6 People on the Move

Ken Jones joins SterlingRisk; Julie Boucher and Chris Varin join Marsh Captives Solutions; Jennifer S. Lanter and Steven E. Dubiel join Willis Towers Watson; Kristy Kendle joins QBE North America.
By: | November 1, 2018 • 3 min read

Ken Jones Joins SterlingRisk as Vice President

SterlingRisk Insurance, an independently owned insurance brokerage, announced that Kenneth J. Jones has joined the firm as Vice President.  Jones brings more than 30 years’ experience to SterlingRisk, with experience in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

Ken Jones, vice president, SterlingRisk

“Ken’s outstanding track record and strong industry reputation is an asset to both SterlingRisk and our clients,” announced SterlingRisk CEO David Sterling.  “Throughout his career, he has served as a business owner, a consultant, and a respected risk manager, often holding mentoring and leadership positions along the way.  We welcome Ken and look forward to his contributions as he brings his keen understanding of insurance to SterlingRisk.”

Jones, who attended Adelphi University, started his career with a large Long Island insurance firm, eventually becoming its top-ranking risk manager.  He then opened his own agency and later sold the business and worked with a national agency, becoming one of its top agents within 18 months.  His concentrations include construction, real estate, and the not-for-profit sector, working to reduce client exposures and lower costs.


Active on the Board of the Long Island Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Jones is an endurance triathlete with three Ironman finishes and over a dozen marathon finishes.  He has two adult children and resides with his wife in Huntington, New York.

Julie Boucher Appointed as Islands Practice Leader for Marsh Captives Solutions 

Chris Varin Is now U.S. Practice Leader for Marsh Captives Solutions 

Effective January 1, 2019, Julie Boucher will assume direct leadership of Marsh’s Bermuda, Cayman and Barbados captive offices. She has 30 years of experience in captives and will transfer from Vermont to Bermuda.

Also effective January 1, 2019, Chris Varin will take on the newly created role of US Practice Leader for Marsh Captive Solutions.

Both Mr. Varin and Ms. Boucher will report to Ellen Charnley, President, Marsh Captive Solutions.

Jennifer S. Lanter Joins Willis Towers Watson as Associate Director-Senior Broker, Construction

Steven E. Dubiel Joins as Associate Director-Senior Broker, Construction

Jennifer and Steven join the North American Construction Broking team at Willis Towers Watson where they will work closely with owners, developers and contractors to place and implement

Chris Varin, U.S. practice leader, Marsh Captive Solutions

large construction casualty projects, also known as Controlled Insurance Programs.

These complex, highly specialized project-specific insurance placements represent a growing segment of Willis Towers Watson’s portfolio and include a range of heavy infrastructure and large scale development projects across health care, sports and entertainment, energy and public-private partnerships.

Jennifer and Steven will report to Matt Summers, director/North American broking leader for the CIP team.

Kristy Kendle Joins QBE North America as Regional Executive-Western Region

QBE North America, an Integrated Specialist Insurer, promoted Kristy Kendle to Regional Executive – Western Region, which includes the states of AZ, CA, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA and WY. In this role, she is accountable for profitable growth across QBE’s specialized insurance business portfolio, as well as the development of all agent and broker relationships in the region.

Managing QBE’s regional hub office in San Francisco and activities throughout the region, Kendle will oversee strategy and business planning for the region. She also will collaborate with Underwriting and Claims leadership to deliver better end-to-end risk management solutions, leveraging the applied expertise, customer service excellence and global strength of QBE.

“As Regional Executive, Kristy is the primary representative of the entire QBE enterprise in the Western Region,” said Mark Cantin, President, Field Operations at QBE North America. “She has been serving as the interim Regional Executive, and with her proven leadership, we’re confident the team can further build on the strong momentum we have in the West.”


Kendle is an industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience. She joined QBE in 2016 as a Business Development Leader in QBE’s Western Region. Prior to QBE, she was at The Hanover Insurance Group, where she served as Regional Vice President. In this role, she was accountable for sales performance management, distribution management, portfolio management, recruiting, coaching and mentoring leaders and underwriters. She more than doubled the book of business in five years. Prior to The Hanover, Kendle held leadership positions at Travelers, AIG and Chubb.

Kendle has an Associate of Arts degree from Orange Coast College, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing from California State University of Long Beach. &

The R&I Editorial Team 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]