About Us > Investors > Corporate Governance > Board of Directors
Mr. Consolino became our Chairman of the Board effective February 15, 2013, and previously served as our Audit Committee Chairman from 2006 through February 15, 2013. Mr. Consolino has served as executive vice president of American Financial Group, Inc. (“AFG”), the parent of our largest shareholder, since February 16, 2013 and since March 1, 2013, has served as chief financial officer of AFG. Prior to joining AFG, Mr. Consolino served as president and chief financial officer of Validus Holdings, Ltd. (“Validus”), a Bermuda-based property and casualty (re)insurance company. During this time, Mr. Consolino also served as Chief Executive Officer, President and founding Director of PaCRe Ltd., a Bermuda-based underwriter of top-layer property reinsurance. Prior to joining Validus in March 2006, Mr. Consolino served as managing director in Merrill Lynch’s investment banking division. While at Merrill Lynch, Mr. Consolino specialized in insurance company advisory and financing transactions. Mr. Consolino led the underwriting of our initial public offering, which provided him with specific experience related to our operations. We believe Mr. Consolino’s experience serving as president and chief financial officer for both a property and casualty insurance company group and a publicly-traded holding company, coupled with his experience in establishing and profitably growing insurance organizations, his role at AFG, and his more than twenty years of experience in insurance- related financial matters, give him unique qualifications to serve as Chairman of our Board. Mr. Consolino also serves on the boards of directors of AFG and AmWINS Group, Inc., a wholesale insurance brokerage.
Mr. Brichler currently serves as executive vice president of GAIC, our largest shareholder, and has held that position since 2010. In that position, Mr. Brichler oversees numerous property and casualty insurance products. Mr. Brichler began his career in the finance department of American Financial Group, Inc. (“AFG”), GAIC’s parent company, in 1976 and has remained employed with AFG and GAIC over the last three decades, including serving as senior vice president of operations of GAIC prior to his current position of executive vice president. Mr. Brichler is a Certified Public Accountant and holds both the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation and Associate in Reinsurance designation. We believe his background and experience in the insurance industry provide him with the qualifications and characteristics that we value in a Board member. Mr. Brichler is the Chair of the Compensation Committee.
Mr. Cholnoky served as President of General Reinsurance Corporation (“General Reinsurance”) until his retirement in March 2014. Throughout his 33-year tenure at General Reinsurance, Mr. Cholnoky served in various marketing, underwriting, and management roles and held various officer level positions. We believe that Mr. Cholnoky’s extensive experience in the insurance industry provides him with the skills and expertise necessary to be an effective Director. Mr. Cholnoky is a member of the Audit Committee
Mr. Denzer currently serves as founder and president of LI Ventures, LLC, an independent firm providing investment and advisory services, and has held this position since 2012. From 2004 until 2009, Mr. Denzer served as president and chief executive officer of John B. Collins Associates, Inc. (“Collins”), a national reinsurance brokerage company. When Collins was acquired by Guy Carpenter & Company in 2009, Mr. Denzer began serving as Chairman of the Americas for Guy Carpenter & Company and held that position until 2012. We believe that Mr. Denzer’s extensive knowledge of and experience in the insurance industry make him uniquely qualified to serve on our Board. Mr. Denzer is a member of the Audit Committee and the Compensation Committee.
Mr. Gruber serves as executive vice president of Great American Insurance Company (“GAIC”), our largest shareholder. Mr. Gruber joined GAIC in 1977 and has held a variety of financial, management and officer positions since 1983. Mr. Gruber has served as a director of GAIC since 1993, is a Certified Public Accountant and has over 35 years of experience with property and casualty insurance operations, financial statements, loss reserving, reinsurance and investments. We believe that Mr. Gruber’s extensive executive management and board experience with property and casualty insurance operations provide him with specific skills and knowledge that we value for service as our Board member. Mr. Gruber is the Chair of the Nominating/Governance Committee.
Mr. Larson was named president and chief operating officer of Great American Property & Casualty Insurance Group in 2010. Prior to being named president, Mr. Larson served as executive vice president and president, specialty group, for the Great American Property & Casualty Insurance Group since 1999. Mr. Larson joined AFG in 1973 and GAIC in 1981. Mr. Larson has served as a director of GAIC since 1988. Additionally, Mr. Larson served as our Chairman from 1993 until 2004. Mr. Larson holds both a Certified Public Accountant license and a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter professional designation and has over 33 years of experience in the property and casualty insurance industry. We believe that Mr. Larson’s prior service as our Chairman and executive management experience, specifically as it relates to our industry, make him uniquely qualified to serve as a member of our Board. Mr. Larson is a member of the Nominating/Governance Committee.
Mr. Mercurio has served as our President since November 2015 and became our Chief Executive Officer effective May 5, 2016. Prior to serving in these roles, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company beginning in January 2013. Since 1997, he has also held numerous other management and executive positions with our subsidiaries, National Interstate Insurance Company and Vanliner Insurance Company, including serving as chief executive officer of Vanliner Insurance Company from 2010 through 2012. Prior to joining us, Mr. Mercurio held various product and management positions with Westfield Insurance Company and American International Group. Given his tenure with our Company as well as his insurance experience, we believe Mr. Mercurio will be an effective member of our Board.
Mr. Michelson became our President and Chief Executive Officer effective January 1, 2008. Prior to being named Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Michelson served as our President and Chief Operating Officer during 2007. He has held several other positions during his initial employment with us from 1992-1998 and since rejoining us in 1999, including serving as our Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President. Mr. Michelson holds an Associate in Research and Planning professional designation and has approximately 35 years of insurance industry experience, including management of all departments and facets of our company and through serving in various positions at Reliance Insurance Company, Liberty National Fire and Progressive Corporation. Mr. Michelson’s service as our Chief Executive Officer and his experience as it relates to us and the property and casualty industry as a whole provide him with skills and knowledge that qualify him to serve on our Board. Mr. Michelson served as our President and Chief Executive Officer from January 1, 2008 until May 5, 2016.”
Dr. Rosenthal has served as a director of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. since 2008. Since 1996, he has been President of Norman L. Rosenthal & Associates, Inc., a management consulting firm that specializes in the property and casualty insurance industry. Prior to 1996, Dr. Rosenthal spent 15 years practicing in the property and casualty insurance industry at Morgan Stanley & Co., a global financial services firm, most recently as managing director. In addition, Dr. Rosenthal previously served on the boards of multiple public and private insurance, reinsurance, and related entities, including Aspen Insurance Holdings, Ltd., Mutual Risk Management Ltd., Vesta Insurance Group, Inc., and Alliant Insurance Group Inc. He currently serves as a director of the Plymouth Rock Company. He is also an affiliate partner of the private equity firm of Lindsay Goldberg. Dr. Rosenthal holds a Ph.D. in Business and Applied Economics, with an insurance focus, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. We believe that Dr. Rosenthal’s extensive insurance expertise and experience provides him with the qualifications to make him an effective member of our Company’s Board. Mr. Rosenthal is a member of the Compensation Committee and the Nominating/Governance Committee.
Donald W. Schwegman was the lead client service partner for various complex insurance organizations for over 20 years at Deloitte, until he retired in June of 2012. Most recently, Mr. Schwegman served as the Insurance Industry Profession Practice Director for Deloitte with responsibility for formulating the U.S. firm’s position on insurance accounting and auditing issues, developing internal insurance training programs, and overseeing risk management. Mr. Schwegman was admitted as a partner with Deloitte in 1984, has significant experience with insurance industry accounting policies and procedures, and has a substantial background with SEC registrants’ filings. We believe that Mr. Schwegman’s financial expertise, depth of knowledge and experience with insurance industry accounting policies and procedures, his substantial background in public company reporting, and his experience with insurance transactions make him highly qualified to serve as a member of our Board. Mr. Schwegman is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in multiple states. Mr. Schwegman is the Chair of the Audit Committee.
Mr. Alan Spachman is our founder, and served as Chairman from 2004 through February 15, 2013. Mr. Spachman served as our Chief Executive Officer from our inception in 1989 through 2007. From 1984-1988, Mr. Spachman was a senior vice president at Progressive Corporation, where he initiated its passenger transportation insurance business. In addition to his insurance experience, Mr. Spachman previously held various labor relations and human resource management positions with Collins and Aikman, Inc. and Frito-Lay, Inc. As described above, Mr. Spachman is our founder and our former Chairman and chief executive officer and has other relevant insurance experience. Mr. Spachman is a member of the Compensation Committee.