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SILA is pleased to produce the SILA Spotlight, a great way to recognize and highlight SILA members and organizations who are making significant contributions to the overall success of SILA. SILA Spotlight allows members to meet new regulators and to share an appreciation for contributions being made by members and organizations within the Association.

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Top tags: Designations  Regulator  Announcement  Board of Directors  Foundation  SILA Member 

Introducing the 2018 SILA Board of Directors

Posted By Mary K. Krambeer, Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2018
SILA’s Board of Directors is the leadership and decision-making body that oversees the fulfillment of SILA’s mission. The Board of Director’s predominant focus is organizational goal setting, planning, policy and resource development, corporate oversight, evaluation, and decision making.
Annually, the current Board conducts a nomination and election process prior to SILA’s National Educational Conference to elect new Board members. Board members typically serve a two-year term beginning the following calendar year.
This year’s 2018 SILA Board of Directors are identified below.

Executive Directors


Jeff Lehman

Immediate Past-President

Donna Robinson
Physicians Mutual


Tracy Sloan
Waddell & Reed


Tim Owen


Heather Henderson


Margie Webber

Legal Advisor

Fred Karlinsky
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.

Executive Vice President

Diana Capes

Board of Directors

Sponsor & Fundraising Chair

Laurie Sadowski
Wells Fargo

Communications Chair

Diana Ivey
Marsh USA, Inc.

Membership Services Chair

Kathy Halverson
Farmers Insurance Exchange

Nominations Chair

Paul Willis
AXIS Insurance

Securities Chair

Sherri Coleman

Education Chair

Barb Gavitt
AD Banker

Vendor Relations Chair

Matthew Braunbeck
Business Information Group

Regulatory Advisor

Lisa Tordjman
Idaho Department of Insurance

Regulatory Advisor

Jeff Baughman
Washington Ofc. of Ins. Commissioner

Regulatory Advisor

Mario DiTrapani

Tags:  Board of Directors 

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Introducing the 2018 SILA Foundation Board

Posted By Mary K. Krambeer, Wednesday, January 31, 2018
SILA is also proud to announce the 2018 SILA Foundation Trustees who serve as the public outreach arm of SILA to provide training, education and scholarship opportunities to both SILA members and non-members within the financial services industry.

Foundation Trustees


Sherri Coleman

Immediate Past-President

John Humphries, Jr.

Executive Director

Matt Ray

VP, Development

Kingston Koser

VP, SILA Relations

Diana Capes

VP, Compliance

Cynthia Davidson

Regulatory and Organizational Relationships

Fred Karlinsky
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.


Nikki Brown


Guilda Moussazadeh
Clements & Co.

Scholarships & Grants

Lesli Leakey

Education Services

Barb Gavitt
A.D. Banker

Communications & Public Relations

Matthew Braunbeck
Business Information Group

Tags:  Foundation 

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Member Spotlight

Posted By Mary K. Krambeer, Tuesday, January 30, 2018

For this Spotlight edition, we have a couple of members who you may have heard mentioned since they are very involved in the SILA organization but perhaps you don’t know much about them. Let’s pull back the curtains to learn more about Barb Gavitt and Jeff Lehman.

Barb Gavitt

Vice President, Product Development & Education
A.D. Banker & Company

Barb has been in the insurance industry for nearly 27 years. Six of those years have been with A.D. Banker & Company working in product management and course content development.

Barb Gavitt is also SILA’s Education Director serving both the member and Foundation organizations. In addition to the Education Director responsibilities, Barb sits on the SILA Board of Directors, the SILA Foundation Board, and chairs the SILA Education & Training Subgroup (SETS). And if that is not enough, Barb serves as an active member of The Society of Insurance Trainers and Educators (SITE) and has served on its Board.

What led her to enter the insurance industry? This was not her career path initially. Barb was an art major at Eastern Michigan University. She wanted to become an art therapist and EMU was planning to launch a new program in that field. After two years of program delays, Barb settled on a different major to become an elementary school teacher. She got her teaching degree and taught in the public-school system for a couple of years but never landed a full-time gig. One summer, Barb’s cousin and her husband expanded their pre-licensing education school to Michigan. Initially, Barb was just going to help them find a location and set up their new office, but she was intrigued by their business. As she started helping to run the school and teaching insurance pre-licensing classes, she immediately felt it was meant to be. Insurance education has been her passion ever since.

Some other interesting tidbits about Barb. Barb grew up in Milford, Michigan, a very quaint small town in the suburbs of Metropolitan Detroit. She says it is the perfect setting for a Hallmark movie! Barb worked part-time at a funeral home while in college. She answered phones and greeted people during ‘visitation hours’. She would frequently spend the night at the funeral home to be available to answer the phone in the middle of the night and make the arrangements for body ‘pick-ups’. She has ridden in a hearse more than she can count and has driven grieving families to graveside services. Few (living) people can say they have seen the inside of an embalming room!

Barb has been married for 26 years to her husband, Chris, a plumber who is also from the same town. Her oldest son Brendan, has an Associate’s degree and is a senior at Eastern Michigan University completing a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He works fulltime with school-aged kids at the local community center. Her younger son, Patrick, just earned his Associate’s degree and has applied to the University of Michigan to pursue a degree in Kinesiology. Both boys are avid runners and helped lead their high school cross country team to the State finals, where they took second place.

Speaking of running, Barb’s home town holds a 5k and 10k race on Memorial Day to raise money for the high school athletics program. Barb has run several 5K’s and even a couple half-marathons, but had never run a 10K (6.2 miles). Barb made a goal to run the 10K in under one hour. Barb admits that she is not a fast runner and her usual goal is to just finish the race. During the race, she paced herself at each checkpoint and started to doubt herself the closer she was to finishing. Within the last half mile, she had 5 minutes to finish in her goal time. She was struggling. The next thing she knew, she had friends and runners from the high school cross country team jump in the race to keep her going. As tears streamed down her face, she crossed the finish line with the time clock showing 58.56 minutes, earning her 1st place for her age group. If that wasn’t enough inspiration, her son was waiting at the finish line with a bottle of water and a big hug.

Barb also challenged herself to do a bucket list activity for each of the 50 days before her 50th birthday. The list consisted of things that she has never done before that either took her out of her comfort zone or made her a better person. The one thing she has yet to do is to write and publish a book (that does not include the word “insurance” or reference a state law).

The quote that keeps Barb inspired is “Well behaved women rarely make history”. Barb reminds herself often that taking chances and shaking things up a bit, even if unpopular, can lead to more success than going along with the crowd.

Barb, we applaud you for your focused dedication in achieving your goals. Maybe goal setting should be the theme of your unwritten book?

Our last spotlight is on Jeff Lehman, SILA’s current President.

Jeff Lehman

Associate Vice President, Licensing & Commission Services

Since September 2011, Jeff oversees the licensing, registration and commission operations of Nationwide’s two life insurance carriers as well as its affiliated broker dealer and affiliated insurance agencies. What led him to the insurance industry 24 years ago was the search for a steady job with good benefits. Having experienced the loss of his mother in the prime of her life and the forced early retirement of his father, he understands the value and importance of life insurance and retirement savings to meet unexpected needs.

Jeff was born in Canton, Ohio – one mile south of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but grew up in nearby Massillon, Ohio. Growing up in Northeast Ohio, football was a way of life. When a senior in high school, Jeff’s team won the Division IV state football championship. Jeff was the long snapper, the player who snaps the ball to the punter and holder for field goals. Over the years, Jeff has learned that providing licensing and commission services to insurance producers is a lot like long snapping a football. You must be timely and accurate and the only time you seem to get noticed is when you mess up.

Jeff is happily married to his college sweetheart (or as they say at Bowling Green State University, his Falcon Flame), Alicia, for 24 years. Alicia teaches pre-school. They have been blessed with four sons, Jacob (20), Tyler (18), Zachary (15) and Luke (15). Their boys have been active in various sports and his oldest sons now attend college and the twin sons are Freshmen in high school and have recently obtained their driver license permits (Yikes!).

Jeff’s biggest motivation is helping others. Whether it be helping a family member, a co-worker, a SILA member, a neighbor or someone in need, he finds that helping others brings the most joy and happiness to his life. To highlight this a little more, five years ago, a fellow Nationwide employee encouraged Jeff to donate blood. Since that time, Jeff has donated three gallons of blood and wishes he would have started years ago. He encourages everyone who can to give blood donation a try. One donation can save up to three lives.

As stated earlier, Jeff took on the role of SILA President this year. When asked why, Jeff said that there were two factors that inspired him to take on this role. The first motivation was the members of SILA. He is continually impressed with the passion that SILA members have for the work they do and the spirit of cooperation and collaboration that they exhibit when interacting with fellow SILA members.

The second motivation was the SILA leaders who came before him. Having the opportunity to build upon the foundation that has been laid by his predecessors is a great responsibility. Given all the benefits that he receives as a SILA member and the relationships formed, Jeff felt an obligation to give back and do all he can to help SILA fulfill its mission and become the best industry trade association it can be.

When asked what goals Jeff had for SILA this year, he said there were many and listed them below:

  1. First and foremost, I anticipate SILA making tremendous strides toward fulfilling its mission as a forum for members to exchange information, best practices and ideas to resolve common issues.
  2. I intend for SILA to serve as a catalyst to spark innovation and progress within our industry.
  3. I expect SILA to continue to enhance the services and tools that are available to all members.
  4. I hope SILA members continue to acquire the knowledge and develop the relationships they need to be successful in their careers.
  5. Finally, I count on SILA to once again host an outstanding National Education Conference.

With a dedicated SILA Staff, an outstanding Board of Directors, diligent committees, dynamic subgroups, active chapters and scores of hard-working volunteers all working together as one, Jeff is confident that SILA will achieve these goals.

Thanks Jeff. We look forward to serving under your leadership in 2018.

Tags:  SILA Member 

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Regulator Spotlight

Posted By Mary K. Krambeer, Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Chris Murray, Insurance Licensing Program Coordinator
Alaska Division of Insurance

Meet Chris Murray with the Alaska Division of Insurance. It’s interesting to discover how people end up in Alaska (albeit one of the most beautiful states in the country) when born on the opposite side of the country. Read on about Chris’ story.

Chris has been in his current role as Alaska’s Insurance Licensing Program Coordinator for three years but has been in the industry for 6 years. Steve’s careers have revolved around management. He managed everything from a pizza parlor with animatronic characters in high school to a cruise ship company located in Seattle, Washington. He worked in the visitor industry in Alaska for 12 years before he joined the Alaska Division of Insurance.

Until he joined the US Air Force in 1994, Chris lived just outside of Greensboro, North Carolina. All his family were farmers at the time and he spent a lot of his youth exploring the countryside in rural North Carolina. As he entered middle school, his immediate family moved into town. But even there, he always sought out the “wild spaces”, whether that was the creek in the woods down the street or the campus of the nearby university. Chris was allowed a great deal of freedom to roam as a child and the time Chris spent exploring his environment really stoked his natural curiosity about the world. Chris has picked up the title “collector of experiences” since you will still find him wandering around new places to see what sort of “treasures” he might come across. Fortunately for Chris, living in Alaska affords him many opportunities to do that almost daily.

Chris’s pride and joy are his two beautiful boys who demonstrate to him each and every day the qualities and attributes that he has been striving for his entire life. He is constantly amazed by the lessons that can be gleaned from an 8 and 4-year-old.

Chris gets other inspiration from a framed copy of Max Ehrmann’s, “Desiderata”. Every time he reads it, he takes something valuable from it. This stirred me to read it, and I agree that this classic poem provides great wisdom to live by.

And finally, when asked to name one thing most people may not know about you, Chris replied with the following three choices:

  1. He’s been struck by lightning,
  2. He’s been bitten by a shark,
  3. He’s acted in a movie opposite John Cusack.

Ask him which is true the next time that you talk to Chris. My bet is all the above.

Tags:  Regulator 

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Regulator Spotlight

Posted By Mary K. Krambeer, Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Steve Giampaolo, Director of Producer Licensing & Enforcement
Colorado Division of Insurance, Department of Regulatory Agencies

Although not a new face to the regulator crowd, Steve Giampaolo is someone who we have wanted to turn our Regulator Spotlight on for quite awhile now. Keep reading because Steve doesn’t disappoint on his array of interests dotted with a spark of humor.

Steve has been the Director of Producer Licensing and Enforcement at the Colorado Division of Insurance since 2013 where he regulates 160,000 insurance producers with a team of seven investigators, one administrator and one licensing administrator. Steve has worked within the insurance industry for nine years as an attorney, producer and now a regulator.

Steve grew up in Long Island, New York and moved to Denver, Colorado in 2006. Admittedly, he misses being around New Yorkers (sometimes), its world-class food and the ocean. While living in New York, he surfed for about 10 years (on the water, not the Internet). He surfed through one winter and decided cold weather surfing was not a hobby for him.

Now Steve loves living in Denver. He touts his amazing wife, Courtenay, who keeps the Giampaolo clan well-fed and functioning. She currently works for the State of Colorado, owned and operated a healthcare business and excels at executive and sales roles.

Steve’s seven-year-old son, Max, attends first grade and is a Star Wars aficionado and is doing his best to become a LEGO master builder. Steve successfully brainwashed him into becoming a New York Jets fan, but confesses that it could be construed as an example of bad parenting.

Steve has a goofy Australian cattle dog Zuzu. She resembles the dog in the insurance commercial with Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, but has selective hearing.

In his spare time, Steve enjoys practicing and performing improvisational comedy and is currently taking an improv class. He loves hiking, camping, walking the dog and spending quality time with friends. Taking his son to school in the mornings and reading with him are savored activities. Although frustrating at times, he enjoys watching the New York J-E-T-S.

Steve invites all of us to come and visit Denver but don’t plan to move there since there are too many out-of-state transplants. I guess this is a Colorado welcome with a time limit, right Steve? LOL

Tags:  Regulator 

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SILA Designations Awarded

Posted By Mary K. Krambeer, Monday, January 29, 2018

SILA Designation Recognition

Often you will see some letters following the last name of a SILA member. SILA members who hold a SILA Associate (SILA-A) and SILA Fellow (SILA-F) designation have proven that they are dedicated to advancing their education and they are committed to staying involved in the industry. These distinguished members have worked diligently through each requirement of the SILA Designation Program because they know holding a SILA designation makes them stand out among their peers. If you’d like to make obtaining a SILA Designation your goal too, simply contact us at and we’ll gladly assist you along the way.

It is with great pleasure we announce the SILA Associate (SILA-A) and SILA Fellow (SILA-F) designations since the last edition of the SILA Spotlight (August 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017).

SILA Fellow (SILA-F) Designation Recipients

  • Stacey Akers, Liberty Mutual Agency Corporation
  • Heather Coulter, Humana MarketPOINT
  • Cynthia Davidson, ExamFX
  • Joanna Hagelberger, Vertafore
  • Stephanie Hosier, World Financial Group
  • Karen Machamer, AAA Life
  • Corey Porter, Lincoln Financial Group
  • Sara Walsh, LifeSecure Insurance Company

SILA Associate (SILA-A) Designation Recipients

  • Jennifer Acevedo, CEU Institute
  • Stacey Akers, Liberty Mutual Agency Corporation
  • Kym Arnold-Bryant, Alliant Insurance Services
  • Cyndi Burt, AXIS Insurance
  • Diamantina Courson, National Western Life Insurance Company
  • Jodi DeFilippis, Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Kenyi Doyle, Zurich
  • Kimberly Eggers, BOK Financial Securities
  • Julie Grubar, Pearl Insurance Group
  • Stephanie Hosier, World Financial Group
  • Julie Mendel, WebCE
  • Chris Murray, Alaska Division of Insurance
  • Radha Ramsewak, Sagicor Life Insurance Company
  • Margo Seyboldt, Grange Insurance Companies
  • Claire Sipe, Care Providers Insurance Services dba NSM Insurance Group
  • Tracy Sloan, Waddell & Reed

Additional information on the SILA Designation programs can be found here

Tags:  Designations 

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Attention all SILA Designation Holders!

Posted By Mary K. Krambeer, Monday, January 29, 2018


At the Designation Recognition session held at the 2017 SILA National Education Conference, it was announced that SILA will be implementing a new SILA Designation Professional Development CE requirement for SILA Designation holders effective January 1, 2018. The purpose of the new Designation Professional Development program is to lend more creditability and significance to the value of holding a SILA Designation within the financial services industry.

The Designation CE requirement is 24 hours every two years, due 12/31 every odd year for designation holders with issue dates prior to January 1, 2018. If issued a SILA designation after January 1, 2018, the requirement is two years from the Designation issue date.

More information about the requirement can be found in the FAQ and an informational webinar from this following link.

Tags:  Designations 

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Save the Date! 2018 National Education Conference

Posted By Mary K. Krambeer, Monday, January 29, 2018

Plan to Attend

2018 SILA National Education Conference
JW Marriott Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana
September 30-October 3, 2018
Conference registration opens on April 17, 2018

Tags:  Announcement 

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