OUR STAFF
About Us   >   Our Staff

Avalonís team of more than 120 employees are insurance experts and have been thoroughly trained to understand the special nuances of your industry. Our staff has decades of experience in managing your surety and insurance needs.

Executive Team and Corporate Management:

James Zuhlke, Executive Chairman

Jim entered the insurance business in 1976 and has since formed several publicly-traded companies. He assisted Avalon in completing our management buyout in October 2009. Jim obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Wisconsin.



Lisa Gelsomino, President/CEO
lgelsomino@avalonrisk.com

Lisa is a founding partner/owner of Avalon, having established our New York office. Based at our corporate office since 2002, she was promoted to President/CEO in 2008. Lisa received her MBA from Northwestern University, with focuses in Marketing, Management and International Business, and her Bachelorís Degree from Northern Illinois University. She is currently pursuing ARM and CPCU insurance certifications.


Michael Brown, Executive Vice President & East Coast Divisional Vice President
mbrown@avalonrisk.com

Based in Boston, Mike is a founding partner/owner of Avalon. As Executive Vice President, Mike oversees sales, marketing and national account activities. He is also the Divisional Vice President of the U.S. East Coast. He holds two bachelorís degrees from Purdue University in Economics and Psychology.



Christine Wade, Assistant Vice President – National Accounts
cwade@avalonrisk.com

As one of Avalonís first employees, Chris has more than 20 years of experience and helped open our Chicago office. In her current role, Chris and her staff provide dedicated service to multiple large companies. She also supervises Avalonís Centralized Bond Unit (CBU), which assists customers in managing Customs Bonds.


Nathan Baylor, Vice President – Surety & Information Technology
nbaylor@avalonrisk.com

One of Avalonís owners, Nathan joined the company in 2002. He currently oversees all information technology development, maintenance and helpdesk support, in addition to surety claims and underwriting. Nathan obtained a bachelorís degree in History and English from Valparaiso University.


Terrie Sapronetti, Assistant Vice President – Underwriting
tsapronetti@avalonrisk.com

Terrie has more than 30 years of experience in transportation insurance. As one of Avalonís first employees, she helped open our Los Angeles office. In Terrieís current role, she oversees all of Avalonís underwriting functions.



Dave Huck, Controller & Treasurer
dhuck@avalonrisk.com

Dave joined Avalon in 2010 and is currently the companyís Controller, overseeing Accounting, Accounts Receivable and Billing. He obtained an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Roosevelt University and a bachelorís degree in Finance from Loyola University. He also holds a CPCU designation.


Denise Chipman, Vice President – Operations
dchipman@avalonrisk.com

Denise is a founding partner/owner of Avalon and has worked for the company in many different capacities. She currently oversees Human Resources and Transportation Claims, in addition to being responsible for overall company efficiencies. Denise holds a bachelorís degree in Accounting from Northern Illinois University.

Regional Management based in the Eastern United States:

Michael Brown, Executive Vice President & East Coast Divisional Vice President
mbrown@avalonrisk.com

Based in Boston, Mike is a founding partner/owner of Avalon. As Executive Vice President, Mike oversees sales, marketing and national account activities. He is also the Divisional Vice President of the U.S. East Coast. He holds two bachelorís degrees from Purdue University in Economics and Psychology.



Kathy Schricker, Regional Vice President – Boston
kschricker@avalonrisk.com

Kathy joined Avalon in 1999 and is actively involved with several trade associations in the East Coast. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Indiana University.




Wanda Sample, Regional Vice President – New York
wsample@avalonrisk.com

Wanda joined Avalon in 2002 after working for a national customs broker/freight forwarder and has more than 25 years of experience in the customs broker and freight forwarder arenas. Working closely with the logistics community, Wanda is a board member of several trade associations. She has an MBA from Clarkson University.

Regional Management based in the Southern United States:

Kevin Sarsfield, Senior Vice President, Southern Division & International Development
ksarsfield@avalonrisk.com

Through decades of experience in the logistics industry, Kevin has developed extensive relationships within the Miami logistics arena, as well as international sales and new product research for Avalon. He oversees the activities of Avalonís Southern Division and is a founding partner/owner of Avalon.


Grant Goldsmith, Vice President - Business Development, Southern Division
ggoldsmith@avalonrisk.com

Grant has more than 20 years of insurance and transportation experience. He holds a bachelorís degree from the U.S. Military Academy, a masterís degree from Seton Hall University, and a Marine Diploma from Lloydís of London. He also holds CIC and CRM designations and is pursuing a Certified Property & Casualty Underwriter designation.


Leslie Carril, Regional Vice President – Miami
lcarril@avalonrisk.com

Leslie joined Avalon in 1998 and is one of our first employees. Fluent in Spanish, she maintains a strong relationship with Avalonís customers in the Miami region, as well as trade associations throughout Florida and Latin America.



Lisa Vranich, Regional Sales Manager
lvranich@avalonrisk.com

Based in our Atlanta office, Lisa coordinates sales expansions in the southern division and beyond. Her strong knowledge of the insurance and logistics industries allows her to develop tailored programs for customers.



Steve Earnhardt, Regional Manager
searnhardt@avalonrisk.com

Steve joined Avalon in 2008, opening our Charleston office. His 30 years of experience in the freight forwarding and brokerage industry provide a solid understanding of the needs of our customers.

Regional Management based in the Midwestern United States:

Robert Macher, Divisional Vice President
rmacher@avalonrisk.com

Robert is a founding partner/owner of Avalon and oversees our Chicago and Toronto offices. He is fluent in Spanish and active on several industry association boards and committees. Robert obtained his MBA from St. Thomas University and his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Florida International University.



Regional Management based in the Western United States:

Keith Sanchez, Divisional Vice President
ksanchez@avalonrisk.com

Keith is a founding partner/owner of Avalon and is now Vice President of our Western Division. He is also a past instructor at the Global Logistics Specialist program offered at California State University – Long Beach. Keith has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Finance from Westminster College.


Andrea Lanouette, Regional Vice President – Los Angeles
alanouette@avalonrisk.com

Andrea has more than 25 years of experience in the international transportation insurance arena and joined Avalon in September 2005. She is actively involved in the logistics industry and works closely with several trade associations in Southern California.



Deirdre Hudson, Regional Vice President – San Francisco
dhudson@avalonrisk.com

Deirdre joined Avalon in 2002 and has more than 20 years experience in working with the logistics community in different capacities. When Avalon acquired another specialized insurance broker in the courier industry, she was instrumental in the transition and continuation of servicing courier clients.


Jaki Ferenz, Vice President
jferenz@avalonrisk.com

In her role as Vice President, Jaki further develops Avalonís business through continuous sales efforts, expansion opportunities and partnerships. Based in Seattle, she maintains an active involvement with several trade associations in the Pacific Northwest and nationally.
TESTIMONIAL


ďAvalon is staffed with extremely knowledgeable professionals – at all levels.

They take great pride in analyzing a clientís needs, researching a variety of options, then presenting and explaining a program most suitable. Theyíre always available to answer questions of any nature, and their claims management is first rate.

Quick, reliable response is an absolute necessity for the forwarding, brokerage and logistics industries, and in our experience, Avalon Risk Management is second to none.Ē

       National Account Customer