Our Approach

The RISE Vision

Our vision is to create a platform where young insurance professionals are recognized for their accomplishments in the industry, can learn about new industry technologies and practices and are encouraged to  engage with industry mentors and peers. Our purpose is to educate the younger generations on the benefits of joining the insurance industry and to help bridge the talent gap by creating a space for young professionals to network, learn and grow.

Our Story

Our Story

At almost every conference or event in the last couple years, Chief Claim Officers and CEOs have been talking about the talent gap and the need to attract and retain good talent in the insurance industry. For a while we've known that Baby-Boomers are retiring at an increasing number and Generation X is not large enough to fill all the positions, and the next generation of Millennials need to be raised up to fill the gap being left behind. Companies need a knowledge transfer strategy.

Most young or new employees, even at management level, do not get the opportunity to attend conferences and interact with professionals outside their company who have already proven themselves. Many executives have shared concern about the next generation's ability to think and act professionally. Very few organizations have young professional groups, and the few that exist don't have an industry-wide presence.  If you were lucky enough to know in college you would be working in insurance, you may have those groups available, but what about the rest of us who are here "by accident"?

Hence, R.I.S.E. was born.

Involvement in industry events and seeing first hand the career path that insurance offers creates engagement. That's why we're gathering the brightest rising stars and collaborating with existing organizations to funnel new talent into the industry, educate, connect with, and recognize them.

Advisory Board

To be successful, any good idea must be backed by excellent people.
Our Advisory Board is comprised of industry executives who share a passion for diversity and the future success of the insurance industry.


Abel Travis


Third Coast Insurance Company
& Fundamental Underwriters


Darla Finchum


MetLife Home and Auto

matt mccolley

Matt McColley

Head of Claims

KW Specialty Insurance Company

Cat Reese

Catherine Reese

Chief Claims Officer

Tower Hill Insurance Group

chris greene

Christopher Greene

SVP, Chief Claims Officer, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Canal Insurance Company

david vanalek (1)

David Vanalek

Chief Operating Officer of Claims


Mike FIato

Mike Fiato

EVP & Chief Claims Officer

Liberty Mutual

melissa hill

Melissa Hill

Enterprise Claims Data & Analytics

American Family Insurance

Jose De La Cruz

Jose De La Cruz

HR Lead and Director

Travelers Insurance

nigel shepherd

Nigel Shepherd

Vice President, Head of Casualty Claims

PURE Group of Insurance Companies

Dale New

Dale Sherman

Vice President and Assistant General Counsel

Allstate Insurance

danny colon

Daniel Colon


United Automobile Insurance Company

laura johnson

Laura Johnson

VP, Underwriting and Product Development

Olympus Insurance Company


Rene Cubas Jr.

SIU Field Manager


Ken Kerby

Ken Kerby

AVP, SIU and Claims Audit

The Cincinnati Insurance Companies

Shannon Harjer

Shannon Harjer

Vice President Personal Lines

Founders Insurance Company

rich dowd

Rich Dowd

VP Claims

Atlas Financial Holdings

scott ottenheimer

Scott Ottenheimer

VP - Head of Procurement

QBE North America

Leadership Team

AmyCooper headshot square

Amy Cooper

Founder & CEO

katerina headshot linkedin

Katerina Garavito


RISE Ambassadors

Jim Abbott


JMA Global

Sara Govero

Director of Client Relations

Cosmich Simmons & Brown

Brian Pozzi

VP, Office of General Counsel & Corporate Claims Officer

The Auto Club Group

Michael Saltman

Chief Revenue Officer

Resolute Systems

Chelsea Buzer

Head of Recruitment

Insure National Staffing

Michael LaFond

Director of Claims Litigation

Pekin Insurance

Caryn Siebert

Vice President - Carrier Practice

Gallagher Bassett

Jon Broder



Bryan Falchuk

Founder and Managing Partner

Insurance Evolution Partners

Get Involved

Interested in joining as a member or mentor? Find out more about membership

2020 RISE Awards

The official list of 2020 RISE Award Recipients was announced! Get your copy of the awards publication featuring the winners and articles by top industry executives.

Antitrust Statement

As members of Rising Insurance Star Executives (RISE) or as participants in our meetings and events, we need to be mindful of the constraints of the antitrust laws. There shall be no discussions of agreements or concerted actions that may restrain competition. This prohibition includes any competitive aspect of an individual company's operation. Each member or participant is obligated to speak up immediately for the purpose of preventing any discussion falling outside the legal bounds.