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Executive Profiles

The LIMRA executive leadership team offers strategic vision for the organization as a whole, focused on serving the needs of our members through trusted research, education, and events. 

Many of our leaders are industry experts who started their careers in financial services prior to joining LIMRA. Their acute understanding of industry needs positions them to deliver unparalleled value to our member companies. 

David Levenson, DBA, FSA, CFA

President and Chief Executive Officer

David Levenson is president and CEO for LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global. In this capacity, he is responsible for leading one of the world’s largest association of life insurance and financial services companies, representing more than 1300 financial services companies across 64 countries.

Most recently, Levenson was a principal at Edward Jones and served on its management committee from 2015-2018. He was responsible for all products distributed through its network of 17,000 advisors in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to 2012, Levenson was president of wealth management at The Hartford Financial Services Group, responsible for the firm’s individual annuity, individual life, mutual fund and retirement plan businesses. He also served as president and CEO of Hartford Life, KK in Tokyo, where he was responsible for leading the largest annuity provider in Japan.

Levenson holds his Bachelor of Science from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, his Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School and a doctorate in business administration from The School of International Corporate Strategy at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan. 

James W. Kerley, LLIF

Chief Membership Officer

Jim Kerley is chief membership officer for LIMRA and LOMA, responsible for member relationship management for the 450 U.S. and Canadian members. He is also a member of the LL Global executive team that leads LIMRA and LOMA. Kerley brings more than 40 years of professional experience serving the financial services industry as manager, leader, consultant and advisor. He spent nearly 25 years with New England Financial, now part of MetLife, in senior marketing, professional development and sales management roles. He implemented New England’s first life insurance marketing relationships within the banking sector.

Over the years, Kerley has consulted with and trained thousands of sales managers and professional insurance advisors in areas of sales training, business development, client needs analysis, market segmentation, sales communications, lead generation and local market awareness building. 

Gina Birchall, J.D., LLIF, CLU

Chief Operating Officer

Gina Birchall joined LL Global as chief operating officer in 2017. In this role, she is responsible for LIMRA’s and LOMA’s legal and accounting departments, information technology, marketing, talent solutions, and member relations. Birchall also is charged with working across the organization to help implement many of the ongoing entity-wide projects to improve efficiencies and processes.

Since 1998, Birchall held various positions at Guardian Life Insurance Co.  Most recently, she was vice president of strategic initiatives, leading initiatives across the enterprise to advance its business goals.

Birchall holds a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College and a Juris Doctor from the Western New England University School of Law, both in Massachusetts.

Philip Brown

Managing Director, Commercial Research

Phil Brown is responsible for LIMRA’s commercial research products and offerings. This includes LIMRA’s custom research services, the customer assurance program, as well as new product development in the areas of customer experience and applied data analytics. He is a staff representative on the Customer Insight Advisory Council and a frequent industry speaker.

Brown joined LIMRA in 2014 with more than 25 years of experience in financial services, with leadership roles in market development, analytics, technology and finance at companies such as Citigroup (Travelers, Smith Barney and Citibank), MassMutual and Guardian Life Insurance.

He is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Management and an Executive Scholar with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Matthew Drinkwater, Ph.D., FSRI, FLMI, AFSI, PCS

Corporate Vice President and Director

Matt Drinkwater, who joined LIMRA in 1999, is corporate vice president and director of retirement research within the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI). He leads a team of retirement experts responsible for developing and executing LIMRA SRI’s research agenda, which covers both institutional and retail businesses.

He has led the creation of several major studies of retirement planning, retirement income planning and management, and consumer preferences for receiving advice. Drinkwater has directed several institutional retirement research projects, including studies of asset retention and the rollover market. His research on annuities has encompassed in-depth studies of product features, buyer and owner characteristics, persistency, and living benefit utilization.

He is a graduate of Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and holds a doctorate in psychology from Brown University.

Larry Hartshorn

Corporate Vice President and Director, International Research

Larry Hartshorn is responsible for driving LIMRA and LOMA member value and growth for global markets. This includes the development and execution of LIMRA’s international research strategy to provide insights on trends in products and distribution, consumer behavior and sentiment, and regulation and technology for markets throughout the world. He also leads the global consulting program across the enterprise, ensuring our members can leverage our deep knowledge of best practices in the global insurance industry, gain practical solutions, and receive hands-on tactical support to solve problems and implement a variety of projects.

Prior to joining LIMRA in 2015, Larry was Aetna’s executive director for Greater China in Shanghai. His responsibilities included strategic planning, research, management operation and consulting. Larry also previously served as research program manager for The Ohio State University, managing a multi-million dollar cluster of private, state, and federal grants targeting primary, secondary and higher education curriculum reform.

Jeffrey Hasty, FLMI, ACS

Senior Vice President, Assessment, Development, and Best Practices

As a senior vice president, Jeff Hasty is responsible for LIMRA’s and LOMA’s conference division, providing development and networking opportunities to the collective membership. He serves as the corporate secretary for LL Global. He also leads LOMA’s management solutions operation, which provides tools and solutions to help members companies improve their operational effectiveness s through state-of-the-art assessment, learning & development, performance management benchmarking tools, and industry committees.

A graduate of the Penn State University/LOMA executive development program, Hasty holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University in Georgia.  

Michele LaBouff

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Michele LaBouff leads the human resources (HR) departments for both LIMRA and LOMA. She develops HR strategies that support the companies’ business goals, which align with their core values, and that deliver on their employee value proposition.

In this role, LaBouff is also responsible for leading all aspects of the employee experience including engagement, recognition, development and recruitment, as well as compensation and benefits.

LaBouff, who joined LOMA in 1995, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Patrick T. Leary, M.B.A., LLIF

Corporate Vice President, Distribution Research

Pat Leary oversees LIMRA’s distribution research program. This area provides research on a wide range of direct sales force and third-party distribution strategies, focusing on the economics of distribution, organizational practices, and market trends as these channels evolve.

Before assuming his current role, Leary managed LIMRA’s specialty distribution unit and, prior to that, was a member of LIMRA’s group insurance research team.

Leary joined LIMRA in 1989. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Hartwick College and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut.

Sean F. O'Donnell, M.B.A., LLIF

Vice President, Member Relations and Consulting

Sean O’Donnell is responsible for developing and implementing LIMRA’s member-engagement strategy in the U.S. and Canada. He leads a team dedicated to LIMRA members fully leverage the research, member benefits and commercial solutions available. In addition, he is responsible for leading LIMRA‘s consulting business, working to help companies apply LIMRA’s research and industry expertise to develop strategies for growth.

O’Donnell brings more than 25 years of marketing, sales, research and organizational and consumer-behavior experience to his current role. Prior to joining the LIMRA organization, he was a supervising project director and analyst for the PERT Group, a global research-based consultancy, working on product development and brand equity research for organizations such as Gillette, Clorox, S.C. Johnson, and Nestle.

O’Donnell received both his bachelor’s degree and his Master of Business Administration, with concentrations in finance and marketing, from the University of Hartford.

Marianne A. Purushotham, FSA, MAAA

Research Actuary

Marianne Purushotham is responsible for LIMRA’s data analysis and statistical modeling functions including applications of predictive analytics to life and health insurance industry problems. She also manages LIMRA’s strategic research partnership with the Society of Actuaries which includes studies of industry experience related to various insurance product lines. 

Prior to her current position, Purushotham worked in both insurance company and actuarial consulting roles where her areas of specialization included pricing, valuation, financial reporting, assumption review, and experience analysis for life, annuity and health products.

Purushotham holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Middlebury College and a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Kathryn N. Reid, LLIF

Vice President, Assessment and Development Solutions

As head of LIMRA’s assessment & development business, Kathy Reid leads a professional team of training and development experts to deliver global solutions to help member companies recruit, select, assess and onboard new talent. She is also is responsible for advising domestic and international project teams, developing selection products, and consulting members on recruiting and selection process.

Reid joined LIMRA in 1989 as a research analyst, rising through the ranks to assume her current role in 2008. An experienced facilitator, she works with companies to evaluate selection process effectiveness and to develop new approaches in recruiting and selection. Reid also has trained thousands of field leaders on how to best recruit, select, and retain top talent — as well as numerous field agents on how to hire sub-producers and office staff, and how to develop their own sales skills.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science in organizational behavior from the University of Hartford.

Kartik Sakthivel, M.B.A.

Chief Information Officer

As chief information officer for LIMRA and LOMA, Kartik Sakthivel is responsible for developing the information technology strategic direction for the enterprise. In this capacity, he directs and manages computing and information technology policies, programs and schedules for business and enterprise systems, and manages information services to meet LIMRA and LOMA’s corporate goals and objectives. An industry thought leader, Sakthivel champions the use of technology to improve the revenue, profitability and efficiency of the organization.

Joining LIMRA and LOMA in 2017, Sakthivel has broad industry experience, most recently as director of technology at Liberty Mutual Insurance. He holds a Master of Science in computer information systems / information technology, as well as a Master of Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University.

Alison Salka, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President and Director of Research

Alison Salka joined LIMRA in 2012 and is responsible for determining and implementing the strategy and direction of its global research program. She oversees a team of more than 80 researchers and other staff professionals in LIMRA’s research division who conduct consumer research, benchmark studies and white papers focused on helping member companies better understand industry issues and trends. She is also a director of the LIMRA LOMA Secure Retirement Institute.

Salka previously led the retirement research and competitive intelligence team at Prudential, and was also a director of retirement research and business analytics at MassMutual. She has earned a Master’s degree and holds a doctorate.

Todd A. Silverhart, Ph.D., LLIF

Corporate Vice President and Director, Insurance Research

Todd Silverhart is responsible for directing LIMRA’s insurance research program, which takes a holistic view of product, market, and consumer issues related to individual and group life, health, disability, and long-term care insurance. He oversees ongoing benchmarking surveys on sales, persistency, and product design, as well as product-focused marketing and company practices studies. In addition, Silverhart manages research addressing a variety of issues inherent in marketing insurance products to consumers (with a particular focus on the middle market, the affluent market, business markets, and emerging consumer markets).

Having joined LIMRA in 1988, Silverhart previously served in LIMRA’s assessment solutions unit, where he conducted producer and field manager selection research, consultation, and product development. From 2000 to 2012 he developed and managed LIMRA’s technology in marketing and distribution research program.

Silverhart is a graduate of Middlebury College and holds a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology from Old Dominion University.

Eric T. Sondergeld, ASA, CFA

Corporate Vice President and Director

Eric Sondergeld is corporate vice president and director at LIMRA, leading the technology research and developmental and strategic research teams. In this role, he is charged with ensuring LIMRA produces relevant research to help member companies effectively utilize technology, examines strategic issues that may impact the industry, and monitors trends in the global financial services marketplace. He spearheads efforts to expand LIMRA’s research and determine new ways to ensure the data keeps pace with industry changes. He has also led LIMRA’s retirement, distribution, and international research programs.

Sondergeld graduated from the University of Massachusetts.

Lisa Tanen-LaFontaine, M.B.A.

Chief Marketing Officer

Lisa joined LL Global as the head of Marketing in early 2016. She oversees the marketing on both the LIMRA and LOMA campuses, supporting a number of internal clients including domestic and international research, assessment and development, education and training, conferences, and member relations. She leads a team of multimedia, public relations, communications, online, strategy, design and social media professionals focused on creating compelling and engaging campaigns to help internal clients get their products, services, and unique solutions in front of the right member companies.

Prior to joining LL Global, Lisa spent 15 years in the financial services industry, with previous roles including marketing director of retirement plan services at Lincoln Financial Group, vice president of communications strategy at EMPOWER Retirement (formerly J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services), and director of participant communications at Prudential Retirement. She holds an M.B.A. in Marketing. 

Judy Zaiken, CLU, ChFC

Corporate Vice President, Strategic Research Initiatives

Judy Zaiken is corporate vice president, responsible for leading strategic research initiatives for LIMRA. In this capacity, she works across the enterprise to identify research opportunities as a result of evolving regulations and advancing technology that will lead to the development of member solutions.

Before assuming her current role, Zaiken led the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute research program. Prior to joining LIMRA in 2014, she was responsible for annuity product strategy and business development for MassMutual Financial Group.

Zaiken holds a Master of Business Administration from Western New England University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Framingham State University.