The Founders Award recognizes a member of PLUS who have made lasting and outstanding contributions to PLUS. The award is presented in honor of PLUS Founder Angelo J. Gioia.
Criteria used when selecting the Founders Award recipient include membership in PLUS, participation in PLUS activities, creativity and innovation when needed to address PLUS tasks, amount of time and effort dedicated to the organization, promotion of PLUS in the industry and to the public in general, or other contributions to the image of PLUS, and involvement in developing, implementing, improving and/or continuing PLUS programs.
The winner of this year’s Founders Award is David B. Williams.
David B Williams Senior Vice President at Liberty Mutual and the Global Risk Solutions (GRS) Multinational Chief Underwriting Office (CUO)
Getting his start as a D&O underwriter at Chubb in Boston and New York David first joined PLUS when he was working in San Francisco and became a member of the Northern California Chapter. When David returned to his hometown of Boston to manage a financial lines regional P&L operation he served on the New England Chapter eventually becoming Chapter Chair in 2005. Click here for full profile.
Watch David accept his award during the 2020 Virtual PLUS Conference.
The 2020 PLUS1 Award Winner
The PLUS1 Award is presented to a person whose efforts have contributed substantially to the advancement and image of the professional liability industry.
Criteria used when selecting the PLUS1 Award winner include reputation and success in the professional liability industry, history of lectures and service on panels addressing topics in the industry, current activity in professional liability, activity and involvement in PLUS, longevity in the insurance industry, and measure of impact on the professional liability industry.
The winner of this years PLUS1 Award is Tony Galban.
Tony Galban Chubb SVP, Product Manager North America Financial Lines
Tony Galban is Senior Vice President and Product Manager, responsible for the Chubb’s North American Financial Lines Directors & Officers (D&O) business.
Widely sought as an industry speaker, author, and commentator on D&O liability, Tony served as a co-chair of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society’s (PLUS) D&O Symposium from 2008 to 2011. He was also named Advisen’s U.S. D&O Industry Person of the Year in 2015. Click here for full profile.
Watch Tony accept his award during the 2020 Virtual PLUS Conference.
This award, in its inaugural year, is given annually to young professionals who excelin their profession and exhibit the attributes to become future leaders in their organization and the professional liability insurance industry.
We had 26 outstanding nominees put forth by industry colleagues and then invited PLUS members to participate in a voting process to give their input on our industry’s emerging leaders.
After a thorough review of all nominees and the voting results, the Future PLUS Subcommitteemade their recommendation for three award winners.
We are now pleased to share with you, on behalf of the PLUS Nominating Committee, the 2020 recipients of the PLUS Emerging Leader Award:
Jahan Cedenio Broker Marsh & McLennan
Jahan is an alum of the Diversity Leadership & Mentoring Program (LAMP) and has been highly engaged with PLUS ever since: speaking at PLUS events and volunteering on Future PLUS Task Forces and the PLUS Diversity & Inclusion Committee. He is now starting his tenure on the PLUS Foundation Board of Directors.
Chelsea Laing Vice President Gallagher
Chelsea is not only regarded as a next generation leader in her company, but she is also a very active and engaged volunteer with PLUS having served on Future PLUS Task Forces, the Southern California Chapter Steering Committee, and has helped plan Women’s Leadership Network events for the PLUS Foundation.
Courtney Maugé Vice President of US FINPRO Cyber COE Marsh
Courtney has demonstrated an excellence in thought leadership, writing white papers on COVID-19 and the Phishing Evolution, and speaking at the Security in Risk Conference and for Gamma Iota Sigma. She was also named a 2020 Willis Towers Watson Horizons Innovation Finalist.
The three PLUS Emerging Leader Award winners were announced during the PLUS Virtual Conference on November 9th, 2020. Below is a clip from the Conference that includes an acceptance speech from each award winner. Congratulations to Jahan, Chelsea, and Courtney!
Given that baby boomers are living longer and wanting to work past the usual retirement age, and that 40 is the new median age in the United States, companies should expect to see an uptick in age related claims. A recent federal district court decision serves as a refresher course on age discrimination in the context of a failure to promote. In Gonzalez-Bermudez v. Abbott Labs. PR Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140536 (D.P.R. October 9, 2016), the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico denied the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the Plaintiff’s claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).
The ADEA protects employees age 40 and over from discrimination in employment (hiring, firing, promotion, etc.) based on their age. The Supreme Court requires plaintiff to “establish that age was the ‘but-for’ cause of the employer’s adverse action,” a much stricter standard than that applied in Title VII cases. Gross v. FBL Fin. Servs. Inc., 557 U.S. 167, 129 S.Ct. 2343, 2351, 174 L.Ed. 2d 119 (2009). Courts have held that replacement of an employee with a younger employer cannot make a prima facie case of age discrimination if the age difference is less than five years. See Williams v. Raytheon Co., 220 F.3d 16, 20 (1st Cir. 2000).
In Gonzalez-Bermudez, the Court denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment primarily for the following reasons:
Plaintiff established that the demotion was an adverse employment action, she met the minimum requirements of the job, received “Achieves Expectations” performance ratings, and was never placed on an improvement plan or disciplined;
There was sufficient evidence to support that similarly-situated younger counterparts were treated more favorably in terms of raises and promotions;
Plaintiff was excluded from important company processes and meetings;
The job was filled by a 31-year-old external candidate (against company policy of favoring internal candidates and plaintiff met the requirements of the position); and
Defendant was inconsistent and contradictory on the record.
Additionally, the Court found that the employer had possessed certain relevant evidence yet destroyed it after being notified of a potential litigation. Accordingly, the Court granted plaintiff’s request for a spoliation sanction and noted that the jury would be instructed to infer that certain e-mails destroyed would have been unfavorable to the employer.
Best practice Tips: As soon as a potential claim is made, investigate it; in making a decision to not promote an employee over 40, make sure you have a reasonable basis for the decision and document it; immediately implement a document retention policy and make sure you maintain all documents relevant to claims. Following this guidance should help reduce significantly a company’s exposure to such claims.