Also receiving recognition this year are four leaders who have successfully driven significant project and/or process improvements within their companies.

BRENDA CLANCY

EVP and COO

AEGON USA

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Clancy is responsible for AEGON USA's corporate and technology operations. Whether its revenue growth or expense management, Clancy's approach and style are the same-she is focused on the customer and shareholder while maintaining a respectful, disciplined and rewarding environment for employees.

Clancy established AEGON Financial Partners (AFP) in 2002 and consolidated and integrated many administrative and technology functions. This was very heavy lifting, and was once thought impossible. Clancy selected the AFP leadership team and drove the consolidation project, which was successful due to Clancy's leadership in making sure the right people were involved, and because both the company's and the employees' best interests were kept a priority.

While she has been on assignment, many new corporate initiatives, such as enterprise risk management, the internationalization of many of AEGON's U.S. business units and other acquisitions also were underway.

WORDS FROM THE NOMINATOR

"Brenda is an informal mentor to numerous people throughout the organization and is a strong advocate for women. She is smart, accessible and practical in her approach and demeanor." -Computer Sciences Corp.

KELLEE IRWIN

Interim SVP of Insurance, Marketing & Underwriting

Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (ICBC), North Vancouver, BC

Irwin, in her current role, manages the insurance portfolio, providing leadership in underwriting (for both personal and commercial lines), strategic marketing, broker management (900 partners), road safety and planning. She serves as a member of the executive committee at ICBC, and plays a key role as a liaison with actuarial, claims and driver services, ensuring focus on the customer at all touchpoints.

Under Irwin's leadership, ICBC implemented a number of pricing and product changes while lowering loss ratios and rolled out a new vehicle replacement-plus product. This new product has exceeded expectations and has had significant market uptake in the first six months.

Irwin's biggest contribution over the course of the past two years has been championing driver-based rating by soliciting executive and board approval on the agreement to replace the core rating system, which had been in existence since 1974, for private passenger and commercial lines. She has developed a pricing strategy, and is in the midst of completing a rating vision that is a key enabler for other strategies.

WORDS FROM THE NOMINATOR

"Kellee has successfully driven significant cultural and organizational change at one of the largest P&C companies in Canada." -ICBC

MELISSA KERNS

VP and Senior Product Executive - GL and AL

AIG Commercial Insurance New York

Kerns' responsibilities currently include oversight of approximately $3 billion GWP of General Liability and Commercial Auto for AIG Commercial Insurance (AIGCI). This role is not production driven. Kearns and her team also assist AIGCI's profit centers in their development of new products and enhancements that keep offerings current with the marketplace.

In her capacity as senior product executive, Kerns and her team identify and evaluate the needs of the numerous AIGCI profit centers, writing these lines of coverage and ensuring consistency across the organization. This team already has initiated implementation of a new rating and policy issuance platform to address a specific business need that will be rolled out to all AIGCI profit centers that write auto liability lines of coverage over the next several months.

When finalizing pricing and key contract terms with the vendor, Kerns had to balance the business objectives against the financial impact to AIGCI. The result was a contract that maintains individual profit center freedom while achieving consistency of a single business process.

WORDS FROM THE NOMINATOR

"Melissa's leadership abilities are evidenced by the standing within the organization the she works for, the admiration expressed by those she works for, as well as her professional accomplishments to date." -ISO

JILL LOWDER

COO

RJF Agencies

Minneapolis

Lowder directs and leads the entire operational side of RJF Agencies-managing the directors and leaders of more than eight departments. She is responsible for their leadership development, as well as ensuring they accomplish their goals and meet corporate initiatives.

RJF recently underwent a transition to a practice group business model. Lowder was instrumental in restructuring the service side of RJF Agencies in a timely manner, and in a way that accommodated the needs of the service staff as well as the sales and accounting staff, balancing the needs of more than 5,000 corporate clients in the process. This new model is providing enhanced efficiencies (profits), greater go-to-market focus (revenue growth), and the opportunity for each practice group to become its own profit center for the company, allowing RJF to better allocate resources.

Since Lowder took over RJF's technology department three years ago, she's installed new customer relationship management software, an employee benefits account management application, imaging systems and a Voice-over-Internet protocol phone system.

Lowder investigates ways to help people streamline their jobs and become more efficient. Also, under her leadership, RJF launched a new Web site that leverages new technology, and integrates with other technology platforms, such as CRM, to build additional efficiencies.

WORDS FROM THE NOMINATOR

"Jill leads by example, would not ask of others what she is not willing to do herself, and demonstrates integrity, character and ethics. She does this while always working in the company's best interest." -RJF Agencies

Editor's Note: From a record number of entries vetted by Insurance Networking News' editors, the 10 winning candidates were chosen by four of 2007's award program winners. Special thanks to:

* Kathy Burns, Aon Risk Services Americas

* Ursuline Foley, XL Reinsurance

* Shelley McIntyre, Guardian Life Insurance Co.

* Merrily Riesebeck, Chubb & Son

(c) 2008 Insurance Networking News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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