles at Citigroup, the New York State Insurance Department, and McKinsey & Company. Kathy has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and English from Lafayette College.

Pete Jacques has spent most of his career focused on customer experience in a variety of

industries and roles. He started his career conducting member, plan sponsor, and health care provider satisfaction in health care at a regional HMO and subsequently moved a hospital system in Western Massachusetts where he developed and managed an enterprise level voice-of-patient program. He expanded his industry scope to financial services when he moved to LIMRA at the turn of the century, building out a research program around understand middle-market consumers.

After spending several years directing LIMRA’s custom research unit, Pete moved to MassMutual to develop agent and policyholder relationship studies as part of a broader Voice-of-Customer research program, encompassing Customer Service, New Business & Underwriting, Claims, and Distribution services. He now works in Cigna's Global Customer Experience Center of Excellence, where he collaborates with business partners across the enterprise to drive a customer-centric perspective and insights.

Lacy Larson is Assistant Vice President – Individual Life Insurance Operations at the

Principal Financial Group and is responsible for all post-sale service and administration of individual life insurance. In this capacity, she provides leadership and direction to customer and marketer call centers, policy administration, business policy services, complaints and claims, employee training and development, system administrative design and technical support.

Lacy joined The Principal after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa with a business degree. She has held a number of positions within individual insurance, including disability insurance administration and claims, disability and life product development, marketing and field administration before taking her current role in 1999. As CEO of IntelliResponse, David Lloyd is responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction, overseeing operations and driving new growth. Before assuming this role, David was CTO & VP Client Services for IntelliResponse where he led the expansion of the product into analytics, social and mobile markets as well as the transformation of their analytics towards customer intelligence.

David was CTO/CIO with Dexit Inc. brought on to transform the current solution from proprietary technologies while making it available as a set of open services. Prior to Dexit, David worked with Carlson Marketing Group (CMG), as Senior Director, Technology Services in the US where he was responsible for overall technology strategy for the services and product assets that enable their many client gift card, loyalty and channel solutions. Mr. Lloyd joined CMG in 2001, after the successful acquisition of SalesDriver where he was VP Technology, leading this organization’s development and support of their SaaS based solution that supported thousands of client programs in a single configurable white-label solution model.


Prior to his current role as VP of Sales & Service with Gerber Life Insurance, Bob McDonald

had twenty-eight years of progressive leadership/management experience with USAA, Blue Cross of Northeastern PA, and the U.S. Army. Bob has spent the last 18 years leading 150+ seat contact centers. He has hands-on experience ranging from front-line sales to leading multiple teams and complex multi-site customer contact operations. Bob holds the designations of CLU, FLMI, ACS, RHU, and MBA. He is past president of the Loma Society of South Central Texas and is currently on the LOMA Education and Training Council.

Eric McKirdy: Eric McKirdy oversees's worldwide Customer Care and Technical

Support operations and is the primary point of contact for all user-submitted product feedback across all web properties. Since joining Ask in 2010, Eric has worked to completely revamp the company’s overall CRM platform to better serve Ask’s 100 million monthly global users. Previously, Eric has helped organizations in several industries connect better with their audiences, from the performing arts to new media and direct marketing.

Steve Meade is Vice President of Illustrations and Policy Holder Solutions at iPipeline. He

has more than 20 years of insurance industry experience—both on the insurance carrier and software side of the business. Steve works with iPipeline’s customers, prospects and business partners to provide consultative guidance toward the customers’ success with iPipeline’s solutions. He also provides the thought leadership on Illustrations and PolicyHS to iPipeline’s business development, product management, marketing, professional services and customer success teams. Steve joined iPipeline in 2008 and was an integral part of transitioning the acquired COSS illustration organization and customers to iPipeline.

Karen Monks is an Analyst in Celent's North American insurance practice. She brings a

broad range of insurance and consulting experience to her work as she has worked as a management consultant to and within insurance carriers and other financial services companies for over 17 years. She has been with Celent for four years.

Ms. Monks’ research concentrates on life insurance technology and trends. Her reports concentrate on life all aspects of life insurance processing including illustrations, eApplications and eSignature, new business and underwriting systems, policy administration systems, claims systems, and mobile technology. She has been the co-author of the past four Celent North American Insurance software deal trends reports and the author of Model Insurer 2012, 2013, and 2014: Case Studies of Effective Use of Technology in Insurance. Recent consulting projects include a marketing and distribution management systems review, an eApplication cost analysis, an illustration selection project, and several small life insurance technology analyses.


David Mulvey incorporates more than 25 years of training and professional development experience into helping organizations enhance the way they do business.

David began his Disney career in 1997 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He served in many operational roles across Walt Disney World parks and resorts, including attractions, food and beverage, transportation and character

entertainment. Working in those environments created a living laboratory for David as he studied how Disney delivers legendary guest service.

David joined Disney Institute in the late 1990s where he has served in a variety of roles. David works diligently to ensure that Disney best practices are represented from all branches of The Walt Disney Company.

Prior to working at the Walt Disney World Resort, David spent 14 years facilitating programs in personal and professional development, including courses such as developing business plans, team building and creative problem solving. David also was a television reporter in Tennessee and Virginia.

Mike Ostrowski is the leader responsible for an internal consulting team focused on

enterprise-wide strategic process improvement and program management. He joined Western & Southern Financial Group just over a year ago after 14 years with Nationwide Financial in Columbus, OH, where he launched and lead a continuous improvement program as Director of Process Management with Nationwide Bank. Mike has his MBA from the University of Dayton, is a certified Project Management Professional and certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Jennifer Wilson Peevey is the Solutions Marketing Manager for the Interactive

Intelligence Insurance Solutions Group. This concentration started with the acquisition of AcroSoft Corporation, a leading provider of insurance focused content management and workflow automation products, in May of 2009. Jennifer’s insurance software expertise includes over 12 years of quality assurance, client support and implementations, training, and product management.

Most recently, Jennifer has worked closely with various insurance organizations to help direct Interactive Intelligence’s product positioning for the insurance industry, ensuring that the solution suite satisfies the business needs and requirements of carriers and affiliated service providers.

Jennifer holds a BA from the University of South Carolina, and currently works in the Columbia, SC Interactive Intelligence office.

Michael Perrier is a Corporate Vice President in the Customer Service Organization at New

York Life Insurance Company, and leads service delivery for their correspondence channel. Over a 25 year career with New York Life, Michael has held various strategic and tactical roles with an emphasis on maximizing customer experience for policyholders and agents. “I believe that a deep understanding of the significant touchpoints we have with our customers allows us to develop the right types of interaction models that create competitive advantages. What’s needed is a relentless focus on viewing these interactions through a customer-centric lens in order to provide the optimal experience, and a commitment to building a culture and infrastructure that values our employees and gives them the tools to be successful”.


Stuart Rose is Global Insurance Marketing Director at SAS, a market-leading business analytics software vendor. He is responsible for thought leadership and marketing content for applying analytics within the insurance industry. Stuart began his career as an Actuary, and now has over 25 years experience in the insurance industry.

Prior to working for SAS, Stuart worked for a leading global insurance company in both their Life and Property and Casualty divisions. As well as working for a variety of software vendors where he was responsible for marketing, product management and application development.

Stuart is a regular contributor to insurance publications and t frequently speaks at insurance conferences and is co-author of the book “Executive Guide to Solvency II”. He graduated from Sheffield University with a BSc in Mathematical Studies.

Dodd Starbird has 23 years of global business leadership experience in consulting, sales,

finance, manufacturing, systems, quality, operations, human resources, and distribution management.

As the principal Managing Partner for Implementation Partners, Dodd leads change efforts that consistently achieve exceptional results for clients by integrating best-in-class process streamlining and change management skills with strategic business management and leadership experience. He is equally comfortable in the boardroom and on the work floor, enabling him to deliver a powerful combination of vision and implementation that gets critical things done.

Dan Steiner is an Experienced Manager in the Risk Advisory Services Group of Baker Tilly

Virchow Krause, LLP. He specializes in enterprise risk management, internal controls, Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 reporting, HIPAA compliance, crisis management, and business continuity. Prior to joining Baker Tilly in 2010, Dan worked in both the Global Risk Management and Internal Audit departments for a Fortune 150 company where he led many enterprise wide projects. Dan began his career at Baker Tilly where he served as an auditor and consultant for the utility industry.

Vicky Stennes is an experienced customer service professional. She most recently served

as JetBlue Airways Vice President of Inflight Experience where she and her team were instrumental in leading the company to achieve the J.D. Power & Associates award for the highest customer satisfaction rating among North American airlines for eight consecutive years. Previously, she held multiple leadership roles at Delta Air Lines focused on delivering exceptional customer experiences, worldwide.

Vicky is frequently invited to speak at various venues and forums sharing her experience and insights on her mission to strengthen the emotional connections between leaders and frontline employees and to link their daily efforts to the success of the organization. She has worked with a number of organizations to deliver practical, results-driven insights supported by real-world business experience.

She participates in a variety of community activities and has served on several industry and advisory boards; currently serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Inflight Services Association.


Andrew Studee is Vice President, Consulting Services at Major Oak Consulting. He is passionate about enabling businesses to run like clockwork. He has performed consulting services across four continents and within a multitude of industries – including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and venture capital-backed startups. He is passionate about contact centers – viewing them as the front door to the global company. Andrew is responsible for the Performance Management and Contact Center practices at Major Oak. He leads a team of consultants who support clients in industries including insurance, financial services, government and outsourcing. His approach couples a “whatever-it-takes” perspective to client service with an unyielding focus on the greatest asset any client has – their customers.

Along the way, Andrew has stayed deeply involved in client engagements, with strong results. He led a contract negotiation for a $27 million software and operational services purchase. He managed a speech analytics implementation across six contact center sites of 4000 agents, handling 30 million calls per year. He helped a claims management provider save $2 million through performance management changes. In each

engagement, Andrew focuses on improving customer service, decreasing operating costs and improving service levels.

Joi Tillman is a leader within Assurant Employee Benefits. Joi joined the AEB senior

management team in 2008 and was simultaneously named head of the Customer

Advocacy division. Under her leadership, the division of 300 non-claims service employees successfully streamlined processes, reduced expenses and increased the focus on

delivering exceptional service to Assurant Employee Benefits’ customers. Recently, Joi was named head of the Voluntary division of AEB.

Joi began her career with Assurant Employee Benefits in the Premium Collections department in 1989. Soon after, she moved to the Human Resources and Development division, where she spent nine years. In 1998, Tillman moved to the Risk division and held various managerial positions. In 2007, she became co-leader of the Easy to Do Business With team, then co-leader of the Voluntary Growth Initiative in 2008. Tillman became an Officer in 2003, 2nd Vice President in 2007 and Vice President in 2008. She then joined the

senior management team in her role as head of Customer Advocacy later in 2008, followed by her current role as head of Voluntary in 2013.

Natalie Versnik joined Northwestern Mutual in 1987 and has served in a variety of

positions. She is currently a Director in the Policy Owner Services Department overseeing the Billing and Collection and Loan and Surrender functions for the Company. She is also serving as the Process Owner during the implementation of Lean methodology within operations at Northwestern Mutual. Prior to her current position she served as the Director of the Insurance Operations Customer Contact Center in POS. Before her move to Policy Owner Services in 2005, Versnik spent many years in the Disability Income Department. Her most recent assignments in the DI department included responsibility for the oversight of the company’s Special Investigations Unit as well as the Disability Benefits operations as an Assistant Director.

Versnik received her B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (FLMI). Natalie and her husband, William, have three daughters, Annie, Elizabeth and Emily. Natalie is an active participant in local school, sporting and other volunteer opportunities. In addition to serving on the Franklin Educational Foundation Board of Directors since June of 2005, she has been a member of the Franklin Little League Board of Directors since 2004.


Devon Wallace is currently the Director of Annuity New Business at MassMutual located in Springfield, MA. He has previously held roles at both Manulife Financial and John Hancock in the greater Boston area and has worked in the Annuity Business for a total of 14 years. Devon’s prior roles have including managing Post-Issue, Claims, Process Improvement, Quality and Metrics & Reporting teams. While his primary focus has been in operations, he has worked in close partnership with sales, marketing, compliance, legal and product areas. Devon and his wife Bonnie have four boys ranging from age 3–10.

As Director of the Service Quality Measurement program, Brendan Yeager has overall

responsibility for DALBAR’s call center service quality monitoring efforts and serves as the head of the Client Service Team. Brendan has also served in the capacity of Project Manager for a number of cross-functional initiatives such as the creation of the DALBAR corporate website and the development of an internal knowledge management system. Brendan joined DALBAR in 2007 after a decade spent developing his customer service acumen in the hospitality industry. Brendan holds both an MBA and an undergraduate degree in History and Philosophy from the University of Vermont as well as a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.




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