Directors at Large

Nicole Bennet

Nicole Bennett

Nicole’s 27 year career in Insurance took her from Canada, to the UK, and eventually to the U.S. Nicole is a long-standing senior executive within Crum & Forster, starting her career straight out of the University of Waterloo in Canada (Bachelor of Mathematics with an Actuarial Science Major) into Fairfax Financial Holdings. Her roles in IT and Operations, Underwriting, Organizational Design, HR, company culture and strategic senior management, and Chief of Staff, has led her to her most recent role as CEO of Pethealth Inc. in October, 2020.

While Nicole grew up in Canada, she now calls New Jersey home with her husband, son, daughter and Cooper, the family’s yellow lab who loves going on long hikes and swimming.

Brian Duval

Brian Duval

Brian is the Chief Underwriting Officer at Petplan.  His responsibilities include creating product strategy and leading the design, development, and management of Petplan’s pet insurance product.

Brian has a diverse background in variety of insurance products, including; accident & health, life, disability, and property and casualty insurance.  His prior experience includes roles in product, compliance, claims, and insurance consulting.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and a Master of Science in Marketing Management from Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts.  He also holds the Associate, Life Management Institute (ALMI) designation.

Brian and his wife, Kimberly, enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors with their Irish Terrier, Maggie.

Brad Fisher

Brad Fisher

Brad Fisher is a Vice President at American Modern Insurance Company, and oversees the Specialty Clients Division which is responsible for the management of American Modern’s program business. Brad’s role within Specialty Clients includes oversight of a team including Sales, Product, Operations, and Underwriting disciplines. Brad assumed responsibility for Embrace’ Pet Health Program in July of 2018.

Brad joined American Modern in 1991 as a resident staff adjuster located in Toledo, Ohio. During Brad’s 23 years in Claims, he held various positions throughout the Department. Prior to his move to Specialty Clients, Brad was Vice President of Property Claims overseeing Inside Adjuster teams as well as First Notice of Loss. Brad earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University. He has earned both his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation as well as an Associate in Claims (AIC) designation.

Gavin Friedman

Gavin Friedman

Gavin is Trupanion’s General Counsel and Chief People Officer. Gavin moved from Los Angeles to join Trupanion in September 2016. He began leading the human resources function in 2019.

Gavin has nearly twenty-five years of legal and business experience. Prior to Trupanion he worked for AIG Consumer Insurance for nearly fifteen years in different roles, and before that was an attorney for Morrison & Foerster LLP. Gavin has a B.Bus.Sci from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Seattle with his wife, two kids and newest family member Bebe.

Katie Grant Blakeley

Katie Grant Blakeley

Katie Grant Blakeley is Vice President of MetLife Pet Insurance.  Prior to its acquisition, Katie was the CEO and a founder member of PetFirst Pet Insurance. She had the privilege of watching the company grow from the ground up, allowing her to serve in a variety of roles including Marketing Director and Vice President of Business Development. Prior to joining PetFirst, Katie worked in the thoroughbred racing industry.

Katie is a native of West Virginia. She was a Yeager Scholar at Marshall University.  She lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband, Chris, daughters Maddie and Charlotte and terrier-mix named Franklin. In her spare time, Katie enjoys running and spending time outdoors. Katie is an avid marathon runner with more than 13 under her belt.

Melissa Gutierrez

Melissa Gutierrez

Melissa Gutierrez is SVP and General Manager with Synchrony CareCredit, where she leads the rapidly growing Pets Best Insurance business unit. Prior to joining Pets Best, Melissa was President of NBS Insurance Agency, Inc.  During a 33-year career with Nationwide, Melissa held roles in sales, strategy, marketing and finance across several business units including Nationwide Insurance, Nationwide Financial and Nationwide Specialty Health. Melissa holds the chartered life underwriter (CLU) designation, a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Franklin University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Dayton.  Melissa is currently the Chairman of the Franklin University Board of Trustees; Franklin University is a private, non-profit international university based in Columbus, Ohio.

In her spare time, Melissa enjoys rowing crew, gardening, traveling, and cooking.  She resides in Galena, Ohio with her husband Tony, youngest son, Joshua and two cats (who love everyone but each other!), Elvis and Keisha. 

Rob Jackson

Rob Jackson

Rob is the Co-Founder and Chief Pet Protector of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation leading product development, insurance underwriting, strategic partnerships, customer care, and claims management.

Prior to forming Healthy Paws, Rob was the President & COO of Trupanion Pet Insurance. Rob also was the founder and CEO of OUM & Associates, a national liability insurance MGA for allied healthcare providers which was acquired by Aon in 1994. Rob began his career of over 30 years as an entrepreneur and insurance executive with General Reinsurance Corporation.

Rob graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Passionate about giving back to the community, Healthy Paws Foundation is a natural extension of Rob’s interests as he had also founded Partners in Education and Home Court NW, two non-profit organizations serving youths of Greater Seattle.

Tyler Joyner

Tyler Joyner

Tyler Joyner is the Chief Operating Officer at PetPartners and oversees the Operations and Technology departments within the business.  Tyler has a strong background in Information Technology and is fluent in many disciplines relevant to technology.  He is passionate about the impact that technology can provide to support efficiency and promote a higher degree of support for pet parents.  In 2013, Tyler joined the team at PetPartners with the responsibility of assessing and rebuilding the entire technology stack implemented to manage quoting, enrollment, and servicing of policies.  He advanced his career and stepped into an executive leadership position after demonstrating a deep understanding of the business and leveraging technology to improve upon operational efficiencies.

Tyler is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a focus in Computer Information Systems.  Tyler lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Rachel and their two children.

Lior Keren

Lior Keren

Lior is Head of Operations and Corporate Secretary at Pumpkin. As a founding team member, he is currently leading the company’s operational, legal and financial matters. Lior is an executive with cross-functional expertise in direct-to-consumer operations, law, finance, corporate development and M&A.

Prior to joining Pumpkin, Lior was Chief Operating Officer of IL MAKIAGE, a direct-to-consumer beauty brand. Prior to that, Lior held Corporate Development leadership positions in the energy space with TechnipFMC, leading M&A and integration projects and strategy development cases. Lior started his career as a lawyer at Meitar Law, Israel’s premier law firm, advising clients on M&A and financing transactions, commercial agreements and general corporate law matters. He has also served as a combat officer (Captain) in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Lior holds an MBA (honors) from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a dual degree in Law (LLB, honors) and Economics (BA) from Tel Aviv University.

Connor Lind Portrait

Connor Lind

Connor is President of Prudent Pet and has over a decade of experience working in the Property & Casualty Insurance industry. During those years he served in a variety of roles overseeing M&A of brick and mortar insurance operations as well as building out online quoting and binding capabilities and the call center team supporting the digital experience.

Connor helped launched Prudent Pet in 2018. As President, he works to expand the business on both consumer-facing and business-to-business aspects. In his spare time, Connor enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife, sons, and goldendoodle.

Brian Macias

Brian Macias

Brian Macias is the President of Embrace Pet Insurance. He is a University of Michigan graduate with 18 years of experience in the direct-to-consumer and affinity sales of financial products, including home loans, property and casualty insurance, accident and health insurance, and Medicare. Beginning his career as a mortgage banker at Quicken Loans, Brian worked his way up to an executive leadership position at the company and has since created significant growth in similar roles at National General Insurance and other entrepreneurial ventures. He lives in the Cleveland area with his wife, two daughters, and chocolate Lab, JoJo.

Sara McClain

Sara McClain

Sara is the Assistant Director of Product Research in the Accident and Health group at Liberty Mutual. After a decade of working on insurance products ranging from personal auto to group critical illness insurance, she is delighted to focus her efforts exclusively on pet health insurance, on which work includes market research, form development, and product training.

Sara is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising/ Public Relations, as well as an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. She currently lives near South Bend, Indiana with her husband, seven-year-old stepson, and two-year-old tabby cat.

Nick McClish Portrait

Nick McClish

Nick McClish is the Director of Growth and Partnerships at ManyPets, Inc. His focus is on understanding pet parent needs and finding innovative ways to drive customer acquisition, engagement, retention, and advocacy.

Nick is an ambidextrous innovator, systems thinker, and empath, with operating experience across multiple verticals, including retail, healthcare, and insurance. A few highlights from his professional career include: helping transform JCPenney by bringing “design” to the masses; delivering healthier smiles via affordable and accessible Rx oral health care products; and building a pet insurance agency with an incredibly kind, passionate, and intelligent team.

His biggest fear is not pushing himself hard enough. Having survived two life-threatening cardiac events, he genuinely believes we each have one life to live and therefore one chance to leave the world a better place than we found it.

What brings him joy is being present with others and spending time with his wife, Emily, and dog, Alber.

Nick holds an MBA from London Business School, where he was awarded the Luxury and Retail Scholarship, and a BA in New Media and Communications from the University of Pennsylvania.

Franklin D. Sanders, Jr.

Franklin D. Sanders, Jr.

Franklin joined Chubb in 1988. After holding a variety of management positions in underwriting and operations, he joined Chubb’s corporate strategy group in 1999 where he was responsible for development of strategy for the use of secure commerce in serving Chubb’s agency community.

In 2001, Franklin joined Chubb Custom Market with responsibility for distribution strategy and the creation of an in-house MGA to produce business on behalf of other non-affiliated carriers. Franklin assumed responsibility for Chubb Custom Market’s program business unit in 2003.

January 2016, with Ace acquisition of Chubb, Franklin assumed responsibilities for the combined Westchester Programs operations.

Rusty Sproat

Rusty Sproat

A serial entrepreneur, Rusty is passionate about leveraging innovative technologies to transform how consumers purchase, interact and value insurance. As a licensed property, casualty, fire and health insurance professional, Rusty owned three insurance agencies in Chicago before selling everything to fulfill his vision of launching an InsurTech company.

Inspired by Buster—his loyal Boston Terrier—and deep understanding of the insurance industry, Rusty launched Figo, the first technology-based pet insurance company. Rusty is often a keynote speaker at InsurTech events, and shares his expertise on insurance innovation and Figo’s no-stack startup approach to technology architecture. In 2017, A.M. Best’s Reviews ranked Figo as the No. 1 InsurTech company in pet health; and Reviews.com ranked Figo the “Best Pet Insurance” company from 2017-2019.

Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor is the President at Spot Pet Insurance and with 28 years of business development experience in the insurance industry, is a pet health insurance expert. Scott has a myriad of experience building distribution through employee benefits broker networks and managing affinity group relationships. Being a marketing and business development professional, Scott is focused on the distribution of Pet insurance to help ensure pets and pet parents are happy and healthy. A couple of Scott’s key focuses are building strategic partnerships and developing innovative product and program solutions for Spot Pet Insurances partners and prospective partners.

Scott obtained his masters from the University of New Haven in Business Management. He currently resides in Palm Beach, FL – Scott enjoys spending his time outdoors either boating, golfing, or fishing and also playing with his yellow lab, Stone.