2014 Power Broker


Applied Ingenuity


Brandon Cole, CPCU, CIC
Area Assistant Vice President
Arthur J. Gallagher, Greenwood Village, Colo.

Several Catholic organizations required third parties to purchase liability insurance prior to holding an event on their premises. The previous programs required the church organizations to collect large deposits and handle insurance purchase funds from renting groups — a serious administrative burden for the staff.

Cole, working with a partner carrier, developed coverage and then created a website that now allows these third parties to quote and bind coverage completely online. After the point of purchase, a certificate of insurance is emailed to Cole’s clients’ offices and the clients never have to handle any money.

According to Peter Cronan, director of risk management for the Archdiocese of Denver, Cole adapted the program from a similar one AJG created for colleges and universities — an impressive use of an existing solution.

“The old process was a major administrative burden,” Cronan said. “Once Brandon came to our account, he said he thought he might have something to help us. So he created a similar system for nonprofit religious organizations and we were the test case, a very successful one.”

Sharon Powers, director of administration at the American Water Works Association in Denver, said her organization’s insurance needs are complex. However, each inquiry to Cole is met with excellent follow-through and expediency.

Consistently Getting It Right

Tim DePriest, ARM Managing Director Arthur J. Gallagher, Glendale, Calif.

Tim DePriest, ARM
Managing Director
Arthur J. Gallagher, Glendale, Calif.

There is good reason why Tim DePriest again finds himself a Power Broker®. Talking to his nonprofit clients is proof positive that this is one broker who gets it right, without exception.

“Tim is very thorough and that is so important because we think the same way,” said Karen Mayo, vice president, Procurement and Risk Management, Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute. “Today, with Tim’s help, we have fewer policies with more coverage and only a small increase in costs. In fact, our price point has not exceeded a 10 percent increase in seven years but our coverage has almost tripled. That is tough to beat and Tim is a huge reason for it.”

Another DePriest client, Crystal Stairs, is a $109 million nonprofit that provides Head Start, child care subsidy, and resource and referral services to families and child care providers in the Los Angeles area. Crystal Stairs faced substantial workers’ compensation issues when AJG became its broker in early 2013, with more than $1.5 million in claim costs. Many of the claims were not being aggressively handled and nearly 25 percent of injured employees retained legal representation. Within the year, DePriest had helped turn the workers’ compensation program in the right direction.

Telieka Hechanova, Crystal Stairs’ human resources manager, said DePriest is doing “an incredible job.” Also new to the organization, Hechanova said DePriest’s AJG team helped engage and educate her executive management team, so now Crystal Stairs has the resources to get its comp situation under control.


LBR_ResponsiblityLeaderBLUE_logo-175Goals Beyond Commissions

Serving nonprofit organizations is more than a job to Tim DePriest. His compassion for the services these often cash-strapped organizations provide has compelled him to take cash out of his own pocket — to the tune of more than $25,000 last year — and donate it to his clients.

In addition, rather than see a children’s residential center shut down because of increasing workers’ compensation costs, DePriest urged the center to go in a different direction. Being a trusted adviser meant more to him than the commissions he could receive as the group’s broker. Instead, he advised them to explore options available only through other brokers, such as other market channels or a self-insured program.

“I was more concerned with their ability to remain open than in retaining them as a client,” DePriest said, noting that his company supported his efforts.

His company also supported another initiative of his — helping to fund LA BioMedical Research so it could continue clinical research on such diseases as cancer and dementia, which have affected family members of staffers. After discussions with Gallagher’s area president and operations director, as well as coordination with LA BioMed’s development staff, DePriest was able to see his company become a corporate partner and agree to a multi-year financial commitment.

DePriest also commits a significant amount of time to staff development, training a junior producer every year and “selling” people on the virtues and benefits of the insurance industry.


New Job, Same Excellent Results

Scott Konrad Senior Vice President HUB International, New York

Scott Konrad
Senior Vice President
HUB International, New York

For repeat Power Broker® Scott Konrad, a change of venue (actually a new job) had little impact on his zest for client success. With Konrad’s move to the newly created role as Not-For-Profit Practice leader at HUB International, he didn’t lose a step in delivering welcomed coverage solutions to nonprofit clients.

For example, when a prominent regional human services agency found itself on the receiving end of continual service team turnover with another broker, the CFO turned to HUB and Konrad. Konrad quickly undertook an exhaustive diagnostic assessment of the in-force program and uncovered a variety of shortcomings. His effort earned an exclusive brokerage appointment and, through competitive remarketing, Konrad closed gaps and significantly upgraded protection, while holding a line on cost in the face of dramatic exposure increases, adverse loss development and market-cycle rate increases.

“We started with Scott halfway through the year, and Scott and his HUB team gave us the relationship we were looking for,” said Sandy Weinstein, executive vice president-finance and CFO at Goodwill of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey. “We want long-term personal relationships. We want a broker who cares. And that’s what we get with Scott. They say timing is everything; Scott came along and that was it.”

Another Konrad client, Sheri Melvin, senior director, Human Resources and Administration at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C., said Konrad was “very articulate” in getting the quotes it needed.


James Linn Area Sr VP Arthur J. Gallagher

James Linn
Area Sr VP
Arthur J. Gallagher

Joseph Caruso Area Sr VP Arthur J. Gallagher

Joseph Caruso
Area Sr VP
Arthur J. Gallagher

Peter Persuitti Managing Director Arthur J. Gallagher

Peter Persuitti
Managing Director
Arthur J. Gallagher

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.


That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.


Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]