People News: HIIG, Farmers, Engle Martin

July 28, 2016
HIIG Announces Senior Management Promotions

Houston International Insurance Group (HIIG), an insurance holding company based in Texas, announced senior management promotions of Peter Smith, Susan Swails, and Richard Hitch.

Peter B. Smith has been promoted to president of the Holding Company and will continue to report to Stephen L. Way, Chairman & CEO. He has been with HIIG since January, 2015, and previously worked for more than ten years at HCC. Smith will continue to oversee all P&C operations as well as his new corporate responsibilities.

Susan K. Swails has been promoted to executive vice president with responsibility for all P&C underwriting operations. Swails will report to Peter Smith but will also work closely with Stephen L. Way in his role as group chief underwriting officer. She has extensive experience in P&C lines of business, particularly many of the specialty lines that HIIG writes. She joined HIIG in 2014 and previously worked for five years at HCC.

Richard W. Hitch has been promoted to senior vice president with overall responsibility for several business units: Mining, Onshore Energy, Hospitality, and two MGU Partners. Hitch has been with HIIG since 2014 and previously worked at W. R. Berkeley group for more than 15 years.

Farmers Insurance Announces Leadership Changes

Farmers Insurance announced several senior leadership changes to continue advancing the group’s customer-centered, agent-powered strategy.

Tim Madden, current president of Bristol West, will take on a new role as personal lines chief product officer for Farmers, where his 40 years of industry experience will serve as a strong foundation as he continues to innovate and drive initiatives to maintain profitable growth and raise customer retention. In his new role, Madden will report to Roy Smith, president of personal lines at Farmers.

Sharon Fernandez, head of service operations for Farmers, will step into Madden’s role as president of Bristol West. Fernandez has been with Farmers for eight years, building on her previous 20 years of insurance and financial services experience. In her new role, she will leverage her experience delivering improved customer experience and efficiency through continuous improvement for the Bristol West enterprise to further the brand’s efforts in this area. Fernandez will report to Steve Boshoven, president of the Foremost brand.

Chanda Sperry, leader of the service operations strategy team, will use her 10 years as an outstanding service operations leader to offer new insight as she assumes the role of head of service operations for Farmers, replacing Fernandez. Sperry’s commitment to customer satisfaction will help her drive continued success in leading customer experience enhancements at Farmers. She will report to David Travers, chief operating officer for Farmers.

Engle Martin Adds Bavely and Christ to Leadership Team

Atlanta-based Engle Martin & Associates, a national provider of independent adjusting and third-party claims administrative services, has announced the additions of Michael Bavely and Melissa Christ to the company’s leadership team.

Michael Bavely has joined Engle Martin as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Bavely has over twenty years of senior financial management experience and has held a variety of roles with both private and public companies, most recently serving as EVP and chief financial officer of Atlanta-based Swett & Crawford, a national wholesale insurance broker and specialty underwriting business. He has expertise in developing and implementing short and long-term growth and profitability strategies as well as valuable experience in all facets of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and compliance. Bavely will be responsible for all aspects of Engle Martin’s financial strategy and leading the finance team.

Melissa Christ has joined Engle Martin as executive vice president and chief human resources officer. Christ brings both extensive human resources expertise as well as insurance industry experience to the role, most recently serving as associate vice president of Human Resources with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Christ will be tasked with aligning human resources strategy to overall business goals, attracting and retaining talent, developing current and future leaders, and supporting acquisition and international endeavors.

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