Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile
540 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
Michael J. Chmielewski
Michael J. Chmielewski is the corporate risk & insurance manager for Ace Hardware Corporation in Oak Brook, Illinois. His primary responsibilities include the placement and risk transfer of all insurance programs as well overseeing the handling of all insurance claims brought against the Corporation and Retail Ace Hardware store participating in the Ace Insurance Agency program. Ace Hardware Corporation is a cooperative hardware wholesaler supporting the business needs of more than 3,000 individual member retailers who own and operate more than 5,000 stores located in all 50 states and in more than 60 countries. Mr. Chmielewski has extensive risk management and managerial background gained from holding managerial positions in public transit industry, the soft drink industry and transportation industry.
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Lance J. Ewing
Lance J. Ewing has extensive executive experience in the field of risk management and insurance including his role as EVP Global Risk Management for Cotton Holdings, Inc. including risk finance, risk management and employee benefits. Previously he was the VP Industry Practice Group Leader at AIG with a portfolio of $1.4B of GWP. Prior to this position he served in senior risk management capacities for Caesars Entertainment, GES Exposition Services/VIAD and for the City of Philadelphia School District. Mr. Ewing additionally worked for various insurance companies including Lumbermen's Underwriting Alliance, Pennsylvania Hospital Insurance Company (PHICO) and New York Lumberman's Insurance Trust in HPR risk engineering, underwriting and risk control capacities. He also was President of three insurance captives.
Mr. Ewing received his Master's degree in Law & Justice from the University of Pittsburgh and completed his second Master's degree in Occupational Safety Engineering. In addition to his Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation and his International Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designation, he is a matriculated Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) candidate and has completed his Enterprise Risk Management Professional designation (ERMP).
Lance was National President 2003-2004 for the Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS) and was also their Chief Risk Officer (CRO). He teaches risk finance and risk management as a faculty member for the National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research. He also served as a Board member for the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC). He serves on the University of Mississippi Business School (Risk Management) Advisory Board, where an endowment was created “Ewing Endowment for Business Excellence in Risk Management and Insurance”.
Mr. Ewing was the keynote speaker for the Asia CEO Forum in 2015. He was honored as the Real Estate Insurance Leader 2014-2015 for Globe Street and was the 2008 Risk Innovator of the Year. In 2007, Lance was named Risk Manager of the Year (Business Insurance). He has authored several articles on insurance, risk management, crisis management, captives and workers' compensation. He is a frequent speaker on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), global claims, disaster recovery and risk financing topics. Mr. Ewing is an expert witness as part of the Insurance Expert Network (IEN).
Lance has spoken and worked internationally to promote insurance and risk management in China, Philippines, Japan, Macau, Hong Kong, India, Croatia, Romania, Kosovo, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Bermuda, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. Mr. Ewing continues to be a strong and forthright supporter of global risk management and insurance.
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Mary C. Friedl
Mary earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, an Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation, and an Associate in Information Technology (AIT) designation. She also holds a current Insurance License for all major lines of business, including Property, Casualty, Life, and Health. Mary has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, with the first ten years of her career being in property and casualty claims management positions for carriers, TPAs, and a captive management company. The following years were in Account Management positions at RMIS companies and brokerages. Most recently, she was the Corporate Insurance Manager for Stericycle, a $3 billion global medical waste management company; the Division Manager of Insurance for Pace Suburban Bus Service, a division of the Illinois Regional Transit Authority; and is currently the Insurance and Claims Manager for Redbox Automated Retail LLC, a national movie rental company. Outside of work, Mary is a Board Director for the Chicago Chapter of RIMS who previously chaired the Chapter’s Programming Committee and now chairs the Finance and Funding Committee. She also regularly volunteers in her community and at her church.
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Matt Jeweler is a litigator who represents corporate policyholders in complex coverage disputes, helping clients facing large losses recover from their insurers. He is member of Pillsbury’s Litigation and Insurance Recovery and Advisory practice groups, and concentrates his practice on the representation of corporate policyholders. Matt helps clients mitigate loss by maximizing the value of their insurance assets. He has represented clients in a broad range of industries and in all phases of the claims process from pre-suit negotiations with insurers through trial.
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Cal McCarty has over 10 years of experience in the insurance and risk management industry and is now the National Director of Sales for ServiceMaster DSI, the nation’s leading provider of 24/7/365 residential and commercial disaster restoration services. Since joining ServiceMaster DSI in 2014, Cal has been instrumental in building the ServiceMaster DSI Sales Team for 15 regional ofﬁces within the United States by developing sales training, initiatives, and strategies. He has extensive experience working on commercial projects with prestigious companies across the country which includes responding to Hurricanes Matthew, Harvey, Maria and Irma. Cal has also been a consultant for large facilities in Northern California during the 2017 wild ﬁres. He has written disaster preparedness plans in the healthcare, retail, and higher education industries.
Cal attended Olivet Nazarene University where he studied criminology and business management.
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Jason Mezyk is the Vice President of Risk Management & Insurance for GLP, a fully integrated real estate company which owns, manages, acquires, sells, develops, and redevelops industrial real estate. Jason currently oversees all aspects of the company’s US insurance and risk management program including Property/Casualty, Executive Risk, Loss Control and Business Continuity. The US portfolio includes over 1,400 locations and over 170 million square feet.
Prior to joining GLP he spent time in risk management roles at First Industrial, and ST Residential. Jason received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana, and has an MBA from DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. He holds the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation and served as a board member for the Chicago RIMS Chapter and is the current past President.
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Michelle Pienta is a Senior Manager for Quantum Global Advisors. Since 1995, Ms. Pienta has specialized in providing investigative accounting and auditing services to the insurance claims industry and the public sector including the following areas: business interruption, extra expense, property damage, product liability, financial condition analyses of businesses, financial statement audits, internal control assessments, fraud analysis and employee dishonesty claims. She has testified as an expert witness in deposition and participated in various litigation support assignments, including as a consultant to attorneys in damage claim analyses and information requests for discovery.
Ms. Pienta has experience measuring damages for a wide range of industries including, but not limited to: agriculture, retail, research laboratories, steel processing, coal mining, product manufacturers, hospitality, food processing and service, printing, communications, medical, service, various levels of government and non-profit organizations.
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Shoba Rajanahally is the president of Inland Risk and Insurance Management Services, Inc., (IRIM). Shoba began her career at Inland as an independent Insurance Consultant in 1994 and subsequently joined the company in 1996 as a Senior Risk Analyst. She was promoted to President of IRIM in 2006 and currently oversees the risk management operations which provide consultation, insurance procurement, claims management and administrative services as required by the Inland entities. Shoba and her team have been responsible for managing diversified real estate assets in excess of $25 billion and servicing five REITs. Currently, her team manages the risks of a bank holding company, land and condo development companies, construction entities, property management companies, association captive, and tax-deferred property exchanges. Along with servicing the entities, Shoba in conjunction with the senior risk team members, identifies and evaluates the risk exposures, and actively markets the property/casualty, medical/dental benefits, worker’s compensation, directors and officers, fidelity, and E&O insurance.
Prior to joining Inland, Shoba was an Independent Consultant and worked on projects for AAR, Centel, and Sears Mortgage Corporation. Her career in real estate began in 1986 when she worked at Balcor as a risk management analyst. Shoba holds an Associate Risk Management designation (ARM) and is a licensed property/casualty and life/health producer. She obtained her Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola University of Chicago and Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Chicago. Shoba is an active member and mentor of RIMS (Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc.) and as a strong believer in the benefits of mentoring, she is also a member of the Women’s Initiative Network at Inland, a structured program that offers educational opportunities and career advice for employees. Shoba has been an active member of the Chubb Real Estate and Hospitality Advisory Board since its inception and AIG’s Client Advisory Board.
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Kenneth D. Ritter
Kenneth Ritter is a Principal with Quantum Global Advisors LLC and is responsible for the management and supervision of Quantum’s Property Claims Consulting Practice. Mr. Ritter has been a property insurance consultant since 1976. He has consulted on insurance claims on behalf of policyholders in over thirty-five states and multiple countries. He has testified as a witness regarding the measurement of damage resulting from property damage and business interruption. Mr. Ritter has also served in the capacity of Appraiser in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
Mr. Ritter has assisted clients in the industrial, multi-family, hospitality, retail, office, publishing, food service, broadcast, public entities, steel & textile, and a variety of other manufacturing industries.>
Mr. Ritter has directed claim management recovery teams in developing the necessary claim documentation, coordinating the respective disciplines and flow of information, supervising the preparation and certification of property damage, builder’s risk, and time element claims.
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Ms. Sladkevych is Risk and Insurance Manager for a wholesale distributor of workplace essentials Essendant. She is responsible for coordination of risk management & insurance function for the company analyzing exposures and designing and placing sophisticated insurance program. Also, she is overseeing loss prevention, claims management and safety programs.
Ms. Sladkevych began her Insurance career in 2001 by working at Aon for fourteen years, where she provided risk management services for large domestic and global accounts, including experience with clients from a broad range of industry groups. Ms. Sladkevych joined Stericycle, Inc. a leader in medical waste management as a Corporate Insurance Manager in 2015 and was overseeing highly regulated risks for the company globally. She was also responsible for complex layered global insurance program placement in 23 countries.
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Thomas S. Thornton
Thomas S. Thornton, III is a shareholder with the firm of Carr Allison, P.C., serves as Chair of the firm’s Retail and Hospitality Practice Group, and practices in its Birmingham, Alabama office. Mr. Thornton has twenty plus years of litigation experience managing and defending liability and catastrophic workers’ compensation claims for his clients throughout his firm’s eight offices. He also serves as National Medicare Compliance Counsel for his regional and national business and insurance clients focusing on increasing compliance under the Medicare Act while bringing strategic and cost savings claim closure solutions to the forefront. Mr. Thornton, whose firm has offices in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Panhandle of Florida, has focused his litigation practice in representing and advising the retail, restaurant, entertainment and business industry in general.
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Steve Wilder has spent the past 35 years in safety, security, and risk management. He has provided consultation services to hundreds of clients, including hospitals, long-term care, schools, colleges, universities, manufacturers, housing, and government entities.
Steve has performed security vulnerability assessments and mock OSHA audits at over 250 client locations across the United States, and has trained thousands of workers in workplace safety and security.
An experienced trial expert, Steve has consulted for law firms and insurance companies on issues of workplace safety, security, risk management, aggression management, and workplace violence. He also has written numerous articles for magazines and trade journals. He and his partner Chris Sorensen are co-authors of the book The Essentials of Aggression Management in Healthcare: From Talkdown to Takedown.
In 2014, Sorensen Wilder & Associates introduced their program “The Active Shooter/Armed Intruder: Planning For…Responding To…and Recovering From the Unthinkable”. Since that time, they have provided the training to thousands of workers from a variety of industries across the nation, including over 30 different state associations and corporate systems. Today, they have become a recognized industry leader in workplace violence prevention programs in the United States
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