6 People on the Move

Appointments are announced at NCOIL, Palomar Specialty Insurance Company, Group1001; Assurex Global; myMatrixx; and Aspen.
By: | January 4, 2019 • 5 min read

Linda Wang Steps Into Role of Head of Corporate Planning for Group1001

Linda Wang was hired as head of corporate planning for Group One Thousand One, LLC (Group1001), an insurance holding company in the United States. The company specializes in making insurance and retirement products, with a mission to make it more accessible.


Prior to Group1001, Wang served as CEO at Old Mutual Bermuda for four years and held senior level actuarial management positions at AEGON Diversified Investment Advisors in NY and Mercer Consulting in Conn.

“Group1001 is committed to delivering more useful and intuitive insurance products to the market and Linda’s experience and perspective will enhance our ability to execute this plan, as well as take advantage of new market opportunities ahead,” said Dan Towriss, CEO and President of Group1001.

“I have been watching the transformative work that Group1001 has been doing in recent years with the insurance industry, and I am thrilled to be part of the team,” said Wang.

“I am excited to bring my industry experience to the organization to empower further growth.”

Senator Dan ‘Blade’ Morrish Elected President of NCOIL

Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish will serve as National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) president for the 2019 term. He was elected by the NCOIL Executive Committee at the conclusion of the NCOIL Annual Meeting.

Dan Morrish, president, NCOIL

“I plan to share the good work NCOIL does to move positive insurance public policy forward, serve as a form emerging ideas and work with insurance regulators and our federal counterparts to ensure solid, state-based regulation of insurance,” said Morrish.

His priorities as president will include expanding the NCOIL’s educational offerings to include a track for legislative staff and engaging with states and legislators that do not actively participate with NCOIL.

Commissioner Tom Considine, NCOIL CEO said: “Since I started as NCOIL CEO in 2016, Sen. Morrish has been a leader on many issues, and willing to help in any way he can.”

Morrish has held a variety of positions with NCOIL, including chair of the State-Federal Relations Committee, chair of the International Insurance Issues Committee, and member of the Executive Committee. In 2018, Morrish was elected to serve as NCOIL vice president following the resignation of Vt. Representative Bill Botzow.

2019 marks the NCOIL’s 50th year as a national legislative organization made up of the nation’s legislators serving on their states’ insurance and financial institutions.

Elijah Marentette Becomes Senior VP at myMatrixx

Express Scripts Holding Company announced Elijah Marentette has been named senior vice president of account management at myMatrixx, a Tampa-based workers’ compensation pharmacy benefit management company focused on patient advocacy.

There, he will be responsible for leading the team of account executives and account managers at maintaining and strengthening client relationships, while keeping the company’s mission of achieving best possible outcomes for injured workers.

Prior to myMatrixx, Marentette held various executive positions at Coventry Health Care, most recently serving as vice president of Coventry’s local sales and service team. He also held the position of vice president of independent medical examinations operations.

Marentette also held various positions at Concentra in its auto injury solutions division, where he was responsible for the design and delivery of a claim file-imaging product and the development of the industry’s first internet-deployed claim reporting tool.

Mike Cirillo, president of myMatrixx, said: “Elijah’s keen insights into the needs of our clients and their injured workers are essential to the organization.” He brings “expertise in creating and implementing innovative solutions that improve care and decrease costs.”

Andy Sloan Named Chairman of the Board by Assurex Global

Assurex Global has announced the election of Andy Sloan as chairman of its board of directors.

Andy Sloan, chairman, board of directors, Assurex Global

Sloan has been with The Magnes Group, Inc., an independent insurance broker headquartered in Ontario, Canada, since 1984. He has been an Assurex Global Board member for the past eight years and served as their regional chairman in North America from 2015-17.

Jim Hackbarth, president and CEO of Assurex, said Sloan’s leadership and direction will be “essential.”

“He is the fourth Assurex Global chairman to have come from outside the United States. We are grateful to have Andy in this role and look forward to his contributions.”

Robert Beyerle Hired at Palomar Specialty Insurance Company

Palomar Specialty Insurance Company announced the hiring of Robert Beyerle as senior vice president of underwriting.

Beyerle spent 16 years at Great American Insurance Group as its divisional senior vice president of property & inland marine division. There, he was responsible for the western and southwest regions and the residential construction profit center.


“It is a great pleasure to announce Robert’s addition to the Palomar team,” said Mac Armstrong, CEO of Palomar. “Robert’s proven track record of profitable underwriting, cross-segment product knowledge and leadership supplements Palomar’s strong underwriting team.

“Moreover, it reinforces Palomar’s commitment to growing its commercial and specialty lines of business.”

Chris Carlson Appointed EVP by Aspen Insurance

Chris Carlson, EVP,head of U.S. property, Aspen Insurance

Chris Carlson has been promoted to the position of executive vice president, head of U.S. property, at Aspen Insurance, the insurance segment of Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited.

Prior to joining Aspen Insurance in 2016, Carlson worked with Zurich North America as a global property underwriter before going to Liberty International Underwriters for seven years.

Tim Kania, global head of energy & construction and U.S. property stated: “Chris brings a wealth of global property experience to this role. He has a proven track record of portfolio management and his appointment is a testament to the considerable internal talent that we have within Aspen Insurance.” &

Sarah De Kok is an undergraduate from Widener University, from the class of 2020. She can be reached at [email protected]

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]