8 People on the Move

Burns & Wilcox Announces two new leadership appointments and StrongArm Technologies announces its newest board member; all of this and more in this edition of People on the Move. 
By: | December 27, 2019

Burns & Wilcox Announces Two New Leadership Appointments

Burns & Wilcox, an insurance wholesale broker and underwriting manager announced two leadership appointments.

Sylvia Ornelas was promoted to associate vice president in addition to her current role as director, personal insurance, and John Heaner was promoted to associate managing director from underwriting manager, commercial insurance.


Ornelas will be located in the Los Angeles office while Heaner will be located in Tampa.

Orneleas has been recognized for her long-standing commitment to the company, with which she started at 24 years ago as an underwriting assistant. She has held various management positions. She reports to Tim Burnett, corporate vice president, managing director, Burns & Wilcox, Los Angeles.

Heaner will team growth to support office strategy. He has over a decade of underwriting experience an dis known for his knowledge within the commercial insurance space. He has been instrumental in the growth of the office since joining nearly five years ago. He reports to Rebecca Roberts, vice president, Burns & Wilcox, Florida.

“John has been a driving force for the growing Tampa office and continues to build its robust Commercial Insurance business,” said Roberts. “Burns & Wilcox has operated in Florida for more than 30 years and with his support, the Tampa office has experienced 15% organic growth in 2019.”

Mercer Names Edward Lehman U.S. Health Leader

Edward Lehman, U.S. health leader, Mercer

Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and career, and a business of Marsh & McLennan, announced that Edward Lehman as the firm’s U.S. health leader, effective January 2, 2020.

Lehman will lead the U.S. health team in providing value and well-being for their employees. He will also join Mercer’s global health leadership team. Lehman will report to Louis Gagnon, president, U.S. & Canada.

Mercer’s current U.S. health leader, Sharon Cunninghis, has announced her retirement as of the end of February 2020 and will work closely with Lehman to ensure a smooth transition.

“We are very pleased to welcome Ed to Mercer as the leader of our U.S. health business,” said Gagnon.

“His deep and diverse industry knowledge and proven track record of strong client relationships, dynamic leadership and business growth will contribute significantly to our clients’ ability to offer innovative and engaging health plans.”

Lehman joins Mercer from Magellan Health Inc. There, he most recently served as Health Plan Segment Leader. Prior to Magellan, he held senior sales, client management and leadership roles at Grand Rounds, Cigna, Aetna and Watson Wyatt (now Willis Towers Watson).

He began his career as a Mercer consulting intern in the firm’s Los Angeles office, where he will now be based.

Vicky Clarke Joins Thomas Miller Specialty as An Underwriter Amidst Lodestar Acquisition

Thomas Miller Specialty, a global insurance provider across a number of sectors including marine, offshore and general aviation, announced today it has concluded the purchase of Lodestar Marine’s book of business.

Along with the acquisition of Lodestar, Vicky Clare, an underwriter for Lodestar, will join the Thomas Miller Specialty team.

Her 13 years of experience and commitment to the marine insurance market will not only help grow the business and ensure renewals, but it will promote business continuity for Lodestar Marine.

“The purchase of Lodestar’s book is a logical, strategic fit for us and creates further scale in an increasingly competitive market,” said Danielle Champion, chief executive officer, Thomas Miller Specialty.

“It will further enhance our service offering to our fixed premium P&I customers.”

Hugo Wynn-Williams, chairman of Thomas Miller Specialty, said, “We are  committed to consolidating our fixed premium protection and indemnity offering and building up our MGA business.”

Matthew Edgette Joins Concord Specialty Risk

Matthew Edgette, vice president, Tax Insurance Underwriting, Concord Specialty Risk

Concord Specialty Risk, a series of RSG Underwriting Managers and a subsidiary of Ryan Specialty Group has announced the appointment of Matthew Edgette, vice president, Tax Insurance Underwriting.

Edgette will lead Concord’s tax insurance practice, based in New York, New York.

Most recently, Edgette led tax insurance underwriting for Allied World Insurance Company.

“Matthew has the requisite knowledge of tax law, underwriting savvy, people skills, and passion to lead Concord’s tax insurance practice during this opportunistic time to expand,” said David De Berry, chief executive officer of Concord Specialty Risk.

“We are excited to have the experience, skill set, relationships, and gravitas that Edgette brings with him.”

Commenting on joining the firm, Edgette said, “Concord is a well-known pioneer firm in the transactional risk space. I am excited to help grow the company’s Tax Insurance book and to be working with the best and the brightest at this time of growth in the Tax Insurance industry. I’m thrilled to be joining the outstanding team at Concord.”

Vālenz Appoints a New Chief Financial Officer        

Vālenz, a medical cost reduction and claims management organization, has announced the appointment of Larry Eisel as chief financial officer.

In addition to overseeing financial operations, Eisel will be responsible for establishing sustainable growth goals. With more than 30 years of experience in finance, his background includes extensive CFO experience for other organizations such as Total Transit.


“At Valenz, our promise of smarter, better, faster healthcare requires some of the smartest minds in business, and Larry has the vision and experience we need to lead our enterprise to new heights,” said Rob Gelb, Chief Revenue Officer. “With his prior success in building and managing the financial aspects of growth-oriented companies, I am certain Larry will deliver the results we need to continuously expand our capabilities.”

“Valenz is extremely well positioned to transform claim management through data science and first-of-its-kind integration, and I am excited to join a team so heavily focused on bringing real savings and solutions to its customers,” Eisel said. “I look forward to the future and doing my part to continually expand the true potential of Valenz.”

In 2014, Eisel was named CFO of the Year by Financial Executives International and received the Outstanding CFO award from the Phoenix Business Journal.

Erica Dominitz Joins Aon Global Risk Consulting

Erica Dominitz, senior U.S. property coverage officer, Aon Global Risk Consulting

Aon Global Risk Consulting has appointed Erica Dominitz as a senior U.S. property coverage officer.

Dominitz, an insurance coverage attorney, will be based in Washington, D.C. She has nearly twenty years of experience with complex property and business interruption claims.

“The unprecedented number of natural disasters around the world during the past few years has fueled client demand for the expertise of Aon’s claim professionals to assist with their complex property and business interruption losses,” said Jill Dalton, group managing director, Aon Global Risk Consulting.

“Erica’s appointment adds depth to our team and confirms our commitment to provide best-in-class support for the growing number of our clients with large and sensitive property claims.”

“In a world where claims and policies are more complex than ever before, Aon’s claims advocates and consultants provide the critical expertise and support that clients need to achieve timely and fair insurance recoveries after a large loss,” added James Harrington, executive vice president and U.S. property claims officer at Aon.

“Along with her extensive assistance to clients with complex property claims resolution, Erica brings critical insights that will help clients on a pre-loss basis assess how their coverages might respond to various large-scale claim events,” said Rick Miller, U.S. property leader, Aon Commercial Risk Solutions.

Most recently, Dominitz served as senior vice president, Marsh USA Inc.

StrongArm Technologies Announces Newest Board Member

Shaun Stewart, chief executive officer, New Lab

StrongArm Technologies announced that New Lab CEO Shaun Stewart has joined their board in an effort to further StrongArm’s mission to keep Industrial Athletes protected.

Prior to joining New Lab, Stewart was the chief business development officer at Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous vehicle company based out of Google X in Mountain View, California. He joined Waymo after 14 years as an executive at Airbnb, Jetsetter and Expedia.

In advising StrongArm, Stewart will support the advancement of the company’s signature offering, the FUSE Platform and its complementary IoT sensor — a risk monitoring device that uses machine learning to capture and analyze the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and other environmental dangers.

FUSE runs data through an algorithm to generate a worker’s Safety Score – a risk metric tied to the propensity for a lost work-day injury.

“Blue-collar workers, unlike sporting athletes, have been overlooked by the innovation transforming other industries,” said StrongArm chief executive and co-founder, Sean Petterson.

“We wanted to create something to benefit the backbone of society, the lifeblood of our economy, the people who build the world around us,” he explained of the FUSE Platform. &

Emily Spennato is a former staff writer with Risk & Insurance.

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