AF Group Announces 2022 Employee and Leadership Awards

August 17, 2022

LANSING, Mich. – AF Group, a nationally recognized holding company whose affiliated brands provide specialty and workers’ compensation insurance solutions across the United States, has named the recipients of its annual employee and leadership awards. These significant honors recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding character, leadership and an exceptional commitment to the award-winning People First culture of AF Group and its brands.

The 2022 winners include:

Leader of the Year: Kim Drew, manager of Subrogation, AF Group

Drew joined AF Group in 2013. She was the first member of the Subrogation department and has since built a strong and dynamic team. Under Drew’s vision and mentorship, the Subrogation department has helped Claims identify potential recoveries earlier leading to record-high recoveries.

“Kim is an incredible asset to AF Group,” said Lisa Corless, president and CEO. “She has built our Subrogation department from the ground up and has been an amazing mentor to her team. Her servant leadership is always on display — and she consistently leads her team in their contributions to the success of our organization.”

During her time in Subrogation, Drew has mentored and supported her team to help them achieve their own goals as well as contribute to AF Group’s goals.

“Kim is a consummate leader in her dedication to mentoring and building the skills of her team,” said Jeff Hertrich, deputy general counsel. “This is reflected in outstanding departmental results that have had a massive impact on our customers by reducing their losses and expenses — all at a previously unmatched pace. This honor is well deserved.”

“Kim exemplifies commitment to all aspects of leadership,” said Kevin Zielke, general counsel and senior vice president. “She sets and achieves high standards of performance; fully supports, encourages and assists team members; explores innovative and creative ways to optimize service delivery; listens deeply and with the intent to learn and to identify the best way forward; and is quick to share credit and to embrace responsibility. We are fortunate to have her as part of the team.”

Employee of the Year: Cindy Hall, nurse case manager, AF Group

Hall joined AF Group in 2014. During her eight years with the team, she has demonstrated deep compassion, integrity and empathy for injured workers and providers, as she helps move each claim toward resolution with compassion and reassurance.

“Simply put, Cindy is an exceptional nurse, teammate and friend to all she works with,” said Corless. “She has a strong reputation within our company, as well as with agents and policyholders, as someone who will go above and beyond to ensure injured workers get the care they need. And she does so with immense grace and endless heart — I couldn’t be prouder to have her as part of our team.”

“Cindy’s caring and compassionate style has been recognized by numerous injured workers, policyholders and coworkers,” said Steve Cooper, president of AF Group’s Workers’ Compensation Division. “Cindy is a medical professional who works with injured workers to help them transition back to the work environment. Her 2022 performance exemplifies the People First culture at AF Group, and we feel lucky to have her on our team.”

Hall is the first nurse to be recognized as Employee of the Year. Her daily efforts to get the highest level of medical care for injured workers represents AF Group’s dedication to and focus on providing the highest quality service for policyholders and their employees.

“Cindy demonstrates the meaning of advocacy on a daily basis,” said Paul Kauffman, director of Medical Management. “She is an advocate for the injured worker to ensure they are receiving the highest quality of care to assist in their recovery. She also is an advocate for her teammates, supporting them in both their personal lives and daily work efforts.”

“Cindy epitomizes what grace under fire, customer care advocacy and a spirit of attentive teamwork looks like,” said Paul Kearney, chief claims officer. “Her drive to make others around her better through the collaborative sharing of her knowledge and her drive to ensure our injured workers are receiving the best and most appropriate care has endeared her to her teammates and injured workers alike. Cindy’s daily efforts demonstrate how optimally performing with a focus on others can make a tremendous difference. We are so glad to have Cindy in our organization.”

In addition to Leader of the Year and Employee of the Year, AF Group recognizes outstanding employee contributions with the Pinnacle, Horizon and Legend Awards.

Pinnacle Award

The Pinnacle Award recognizes achievement of teammates who support the AF Group enterprise. This year’s winners include the following:

  • Nick Armand, application technical lead
  • Mandy DeSantis, infrastructure engineer II
  • Lisa Painter, senior subrogation claim representative I
  • Gehan Rivera-Chase, procurement specialist
  • Jeanna Stewart, senior project manager
  • Katrina Shaw, agency management technician I

Horizon Award

The Horizon Award recognizes employees in one of AF Group’s diversification brands: AF Specialty, Fundamental Underwriters or Assigned Risk Solutions. This year’s winners include the following:

  • Sarah Christopher, underwriting technician I, Assigned Risk Solutions
  • Addie Gouin, senior loss control consultant, Fundamental Underwriters
  • Bryan Pung, commercial program manager, AF Specialty

Legend Award

The Legend Awards recognizes employees within and/or who serve AF Group’s Workers’ Compensation Division brands: Accident Fund, United Heartland, CompWest and Third Coast Underwriters. This year’s winners include the following:

  • Valerine Conerly, client relations specialist, AF Group
  • Olivia Cole, senior claims payment specialist, Service Center
  • Chris DeRuiter, senior loss control consultant, Accident Fund
  • Jason Losen, senior business development specialist, AF Group
  • Alice Pau, business development consultant, CompWest
  • Ashley Pinckney, claim representative II, Accident Fund
  • Jan Sassic, manager, Premium Audit, AF Group
  • Eric Vichez, senior claims representative I, United Heartland
  • Kim Zimmerman, senior business development specialist, Accident Fund

Annual employee award recipients are nominated by their peers and leaders based on exceptional performance.

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