Columbus was a Homerun for the 2024 NCIGF Annual Conference

The NCIGF member community gathered in Columbus, Ohio last week for the Annual Meeting of Members and the 2024 Annual Conference. Nestled beautifully in the heart of the mid-west, Columbus boasted a beautiful hotel, vibrant downtown and lovely surroundings for the NCIGF meetings, with a homebase for the week established at the Hilton Columbus Downtown. Prior to the meeting kickoff, the Ohio Guaranty Fund hosted a night at the Clippers ballpark where members enjoyed nearly perfect weather and a wonderful time of fellowship just a few blocks from the hotel.

Day one of the conference began with the Annual Meeting of Members where Joe Torti (Fairfax) ran an efficient business meeting. Several board members were elected for another three-year term including Keith Bell (Travelers), Kim Decker (Farmers), Elise Spriggs (Liberty Mutual), Smitty Harrison (SC), Neil Jackson (State Farm), Tamara Kopp (MO) and Barbara Law (GFMS).

John Wells (LA) led the membership through day one of the educational agenda, with Melanie Kolp from Nationwide walking just a few steps across the street from the Nationwide headquarters to give an incredibly informative and interesting presentation on Generative A.I. This topic is heavy on the minds of many in the insurance industry and her guiding principle, “automate the ordinary and humanize the extraordinary”, left the group with much to consider. Day one also featured a relevant panel on CMS Litigation and another featuring thought leaders on international matters on the Resolution Planning and Preparedness panel. Later in the afternoon, Barb Cox (Barbara Cox, LLC), Rowe Snider (Locke Lord) and Daniel Lewallen (Faegre) presented on NCIGF Initiatives at the NAIC, a topic that has been broached several times over the past few years within the community. They gave a high-level summary of all of that recent work and took several follow-up questions from the audience with Daniel stating, “…the ‘roll up your sleeves and get to work’ phase with NAIC is ongoing.”

Melanie Kolp from Nationwide presents on Generative A.I.

Roger Schmelzer gave his President’s Report which featured specifics on the “2025+” Strategic Plan, going into detail on the three main objectives of the plan: 1. Preliquidation planning: implementation and execution 2. Reducing readiness risk: preparing for the changing face of insolvencies 3. Leveraging community:  shared solutions to common problems. As he went through the timeline of how we got to this place, he noted, “Everyday NCIGF works to balance leadership and service.” Following the plans’ adoption by the NCIGF board the previous day, Mr. Schmelzer laid out the next few steps beginning with member communication and stakeholder outreach. He wrapped up his thoughts with a commendation to all in attendance to remember not only why we do what we do, who we are doing it with (each other) but also who we’re doing it for (the policyholders).

That evening as the community was taking time for connection and fellowship at the reception, the Gates Marchman award was presented. Barbara Cox, who has been part of the guaranty fund system since 1993, was the esteemed recipient and the membership honored her with ongoing and heartfelt congratulations throughout the evening. Barb was also recognized the day before at the NCIGF board meeting as well. For additional NCIGF board highlights from the April 30, 2024, meeting, please click here.

Barbara Cox receives 2024 Gates Marchman Award
Day two of the conference featured newly elected NCIGF Education Committee chair, Corey Neal (FL), as the emcee, taking the group through the half-day agenda. Kerry Nations (TN) kicked off the presentations with an important topic for all fund managers, Crisis Communication.

The DEI Committee featured a panel on the Members Mentoring Members (M3) program, featuring two mentee participants. DEI Subcommittee chair, Doug Fahringer, moderated the panel and Neil Jackson (State Farm) and Tamara Kopp (MO) shared their experience participating as mentees in the program. If you would like to be part of the next M3 cohort, please find out more on the active page on MemberConnect which also includes more information about the purpose of the program as well as expectations and resources for the mentor/mentee pairs.

DEI Panel: Members Mentoring Members

Day two also featured a panel entitled, The Detection of Tech-Enabled Claim Instigation featuring Joseph Petrelli of Demotech and JJ Dimond of 4WARN. The statutory defenses panel featured an interactive session, allowing all of the conference attendees to battle it out in the form of a trivia game about that particular topic. Vicky Graves (OR) and Jeff Scott (GFMS) were the game show hosts and included Rowe Snider for additional explanation and information when giving the answers. Moe Azaran (CA) was the big winner, but it was really a win for all with a fun last panel to wrap up the conference.

Corey Neal thanked the NCIGF Education Committee members as well as the NCIGF staff in his closing remarks at the event. Education Committee Members include:

Corey Neal (chair)

Cathy Bazant        Amanda Barbera        Chad Anderson

Arthur Russell      Barry Miller                John Wells

Kerry Nations       Lisa Pratt                     Rick Vasil

Tom Souder         Valerie McGregor       Emily Jurey (NCIGF Staff)


2024 Annual Conference

The next NCIGF event will be the IT Summitt this summer on July 10-11 in Chicago and the NCIGF 2024 Fall Workshop will take place in Savannah, Georgia on November 13-14. For more information on NCIGF events, please go to:

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