Commissioner Lara Thanks Outgoing Leader of Diversity Task Force and Welcomes First LGBTQ+ Chair
News: 2021 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara thanked Sal Peinado, Jr., for serving as Chair of the Insurance Diversity Task Force at the California Department of Insurance and welcomed Mark Morales to the position. Morales is the first LGBTQ+ person to lead the Diversity Task Force, and he will lead the first quarterly meeting of the Task Force on March 11.
The Department’s nationally recognized Insurance Diversity Initiative focuses on accelerating the rate of progress and equity within the insurance industry by encouraging greater diverse representation among the boards of insurance companies and increasing procurement from diverse suppliers, including businesses owned by women, LGBTQ+ people, veterans, disabled veterans and historically underrepresented communities.
The Insurance Diversity Task Force identifies and recommends actions to the Commissioner that will advance the diversity and equity goals of the Insurance Diversity Initiative.
“The work of the Diversity Task Force remains even more critical during the pandemic that disproportionally continues to impact the lives and livelihoods of so many of our state’s diverse business owners,” said Commissioner Lara. “I thank Sal for the tremendous progress we have made under his leadership, and I look forward to working with Mark and the Task Force to build on that record of finding greater economic opportunities for diverse suppliers and seeing the diversity of our great state reflected in the boardrooms of California’s insurance companies.”
Task Force members are instrumental leaders and community advocates who work in tandem with the Department to ensure that the voices and needs of the diverse communities that they represent are brought to the forefront.
“The Task Force’s 2020-21 strategic plan will continue to serve as a road map for governing board and supplier diversity,” said outgoing Chair Sal Peinado, Jr., Supplier Diversity Program Lead at Autodesk. “From increasing access and opportunities at the Department’s Diversity Summit year after year, providing recommendations to enhance the insurance diversity surveys, and convening the industry’s inaugural Governing Board Diversity Summit, the Task Force’s accomplishments not only impacted California, but became a model for the entire nation. Insurers from across the country are investing in supplier diversity programs to ensure that business owners in underserved communities have an opportunity to grow their businesses that will, in turn, generate wealth and create jobs. Thank you to my fellow Task Force members for their guidance, support and friendship. It’s been an honor and privilege to serve as a Task Force member and Chair under Commissioner Lara’s leadership.”
Peinado, Jr. is succeeded by Mark Morales. Morales is Vice President of the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan division at City National Bank, specializing in SBA financing and loan programs for diverse owned businesses. Morales is also the co-owner of Charles Jacobsen, Inc. a certified LGBT business enterprise.
“I am excited and honored to lead as Chair of the Diversity Task Force,” said Morales. “Six years ago, I was appointed as the first LGBTQ+ representative and I witnessed the strides that the Task Force made, including expanding equitable opportunities and meaningful change for diverse business owners and board leaders all across California. The pandemic magnified the needs of our communities, and I look forward to meeting these challenges head on.”
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Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.