Regional Director Candidates

Lori Straight

I have over 22 years of experience in the life, health and annuity insurance industry. My insurance experience includes, but is not limited to underwriting, complaint handling, market conduct exams, product filing, advertising review, legislative research and overall insurance compliance knowledge. I have over 16 year of experience in investigating various insurance fraud schemes involving providers, insureds and agents, internal employee fraud, and was the AML Compliance Officer and Privacy Officer at my prior organization. I currently serves as the President of the Heartland Chapter of the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Iowa State University and 8 insurance designations, outlined below.

• ACP- Association Compliance Professional (Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals)

• FLMI- Fellow, Life Management Institute (LOMA)

• ACS- Associate Customer Service (LOMA)

• HIA- Health Insurance Associate (AHIP)

• HCSA-Healthcare Customer Service Associate (AHIP)

• HIPAAA- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Associate (AHIP)

• HCAFA- Health Care Anti-Fraud Associate (AHIP)

• CHP- Certified HIPAA Professional (ECFC)

What skills do you bring to the office? What qualifications make you a viable candidate for the office? 

I have over 22 years in the insurance industry, 20 of which have been in Compliance. I’ve been involved with AICP (as a member) since 2016 and as a board member for 3 years now.  

What would be your goals for office if you are elected? 

To be an effective liaison with the National Board, to represent the Heartland Chapter and to keep the Chapter informed of all issues relating to national activities.  

If elected, how would you use your office to work with others in the AICP to pursue the AICP’s current goals and objectives, to meet member needs, and to enhance the AICP’s value in our insurance compliance community? 

I would advocate for continued educational, professional, networking and development opportunities to those in the insurance compliance industry.   

Where would you like to see the AICP in the future and what would you do to move the AICP toward the vision?  

I know we have started doing more outreach to students, but I think there is a definite opportunity to bring in younger compliance professionals.

Regional Vice President Candidates

Brandy Hoffman

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation,” is a quote I often refer to from Aristotle. I pride myself in being the best version of myself and aspire for greater things through hard work and perseverance. I grew up on a farm in rural Northeast Iowa, which has instilled Midwestern values; hard work, modesty and serving others. These have greatly attributed to my professional career. My career, academic and personal goals have led me to further my growth by running for Vice President position for the Heartland Chapter.   

Residing in a small farming community has instilled values that are unteachable, however, it does not have many large employers or opportunities for career growth in business. This challenge has not deterred me from advancement in my career. I have been fortunate enough that my employer, CUNA Mutual Group, has allowed me to flourish and grow not only professionally but also personally over the last 10 years. 

I started my career as a Life Insurance agent where I learned the life insurance sales side of our business as well as the mechanics of our life product while continuously reaching Platinum and Gold production levels. During my time as an agent, I was noticed by our Annuity Wholesaling team, MEMBERS Products, and was asked to help lead the team to penetrate a brand new marketplace outside of our usual channel, which at that time was primarily composed of Credit Unions. After tremendous success, I was asked to help with a “piolet program” of Remote Coordinators supporting our Financial Advisors within our Credit Unions. I successfully built the program which now consists of 5 Full Time Employees supporting over 7 Credit Unions with 15+ Financial Advisors. With my minor in Pre-Law and Applied Ethics I felt compelled to follow my passion, the compliance and legal side of the business. This has led me to my current role as a Compliance Analyst where I work with a variety of business partners reviewing advertising and filing with the State Insurance Departments. I aspire to do more and believe the opportunity to lead the Heartland Chapter will allow me to do just that.   

I value working within an organization that upholds the same morals and principles that I do. CUNA Mutual Group has implemented business practices in an effort to work towards a common good. In fact, the Ethisphere Institute recognized CUNA Mutual Group as the World’s Most Ethical Company for the implementation of ethical business practices several years. Everything we do as an organization focuses on helping families “build financial security.” I take pride in knowing that what I do day in and day out does make a difference in others’ lives. 

I put my heart into everything I do; completing everything I am tasked with to the best of my ability. This is a trait that I have had my entire life, from organizing a record-setting blood drive to my several years leading organized athletics to the completion of my Masters degree with a 3.9 GPA. honors. It has carried over into my career where I have frequently been called upon by leadership to lead efforts across a number of business lines. I find myself frequently asking myself, “what’s next”, or “what can I do better?” I believe that this opportunity to lead is my “what’s next” and will teach me “what I can do better.” 

My career aspirations keep me busy, but they are not my only motivations. My husband and I live on an acreage where we raise a number of animals with the help of our three kids- Ryder, Rowan and Reya. These three keep my multitasking skills sharp! My husband is self-employed and owns a dump trucking business which I help keep the bookwork in order. I bring a diverse background of business and personal experiences, which will add value to the AICP leadership team. 

What skills do you bring to the office? What qualifications make you a viable candidate for the office? 

I bring a passionate, strategic mindset to the insurance industry. I have worked in the industry for over 10 years providing a well-rounded background in sales, marketing, and compliance.  

My Masters in Business Administration has provided me the knowledge and skillset to be an effective leader. I am forward thinking which allows me to see the big picture while combining both creativity and analytical skillsets. 

Through agile methodology training, I have been effective in managing projects, showing results, and meeting project goals.  I will translate this skill set into helping the AICP achieve the initiatives and goals set forth.   

What would be your goals for office if you are elected? 

My goal while in office is to increase awareness and bring value to industry peers of all backgrounds by embracing the virtual environment which may allow for increased participation.   

If elected, how would you use your office to work with others in the AICP to pursue the AICP’s current goals and objectives, to meet member needs, and to enhance the AICP’s value in our insurance compliance community? 

I want to become involved in the AICP to not only have the opportunity to further my own personal professional development, both in leadership and in my depth of compliance knowledge, but to also help move the AICP organization forward so that it will be viewed as the premier compliance resource. I am able to bring new and fresh ideas forward to allow for this to occur.  

I would like to implement a pulse survey to allow for comparative results year after year and ensure that AICP is meeting member needs and expectations in the insurance compliance community. Through this, I would like to understand and gauge the tenure of the members to provide opportunities that fit our members based on their current needs. This would also allow for a deeper understanding of the tenure and needs of the membership, allowing for more tailored opportunities and trainings.    

Where would you like to see the AICP in the future and what would you do to move the AICP toward the vision?  

I would like to see AICP be more inclusive of all compliance functions, including advertising related compliance. To move this forward, I would work to ensure that events offer insight on a variety of compliance functions. I would also like to implement an industry working group for advertising compliance including an email distribution list. I would like to provide members the opportunity to network and share best practices, both in person and virtual environments. This could include hosting casual coffee chats in both large and small group settings and hosting lunch and learn opportunities hosted by members. 

Additional Comments 

I would love to opportunity to serve the Heartland Chapter as both Vice President and President in the years to come. I have the skills and experience to help reach the goals set for the chapter in support of the AICP organization. 

Regional Treasurer/Chapter Financial Liaison Candidates

Maryana Grodnova-Ware

Maryana Grodnova-Ware, Actuarial Assistant for the Nebraska Department of Insurance. She accepted her current position in April, 2016. She has been a Life and Health Analyst with the NE DOI since January, 2009. 

She became a member of AICP in 2009 and at the same time joined several AICP national committees. Since 2012 she represents the Nebraska State as a regulator-speaker at the AICP annual conferences. Currently,  she serves as the Heartland Chapter Treasurer. 

What skills do you bring to the office? What qualifications make you a viable candidate for the office? 

Professional integrity and experience as an insurance regulator with deep experience in the actuarial science and finance along with tremendous dedication to the AICP since 2009 with Chapter treasurer experience for over 6 years. 

What would be your goals for office if you are elected? 

My goals are to help the Heartland Chapter to archive Chapter’s short and long-term goals including financial goals, strategies and tactics, and a timeline against which to measure our progress. 

If elected, how would you use your office to work with others in the AICP to pursue the AICP’s current goals and objectives, to meet member needs, and to enhance the AICP’s value in our insurance compliance community? 

As an insurance regulator I will promote AICP’s values to other regulators and insurance organizations throughout the country. 

Where would you like to see the AICP in the future and what would you do to move the AICP toward the vision?  

I would like to see the AICP as a strong organization that continues offering networking and insurance compliance education along with continuing education and degree programs in compliance.