Past Articles - Education

Past Featured Articles

Deputy Commissioner of Finance Earns PIR

SPIR candidates group photo

The Management and Leadership Effectiveness Class was held in Kansas City at the NAIC Central Office in November. SPIR candidates attended this three day course to earn credit towards their designation.

Back row - Peter Rao, Elizabeth Dwyer, Paula Pallozzi, former Wyoming Commissioner Tom Hirsig, Mark Hooker
Front row - Pauline Lynch, Jeannie Keller, Tom Whitener, Kathleen Nakasone, Norman "Chip" Wagoner

Deputy Commissioner of Finance Earns PIR

Oklahoma commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Finance shaking hands

"I appreciate the encouragement offered by Commissioner Doak. I found the courses to be very rewarding and I believe that regulators will benefit from taking the courses."
Joel Sander, PIR

Oklahoma Commissioner John D. Doak congratulates Joel Sander Deputy Commissioner of Finance on earning the Professional in Insurance Regulation (PIR) designation.

New Mexico Superintendent Awards APIR Designation

New Mexico Superintendent John Franchini, David Ault, APIR Designee and Mark Jordan, Exams Bureau Chief

David Ault, a budget analyst in the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission’s Insurance Division, was recently awarded his Associate Professional of Insurance Regulation certificate by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).  Ault said completing the NAIC’s APIR program was an important step in developing his career in the insurance business. New Mexico State Superintendent of Insurance John Franchini said he is encouraging all Insurance Division employees to gain their certifications.”

From right: New Mexico Superintendent John Franchini, David Ault, APIR Designee and Mark Jordan, Exams Bureau Chief .

Arkansas Regulator Awarded
PIR Designation

Arkansas Regulator Awarded PIR Designation

“The NAIC Designation Program was very interactive with video lectures, discussions, team projects and gave you an opportunity to communicate with industry and other state regulators. I found the program to be challenging and would highly recommend the Program to any state regulator who is interested in professional growth and development.  There is a wide selection of courses to choose from and it allows you to focus on specific areas of knowledge. So, whether you are new to insurance regulation, or a seasoned regulator, the Program is well worth the time you spend in furthering your knowledge of insurance regulation and keeping up on current issues. “      
  -Kim Johnson, PIR

From left: Arkansas Commissioner Jay Bradford, Kim Johnson, PIR Designee and Mel Anderson, Deputy Commissioner of Financial Regulations.

Indiana Regulators Earn APIR

Indiana Regulators Earn APIR

“The NAIC Designation Program is a good tool to help employees better understand what their fellow colleagues who work in other divisions do on a day-to-day basis, and I think it will enhance the synergy between our different divisions”
-Stephen W. Robertson, Indiana Commissioner of Insurance

Front Row left to right: Logan Harrison, Holly Williams, Meggan Brumbaugh and Debra Webb Back Row left to right: Dawn Bopp, Robert Hummel, Bryan Shade, Tina Korty and Nick Mann

Three Regulators Earn Top NAIC Designation

Three Regulators Earn Top NAIC Designation

Three regulators were recognized at the Commissioners Roundtable during the Fall National Meeting in Washington D.C. for achieving the NAIC’s top educational designation, the Senior Professional in Insurance Regulation (SPIR). NAIC President and Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan E. Voss and NAIC Designation Advisory Board Chair and Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica J. Lindeen presented SPIR designations to Jim Hattaway, Insurance Examination Supervisor, Alabama Insurance Department and Peg Brown, Deputy Commissioner Consumer Affairs, Colorado Division of Insurance. Sara Gosnell, Chief Regulatory Specialist with the North Carolina Department of Insurance, was also recognized for earning the SPIR, though she was not in attendance.

From left: North Carolina Commissioner Wayne Goodwin recognizes Sara Gosnell for earning the SPIR Designation.

New York In the News

New York In the News

Richard Ramos became the first New York regulator to earn the APIR Designation. In April the New York Department enrolled 27 trainees and they have already completed their first APIR course. Richard said "The APIR has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to learn from and interact with regulators across the country (and our U.S. territories). I think the NAIC will be of growing importance to all of us in the future and we should not miss the opportunity to learn from the wealth of knowledge and experience it offers to us". Congratulations Richard!

Above: Richard Ramos with New York Superintendent James Wrynn

Recognizing Pennsylvania Designees

Recognizing Pennsylvania Designees

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has been very active in encouraging staff to earn the APIR and PIR NAIC Designations. Deputy Director Steve Johnson said “Commissioner Consedine and I are extremely proud of our staff for earning the NAIC Professional in Insurance Regulation designations. Their successful participation in the NAIC Insurance Regulator Professional Designation Program shows their commitment to the highest quality in state insurance financial regulation. The program is a testament to the NAIC’s dedication to promoting the knowledge and professionalism of state insurance regulators. Congratulations to our staff and the NAIC for doing this important work!”

Back Row (from left):  Mike Coulson, Steve Allen, Jonathan Pickett, Phyllis Little, Nick Murray, Dave Phelps 
Middle Row (from left):  Kaushik Patel, Lori Bercher, Chris Keller, Neel Vaidya, Cris Bybee, Bob Brackbill, Steve Yerger
Seated (from left):  Deputy Insurance Commissioner Steve Johnson, Insurance Commissioner Mike Consedine, Robert Kotal, Mike Kelly
Not pictured: Eric Baker, Sharon Nyman

Louisiana Regulator receives PIR Designation

Louisiana Regulator receives PIR Designation

Commissioner James Donelon is seen here presenting the PIR Designation to Arlene Knighten at the Louisiana Department of Insurance. Arlene is an Attorney Supervisor with the Department. Commissioner Donelon said “I am very proud of Arlene and her accomplishment as the first Louisiana Department of Insurance employee to receive the PIR Designation which is a testament to her expertise in insurance regulation. I join many others at the Department in extending my appreciation for the high level of professionalism that she brings to the job. Congratulations to her for this achievement.”

Louisiana Commissioner James Donelon with Arlene Knighten, Attorney Supervisor with the Louisiana Department of Insurance

Montana Regulator receives PIR Designation

Montana Regulator receives PIR Designation

Michelle Scaccia was presented the PIR Designation by Commissioner Monica Lindeen. "The knowledge that I have gained from the various education courses required for this designation have vastly improved my understanding of the insurance industry. Where the APIR program was a great introduction to the insurance industry and its regulation, the PIR program expanded and refined those basic concepts with more in-depth material that has helped me be more proficient in my daily job duties. I highly recommend this designation program to all regulators who want to have a better overall understanding of the complexities of insurance regulation." Michelle Scaccia (MT)

Montana Commissioner Monica Lindeen with Michelle Scaccia

First Nevada APIR Awarded

First Nevada APIR Awarded

“The training was really valuable and will assist me in my job as an analyst. The courses gave me the tools I need to be a better analyst, while reinforcing some concepts that I already knew.”
Ken Stern, APIR

Ken Stern with Former Commissioner Scott Kipper, Nevada Division of Insurance

Florida Regulators Represent APIR, PIR, and SPIR Designation Levels

Florida Regulators Represent APIR, PIR, and SPIR Designation Levels

In January of this year, Florida became the first state to have designees at all three levels of the NAIC Designation Program. Vegic Sheppard earned the Associate Professional in Insurance Regulation (APIR) and Valerie Reglat earned the Professional in Insurance Regulation (PIR). Both have been employed with the Florida Department for eight years. Stephen Szypula is the only candidate who has earned the highest designation, the Senior Professional in Insurance Regulation (SPIR). Mr. Szypula has been with the state since 1989.

The Designees made the following comments about the program:

"This program was challenging and very rewarding. It introduced me to areas of regulation that I had no experience in. I really enjoyed the courses." Vegic Sheppard, APIR

"The process of working towards the designation was just as rewarding as receiving the designation itself.  The insight and knowledge I received from interacting with other regulators and the NAIC staff is invaluable." Valerie Reglat, PIR

"The designation program is an opportunity to expand your knowledge while attaining a professional designation that demonstrates to others your understanding of a variety of insurance issues routinely dealt with by regulators." Stephen Szypula, SPIR


Regulator Comments - Education Designation

NAIC Designation Program - What Regulators Have to Say
LeAnn Crow Profile

“I had worked at the Kansas Insurance Department for about one year when I found the NAIC Designation Program. Because I was new to the regulation of insurance, I quickly enrolled in the APIR Designation courses and began my journey through the NAIC classes. I really enjoyed the online course atmosphere and one of the highlights for me was being able to actively discuss the coursework with other regulators across the country taking the same class. I completed the PIR Designation and look forward to starting the SPIR coursework this year. Thank you to the NAIC for offering a respected and trusted Designation Program as well as to Commissioner Selzer for his support in his staff’s education endeavors.”

LeAnn Crow
Kansas Insurance Department

Suma Mathew Profile

“The course content was extremely valuable to my job as a Financial Analyst. I had an opportunity to get to know other regulators and their personal job related experiences. I recommend the NAIC Designation Program to anyone wishing to improve their knowledge as an insurance regulator. Furthermore, I greatly appreciate the encouragement offered by Commissioner Doak.”

Suma Mathew, PIR
Oklahoma Insurance Dept.

Jason Lapham Profile

"Participating in the NAIC Designation Program has been an invaluable experience. Too often insurance regulators can become compartmentalized as they focus on their specific areas of expertise. By providing opportunities to explore subjects outside of my day-to-day duties, the Designation Program has strengthened my appreciation for the overall mission of insurance regulation and highlights the need for regulators to understand the importance of the role each of us plays in ensuring a fair, competitive, and financially sound insurance marketplace. I wholeheartedly recommend anyone wishing to enhance their knowledgebase and improve their abilities as regulators enroll in the NAIC Designation Program."

Jason Lapham
Kansas Insurance Department

Tom Whitener Profile

“The NAIC Designation Program has truly supported and challenged me as a student through an assorted learning approach of visual presentations, group discussions and time-specific exercises. Each completed course expands my insurance knowledge and allows me to discover more advanced features of several regulatory topics. By having the flexibility of online courses, I am able to study when it is convenient for me. I honor the distinction of being recognized as the first person to receive the PIR designation in the state of WV.”

Tom Whitener, PIR
WV Offices of the Insurance Commissioner

Cheryl Charleswell Profile

"The NAIC Designation Program, thus far, has been very beneficial as a refresher, and as a tool that enables me to keep up with the current events in the insurance industry.  As Chief Examiner, I seek to encourage all examiners to enroll in the program.  I commend the examiners of my Division who have not only enrolled, but have gone on to achieve the APIR and the PIR levels of the designation.  It is my belief that if supervisors participate in the program we will be more empowered to provide effective guidance. What better way is there to encourage our staff to register for the courses than to show them that we, too, are involved?  

As a supervisor, I am aware that the insurance industry is not static or rigid, but constantly evolving, which means that regulators cannot be complacent with the methods utilized to regulate the industry.  Since no one regulator knows it all, it behooves all regulators, supervisors included, to be part of a growing network in its fight to prevent insolvency and consequently protect consumers, which is our main focus.  The designation courses are continuously revised and updated to point us in the right direction."

Cheryl Charleswell, APIR
Chief Examiner
Virgin Islands Division of Banking & Insurance

Dwight Radel Profile

"The NAIC Designation Program offers an excellent opportunity for regulators to expand their understanding of the insurance industry. The curriculum of courses offered was extensive and covered current hot topics. The availability to take courses online was very beneficial to me from a timesaving standpoint and the flexibility that it affords. I highly recommend the Program to any state insurance regulator interested in professional growth and development."

Dwight Radel, PIR
(shown above with former Commissioner Hudson)
Ohio Department of Insurance

Dan Applegarth Profile

I have really enjoyed the PIR program. It has enhanced my skills as a regulator by increasing my knowledge of both the industry and the regulatory tools that I have at my disposal. One of my favorite things about the program is the opportunity to attend instructor-led NAIC courses and associate with other regulators. There is no substitute for learning from other regulators personal experiences.

Dan Applegarth, PIR
Utah Department of Insurance

Vanessa Richards Profile

“Through the NAIC Designation Program I have been able to work, learn, accomplish and excel in insurance regulatory areas outside of my duties. The program gave me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge beyond the basic insurance scope and think outside the box.” 

Vanessa Richards
Virgin Islands
Division of Banking and Insurance

David Altmaier Profile

"The APIR program was a well rounded program that gave me a clear picture of how I fit into the overall regulatory setting.  The background obtained through these classes has improved my ability and confidence to perform as a regulator immensely, and I believe there is something here for everyone."

David Altmaier, APIR
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

Naoko Weigelt Profile

“As a regulator of 10 years, reviewing the principles of regulation, functions of an insurance department and role and structure of the NAIC was still very worthwhile. Studying the basic regulatory concepts made me realize how important understanding them is to perform my job proficiently. With the foundation cultivated through the APIR, I intend to pursue the PIR to gain more specialized skills. I highly recommend the program to regulators who want to grow professionally as well as personally."

Naoko Weigelt, APIR
Idaho Department of Insurance

Arlene Knighten Profile

"Through my APIR coursework I have learned useful information that has made me a more valuable asset to the Solvency and Receivership team. I believe the training in the NAIC Designation Program will be an asset to me personally and to the Department as a whole in furthering the objectives of state based regulation."

Arlene Knighten, APIR
Louisiana Department of Insurance

Malis Rasmussen Profile

"Like Malcolm Forbes, I believe 'The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one,' as such the NAIC designation program has opened my mind to see the importance and complexity of the insurance industry."

Malis Rasmussen, APIR
Utah Department of Insurance

Kathy Horsley Profile

"The NAIC Designation program has been a wonderful experience for me and I believe I am a better regulator for having completed the APIR designation.
I look forward to completing the next two levels of designation and believe that it will help further my insurance regulation career."

Kathy Horsley, APIR
Kentucky Department
of Insurance

Carla Griffin Profile "The course content was extremely valuable and pertinent to my success in doing my job. The staff was helpful and supportive throughout the process. I would recommend the program to all regulators."

Carla Griffin, APIR
South Carolina Department of Insurance


Past Articles - Education Designation

The NAIC Insurance Regulator Professional Designation Program
Group Photo of members of the Regulator Professional Designation Program

"Rhode Island is very committed to the NAIC Insurance Regulator Professional Designation Program.  Since inception of the program, seven employees have earned the Associate Professional in Insurance Regulation (APIR), one employee has received the Professional in Insurance Regulation (PIR), and two have received the Senior Professional in Insurance Regulation (SPIR) designation.  Through my own experience as a designee, I have witnessed the success and growth of the program as it celebrates its' 10 year anniversary.  Rhode Island is proud to support the NAIC Insurance Regulator Professional Designation Program.  We encourage our staff to take advantage of the myriad of courses available for personal growth and to develop future leaders within our state insurance department.  From onboarding of new staff to seasoned insurance regulators, the program is an invaluable resource that increases knowledge and skills in this ever changing regulatory landscape."

Superintendent Elizabeth Kelleher Dwyer, Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, Division of Insurance

Front row: Beth Vollucci (APIR), Trish Schoettger, NAIC Director of Member Services, Superintendent Elizabeth Kelleher Dwyer (SPIR), Ericka Franzen (APIR), Brett Bache (APIR)
Second row: Matthew Gendron (APIR), Petr Petrik (APIR), Julie Savoie (APIR), Rachel Chester (APIR), Paula Pallozzi (SPIR), Kevin Amaral (APIR) Missing from picture Joseph Rapczak (APIR)

The NAIC Insurance Regulator Professional Designation Program
Florida participants in the Regulator Designation Program

"As Florida's Insurance Commissioner, I have seen the merits of the NAIC's Insurance Regulator Professional Designation Program through my team of employees and own personal experience as a designee. Since the program's inception, 63 of our employees have been awarded the Associate Professional in Insurance Regulation (APIR), 19 have received the Professional in Insurance Regulation (PIR), and two have received the Senior Professional in Insurance Regulation (SPIR). We are also very proud to note that one of our employees, Steve Szypula, was the first regulator in the U.S. to earn the SPIR designation. The program provides insurance regulators at all levels an opportunity to increase their knowledge of the regulatory process. The NAIC has given insurance departments a valuable tool in the continuing education of our employees and we will continue to encourage their participation in this program."

Commissioner David Altmaier, Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

Education Designation Program
Group Photo of New Jersey Education Designation Regulators

First row left to right: Diane Ray, Amir Beshara, Gale Simon (Assistant Commissioner), Richard J. Badolato (Acting Commissioner), Amal Mechaiel

Second row left to right: Marquita Johnson, Brendan Peppard (Assistant Commissioner), Melissa Burro, Peter Hartt (Director of Insurance), Kristine Maurer (Assistant Director), Steven P. Kerner, Jr (Assistant Commissioner).

Third row left to right: Nakia Reid, Olukemi Sotimehin, Eric Campbell

Fourth row left to right: Erik McDermott, Gayatri Hariharan, Matthew Hummel, Michael Gill, Jessica Busse, Thomas Herriger, Donna Laut

"As Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, I am proud to recognize the dedication and significant achievement of many in our Department for their successful completion of the NAIC's Insurance Regulator Professional Designation Program. Their hard work demonstrates a sincere desire to become even better professional insurance regulators by growing their base of knowledge and expertise through this NAIC program. Through our Department's experience, we have learned that the Insurance Regulator Professional Designation Program can benefit insurance regulators in every stage of their career through its well-designed curriculum and the invaluable opportunities to learn from respected insurance regulatory experts throughout the nation. The program is an amazing resource for all insurance departments, and I encourage other states to take advantage of the benefits it will provide to your regulators and your department as a whole."

Richard J. Badolato, Acting Commissioner New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance

Current Candidates
Eligibility and Requirements