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Leadership

Leadership Team

Richard J. Schmitzer
President and CEO
Mr. Schmitzer was named President and CEO of James River Insurance Company in March of 2010. Prior to this Mr. Schmitzer had served the company as Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer since joining James River in July, 2009. Prior to James River, he spent 19 years with the Scottsdale Insurance Company most recently as Vice President, Brokerage, Professional Liability, and Programs. He began his career with the Sentry Insurance Company where he was Underwriting Manager for the Western and Pacific regions prior to joining Scottsdale. Mr. Schmitzer earned a BS degree, Business Administration/Economics from Central Michigan University (1977).
John G. Clarke
Senior Vice President, Director of Marketing
Mr. Clarke joined James River Insurance Company in 2003. Prior to joining James River, he served most recently as Senior Vice President and Chief Product Development officer for Wyndham Partners Consulting, a division of Renaissance Re U.S. Holdings (RUSH). Prior to joining RUSH, Mr. Clarke spent ten years as Markel Corporation Vice-President in a variety of roles including Director of Marketing for the Essex Insurance Company and Shand-Morahan Group, and the management of various commercial and personal underwriting areas within Markel American Insurance Company and Markel American Underwriting Managers. Prior to joining Markel, Mr. Clarke was a Product Manager for Progressive Casualty Insurance Company for six years, managing multi-state underwriting operations for non-standard auto and other specialty lines. A graduate of the University of Richmond (1980), Mr. Clarke also holds an MBA from The College of William and Mary (1984), and the CPCU designation.
Richard H. Seward
Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary
Mr. Seward joined James River Insurance Company in 2009 bringing over 20 years experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining James River, he served as Vice President and Actuary for Endurance Specialty Insurance, Ltd., responsible for pricing the portfolio of casualty business written through their Bermuda office. Previously, Mr. Seward served as Assistant Vice President at Portfolio Recovery Associates, where he was responsible for the pricing and management of distressed receivable portfolios. Prior to this, Mr. Seward worked with Wyndham Partners Consulting, a division of Renaissance Re U.S. Holdings with pricing, reserving, catastrophe modeling, and product management responsibilities. Mr. Seward has also worked with Markel Corporation as a reserving actuary. Mr. Seward received a B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Mathematics, both from the University of Virginia. He also has attained the ACAS, MAAA, FRM, and ARe designations.
Raju S. Sodhi
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Mr. Sodhi was promoted to Chief Information Officer in 2009 and James River Group CIO in 2013. Mr. Sodhi joined James River Insurance Company in late 2002 as Director of Information Technology. He was responsible for core systems development and implementation including policy and claims management, reporting and data warehouse. Since that time, Mr. Sodhi has managed application development, support, database, and IT operations. Prior to joining James River, Mr. Sodhi spent seven years at the Colony Insurance Group in a variety of technical positions in the IT department. Before joining Colony, Mr. Sodhi worked for Medical College of Virginia Hospitals as a software developer. Mr. Sodhi has over 24 years of experience in the software industry. In his current role as James River Group CIO, Mr. Sodhi is responsible for establishing IT policies and enterprise level architecture standards across all the group entities in collaboration with business unit executives. Mr. Sodhi is a graduate of Punjab University, Punjab, India, with a degree in Arts and earned his post-baccalaureate certificate in Information Systems from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Angela J. Burnett
Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Operations
Mrs. Burnett joined James River Insurance Company in April 2009. Prior to joining James River, she held the position of Vice President of Human Resources at LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc. In the 15 years Mrs. Burnett has been in the Human Resources field, she has held leadership positions with responsibilities in many areas of HR including talent management and change leadership, strategic HR program development and planning, succession planning , leadership and management training, large-scale project planning and execution, merger integration, talent acquisition, employee relations, benefits, compensation, operations and process improvement. Mrs. Burnett earned a B.S. degree in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation.
Fred C. Thistle
Vice President and Chief Claims Officer
Mr. Thistle joined James River Insurance Company in December 2003 specializing in Professional Liability, Allied Health and Life Sciences claims. He brings over 35 years of experience in the insurance industry. Prior to joining James River, Mr. Thistle was Director of Claims with The Reciprocal Group, where he was responsible for medical malpractice and general liability claims. Prior to joining The Reciprocal Group Fred was employed by the Markel Corporation, where he managed a divisional claims department handling a variety of lines including commercial auto, manufactured housing, and license & permit bonds. For most of his career, Mr. Thistle has specialized in professional lines with particular emphasis in medical liability. In addition to The Reciprocal Group and Markel Corporation, his career includes service with the Insurance Company of North America, the St. Paul Companies, the Massachusetts Joint Underwriting Association, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society Liability Insurance Company. Mr. Thistle holds a Bachelor's Degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He completed a claims law associate program with LaSalle Extension University in Chicago and earned an Associate in Insurance Management with the Insurance Institute of America.
Christy Miller
Regulatory Compliance and Product Development Manager
Mrs. Miller joined James River Insurance Company in December 2011. She has a background in regulatory compliance & products. Prior to joining James River, she worked for Capital One Financial as Bank Fraud Operations Analyst. Prior to joining Capital One, Mrs. Miller was self employed providing insurance products and warranties to auto dealerships in North Carolina. Prior to living in North Carolina, Mrs. Miller was a Regulatory Compliance Specialist with Markel Insurance Company.

Underwriting Division Managers

Eric Taylor
Vice President – General Casualty, Sports & Entertainment, and Small Account – Casualty
Mr. Taylor joined James River Insurance Company in June 2004 with 16 years of insurance underwriting experience. Prior to joining James River, he served as Underwriting Director of K&K Insurance Group. In this role, Mr. Taylor was responsible for the underwriting profit and performance of various multi-line, program business for Lexington and Nationwide Insurance. Other positions held during his fifteen years at K&K include Underwriting Manager, Vice President of Product Development, and Sr. Vice President of Underwriting. Prior to joining K&K, Mr. Taylor worked as a Casualty Underwriter for two years for a regional insurance company based in Indianapolis, IN. Mr. Taylor earned a B.S. degree in Public Finance from Indiana University - Bloomington, IN and holds the CPCU designation.
Crileen Kixmoeller
Vice President – Excess Casualty, Life Sciences and Manufacturers and Contractors
Ms. Kixmoeller joined James River Insurance Company in 2003 as Manager of its Excess Casualty division. In 2009, she assumed additional responsibility for managing the Manufacturers & Contractors and Life Sciences Divisions. Prior to joining James River, she served as Branch Manager for AIG’s Middle Market Umbrella Division, opened and managed the standalone Excess facility for Kemper in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain states, and was Vice President at Cravens Pacific managing their binding authority programs for small umbrella and contractor’s general liability. Ms. Kixmoeller has over 20 years of experience as an underwriter and underwriting manager. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University Fresno, and completed one year of Law School at Concord School of Law, Los Angeles, CA.
David S. Weisenberger
Vice President, Division Manager – Allied Healthcare and Professional Liability (non-Medical)
Mr. Weisenberger joined James River Insurance Company in October 2009. Prior to joining James River, he served in a variety of positions over seventeen years with Markel Corporation. Most recently, Mr. Weisenberger was a Managing Director- Casualty for Markel. He previously worked in the Markel Shand division on two separate occasions. Mr. Weisenberger earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business and Economics from Virginia Military Institute (1992) and holds the CPCU and RPLU designations.
Richard A. Kern
Division Manager – Energy and Environmental
Mr. Kern joined James River Insurance Company in November 2003 to start the Energy Division. He took on additional responsibilities as Environmental Division Manager in August of 2009. He has been a part of the commercial insurance industry for over 41 years and has specialized in providing insurance to the Energy Industry for over 34 years. Prior to joining James River, he was the President of Risk Management Practices, Inc. Previous Energy Industry experience includes Zurich Energy Casualty as Vice President and Home Office Energy Consultant and AIG Energy Vice President Home Office Specialist.
Anthony R. Owens
Division Manager – Property
Mr. Owens joined James River Insurance Company in 2009. Prior to joining James River, Mr. Owens served in a variety of positions over twenty years with Markel Corporation. During the last twelve years with Markel, Mr. Owens served as Executive Underwriter and Territory Manager in the Special Property Division of Essex Insurance Company focused on primary and excess property solutions typically involving catastrophe exposures. Before that, Mr. Owens served as Vice President of Underwriting & Operations of the Camp & Youth Recreation Division of Markel Insurance Company. Before making the shift to underwriting, he was Associate Vice President and Director of Development for Markel Corporation’s Information Technology Division. Prior to Markel, Mr. Owens was with KPMG Peat Marwick as a Manager in their Information Technology Consulting Practice. Mr. Owens holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Richmond and earned the CPCU, ASLI and CPA designations.