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Commissioner Lara announces multiple appointments to key insurance-related boards and committees

News: 2024 Press Release

For Release: March 6, 2024
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Commissioner Lara announces multiple appointments to key insurance-related boards and committees

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today announced several appointments to help advance the California Department of Insurance’s vision of insurance protection for all Californians.

These appointments include naming Ronald Coleman Baeza as the newest member of the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee (CLHIGA) Board of Directors, Samantha Tradelius as the newest member of the Curriculum Board,reappointmed members Andrew Chick and Heather Pierce to the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) Board of Governors, reappointed member Debra Gore-Mann to the California Organized Investment Network (COIN) Advisory Board, reappointed members Linda Akutagawa, Imelda Alejandrino, Annalisa Barrett, and Cecil Plummer to the Insurance Diversity Task Force, and reappointed member Jeremy Smith to the California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) Governing Committee.

“These appointments underscore our commitment to protecting consumer interests and promoting a robust insurance industry in California,” said Commissioner Lara. “The expertise and diverse viewpoints of these appointees will help complement our efforts to ensure a competitive and sustainable insurance market, ultimately benefiting consumers and businesses statewide.”

CLHIGA consists of all insurance companies licensed to sell life and health insurance, and annuities in California, and it protects certain policyholders against a company’s financial failure. The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall oversight of CLHIGA, which includes approving contracts and reinsurance treaties, authorizing assessments, borrowing money, taking legal actions, and serving on committees that oversee audit and investment functions. The Board consists of up to thirteen member insurers who are selected by the board members and are subject to the approval of the Commissioner.AB 1104 (Chapter 236, Statutes of 2019) added two additional members to the board who represent the public generally and are appointed directly by the Commissioner.

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 CIGA Board of Governors oversees the guarantee association’s general operations and management in order to protect policyholders in the event of an insurance company insolvency. Established in 1969 by the Governor and California State Legislature, CIGA comprises all insurance companies admitted to sell homeowners, workers’ compensation, automobile, and other specified property and casualty lines of insurance in California.

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 Insurance Diversity Task Force oversees the Department’s Insurance Diversity Initiative, which encourages insurers to advance diversity of insurance company corporate boards and increase procurement contracts with diverse businesses owned by women, veterans and disabled veterans, members of historically disadvantaged communities, and LGBTQ+ people. Additionally, the Task Force makes recommendations to the Commissioner regarding innovative ways to increase diversity within the insurance industry. Last year, Commissioner Lara introduced the first-ever Insurance Diversity Index, a groundbreaking benchmarking tool for a more inclusive insurance industry.

The WCIRB Governing Committee sets policy, oversees WCIRB management, and reviews all issues involving pure premium rates, classifications, rating plans, rating systems, manual rules and policy, and endorsement forms. The WCIRB is a private organization licensed by the Department for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and compiling rating data, with funding coming from assessments of its insurance company members. All workers’ compensation insurance companies in California are required by law to be members of the WCIRB.  

The next CLHIGA Board of Directors meeting will be held on May 7, 2024, the next Curriculum Board meeting is July 18, 2024, the next CIGA Board of Governors meeting is May 7 and May 8, 2024, the next COIN Advisory Board meeting is March 14, 2024, the next Insurance Diversity Task Force meeting is March 7, 2024, and the next WCIRB Governing Committee meeting is April 17, 2024.

More details are available at: All positions are uncompensated.

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Media Notes:

Newly appointed members include:


CLHIGA Board of Directors:

Ronald Coleman Baeza is the Managing Policy Director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN). Coleman Baeza leads statewide legislative and budgetary advocacy and statewide mobilization of CPEHN’s community partners on a broad range of policies, including: health equity, racial equity, health systems, access, public health, and behavioral health. He is a board member of One Community Health and prior board member for Health Access California. Coleman Baeza joins the CLHIGA Board of Directors as a public member representative.

Curriculum Board:

Samantha Tradelius is the Vice President of Operations of LyteSpeed Learning. Tradelius is a commercial property insurance broker with 25 years of industry expertise. She specializes in commercial lines with a focus on property, professional, and workers’ compensation. Tradelius is the Founder and Executive Director of Sparkle Foundation, a 501(c)(3) with a mission of helping single mothers through enrichment programs, micro-loans to female-owned small businesses, and connecting women to a vast business network. She serves on the Board of Directors for Sparkle Foundation Incorporated. Tradelius joins the Curriculum Board in the agent/broker representative seat with a term ending on March 6, 2027.

CIGA Board of Governors:

Andrew Chick is President & CEO of Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Company. He is a member of the Care West Insurance Company Board of Directors and a member of the National Association of Bar Related Insurance Companies Board of Directors. Chick has been reappointed to the CIGA Board of Governors as the representative of Lawyers’ Mutual in a member insurer seat with a term ending on December 31, 2026.

Heather Pierce is Assistant Vice President and Actuary for State Farm. She is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and is also a member of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) Research Advisory Council. Pierce has been reappointed to the CIGA Board of Governors as the representative of State Farm in a member insurer seat with a term ending on December 31, 2026.

COIN Advisory Board:

Debra Gore-Mann is the President & CEO of The Greenlining Institute. Gore-Mann has over 25+ years of leadership in nonprofit and private research universities and over ten years of private sector business development expertise having worked in investment banking, international infrastructure development and engineering. She serves on multiple nonprofit and foundation boards that strive to serve communities whose works include criminal justice, youth life and educational opportunities, youth and young adults in sports, and economic opportunity. Gore-Mann has been reappointed to the COIN Advisory Board as a representative with experience seeking investments for low-to-moderate-income or rural communities with a term ending on March 23, 2026.

Insurance Diversity Task Force:

Imelda Alejandrino is the Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director of AP42 Integrated Marketing, where she has led the charge by forming a top-quality team driven by a successful combination of creative quality, strategic focus, and client services. Alejandrino also serves on the Leadership Forum as the Vice Chair of the Global Service Team for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). She is a marketing volunteer and contributor to WBEC-Pacific (WBENC regional partner), Women Who Lead, and the Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council (WRMSDC), a regional partner of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) which advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connects them to corporate members. Alejandrino has been reappointed to the Task Force as an advocate/representative of minority business enterprises with a term ending March 23, 2026.

Cecil Plummer is the Chief Executive Officer of and iTalent Digital company. Plummer oversees operations and strategy of’s Comparative AI solution for talent acquisition.. Prior to his current role, Plummer was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council, which works to create jobs and wealth for people of color by supporting and promoting minority owned businesses and connecting them with contract opportunities with Fortune 1000 companies and large public entities. He has over 20 years of executive leadership experience and possesses a solid background in strategic sourcing, change management, performance and process improvement, supplier diversity, strategic planning, and risk management. Plummer has been reappointed to the Task Force as an advocate/representative of minority business enterprises with a term ending on March 23, 2026.

Annalisa Barrett is a Senior Advisor at KPMG Board Leadership Center, where she informs corporate directors about emerging corporate governance issues and conducts research on board diversity and governance. As a nationally recognized expert in corporate governance, she frequently speaks at conferences around the country addressing issues important to corporate directors, governance professionals, investors, and other stakeholders. She serves on the board of Corporate Directors Forum, the Research Advisory Council for Glass Lewis, the California Partners Project Gender Equity Advisory Council, and the Southern California Advisory Council of the Society for Corporate Governance. Barrett is an adjunct professor of corporate governance at the Knauss School of Business, University of San Diego. Barrett has been reappointed to the Task Force as an advocate/expert of governing board diversity with a term ending on March 23, 2026.

Linda Akutagawa is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) an organization through which she is committed to developing Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) leaders. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Alliance for Board Diversity, a national organization focused on advancing gender and ethnic/racial diversity on corporate boards, of which LEAP is a partner organization. In addition, she is a Board Member of the AAPI Equity Alliance (a co-founding organization of #StopAAPIHate), a member of the Asian/Asian American Institute Advisory Board at California State University at Los Angeles (CSULA) and a Board member of Japanese American Community Services (JACS). Akutagawa has been reappointed to the Task Force as an advocate/expert of governing board diversity with a term ending on March 23, 2026.

WCIRB Governing Committee:

Jeremy Smith is the Chief of Staff at the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. Prior to that he served as the Deputy Legislative Director for the Council for 10 years. Prior to his current role, Smith worked as a Legislative Advocate at the California Labor Federation. He began his career in organized labor as the Legislative Director of the Illinois AFL-CIO in 2001 after staffing the Senate Labor and Employment Committee in the Illinois State Senate. Smith has been reappointed to the WCIRB Governing Committee in the organized labor representative seat with a term ending on March 23, 2026.


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 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.

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