2014 Power Broker

Public Sector

Extraordinarily Effective

Regina Carter Managing Director Aon, San Francisco

Regina Carter
Managing Director
Aon, San Francisco

San Francisco is putting in its first new subway tunnel in decades, and the city and county relied on Regina Carter to structure and place the coverage.

“We did a very complicated transaction,” said Matt Hansen, director, risk management division, City and County of San Francisco. “This really put the city in a good position.”

In a marketplace that had a very narrow appetite for the risk, Carter, managing director at Aon, was able to create a program that provided capacity and favorable terms in a short amount of time.

Regina Carter has offered extraordinary support for Global Government Services for more than 20 years, said Sherri Bovino, president and CEO of its parent company, 1st Flagship.


“She helps me protect my company in a proactive way, always anticipating our needs as laws change and risks/liabilities change,” Bovino said.

In a recent situation, Bovino’s company had to take responsibility for a ship that had been refurbished by a military organization. It had to be moved to an unfamiliar pier and maintained until it could be moved again and moored in a permanent location. 

Bovino said, “Any damage or malfunction while in our custody would present a huge risk or liability. Working 24 hours around the clock, Carter’s team was able to provide a complicated insurance solution that was acceptable to us and our subcontractors. The exposure for Global with its Navy customer went all the way to the Pentagon in this situation.”

Reaching Their Potential

Mark Goode, CPCU, CIC Executive Vice President Willis, Charlotte, N.C.

Mark Goode, CPCU, CIC
Executive Vice President
Willis, Charlotte, N.C.

The Texas Association of Counties may manage the biggest public risk pool in the country, but Mark Goode understood he was still “dealing with a fairly unsophisticated client with a very eccentric market,” said Gene Terry, a judge and the executive director of the organization.

“Mark has been just extraordinary to work with. He grasped the eccentricities and peculiarities of our business very quickly and I have relied on him a lot,” Terry said, who noted that the pool is owned by 254 counties in Texas.

“One of the things that has impressed me is he is aware of ethical considerations. They provide primary consulting services for us. If there is a consultation versus brokerage practice issue, he is the first to raise it, even when I might not recognize it,” he said.

“Our reputation is critically important to us and managing the pool in the appropriate way is important because we are expected to deliver services in so many areas,” Terry said. “They have helped us to realize the potential the pool gives us to provide more and better services to our members.”

Goode, executive vice president at Willis, has also been crucial in creating a property and casualty pool for the Mississippi Association of Supervisors.

“They helped us go through the entire process, from obtaining excess insurance, to meeting with the regulatory insurance department, local insurance agents and supervisors,” said Derrick Surrette, executive director of the group, which includes 82 counties in Mississippi.

Leading the Way

Tyler LaMantia, CLCs Area Vice President Arthur J. Gallagher, Itasca, Ill.

Tyler LaMantia, CLCs
Area Vice President
Arthur J. Gallagher, Itasca, Ill.

Since 2009, school districts in Minnesota had little choice but to enter the conventional marketplace for coverage. With the expert advice and leadership of Tyler LaMantia, area vice president at Arthur J. Gallagher, the districts may now take advantage of the Minnesota Insurance Scholastic Trust (MIST).

“It became clear that Minnesota Public Schools needed a member owned and controlled insurance cooperative by which they could control their own destiny to help deal with the reoccurring problem of the fluctuating insurance marketplace cycles,” said Paul Carlson, superintendent, New London-Spicer Schools, one of seven districts that joined the pool in its inaugural year.

“For property and casualty, we saved about $15,000,” he said. He anticipates an even greater savings when workers’ compensation coverage is added to the pool.


DeeDee Kahring, director of finance and operations at Eastern Carver County Schools, saw her district’s involvement in the new pool result in a significant drop in deductible. It had been $25,000. It is now $2,500. Plus, the coverage was expanded.

“Tyler is an expert in school district self-insurance pools,” said Sandy Linn, director of business services at New Prague Area Schools, which also joined MIST.

“Tyler has been so great in leading us through this process and helping us. The average savings for districts on fixed costs was 25 percent to 30 percent,” she said, adding that “the pool allowed the districts to control variable loss fund costs through claims management.”

Succeeding for Clients

Deb Mangels Senior Vice President ABD Insurance and Financial Services, San Mateo, Calif.

Deb Mangels
Senior Vice President
ABD Insurance and Financial Services, San Mateo, Calif.

Transitioning from a pool to its own carrier, Piedmont Unified School District was able to offer revamped health care benefits at a lower cost with the help of Deb Mangels, senior vice president, ABD Insurance and Financial Services.

“It’s been an amazing year for us,” said Michael Brady, assistant superintendent, who had to oversee intense labor negotiations as employees saw a bump in medical benefit premiums. But they also saw that their premiums were $100 lower each month than what they would have paid in the pool.

In addition, Brady said, Mangels was able to save about “two years’ worth of premiums, which is huge for us,” following an audit that discovered the district had paid employer premiums over a multi-year period for a deceased retiree.

Mangels also initiated online enrollment for Piedmont and negotiated a 15-month plan year so the district could get on its preferred open enrollment cycle, Brady said.

“I have never felt that we were in a better place than we are right now,” Brady said.

Don Humphrey, finance manager at Livermore Area Recreation and Park District, said that “before we reached out to Mangels and ABD, the organization’s employee benefits were managed by HR with several different providers, each with their own point of contact.”

“With the Affordable Care Act, we realized we needed some help,” Humphrey said. The diistrict changed everything but medical, filled in some coverage gaps and saved $50,000 per year with Mangel’s help.

Passion for Innovation

Michael McHugh Senior Vice President Arthur J. Gallagher, Itasca, Ill.

Michael McHugh
Senior Vice President
Arthur J. Gallagher, Itasca, Ill.

With workers’ comp claims skyrocketing and with Illinois legislation overtly employee friendly, Michael McHugh has found ways to help his clients save money while mitigating exposures and claims.

“Michael and his team not only manage and make recommendations to us, but they also support us in a wide variety of ways,” said Mark Michelini, chairman of the Collective Liability Insurance Cooperative (CLIC) and assistant superintendent for business services at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill.

“Michael and his team bring a level of professionalism and sophistication they have spent a whole career developing. I am very fortunate to have their support,” he said.


McHugh has introduced several new programs to help the pool mitigate risks, including a company nurse program that provides more sophisticated triaging when claims occur; a claims advocacy group that offers a second opinion on claims; and a dedicated third-party administrator service unit, said Michelini.

“In these hard times,” said Jeff O’Connell, assistant superintendent for business services, Lake Park School District in Roselle, Ill., “they have been able to negotiate some good terms so that we are able to keep our costs in control and our members aren’t seeing huge increases.

“We are always looking for ways to better the pool. That comes at the direction of Michael and the Gallagher team,” he said.


LBR_ResponsiblityLeaderBLUE_logo-175Helping Those Less Fortunate

Michael McHugh gives extensively to those in need. His family sponsors three inner-city Chicago students so that they can receive a Catholic education. He also is involved with his church’s “adopt a needy family” program during the holidays.

“I am fortunate to have a loving family and that is why I feel it is important to reach out and help those that are less fortunate,” McHugh said.

He is also involved with his local church, serving on its finance committee for the past 10 years, and with the church’s fundraising committee and building committee to renovate the parish school and church.

Most recently, he came to the aid of two employees at his golf club who had lost their home in a fire. Over a period of weeks, he used his professional experience to counsel them prior to and during the claims process, reducing the anxiety they experienced during the stressful time.

McHugh is also very active in his organization’s college summer intern program. He interviews potential summer interns in the fall, is involved as they work with the company in the summer, and hires some of the young producers when they graduate.

“I am pleased to say that many of these young producers that began their careers in my business unit have been promoted within Gallagher to leadership roles, including branch managers,” he said.

McHugh is also active in other community programs, including youth baseball and soccer programs.


A Guide to Solutions

Nancy Sylvester, CPCU, ARM-P Managing Director Arthur J. Gallagher, Baton Rouge, La.

Nancy Sylvester, CPCU, ARM-P
Managing Director
Arthur J. Gallagher, Baton Rouge, La.

Nancy Sylvester is “like a toy solder that never unwinds. She’s dynamite,” said Dan Strange, administrator of the Louisiana Housing Association.

“We have a tremendous self-insurance program for the housing authorities, which number about 100. And it saves our agency a ton of money each year,” he said.

Sylvester, managing director, Public Sector, at Arthur J. Gallagher, goes “above and beyond,” said Steve Haynes, risk manager for the City of Plano, Texas.

“She’s technically very astute and very knowledgeable about not only insurance but risk management,” he said. “She is more of a business consultant, someone you can bounce ideas off of formally and informally.”

In Louisiana, she and her teammate, Butler Bourgeois, who was named a Power Broker® finalist this year, have helped guide Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office “through the perils of the insurance industry,” said Al Allemond, risk manager.

“I can’t begin to tell you how valuable they have been to me in getting us on the right track and keeping us there,” he said, noting that when he took on the position, the office had a three-ring binder of claims. “I would consider our agency during those days as horrible.”

But Sylvester and Bourgeois persevered when Allemond insisted on being able to handle claims in-house, and they ultimately found a carrier who agreed. Things have been running smoothly ever since.


Butler Bourgeois Area Vice President Arthur J. Gallagher

Butler Bourgeois
Area Vice President
Arthur J. Gallagher

Tony Abella Jr. Area Senior VP Arthur J. Gallagher

Tony Abella Jr.
Area Senior VP
Arthur J. Gallagher

Dave Marcus Area Chairman Arthur J. Gallagher

Dave Marcus
Area Chairman
Arthur J. Gallagher

Demetri Lembesis Executive VP Willis

Demetri Lembesis
Executive VP

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]