Industry professionals gathered at INN’s Women in Insurance Leadership Forum in Dallas last night, where 10 of the industry’s most successful female insurance executives were honored. The 10 women—recipients of INN’s Women in Insurance Leadership awards—were recognized for the significant impact they have made on their businesses.

Recognized as Notable Achievers, the following four women have successfully driven significant project and/or process improvements within their companies.

Kendall Blythe is VP of enterprise business and technology services at Tokio Marine Management. Blythe played an important role in Tokio Marines’ modernization project, which included its new business and claims processing units. She was instrumental in restructuring the Enterprise Business Solutions department and IT to create a stronger alignment with business projects and priorities. Blythe was nominated by Hyland Software.

Darby O’Neill is VP of information technology at Princeton Insurance. O’Neill played a large role in Princeton’s imaging project. She worked to ensure that the implementation included improvements in productivity and workflow. She has positively affected the revenue, operating income and earnings growth of the company. O’Neill was nominated by St. Nick Media Services on behalf of Vertafore.

Shawn Pate is VP of software development at Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Co. Pate was the mastermind behind the development of a record-keeping platform for launching new products. Her vision has realized significant benefits to the company’s revenue line, and contributed to 50% year-over-year growth in sales. Pate was nominated by Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Co.

Connie Phillips is president of Connie Phillips Insurance Inc. Connie started her own insurance agency in 1986 in one small room with no employees. Now the agency is full-service with approximately 3,000 policies, and is moving toward a paperless environment. Phillips was nominated by Connie Phillips Insurance Inc.

The following six women Women in Insurance Leadership honorees have made a significant impact on their businesses and the industry in many ways and possess the characteristics of true leaders.

Julia Boland is SVP and senior area IT manager at Chubb Corp. Boland was instrumental in creating the business analyst and business consultant career path at Chubb. She also was a co-founder of the IT women’s council in 1995. In addition to spotlighting the efforts of women within IT, the council also served to create visibility for IT professionals. Boland was nominated by Chubb Corp.

Maureen Hegarty is VP, claims operations at Electric Insurance Co. In 2007, Hegarty decided to cross train claims adjusters so internal resources could be redeployed to support multiple claims during periods of increased claims volume. This proved successful in 2008 with Hurricane Ike—the largest volume hurricane in the company's history. The claims operations team was able to process approximately 1,000 claims, of which approximately 90% were closed. Hegarty was nominated by Electric Insurance Co.

Jamie Ohl is SVP and director of the retirement plans group at Hartford Life Inc. Ohl was recruited to the Hartford in 2006 as part of the new retirement plans group. She oversaw three acquisitions within months of each other. Now the retirement plans group is one of The Hartford’s fastest-growing businesses. In 2008, the group’s assets under management increased by 30% and sales rose 51%. Ohl was nominated by The Hartford.

Heidi Peterson is director of underwriting services and administration at Markel Corp. Peterson was tapped to create a new department—underwriting technical administration. In the seven years she headed the department, it made major transitions, including augmenting automated workflows and moving forms online. But the most significant development was transitioning underwriting to a paperless environment. Peterson was nominated by Camilion Solutions Inc.

Peggy Stewart is EVP and COO of Brokering Excellence Worldwide at Aon Risk Services. Stewart heads a global team responsible for the development and implementation of the Aon Global Risk Insight Platform, a proprietary system that provides real-time trade information broken down by line, industry and geography. Stewart was nominated by Aon Corp.

Jane Tutoki is EVP and chief claims officer at Zurich in North America. Tutoki reinstated an internal response process to Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. The process ensures that claims that are at an impasse can be resolved through the catastrophe adjusting process. Also, Tutoki took lead in the company’s HelpPoint Advocate program. Tutoki was nominated by Zurich in North America.

Check out the WIL 2009 photo gallery!

Read more about the program and winners in the upcoming September/October 2009 issue of Insurance Networking News.

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