Meet the people behind GuideOne Insurance.
Our senior management team brings a wealth of insurance, financial, business and leadership experience to GuideOne. In addition, our leaders are actively involved in their communities, serving local nonprofit organizations, churches and boards.
Jessica Clark | President & Chief Executive Officer
Jessica joined GuideOne in June 2017 as President and CEO. She came to GuideOne from State Auto Insurance Companies in Columbus, Ohio, where she most recently served as Senior Vice President – Commercial and Specialty Lines. Jessica held several other positions during her tenure at State Auto, including Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the company’s specialty subsidiary, and Senior Vice President of Specialty. Prior to joining State Auto, Jessica was a member of a three-person team that raised the capital for the formation and start-up operations of Rockhill Holdings, a niche property and casualty business that was purchased by State Auto in 2009. She was also the Chief Financial Officer for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. In 2016, Jessica was named one of Insurance Business’ Elite Women of the Year. Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida. She is a committee member of the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices, Ltd. (NAPSLO).
Gilbert Korthals | Senior Vice President & Chief Analytics Officer
Gilbert is responsible for developing and leading a consolidated enterprise strategy for capturing, analyzing, and leveraging data across the organization to drive financial performance, operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction. He also oversees the company’s Actuarial functions, as he previously served as GuideOne’s Chief Actuary. Gilbert graduated from the University of Dubuque in 1987 with a double major in Mathematics and Psychology, and joined GuideOne in 1988 as an Actuarial student. Gilbert was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Product Management in 1999. During his career with GuideOne, Gilbert has held the positions of Assistant Vice President-Value Added Services and Assistant Vice President-Corporate Actuary. He is a Fellow in the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS), a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA) and has received the Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) credential.
Andy Noga | Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Andy oversees GuideOne’s Legal, Subrogation and Special Investigation Unit (SIU) departments. Prior to joining GuideOne in 2015, Andy worked for The Goldwater Taplin Group as a consultant and regulatory counsel. He also was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Aspen’s North American insurance and reinsurance operations and for Endurance’s U.S. insurance operations. Andy is a veteran of the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he served as Special Assistant to the General Counsel of the Navy at the Pentagon. He holds a master’s in law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, a juris doctorate degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law, and a bachelor’s from Western New England University.
Elisabeth Sandersfeld | Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Elisabeth leads finance and accounting, investments, reinsurance, and corporate actuarial for GuideOne. She joined the company in 2015 as AVP, Controller, from Thrivent Financial in Minneapolis, MN, where she served in various finance and strategy roles during her eleven year tenure. Elisabeth is a summa cum laude graduate of Luther College with majors in accounting and management. She also holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from the University of Minnesota. Elisabeth is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and is a member of the Iowa Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs.
Brian Hughes | Senior Vice President & Chief Investments Officer
Since joining GuideOne in 1992, Brian has had responsibilities in such areas as managing a $1+ billion investment portfolio, negotiating bank credit facilities, overseeing investment accounting functions and managing internal audit functions. Before joining GuideOne, Brian served as Assistant Vice President of Boatman’s National Bank (now Bank of America). Brian is a graduate of St. John’s University in Minnesota, majoring in business administration. He also earned a master’s of business administration degree from Drake University.
Marq James | Senior Vice President of Sales
Marq leads the company’s sales management team and sales force of more than 1,600 agents. He began his career at GuideOne in 1988 as a Marketing Representative. Other positions he has held include Sales Manager, Assistant Vice President of Sales Support and Vice President of Eastern U.S. Sales. Marq holds a bachelor’s degree from Cedarville University in Ohio and a master’s in business administration from the University of Iowa.
Scott Reddig | Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Scott is in charge of Sales, Actuarial, Underwriting, Claims and Information Technology. Prior to that, he served as GuideOne’s Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary. Before joining GuideOne in 1999, Scott served as Vice President and Chief Actuary of the Allied Group. Scott is a graduate of Ohio State University with a major in actuarial science. He is also certified in Fellowship, Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).
Joe Highbarger | Vice President of Pricing
As Vice President and Chief Actuary, Joe is responsible for all aspects of GuideOne’s actuarial functions. He also manages and monitors the risk profile for the enterprise. Since joining the company in 2005, he’s also managed GuideOne’s predictive modeling function and most recently served as Assistant Vice President and Actuary. Prior to this, Joe held actuarial positions with Fireman’s Fund Interstate Insurance Group and the Allied Group. Joe is a graduate of Clarke College with a major in mathematics. He also is a Fellow in the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS), as well as a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).
Chad Zenner | Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications
Chad oversees all of GuideOne’s Marketing and Corporate Communications efforts. Before joining GuideOne in early 2016, Chad served as Chief Marketing Officer for AssureStart in Seattle, Washington. Prior to AssureStart, he served as Director of Digital Marketing for Principal Financial Group, and Senior Vice President of Digital Marketing at Marsh U.S. Consumer in Des Moines, Iowa. Chad is a graduate of Drake University with a major in marketing. He also is a member of the American Marketing Association, the Association of National Advertisers and the Direct Marketing Association.
Paul Czerniak | Assistant Vice President of Eastern U.S. Sales
Paul oversees production and product distribution for states in GuideOne’s eastern region. This includes guiding and overseeing the efforts of the Sales Directors in those states and ensuring that the needs of GuideOne’s agency force are met. Paul joined GuideOne in 1993 as a Marketing Representative. From there, he moved up the ranks to Sales Manager, State Business Director, Sales Director and was promoted to his current position in 2010. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree from Cedarville University in Ohio and a master’s in business administration degree from Ohio University.
Ric Hettrick | Assistant Vice President of Western U.S. Sales
Ric manages production and product distribution for states in GuideOne’s western region. This includes guiding and overseeing the efforts of the Sales Directors in those states and ensuring that the needs of GuideOne’s agency force are met. Since joining GuideOne in 1976, Ric has served in a number of roles, including career agent, Agency Manager, Sales Manager, State Business Director, Sales Director followed by his current position in 2007. Ric is a graduate of Graceland College in Iowa and has completed all coursework toward a master’s degree at Western Illinois University.
Bill Mech | Assistant Vice President of Senior Living Center (SLC) Niche
Bill Mech joined GuideOne in 2010 and currently serves as Assistant Vice President of the Senior Living Center (SLC) niche. His leadership responsibilities include owner of financial performance of our SLC niche and “practice leader” who provides advice and direction for workers’ compensation writings in all niches, with particular focus in the SLC and Non-Profit niches. Mech has more than 25 years of experience as an actuary, as well as working in risk management and reinsurance. He previously served as GuideOne’s Corporate Actuary and Chief Risk Officer. Before joining company, Mech was responsible for workers’ compensation pricing at Swiss Re and for loss control services at combined entities Liberty Mutual and Wausau Insurance. Bill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics, with honors, from Mt. Senario College in Wisconsin, as well as a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, with honors, from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also attained his Fellowship in the Casualty Actuarial Society and holds the RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (CRMP) designation.
Ann Michelson | Assistant Vice President and Associate General Counsel
Ann is responsible for providing legal advice and counsel to the majority of departments within GuideOne, as well as reviewing corporate contracts and supervising market conduct exams. Before joining GuideOne in 1988, Ann served as a city prosecutor and assistant city attorney for Sioux City, Iowa. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, a juris doctorate from Drake University School of Law, and a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.
Sam Waters | Assistant Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary
Sam is responsible for managing GuideOne’s Litigation Unit. He joined GuideOne in 1999 from Continental Western Insurance Company, where he served as Sr. Litigation Counsel. Prior to that, Sam worked for Acuity Mutual Insurance Company in the Claims Department. Sam holds a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University, a juris doctorate degree from Drake University School of Law, and a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.
Kermit Starnes | President Lutheran Trust/Church Asset Management
Kermit manages all aspects of Lutheran Trust/Church Asset Management, which is a subsidiary of GuideOne Insurance. His responsibilities include managing the Nonprofit, Commercial and Personal Lines Sales Centers, the Church Appointment Call Center, as well as the growth and profitability of Career General Agency, which also is a subsidiary of GuideOne. Before joining the company, Kermit worked for Lutheran Brotherhood Insurance Company as Vice President and Associate General Agent. Prior to this, he served in a number of leadership roles within several other insurance companies. He also was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army. Kermit received a bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University, as well as a master’s of business administration degree from Lindenwood University.