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Congratulations to all of you!

LIMRA is pleased to present the winners of the 2019 Rising Stars in Technology. These motivated professionals have implemented new and creative business solutions, using technology at our member companies. Learn more about the individual winners below.

Alyssa Arellano

Head of Data Management & Interfaces, Employee Benefits

AXA Equitable Life

“Alyssa is AXA's lead for end-to-end data architecture. She manages the solutions across our 150 interfaces that process the employee benefits transactions. We are able to deliver new product lines to our business in a very nimble way due to her business analysis and end-to-end data strategy.” – excerpt from nomination


Vishwa Balachandran

Manager, Application Development

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

“Vishwa is continually looking at ways for Guardian to simplify the way that we operate and is open to express his concerns and recommendations in a very professional manner. He recognizes that innovation and change is mandatory in order for Guardian to remain relevant and grow in this environment.” – excerpt from nomination

Austin Bichler

Senior Director Actuary

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

“Austin’s drive, creativity, and analytical skills, and his innovative product designs have set sales records for Allianz in each of the last few years. Austin also greatly influenced marketing and distribution. Specifically, he crafted a consumer-focused tool that promotes the importance of diversification and developed a new methodology for life insurance producers to evaluate the risk and reward tradeoffs associated with some of the industry’s new indexed products.” – excerpt from nomination

Derek Gobel

Business Architect

The Standard Insurance Company

“Derek leverages a unique combination of technical skills, business acumen, and ability to build collaborative partnerships to break down complex problems and find actionable, pragmatic, and sustainable paths forward aimed at delivering customer value.” – excerpt from nomination

Gejie (Jason) Liu

Founder & CEO

Shanghai Leapstack Data Technology Co., Ltd.

“Jason is a distinguished leader and plays a critical role in corporate strategy. He is always optimistic and puts forward progressive ideas. His forward-looking vision enabled the startup company to achieve surprising results at a stunning pace.” – excerpt from nomination

Melisa Muraca

Assistant Vice President - Mobile & Wearables and Digital Health Solutions Delivery

Sun Life Financial

“Melisa has been a change agent, introducing Agile delivery to business partners, moving the mobile team from being 0% to 85% Agile in 18 months, and bringing our digital health solutions portfolio delivery up to 95% Agile. She is able to influence business partners to understand the benefits of DevOps, obtaining funding to further drive towards business objectives.” – excerpt from nomination

Devendra Pandya

Senior Manager, Tech Lead

SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

“Devendra designed and implemented Smart Advisor, an Android-based mobile app, for sales team members of SBI Life. The app makes it easy for the sales force to upload documents required for real-time underwriting and speedy/error-free underwriting judgement. This has reduced issuance turnaround time from approximately 20 days to 1 day.” – excerpt from nomination

Prindhorn Seksarn

Associate Director, Head of Customer Digital Platform

AIA Company Limited, Thailand

“Prindhorn developed Thailand’s insurance first AI-enabled chatbot with a direct connection to the core insurance system. Agents can get the policy data they need instantly without having to wait in line for the support team. This chatbot increases agency force productivity and enhances service to customers.” – excerpt from nomination

Michael Strete

Senior Database Analyst

Valmark Financial Group

“Mike has used his years of experience working with insurance technology and data feeds to create numerous reports for Valmark, including The Opportunity Report. When carriers announce new products or changes it allows us to quickly identify new sales opportunities for agents. You can make or break a project based on the intimate details of a data field, how a system works, or the true business process required. He has used that knowledge to educate business units on how things really work so they can make better business decisions.” – excerpt from nomination

Wittaya Supawarangkul

Senior Manager, IT Application Services - Business Automation & Analytics

AIA Company Limited, Thailand

“Wittaya continues to improve/modernize software development process by introducing Agile methodology, LEAN, Open Sources development tools, and recently, Dev/Ops. Wittaya also encourages and educates developer teams by sharing his knowledge until the methods are fully adopted and in practice.” – excerpt from nomination

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