Since its debut seven years ago, INN's Women in Insurance Leadership Awards series has profiled the extraordinary accomplishments of more than 50 professionals whose leadership and performance have redefined the insurance business and its application of technology. And, today, it adds 10 more to the list.

The 2012 Women in Insurance Leadership winners are:

Laura Bennett, CEO and Co-Founder, Embrace Pet Insurance (nominated by Alexander J. Wayne & Associates)

Tricia Griffith, Claims Group President, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies (nominated by The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies)

Heather Lavallee, President, Employee Benefits Distribution, ING U.S. Insurance (nominated by ING U.S. Insurance)

Robin Lenna, Executive Vice President, Corporate Benefit Funding, MetLife (nominated by The Jacobson Group/ejsSearch)

Seraina Maag, Chief Executive, North America Property & Casualty, XL Group, Insurance (nominated by FirstBest Systems and P&C Insurance Systems)

Beth Mercier, Vice President, Personal Lines, Travelers (nominated by IASA)

Jacquline Morales, Senior Vice President, Retirement Services Solutions, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (nominated by Robert E. Nolan Company)

Noreen Randazzo, Vice President and CIO, Enterprise Solutions, The Hartford Financial Services Group (nominated by The Hartford Financial Services Group)

Peggy Rubin, Executive Vice President and COO, Columbian Mutual Life Insurance Company (nominated by Sapiens)

Mary Springberg, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Allstate Financial Technology, Allstate Financial (nominated by CSC)

Candidates were judged on their performance as well as their overall organizational influence. Each nominee is rated on her job complexity, ability to innovate, management style, and her team’s contribution to corporate earnings, among other criteria.

A judging panel of four 2011 WIL winners made this year’s final selections. Special thanks to the judges: Janice Abraham, President and CEO, United Educators Insurance; Judy Davis, EVP, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, BlueCross BlueShield of S.C.; JoAnn Martin, Chair, President and CEO, Ameritas Holding; and Kathy Owen, SVP and CIO, Unum.

In-depth profiles of all 10 WIL winners will be posted to the INN website and printed in INN’s September/October 2012 edition.

Winners also will be recognized at INN’s 5th Annual Women in Insurance Leadership Forum, which will be held on Oct. 17-18, 2012, at the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg in Schaumburg, IL. The theme of the event is the advancement and professional growth of women in insurance. American Insurance Association CEO Leigh Ann Pusey will keynote the educational event, which will feature sessions on IT best practices and leading innovation. The Leadership Forum also provides an opportunity for insurance executives to network with their peers.

For a slideshow introducing this year's 10 winners, click here.

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