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2016 Women to Watch: Jill Tellez

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Jill Tellez
Senior vice president, professional liability
Victor O. Schinnerer & Co. Inc.
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Age: 57

Jill Tellez has prided herself on being adaptable during her more than 35 years in the insurance industry.

She began her career as a junior underwriter and now is senior vice president of professional liability at Victor O. Schinnerer & Co. Inc., where she has been one of the architects of the underwriting manager’s recently launched cyber protection package.

“I’ve watched the evolution of cyber for the last 15 years,” said Ms. Tellez, who joined Schinnerer in January 2015. “It has really evolved … I think now we’re fully realizing the impact that it has on daily lives, our political lives and our corporate lives. It’s definitely part of almost every conversation.”

Ms. Tellez’s cyber experience began while she was working for Alexander & Alexander Services Inc., a brokerage that was acquired by Aon P.L.C. in 1996.

“I was one of the few female producers with Aon,” she said. “No one really wanted tech, telecom or life sciences as an industry focus. It was this mystery kind of thing, so I sort of raised my hand and said, ‘I’ll try it.’ When I look back on that decision, I think it was very serendipitous. Little did I know that would to lead me to helping form and be part of the technology practice at a major brokerage firm.” 

Ms. Tellez became a national practice leader for network and privacy risk at Aon and had the opportunity to serve on a White House cyber space security task force under President George W. Bush.

“We were tapped to be part of a task force with the White House on securing the critical infrastructure of the country against cyber terrorism,” Ms. Tellez said.

Ms. Tellez said it’s no secret that insurance is a male-dominated industry, and she has helped form women’s groups at the various companies where she has worked.

“We have each other’s back here to support each other, inspire, empower,” she said.

Schinnerer President Brian Hanuschak called Ms. Tellez “a natural leader.”

“She is instrumental in our company’s drive to support colleague development, innovation and the career development of our professional liability teams,” Mr. Hanuschak said in a statement.

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