Introducing the Second LAMP Cohort

The Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) launched the second cohort of its Diversity Leadership & Mentoring Program (LAMP) at its 30th annual conference November 1-3, 2017, in Atlanta.

LAMP is a leadership development training program for PLUS members from diverse and traditionally under-represented groups within the professional liability insurance industry. The curriculum focuses on leadership coaching but also includes matching participants with senior-level PLUS members who have agreed to serve as mentors throughout the program.

Additionally, PLUS sponsors participants’ involvement in signature PLUS events including the PLUS Conference and national Symposia as well PLUS educational offerings and RPLU designation exams.


Members of the second LAMP cohort include:

  • Nyreese Arzu, Axis Capital – San Francisco, CA
  • Kristine Bell, Chubb Limited – Boston, MA
  • Vanessa Contreras, Scor Reinsurance – Chicago, IL
  • Liliana Cortez, Aon – Chicago, IL
  • Christian Hughes, Verisk Analytics – Jersey City, NJ
  • Bernadine Jones, Admiral Insurance Group – Mount Laurel, NJ
  • Lilit Jragatsbanian, RPLU, MLIS, Worldwide Facilities LLC – Los Angeles, CA
  • Linda Lin, QBE North America – New York, NY
  • Moiré Morón, QBE North America – New York, NY
  • Gloria Nava, RPLU, Philadelphia Insurance Companies – Pasadena, CA
  • Jon Perry, Allied World – Chicago, IL
  • Nanette Ross, RSA Canada – Mississauga, Ontario
  • Dwight Williams, Willis Towers Watson – New York, NY
  • Renada Williams, AXIS Insurance – Berkley Heights, NJ
  • Jeremy Zacharias, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin – Cherry Hill, NJ

Participants are selected out of a competitive application process overseen by seven members of the PLUS Diversity & Inclusion Committee, chaired by Chester D. White, RPLU, ARM, Vice President and Director at Aon Risk Solutions.

“LAMP is designed for any professional who recognizes the importance of diversity and leadership in business and wants to make themselves more valuable to their current organization,” said White. “It is ideal for both those that are early in their career but wish to pursue greater leadership responsibilities or career advancement as well as those further along in their career that wish to improve certain skill sets.”

Further details on the program, including how to apply for the next cohort, can be found on the PLUS website.

Spark Session: Managing Diverse Cultures in US Litigation

The 2017 PLUS Conference will feature a new learning format, Spark Sessions. These fast-paced, 20-minute educational opportunities focus on unique and provocative topics. Attendees will gain critical insight that will inspire new ideas and approaches. 

O'Meara headshotFrances O’Meara, a managing partner at Thompson Coe, will host a Spark Session at the 2017 PLUS Conference titled “Managing Diverse Cultures in US Litigation.”

The Spark Session will focus on working with people across different cultures during litigation. O’Meara said that witnesses or clients who come from diverse cultural backgrounds may see things from a different perspective, have a different way of dressing or a different way of expressing personality and/or “goodness”, which can make communicating effectively more difficult and can affect how the witness or client is perceived.

The session will be beneficial to any professional who works with people from a range of backgrounds and cultures. O’Meara said the point of the session is for attendees to recognize that these cultural differences exist and learn effective ways to interact and communicate across cultures.

“The takeaway from this 20 minute presentation is to realize and better appreciate potential cultural differences in order to establish better and more effective skills in representing and communicating with the insured, client or litigation witnesses,” O’Meara said.

Learn more about Frances O’Meara here.

Register now for the 2017 PLUS Conference held November 1-3 in Atlanta, GA.

D&I in Action at the 2014 PLUS Conference

As we all regroup from yet another successful PLUS Conference, I wanted to reflect on one of my favorite moments from this year’s event.  As you all know, we were fortunate enough to have Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson – the renowned astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator – address our group at our Thursday luncheon.  I hope you got to see it.  I have been coming to the PLUS Conference for 17 years now, and I thought it was one of the best presentations we’ve ever had – entertaining, engaging, relevant and extremely thought-provoking.

Even better, at the suggestion of PLUS’s newly formed Diversity & Inclusion Committee, we extended an invitation to UNLV’s Multicultural Program for Engineering to send some of their students to the luncheon, which they eagerly accepted.  I was fortunate enough to be sitting next to some of the UNLV students during Dr. Tyson’s presentation, and I had as much fun watching the students watch Dr. Tyson as I did watching the presentation itself.  They were absolutely hanging on every word, relishing all the little “science-y” inside jokes.  To me, this was just another shining example of all the amazing things that PLUS can do, not only within our own industry but for the community at large.

Our D&I Committee continues to look for new ways to bring diversity and inclusion to the forefront of everything PLUS does.  If you have thoughts or ideas or would like to get involved, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the PLUS staff.

Leib Dodell is a member of the PLUS Board of Trustees and co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.