J. Kim Walker
Chief Executive Officer

Kim acquired SMIC in 2000 and assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer. In this position, Kim is responsible for developing and leading implementation of SMIC’s strategy.

In 2002, Kim acquired Health Plan Administrators, Inc. (“HPA”). HPA is a Managing General Agency and Third Party Administrator, (“MGA/TPA”) for Short Term Medical programs. Kim assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer. In this position, which was the same role at SMIC, Kim was responsible for developing and implementing HPA’s strategy. In 2005, Kim with his financial partner sold HPA to an insurance company that was interested in entering the Short Term Medical market.

Prior to acquiring SMIC, Kim was employed by Jordan Industries, Inc. (“JII”), a privately-held conglomerate with approximately $1.5 billion in annual revenue. In his role at JII, Kim developed and implemented a strategy that resulted in the formation of UniCore Insurance Services (“UIS”), a platform that acquired niche insurance brokerage firms focused on self-insured employee benefits, specialty niche MGAs, Agencies/Brokerage and TPAs.

Prior to his tenure at JII, Kim served as a Partner and Vice President of Sales and Marketing at International Benefit Services, Inc. (“IBS”), guiding it to become one of the most successful Third Party Administrators in the country. IBS was acquired by USI Holding Corp. (“USI”), one of the ten largest insurance brokerage firms in the U.S. and a portfolio company of Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. Upon IBS’s sale to USI in 1996, Kim served on USI’s executive committee.

Before joining IBS, Kim worked at several insurance carriers holding various management and sales positions.

Nora K. Stransky, CIC, CPIW
President

Nora founded SMIC in 1985 and assumed the role of President. In this position, Nora is responsible for the underwriting of various student accident and special risks programs of accident medical and liability coverage for the sports, students, youth and leisure markets. Responsibility includes developing products, establishing underwriting standards and coordinating administration for insurance carriers and third party brokers/agents throughout the United States.

In her current position, Nora uses her extensive knowledge in the underwriting and compliance fields to provide carrier support for product development through risk analysis for actuarial support, reinsurance arrangements and reporting requirements. She provides instructional support for brokers/agents through seminars, articles and individual meetings.

Prior to establishing SMIC, Nora was employed by Sentry Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Sentry Insurance. Serving as the Account Executive in the Direct Response Department, Nora was responsible for marketing and administration for their student and special risks programs. In four years, she was able to triple the written premium, developed an annual seminar event to train brokers/agents and double the product offerings.

Jayne E. Todus
Vice President of Operations

Jayne joined SMIC in 2003. She is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the Stevens Point, WI administration office.  Jayne also directs and manages the operational activities of the underwriting and policy administration departments as well as provides guidance and leadership to all departments.

Prior to joining SMIC, Jayne was employed by Sentry Life Insurance Company for 25 plus years in operations and marketing.

Josh Kriesel
Underwriting Manager

Josh is responsible for managing SMIC’s underwriting team, developing program procedures and guidelines and assists with building client relationships.  Josh also underwrites various student accident and special risk programs which include accident medical and liability coverages.

Prior to joining SMIC in 2016, Josh was employed by Sentry Insurance as a liability Claims Specialist.

Rita Linde
Vice President of Sales

Rita is an energetic and knowledgeable insurance professional with more than 20 years of experience leading executives through the intricacies of niche markets. As Vice President of Sales with SMIC, Rita is responsible for cultivating new business and developing existing business lines for all of SMIC’s product lines.

She has extensive experience directing profitable initiatives within the insurance industry, including leading negotiations and conflict resolution sessions with clients, vendors and partners. She is proficient in leading training sessions for new products and value added services, emphasizing new features that enhance client relationships and benefits.

Prior to joining SMIC, Rita was the Vice President of Sales and Client Relationships with USI Affinity/Collegiate Insurance Resources – Goldman Sachs Co., where she educated executives on the intricacies of niche education-related markets. Prior to that, she was the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Specialty Risk Group International and also served as Vice President, Insurer Relations, with AON.

Nate Walker
Vice President of Sales

Nate began his insurance career in 2004 with SMIC, assuming the role of sales and account management of a large block of religious K-12 Student Accident and Special Risk business. After successfully establishing exclusive relationships with hundreds of church agencies, he continues to expand this business through national marketing campaigns. Nate’s primary responsibilities include the development and implementation of SMIC’s marketing strategies and new business development for all of SMIC’s product lines. Through these efforts, Nate continues to grow SMIC’s national presence in the Special Risk Insurance market place.

Prior to working at SMIC Nate worked for several publishing companies in Mallorca, Spain and Chicago, in roles that included marketing, design and creative services. He has also spent time in Denali National Park, Alaska in Hotel Operations and Management. He still plays competitive soccer, playing in multiple leagues (that are SMIC clients) in the surrounding Chicago area.

Natalie Rubino
Sales Executive

Joining SMIC’s sales team in 2011, Natalie cultivates new business opportunities and further develops existing business lines for all of SMIC’s products. Natalie focuses on enhancing retailer partnerships by positioning SMIC as the all-encompassing K-12 Student Accident and Special Risks provider.

Prior to joining SMIC, Natalie practiced commercial real estate for 6 years at MB Real Estate and Colliers International. At Colliers International, Natalie specialized in tenant representation, assisting a diverse group of corporate users occupying office and industrial facilities. Natalie advised her clients in the development and implementation of strategic plans including the acquisition and disposition of real estate assets, lease negotiations and financial analysis.

Aryn Higgins
Production Underwriter

Aryn became a member of SMIC’s underwriting team in 2013. Aryn is an experienced program underwriter and is responsible for analyzing, evaluating & rating incoming opportunities to ensure SMIC is writing business that is both sellable to retail agents & profitable for carrier partners.

In 2016 Aryn assumed the position of Production Underwriter, which kept her Underwriting duties in tact but added new business growth incentives. She has been given the task of maintaining & growing a book of Special Risk business that consists of retail agent relationships in all 50 states. She was selected to the AmWIN’s Sales & Leadership Academy Class of 2016-17 which is designed for strong performing individuals who exhibit the desire and aptitude to grow into a leadership role within the company.

Prior to working at SMIC, Aryn worked at Berkshire Hathaway’s Noel Group in the Insure America department. Specializing in Errors and Omissions for travel agents, Aryn focused on broker relationship development, account acquisitions, account retentions, customer service and account maintenance.