Recipients are selected by the Riskies Hall of Fame committee, which is comprised of emeritus faculty and GSU Risk Management Foundation Board of Trustee members.
The GSU Risk Management Foundation is assisting our students during this unpredictable and challenging time and has created the 2021 Riskies Student Support Fund. The pandemic acutely affects our students financially because of loss of employment, lack of household resources, and caregiver responsibilities. This fund aims to remove the obstacles that may prevent their ability to stay in school and provides support for scholarships, actuarial exam preparation courses, passed actuarial exam reimbursement, assistance for student activities, and funding for the Gamma Iota Sigma and Actuarial Student Associations.
Icon Leadership Awardees
Lee Ann (B.B.A.’81) and Steve DeCarlo
Lee Ann DeCarlo is a proud alumna of Georgia State University. After graduating with a degree in risk management & insurance, Lee Ann worked as a reinsurance broker for Guy Carpenter & Company in Atlanta. She and her husband Steve relocated to Charlotte, NC in 1999 where for the next 12 years, Lee Ann took on several roles at Charlotte Latin School including organizing and facilitating the middle school service program, coaching Girls on the Run, serving on the Drug & Alcohol Task Force and fundraising. Her true passion was the Foreign Exchange program where her family housed over 20 exchange students.
M. Steven DeCarlo serves as executive chairman of Amwins Group. Previously, he served as chief executive officer of Amwins for 17 years, leading the business through the merger of several specialty wholesalers. He has served on the Amwins board of directors since he joined the firm in December 2000. Steve began his career with Crum & Forster and later joined The London Agency (today part of Chubb) as its chief financial officer. He was a founding partner of Royal Specialty Underwriting (RSUI), serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer, later becoming senior vice president of what was then RSUI’s parent company, Royal & SunAlliance USA.
Together, Lee Ann and Steve have a passion for service. Lee Ann has served on the Paula Takacs Foundation Board of Directors since 2016. Additionally, she volunteers for several rescue dog/humane society shelters. Steve is past chairman of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Georgia and an inductee into the Multiple Sclerosis Hall of Fame. As a past honoree of the National Insurance Industry Council’s Spirit of Life®, he spearheaded fundraising more than $2.7 million for the City of Hope to support research for life-threatening diseases.
Lee Ann and Steve are the parents of three grown children and three dogs.
Corporate Icon Award
Amwins Group Inc.
Earlier this year, Lee Ann and Steve DeCarlo challenged their colleagues to contribute to the 2021 Riskies Student Support Fund. James Drinkwater, president of Amwins, and Sam Baig, executive vice president of Amwins Brokerage, spearheaded a fundraising committee comprised of insurance industry leaders, including: Mark Swank, McGriff Insurance Services; Liz White, Peachtree; Michael Carr, Axis; Alison Oliphant, Core Specialty Insurance Holdings; Scott Meyer, Westchester; Philip McCrorie, RSUI; Steve Brennan, CRC; Marya Propis, RT; Nick Abraham, Markel Insurance Company; Gregg Mann, Marsh; Hugh Mooney, RT; and Jim O’Connor.
Since mid-December, the group worked tirelessly and has raised over $350,000 to date to provide financial support for student scholarships, actuarial exam preparation courses and passed actuarial exam reimbursement. The money will also fund assistance for student activities and the Gamma Iota Sigma and Actuarial Student Associations. Without the dedication and support of Lee Ann and Steve DeCarlo and this committee of industry experts, we would not have been able to make such a positive impact on so many students’ lives.
Career Achievement Award
Paul Sparks (MBA '87)
Paul serves as chairman of CAC Specialty. He brings over thirty years of underwriting and brokering experience and focuses on traditional Executive Liability insurance as well as non-traditional risks, AllRisk Professional Liability, intellectual property, credit enhancement, credit default, operational risk, anti-trust, environmental, and transaction liability solutions. Paul works with clients to leverage deep insurer relationships and complex coverage experience.
Before joining CAC, Paul was with McGriff, Seibels & Williams where he was the founder and head of the financial services division. While at McGriff, Paul was involved in and contributed to, the negotiation and execution of insurance products achieving insurance recovery in excess of $2B. Similar results have been achieved for clients across a wide range of industries, including financial services, energy, technology, insurance, and fintech. Prior to McGriff, Paul served as a senior vice president at Aon Corporation and as a customer group practice leader at Chubb.
Paul graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance.
Career Achievement Award
Alwyn Powell (M.A.S.’76)
Mr. Powell is a consulting actuary specializing in consulting with retirement communities known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) and Continuing Care at Home (CCaH) for more than nearly 40 years. A.V. Powell & Associates LLC home office is located in Atlanta, GA, and additional offices are in Kansas City, MO, St. Louis, MO, and Virginia Beach, VA.
Mr. Powell pioneered the application of actuarial science mathematics to CCRCs in 1979 to quantify the appropriate level of reserves and pricing margins for their unique contractual combination of lifetime long-term care insurance with managed care considerations plus senior living housing benefits. He repeated this effort in 1990 for CCaHs (aka Lifecare Without Walls) as part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to assess this long-term care funding concept's financial feasibility.
Before establishing A.V. Powell & Associates LLC, Mr. Powell managed the CCRC actuarial consulting practices as a principal with Willis Towers Watson (fka Tillinghast/Towers Perrin) and as a vice president with Winklevoss & Associates. Mr. Powell has an undergraduate degree in statistics from Harvard University in 1975 and a graduate degree in actuarial science from Georgia State University in 1976. He was a 1977 S. S. Huebner Foundation Fellowship recipient. He completed his doctoral course work in risk and insurance at the Wharton School in 1979. He is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA) and an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA).
Mr. Powell is married to Georgia State Senator (District 38) Dr. Horacena E. Tate and has three daughters and nine grandchildren.
Corporate Recognition Award
This year, the Chubb Charitable Foundation established the Chubb Robert M. Hernandez Scholarship for undergraduates studying risk management and insurance (RMI) at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business. The scholarship is named for Robert M. Hernandez, who served on the Chubb Board of Directors for nearly 35 years, including 16 years as independent Lead Director.
As part of Chubb’s overall commitment to promote racial equity, this scholarship will provide financial support and advancement opportunities for diverse students. Scholarships will be awarded to two to five students annually for three years, beginning in the fall 2021 academic year. Recipients also will be considered by Chubb for employment opportunities, where applicable.
“Chubb provides more annual scholarship funds to Robinson RMI students than any other company, helping us train an even greater number of students from diverse backgrounds to become the next generation of risk and insurance leaders,” said Stephen H. Shore, Risk Management and Insurance Department chair. “With more than one third of RMI undergraduate students eligible for Pell Grants, the Chubb Robert M. Hernandez Scholarship will be transformational to its recipients.”
Sean Ringsted, Chief Risk Officer at Chubb, said, “At Chubb, we share GSU’s vision of breaking barriers and equipping students for a successful career in the risk management and insurance industries. For Chubb, that vision includes advancing racial diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry and our workforce. The risk management discipline is becoming increasingly critical to shaping and protecting the economy and society of the future, and an education at GSU provides a strong foundation for future leaders of our industry.”
Rising Champion Award
Tandeka Nomvete (B.B.A.’13)
Tandeka Nomvete graduated from Georgia State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s in business administration in risk management and insurance, with a minor in actuarial science. As a student, she was involved in several organizations and professional associations on campus and was the president of the Zeta Chapter of GIS. Upon graduating, she joined Marsh USA, Inc. and worked for the commercial insurance brokerage for five years. As an associate account executive, she managed client service needs over multiple product lines within both the National Brokerage and Global Risk Management arenas. She coordinated the technical advice, product expertise, and comprehensive review of client risks and worked with placement teams to ensure the best terms and pricing for her clients.
Seeking to meaningfully impact students and their career exposure and opportunities in the risk management and insurance (RMI) industry, Tandeka joined the national team at Gamma Iota Sigma as the director of chapter engagement. While working for this student association, Tandeka developed and managed national resources for the various local chapters and student officers to foster effective chapter management and inclusive membership. In 2020, Tandeka pivoted to the recruiting side of the RMI industry by joining Questpro Consultants, the industry’s premier recruiting and staffing agency. Tandeka leads the QGrads division of Questpro, which focuses on a wider population group of both current college students and recent graduates and facilitates more opportunities for them to obtain internships and entry-level jobs. Tandeka’s goal for the QGrads division is to become a national one-stop-shop for any early talent that is seeking work within our industry.
Tandeka was born and raised in South Africa and immigrated to the United States at 17 years old. She resides in Miami, FL with her husband, Miguel, who immigrated from Mexico in 2015. Tandeka and Miguel love to travel, scuba dive, snorkel, and explore unique restaurants and attractions. Tandeka’s passions include mentoring students, networking, hosting virtual events, attracting top talent, tackling retention issues, and championing all Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) initiatives.
Ms. Gaunt received her ABJ (Journalism) degree from the University of Georgia, and her master of insurance degree from Georgia State University.
Ms. Gaunt worked as an underwriter for the Insurance Company of North America (INA) before joining Powell & Company, a regional property and liability insurance broker, as a senior marketing representative.
In 1984, she became the first female GSU Department of Risk Management and Insurance faculty member when Dr. John Hall asked her to become a part-time instructor, teaching the undergraduate Principles of Insurance course. In 1988, Dr. Hall asked her to become a member of the full-time faculty where she taught until her retirement as a senior lecturer in 2010. She earned professional designations in property and liability insurance (CPCU, ARM, ARe, ARP), life and health insurance (CLU, ChFc), and personal financial planning (CFP). During that time, she taught undergraduate courses including Principles of Insurance, Property and Liability Insurance, Employee Benefits, and Personal Financial Planning. At the graduate level, she taught Property and Liability Insurance, Employee Benefits, and Retirement Planning. Additionally, Ms. Gaunt served as chair of the RMI Department Scholarship Committee, responsible for awarding both undergraduate and graduate scholarships.
Ms. Gaunt also taught in the International Visiting Fellows management development program sponsored by Munich Reinsurance Company for many years. The Fellows were required to write a research paper. She mentored the Fellows in their writing and edited their papers. She also edited the 14th edition of Life Insurance by Kenneth Black, Jr., Harold D. Skipper, and Kenneth Black, III published in 2013.
Ms. Gaunt worked as a consultant for Keir Educational Resources for 28 years, where she developed and wrote educational testing materials for CPCU, CLU, ChFc, and CFP. She has also served as an expert witness in cases involving property and liability coverage disputes.
Personally, she and her husband are long-distance cyclists both in the U.S. and internationally. Ms. Gaunt is also an award-winning weaver and active in the Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild, having served on the Board of Directors.
Martin F. Grace stared his academic career at the University of New Hampshire where he graduated in 1980 with majors in political science and economics. He then went to the University of Florida and earned a Ph.D. in economics and a JD in 1986. Professor Grace then started his career at GSU as an assistant professor of legal studies. Almost immediately, he became involved in the graduate programs in the RMI Department and served as Ph.D. advisor for many years. At GSU, he went through the academic ranks and was promoted to full professor in 1998 of legal studies and risk management. In the spring of 2015, he was recognized as a Georgia Regents’ Professor, and he held the James S Kemper professorship. From 2012-2016, Professor Grace served as the chair of Georgia State University’s Department of Risk Management and Insurance. In 2017, Professor Grace moved to Temple University where he holds the Joseph Boettner Professorship in Risk and is now an emeritus professor of Georgia State University.
Professor Grace’s research interests include tort reform, catastrophe financing, and industrial organization, regulation, and taxation of the insurance industry. His is an associate editor of the JRI and has published more than 70 professional and scholarly research papers and book chapters and has consulted with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, various state regulators, and industry associations. Grace also testified before the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Senate on the future of insurance regulation as part of the Dodd-Frank Act.
Doocheol Kim, Ph. D. received his doctorate in risk management in 1988. He is an associate of the Department of Risk Management and Insurance through his friendship and collaboration with Dr. Harold Skipper and Dr. Larry Gaunt. He had a career in academia in Korea and was a consultant for Samsung Life Insurance Company. He recently published a book on life insurance dedicated to Georgia State’s Risk Management and Insurance Department.
Greg is a senior vice president with CAC Specialty’s Financial Lines Practice. He has extensive underwriting and brokering experience, focused on traditional Executive Liability insurance as well as non-traditional risks including All-Risk Professional Liability, Transactional Risk (Tax and Representation and Warranties) and has crafted numerous manuscript programs which provide unique solutions for specific situations.
Prior to CAC Specialty, Greg was at McGriff, Seibels & Williams where he worked for 20 years. He began his insurance career at Chubb as an underwriter in their Executive Protection Division. He has also worked at A&A, Palmer & Cay/Carswell, Minet and AON.
Greg graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor of business administration degree in finance.
Greg McCollister is the co-founder of the GSU Risk Management Foundation’s Bermuda Scholarship Fund and its fundraiser, the Bermuda Trek, where he has been a driving force in its success over the past 17 years. Known for his jovial personality and his highly anticipated annual “Words of Inspiration” before the Trek, Greg has helped guide the project that has helped scores of Bermuda students earn degrees and launch successful careers.
He and his wife Julie have two children, Blake and Katy, along with a new grandson Maddox. His hobbies include cycling and golf.
As chairman of Willis Bermuda Limited and Willis Towers Watson Market Head, Bermuda, Paul Scope oversees its Bermuda based operations. WTW has had a strong presence in Bermuda since 1979 and employs approximately fifty full time staff on the Island focusing on a range of different activities, including alternative risk transfer, direct insurance, reinsurance, captives, life insurance and annuity.
Before joining WTW, Paul was chairman and chief executive officer of JLT Park, the Bermuda based specialty (re) insurance division of UK-listed broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT). He has spent 30 years in the Bermuda market and 40 years in the insurance industry. Between 2003 and 2007, he was chairman and chief executive officer of the Park Group which had offices in Bermuda, London, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto and San Francisco. In 1989, Paul established Park International Ltd, one of the first major independent wholesale brokers in Bermuda, which later became Park Bermuda and was acquired by JLT in 2007.
Paul currently serves as chairman of the Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority, president of the Bermuda Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers Association, deputy chair of the Bermuda Strategic External Affairs Committee and a director of the Association of Bermuda International Companies. He has been a director of the Bermuda Business Development Agency for the past 8 years; the last three as chair.
Paul has been in Bermuda since 1983 and is now Bermudian. He is being recognized for his 17-year commitment to the Bermuda Scholarship Fund. When Gary Meggs and Greg McCollister visualized the Bermuda Trek fundraising event, Paul was eager to be the lead for the efforts in Bermuda. He has worked tirelessly to provide resources for students from Bermuda to attend Georgia State University.
Charles "Chuck" Timmons retired from Canal Insurance Company as president and chief executive officer at the end of 2009. He worked at Canal for 37 years at various positions and has served on its board of directors for the past twenty-five years. Canal is a family business started by his grandfather specializing in long haul trucks.
He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Business in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in finance. He worked in insurance for 2 years and then attended graduate school at Georgia State University in 1975-1976 in risk and insurance.
He was a board member of USC’s Business Partnership Foundation & currently a member of USC’s insurance school advisory board (Risk & Uncertainty Management). He has served on various charity boards in Greenville including Artisphere, a top 10 arts festival in the country. He was also on the board of The Poinsett Club, a downtown social & dinning club and the Greenville Historical Society.
Charles Timmons recently established the Timmons Family Scholarship for RMI students. Charles has been a long-time supporter of GSU and the RMI program. He currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina.
Gerardo Betancourt is a senior majoring in Actuarial Science and Risk Management Insurance from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He is the President of the Actuarial Student Association, a member of the Honor’s College, and a Career Advancement Center Champion where he serves as an ambassador and mentors other students. In his free time, he enjoys learning about the financial markets, prepares for actuarial exams, and play golf.
His career goals and aspirations stem from his experiences growing up in Puerto Rico. One of his major aspirations is to work for one of the top insurance companies in order to make the world more resilient. Gerardo’s vision is to give back to his community by making insurance more accessible and transparent.
Yi-Hsuan Hung is pursuing a dual master's degree in actuarial science and also in quantitative risk analysis and management at Robinson College of Business. Yi-Hsuan had internship experiences in Shin Kong Life Insurance Company's product development department and the Decent Actuarial Consulting Company. Currently, Yi-Hsuan is working as a graduate research assistant and is responsible for text mining. Yi-Hsuan can speak six languages and also enjoys learning about different cultures and new languages.
Karan Kumar is currently finishing up his master of science in quantitative risk analysis and management from Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Prior to that, he worked as full-time investment banking analyst for JS Bank Limited and passed all the levels of CFA (with pending charter). Recently, he led a group of students in a sprint project which automated the tranching, valuation and cashflow generation process of non-agency based Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) for BDO USA LLP. Upon the completion of his degree, he hopes to work as analyst in risk and data analytics area in future.
Having been born and then raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia, it was a very easy decision for Kenny to pursue higher education within his home state. Kenny chose to major in risk management and insurance because of his interest within the insurance industry along with the school’s attractive reputation and national ranking.
At Georgia State University, Kenny has seen tremendous success in his academic and professional development. While being able to maintain above a 4.0 GPA, Kenny was able to secure three different internships during his time at school with guidance from the Department of Risk Management and Robinson College’s Career Advancement Center.
His professional experiences through internships with AssuranceAmerica, Pritchard & Jerden, and Aon has helped strengthen the knowledge that he has learned about Property and Liability insurance from his classes. Outside of his classes and internships, Kenny has taken the initiative to become a leader in every organization that he is involved with such as: being the president of the Gamma Iota Sigma, Zeta Chapter, the secretary of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, the inaugural cohort of the Eric Joiner Achievement Academy, and the talent acquisition in the 2020 Panthers on Wall Street Cohort. Upon graduating in May 2021, Kenny plans to return to Aon where he will be starting his career as a Cyber Risk associate broker.