Director of State Filings - NCCI
Dennis Kokulak is NCCI’s Director of State Filings. In that role, he oversees the development of more than 300 national and state specific filings made each year with state insurance departments. These filings propose changes to the workers compensation rules, classifications, rating programs and policy forms. He also serves as Chairman of NCCI’s Underwriting Committee. The committee consist of ten senior level underwriting executives who provide industry input and perspective on changes to the workers compensation system.
PAAS Technical Manager
Sally Nesmith, CIC, APA: After graduating from Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sally moved to South Bend, Indiana where she started her insurance career. She lived in Louisiana for 27 years and worked as a professional liability underwriter, as an Estate Manager for the Department of Insurance, as Accountant and later as the Director of Client Services for the Louisiana Home Builders SIF and most finally for LWCC as the Associate Vice President of Insurance Operations. Sally moved to Northwest Arkansas in the spring of 2015 and started working with Premium Audit Advisory Service (PAAS) as the Technical Manager of Education. Sally has held her CIC designation since 1992 and obtained the APA designation and is working to complete the CPCU designation by the end of 2020. She was awarded the Baton Rouge Associate of the Year from PIA. She loves running, has completed 2 marathons, 15 half-marathons, numerous 5Ks, hiked the Grand Canyon and is married with four children.
North Carolina Rate Bureau
Natasha Sumter was born and raised in a small town in Sumter County, South Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. She later received a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She entered into the insurance industry 7 years ago with a monoline insurance company that provides voluntary and residual worker’s compensation coverage in over 40 states. A little over a year ago, Natasha took off her Director of Claims hat and picked up regulation. She is now the Worker’s Compensation Regulatory Manager for the North Carolina Rate Bureau in Raleigh, NC.
North Carolina Rate Bureau
Jarred Chappell was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He received a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jarred joined the North Carolina Rate Bureau May 2018 as the Director of Workers’ Compensation Operations. Prior to this, he was the VP of Sales for agency, Business Insurers of the Carolinas, where he’d been for 15 years.
Director, AF Specialty
Eric Halter is Director of AF Specialty, a division of AF Group focused on providing fronting capacity to insurance carriers, managing general agents, reinsurance intermediaries and captive managers. Eric is a proven executive leader with more than 25 years of experience in the insurance and financial sectors. Most recently, he served as president of a large captive management organization, overseeing its global operations and leading the organization to significant profitability and growth. Halter holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the College of Charleston and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
President & CEO - Cimarron Insurance
Paul Halter is the President, Chief Executive Officer and Director for Cimarron Underwriters, LLC, Cimarron Brokerage Company, LLC and Cimarron Insurance Company, Inc. (Demotech Rating of A). Mr. Halter began his career in 1981 in his father’s independent insurance agency in Bamberg, South Carolina. He eventually joined the insurer ranks with Crum & Forster Personal Insurance as field sales manager for the Carolinas. He joined March & McLennan, Inc. as AVP for Private Client Services in the Carolinas. He left Marsh to lead John & Higgins’ Private Client Services nationally. In 1994 he formed Commerce Casualty Group, Inc. with independent insurance agents in the Carolinas to write workers’ compensation insurance to be reinsured by Commerce Casualty Insurance Company, Inc., a Bermuda based reinsurance captive. From 2005 until 2007, Mr. Halter was President and Chief Operating Officer of Guarantee Insurance Company, Inc., its only profitable years. The company moved from Charlotte, NC to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in late 2007 after which Mr. Halter resigned. In 2010, Mr. Halter joined Patriot Underwriters, Inc. as a regional vice president in a newly created branch office in Charlotte, NC. Ultimately, he became Chief Executive Office of Patriot Underwriters, Inc. until he resigned his position after the company went public over concerns with the direction of the company. On November 30, 2017, Paul Halter and Jeff Roschman purchased ProSelect National Insurance Company, Inc. The name was changed to the company’s original name when organized in 1947, to Cimarron Insurance Company, Inc. Cimarron offers workers’ compensation in 24 states currently and is licensed in 33 for most property and casualty lines of business. The company continues to expand its geographic foot print and will introduce general liability, large deductible workers’ compensation and excess workers’ compensation in 2019.
Paul is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Certified Risk Manager (CRM) and a Charter Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU).
Divisional AVP - Summit Holdings
Eric Jones is the Divisional Assistant Vice President over Premium Audit for Summit. He has worked in Workers’ Compensation insurance over the last 15 years. During that time he has spent over 14 years assisting in combating premium fraud. As part of that role he oversees the Special Investigative Unit assigned to investigate premium fraud issues. Additionally, Eric chairs the Premium Committee for the Florida Workers’ Compensation Fraud Taskforce which is made up of multiple carriers, law enforcement, trade organizations, employers and attorneys whose function is to fight workers’ compensation fraud. Eric has a Masters’ degree in Educational Leadership. Prior to working in insurance, Eric was part of the public school system where he taught social studies courses and coached multiple different sports.
Elite Premium Auditor - EXL
Lisa Mäki’s career began in the insurance industry, as a staff accountant and paralegal, responsible for preparing statutory financial statements, managing asset reserves, unclaimed funds, managed corporate compliance. Lisa’s premium audit career took hold as a field employee for a fee company, she subsequently did a few short stints as an audit reviewer and continued her career as an independent field auditor for 15 years. Lisa recently began working as an Elite Premium Auditor at Overland Solutions.
Area VP - Wilkinson Insurance Services
Shawn Powers earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama - Huntsville in 2004. In 2006 he joined the Wilkinson Insurance Services team as a field representative performing physical audits. Through the years with WIS, Shawn has worn several different hats including a trainer, reviewer, and area manager. In 2016 Shawn furthered his education by obtaining an MBA from Auburn University. Pursuant to having 10 years of managerial experience in the Southeast, Shawn's current position with WIS is Area Vice President. He has 14 field auditors currently under his management umbrella which requires weekly analysis of their performance including meeting company quality and production standards, audit review of specialty carriers, training, mentoring, and other assistance to support upper management at WIS.