Honoring the CLM Professionals of the Year Award Winners
Kevin O’Toole, Bob Baer and Angela Henderson were named CLM Professionals of the Year during the 2014 CLM Annual Conference in Boca Raton, Fla. Each nominated professional was evaluated based on their passion for the industry, their contribution to the success of their company or client, and how they exemplify the CLM Mission — to further the claims and litigation management discipline through collaboration, education, communication, and inclusion.
“In just our third year of this award program, we were thrilled to receive so many tremendous nominations. We had so many deserving individuals this year that we selected four finalists in each category, rather than the three finalists we’ve selected in past years. The finalists and winners all exemplify the excellence we strive to promote throughout the entire industry,” says Adam Potter, Executive Director of the CLM. “We are tremendously grateful to Ringler Associates, the sponsor of this award program.”
Kevin O’Toole, Partner, O’Toole Fernandez Weiner Van Lieu LLC, co-founded his current firm in 2008. Those who nominated O’Toole commented on his practical and learned approach to cases he has successfully led to resolution. “Kevin takes a very practical approach to some very complicated environmental and mass tort cases. He has been able to separate the larger issues into smaller ones, which has lead to some unique and favorable resolutions,” one nominee wrote.
O’Toole is a frequent speaker at industry events where he graciously shares his industry expertise and his approach to handling complex litigation in a time-efficient manner that helps alleviate unnecessary fees. He serves as a mentor to younger professionals in his firm and in the industry.
In addition to his role as Partner of his firm, O’Toole has been active in politics for all of his adult life — first serving as on his town council, later elected mayor and currently serving as New Jersey State Senator. He’s dedicated to helping his constituents who don’t know how to help themselves. He works to help make sure veterans and senior citizens are receiving their benefits and know how to access resources available to them.
Bob Baer, Claim Executive, Arrowpoint Capital, has been with Arrowpoint and its predecessor company since 1991. He first served as a senior trial attorney with Arrowpoint Capital’s house counsel operation where he tried numerous cases. In 2004, he transferred to the claims team where he led the implementation of the company’s Litigation Management Project, reducing panel counsel from 3,000 to 34 primary firms, replacing house counsel and updating the company’s vendor roster. He was able to transfer 14,000 matters to new counsel as part of the implantation of a novel alternative fee program.
In 2006, Baer was promoted to his current position where he executed Arrowpoint’s Claims Litigation Strategy, which he had developed in his earlier role. He successfully wound down shorter tail lines of business and then assumed a leadership role in construction defect and workers’ compensation claims.
Baer is a frequent developer and speaker of educational programs including those addressing insurance, claims handling, litigation management and legal bill review. He helped develop and teach several courses of the CLM Claims College School of Casualty Claims. He was also integral in helping to develop the CLM’s first-ever Medical Legal Summit in 2014.
His nominator wrote, “Bob is dedicated to the field of litigation management. He clearly understands the financial impact on a well-crafted and strategic initiative. He does not hesitate to assist attorneys, risk managers and claims professionals who seek his advice. Throughout his career, he has seen litigation management from all sides of the industry — attorney, litigation manager, legal bill auditor and claims executive.”
The CLM Professionals of the Year award program recognizes one individual in each of the following categories: outside counsel, litigation management, and claims management. Four finalists were chosen in each category based on the nominee’s commitment to the profession, leadership in the industry and contribution to the success of their company or clients. Congratulations to all the finalists.
- Dan Costello, Daniel P. Costello & Associates
- Bill Nebeker, Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP
- Kevin O’Toole, O’Toole Fernandez Weiner Van Lieu, LLC
- Miranda Soto, Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel LLP
- Bob Baer, Claim Executive, Arrowpoint Capital
- Jill Dulich, Senior Director, Marriott International, Inc.
- Michelle Stegmann, Nationwide Manager/Enviro & Regional Manager/Crisis Management Claims, Starr Indemnity & Liability Company
- Jennifer Wojciechowski, Senior Claims Technical Specialist – Casualty, Community Association Underwriters of America, Inc.
- Jeff Bilitz, Claims Director, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company
- Angela Henderson, Claims Manager, BerkleyNet
- Michael Mattix, General Counsel, Chief Claims Officer, Armed Forces Insurance
- Caryn Siebert, President and CEO, Carl Warren & Company