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USI in the News

USI Insurance Services Honors 479 Summit Winners During 6th Annual Event

Summit 2016 Honoree Class Includes a Record 39 Five-Time Winners

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) honored 479 Summit winners across the country during its 6th annual celebration on Friday, April 21, 2017. The Summit Awards are a recognition and celebration of USI’s top performing service associates who are located in more than 140 locations across the United States. The winners, who range from one year with USI to 45 years of distinguished service, were lauded for their performance in 2016 with 60 percent celebrating a multi-year win. In addition to paying tribute to multiple year winners, this was the first time the Company honored a record 39 five-time Summit winners.

Michael J. Sicard, USI chairman & CEO, said: “The annual USI Summit Awards program recognizes and rewards our great, client service associates – both external and internal – across our firm who make USI a special place to work. All of our winners in the 2016 class go above and beyond every day to build our brand, in their daily interactions with clients, prospects, carriers and other USI associates. From many great individuals working together to deliver the USI ONE Advantage®, we have created a world-class team that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the industry. And, we continue and accelerate the path we have set for ourselves to becoming the pre-eminent insurance brokerage and consulting firm in the nation that makes a positive difference with our clients, colleagues and communities.”

The USI Summit Awards was created in 2011 as a reward and recognition program for associates nationwide who serve both internal and external clients. It was the first of its kind at USI and is a unique program in the industry that was honored in 2016 during the Insurance Marketing Communication Association Showcase Awards. The Summit program continues to innovate and expand and, for the first time since its inception, winners will choose their own ideal experience through an individualized, curated program that they personally schedule with a concierge. In addition to the new, Summit Experiential Award, winners also enjoy: company-wide recognition; local office celebrations; and a custom-designed trophy.

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Todd Johnson Featured in Insurance Business America’s Career Path

Insurance Business America features USI senior vice president

Todd Johnson, senior vice president and property-casualty practice leader, of the USI Massachusetts offices located in Woburn, Needham, and West Springfield, was recently featured in Insurance Business America’s Career Path column. Earlier this year, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker appointed Todd to a two year term as chairman of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC). Todd has been with USI for more than six years and has been a member of the Massachusetts WCAC for over four years, holding the council’s insurance and self-insurer representative positions. In addition, he serves as an elected municipal selectman for the town of Tewksbury, overseeing a municipal budget of approximately $110 million dollars. During his tenure, the town emerged from a severe fiscal picture to earn an AA+ bond rating. Read Todd’s article here to learn how his career has been a steady mix of professional growth and unwavering public service.

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Erik Teegerstrom Writes Byline for SHRM on Medical Assistance & Coverage for Short-term Traveling Employees

USI vice president and property-casualty practice leader, Erik Teegerstrom, pens byline for Society of Human Resource Management

An HR department may not realize that their company's existing health insurance may already cover medical treatment outside the country. At the same time, executives who oversee risk management may unknowingly purchase duplicative insurance. Written for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), USI Houston senior vice president and property-casualty practice leader, Erik Teegerstrom, explains in his byline, “It’s Time to Coordinate Efforts on Travel Medical Assistance,” why coordination of efforts between risk management and human resources can deliver better protection for employees and their employer. His byline addresses: the importance of reviewing current medical treatment and emergency policies; creating a travel emergency plan that is comprehensive, efficient and does not duplicate efforts; and using communication to ensure employees know how to access assistance before traveling. Read Erik’s article here.

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USI Acquires Cameron M. Harris & Company, A 2016 Inc. 5000 Honoree and One of North Carolina’s Fastest Growing Companies

Renowned Insurance Brokerage Firm Boosts USI’s Presence as Top Shop in North Carolina

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) announced it acquired Cameron M. Harris & Company, an insurance brokerage firm with an illustrious history and one of the fastest growing agencies in North Carolina. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, this prestigious partnering reinforces USI’s commitment to becoming the number one middle market insurance brokerage and consulting firm in the Carolinas. Cameron M. Harris & Company and its employees will remain at the current Charlotte location. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1979, Cameron M. Harris & Company provides personal and commercial coverage, business services, surety bonding, employee benefits and group products. It was the 58th largest broker of U.S. business in Business Insurance’s rankings before being acquired in 2002. In 2009, Cameron M. Harris resurrected his namesake insurance brokerage firm and by 2016, the Company was listed on the Inc. 5000, and the Charlotte Business Journal named the firm as the ninth fastest growing company.

James W. Dunn, USI Southeast regional chief executive officer, said: “For nearly 40 years, Cameron M. Harris & Company has been the preeminent insurance agency in the Carolinas, guiding its clients with a steady hand and sound insurance advice. Cammie and his team’s core values align perfectly with the USI ONE Advantage®, a game-changing process that delivers to clients a robust set of risk management and benefit solutions with bottom line financial impact. This acquisition reinforces our continued investment in the Southeast and our pledge to helping local clients grow their businesses. I am thrilled to have such a respected pool of professionals join our growing family and I welcome Cammie and his team to USI.”

Cameron M. Harris, president and founder, Cameron M. Harris & Company, said: “We have always believed that a policy is a promise, that each client deserves superior coverage and service, and that insurance is more than just a transaction. Through our partnership with USI, we will continue to deliver on these founding principles, but now our clients will have access to an extended suite of property & casualty, employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions afforded by a nationally recognized company. Additionally, our clients, colleagues and communities will enjoy best-in-class solutions that are customized through proprietary analytics, local and national resources and team-based planning. This is an exciting and new, chapter for us, and we look forward to collaborating with Jim and his team on growing this strategic marketplace.”

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USI CFO, Ed Bowler, Named Finalist in CFO Innovation Awards

Senior USI Executive named finalist for CFO Innovation Awards

We are excited to announce that USI CFO, Ed Bowler, has been named a finalist in the 2017 CFO Innovation Awards. Award recipients will be announced on May 24, at an awards ceremony and dinner at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey. Entering its third year, the CFO Innovation Awards celebrate highly accomplished CFOs who contribute to their organizations’ economic growth, stability and success. Hosted by CFO Studio, a digital and print publisher, nominations are evaluated by CFO Studio’s audit partner, with finalists and award recipients selected by an independent panel of judges. Congratulations, Ed! View the finalists here which include executives from such companies as York Risk Services Group, Novartis and First Data Corporate. Learn more about the conference here.

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Food Manufacturing Publishes Sandra Usleman’s Byline on Food Industry’s Globalized Supply Chain

USI chief sales officer, Sandra Usleman, writes byline for Food Manufacturing discussing the Food Industry’s Globalized Supply Chain

Food Manufacturing features USI chief sales officer, Sandra Usleman’s byline in their “Industry Insider” column of the March/April issue. Today’s increasing globalized supply chain environment means even the toughest quality control measures may not be enough to protect a food manufacturer or supplier from risks that could cause millions of dollars in lost product, additional expenses and significant reputational damage. Sandra’s article outlines which questions decision makers should ask and what to look for in a risk management program to ensure broad protection against first-party physical loss of goods in the supply chain, from ingredient origination through a post-customer delivery recall event. Additionally, food companies need to be aware of the upcoming enforcement of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011. Purchasing the right coverage not only can save a company from a potentially devastating loss but it can increase profitability and create long term growth. Read Sandra’s article here.

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Joe Snable to Speak at Certified 401(k) Plan Fiduciary National Training Program

Joe Snable, USI West Orange vice president, to cover trends in the benefits space at Certified 401(k) Plan Fiduciary National Training Program

USI West Orange vice president, Joe Snable, will be speaking at a certified 401(k) plan fiduciary national training program to be held at New York University’s Kimmel Center on Wednesday, April 5, 9:00am – 3:00pm. This one day event is designed to cover the most essential topics of importance to improve retirement plan stewardship for employers and plan sponsors. Joe will be part of a panel discussion with other industry professionals that outlines trends in the benefits space with a focus on healthcare. Click here to register for this free event.

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The Standard New England’s Insurance Weekly Spotlights USI Gives Back

Ann Moore, USI New England’s RCHRO, discusses how a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program can make a positive difference to your insurance business

Written by Ann Moore, USI New England, RCHRO, she discusses how a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program can make a positive difference and add value to your insurance business in many ways. For example, a CSR platform can significantly increase brand awareness without spending thousands of dollars on advertising or expensive marketing campaigns. It also can help cultivate comradery and attract new talent, especially millennials, a group that is very concerned about their local communities. Most importantly, Ann said, a good CSR program, should be focused on helping others; it should be an insurance agency’s way of saying “thank you” to the communities where their employees work and live. The article was featured in the March 17 issue of The Standard New England’s Insurance Weekly and highlighted local volunteerism by USI’s New England offices during last year’s USI Gives Back campaign. Read her article here on pages 18 through 20.

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KKR Acquires USI for $4.3B in Joint Acquisition with CDPQ & USI Employees

USI Announces New Equity Partnership

KKR and CDPQ, along with USI employees, announced today their joint acquisition of USI Insurance Services (USI), a leading U.S. insurance brokerage and consulting firm. As partners with equal ownership, KKR and CDPQ will acquire USI from Onex Corporation and its affiliates in a transaction that values USI at US$4.3 billion.

To read the full article click here.

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Paul King to Co Host Webinar: Avoiding Exposure to Workplace Discrimination Claims

Paul King, USI senior vice president, MPS national director and national cyber practice leader, to co-host webinar

Organizations face enormous risks from allegations of unlawful discrimination in the workplace. USI senior vice president, MPS national director and national cyber practice leader, Paul King, will join Scott Garney, chief underwriting officer, of The Hanover Insurance Group, for a free webinar on how to avoid exposure to discrimination claims. This one-hour webcast will take place on March 28, 12:30pm to 1:30pm and will be led by executives from Jackson Lewis P.C., a management-side employment law firm with more than 800 attorneys serving clients nationwide. HR Certification Institute Recertification Credit Hour Program ID Number to be provided during event. Click here for more information and to register.

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Jim Kane to Speak at IBA Flood Risk Conference March 23

USI senior vice president, personal risk, Jim Kane, to be featured speaker at IBA Flood Conference

USI senior vice president, personal risk, Jim Kane, is a featured speaker at the upcoming Flood Risk 2017 at the Citrus Club in Orlando, Florida, on March 23. The one-day masterclass unites national experts for a discussion of critical updates to the NFIP, insight into the expanding private flood market and best-practices for placing insureds ahead of costly flood losses. Jim’s session “On the rise: Flooding and New Exposures,” outlines critical new flood exposures facing clients and how agents can help them with more comprehensive flood coverage. This course has been approved by the Florida Department of Financial Services for insurance continuing education credit. For more information on this event, click here.

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USI Summit Awards Video Receives Honorable Mention in PR Daily’s Annual Video Awards

USI Summit Awards video recognized by Ragan’s PR Daily Video Awards with honorable mention

The USI Summit Awards video received honorable mention in the 2016 Ragan’s PR Daily Video Awards. Nearly 200 entries were submitted and our video was honored in the “Recruitment Video” category along with Panda Restaurant Group, Nestle Purina, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the winner, Sandia National Laboratories. For over 30 years, Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc., has been publishing a multitude of corporate communication, public relations and leadership development newsletters, as well as hosting nationwide conferences, workshops and senior-level forums. Congratulations to everyone who contributed to the video! Click here to see a full list of finalists and winners in all categories.

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Pascal Ray Contributes to ProFood World Article on Terrorism

USI Senior Vice President, Pascal Ray, contributes to article discussing the potential for a terrorist attack on the nation’s food systems

Among the many “what ifs” experts on terrorism worry about is an attack on the nation’s food systems. Most feared, because it would be the hardest to prevent, is a lone wolf attack, something that has become more common over the past few years. According to the FBI, such a threat is more likely to come from an insider, a disgruntled or radicalized worker. This should raise eyebrows, considering the number of employees, contractors and vendors with access to one of the hundreds of thousands of facilities nationwide that make or distribute food. “We see many companies situated in environments where it is impossible to reach required damage levels or other trigger criteria for TRIPRA, and yet they pay their premium believing they are covered against terrorism,” said Pascal Ray, USI senior vice president. “The reality is in the event of an attack they would likely be left uncovered for a minimum of $5 million, a significant amount which few mid-market businesses can afford to lose.” Read full article here.

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USI Insurance Services Acquires Carolina First Associates, LLC

USI Strengthens Footprint in Carolinas with Prominent Employee Benefits Insurance Advisor

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) announced today that it acquired Carolina First Associates, LLC, a prominent employee benefits insurance advisor located in Hickory, North Carolina. This acquisition extends USI’s presence as the premier middle market insurance brokerage and consulting firm in the Southeast region. Carolina First Associates and its employees will remain at the current Hickory location. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

James W. Dunn, USI Southeast regional chief executive officer, said: “Since 1980, Carolina First Associates has built its reputation on helping businesses navigate the intricacies of evaluating and purchasing employee benefit plans, wellness programs and employee education and communication strategies. Their consultative approach to cultivating long-term relationships aligns perfectly with the USI ONE Advantage® and we are thrilled to welcome Sam and his team to USI. We look forward to continuing to invest in the Carolinas and to bringing our game changing approach for delivering solutions to clients, associates and local communities.”Samuel E. Rhodes, principal and owner, Carolina First Associates, said: “Our depth of experience in the ever-changing era of healthcare reform has helped us to understand and overcome the high costs and limited options faced by most businesses. With this acquisition, our clients will continue to enjoy this high touch, specialized customer care, but now they can tap into USI’s expanded suite of employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions. We are excited to be joining a nationally recognized company and to playing an important role in growing USI’s footprint in this strategic growth marketplace.”

Samuel E. Rhodes, principal and owner, Carolina First Associates, said: “Our depth of experience in the ever-changing era of healthcare reform has helped us to understand and overcome the high costs and limited options faced by most businesses. With this acquisition, our clients will continue to enjoy this high touch, specialized customer care, but now they can tap into USI’s expanded suite of employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions. We are excited to be joining a nationally recognized company and to playing an important role in growing USI’s footprint in this strategic growth marketplace.”

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Pascal Ray to Speak at IRMI Energy Risk and Insurance Conference in Dallas, Texas, March 6-8

USI senior vice president and marine and energy practice leader, Pascal Ray, to discuss risk management issues surrounding the oil and gas industry at IRMI Energy Risk and Insurance Conference

USI senior vice president and marine and energy practice leader, Pascal Ray, has been tapped once again to speak about critical risk management issues surrounding the oil and gas industry at the 2017 IRMI Energy Risk & Insurance Conference, March 6-8, 2017, at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel, in Dallas, Texas. Pascal kicks off the three day event on Monday at 8am with a session called, “Energy 101 Primer Session,” and then wraps up the day at 3:30pm with a session called, “Understanding Maritime Exposures and How to Insure Them.” Industry experts from around the country will be joining Pascal to provide risk management advice, case studies and best practices on such topics as emerging risks and claims trends, energy infrastructure issues and how to prepare for the upcoming challenges in the energy industry. ToVisit IRMI’s website click here.

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USI Expands Ohio Operation with Acquisition of Accelerated Benefits

Number One Agency in Central Ohio Joins Number One Employees Benefits Broker in Ohio

USI Insurance Services (“USI”), the number one employee benefits broker in Ohio, announced today that Accelerated Benefits, the largest insurance agency in central Ohio, has joined the firm. Founded in 1986 by Thomas P. Wagoner and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Accelerated Benefits and its employees will remain at the current Dublin location. Wagoner has been named president of USI Columbus Employee Benefit Division. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Thomas D. Cassady, USI Midwest regional chief executive officer, said: “For almost 30 years, Accelerated Benefits’ growth has been driven by what is known as the company’s ‘Five-C Employee Benefit Program’ – Cost, Compliance, Communication, Coordination and Consultation. Their uncompromising commitment to delivering superior service and ability to offer customizable solutions that fit the unique needs of their clients perfectly complement the USI ONE Advantage®, a customer-centric approach to delivering solutions that is enhancing the insurance brokerage and consulting experience. We are pleased to have Tom and his team join us, and I look forward to combining our strengths to further extend USI’s presence as one of the top insurance brokerage firms in the Midwest region.”

Thomas P. Wagoner, president, Accelerated Benefits, said: “We are in the ‘business of insurance,’ not the ‘insurance business,’ and we have been searching for a partner who focuses on problem solving and generating positive economic results for its clients instead of simply pushing out quotes. The USI ONE™ platform embodies these values, and through this partnership, customers will continue to enjoy their benefits programs and have access to USI’s expanded suite of employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions. We are excited to be joining a nationally recognized company that is setting a new standard for risk management and benefit programs, and to growing our footprint in this strategic growth marketplace.”

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USI CSO, Sandra Usleman, Interview on Contact Marketing Radio

Sandra Usleman, USI’s chief sales officer, interviewed on Contact Marketing Radio about how USI is helping its sales consultants engage middle market business leaders

USI chief sales officer, Sandra Usleman, was interviewed by Stu Heinecke, Wall Street Journal cartoonist and host of Contact Marketing Radio. During the podcast, Sandra discussed how USI is helping its sales consultants to engage middle market business leaders thoughtfully through the use of USI tools, coaching sessions, technical assets, content marketing and other resources that go beyond traditional selling. Sandra says it’s critical to qualify your prospect first – don’t waste their time – and to communicate a meaningful message that will solve a challenging business issue, resulting in a positive impact on their business. Click here to listen to Sandra’s interview.

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USI Toledo’s Benjamin Brown Interviewed by The Blade on Auto Insurance Study

Benjamin Brown, vice president of USI’s Toledo office, talks with The Blade about Auto Insurance Study

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office released its first Study on the Affordability of Personal Automobile Insurance to provide a perspective on underserved communities of low and moderate income. Using zip codes, the study found six zip codes in Toledo, Ohio, where the average annual car insurance premiums were above two percent of the median household income. Ben Brown, vice president of USI’s Toledo office, was interviewed by The Blade about the results. He said the varying regulations of each state make generalizing about premium costs difficult and “in cities where there’s more congestion, there’s a higher probability of having an accident or a break-in,” necessitating the need for high premiums. Ben added that some insurers are using credit scores as a predictor for probability of having an accident and filing an insurance claim. Read the full article here.

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Paul King Has Exclusive Interview Published in January Issue of Insurance Journal

USI senior vice president of USI’s MPS group and national cyber leader, Paul King, discusses criminal insurance in his interview with Insurance Journal

Paul King, USI senior vice president of USI’s MPS group and national cyber leader, was recently interviewed for an exclusive Insurance Journal story on the recent regulation issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services prohibiting insurance companies from denying commercial crime insurance coverage to New York businesses employing people with criminal convictions. Paul said New York, like California, Illinois, Delaware and a few other states, often sets the tone for development of regulation and law. There is no reason other states won’t follow suit, especially in light of New York’s decision. The regulation, called Insurance Regulation 209, serves as the first of its kind in the U.S. and is set to take effect on July 1, 2017, with respect to all insurance policies issued, renewed or delivered in New York State on or after that date. Read the full article here.

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USI Continues Midwest Expansion with Diversified Insurance Service

USI Continues Midwest Expansion with Acquisition of Diversified Insurance Service, Further Accelerates Position as Top Insurance Brokerage Firm in Region

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) announced today it has acquired Diversified Insurance Service, a risk management and employee benefits firm headquartered in Elmore, Ohio. Originally founded in 1948, Diversified Insurance Service provides personal risk, commercial and employee benefits products for clients throughout Ohio. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Thomas D. Cassady, USI Midwest regional chief executive officer, said: “Ohio is a strategic area where we are looking to invest, expand and grow, and this acquisition with Diversified Insurance Service further extends our presence as one of the top insurance brokerage firms in this market. Furthermore, their solid client base and deep ties with the local community perfectly complement the USI ONE Advantage® value proposition. I look forward to combining our strengths to cultivate new and current relationships throughout the region and welcome them to USI.”

Mark T. Reilly, principal, Diversified Insurance Service, said: “Our customers will continue to benefit from our innovative products and services, but now they can tap into USI’s expanded suite of employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions which generate positive economic results. We are excited to be joining a nationally recognized company that is transforming the customer experience through customized risk management and benefit programs, and I look forward to working with Tom and his team.”

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USI’s Paul King Interviewed for Insurance Journal Story on Commercial Criminal Insurance

USI senior vice president and national cyber leader, Paul King, discusses Insurance Regulation 209 and how it may affect national legislation in his Interview with Insurance Journal

Paul King, USI senior vice president of USI’s MPS group and national cyber leader, was recently interviewed for an exclusive Insurance Journal story on the recent regulation issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services prohibiting insurance companies from denying commercial crime insurance coverage to New York businesses employing people with criminal convictions. Paul said New York, like California, Illinois, Delaware and a few other states, often sets the tone for development of regulation and law. There is no reason other states won’t follow suit, especially in light of New York’s decision. The regulation, called Insurance Regulation 209, serves as the first of its kind in the U.S. and is set to take effect on July 1, 2017, with respect to all insurance policies issued, renewed or delivered in New York State on or after that date. Read the full article here.

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Press Release: MA Governor Names USI’s Todd Johnson Chairman of Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Appoints USI Massachusetts Senior Vice President, Todd Johnson, Chairman of Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council

USI Insurance Services (“USI”) announced that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, has appointed Todd R. Johnson, senior vice president and property-casualty practice leader of the USI Massachusetts offices located in Woburn, Needham, and West Springfield, to a two year term as chairman of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC).

Joseph Fico, USI New England regional chief executive officer, said: “Todd is a trusted professional with extensive knowledge and more than 25 years of experience in the workers’ compensation industry. I have seen his talent, drive and work ethic first hand, and I know he will play an integral role in advancing the founding principles of the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. I congratulate Todd on this well-deserved and prestigious appointment, and I am proud to have him as a member of the USI family.”

Johnson has been with USI for more than six years and has been a member of the Massachusetts WCAC for over four years, holding the council’s insurance and self-insurer representative positions. As senior vice president and property-casualty leader for the USI Massachusetts offices, Johnson is responsible for driving revenue growth for a wide range of industries throughout the Commonwealth. In addition, he serves as an elected municipal selectman for the town of Tewksbury, overseeing a municipal budget of approximately $110 million dollars. During his tenure, the town has emerged from a severe fiscal picture to earn an AA+ bond rating. Johnson graduated from Merrimack College with a B.A. in political science and has a J.D. from the Suffolk University Law School. He also holds professional insurance certifications in risk management and claims management.

The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, which consists of 10 voting and 6 non-voting members, was established during a series of workers’ compensation reforms that were signed into law in 1985. Its purpose is to monitor, recommend action, give testimony and report on the State’s workers’ compensation system. The council’s advisory responsibilities involve budget oversight, judicial appointments, legislative initiatives pertaining to workers’ compensation, and issuance of an annual report evaluating the operations of the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). As chairman, Johnson is responsible for running the monthly council meetings and helping to establish its agenda. These meetings are open to the general public pursuant to the Commonwealth’s open meeting laws.

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