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Innovation Challenge Judges

Drew Aldrich

Drew Aldrich, Senior Associate, AXA Strategic Ventures
Drew Aldrich's experience ranges from analysis at Standard & Poor's to venture catalyst organization Visium to, which he founded and built into an international success. He is currently a Senior Associate at AXA Strategic Ventures, responsible for sourcing and investing in Pre-A through Be round startups in the Insurance, FinTech, HealthTech, and Big Data/Predictive spaces.

Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson, Authority on Insurance Technology, Productivity & Profitability
Steve Anderson provides information to insurance agents about how they can use technology to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses. He speaks professionally to hundreds of agents each year at National Alliance events and at many state association conventions and technology forums on the future of technology, the social web, and how insurance agencies can establish their internet presence. He has authored many articles that have appeared in virtually every insurance industry publication. He has over 30 years’ experience in the insurance community.

Mike Fitzgerald

Mike Fitzgerald, Senior Analyst, Celent
Mike Fitzgerald is a Senior Analyst in Celent's insurance practice and is based in Cary, North Carolina. He has specific expertise in property/casualty automation, operations management and insurance product development.

Mr. Fitzgerald’s research focuses on billing, business process and operations, social media use in insurance, and distribution management.

Mr. Fitzgerald brings extensive industry experience to the analyst role. Prior to joining Celent, he was Vice President of Enterprise Underwriting Solutions at Zurich North America, where he led the evaluation of technology alternatives to support a new underwriting product development process. He held a number of positions at Royal & Sun Alliance, including a field operations regional executive role. His technology implementation experience includes the installation and maintenance of billing, automobile policy administration, and workers compensation automation. In the 1990s, Mr. Fitzgerald led an initiative which delivered one of the first global online technical underwriting and claims learning platforms in the industry.

Mr. Fitzgerald has a B.A. in economics from Davidson College, Charlotte, North Carolina and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. He is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Brian Hemesath

Brian Hemesath, Managing Director, Global Insurance Accelerator
Brian Hemesath is a serial entrepreneur and mentor who loves solving problems by creating business processes and building online products. He is currently Managing Director of the Global Insurance Accelerator, a mentor-driven accelerator designed to foster innovation in the insurance industry through early-stage companies targeting the global insurance markets. Trained as a computer engineer, he also has broad sales and marketing experience.

Doug Johnston

Doug Johnston, Vice President Partner Relations, Applied Systems
Doug joined Applied Systems in 1985. From the beginning, he has used his long industry experience to take an active role in the product design of agency management systems, comparative rating software, insurance company systems and agency-company interface. Doug is a longtime industry participant helping to shape the future of insurance automation with active roles in ACORD, IIABA, ACT, AUGIE, ASCnet and serves on the board of director of ID Federation. Within these groups, Doug is one of the industry’s biggest advocates of ACORD standards. With Applied Systems recent acquisition of IVANS Insurance Solutions, Doug joined IVANS to take an active role in the advancement of agency-carrier interface.


Jen Overhulse

Deborah Smallwood

Deborah Smallwood, Founder, SMA
Deb Smallwood, the Founder of SMA, has held leadership roles in a premier insurance company, professional services firm, and research advisory, where she consistently found new ways to leverage technology in achieving optimal business performance. Her skill set includes business strategy, the development of business and IT road maps, and the delivery of enterprise solutions and systems to the business. Prior to SMA, Deb served as Chief Transformation Officer for Insurance Company of the West (ICW Group), a Property & Casualty regional carrier. Recruited to ICW to deliver as much IT functionality to the business operations as possible in the least amount of time, Deb led company-wide change initiatives that included developing and integrating the corporate business strategies into a new Business/IT roadmap and expanding the capability of the IT organization's people, process, and technology.

Curt Stevenson

Curt Stevenson, CEO, Agencyport Software
As CEO, Curt is responsible for Agencyport’s mission and vision, setting the company’s overall business strategy and achieving near- and long-term objectives. Curt worked with Agencyport as a consultant for several years before joining full time in 2007. He began his career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and later served as a business/technology liaison at Fidelity Investments. In 1997, Curt founded Back Bay Technologies, a technology consulting firm in the Boston area that he sold in 2001. At BBT, Curt wore several hats including VP of Services and CFO while managing many large projects. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Colby College.


Bruce WInterburn