Board of Directors
Sean P. Downes
Sean P. Downes has been Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since 2013 and a director of the Company since 2005. Mr. Downes also served as President of the Company from 2013 until March 2016. Prior to serving in these roles, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since 2005 and Chief Operating Officer and a director of UPCIC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, since 2003. Mr. Downes was Chief Operating Officer of Universal Adjusting Corporation from 1999 to 2003. During that time, Mr. Downes created the Company's claims operation. Before joining the Company in 1999, Mr. Downes was Vice President of Downes and Associates, a multi-line insurance claims adjustment corporation.
Jon W. Springer
Jon W. Springer has been President and Chief Risk Officer of the Company since March 2016 and a director of the Company since 2013. Mr. Springer has held several senior leadership positions with increasing responsibility at the Company, and has been instrumental in the development of the Company’s reinsurance programs and operations. Prior to assuming the positions of President and Chief Risk Officer, Mr. Springer served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since 2013. Previously, Mr. Springer was Executive Vice President of Blue Atlantic Reinsurance Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, from 2008 to 2013, and Executive Vice President of Universal Risk Advisors, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, from 2006 to 2008. Before joining Universal Risk Advisors, Inc., Mr. Springer was an Executive Vice President of Willis Re, Inc. and was responsible for managing property and casualty operations in its Minneapolis office.
Joel M. Wilentz, M.D.
Joel M. Wilentz, M.D. has been a director of the Company since March 1997. Dr. Wilentz is one of the founding members of Dermatology Associates, founded in 1970, and of the Centers for Cosmetic Enhancement in Florida. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA) for the State of Florida. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Broward County Florida Medical Association. He was the former President of the Broward County Dermatological Society. Dr. Wilentz is at present a member of the Board of Governors of Nova Southeastern University.
Ozzie A. Schindler
Ozzie A. Schindler has been a director of the Company since January 2007. Mr. Schindler is a shareholder with the law firm of Greenberg Traurig and specializes in international tax, trusts and succession and planning. He has an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law and graduated with honors from the University of Florida School of Law. Mr. Schindler graduated with high honors from the University of Florida Fisher School of Accounting. He is admitted to both the Florida and New York Bars.
Michael A. Pietrangelo
Michael A. Pietrangelo has been a director of the Company since March 2010. Mr. Pietrangelo has practiced law at Pietrangelo Cook PLC since 1998 and is admitted to the New York, Tennessee and District of Columbia bars. He currently serves on the board of directors of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation, an independent specialty pharmaceutical company listed on the NYSE, the American Parkinson Disease Association, a not-for-profit organization focused on serving the Parkinson’s community, and SurgiVision, Inc., a developer of next-generation, interventional MRI technologies. Mr. Pietrangelo currently serves as the managing partner of Theraplex Company LLC, a privately held company. From 1994 until 1998, Mr. Pietrangelo served as President of Johnson Products Company, a subsidiary of IVAX Corporation. From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Pietrangelo was the President and Chief Executive Officer of CLEO, Inc., a subsidiary of Gibson Greetings, Inc. and manufacturer of specialized paper products. From 1967 to 1989, he served in a variety of legal and management roles at the Federal Trade Commission, Pfizer, Inc., Schering-Plough Corporation and Western Publishing Group.
Darryl L. Lewis
Darryl L. Lewis has been a director of the Company since June 2013. Mr. Lewis is an established trial attorney in Florida and throughout the southeast region of the United States. Mr. Lewis has been a shareholder with the law firm of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A. since 2003. Mr. Lewis was named in the Best Lawyers in America publication in connection with this litigation practice. Mr. Lewis has been recognized in Florida Trend magazine as one of the "legal elite" and named in the South Florida Legal Guide as one of Florida's top trial lawyers. Mr. Lewis proudly served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) attorney. A native Kentuckian, Mr. Lewis earned a bachelor of science degree, summa cum laude, in Political Science from Kentucky State University and his law degree from the University of Kentucky.
Scott P. Callahan
Scott P. Callahan has been a director of the Company since June 2013. Until his retirement in 2011, Mr. Callahan served as Executive Vice President of Everest Reinsurance Holdings, Inc. and Everest Reinsurance Company since 2002. Mr. Callahan also served as a director of Everest Reinsurance Company from 2001 to 2011, a director of Everest International Reinsurance, Ltd. from 2003 to 2007 and director of Everest Reinsurance (Bermuda), Ltd. from 2001 to 2007. Each of these entities is a direct or indirect subsidiary of Everest Re Group, Ltd., a provider of reinsurance coverage in the property and casualty reinsurance industry. Dating back to 1979, Mr. Callahan held various positions with subsidiaries and affiliates of Everest Re Group, Ltd. and its predecessor, Prudential Reinsurance Company.
Ralph J. Palmieri
Ralph J. Palmieri has more than 40 years of experience in the insurance and reinsurance industries. Mr. Palmieri served in various capacities with The Hartford Insurance Group (“The Hartford”) and its subsidiaries from 1976 until his retirement in 2007,including Senior Vice President, Specialty Lines, for The Hartford and President and Chief Operating Officer of The Hartford’s surplus lines subsidiary ,First State Management Group (formerly known as Cameron and Colby Co.) (“FSMG”), from 1988 to 2007. Mr. Palmieri acted as Executive Vice President for FSMG from 1984 to 1988 and Senior Vice President, Property Lines from 1979 to 1984. Mr. Palmieri served as a director for the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices from 1986 to 1992. Mr. Palmieri completed an executive development program at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business in 1995 and management and executive programs from St. John’s University (College of Insurance) in 1977 and 1980, respectively. Mr. Palmieri also received a certificate of insurance from the University of Rhode Island in 1970. Mr. Palmieri proudly served as a sergeant in the 43rd Military Police Brigade, Rhode Island Army National Guard, from 1965 until 1971, when he was honorably discharged. Mr. Palmieri will bring an acute understanding of the insurance and reinsurance industries and executive leadership experience to our Board.
Richard D. Peterson
Richard D. Peterson has over 20 years of experience in the areas of executive management, finance and accounting. Mr. Peterson held senior level finance positions and most recently served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation (“Medicis”) from 1995 to 2012. Medicis was a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:MRX) until it was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in 2012. As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Peterson has an understanding of corporate governance matters and experience with financial reporting and executive leadership. Prior to joining Medicis, Mr. Peterson was a senior financial auditor and consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1992 to 1995. Mr. Peterson received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from Arizona State University in 1992. Mr. Peterson’s executive leadership, financial and accounting knowledge and general business acumen will make him a valued addition to our Board.
Kimberly Cooper joined the Company in 2007 and became Chief Administrative Officer in June 2015 and Chief Information Officer in February 2015. Prior to assuming these roles, Ms. Cooper spent eight years in the Company’s internal audit department, serving as both IT Manager and then IT Audit Director. She managed IT general controls reviews and new application deployment and performed ongoing security and risk awareness training to improve operational efficiencies and ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements. Ms. Cooper has significant experience in information technology, risk management, regulatory compliance and operational efficiency practices. Before joining the Company, Ms. Cooper supervised audit and assurance engagements for Fortune 500 clients in the financial services industry, both domestically and internationally, as part of the systems and process assurance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is a licensed Certified Information Security Auditor and is Certified in Risk and Information Security Controls. Ms. Cooper holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley.