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Business Insurance's report on "Women to Watch" is our attempt to identify some of the women who are leading change in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.
The 80 women profiled beginning on page 18 represent senior executives and innovators at a range of organizations. These women are leaders, but they are not the only women worthy of note. Choosing this list was difficult (see related story), as we received many nominations for women who are doing outstanding work in their organizations.
We like to think of the Women to Watch report as a starting point, not an endpoint, for discussing the importance of women in the industry. Even though more women are taking on high-profile jobs, senior management in the insurance business has remained largely male. BI believes that diversity — whether through gender, race or ethnicity — is important for an industry that serves people and businesses in all walks of life.
BI last produced a special report on women in October 2000. That report looked at women's career contributions. This year's Women to Watch report was intended to spotlight current leaders as well as those who are about to take on senior leadership positions.
In general, the women on our list are in executive roles, serving risk managers, benefit managers or commercial insurers and are visible to those clients. Women who are involved behind the scenes in administrative roles are no less important, but our focus for this report was on leaders whose efforts are having a more direct impact on buyers.
The profiles of the Women to Watch feature biographical information and answers to three questions we posed: What advice would you give to young women entering the industry? Who has had the greatest influence on your career? What would you change about the insurance industry, if you could?
Their answers provide insight that we hope will inform and inspire others who are working in this industry — both men and women. While we have published answers to one of the three questions in the magazine, the complete profiles with the women's answers to the other questions can be viewed online.
The Women to Watch are a special group who can help attract other talented people to this business. BI is looking forward to reporting on the contributions women are making and the changes they are leading.
Regis Coccia, editor
2006 WOMEN TO WATCH HONOREES
Janice Abraham, United Educators Insurance
Kathleen Angel, Dell Inc.
Tracey Ant, Marsh Inc.
Nancy Aque, Integro Insurance Brokers
Wendy Baker, Lloyd's America Inc.
Brenda Ballard, Westrope
Inga K. Beale, Converium Holdings Ltd.
Jill B. Berkeley, Howrey L.L.P.
Florence Bindelle, Federation of European Risk Management Assns.
Mary S. Botkin, Jardine Lloyd Thompson L.L.C.
Deborah Broderick, Acordia Inc./Wells Fargo Insurance Services
Barbara C. Bufkin, Argonaut Group Inc.
Monica M. Burmeister, Hewitt Associates Inc.
Kathleen M. Burns, Aon Risk Services Americas' eSolutions Group
M. Michele Burns, Mercer Human Resource Consulting L.L.C.
Pamela Carpenter, St. Paul Travelers Cos. Inc.
Karen M. Clark, AIR Worldwide Corp.
Marsha A. Cohen, Reinsurance Assn. of America
Christine Dandridge, Atrium Underwriting P.L.C.
Helen Darling, National Business Group on Health
Pamela E. Davis, Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group
Elizabeth Francy Demaret, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Carol Denzer, RLI Corp.
Marie Gemma Dequae, NV Bekaert S.A.
Corbette S. Doyle, Aon Corp.
Lynn Drennan, Assn. of Local Authority Risk Managers
Alice Edwards, Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co.
Karen K. Farris, Roach Howard Smith & Barton
Trish Getty, Assn. of Insurance and Reinsurance Run-Off Cos.
Alexandra Glickman, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Connie Harden, Buck Consultants L.L.C.
Cathy A. Hauck, Partner Reinsurance Co.
Barbara Haugen, Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers
Kathryn Hayley, Aon Consulting U.S.
Dr. Pamela A. Hymel, Cisco Systems Inc.
Karen Ignagni, America's Health Insurance Plans
Doris Johnson, Chubb & Son Inc.
Linda Johnson, Benfield Inc.
Sharon Kaleta, Disability Management Employer Coalition
Anastasia Kelly, American International Group Inc.
Melissa Kerns, AIG Risk Management Group
Joy Erven Laughery, Surplus Lines Assn. of California
Lou Ann Layton, Marsh Inc.
Dierdre H. Littlefield, Starr Marine Agency Inc.
Fiona Luck, XL Capital Ltd.
Eileen McCusker, XL Insurance Co. Ltd.
Nancy M. Mellard, CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services Inc.
Susan R. Meltzer, Aviva Canada Inc.
Lara Mowery, Guy Carpenter & Co. Inc.
Susanne Murray, Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co.
Cecilia Norat, American International Group Inc.
Lori S. Nugent, Cozen O'Connor P.C.
Leslie Nylund, Willis Group Holdings Ltd.
Janice Ochenkowski, Jones Lang LaSalle
Susan J. Patschak, Endurance Specialty Insurance Ltd.
Mary Todd Peterson, Medmarc Insurance Group
Leigh Ann Pusey, American Insurance Assn.
Paula Rosput Reynolds, SAFECO Corp.
Pamela Rippens, Specialty Risk Services L.L.C.
Karen Rohan, CIGNA Group Insurance
Mary Roth, Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.
Joy A. Schwartzman, Milliman Inc.
Lucille Sgaglione, Zurich Financial Services
Kelly Smith, Aon Re Americas
Karen V. Sothern, ACE USA
Robin Sterneck, Swiss Reinsurance Co.
Kathleen Swendsen, St. Paul Travelers Cos. Inc.
Claudia P. Temple, Brunswick Corp.
Ellen Thrower, St. John's University, School of Risk Management
Karen Beldy Torborg, Marsh Inc.
Sarah Turvill, Willis International
Laurel A. Ulrich, ACE USA
Maxine E. Walker, Factory Mutual Insurance Co.
Lisa Wall, Lockton Cos. Inc.
Shelly Wolff, Watson Wyatt Worldwide
Kathy Woodliff, Zurich Financial Services
Millicent W. Workman, International Risk Management Institute Inc.
Lisa Zeitel, Mercer Health & Benefits L.L.C.
Liz Zlatkus, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.
Marita Zuraitis, Hanover Insurance Group Inc.
At one point during her long career in the insurance industry, Cecilia E. Norat--now director of state relations at New York-based American International Group Inc.--worked for a recently sold managing general agency.