Speaker Bios

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Greg Blaies
Founding Partner - Blais & Hightower, LLP

Greg Blaies is a founding member of B&H and serves as its managing partner. He has extensive trial experience in both state and federal courts, having tried numerous cases to verdict during his career. Greg is board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is recognized as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

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Sarah Borders, CEBS
Compliance Consultant - Benefits Compliance Solutions

 
Sarah is an industry leader in providing guidance on legislative and regulatory topics, such as: ERISA, The Affordable Care Act (ACA), Section 125, COBRA, HIPAA, Medicare Secondary Payer, Tax advantaged accounts (FSAs, HRAs, HSAs, DCFSAs) and Self-funded plans. 
Her designations include: an active license with the Texas Department of Insurance, CEBS (Certified Employee Benefits Specialist), Certified Health Care Reform Professional, NAHU HIPAA and ACA certification and Health Care Service Associate with AHIP.
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Todd Buchholz
Economist and Author

As a frequent commentator on the state of the markets, Todd Buchholz brings his experience as a former White House director of economic policy, a managing director of the $15 billion Tiger hedge fund, and a Harvard economics teacher to the cutting edge of economics, fiscal politics, finance, and business strategy.  Buchholz is a frequent guest on ABC News, PBS, and CBS, and he recently hosted his own special on CNBC.

Before joining Tiger, Buchholz was President of the G7 Group, Inc, an international consulting firm whose clientele included many of the top securities firms, investment banks and money managers in New York, London, and Tokyo, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. His commentaries were closely read by officials at the Federal Reserve, Bundesbank and Bank of England. Buchholz won the Allyn Young Teaching Prize at Harvard and holds advanced degrees in economics and law from Cambridge and Harvard.
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John Fear
Owner - Premium Business Consulting

 
John Fear has worked in the insurance industry for over twenty years in the areas of Life & Annuity, Small Commercial, Boiler & Machinery, Field Operations, Process Engineering and Personal Insurance. In 2007, John left the corporate life to start his own consulting firm – Premier Business Consulting.
As National Director of Agency Development at Travelers, John has conducted nearly 100 workshops for agency owners and principals (with 1,500+ attendees). John also developed and facilitated over 60 Sales training sessions throughout the country for more than 2,000 Producers and CSRs. He has consulted with dozens of agents across the country, focusing on improving sales and maximizing operational efficiencies.
 
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Gregory Gober
Partner - Blais & Hightower, LLP

Greg Gober joined Blaies & Hightower in 2007 as a partner. He focuses on several diverse areas of litigation, including employment law, personal injury, wrongful death, and complex business litigation. During the course of his legal career, Greg has tried a number of cases to juries and drafted briefs on a variety of complex matters in both state and federal trial and appellate courts.

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Steve McKee
President - McKee Wallwork + Co.


Steve McKee is the president of McKee Wallwork + Co., an advertising agency that specializes in working with stalled, stuck and stale brands. The company was recognized by Advertising Age as 2015 Southwest Small Agency of the Year and again in 2018. McKee is also the author of “When Growth Stalls” and “Power Branding.”
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Richard F. Lund, JD
VP, Senior Underwriter - Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

Richard Lund is a Senior Underwriter in the Independent Insurance Agents Errors and Omissions Program (IIP) of Swiss Re.  Richard is responsible for underwriting E&O business in Iowa, Tennessee and Texas.  In addition to his underwriting duties, Richard is the E&O Risk Management Coordinator and oversees loss control and risk management for the IIP. He works closely with the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association (IIABA) both nationally and with the individual state IIABA associations to develop, implement and promote ongoing risk management efforts for independent insurance agents.   He has also authored numerous insurance agents E&O articles and presented loss control and risk management seminars, webinars and podcasts across the United States.

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Doug Mohr
VP, Industry Relations and Partnerships - Vertafore


Doug Mohr is the vice president of industry relations and partnerships at Vertafore. He joined Vertafore to start and lead a group of subject matter experts that provide presentations on the entire Vertafore suite of solutions to customers and prospects in support of the sales team. 
Mohr brings more than 20 years of software experience, having worked at companies that provide solutions to a variety of industries, including insurance, healthcare, apparel, professional services, high tech and manufacturing. 
 
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Marit Peters
President & Executive Director - IIAT

Marit Peters is the President and Executive Director of the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT). Marit has spent the past 25 years working across various industries including insurance, healthcare, information technology, aviation manufacturing and association management. Her true passion is Organizational Design & Development. Working with businesses across the country, her focus has been on cultural change and tapping into people’s natural talents and strengths in order to achieve tremendous results.
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Brady Polansky, CPCU
VP, Agency Solutions - EZLynx


Brady Polansky, CPCU, is a VP of Agency Solutions at EZLynx, the leading provider of insurance industry workflow solutions. His career spans over 23 years of service in the insurance industry. Previously, Polansky was president and chief executive officer of NetVU, the largest technology trade association for the insurance industry, representing more than 150,000 independent agency owners and professionals who produced over $115 billion in annual premiums.
With more than 23 years in the business—including 15 successful years as an independent agent—Polansky is recognized as an expert in the independent agency distribution industry. He is an active speaker and panelist for national insurance forums, including IIABA, ACORD, and IVANS.
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Chris Riddell
Global Futurist


Chris Riddell is an award-winning global futurist and industry recognized inspirational keynote speaker on emerging trends in our hyper connected world. He is a global pattern hunter, discovering and identifying how humans are changing and adapting to high speed change, unlocking insights for businesses and leaders in today’s highly disrupted digital world.

A global trailblazer, Chris Riddell has worked for some of the largest and most defining businesses and brands in our modern world. Having lived and worked in countries such as the UK, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Kuwait, China, New Zealand and lately Australia, his understanding of our new world is compelling and thought provoking to say the least. 
Brad Schrum ARM
Chief Underwriting and Sales Growth Officer - Wingman Insurance


For the majority of his career (30+ years), he has been focused on the technology segment insuring startups   to the largest most sophisticated domestic and international tech/media companies. Besides having in depth knowledge on the basic PC coverage’s tech companies need, he has advanced expertise in the following lines of business: technology and media professional liability and cyber liability.  Prior to joining Wingman 6 years ago, Brad worked for some of the largest insurance carriers managing large books of business and involved in designing insurance products for technology clients.
 
Carey Wallace
Carey Wallace
COO - Ohio Insurance Agents
CEO - IntellAgents

 
Carey has served as the CFO and COO for Ohio Insurance Agents Association working to ensure the organization is well positioned to help Independent Agents grow. Carey has led the effort to develop key business consulting services to ensure that agencies have the information and support needed to successfully perpetuate their agencies to the next generation.

Additionally, Carey serves as the CEO of IntellAgents, a newly formed nationwide organization that she helped create. IntellAgents has created the fastest growing warehouse of Independent Agent data representing over 20,000 agencies across the country by the end of 2019. The organization is focused on leveraging this data to help Independent Agents make informed business decisions, grow their agencies and compete in the changing insurance marketplace.
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J. Lee Whittington, Ph.D.
Professor of Management - Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas

 
J. Lee is Professor of Management in the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. He focuses his teaching, research, and consulting in the areas of Leadership, Organizational Behavior and Spiritual Leadership. 

His research has been published in The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Managerial Issues, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Business Strategy, and the Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management.
 

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