Commissioner Lara announces appointments to the Curriculum Board, the CAARP Advisory Committee, and the COIN Advisory Board
News: 2023 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today announced several appointments to help drive forward the California Department of Insurance’s mission to protect consumers. These appointments include naming new members Colbie McRae, Gloria Mitchell, and Vinh Truong to the Curriculum Board; Michael Golden to the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) Advisory Committee; and reappointed members Rudy Espinoza and Maïté Irakoze Baur to the California Organized Investment Network (COIN) Advisory Board.
“I am pleased to announce these appointments to the Curriculum Board, the CAARP Advisory Committee, and the COIN Advisory Board,” said Commissioner Lara. “Protecting consumers and addressing inequality are top priorities for our Department. I am confident these appointees will provide their advice and diverse perspectives to continue building a competitive insurance industry in California that best serves consumers.”
The Curriculum Board oversees the development of pre-licensing and continuing education curriculum for agents and brokers to uphold professional standards that protect consumers. This includes a list of preapproved courses of study as well as courses of study for professional designations. This Board also develops standards for providers and instructors who offer courses and other training to licensed agents and brokers.
The Governor and California State Legislature created CAARP to provide auto insurance for motorists unable to obtain coverage in the private market due to their driving records or other extraordinary circumstances. One program within the plan -- the California Low Cost Auto Program -- aims to provide affordable liability insurance to income-eligible good drivers by assigning them to private insurers based upon the companies’ share of the auto insurance market. The CAARP Advisory Committee provides policy advice to Commissioner Lara on matters affecting the operation of its programs.
The California Organized Investment Network (COIN) was established in 1996 within the Department of Insurance to guide insurers on making financially sound investments that yield environmental benefits throughout California and social benefits within the State’s underserved communities. Commissioner Lara has prioritized COIN investments which drive affordable housing, support small businesses, combat climate change, and encourage investors to utilize diverse investment managers more. The COIN Advisory Board provides guidance to the Commissioner and the COIN program to meet its mission and chief priorities.
The next Curriculum Board meeting will be held on October 19, 2023, the next CAARP Advisory Committee meetings will be held on November 14 and 15, 2023, and the next COIN Advisory Board meeting will be held on November 9, 2023. More details are available at: www.insurance.ca.gov/boards. Public members of the CAARP Advisory Committee receive $250 per meeting. All other positions are uncompensated.
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Newly appointed members include:
Colbie McRae is President of insureCAL Insurance Agency. McRae started his business in 2015 and, while the business is a full-service agency providing a range of insurance products and services, its primary focus is on serving the agriculture industry. McRae serves as Treasurer of the Western Insurance Agents Association (WIAA) and past board member of the Carnegie Arts Center and Jessica’s House Heart Circle Committee. McRae joins the Curriculum Board in the agent/broker representative seat, with a term ending on September 1, 2026.
Gloria Mitchell is Owner/Operator of Gloria Mitchell Bail Bonds. Mitchell has over 30 years of experience in the bail industry and has owned her agency for 23 years. She is a member of the Pomona Chamber of Commerce and a former California Small Business Association board member. She has been a member of the California Bail Agents Association Board of Directors for 16 years, serving as Vice President of the Executive Board for four years and as President for six years. Mitchell joins the Curriculum Board in the bail agent representative seat, with a term ending on September 1, 2026.
Vinh Truong is Founder and CEO of CMT Insurance Agency. He is also Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Duarte. Truong has held a seat on the Duarte Economic Development Commission, has served as a board member of the Santa Anita Family YMCA, and, in 2019, was appointed to participate in Duarte’s Financial Advisory Taskforce. He is also a member of the Los Angeles County Asian American Employee Association (LACAAEA) as an executive advisory council where he represents and advises the organization on matters related to Asian American Employees within LA County. Truong joins the Curriculum Board in the life agent representative seat, with a term ending on September 1, 2026.
CAARP Advisory Committee:
Michael Golden is Account Executive of Cal-Valley Insurance Services, Inc. Golden has been a licensed insurance broker for 36 years, concentrating on personal lines insurance and eventually incorporating commercial lines as well. Golden has been a member of the Western Insurance Agents Association (WIAA) for 30 years, serving in many office roles including Chairman of the Board for the state association and president of his local chapter. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the North Central Fire Protection District. Golden joins the CAARP Advisory Committee in the producer representative seat with a term ending on September 1, 2024.
COIN Advisory Board:
Rudy Espinoza is Executive Director of Inclusive Action for the City, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which is dedicated to bringing people together to build strong, local economies through community-based advocacy and transformative economic development initiatives. He also co-founded the LA Street Vendor Campaign, an initiative that legalized street vending in Los Angeles and decriminalized street vending in California with the signing of Senate Bill 946 (Lara, Chapter 459, Statutes of 2018). He serves on the Board of Directors for UNIDOS US, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Abode Community Housing, and the Center for Nonprofit Management. Espinoza has been reappointed to the COIN Advisory Board in the consumer advocacy group representative seat with a term ending on July 12, 2025.
Maïté Irakoze Baur is Chief Investment Officer for Farmers Insurance Group, where she is responsible for managing more than $25 billion of Farmers investments and $8 billion of retirement plan assets. Irakoze Baur has over 15 years of global experience. Prior to joining Farmers in 2016, she was Head of Investment Mandates and Treasury in Investment Management Switzerland for Zurich Insurance Group, where she had the responsibility to implement the investment strategy and liquidity management for various insurance balance sheets (~30billion Swiss Franc) based in Switzerland. Irakoze Baur has been reappointed to the COIN Advisory Board in the insurance investment executive representative seat with a term ending on July 12, 2025.
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.