Michelle Herr
4248 Park Glen Road
Minneapolis, MN 55416




Minneapolis, MN – November 17, 2020 – Last month, the Society of Insurance Research (SIR) celebrated its 50th anniversary as a leading organization dedicated to the research profession in the insurance industry. The 4-day virtual annual conference kicked off with a day dedicated to the impact of COVID on P&C, life, and health companies, and how insurance researchers responded to the increased demand for data from the C-suite.

SIR’s annual conference, a flagship benefit to its nearly 1,000 members, included presentations from industry leaders, such as AF Group, USAA, Allstate, Fifth Third Bank, MassMutual and CVS Health, focused on product innovation, direct-to-consumer and agent distribution, digital health, and insure-tech trends. 

“I appreciate the opportunity to present to this engaged group of professionals,” said Newman Rochester, Jr., VP of Business Development at Prudential. “As an insurance professional at a company with such a tremendous, long history, a group like SIR helps us get back to our roots and think about how to meet consumers where they are.”

Micheal Myers, SIR’s new Board President and Lead Competitive Intelligence Analyst at USAA, welcomed members to the conference, likening it to a “family reunion,” lamenting that the close-knit group could not meet in-person. He also praised the conference planning committee, and especially its Chair and Board Member, Neelam Paharia, Director of Business Intelligence at Allstate for successfully pivoting the conference to a virtual event with attendance even higher than prior in-person events.

“SIR is a non-profit and we couldn’t do this without our volunteers,” Myers explained. Myers discussed his goals as President and reminded members that “SIR offers members a chance to be involved and learning from peers 365 days a year, not just at the annual conference in October.” Myers announced the new Board slate, which will include a new role starting in 2020 for Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion to be held by Kim Waller, Diversity Solutions Practice Leader at Willis Towers Watson.

“I am excited to serve as SIR’s new Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion,” said Waller of her role. “Our world and the risks we face continue to change at a rapid pace. SIR recognizes that by bringing together thought leaders from all background’s, new solutions can be developed through the power of diverse and inclusive teams. Today it is imperative that we join together to meet these challenges. This is an exciting time to be a part of SIR.”

Outgoing SIR President, Jen Evert from American Financial Group, recognized those that made significant contributions to SIR in 2020 with President’s Individual Awards to Adrienne Kreger, American Financial Group, Neelam Paharia, Allstate, Pete Wood, Erie Insurance, Amelia Fitch, American Family Insurance; and Micheal Myers, USAA. The President’s Organizational Award was presented to Jornaya. Competitive Intelligence Call Top Contributor Award to Justin Suter, Corporate Insight and the Hopp/Bud Award went to Lori Schoenenberger from Amerisure. 

“I am honored to be SIR’s next President and excited to see what the 2021 Board of Directors can do to enhance the value of SIR membership and increase awareness of our unique offerings, network of professionals, and specialized content for the insurance industry. We’re looking forward to our virtual Spring Workshop in April 2021 so save the date!” added Myers.

SIR’s 2020-2021 Board of Directors


Mike Myers, USAA


Dawn Faint, Florida Blue


Chris Rzany, Fidelity Life

VP, Communication & Content Development

Lisa Greenwald, Greenwald Research

VP, Conference

Neelam Paharia, Allstate

VP, Diversity & Inclusion

Kim Waller, Willis Towers Watson

VP, Education & Educational Outreach

Amelia Fitch, American Family

VP, Marketing

Jaimie Pickles, Jornaya

VP, Membership

Liz Taggart, Safety National

VP, Research

Patrice Nolan, Competiscan

VP, Workshop

Pete Wood, Erie Insurance Group


Ron Zezza, Cigna


Brian Kiley, West Bend Mutual


David Kalinowski, Proactive Worldwide


Austin Tucker, National General Insurance

Continuing Director

Vickie Kilgore, The Institutes

Immediate Past President

Jennifer Evert, American Financial Group

About SIR

The Society of Insurance Research was created in 1950 as a non-profit, carrier led association to elevate fact-based insurance research and to support the professionals that create and drive these insights. For more information, visit  email or follow SIR on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook

SIR leadership welcomes opportunities to assist journalists and industry news outlets with information and research about P&C, life, commercial, and health insurance. Follow us on social for regular updates and please feel free to reach out to with any inquiries.

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