Congratulations to the 2017 Class of IBANY Emerging Leaders!

Retail Broker

ELoY Logo

khaliq cropped

Kamran Khaliq
Integro Insurance Brokers

 Dubai, U.A.E/Princeton, NJ
Education: BS in Economics, Political Science and Sociology from Rutgers University
Chief Mentor: Anne Webb, Ted McGraw and Veronica Ferreira

I’m honored to have been selected as Integro Insurance Brokers ‘Emerging Leader’. I find it fulfilling to work alongside a team of brokers and professionals who embody the very values that make this industry so great. In my current role as both a Producer and AVP of the Private Equity Practice, I’m dedicated to adding value to my clients, Integro, myself and the community at large. Our impact, through charitable efforts and mentorship opportunities outside of our day-to-day roles, is massive.

Since joining the industry my junior year of college, I’ve had the honor of being surrounded by peers and mentors who consistently challenge me and offer me opportunity to grow. The professionals I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside over the course of the past few years have characterized everything that drove me to this industry. I’ve found clever, selfless, hard-working individuals who reassure me each and every day that I chose the right career path. 

Within the past four years, the insurance industry has impacted me in more ways than I could have ever predicted. Not only has the industry offered me a myriad of opportunity to grow professionally, socially and academically – but it has also changed the manner in which I think. I find it almost impossible to go a few hours without analyzing the inherent risks or exposures of my surroundings. The concepts of risk mitigation and insurance have arguably become second nature to me. It’s almost as if I’ve formed an ‘insurance’ portion of my brain that seldom shuts down. In talks with colleagues and peers in the industry, I know I’m not the only one who experiences this. 

I’m truly inspired by the colleagues and mentors who got me to where I am today. Motivated by their generosity and drive, I have devoted myself to mentorship, charitable-giving, educational evolvement and industry involvement. Just as the actions of my peers and mentors impacted my experience in the industry, I hope that mine will carry the same weight.

Wholesale Broker

ELoY Logo

Broadbent cropped

Katie Broadbent 
Distinguished Programs

Hometown: Ridgewood, NJ
Education: BA in History from Cornell University
Chief Mentor: Andy Potash and Shaun Sharp

Insurance is more than a commodity with intimidating industry jargon. Our products provide emotional and financial stability in the face of catastrophe. And technology is poised to change what’s possible. I feel lucky to have fallen into this important and dynamic industry at such an exciting time.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have mentors at Distinguished to help guild my career and inspire me. I’ve been given both the responsibility and trust to try new things, which has given me the chance to learn and grow quickly through both success and failure. That approach informs my management style and helps me understand what it takes to be a good leader.

Looking forward, I am excited to learn how to continuously improve our usage of and interaction with technology. Building better internal processes, learning how to capture and interpret data and better understanding our customer’s needs will help us to continuously improve the customer’s experience. There is no doubt that the insurance industry is changing, and I’m so excited to be a part of it.

 Associate Member

ELoY Logo

suarez cropped

Robert Suarez 

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Education: BA in Economics from Northwestern University
Chief Mentors: Christina Warner

I began my career in insurance ten years ago in the Chicago territory as an Underwriting Trainee for Chubb. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with agents, brokers, underwriters and insureds in multiple markets across several industry groups. Although all experiences have been extremely rewarding, this community of New York professionals has provided me the platform to grow and learn at a pace that is tremendously fulfilling.

Being from a family with many people working in the insurance industry, I saw firsthand the varied development opportunities that the industry has to offer, and have always been eager to take advantage of the new challenges that were presented to me throughout my career. Whether it be a new role, a new project, learning additional lines of business or deepening my understanding of the evolving insurance needs in a particular industry segment, each opportunity has brought with it the prospect of new, exciting career trajectories that keep me engaged and enthusiastic about my professional progression.

Currently, I am working as the NYC Middle Market Manager for CNA with an extremely talented underwriting team, in collaboration with brilliant risk control and claims professionals, and under the guidance of exceptional leaders. Every day I am grateful to work with these individuals, and I look forward to our continued success.

Thank you, CNA and IBANY, for this honor.

adisanopifer cropped

Brittany Adisano-Pifer

Hometown: Scotch Plains, NJ
Education: BS in Accounting from Binghamton University
Chief Mentor: Danielle Adisano

Graduating from Binghamton University with a BS in Accounting, I started my career at Lexington Insurance Company, a member company of AIG, in the summer of 2009. My biggest draw to the insurance industry was the balance between the analytical and customer-facing responsibilities within the underwriting role. I began my career as an Underwriting Assistant learning the basics of E&S underwriting from the ground up. I began by underwriting smaller accounts, and worked my way up to handling some of the largest, most complex risks within Lexington Casualty.  Now a Field Underwriting Specialist, I  write all lines of business for Lexington and was named the Product Recall and Contaminated Products Insurance Champion for the Northeast. In 2013, I was nominated for Lexington’s Innovation Boot Camp, where I joined a team of underwriters to create new underwriting products.  The opportunities that I have taken advantage of from AIG have not only furthered my commitment to the insurance industry but have continuously helped in developing my career.


brown cropped 

Meredith Brown
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Hometown: Warren, NJ
Education: BA in Communications from Monmouth University
Chief Mentor:  Aileen Marchese and Jodi Cotter

Like most people, I did not grow up aspiring to be in the insurance industry! However, a few family members had very successful insurance careers and they suggested this would be a good career for me. I admire these people greatly and agreed. Therefore, shortly after my college graduation, I accepted a position at AIG as a professional trainee.Like most people, I did not grow up aspiring to be in the insurance industry! However, a few family members had very successful insurance careers and they suggested this would be a good career for me. I admire these people greatly and agreed. Therefore, shortly after my college graduation, I accepted a position at AIG as a professional trainee.

There are so many things that drew me into the industry. To me, the most important aspect is the people. I have met many wonderful people during my short tenure. Many of whom have been great mentors, others have been supportive trading partners. The other very important aspect of this industry is the opportunities. This industry provides me with an opportunity to constantly learn, grow professionally and advance up the corporate ladder. For example during my first six years in the industry I advanced from a Trainee to Assistant Professional Liability Manager. In my mind, this was a quick assent and I learned much along the way. While at AIG, I was recruited by Berkshire Hathaway’s new start up specialty organization as one of their first hires in their Professional Liability Division. The culture, innovative platform and brand name attracted me to the company and I remain excited to work in this industry each day. It is thrilling to be part of building something from nothing to a major competitor in four short years.

Fortunate and Lucky are the only words I can think of to describe how I feel to be in an industry where I am excited to go to work every day, where hard work is rewarded with opportunity, and where I am constantly challenged.

I am honored to be nominated by Berkshire and IBANY as one of IBANY’s 2017 Emerging Leaders.


Byrnes cropped

Patrick Byrnes
The Travelers

Hometown: West Hartford, CT
Education: BA from Duke University & MBA from New York University
Chief Mentor: Mike Krzyzweski (Coach K)

After graduating from Duke University in 2008, Patrick started his insurance career underwriting Management Liability at The Hartford Insurance. In 2010, he joined Travelers as an Associate Account Underwriter on the Private and Non Profit team where he has quickly moved up the ranks and is currently an Account Executive Officer.

Patrick is a proven asset to the Private and Non Profit team and continues to be a top performer. Through his hard work and dedication Patrick became the Cyber Resident Expert for NYC - Metro in 2013. This coverage is Patrick’s passion and often accompanies team members on agency visits to provide continuing education classes. He is a mentor and coach to new employees and takes pride in helping staff acclimate and navigate the organization and the broker community. Patrick is a highly motivated underwriting professional with expertise in relationship building and portfolio management.

Patrick spent the last three years as a member of Travelers Regional Professional Network. The focus of this network group is to broaden enterprise perspectives, build a strong sense of community, and professional development. Patrick also received his MBA from New York University in May 2017 with Academic Distinction.


concannon cropped

Jared Concannon
Chubb Group of Insurance Companies

Hometown:  Madison, CT
Education: BA in International Relations from Colgate University
Chief Mentor: Lindsay Cunney

In my professional career insurance is all I have known. Upon graduation from Colgate University, I was recruited by ACE (now Chubb) to begin my career as a Professional Associate in the Professional Liability Group. During my time at Chubb, I have been provided many opportunities to develop my skill set and learn the intricacies and nuances of insurance. I’m also fortunate to be at the forefront of the industry’s innovation, by working on cyber and technology products. I am highly motivated by the evolution of these products and the energy with which our industry has worked to craft solutions to these new exposures.

At Chubb, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the most knowledgeable and driven people in the industry. I particularly enjoy training new underwriters and watching their growth. It’s particularly rewarding to be able to teach and mentor others, as I have benefitted so much personally from my own mentors.

The insurance industry has offered me a challenging career path in a stimulating environment of modern and technological innovation. I am grateful to be at Chubb, where I’ve been privileged to build my knowledge base and foster meaningful relationships with colleagues and business partners alike.


florido cropped

John Florido
AmWINS Brokerage of NY

Hometown: New York, NY
Education: BS in Economics from Syracuse University
Chief Mentor: Rich Vallario, Jon Dabile, Tom Cesare

My journey into the insurance world began during my college years as an intern at Willis. Not only did it lay the groundwork for my understanding of how the business works, but I was able to interact with an inspiring group of brokers and underwriters who were not only smart and passionate about what they did, but who became my mentors as well.

My first real job was with Arch Insurance in New York as a property underwriter. Once again, I was fortunate to be surrounded by a very experienced team of knowledgeable underwriters. From day one, they involved me in every deal, teaching me not only the basics of insurance but the art of the negotiation. I was able to hone my skills and network. It was an ideal place to learn and I look back on those years fondly.

Three years later an opportunity to work for another great company and a promotion presented itself, so I packed my bags and moved out to San Francisco to work at Arch. It was a new city to live in, a new market to learn about, and new people to be inspired by. I had a great boss named Rich Vallario who encouraged me to have more autonomy as an underwriter. He was a wealth of knowledge and experience and I grew as an underwriter/broker?. Rich was a mentor and remains a true friend.

In 2010, an opportunity came about in New York and because no true New York Giants fan can live anywhere else, I moved back. I worked first at Zurich where again I met some amazing people and then ultimately found my new home at AmWINS NY Property. I have been at AmWINS for five years now and I love being a wholesale broker. Each new deal is a puzzle – of varying sizes and occupancies- which keeps me challenged and fulfilled. I work with a dynamic group of people that are like a second family to me. I hope to continue to grow my book of business and help to inspire others as I have been inspired, giving back to a business that has been so good to me.


garibaj cropped

Sabrina Garibaj
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Education: BBA in Marketing, Advertising & Communications from Pace University, MS in Education from Touro College
Chief Mentor: Darcy Salmon and Judy Leo

I began my career in the industry quite a few years after college. I landed a position at a 10 person retail agency in New York City creating and placing advertisements in trade journals to attract new business. I quickly realized my inexperience hampered my ability to write effective advertisements, so I decided to get my broker’s license. During class, I met a friend who suggested I apply for an Account Executive training program at a well known brokerage. I got the job, and my life became the better for it!

I learned through the years that our industry is vast, complex, and always changing. I am constantly challenged on a day to day basis to stay ahead of the curve. It is this continuous state of learning, coupled with our client's trust in us that keeps me working harder to exceed their expectations, and my own. I also have the benefit of working alongside some truly amazing people who share the same passion and excitement as I do about our field. It is such a privilege to be welcomed into the operations of our clients as their trusted advisors. I am proud of our industry and what we offer to our clients and the economy at large.

I look forward to the future knowing I am where I need to be and can put down roots and hopefully enjoy a very long career with Arthur J. Gallagher and within our industry. I also really enjoy teaching our next generation of employees who are fresh into the business about how rewarding our field can be. I am honored to represent Arthur J. Gallagher and thank them and IBANY for this distinction.


Ivans Jason Cropped

Jason Ivins, CIC
Philadelphia Insurance Companies

Hometown: Weehawken, NJ
Education: BA from Hofstra University
Chief Mentor: Bill Misita

As with many insurance industry employees, I never envisioned myself in this business, before, during or even after college. It was not known as a “sexy” industry and with the other business opportunities available to college graduates; the allure was not as great for a recent graduate. I now see a renewed industry focus on working to attract new young talent.

Coming out of school into a very competitive pre law application process, I realized that I needed to go into a different direction than originally planned. Trying to stay close to my interest in law, my family pointed me in the direction of Insurance and I never looked back.
What drove me to insurance initially is not what keeps me here today. Today I love insurance because of the relationships I have built and will continue to build, for the satisfaction of watching my team, employees and co‐workers succeed, and for the ability to wake up every day and personally compete! Watching and helping my team win fuels my days, and I am delighted that I can learn and grow from them, as well. The healthy competition I engage in daily makes me want to continue to do more and better than my competitors and peers.

I don’t believe there are “natural born leaders”. I think there are individuals with natural leadership qualities which need to be constantly developed and improved upon. Like any other individual, leaders are fallible. I am continuously learning through mentors, clients, business coaches, as well as numerous books, articles, and management courses made available to me by my employer. I often surround myself with successful individuals who are in both insurance and non‐insurance industries which has continually helped my growth. I do not take anyone or anything for granted including this opportunity, and I am honored to be considered for this distinguished award.


mavraganis cropped

Ted Mavraganis, CRIS
Allied World Assurance Company

HometownWest Windsor, NJ
Education: Gettysburg College
Chief Mentor: Peter Mavraganis and Marcel Ricciardelli

“You’re an underwriter? What exactly do you do?”

In a city populated by young professionals advancing their careers in technology start-ups, advertising, and media, it is not surprising that this question is asked so frequently. This isn’t an easy question to answer, since each day has a tendency to be divergently different from the last. Analyzing risk, negotiating terms of insurance programs, and building long lasting trading relationships are just some of the responsibilities of this profession. The latter has been especially rewarding; I’ve had the opportunity to meet, get to know, and in many cases become friends with, people from all sides of this industry.

I began my insurance career with Greater New York Insurance Companies as part of a comprehensive property and casualty training program. In 2010, I joined Allied World as they were launching a new series of environmental insurance products. Despite having no environmental background, and frankly not knowing what environmental insurance was, I knew from day one that insurance was a field that I would enjoy. I have been fortunate to learn from, and be mentored by, some of the products’ thought leaders. In seven years with the team, we have experienced changing market conditions, witnessed carriers enter and exit the marketplace, and dealt with personnel changes within our organization. It is exciting to be a part of a team that has taken these challenges head-on and thrived, and even more exciting to be considered a leader amongst my talented peers. I very much appreciate Allied World and IBANY for recognizing me as part of the 2017 Emerging Leader class. It is a humbling and motivating distinction, and I hope to continue to do the best that I can for my organization, our customers, and the industry as a whole!


sullivan cropped

Alison Sullivan 
Preferred Concepts

Hometown: Fresh Meadows, NY
Education: St. Agnes Academic School, College Point, NY
Chief Mentor: Chris Casella, Fran D'Angelo, Maura Fields-Ryan and Stu Farber

It all started with a response to a job posting for a receptionist with an insurance brokerage in the Wall Street area...

I was in between semesters in college and really had no idea what I wanted to do. At this point I changed majors three times...from Sociology to Business Administration to Philosophy. Coupled with nursing sports-related injuries that precluded me from playing college ball, I decided to take time off from school and enter the work force full-time

A step up from answering phones and sorting mail, I started taking on new tasks such as issuing Certificates and ID cards to processing endorsements. I felt like I had a sense of purpose. I gained experience working with interesting risks, especially Entertainment, International/Reverse Flow and Real Estate. As the challenges became greater, the need to succeed became greater. It was the athlete mentality in me...

I couldn't ask for a better group of individuals to work with than the individuals I work with at Preferred Concepts. No words can explain how grateful I am to be recognized as a 2017 Emerging Leader.


yumul cropped

Lorraine Yumul
Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA

Hometown:  New York, NY
Education:  Pre Law/Philosophy at Pace University
Chief Mentors:  Jill Arnold Bull, Shirley Gordon, Judy Goldstein, Diane Giles, Margaret Bartolotto

Being honored as an emerging leader in our industry is an incredibly humbling experience, and it’s caused me to look back at the leaders before me and realize the attributes needed not only to be honored today in this way, but to move forward and pave the way for those that will come after me. Only true leaders can breed new leaders, and I truly stand on the shoulders of giants- giants who have taught me that leadership stems from impact, influence and inspiration:

  • A leader’s impact is clearly proven in their ability to get results. Come what may, you find a way to move that needle.
    A leader’s influence is apparent in their passion, and how that passion becomes a standard of excellence that one adheres to, every day.
    A leader’s ability to inspire is all about contagion, lighting that passion in others to excel as well and giving them the space and support to grow.

We are at the cusp of great change in our industry. And while being honored with an award and accolades is significant, it is these three learned qualities that are my true reward. Thank you, to all the exceptional women that have honed all three of these qualities in me.


zuraitis cropped

Kelly Zuraitis

Hometown: Sutton, MA
Education: BA in Communications from Western New England University 
Chief Mentor: Maria Zuraitis

I grew up in a very professional household. My father was a successful candy salesman and my mother has always been in the insurance industry. One could say I grew up in the insurance industry, moving from state to state, with the mergers and acquisitions of various insurance companies. As a kid listening to my mom’s business conversations, I was always intrigued because it was like she had her very own language. I look back at this and laugh because now I speak insurance fluently as a second language. My start in the industry was with an internship at Starkweater & Sheply in East Providence, RI. I spent that summer internship learning the broker side of the business and becoming a Licensed Producer. I graduated from College in 2012 and a week later started as a full time Producer at Starkweater.

From there, I was given the opportunity to move to NY and work at one of the largest national insurance brokers. I moved to SterlingRisk as a Select Business Producer, not knowing what to expect. My career has done nothing but grow since my move. After my first year as a Producer, I moved over to the Large Lines Commercial Department to learn the business from a servicing perspective. This position was intended to last only a few months, just as a learning experience. After 4 months in the CL Department, I was promoted to an Associate Account Executive and decided to stay. I have been growing there ever since. I was most recently promoted to an Account Specialist, and now am tasked with responsibilities for my own accounts.

The best and worst thing about the insurance industry is that it is always changing and creating new challenges for our Insureds. I currently hold my CLCS and AAI designations and am matriculated for my CPCU with only 6 more designation exams to go. I look forward to continuing to learn, grow and achieve in this industry.

I am truly blessed to have so many amazing insurance role models in my life. I am so grateful for all the people who have helped me get to where I am today, a 2017 IBANY Emerging Leader. I would like to thank IBANY for this opportunity, and my SterlingRisk team for the nomination and continued support.