The safety of our guests is of primary importance to IICF.  We will be in full compliance with CDC guidelines and NYC regulations. NYC requires that everyone attending this event wear a mask and show proof of vaccination and identification before entering.
Our event is being held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.  Here is a link to their COVID-19 Health & Safety Response as well as a link to their current Event Safety Guidelines. We look forward to being together safely on December 7.
COVID-19 Response — Ziegfeld Ballroom | NYC Premier Special Events Venue Space | Midtown
Click here for our Event Safety Guidelines.


Pete Alonso

First Baseman
New York Mets

Pete Alonso is the two-time All-Star First Baseman for the New York Mets. After winning the Rookie of the Year award andMajor League Baseball Homerun Derby in 2019, Pete has become the leader of the Metropolitans, and a consistent MVP candidate in the National League.Pete set the record for most homeruns in a season by a rookie with 53 and became the Mets franchise leader in RBIs for a season.

Originally hailing from Tampa Bay, Pete was a star at the University of Florida, memorably clubbing the longest home run in College World Series history in 2015. After being drafted to the Mets in the second round in 2016, he quickly ascended through their minor league system –and mashing memorable long balls as well, both in the 2018 Futures Game and overall hitting the most Home Runs in the minors that year. But what stood out in his minor league career was his evolution into a complete hitter, and in 2019, Pete achieved his dream making the big league roster out of spring training.

Pete and his wife Haley quickly fell in love with New York and started The Alonso Foundation as a way to give back to the community and to thank this incredible city that has welcomed them with open arms.We stand up for those that can't speak up on their own, focusing primarily on supporting youth causes, aid for veterans, and animal welfare. The Alonso Foundation makes grants to many philanthropicorganizations year-round to create a positive and lasting impact in our world

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John D. Gambale

Chief Distribution Officer, North America
Allianz Global, Corporate & Specialty(AGCS)

John Gambale Chief Distribution Officer, in North America for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS). John is a senior commercial insurance executive with 20+ years of experience developing and executing innovative, market-leading strategies and managing large regional and national teams. His expertise driving profitable growth, delivering tailored customer-centric solutions in the large corporate sector and leveraging deep relationships within the broker and client community brings tremendous value to the AGCS organization. John will be based in the New York City office, reporting to Bill Scaldaferri, President & CEO, North America.

Most recently John served as President, Northeast Zone, at AIG where he led overall operations across all major Property, Casualty, Financial Lines and Specialty product lines. During his tenure with AIG, he held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility including Head of Professional Liability & Lexington Financial Lines Executive responsible for Cyber, Miscellaneous, Media, Accountants, Lawyers Malpractice, in the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and E&S London market and Head of the Private/Non-Profit Management Liability Division responsible for domestic and multinational private and non-profit organizations in the U.S. and Canada.

John is the Chair of the Northeast Board of Directors for the Insurance Industry Charity Foundation (IICF) and Co-Chair for IICF’s annual fundraising eventJohn graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Economics and holds an M.B.A. from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University. In 2021, John received the Pace Downtown Gamechanger award for his contributions and impact on Downtown Manhattan over the past two decades.

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Sarah Gavlick

Chief Retail Officer
Markel Specialty

Sarah Gavlick is the Chief Retail Officer for Markel Specialty, an insurance division of Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL). Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and founded in 1930, Markel is a Fortune 500 company with insurance, reinsurance, and investment operations around the world.

Sarah is supporting our growth ambitions and aligning our operations to serve the needs of our retail customers and partners. She’s focusing on evolving our organizational structure to be more fully dedicated to serving the unique needs of our retail business model. She joined Markel in 2004 and previously served as Chief Territory Officer, East; Regional President for the Northeast region, preceded by Director of Marketing and Manager of Excess and Umbrella positions.

Sarah has more than 30 years of insurance industry experience. She began her career as an underwriter at Gen Re and was later promoted to Vice President, Casualty Facultative.         

Sarah is a graduate of Villanova University. She served on the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) Education Foundation Board of Directors. Sarah serves as Vice Chair of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Northeast Division Board. She is active on several committees including: Grantee Relationship, Fundraising, Outreach and Inclusion Forum Planning.

Sarah is a proud supporter of Operation Healing Forces. Sarah is a recipient of Insurance Business America’s Elite Women 2022 award, as well as being an Executive Sponsor for both Markel’s Women’s Network and Underwriting Training Program. Sarah is based in Markel’s office in Red Bank, New Jersey.

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Kevin Smith

Liberty Mutual Global Risk Solutions, North America

Kevin is responsible for the direction, management, and performance of Liberty’s $8 billion commercial property, casualty, and specialty lines business in North America. He leads a team of more than 6,000 underwriters, claims specialists, and distribution professionals to deliver a comprehensive array of products, services, and solutions to our customers.

Kevin joined Liberty Mutual in 2022. Most recently, Kevin was President and Chief Operating Officer for CNA’s Specialty Business. Prior to CNA, Kevin held leadership roles in underwriting, marketing and field operations during his nearly 20 plus year career at Chubb North America.

Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in from University of Utah in Finance and an MBA in Finance from the University of San Francisco. Kevin currently lives outside of Chicago with his wife and family, and enjoys playing golf and playing music.

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Robert Stein

Middle Market Segment Leader for Commercial Risk, North America


Rob Leads Commercial risk’s mission throughout North America to bring better solutions to clients and prospects in the middle market. In addition, he manages the Mid-Market Practice, Partnering 150 Brokers With Account Executives and Industry practice groups across 30+ local offices to deliver innovative Results to Aon’s fastest growing segment.

Rob is engaged at the most senior levels of global and domestic underwriting companies and works to deepen and strengthen their existing relationships with Aon.

Expertise / Experience

Rob joined Aon in 2012 as the Chief Broking Officer for the U.S. Middle Market.

Rob began his career at Marsh and rose to the level of managing Director.  He contributed greatly to the design, delivery & management of the Insurer Consulting Platform.

Outside of insurance brokerage, Rob has served in sales, consulting and management capacities at GE Risk Solutions and The American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Philanthropy and Volunteerism

Rob serves on the UJA General Insurance Executive Board and participates on a variety of broker and producer advisory councils in the industry.

Education / Awards

Rob earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.

Rob was the recipient of the College’s Wetzel Oratorical Prize for Excellence in Public Speaking.

Rob was honored by Insurance Business America Magazine in 2021 as a “Hot 100” Professional.


Rob resides in East Brunswick, N.J. with his wife, Liz, an AP English teacher. They are the proud parents of Marlena, and twins, Thomas and Tanner.

Rob is active in many facets of youth sports development in his hometown.

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Christine Williams

Global Specialty Products Leader, Global CEO Financial Services Group & Professional Service Practice, Commercial Risk Solutions

Current Responsibilities:

Christine is the Global Specialty Product Leader for Commercial Risk Solutions. As the leader of global specialty, Christine oversees globally the Financial Services Group, Professional Services Practice, Cyber, Intellectual Property, Surety, Crisis Management and Credit Solutions. In addition to managing the Global Specialty products, Christine also manages senior client and insurer relationships.

Special Areas of Expertise:

Global Expertise in Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Professional Liability, Employment Practices Liability, Fiduciary Liability, Commercial Crime, Cyber, FI and Transactional Liability.

Christine has worked at Aon for 21 years in various leadership roles in the US and London and was promoted into the Global Specialty Leader role in 2021.  Prior to joining Aon, she spent five years in Asset Management at Citigroup (Salomon Smith Barney).


·         Christine earned her M.B.A from St. Johns University in Finance

·         B.S. in Finance from Le-Moyne College

·         Christine is a licensed property and casualty insurance broker in numerous jurisdictions.

Professional Designations/Affiliations:

·         2023 Insurance Business America Global 100 in the insurance industry

·         Business Insurance America-Elite Women 2022 & 2020 recipient

·         AIG Financial Lines Broker of the Year 2020 recipient

·         Power Broker recipient

·         The Bridge-Co-Founder and President-non for profit that supports, mentors, sponsors             female talent in the insurance industry  

·         Statesmen Foundation-Board Member

·         ACP-Mentor of veteran’s

·         Aon DEI Pride Committee member

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Kristina VanLaningham, CADC, DRCC

Operations Manager, Freedom House Inc.

IICF’s financial support has helped Freedom House provide housing and wrap around recovery support to mothers recovering from addiction. “The Family Afterward” is one of a rare few programs ensuring that mothers and children remain together and that women who have lost temporary custody of their children to foster care as a result of their addiction can reunite with them in this residential program. The impact of IICF’s support has been profound in returning children to their mother’s arms! These contributions have enabled us to serve families in need that would otherwise have to be turned away due to lack of funding and are helping mothers transition to total self-sufficiency, independently raising, nurturing and supporting their children upon graduation from the program. IICF funds help Freedom House to save lives, reunite families, and provide prevention for the next generation.