Throughout the month of March 2022, IBANY will celebrate Women’s History Month and feature our female leaders who serve on our Board of Directors and chair our committees. We will share their history, or rather their Herstory, in the insurance industry.


Renee McFadden

Renée A. McFadden, CIC, CPL
Distinguished Programs Group
IBANY President 

Herstory in Insurance:

  • The first Black woman President of The Insurance Brokers Association of the State of New York, founded in 1898
  • The first Black woman to be named the Professional Insurance Agents of New York’s Insurance Professional of the Year

Words of encouragement for young women and professionals entering and interested in the insurance field:

I didn’t grow up saying I want to be in insurance. Like most insurance professionals my age or older, I fell into the industry. Here’s how I fell….a good deal of my successes are attributed to:

  1. Being in the right place at the right time.
  2. My ability to identify growth opportunities and in turn be open to those opportunities.
  3. Building my network and my brand.
  4. Spending time with people who I aspire to be like, which naturally evolves into a mentor/mentee relationship.
  5. Being an intentional learner and being interested vs interesting.
  6. Creating a roadmap that aligns with my goals.
  7. Being nibble along the way.

The insurance industry is a people business. We protect communities. We’re at the cutting edge of innovation and we’re multi-faceted. Our industry is quite intriguing and it’s certain to keep us on our toes.


mt 21 pic

Maria Treglia, CPCU, RPLU
ARC Excess & Surplus, LLC
IBANY Program Committee Co-Chair

Herstory in Insurance:

  • Received Top 50 Women Professionals Award
  • Mentor with the not-for-profit organization The Bridge, which supports the development of female talent in Financial Lines insurance and reinsurance

Words of encouragement for young women and professionals entering and interested in the insurance field:

It is definitely important to give back to the next generation of females. Even when we are spread thin, it is a very rewarding experience to know you are helping others and also fine-tuning your skills while networking with peers and industry colleagues. Due to COVID and working from home, we needed to scale back our in-person interactions with one another and this is a way to stay connected while doing important work.

I joined IBANY when I had recently changed jobs and was looking for new ways to get more involved in our industry. It has been a mutually beneficial experience and I felt connected to the association began volunteering right away. I know I can make a difference just by showing up and being engaged, the rest works itself out. Volunteering is the lifeblood of this group -- we love when our IBANY members reach out to see how they get more involved! 

 Amy Kansay 2022

Amy Kansay
IBANY Membership Committee Chair

 Herstory in Insurance:

  • Emerging Leader 2016 from Insurance Brokers of the State of New York
  • Risk and Insurance Magazine’s Power Broker of 2022 for Non-Profits

IBANY membership motivation:

Get involved. Attend the Spring and Fall Receptions, join IBANY committees, and attend the monthly webinars. You never know who you will meet and what you will learn. 

I am excited to grow IBANY’s member companies and expand IBANY’s footprint in the NYC insurance marketplace. At times committee work has pushed me out of my comfort zone, which has forced me to grow both personally and professionally. It has also allowed me the opportunity to connect with other insurance professionals that I might not normally cross paths with and this has expanded my network.

If you are interested in joining the association, please attend the April 14th Virtual Open House or contact me to learn more.


Yiana Stavrakis
Monarch E&S Insurance Services
IBANY Board Member & Communications Committee Chair

Herstory in Insurance: 

  • Yiana has most recently been named one of Insurance Business America’s Hot 100, 100 Women to Watch and was a finalist for Insurance Business America’s Woman of Distinction Award.
  • Her newest adventure is becoming a CHIEF member to expand her women's equity work beyond the insurance industry.

How has leading and advancing the insurance field as a female empowered you?

Leading a business as a woman executive shows not only myself but those around me, that anything is achievable. Recent social movements have positioned the next generation to dream big and demand more from companies to treat everyone equitably. I keep my eyes on industry promotions and in the last year, there has been a significant volume of reported women promotions in executive-level insurance positions.

Words of encouragement for young women and professionals entering and interested in the insurance field:

 Keep pushing for what’s right and don’t get too comfortable…you still have a lot of work to do.

 IBANY AStoughton

Alexandra Stoughton
AmWINS Brokerage of New York, Inc.
IBANY Program Committee Co-Chair

Herstory of additional volunteer roles:

Member of the Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW) and on the Leadership Committee for The Pink Agenda, a breast cancer research organization

Words of encouragement for young women and professionals entering and interested in the insurance field:

Do not underestimate the power of the IBANY network! Whether you are breaking into a new sector or established in your role, there are valuable connections to be made across all facets of the industry. I encourage you to give and seek support from other women. Build your cabinet of female peers and mentors who you respect and admire. 

How has leading and advancing the insurance field as a female empowered you?

Being new to the insurance industry and to the NY area, getting involved in IBANY has been tremendously helpful to me for relationship development and industry navigation. My IBANY committee work is hardly work at all. It has been fun to connect regularly with our team, not only to break up the week, but also to come together to bring program ideas to life.

 Elizabeth Heck Headshot

Elizabeth Heck
Greater New York Mutual Insurance Company (GNY)
IBANY Board Member

Herstory in Insurance: 

  • Women in Insurance Leadership award INN magazine 2013
  • Neil Levin Memorial Government Service Award (Insurance Division) 2013
  • NYCAIW Insurance Professional of the Year 2016
  • Women in Insurance Leadership award Digital Insurance Magazine 2017
  • American Society of Workers Comp Professionals Legends Award 2017
  • IBANY 2018 Person of the Year
  • Past Chair New York Insurance Association (2018; 2019)
  • Past Chair NY Workers Compensation Rating Board
  • Past Chair NAMIC Terrorism (TRIA) task force

Words of encouragement for young women and professionals entering and interested in the insurance field:

There has never been a better time to be involved in the insurance industry!

The advancement of technology and flexible work arrangements combined with a huge talent gap and a need for strong leaders in the insurance space means that it’s a great time to be part of an industry that is stable, essential to the economy, and rewarding.

I encourage anyone entering the profession to actively participate:

  1. Become an expert by taking insurance classes 
  2. Join networking organizations like IBANY
  3. Mentor those entering the profession behind you
  4. Attend insurance industry events
  5. Volunteer your expertise
  6. Speak up. Stand out. Extend yourself. Make yourself heard.