Board of Advisors


Mr. Alan R Badanes
Alan recently retired after a 16-year career at Swiss Re. Since 2013, he co-led Swiss Re US Life Reinsurance business and was a Member of Swiss Re’s Americas Management Team. At Swiss Re, Alan worked in London, Zurich, and New York with clients across the globe in the Property-Casualty and Life & Health industries. During the 2008 financial crisis, he formed Swiss Re’s Global Business Development unit, which supported clients’ capital needs during that period and developed a range of reinsurance-based capital management solutions.

Prior to joining Swiss Re, Alan was a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase in the Investment Banking Department. Having joined Chase Manhattan Bank in 1981, he spent three years in Europe before joining Chase’s new Insurance Banking Department in New York in 1987. Moving to London in 1991, Alan built Chase’s insurance client franchise in Europe. With the 2000 JPMorgan merger, he continued to lead the bank’s European insurance team until returning to New York in 2003. In his time with Chase and JPMorgan, Alan was a leader in innovative financing solutions as well as M&A in the insurance industry.

A Cincinnati native, Alan graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in History in 1979 and earned a master’s in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in 1980. Alan and his wife, Ellie, live in New Canaan, Connecticut.

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Mr. Thomas Cassady
Thomas D. Cassady is president and CEO of USI Midwest, LLC, which is a part of USI Insurances Services, a national insurance brokerage firm. He has responsibility for 22 offices in the Midwest that include 150 salespeople, 500 service associates and over 1.5 billion dollars of premium. He entered the insurance field shortly after graduating from the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Cassady has earned professional designations as Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU); Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU); and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). He was a trustee of the Independent Insurance Agents of Ohio and a member and past president of the Cincinnati Insurance Board. He founded Queen City Insurance, which he sold to USI in 1999.

Mr. Cassady has been active in the Cincinnati community, serving on the Board of Directors for Beech Acres Parenting Center (where he was President 2007-09). He has served on the Board of Advisors for UC’s McMicken College of Arts and Sciences and Beta Theta Pi International Fraternity as Vice President and General Secretary (1988-1992). He is former President of the boards of both Mount Notre Dame High School and The Milford Spiritual Center’s Board.

A 1976 graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where he majored in history, Mr. Cassady was active in numerous extracurricular organizations. He was president of Beta Theta Pi, attorney general of student government and vice-president of the Inter-fraternity Council. He became a member of Cincinnatus, Men of Metro, Sigma Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) and was awarded the Fisher-Krieder award for the Greek man of the year in 1976.

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Mr. David Eslick
David L. Eslick is chairman and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, a business unit of Marsh Inc. that is dedicated to serving the insurance needs of small to mid-sized U.S. companies.

Mr. Eslick, who has nearly 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, joined Marsh in January 2009.  Most recently, he was chairman, president and CEO of USI Holdings.  He led USI’s rapid expansion during the past five years to become the ninth largest insurance brokerage in the U.S., negotiating and completing more than 50 acquisitions in the process. 

In October 2008, Marsh announced the establishment of Marsh & McLennan Agency to be one of the premiere insurance agencies in the United States, offering commercial property and casualty, directors & officers liability, surety, employee benefits and personal lines products to customers through a dedicated sales and service force in retail locations across the U.S. 

He began his insurance career with Ohio National Life in 1979, and held positions with Prudential Insurance and Acordia (now Wells Fargo Insurance) before joining USI. 

He earned an MBA degree from Xavier University.  A member of the Young Presidents Organization, Mr. Eslick serves on the board of directors of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. 

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Ms. Michelle Gillis
Michelle (“Shelly”) A. Gillis serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of American Financial Group (“AFG”) with responsibilities for Human Resources, Corporate Communication, Corporate Marketing and Branding, Real Estate and various shared service areas. Prior to this role, she served as Vice President overseeing Human Resources. Since joining Great American Insurance Company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of AFG) in 2004, Shelly held various senior human resource management positions. Previously, Ms. Gillis spent several years in senior human resources roles at Fifth Third Bank.

Shelly holds her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Master of Arts in Labor and Employment Relations from the University of Cincinnati. She currently serves on the Human Resources Committee for the YWCA of Great Cincinnati and volunteers as a mentor at Olyer Elementary as part of the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati’s “Cincinnati Reads” program.

Shelly and her husband, Joe, have two children, Sam and Sophia, and reside in Green Township.

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Mr. Franklin Nutter
Frank Nutter is President of the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA).

Mr. Nutter currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, an adjunct to the Harvard University School of Public Health, the Advisory Board of the OECD’s International Network for the Financial Management of Large Scale Disasters and the RAND Center on Catastrophic Risk Management and Compensation, and the Carl H. Lindner III Center for Insurance and Risk Management Board of Directors. He has recently served on the Council of the American Meteorological Society, the Board of the University Center for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of universities managing the National Center for Atmospheric Research sponsored by the National Science Foundation,

He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Worker’s Compensation Research Institute, the Board of Overseers of the Institute for Civil Justice, a subsidiary of the Rand Corporation and on the Board of the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences.

Mr. Nutter has a Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Nutter was an officer in the U.S. Navy and is a Vietnam veteran.

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Mr. Ken Stecher
Kenneth W. Stecher is Chairman of the Board of Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CFC), an S&P 500 company headquartered in Fairfield, Ohio. CFC operates through seven insurance and financial services subsidiaries. He also serves as Chairman and director of several of those subsidiaries, including The Cincinnati Insurance Company (CIC), CFC’s lead property casualty insurance subsidiary. 

From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Stecher was president and chief executive officer of the company and its lead subsidiary, The Cincinnati Insurance Company. For both companies, he was chief financial officer from 2001 to 2008 and executive vice president from 2006 to 2008. He also was chairman of the lead subsidiary from 2006 to 2008. He served as senior vice president for both companies until 2006, beginning in 1999 for the company and in 1997 for its lead subsidiary. He was secretary of both companies from 1999 to 2008, and treasurer of the company from 1999 to 2008. Mr. Stecher advanced through the ranks of the company’s life insurance subsidiaries from 1967 to 1982, when his responsibilities within the accounting area broadened to include property casualty insurance accounting. He is a trustee since 2009 of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, and past president of the Insurance Accounting & Systems Association, Southwestern Ohio Chapter. He earned a Master of Business Administration in finance from Xavier University after graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. His activities have included service and leadership on nonprofit community boards that support high school and college institutions and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

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Mr. Steve Valerius
Steven J. Valerius, FLMI®, CPA, is President of the Individual Division of Ameritas. He has also served in various other management capacities since joining the company in 1986. Mr. Valerius is an MDRT Foundation trustee, having served as board liaison on the Grants Committee, and also served on LIMRA’s Strategic Marketing Issues Committee. He graduated with his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati.