SPRING 2017 APPEX SPEAKERS

Justin Berry
Justin Berry
Regional President - Midwest
FIRST Insurance Funding

Michael Costello
Michael Costello
Principal
Evolve MGA
Mike Costello is one of the co-founders of Evolve that has focused directly on cyber liability for the past 5 years. With career roots beginning at Lloyd’s of London, Mike has a unique macro view of the cyber carriers in both the United States & Europe. He has harnessed this powerful coverage knowledge to help bring the broadest cyber policy directly to retail brokers. In addition, one of Mike’s specialties is to train insurance professionals on how to break down cyber exposure and sell coverage. In his off time, Mike enjoys piña coladas, getting caught in the rain, and is a sucker for anything with avocados.

Patrick Costello
Patrick Costello
Principal
Evolve MGA
Patrick Costello co-founded Evolve MGA with his brother Mike in 2015. He started his insurance career at Loyola Marymount University when he obtained his P&C license and interned at Lloyd’s of London. After training with ACE Group, obtaining his CPCU designation, and underwriting professional liability risks for three years, Patrick’s interests shifted towards the rapidly expanding cyber insurance market. He is determined to provide his brokers with the tools they need to give their clients peace of mind when addressing the exposures of the modern world. As a Bay Area native, Patrick is an AVID Warriors, Giants, and 49ers fan. You can catch him at the beach or hitting the basketball court to shoot hoops!

Lena Dawson
Lena Dawson
Senior Vice President - Wintrust Insurance Banking
Wintrust - Lake Forest Bank & Trust

Nick Kormos
Nick Kormos
Vice President, Business Development
MarshBerry
Nick Kormos joined MarshBerry as a Senior Sales Management Consultant in 2013. In 2015, he was promoted to Vice President and Unit Leader of MarshBerry’s Sales Performance division, which is one of the most rapidly growing divisions in MarshBerry Consulting Services. His team focuses on producer training/coaching and agency sales culture development through deployment of the MarshBerry Selling System that was built by the industry’s top producers.

Nick has over 15 years of sales and sales management experience, and he has completed several years of formal sales training courses. Prior to joining MarshBerry, he spent more than six years of his career in production and management roles at an independent insurance agency. He has earned his professional insurance designations of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA). Nick holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in interpersonal communication from Ohio University.

Nick’s approach with producers and agency management is focused on building a holistic agency sales process, not just a set of sales “tricks”. His team manages and coaches producers with experience levels ranging from brand new to industry veterans who are trying to get over their book growth plateaus. In his time at MarshBerry, Nick has coached hundreds of producers and spent time in dozens of agency offices working closely with leadership to drive change and sustainable growth.

He has been a keynote speaker at insurance carrier conferences, agency sales summits, and insurance association events including the World Broker Network as well as state Big I meetings. He has presented on a multitude of topics surrounding agency growth, sales culture, producer sales tactics, and organizational infrastructure. He also leads and facilitates SalesPro training sessions, organic growth seminars, and CEO Peer Exchange groups hosted by MarshBerry.

Christina Moran
Christina Moran Ph.D.
Vice President
MarshBerry
Christina Moran, Ph.D., joined Marsh, Berry & Co., Inc. (“MarshBerry”) in 2015 as the Business Unit Manager of Networks. Her core focus is on operations, specifically on the execution of the Networks' strategic plan and the delivery of growth and profitability goals. She manages and establishes priorities for all the people responsible for the execution of the Networks' sales and service targets, and she measures the effectiveness of the team to ensure accountability. In this role, she draws upon her experiences in talent management, leadership development, program design and delivery, teaching, presenting, marketing, product/service development, and generating intellectual capital.

Prior to joining MarshBerry, Christina worked for a private management consulting firm primarily focused on individual assessment and leadership development. Her research has appeared in a number of publications, including the Journal of Vocational Behavior, Motivation and Emotion, Personnel Psychology, Research in Nursing & Health, and Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and Spanish from John Carroll University. Christina completed her graduate work through the nationally ranked Industrial/Organizational Psychology program at the University of Akron where she earned her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. She is licensed as a psychologist by the state of Ohio.

David Soforenko
David Soforenko
Executive Vice President
MarshBerry
David joined Marsh, Berry & Company, Inc. (“MarshBerry”) in 2018 as Executive Vice President. In his role, David is responsible for the strategy and direction of MarshBerry’s newly formed Connect platform.

Prior to joining MarshBerry, David was with Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage, Inc. (“Starkweather”) for over 20 years where he rose to become a key leader of the firm. Until his departure, he was President, Chief Operating Officer, Director, Trustee, and Sales Manager of the firm. David’s responsibilities included, but were not limited to, building, developing and leading Commercial, Employee Benefits, and Surety operations with a strong focus on practice specialization management, organic revenue growth, retention strategies, and producer/account executive talent acquisition and development. Additionally, David participated in, and later led, Starkweather’s merger & acquisition activities. He also spearheaded their Captive and Small Business strategies.

David began his career with Aetna Casualty & Surety as a Commercial Casualty Underwriter in its Boston, MA, office and left Starkweather in 1992 for five years to help manage an apparel manufacturing facility in Fall River, MA, returning in 1997.

For nearly 15 years, David was an active participant in MarshBerry’s peer exchange programming, aligning himself, and Starkweather, to many of the key attributes of high growth agencies. He earned his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) in 2003 and has served on and chaired numerous industry and community boards. David graduated from the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI and lives in Lincoln, RI, with his wife and two children.

Jack Uldrich
Jack Uldrich
Global Futurist & Best-Selling Author
Jack Uldrich is a well-recognized global futurist, speaker, and author of eleven books, including award-winning best sellers. He is a frequent speaker on technology, change management and leadership and has addressed hundreds of corporations, associations and not-for-profit organizations on five continents. He regularly makes television appearances on the Science Channel, the Discovery Channel, and is a frequent guest on major media outlets, including CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.
Jack is also an ongoing contributor on emerging technologies and future trends for a number of publications, including The Wall Street Journal , Forbes, Wired Magazine and BusinessWeek.
Jack is a former naval intelligence officer and Defense Department official. He served as the director of the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long-Range Planning under Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. His most recent book is Foresight 20/20: A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow and his forthcoming book is Business as Unusual: How to Future-Proof Yourself Against Tomorrow’s Transformational Trends, Today.

Curt Vondrasek
Curt Vondrasek
SVP, Management Consulting
MarshBerry
Curt Vondrasek joined Marsh, Berry & Company, Inc. (“MarshBerry”) in 2016 and is the Senior Vice President of the Management Consulting Group. Curt is responsible for the strategy and direction of the Peer Exchange Networks, Talent Acquisition and Sales Performance business units. Curt sits on MarshBerry’s Strategic Planning Committee, and leads the Sales Board and the Networks Advisory Committee. He is also a frequent speaker at carrier, association, MarshBerry and industry events.

Prior to joining MarshBerry, Curt worked for HUB International as the Chief Business Development Officer in charge of their Business Development team. He was responsible for building, developing and leading a team that focused on outbound lead generation, new revenue growth, recruiting and training. While at HUB, Curt recruited and trained over 100 individuals and won a Bronze Stevie award for Insurance Executive of the Year.

Prior to HUB, Curt led US sales teams at both Allstate and AIG American General where he developed nationwide strategies and business plans, resulting in several years of double-digit growth. This included working with both captive and independent agents. With over 20 years of experience, Curt has started, reorganized and led various sales (inside and outside), marketing, training, recruiting and account management teams.

Outside of work, Curt has served on several boards including ABIA, CIMRO and RRHOA. He is also a past member of the American Heart Association wellness committee and the past president of the Chicago chapter for the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, which won the “Comeback Chapter of the Year” in 2013.

Curt earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL where he majored in finance and served as the president of his fraternity. He currently lives in Naperville, IL with his wife and two daughters.

John Wepler
John Wepler
Chairman & CEO
MarshBerry
A vital resource in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), as of December 31, 2017, John Wepler has personally advised on 207 M&A transactions since joining Marsh, Berry & Company, Inc. (“MarshBerry”) in 1991. He is an in-demand industry speaker because of his extensive knowledge in organic growth management, valuation enhancement strategies, business planning, perpetuation, financial management and M&A. As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MarshBerry—and CEO of the wholly-owned FINRA registered broker/dealer MarshBerry Capital, Inc.—John’s leadership and industry experience has benefitted many insurance industry professionals.

A Respected Adviser
John’s stewardship in the insurance industry has positioned him over the years as a sought-after adviser and chairperson for a range of organizations. He currently serves as an adviser to the board for the Worldwide Broker Network. Previous board positions include the Chairman of the Board of the Midwest Division of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), the IICF’s national Board of Governors, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, the American Bankers Insurance Association, and adviser to the Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers (DVIC) Board.

An Industry Mentor
John brings his deep advising experience to the ground level at industry seminars and events, as a keynote speaker and leader of executive forums. He strongly believes in advancing the industry and growing businesses through peer engagement and benchmarking. He is often a keynote speaker at insurance carrier elite meetings, national conferences and leadership forums, including:
• Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers conferences
• Chubb Wharton Executive Leadership Training
• Selective Executive Symposiums
• S&P Global Market Intelligence investment workshops

An Invested Partner
With extensive experience in all facets of insurance business planning—from organic growth to perpetuation—John’s skillset allows for designing innovative, progressive strategies that help owners as they work to realize their business goals and life’s dreams. Professionally, he maintains the Series 62, 79, 99, 24 and 63 FINRA registrations through MarshBerry Capital, Inc., the affiliated FINRA-registered Broker/Dealer of Marsh, Berry & Company, Inc. John earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Ohio University and has a master’s degree in business administration from Kent State University.