- About the Center
- Storm Risk
Greg Baker received a B.S. in Risk Management/Insurance from The Florida State University and holds a Master’s degree from Boston University in Insurance Management. He joined ThompsonBaker in 1970 and serves as Chairman and Commercial Lines Account Executive. He holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations. Actively involved in the community, Greg serves on the President’s Council of Flagler College and is a member of the St. Augustine Kiwanis Club. He is a former Mayor of St. Augustine, past Chairman of the Board of Flagler Hospital, and past Chairman of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA). Also, he is a former President of the St. Augustine/St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, a former trustee of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, and First Floridian Insurance Company, a former Travelers subsidiary.
David Brooks, CPCU, ARM is the SVP and Chief Risk Officer for XL Insurance, and is responsible for the identification and management of all material underwriting and enterprise risks throughout the organization. In addition to overseeing high risk underwriting and emerging risk activities, additional responsibilities include catastrophe aggregation management. This requires the development and utilization of “real time” catastrophe modeling tools to understand the impact of human and natural catastrophe perils during the underwriting process, as well as analyzing modeled results in the development of appropriate reinsurance structures to protect against severe catastrophic loss. He is also a member of the senior management board which is responsible for establishing policy and direction for XL Insurance.
Prior to joining XL in 1998, Mr. Brooks worked for 16 years in the insurance brokerage industry, with primary involvement in the sales and servicing of large, multi-national Fortune 1000 accounts. Many of these accounts had significant exposures to natural catastrophe events.
Mr. Brooks is a Magna Cum Laude BS graduate of Finance from the University of Southern California, and a MS graduate of Insurance and Risk Management from Florida State University. He also attended additional graduate studies in Finance and Insurance at the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School). He has earned the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) professional designations.
Allen Durham is the President and CEO of Star & Shield Risk Management LLC, the attorney-in-fact for Star & Shield Insurance Exchange, a home and auto reciprocal insurer for members of the law enforcement, corrections and fire rescue communities and their families. Prior to his work in forming this new venture, Mr. Durham was an Executive Vice President with Hunt Insurance Group, a leading administrator of self insurance funds located in Tallahassee, Fla. Before joining Hunt Insurance Group, Mr. Durham was a Senior Vice President of Benfield, Inc. (now Aon Benfield) one of the largest reinsurance intermediaries in the world. Mr. Durham was also Branch Manager of Benfield’s Dallas, Texas, office and held leadership positions on several of Benfield’s largest accounts. He was also a member of Benfield’s Senior Broker Forum, a Benfield Top Gun class graduate and an instructor in Benfield’s renowned education program. A great deal of Mr. Durham’s experience and expertise relates to personal lines homeowners business in Florida, in addition to other lines of business including professional liability, workers compensation, personal auto, commercial property and commercial general liability. In addition to his experience set forth above, Mr. Durham has also held positions with Willis Re, E.W. Blanch Co., Transamerica and worked as an independent consultant.
Mr. Durham holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Memphis School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Risk Management and Insurance from the Florida State University College of Business. In addition, he holds the Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designations from the Insurance Institute of America. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Florida State University National Alumni Association and the Board of Governors for the Florida State University College of Business. Mr. Durham is also a past member of the Board of Directors for the Southwestern Insurance Information Service.
Fred E. Karlinsky is Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Insurance Regulatory and Transactions Practice Group. Fred has over twenty years of experience representing the interests of insurers, reinsurers and a wide variety of other insurance-related entities on their regulatory, transactional, corporate and governmental affairs matters. Fred is a recognized authority on national insurance regulatory and compliance issues and has taken a leadership position in many insurance trade organizations, has led many industry-driven legislative and regulatory initiatives, and is a sought after thought leader who has spoken and presented papers to insurance executives and governmental officials, both nationally and internationally.
Fred is experienced in transactional law, executive and legislative governmental affairs, administrative law, and corporate representation. He advises clients on operational issues — including start-up initiatives, structuring, capitalization, and collaborative business relationships— and a complete array of regulatory and compliance issues, including licensure and corporate amendment applications, business expansion initiatives, solvency and statutory accounting issues, rate and form filings, and financial and market conduct examinations, to name a few.
Fred has a long history as a primary strategist in all types of Florida insurance-related legislative and regulatory initiatives for all kinds of insurance, including homeowners, automobile, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice and other lines of property and casualty and life and health insurance.
In addition to his role with Greenberg Traurig, Fred is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Florida State University College of Law, where he teaches a course on Insurance Law and Economics.
Lynne McChristian is the Florida representative for the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and heads up its national catastrophe communication and response team. Established in 1960 and based in New York, the I.I.I. is a nonprofit organization widely recognized as a primary source of information, analysis and referral concerning insurance. McChristian chairs the insurance committee for the National Hurricane Conference, and she serves on the public education committees for the Florida Property & Casualty Insurance Fraud Task Force.
McChristian joined the I.I.I. in April 2008, following more than 14 years working in the Florida office of USAA, the highly-regarded insurance and financial services company that primarily serves members of the U.S. military and their families. At USAA, she was responsible for internal and external communication, including strategic communication planning and media relations. Prior to joining USAA, she was a public relations manager for a Florida-based workers’ compensation insurance company and a marketing specialist for USAA Life Insurance Company in San Antonio, Texas. McChristian also has worked in real estate marketing, in public relations and was a television news reporter, photographer and anchorperson. Additionally, she has taught television production and writing classes at San Antonio College and St. Mary’s University, both in Texas and taught communication courses as a visiting professor at the University of South Florida.
McChristian earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Marquette University and a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Arkansas. She has a professional accreditation designation from the International Association of Business Communicators and an associate’s designation in management from the Insurance Institute of America.
Dr. Jack M. Nelson, CFA, is Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for Everest Reinsurance Group, where he is responsible for overseeing the company's invested assets along with the assets of the employee pension plan. He is responsible for the allocation of assets among asset classes and investment managers. Jack is responsible for long-term investment strategy and policy issues, evaluating portfolio risks and performance, ensuring compliance with policy guidelines and applicable regulations, and resolving administrative and operational issues. He also leads the company efforts in cash management and currency hedging.
Prior to joining Everest Reinsurance in 2009, Jack was a member of the Financial Reserves Management Group at Wellington Management Company (2000-2009). As a relationship manager Jack worked exclusively with insurance company clients on their investment issues. Jack was a professor at Florida State University (1984 –1989). After FSU, Jack joined the College of Insurance in New York (1989 – 1999) and was later named the Robert F. Corroon Professor and the Chief Academic Officer. His work has been published in a number of journals and industry trade papers including: The Journal of Risk and Insurance, Journal of Insurance Regulation, CPCU Journal, Reinsurance Digest and John Liner Review. He is a past president of the American Risk and Insurance Association and the Southern Risk and Insurance Association.
Jack holds both a PhD (1987) and an MA (1983) in applied economics and business from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) where he was a Huebner fellow. Additionally, he received a BS in finance and management from the University of Utah (1980). Jack holds the CFA, CLU, ChFC, CPCU, and ARM designations.
Dr. Jack Nicholson is the Chief Operating Officer of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF) for the State Board of Administration of Florida. He is also on the board of directors and is the President of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Finance Corporation, a statutorily created public benefit corporation created for the purpose of facilitating the issuance of bonds following a major catastrophe. In addition, Dr. Nicholson serves on the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology (Commission) and served as its chair for the first two years. The Commission was created as a panel of experts in 1995 by the Florida Legislature for the purpose of providing guidelines and standards in the review and evaluation of hurricane computer models used to project losses in residential property rate filings. At the State Board of Administration, Dr. Nicholson has the additional responsibility of overseeing the Insurance Capital Build-up Incentive Program.
Prior to coming to the State Board of Administration in September of 1994, Dr. Nicholson worked for the Florida Department of Insurance for eight years. At the Department, Dr. Nicholson held the positions of Director of the Office of Insurance Research and Data Analysis, Deputy Director of Property and Casualty Insurers, Assistant Director of Rating, and Bureau Chief of Rates. Dr. Nicholson was involved in many of the regulatory activities following Hurricane Andrew. These activities ranged from data collection and analysis to operating the Department’s Miami Insurance Center. He served as the Insurance Department’s liaison with the State Board of Administration regarding the FHCF from its inception and has played a major role in its implementation and development.
He received his Ph.D. in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Georgia in 1980 where he also earned his undergraduate degree in Business with a major in insurance. He received an M.B.A. from the University of North Dakota while serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Dr. Nicholson also has the professional designations of C.L.U. (Chartered Life Underwriter) and C.P.C.U. (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter). He has taught in the area of Risk Management and Insurance at the University of Georgia, the University of Iowa, and Florida State University.
Frank Nutter is President of the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA), a position he has held since 1991, and from 1981-1984. In the interim, he was president of the Alliance of American Insurers and the Property Loss Research Bureau, which have now merged to be part of the PCI (Property Casualty Insurance Association of America).
Mr. Nutter currently serves on the Board of the International Hurricane Research Center; the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, an adjunct to the Harvard University Medical School; the governing council of the American Meteorological Association; the Board of the University Center for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of universities funded primarily by the National Science Foundation; and the Advisory Board of the OECD’s International Network for the Financial Management of Large Scale Disasters.
Mr. Nutter has chaired the Natural Disaster Coalition, an effort to develop a program to respond to catastrophic earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions in the United States. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; and the Worker’s Compensation Research Institute. He has also served as a member of the Board of Overseers of the Institute for Civil Justice, a subsidiary of the Rand Corporation, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences.
Mr. Nutter has a Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Nutter is a Vietnam veteran and is listed in Who’s Who in America.
Julie Rochman is president and chief executive officer of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Ms. Rochman came to IBHS in November 2007 with more than 20 years of public affairs and advocacy experience representing major corporations, research and safety organizations, and issue-based coalitions. IBHS is a nonprofit applied research and communication organization supported by the property insurance industry. The Institute’s mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss.
Prior to joining IBHS, Rochman held senior positions at a leading Washington, D.C.-based strategic communication firm, the American Insurance Association, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. She currently serves on the Boards of the National Fire Protection Association and the International Hurricane Research Center. Previous Board service includes the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Highway Loss Data Institute, and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Ms. Rochman earned a BA in International Relations from Newcomb College of Tulane University, and a master’s degree in American Government from the University of Virginia. She now resides in Tampa, Fla.
Robin Smith Westcott is the Vice President of Government Affairs, Legal & Compliance for AAIS, a national advisory and statistical organization providing standardized policy forms and rate filings on behalf of more than 700 property and casualty companies. Robin began her career with the Florida Department of Insurance as a staff attorney with the Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation in 1993. During her career with the Florida DOI and later the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, she served in various regulatory roles including Assistant General Counsel, Director of Financial Oversight for P&C, and Acting Deputy Commissioner for P&C. Robin was appointed as the Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate in 2011 by Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and served in this capacity until leaving to join AAIS in November 2013. She has served on the Florida Surplus Lines Board, Florida Workers Compensation JUA Board, Workers Compensation Guaranty Association Board, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Consumer Committee, Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology and currently serves on the Florida Storm Center Advisory Council. Robin received her Bachelor of Science from Florida State University and her Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law.
As the Vice President of Risk Management for The Walt Disney Company, Steve Wilder is responsible for directing Disney’s worldwide corporate Risk Management program. In 2004, Mr. Wilder gained recognition for his creative use of insurance programs to transfer risk and was featured as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Finance” by the Treasury and Risk Management magazine. He was also named “Risk Manager of the Year” by Business Insurance magazine in 1990. In addition to managing risk for Disney, Mr. Wilder has also served as National President of the Risk Management Society and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Verdugo Hills Hospital, a nonprofit hospital in Glendale, Ca. He has an M.S. in Risk Management from Florida State University, holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and has completed the UCLA Executive Management Program. Additionally he holds an Associate in Risk Management designation. Prior to joining The Walt Disney Company, Mr. Wilder served as Risk Manager for the Whittaker Corporation from 1982 to 1987 and also worked in the insurance brokerage industry.
Dr. Hugh Willoughby is a Research Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University. His hurricane-research interests include analysis of aircraft observations, formulation of theoretical models of motion and intensification, and analysis of economic and human impacts.
Until 2002 he was a Research Meteorologist at the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, where he had worked since 1975 and served as director, 1995-2002. He has made more than 400 flights into the eyes of typhoons and hurricanes. Before joining HRD, Dr. Willoughby was a commissioned officer in the U. S. Navy. He served as a flight meteorologist in Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE (1970–1971) and on the Military faculty of the Naval Academy (1971–1974).
Dr. Willoughby has a Ph.D. (1977, Atmospheric Science) from the University of Miami, a M.S. (1969, Meteorology) from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a B.S. (1967, Geophysics–Geochemistry) from the University of Arizona. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is past chair the AMS Committee on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology.