Faculty NameJay Williams
Jay Williams is a National Faculty Member and an Educational Consultant for The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. He earned his CIC designation in 1996 and his CRM designation in 2004.
He is a veteran of the insurance industry, starting his career in 1979. His experience includes 21 years in the agency business, nine years at the Florida Association of Insurance Agents, and seven years as an insurance company and PEO executive. Jay also served as the interim CEO for Applied Client Network, the user-group association for agents using Applied Systems platforms.
Jay has been teaching formal insurance classes for over 20 years, including both technical insurance and E&O loss control classes for FAIA. He was part of the IIABA Loss Control Working Group for 5 years and also served on the Professional Liability Committee.
His experience on the agency, association, and company sides gives Jay a uniquely rounded perspective on the insurance industry. His most recent position was the CEO of a construction risk wholesale operation. In addition to his work as an insurance educator, Jay serves as an expert witness, a consultant to insurance companies, associations, agencies, and industry-related partners, and an E&O auditor.
Faculty NameKirk Johnson
Prior to joining The National Alliance, Kirk was a home office staff underwriter for a national insurance carrier. Overall, he has over 33 years of experience with three national insurance companies, as well as two regional carriers. Kirk has enjoyed a wide variety of experiences in commercial underwriting, product development, state filing and compliance, reinsurance, technical writing and training.
After honorably serving the U.S. Navy, Kirk began his insurance career in the mailroom. Attributing his success to a lifetime of learning, he earned the Associate in General Insurance in 1991. In 2002, he received the Certified Insurance Counselor designation and in 2016, he received the Certified Risk Manager designation.
Faculty NameApril Nicole Sherrill Wyatt
Nikki Wyatt is a Claims Team Leader with Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company. Penn National Insurance is a regional P&C Insurance Carrier on the Eastern portion of the United States. Nikki started her claims carrier with Penn National in 1995 where she has remained throughout her insurance carrier.
Nikki oversees the automobile line of business in claims for the states of North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. She has 11 adjusters that report directly to her. She also trains Claim Representative Trainees for Penn National Insurance. She enjoys teaching college graduates about insurance and claims handling in this program. She developed the curriculum for this program, whereas candidates have been successfully trained, hired and promoted throughout the company.
Nikki also works as a Claims Alliance for the independent agents in her territory. She is charged with making sure the customer experience during the claims process is simple, timely and professional on all levels. Her focus is on customer service at all times. Therefore, the agencies she works with are able to have a claims contact to help them and their insureds through any claims issues or concerns. She is proud to have had a long carrier in claims and have the ability to teach others to love claims as well.
Nikki earned a degree in Economics. She has obtained many designations throughout her career, but is most proud of her CIC designation obtained in 2018.
Faculty NameMelvin Russell
Mel Russell is CEO and President of Russell Insurance Consulting LLC, which specializes in property and casualty insurance consulting in the areas of executive leadership, underwriting, product development, marketing/sales, and reinsurance. He is also Vice President of Monarch National Insurance Company in Sunrise, Florida. Monarch is a homeowners carrier focusing on middle- and upper-income clientele. Mel holds a B.A. in English Literature from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. He resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Mel holds the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation, which he received in 2000. He is a strong advocate for continuing education in the insurance field, and currently serves as member and Past Chairperson of the National Board of Governors of CISR (Certified Insurance Service Representatives) in Austin, Texas. He has done curriculum development work for The National Alliance as well. He is also a charter member and Past Chairperson of the FAIA (Florida Association of Insurance Agents) National Alliance Education Committee in Tallahassee, Florida.
Mel has over 40 years' experience in the property and casualty industry. He began his career in 1977 in Boston as a Commercial Lines Underwriter and then as Senior Underwriter with Fireman's Fund Insurance Company. He spent his first 12 years in the New England market, initially with Fireman's Fund and subsequently with General Accident Insurance Company, where he was a Senior Underwriter, Underwriting Supervisor, and Commercial Lines Underwriting Manager. He moved to the General Accident branch office in Orlando, Florida in 1989, where he ran the Personal Lines Underwriting, Commercial Lines Underwriting, Loss Control, and Premium Audit Departments. In 1999 Mel was a founding employee at United Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPC Insurance), where he served as Chief Underwriting Officer, Corporate Secretary, head of Marketing, Senior Vice President, Executive Vice President, and President. He also served as Executive Vice President, Chief Underwriting Officer, and Director of Sales & Marketing at Heritage Insurance Company. Most of his time in the industry over the last 30 years has been spent in management and executive leadership; additionally, he gained valuable experience doing production underwriting of mid-market and large complex commercial accounts in both New England and Florida.