Skip to content

2016 Innovation Winners

LIMRA is pleased to announce the winners of our contest to recognize this year’s Rising Stars of Innovation under 40 in the financial services industry. The contest searched for industry professionals who demonstrate innovation within their companies.

Diego Arnaiz

Application Development Manager

Diego leads Metlife’s Application Lab for Spain. In this role, he is responsible for driving competitive advantages and the company’s transformation through technology, operational efficiencies, and talent. In the last 4 years, he has been successfully leading MetLife Iberia integration in critical areas, such as business intelligence and analytics, claims, and finance. His efforts have helped MetLife increase the level of efficiency across Spain and Portugal.” — excerpt from nomination

Metlife

Aaron Brickman

Senior Associate

“Aaron is a forward-thinking social innovator, who helped implement New York Life’s social media program. In addition, Aaron helped develop the policies and strategies for the field’s social program.” — excerpt from nomination

New York Life Insurance Co.

Scott Campbell

Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

“This year Scott made heads turn when he announced FuelTube.com, an online car show that’s customizable for car enthusiasts. The platform also allows participants to request an insurance quote from American National. The website is a beautiful example of truly knowing a segment of your market and surprising them with something unexpected.” — excerpt from nomination

American National Insurance

Daizy Chebet

ICT Manager - Digital and Innovation

“Daizy spearheaded the creation of first innovative insurance portal in Kenya: M-BIMA. This mobile customer registration program allows financial advisors to register their clients and provide service through the online/mobile portal. Advisors can also manage their client portfolio and commissions online. Daizy was honored at the 2014 eChallenges Conference for her contributions to the insurance industry in Kenya.” — excerpt from nomination

CIC Insurance Group

Roy Chen

Data Science Director, Advanced Analytics

“Roy was instrumental in building John Hancock’s entire marketing analytics infrastructure in the cloud. He bridged data from two marketing data sources with internal data, in order to drive marketing efficiencies and save John Hancock millions of dollars in execution costs.” — excerpt from nomination

John Hancock Insurance

Darrin Dowell

Senior Application Analyst

“Darrin sets the bar when it comes to leading innovation in Principal’s organization. He is a member of a software development team that launched an integrated, cloud based solution delivering CRM, e-application, and document storage capabilities, which provide efficiency gains for advisors. Darrin’s innovative approach to software development has been instrumental in delivering innovative solutions for our advisors.” — excerpt from nomination

Principal

LeeAnn Fahl

Senior Leader, Digital Channels

“LeeAnn led the initiative to totally revamp Securian’s flagship website, securian.com. She used responsive design to meet changing customer expectations. Her team is also implementing a new social media strategy to interact with customers how, when, and where they want. Because of her efforts, Securian’s Facebook fans have grown from less than 2,000 to nearly 50,000 in less than a year through unique campaigns, such as Minneapolis/St. Paul (where Securian is headquartered) event sponsorships and sophisticated use of content targeting and testing.” — excerpt from nomination

Securian Financial Group

Matthew Gabriel

AVP, Innovation

“Matt was instrumental in the development of John Hancock’s Total Risk View, an underwriting model which provides a more refined look at underwriting risk selection. His passion has helped John Hancock break through some of the industry’s most vexing challenges.” — excerpt from nomination

John Hancock Insurance

Matt Harring

Financial Advisor

Matt developed a technology-based template to document his services (for compliance and DOL reasons) and clearly defined his role for their clients. I think his template will eventually be used as a blueprint for how many advisors will work going forward.” — excerpt from nomination

Raymond James

Karen Inkel

Assistant Vice President, Strategic Analysis

“Karen is recognized for her remarkable efforts designing, executing, and communicating market-level strategic initiatives at Voya. She helped build Voya’s Advisor Evolution Model, which is currently being used in the tax exempt market business and expected to be implemented in other business areas.” — excerpt from nomination

Voya Financial

Eric Jorgensen

Senior IT Architect

“Eric has spearheaded several innovative, enterprise-wide efforts that support Principal’s captive and independent distribution partners. As an example, Eric designed and deployed a program that consolidated data sources, allowing Principal to manage all of our distribution partner relationships, offering compensation settlement, access management, and analytic reporting capabilities.” — excerpt from nomination

Principal

Samir Kazimov

Sales Department Director

“With life insurance industry in its infancy in Azerbaijan, Samir has proven himself as an innovator, developing new business ideas and products that keeps PASHA Life competitive. He continuously explores new methods of service and new distribution channels.” — excerpt from nomination

PASHA Life Insurance OJSC

Lonny Koehlmoos

Director of Business Intelligence

“Lonny helped lead predictive analysis using Sammons Financial Group’s business data and third-party data to streamline the process for identifying agents who were best fit to represent the organization.” — excerpt from nomination

Sammons Financial Group

Evelyn Mbula Kyuvi

Training and Agency Support Manager

“Evelyn developed and implemented five innovative training modules for agents and managers who won recognition at ThinkBusiness in 2014 and 2015.” — excerpt from nomination

CIC-Life Assurance Co.

Lizzy Lubczanski

Behavioral Research Unit Manager

“Lizzy uses behavioral research to help Swiss Re's insurance clients better communicate with their customers. Lizzy and her team test every intervention to see whether there are optimal ways to communicate with people's 'automatic' brains in order to help encourage desired behavior. With a better understanding of customers' real needs, Lizzy and her team believe the industry can improve product development and possibly even remodel the way we sell insurance.” — excerpt from nomination

Swiss Re

Neesha Mathur

Marketing Manager

“Neesha spearheaded marketing innovations that combine large-scale, multi-channel campaigns with a strong data tracking component that did not previously exist. Moreover, she instituted a lead-coring approach that made it easier for distribution to quickly capitalize on their strongest opportunities. She also developed and led a campaign to showcase Prudential’sunderwriting assets, which became a huge attraction with distribution partners and helped them develop their own training and recruiting programs.” — excerpt from nomination

Prudential Financial

Patricia Mendez

Business Development Manager

“Patricia transformed her line of business into the most innovative among all the direct marketing operations in the EMEA through a creative use of Big Data and technology. Working closely with partners to understand their strategy and core business needs, she adapts internal processes in order to reach customer needs and increase customer satisfaction.” — excerpt from nomination

MetLife

Sears Merritt

Vice President, Data Science

“Sears established MassMutual’s Data Science Program in 2014. Working with professors at five colleges in the Springfield, MA area, the company has created a Ph.D.-like development program that combines with a full-time, salaried position in MassMutual’s data analytics area. Sears and his team are working on groundbreaking data-driven projects (both long- and short-term), including instantaneously assessing various risks, fraudulent activity, and consumer retention — enabling new product development, and streamlining the underwriting process, among others.” — excerpt from nomination

MassMutual

Amanda Mioli

Senior Digital Analyst, Association Marketing Strategy

“Amanda brings a fresh perspective, keen insights, and digital expertise to her job. Her contributions have helped Prudential reach and engage customers through Social Media. In addition to her digital expertise, Amanda quickly became proficient in research, analytics, and multicultural marketing, adding to her already significant value to her team. And she’s just getting started.” — excerpt from nomination

Prudential Group Insurance

Robert Mowery

Senior Analyst, Marketing

Bob helped to develop Lincoln’s Territory Visualizer, which uses big data and advanced analytics to improve wholesalers’ productivity and create better customer experiences. This has transformed how Lincoln wholesalers manage their territory.” — excerpt from nomination

Lincoln Financial Group

Rachel Reddy

Millennial Segment Director

“Rachel led developing new and better ways to predicting customer behavior for our annuities products. By getting to the root of what was really needed—highly accurate predictions about how customers behave and clarity around why—Rachel and the team set about developing a modern way to solve this problem, drawing on non-traditional data and advanced analytic techniques.” — excerpt from nomination

AIG

Logan Roddy

Customer Analytics Manager

“Working closely with Securian’s actuarial, technology, and distribution departments, Logan accelerated pilots using statistical models to predict sales opportunities with advisors, including probabilities of a first sale, a significant increase in production, or a retention risk among top producers. These models help Securian’s wholesalers prioritize contact among thousands of advisors in each sales territory. In just two quarters, the models have meaningfully contributed to sales across two divisions.” — excerpt from nomination

Securian Financial Group

Daria Lee Sharman

Assistant Vice President, Strategy and Applied Analytics

“Daria has been a driving force in shaping and executing the Life Division strategy for Pacific Life. She and her team of analysts have leveraged Big Data to segment our current customers as well as more accurately segment and focus products and services to desired target markets. Daria is a trusted and valued associate at Pacific Life throughout the Life Division.” — excerpt from nomination

Pacific Life Insurance Co.

Jeffrey Torres

Director, Strategic Technology Services

“Jeffrey spearheaded Guardian’s Shark Tank program (modeled after the popular show). The program identifies innovative vendors who offer creative ways to solve business challenges within the insurance and financial services industry. His efforts have helped Guardian improve several important processes.” — excerpt from nomination

Guardian Life Insurance Co.

Mandy Wilson

Senior Manager, Emerging Channel Strategy

“Mandy is an innovative problem solver who loves a challenge. In a very short time, she moved from being an intern to spearheading RBC Insurance’s new social media program. Under her leadership, RBC Insurance created its LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter presence, using best practices gained from extensive research. She also developed the governance, training, and onboarding for a program that allows select sales advisors to use social media for business purposes. The work she’s led has been cited twice in Social Eyes, an insurance industry publication that recognizes movers and shakers, and has driven a whole new social state of mind in our organization.” — excerpt from nomination

RBC Insurance Co.