June 7, 2023 (WASHINGTON, DC) – The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan trade association representing all segments of the surety and fidelity industry, held its annual meeting last week in Washington, D.C. with more than 185 members and guests attending. Bob Murray, SFAA Chair, Executive Committee Member, Head of Surety, Zurich North America, and Lee Covington, SFAA President and CEO, presided over the event, providing updates on SFAA’s accomplishments from the past year and ongoing initiatives.
Murray opened the meeting by highlighting the importance of having everyone from the industry together to reflect on all the work over the last year and thanked all SFAA’s members for their continued leadership and support to the association.
The SFAA Membership then elected the Board of Directors and Executive Committee adding two new members to the Board: John Guglielmo, Head of Surety at Intact Insurance, and Sharon Sims, Senior Vice President at Sompo International.
Board and Executive Committee Members
- Bob Murray, Head of Surety, Zurich North America
- Robert Raney, Senior Vice President, Construction Services, Travelers Companies, Inc.
- John F. Welch, President & CEO, CNA Surety Group
- Rick Ciullo, Chief Operating Officer, The Hartford Insurance Group
- Michael Keimig, President & CEO, Markel Surety Corporation
- Timothy Mikolajewski, President, Global Surety, Liberty Mutual Group
- Stephen Ruschak, Executive Vice President Surety, Arch Insurance Group
- Lee Covington, President & CEO, SFAA
Other Board Members
- Antonio C. Albanese, Head of Surety, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
- Ken Bearley, President, Bond Division, Great American Insurance Companies
- Ken Chapman, Executive Vice President, Surety, IAT Insurance Group
- John Guglielmo, Head of Surety, North America at Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions
- Stephen M. Haney, Division President, North America Surety & CUO, Global Surety, Chubb
- James Kawiecki, President of Surety, Hanover Insurance Group
- Matt Lubin, President, Surety Division Crum & Forster
- Alan Pavlic, President/COO, Old Republic Surety Group
- Sharon Sims, Senior Vice President, Sompo International
- Gary Stumper, National Surety Leader, Westfield Group
- Larry Taylor, President, Merchants Bonding Company Group
Covington provided updates on SFAA’s advocacy accomplishments and goals, SFAA PAC, SFAA Foundation and SFAA’s Strategic Priorities. In addition, Covington provided an update on the launch of SFAA’s Surety Protects campaign in 10 states and on Capitol Hill to targeted legislators, regulators, and public construction leaders, leveraging the data and findings from the landmark EY study The Economic Value of Surety Bonds.
A “Year in Review” video celebrating SFAA’s accomplishments throughout 2022 was shared, which highlighted the introduction of WIFIA legislation from Representatives Mike Bost (R-IL), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Troy Balderson (R-OH) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA). This legislation would require water infrastructure projects financed by WIFIA loans to have the same bond protections as other federally funded projects. The video also included an update on the SFAA Foundation’s Intern and Scholarship Program for underrepresented college students, highlighting the 15 scholarships awarded totaling $75,000. The 2022 Surety Industry Awards winners were announced via another celebratory video.
Amy Walter, publisher and editor-in-chief of non-partisan The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, one of the top political journalists in Washington, DC, took the stage and delivered an impactful keynote presentation, captivating the audience with her objective and thoughtful political analysis of the current political landscape in Washington, D.C. and across the country.
To close the meeting, two leading political and policy experts, Scott Riplinger of CGCN Group and Kichelle Webster from Stewart Strategies, participated in a robust “Inside the Beltway” panel discussion moderated by SFAA’s Director of Government Affairs Patrick Russell.
The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan trade association of more than 425 insurance companies that write 98 percent of surety and fidelity bonds in the U.S. Through advocacy, outreach, promotion and education, SFAA promotes the value of surety and fidelity bonding and its vital protections. SFAA is licensed as a rating or advisory organization in all states. State insurance departments have designated it as a statistical agent for reporting fidelity and surety data. www.surety.org