Skip to Main Content
Contact Us Search
CA Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Names COIN Advisory Board Members

News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: March 22, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries:
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Names COIN Advisory Board Members
New Members Will Be Introduced at Today's Meeting of The COIN Advisory Board

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced the appointments to the California Organized Investment Network (COIN) Advisory Board.

The California Organized Investment Network (COIN) guides insurer capital into socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and community financial investments. COIN's team of investment officers lead two funds unlike any other in the nation: the Qualified Investment Platform and the CDFI Tax Credit program. COIN's Qualified Investment Platform screens investment deals across asset classes for their risk, rates of return and provision of tangible benefits to California 's undercapitalized communities and/or environment. From 1996 through 2008, insurers invested more than $19 billion through COIN's Qualified Investment Platform. COIN's Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Tax Credit Program provides a 20 percent State tax credit on a $50,000 minimum investment, loan or deposit into a COIN-certified CDFI for 60 months. Each year, $2 million in tax credits are available on a total of $10 million of invested capital. To date, $125 million in CDFI deposits have generated $25 million in State tax credits.

"The COIN program has proven to be a highly successful effort in providing funding for important projects in underserved communities throughout the state, and I am confident our new board members are up to the task of furthering the success of this initiative," said Commissioner Jones. "Without question, their work on the COIN Advisory Board will be especially important given these difficult economic times."

The following individuals were appointed to the COIN Advisory Board:

Vanessa Rodriguez is a Senior Vice President of Mercury Public Affairs. She is responsible for crafting and implementing public affairs and government relations strategies which support clients' needs. Ms. Rodriguez also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Skid Row Housing Trust in Los Angeles , and as a member of the Los Angeles Advisory Council for Running Start.

Tony Tomich serves as Consultant to the CFO of the Finance Transformation Group at Zurich Financial. In the past, he has served as Board Member of Impact Community Capital, an organization formed by eight insurers that has facilitated over $1 billion in community investments in numerous US states, with a focus on California . Mr. Tomich holds a BBA and an MPP from the College of William and Mary.

Sukh Singh is the General Secretary of the Indus Valley Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Singh is active in many community groups, including serving as President of the Indo Canadian Cultural Association. He has been recognized by several government entities for his decades of public service. Mr. Singh holds an MA in Political Science and an MPE from Ottawa University .

Stefan Dobrus serves as CFO and Senior VP at CSE Insurance Group in Walnut Creek . Prior to joining CSE, he was Director of Actuarial and Financial Services for CAMICO Mutual Insurance Company. Mr. Dobrus holds an MBA from UC Berkeley and a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California .

Ralph Lippmann has been the director of the California Community Economic Development Association since 1997. Dr. Lippman currently sits on the board of the California Association for Local Economic Development and the United Way of Los Angeles Cabinet. Dr. Lippmann earned his Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Southern California .

Patricia GoPaul is a Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary with Impact Community Capital LLC, which structures socially responsible investments for insurance companies. She is on the board of directors of the Northern California Community Loan Fund. Ms. GoPaul earned a JD from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Harvard University .

Martin Erwin has worked in the Corporate Law Department at State Farm Insurance Companies since 1979. He has served on the COIN Board in prior years. Mr. Erwin holds a JD from the Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington and a BS in Economics from Indiana University at South Bend .

Jerry Rioux has been executive director of the San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund (HTF) since 2003. He has worked in the affordable housing and community development fields since 1972. Mr. Rioux holds a BA from CSU Los Angeles and a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California .

Jeff Westerman regularly serves as a moderator or speaker for programs on complex litigation, developments in class action practice, settlements, the Sarbanes-Oxley Corporate Responsibility Act, shareholder derivative actions, and trends in business litigation. He is a member of the Los Angeles County and Federal Bar Associations.

Michael Hickey serves as Government Relations Counsel at MetLife in Washington , D.C. He also serves on the Guaranty Boards of Arkansas, California , Louisiana , Maryland , New Mexico , and Oklahoma . He holds a JD from the University of Baltimore and a BS from the University of Maryland , College Park .

Alan Fisher is the Executive Director of the California Reinvestment Coalition and has served on the COIN Board in prior years. Mr. Fisher is on the Board of Directors of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Centro del Pueblo. He earned an M.B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles and a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Arthur Fatum serves as CFO and EVP of Capital Markets at the Low Income Investment Fund, where he handles all financial, accounting, information technology, human resources, and fundraising tasks. In 2008, he was recognized as the San Francisco Bay Area CFO of the Year for Community Service. Mr. Fatum holds a BS in Mathematics with High Honors from the State University of New York, Cortland .

Douglas Bystry is the President and CEO of the Clearinghouse CDFI, a for-profit community development financial institution. Mr. Bystry is considered an expert in affordable housing, community development and New Markets Tax Credit lending. He holds a BA in Political Science from UCLA.

Darrell Teat is Associate Vice President at Nehemiah Community Reinvestment Enterprises. Mr. Teat also serves on a variety of community based boards and commissions. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Santa Clara University and is a current MBA Candidate at Drexel University , LeBow College of Business.

Andrew Gross is a Principal and President of the Development Co. of Thomas Safran & Associates. He is experienced in all aspects of affordable and market rate development, including site acquisition, finance, government agency negotiations, planning, design and construction. Mr. Gross holds a JD/MBA from Emory University and a BA from UCSD.

Beth Sirull became the Executive Director of Pacific Community Ventures in 2009. In the past several years, her work has focused increasingly on corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investing. Ms. Sirull was voted by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 30 Social Entrepreneurs in America . She earned a B.A from Brandeis University , an MBA at Boston University and an MPP at UC Berkeley.

These positions are not compensated, other than for travel reimbursements.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

Font Size: Translate: Español