2022 Agenda

11 May 2022 | W Hotel Chicago City Center | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm CST

8:15 - 9:00 am

Registration and breakfast

9:00 - 9:05 am

Opening remarks from Chairperson

Caryn Best

Vice President, Marketing and Communications, IAT Insurance Group

9:05 - 9:40 am

Keynote address: Women leading the way: Inclusive decision-making

Join Dana Popish Severinghaus as she discusses how the willingness to be inclusive in your decision-making practices can transform you into a more effective leader. She will share her wins, challenges, and transformative decisions that helped her become the Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, alongside a predominantly female leadership team. In this session, you will learn how to develop the framework to increase women in leadership – and how to empower others to do the same.

Opening remarks:

Ania Boyko

Senior Underwriter, At-Bay


Dana Popish Severinghaus

Director, Illinois Department of Insurance

9:45 - 10:35 am

Creating a space for everyone

It takes one leader to start a shift in a company’s culture – to encourage active participation by all members of your team, to build an inclusive culture, and to support the celebration of diversity. This session will highlight effective and innovative strategies for creating a workplace that is both welcoming and empowering – and the prominent role you can play in driving them.

  • Building a supportive environment for both emerging and established leaders in insurance: What does it take?
  • What are the best strategies for crafting a hybrid culture that encourages participation by everyone?
  • Communication that fosters openness and empowers your team


Jeanette Kilo-Smith

Head of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging, Zurich North America


Jason Southard

Senior Vice President, FINPRO, North America, Marsh

Christina Geller

Senior Vice President National Financial Institutions Product Leader, Axis Insurance

Laura Zaroski

Managing Director, Gallagher

Kelley Kinsella

Regional Executive Officer, Midwest Region, Chubb

Erika Robinson

Vice President of Client Services, TheBest Claims Solutions

10:35 - 11:05 am

Networking Coffee Break

11:05 - 11:20 am

Interactive networking session

The goal of the Women in Insurance series is to empower and connect leaders in the insurance industry – around the world, but especially in each region. Expand your network, make connections, and meet fellow delegates in a structured networking session.

11:25 - 12:00 pm

Making an impact with emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a key determinant of a successful leader, especially in an ever-evolving insurance industry. The ability to connect emotionally with your team benefits everything from engagement to overall team productivity. This session will feature an EI expert on strategies for leading with empathy and making a meaningful impact within your team

  • What does emotional intelligence look like in the workplace?
  • How can EI play a key role in communication in a virtual office
  • How can you leverage empathy to impact and empower your team?
  • Effective strategies for improving mindfulness and avoiding burnout

Payal Beri

CEO & Founder, RK Empathy

12:00 - 12:55 pm

Lunch Networking Break

12:55 - 1:40 pm

Standing out from the crowd with your personal brand

Every insurance leader needs a strong personal brand that evolves as you advance in your career. It’s a matter of continually crafting and curating the skills and experience that make you, you! In this session, a panel of industry leaders will share advice on how to best articulate your personal brand, in and out of the office, and how it can be the key differentiator in your career.

  • How to make a strong, lasting impression – from the office, in the boardroom, or at your dining room table
  • Improving your digital footprint: leveraging popular social platforms like LinkedIn to market and build your brand
  • Tips for engaging internal sponsors to be your advocates
  • Using your everyday creativity to help you emerge as an authentic leader


Christopher Johnston

SVP, Regional Executive Midwest, Liberty Mutual Insurance


Doranita Tyler

Owner, D.Tyler Agency

Felicia Stanczak

Senior Vice President Marketing and Customer Insights, Gallagher Global Brokerage, Americas

Jenny Fraser

AVP, Management & Professional Lines, Amwins Group

Yosha DeLong

Global Head of Cyber, Mosaic Insurance

1:45 - 2:30 pm

A guide to proactive problem-solving

What separates an impactful leader from others is their ability to effectively problem-solve – to communicate transparently, consider the different perspectives and stakeholders, and challenge the status quo. This session will feature industry leaders who will unpack problem-solving in a workplace setting, and practical tips for finding the best solution to any task or project.

  • Building a team culture that considers different stakeholders – both internally and externally
  • What are the six key problem-solving skills all leaders should master?
  • How can you become an effective problem-solver, regardless of your level of leadership?


Stacy Paquet

Head of Management and Professional Liability, US, Nexus Group


Amanda Stantzos

Vice President, Cyber Underwriting, Corvus Insurance

Christina Lee

SVP, Head of Legal, US Businesses, CNA

Shelly Wasso

Executive Vice President, RT Specialty

Wendy Cook

Managing Director, Marsh USA

2:30 - 2:45 pm

Networking Coffee Break

2:45 - 3:35 pm

Lessons learned from a multigenerational workforce

For the first time, five generations are interacting within the workforce. While it’s easy to focus on potential conflict, there is a unique opportunity for insurance leaders to take advantage of the varied perspectives and experiences each generation offers. This session will feature a panel of different generations who will share their own experiences, and strategies for leveraging diverse thoughts and collaborating effectively.

  • How to incorporate team strategies such as knowledge sharing, clearing defined expectations, and active listening
  • What are we learning right now from each generation?
  • Understanding your team and how it translates to your client base


Emily Selck

Senior Vice President, Cyber, NFP


Julie Zimmer

Head of Insurance, Flexport

Jon Perry

Underwriter - Executive Risk, Beazley

KC Stralka

Chief of Staff, Illinois Department of Insurance

Leslie Carlson

Head of International (IPZ) Servicing, Zurich North America

3:35 - 4:00 pm

Closing keynote: Leveraging industry trends

In this session, hear from key industry leader on some of the most pressing industry trends, such as ESG, artificial intelligence, and a focus on personalization, that are currently shaping the insurance market and what you need to know to remain an informed and effective leader today.

Tara Leweling

Vice President, Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainability, Allstate

Greg Burns

Editor, Medill Local News Initiative, Northwestern University

4:00 pm

Closing remarks

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