Dr. Stuart R. Bell became the 29th president of The University of Alabama on July 15, 2015. Founded in 1831, the University is the state’s flagship and a student-centered, comprehensive research university. Dr. Bell has broad administrative experience and is a nearly 30-year veteran of higher education. He previously served at UA for 16 years where he founded and directed an interdisciplinary research center.
Immediately prior to becoming UA’s president, Dr. Bell was executive vice president and provost at Louisiana State University. During Dr. Bell’s tenure there and earlier at the University of Kansas where he served as dean of its College of Engineering, those institutions opened new facilities, and student recruitment, retention and success were emphasized. First joining UA in 1986 as an assistant professor in the UA College of Engineering’s department of mechanical engineering, Dr. Bell was named department head nine years later.
With research interest in combustion engines, Dr. Bell has expertise in alternative fuels for engines, innovative engine designs and modeling of engine and engine processes. He directed UA’s Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies. Dr. Bell was awarded the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Ralph Teetor Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research and Teaching in 1988. He was presented the T. Morris Hackney Faculty Leadership Award for the UA College of Engineering in 2001, and, in 2005, he received the Richard S. Woodbury Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
An Abilene, Texas, native, Dr. Bell earned a nuclear engineering degree from Texas A&M University in 1979. He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M in 1981 and 1986, respectively. He and his wife, Susan, have three adult children, Stuart, Stacy and Stephen.
He served the Louisiana Department of Insurance in leadership positions as Chief Deputy Commissioner and Executive Counsel prior to becoming Commissioner of Insurance.
Jim is a native New Orleanian and a graduate of Jesuit High School, the University of New Orleans and Loyola School of Law. His public service career includes 33 years of military experience in the Louisiana Army National Guard where he retired with the rank of Colonel. He was first elected to office in 1975 as Chairman of the Jefferson Parish Council and then served in the House of Representatives from 1981-2001 where he served as Chairman of the Committee on Insurance. In 2001 Jim joined the staff of the Department of Insurance and was appointed Commissioner of Insurance in February 2006. He was re-elected in 2007 and again in 2011.
Jim served as the President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) in 2013 and serves as Chairman of the Surplus Lines Task Force. He is also on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in New Orleans and the Blood Center for Southeast Louisiana.
She is a Managing Director at McBee Strategic Consulting. Kim plays a senior role at the firm, assisting advocacy clients with political and legislative strategy and strategic communications for public affairs campaigns. Prior to joining McBee, Kim was the Senior Executive Vice President, Public Policy of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) where she was responsible for developing global public policy. In addition, she was responsible for creating and implementing the strategies to achieve these public policy goals. Kim also served as the trade association’s chief liaison with the Senate, House of Representatives and the Administration. Previously, Kim ran her own government relations business representing such non-profit clients as the Sesame Street Workshop, the National Captioning Institute, and America’s Public Television Stations. In 1991, she won the American Society of Association Executive’s Government Relations Award of Excellence as part of a team representing America’s Public Television Stations. Kim serves as member of the Advisory Council of the Stanford Center on Longevity. She is a native of Washington State, has a MA in International Affairs from the George Washington University and a BA in History from Washington State University.
Renee Guttmann is an accomplished global information security and privacy executive with a proven track record of establishing internationally recognized information security programs for Fortune 500 companies. As vice president of information risk and member of the Office of t he CISO, Guttmann is responsible for providing guidance to security leaders at enterprise-class organizations. Her council helps enable them to think differently about security strategies so they can change, innovate and be more successful.
Prior to joining Optiv Security, Guttmann served as chief information security officer of Coca-Cola, where she established an enterprise-wide information risk management program to address information security, privacy and business continuity planning risks across the Coca-Cola systems. Guttmann previously held leadership positions for Time, Inc. and Time Warner, Inc., where she drove the global information security and privacy program as well as the application security program at the corporate head office. She also served in various security-related roles at Capital One, Glaxo Wellcome and Gartner, Inc.
Guttmann is internationally recognized within the information security community for knowledge, vision and leadership in the constantly evolving and complex area of information security and risk management. She is a prominent speaker at top industry conferences and has been honored with accolades such as SC Magazine’s 2015 Women in IT Security: 10 Power Players, the Compass Award from CSO Magazine and “Woman of Influence” by the Executive Women’s Forum. Guttmann is a fellow of the Ponemon Institute. She serves on several technical advisory boards and is a member of the Board of Directors for Hillside Community Services for Children, the oldest non-profit in Georgia focused on children in need, where she serves on the audit, information technology and HR committees. Guttmann received her honors bachelor’s degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and holds multiple technical certifications.
Guzman joined McGriff in September of 2009 as a Senior Vice President and Errors & Omissions Liability practice leader concentrating on the design, placement and oversight of customized executive risk solutions for the Fortune 1000 and other complex accounts.
She has over 20 years of brokerage experience and has a background in both property/casualty and executive risks issues and has concentrated the past several years in the errors and omissions/professional liability, cyber/privacy, and media risks across industry groups. Mary came to McGriff having served is a Senior Vice President and Account Director roles at competing brokers. She currently manages the relationships of several large account including MLB (and the MLB Clubs), Global Payments, and the law firm of Squire Sanders, one of the 20 largest in the nation. She also acts as a resource and placement expert for several McGriff accounts including NRG Energy, Lincoln Financial, and Conway, Inc.
Mary is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has written publications related to information security risk. She also consults with clients on risk management and contracting strategies for vendor/business partner relationships and is the lead insurance placement specialist for McGriff in cyber, E&O, and related insurance products.
is president of the Insurance Information Institute. Since joining the I.I.I. in 1998 as an economist and becoming chief economist in 1999, Dr. Hartwig has focused his work on improving understanding of key insurance issues across all industry stakeholders including media, consumers, insurers, producers, regulators, legislators and investors.
Inspirational speaker and behavioral finance expert, and author of the award-winning book Living a Life of Significance (Acanthus Publishing, 2013). It has sold over 60,000 copies and is translated in four languages. Formerly, Joe ran insurance sales at Paine Webber and more recently was a senior vice president at MetLife. He was responsible for retail product development and started their fee-based financial planning program and behavioral finance department. Joe is also a founder of the Insured Retirement Institute (formally known as the National Association of Variable Annuities or NAVA) and has been featured on the cover of Life Insurance Selling magazine. For three consecutive years, he has been honored by Irish America magazine as one of the "Top 50 Irish Americans on Wall Street." He was inducted into the Fordham Football Hall of Fame and has played rugby for the New York Athletic Club for 30 years.
Melissa Kelly serves Markel Global as the Regional Vice President overseeing the Central and Western regions for Executive Liability. Prior to joining Markel in 2011, Melissa was a Regional Vice President of the Executive Assurance Division of Arch Insurance Group.
Melissa has more than 14 years of management liability underwriting experience, having started her insurance career at Gulf Insurance Company. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in Risk Management and an MBA from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.
Tim has 30 years of experience in the insurance risk management, D&O and Financial Services business. He is President and CEO of Lockton Houston and a leader and Director of Lockton Global Energy and Lockton’s Global Financial Services Practice, LFS. Over the course of his career, Tim has served as an underwriter, broker and business leader with AIG, Alexander & Alexander, and Aon in London, Los Angeles and Houston. Tim specializes in complex energy, financial services and alternative risk programs. He has spoken and presented at countless Financial and Alternative Risk meetings and has developed products with global insurance markets that have proven to be exceptional for all parties.
Tim joined Lockton in 2001, founding the Houston office along with a team of eight leaders. Today Lockton Houston is a recognized energy and risk management market leader with over 300 team members
James, who most recently held the title of President, Life Insurance of AIG Consumer Insurance, retired from AIG in May of 2015.
During his tenure in the insurance industry, Jim led a number of strategic initiatives. He is perhaps best known for developing Quality of Life … Insurance (QOL), a product suite which is viewed as revolutionizing life offerings not only at AIG, but in the industry as a whole. The idea is simple – allow customers to access the death benefit part of their insurance policies while still living if they experience either a critical, chronic or terminal illness.
Jim also engineered a dramatic turnaround at American General Life and Accident Company (AGLA, a subsidiary of AIG) while President & CEO from 2004 to 2008. He led AGLA’s outstanding performance during the financial crisis from 2008 to 2011 as the business continued to grow life sales and generated dividends to parent company AIG, and in the process, dramatically outperformed the U.S. life insurance industry as a whole.
In 2012, Jim was named President & CEO of American General Life where he helped unite American General Life Companies and AGLA. Subsequently, Jim was involved in the merging of Life and Consumer and was named Global Head of AIG Global Consumer Life. In that role, Jim helped AIG rebuild its international life business by entering into a joint venture with PICC Life of China and leading the successful acquisitions of a life company in the UK and a health company in Ireland. Jim also brought several new strategic product concepts to AIG life units in Japan and Korea.
Prior to joining AGLA in 2004, Jim was with the Vermont-based National Life Group, where he served as president and chief operating officer of National Life Insurance Company. He also served as chairman of Life of the Southwest, a National Life Group subsidiary which became the vehicle for a highly successful startup independent life channel. As president of Integon Life, Mr. Mallon also oversaw a successful turnaround of that company. He began his career as an agent in field sales with The Hartford, where he later also served as chief marketing officer. He also designed one of the industry’s first worksite strategies for Chubb Life.
FRANK B. O'NEIL, is the Senior Vice-President and Chief Communications Officer for ProAssurance. Mr. O'Neil was the Senior Vice-President of Corporate communications for Medical Assurance, ProAssurance's predecessor company, and has been employed by Medical Assurance and its subsidiaries since 1987.
Prior to joining Medical Assurance, Mr. O’Neil spent 14 years in television news broadcasting and management. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Alabama and a Masters in Public and Private Management from Birmingham-Southern College, and he has served both institutions as a adjunct faculty member. He is a member and former Chairman of the Alabama Insurance Planning Commission. Mr. O'Neil serves on the Board of Directors of National Security Corporation and is a member of that company's Compensation Committee.
Jessica Procter, a President’s List sophomore with a GPA of 4.219 at the University of Alabama, is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, minoring in Psychology, and is an active member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.
Jessica competed in the Miss Alabama Pageant for the first time this past June and placed 3rd runner up out of 50 young ladies across the state, and currently holds the title of Miss Tuscaloosa. She was also Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen in 2013 and placed 2nd Runner Up in Miss America’s Outstanding Teen that same year.
Her platform, “Step Up to the Plate” seeks to evoke a sense of urgency among people today, encouraging them to act now and “fill the plate” of their hungry neighbor. By partnering with the West Alabama Food Bank, Fifth Quarter, and Feeding America, “Step Up to the Plate” fights hunger by conducting canned food drives, speaking to local groups, raising money, participating in and encouraging volunteerism at local soup bowls, food banks, and establishing food recovery programs at local businesses and sporting events.
Jessica is currently the worship and youth leader for middle, high school, and college-age groups at The Church at Tuscaloosa where she hopes to become a professional singer/songwriter and worship leader/counselor.
Jim is a native Arkansan who has lived and worked in Montgomery since 1987. He was reappointed Insurance Commissioner by Governor Robert Bentley on January 17, 2011.
Ridling is a graduate of the University of the Ozarks. Upon graduation in 1967, he entered a management training program with Fireman’s Fund Insurance, leading to several management positions and culminating as executive vice president U. S. operations. In 1987, he left California to come back to his native South. He traded his interest in American Express (which owned Fireman’s Fund at the time) for ownership in Southern Guaranty, a Fireman’s Fund subsidiary headquartered in Montgomery, serving as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Following his retirement from Southern Guaranty, Commissioner Ridling remained active. He and other local business leaders formed River Bank and Trust, where he currently serves as Vice Chairman. Commissioner Ridling is a former Chairman of the Board of Directors for Jackson Hospital and has served on the Boards of Directors of the Montgomery Airport Authority, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and the Central Alabama Community Foundation. He is a former Chairman of the River Region United Way.
Greg Sankey became the eighth commissioner of the Southeastern Conference on June 1, 2015, after serving on the SEC staff for 13 years in various leadership positions.
Sankey, 50, was an integral part of former commissioner Mike Slive's efforts to reshape the SEC's governance, enforcement and compliance program, and he also oversaw the SEC's championships staff. Most recently he played a central role in crafting the new autonomy governance structure of the NCAA, which is intended to provide the 65 institutions from the Five Conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC). He is active within the NCAA committee structure, which includes his current service on the NCAA Gender-Equity Task Force and the Division I Committee on Infractions, for which he currently serves as chair. +Sankey joined the SEC staff in 2002 as Associate Commissioner and was elevated to Executive Associate Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for the league office in 2012.
Prior to joining the SEC staff, Sankey was Commissioner of the Southland Conference for nearly seven years. He joined the Southland Conference staff in 1992 where he served as both assistant and associate commissioner before he was named commissioner in 1996 at the age of 31.
On March 12, 2015, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC announced Sankey would succeed Slive as commissioner of the SEC.
Frank is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Protective Life Corporation and oversees the company’s marketing and branding initiatives. His team is responsible for customer analytics, customer experience, customer relationship marketing, online sales and marketing, social media, communications, and agent marketing.
Prior to joining Protective in March 2012, Mr. Sottosanti was Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for BBVA Compass in Birmingham. He also worked for Wells Fargo, Wachovia, and Bank of America in various marketing leadership roles while living in Charlotte. He began her career with The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta and has more than 20 years of experience in driving brand differentiation and sales through innovative marketing.
Mr. Sottosanti currently serves on the advisory boards of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Red Mountain Theater Company, and the Autism Society of Alabama. He is also currently serving as the Communications Co-Chair for the United Way of Central Alabama.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Bucknell University and his Master’s in Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Phillip Stano, a Partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, has more than 30 years of experience as a regulator, counsel for a life insurers’ trade association and defense attorney. His focus includes complex class action and other financial services litigation and regulatory and compliance counseling. Before joining Sutherland, Phil served as chief litigation counsel at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), where he filed more than 350 briefs on significant issues affecting insurers' marketing life, annuity, disability, long-term care and health insurance products. He organized and directed ACLI’s class action, state tort/judicial reform, insurer legal privileges, arbitration and insurance anti-fraud legislative reform efforts. Prior to ACLI, Phil was assistant attorney general and general counsel of the Alabama Insurance Department, where he litigated numerous civil matters at the trial and appellate levels. He has extensive experience in insurer rehabilitation and liquidation proceedings and unclaimed property/market conduct audit defense and advice.
The Con Brio Trio is a string ensemble founded in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The chamber group consists of violin, viola, and cello. Notable performances include a masterclass for the Fine Arts Quartet and a collaboration with a fellow violinist in Mozart’s Dissonance Quartet for the Chamber Music Ensembles Concert of 2015. In addition to classical recitals, the Con Brio Trio also provides string music for weddings, receptions, parties, and other special events, performing a range of musical genres.
Fayth Williams, violinist of the Con Brio Trio, served as assistant principal 2nd of the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra, concertmaster of the Selma Community Orchestra, assistant concertmaster of the All-State Orchestra, and was also a member of the Montgomery Youth Orchestra. Nicole McCommon, violist of the Con Brio Trio, has over 16 years of performing experience. She has played in several chamber groups and orchestras including the Poco a Poco Trio, Germantown Youth Symphony Trio, Sedie Musicali Quartet, Hutchison String Orchestra, Memphis Reparatory Orchestra, Bellevue Baptist Orchestra, All-West Tennessee Orchestra, and All-State Tennessee Orchestra throughout the United States and China. Marilyn Liu, cellist of the Con Brio trio, is a current member of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and the Huxford Symphony Orchestra. Marilyn has had notable performances in North America, Taiwan, and Italy
Anna is executive director of Medicaid and regulatory affairs at VIVA Health. VIVA, part of the UAB Health System, provides insurance coverage to 100,000 members who have either private insurance or Medicare. VIVA also is involved in three probationary regional care organizations, or RCOs, through which Alabama is reforming its Medicaid program into a provider-led, managed care system. Anna is responsible for VIVA’s compliance with the Affordable Care Act and for its participation in the Medicaid RCO program.
Before joining VIVA in 2010, Anna was a newspaper reporter for 14 years at The Birmingham News, The State in Columbia, S.C., and The Macon Telegraph in Macon, Georgia. She wrote about health care for most of that time. Anna holds an honors undergraduate degree from Yale University and an honors master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.
Walker joined Pro Assurance October 1, 2010 as Program Executive of the Ob-Gyn Risk Alliance. Prior to Joining Pro Assurance Mr. Walker was Practice Leader for the Willis Re Healthcare Group and specialized in Reinsurance for provider owned primary insurance companies which offer both physician and hospital coverage.
Mr. Walker joined Willis in 1989 as a Vice President with the National Account Services Division specializing in retail and reinsurance healthcare accounts. From 1994 until 2005, he served as Chairman of both the retail and reinsurance healthcare practice groups. At Willis, Mr. Walker worked extensively in the London and domestic insurance and reinsurance markets primarily on behalf of captives and healthcare mutual insurance companies.
Prior to joining Willis, Mr. Walker spent 15 years as Chief Operating Officer of a medical professional mutual insurance company. During that time, Mr. Walker specialized in physician and hospital professional liability underwriting and served as director of a statewide health plan.
Mr. Walker received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Alabama and his Master of Business Administration from Samford University. Mr. Walker also earned his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, Associate in Risk Management and Associate in Reinsurance designations.
Additionally, Mr. Walker was awarded the 1989 William Crawford Gorgas Award for outstanding contribution to the medical profession by a layman, in 2004 was selected for the Top 100 Healthcare Professionals, Nashville Business Journal and was selected by Risk and Insurance Magazine as one of the Top 100 Brokers in America for 2005 and 2006. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the PLUS Foundation and currently serves on the board of the Kansas Healthcare Provider Fund and Alabama Insurance Planning Commisssion.
Wes Yeatman, CPA, CGMA, MBA, is currently the Controller for VIVA Health, Inc., a UAB affiliated health insurance company that processes nearly $1 billion in medical claims per year. Wes received his BS in Accounting from UAB in 1994 and his MBA from UAB in 2002. Wes began his career in public accounting and has served as a healthcare consultant and CFO for federally qualified health centers. In 2000, Wes founded a non-profit organization, Pediatric Rehab, which continues today as an Easter Seals Birmingham program providing physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to children with disabilities regardless of their ability to pay for services. Wes was the Director of Finance for HealthSpring of Alabama in 2006 when the company executed an initial public offering (IPO) and secondary offering. Wes has worked as a finance executive in the health insurance industry for the past 9 years during which Medicare Part D and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were implemented. Most recently, Wes has been working on UAB Health System's partnership with the State of Alabama to reform Medicaid using capitated Regional Care Organizations
Brady Young is a principal owner of Strategic Risk Solutions, Inc. and the firm’s President and CEO. He is a founding member of SRS having been with the company since its inception in 1993 and led the management buy-out of SRS to establish the company as an independent entity in August 2002. Brady is responsible for the overall strategic development of SRS. During his time with the firm, he has established SRS in a leadership position in the captive market.
Brady has over 25 years of captive insurance experience and has worked with US and European companies in most industries to assess the need for and optimize the role of their captive insurers. He has been involved in the formation of numerous captives and has provided strategic and operational consulting to many of SRS’s clients.
Prior to joining SRS in 1993, Brady spent eight years with Tillinghast-Towers Perrin. As Principal in the firm, he managed the London, Boston, and Toronto risk management practices and worked on a variety of risk management and captive related assignments for corporations and groups covering a wide spectrum of risks and industries.