NAIC Names Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Nickel New President-Elect
February 8, 2016 by Thomas Harman, Washington Bureau manager, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com)
WASHINGTON – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has elected Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel to the group’s recently vacated president-elect post.
The NAIC held a plenary meeting Feb. 7 in which it held elections for the president-elect, vice president and secretary-treasurer jobs following the resignation of Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark, who had been elected as the president-elect during the NAIC’s Fall National Meeting (Best’s News Service, Nov. 23, 2015).
Nickel, who had been vice president, is now set to assume the NAIC presidency next January once the current term of Missouri Director John Huff expires. Nickel was appointed to the commissioner’s post by Gov. Scott Walker in January 2011. Nickel worked for nearly 18 years as director of governmental and regulatory affairs for Church Mutual Insurance Co., based in Merrill, Wisconsin.
Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak, who had been secretary-treasurer, was elected vice president, putting her second in line to the presidency. McPeak, who has been Tennessee’s commissioner since 2011, is a member of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ Executive Committee and a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance.
To fill the secretary-treasurer vacancy, the NAIC chose Maine Superintendent Eric Cioppa, who defeated Washington Insurance Commissioner Michael Kreidler in the only contested spot.
Cioppa was nominated to the superintendent’s job by Gov. Paul LePage in 2011. Cioppa replaced former superintendent Mila Kofman, who resigned midway through a five-year Senate reappointment, citing differences with LePage over health policy (Best’s News Service, Sept. 12, 2011). Cioppa joined the Maine Bureau of Insurance in 1988 as a statistician and served as supervisor of the workers’ compensation section before becoming deputy superintendent in 1998.
“We are fortunate to have so many members who are willing to step up and serve our dynamic state regulatory system,” Huff said in a written statement. “One of the greatest strengths of our association is our ability to quickly adapt to challenges and changes. I’m pleased to welcome a new member to the leadership team and am grateful for the commitment demonstrated by colleagues to fill these important roles.”
While NAIC officer positions usually see those chosen as secretary-treasurer move up through the vice-president and president-elect positions into the presidency, Huff was elected as president-elect over Clark in early 2014 after former president-elect and Pennsylvania Commissioner Michael Consedine resigned (Best’s News Service, Feb. 9, 2015).
The NAIC continues its search for a new chief executive officer, as Sen. Ben Nelson left the job in January after nearly three years. He had announced his plans last fall (Best’s News Service, Oct. 9, 2015). While the spot remains vacant, the NAIC has chosen its Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer Andy Beal as acting chief executive officer.