2019 Symposium Speakers

Dr. Robert P. Hartwig

Dr. Robert P. Hartwig is Clinical Associate Professor of Risk Management, Insurance and Finance in the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and Co-Director of the school’s Center for Risk and Uncertainty Management. He teaches courses in risk management, insurance and corporate finance, mentors students, pursues a variety of research interests and works with insurers, regulators, legislators and many other insurance industry stakeholders, including media.   

Dr. Hartwig is immediate past president of the Insurance Information Institute, an organization he led from 2007 to 2016. He joined the I.I.I. in 1998 as an economist and became chief economist in 1999, focusing his work on improving understanding of key insurance issues across all industry stakeholders including media, consumers, insurers, producers, regulators, legislators and investors.

Dr. Hartwig previously served as director of economic research and senior economist with the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) in Boca Raton, Florida, where he performed rate of return and cost of capital modeling and testified at workers' compensation rate hearings in many states. He has also worked as senior economist for the Swiss Reinsurance Group in New York and as senior statistician for the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the American Economic Association, the American Risk and Insurance Association, the National Association of Business Economics and the CPCU Society. He has also served on the boards of directors of the American Risk and Insurance Association, the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association of New York. Currently, Dr. Hartwig serves on the board of trustees for the Griffith Foundation for Insurance Education.

Dr. Hartwig received his Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has served as an instructor at the University of Illinois and at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Hartwig also holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) credential.

Dr. Hartwig has authored and co-authored papers that have appeared in numerous publications, including the Journal of Health Economics, the Proceedings of the Casualty Actuarial Society, the John Liner Review, Dossiers et Etudes (Geneva Association), the Journal of Workers' Compensation, the Journal of Insurance Operations, Global Reinsurance, Risk & Insurance, Insurance Day, Compensation and Benefits Review. He is also a regular contributor to Best’s Review and many other industry trade publications.

In 2011, Dr. Hartwig was awarded the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) Chairman's Award. In 2010, he was a recipient of a research award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform in the area of torts and tort reform.

Dr. Hartwig makes frequent presentations to industry associations, company management, industry executives, analysts and clients and speaks internationally on a wide range of insurance issues. He has testified before numerous state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Dr. Hartwig serves as a media spokesperson for the property/casualty insurance industry, and is quoted frequently in leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, CFO, Fortune, Forbes, The Economist and many others throughout the world. Dr. Hartwig also appears regularly on television, including programs on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, CNBC, Fox, PBS and the BBC.


Roy Wright

Roy Wright joined IBHS in 2018 with more than 20 years of experience in insurance, risk management, mitigation, and resilience planning. Convinced that the continuing cycle of human suffering that strikes families and communities in the wake of severe weather can be broken, Roy leads a team of scientists and risk communicators who deliver strategies to build safer and stronger homes and businesses. IBHS’ real-world impact enables the insurance industry and affected property owners to prevent avoidable losses. Roy joined IBHS from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) where he served as the Chief Executive of the National Flood Insurance Program, led the agency’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, and directed the resilience programs addressing earthquake, fire, flood, and wind risks. In these roles, he guided several programs that promote a risk-conscious culture, enable faster disaster recovery, and address long-term vulnerabilities to life, property, and well-being in communities across the United States. Prior to joining FEMA in 2007, Roy worked in public and private sector roles with Coray Gurnitz Strategy Consulting and the U.S. Department of the Interior. A native of California, Roy earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Azusa Pacific University and a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University.


Dr. David L. Harkey

Dr. David L. Harkey is President of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Before taking the helm at IIHS-HLDI in 2018, Dr. Harkey, an engineer by training, directed the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center for 11 years. There he directed numerous projects to develop tools and strategies for enhanced safety analysis, improve safety data for researchers and decision makers, and develop training materials for safety practitioners.

Dr. Harkey’s own research has focused on improving roadway design and operations for all users, including motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. He has led major research programs and projects for the Federal Highway Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and other public agencies throughout his career and published numerous technical reports and peer-reviewed articles on road safety.

Dr. Harkey received a doctorate in civil engineering from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is actively involved in several professional organizations, including the Transportation Research Board, Institute for Transportation Engineers and Association of Traffic Safety Information Professionals.


Jay A. Thompson

Jay A. Thompson has considerable experience in both regulatory and legislative issues involving the business of insurance. He regularly participates in regulatory proceedings involving contested case hearings, contested rate hearings, policy form approvals, rulemaking, licensing, mergers, acquisition and dissolution of insurance companies and other regulatory matters before the Texas Department of Insurance.

As a registered lobbyist, Jay has represented the property/casualty and life, accident and health insurance industry on legislative issues impacting those insurers. He has worked closely with leadership in Texas to find constructive solutions to legislative issues. He has written numerous bills and amendments to the Texas Insurance Code and has been recognized as a leading expert on insurance regulation.

Jay has also represented insurers in litigation involving insurance bad faith, tax disputes against the state of Texas, appeals from administrative actions at the Texas Department of Insurance, disputes involving reinsurance, and disputes between companies and agents.

Jay is recognized as a leading attorney in Chambers and Partner's as a Leading Lawyer in America for Insurance.

Professional and Community Activities 

  • Federation of Regulatory Counsel

Professional Recognition

  • Chambers USA, Top Insurance Attorneys in Texas

  • Chambers USA, Leader in their Field for Insurance and Insurance: Regulation in Texas 

  • “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell


  • Governmental & Legislative Advocacy

  • Insurance Regulatory & Transactions


  • Insurance

  • Government & Public Entities

  • Administrative and Regulatory Compliance

  • Fraud and Abuse

  • Medical Liability Defense

  • Health Care Litigation

  • Health Care Transactions

  • Lobbying and Policy-Making


  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1972

  • Texas Tech University, B.A., 1970, Accounting, President Student Body 1969-1970

Bar Admissions 

  • Texas, 1972

  • United States Court of Military Appeals, 1973

  • United States District Court Northern and Western Districts of Texas

United States Supreme Court, 1988


Lee Loftis

Lee joined Independent Insurance Agents of Texas as Director of Government Affairs in April 2006. Prior to joining IIAT, Lee was an Independent Insurance Agent for 28 years in Lubbock, Tyler, and finally in Austin.

Lee has been active in association work since the early 80’s, and served as President of IIAT from 1993-1994.  In his last role as an agent volunteer, Loftis served four years as State National Director (SND) on the board of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA).

Lee’s passion for the independent agency system as well as his working knowledge of the issues facing the IIAT members has benefitted him in his role as IIAT’s Govt. Affairs Director.  Over the last few legislative sessions, IIAT’s Government Affairs team has been at the forefront of helping pass legislation such as: Change Notification on both Personal and Commercial policies, allowing Surplus Lines to offer quotes on certain Commercial lines policies, Certificate of Insurance form regulation, PEO work comp loss information disclosure, as well as Regulation of Healthcare navigators under the new federal ACA.

This past session, IIAT was very successful in passing all five of its key initiatives and Lee will comment on those today. 

Lee’s hobbies include his passion for the game of golf as well as hunting and fishing and spending time with his 5 grandchildren.


Shannon Meroney

Shannon is the President of Meroney Public Affairs in Austin, Texas, founded in 2014. From 2006 to 2014, she worked in-house for Aetna, a Fortune 100 company and the country’s third largest health insurance plan. In that role she worked as the Senior Account Executive for one of the company’s largest government accounts, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), and  managed a multi-state region for Aetna as a Senior State Government Affairs Manager. Prior to that, Shannon was a partner at Thompson Coe where she worked with Jay Thompson representing AFACT and ICT.  She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin for her undergraduate degree and University of Houston Law Center for her J.D. She’s a Past President Of Austin Young Lawyer’s Association, Past Chair of Leadership Austin, a former Commissioner of the City of Austin’s Commission for Women and a Board member for the Women’s Symphony League. She is a certified “boy mom” of two young gentlemen - Cal (12) and Griffin (11) and has been named as a top Texas “Hired Gun” lobbyist, by Capitol Inside magazine every session since 2015.


Chris Barker

Chris Barker is a Connected Car/Transportation Technology Consultant and Founder for CBC Consulting.  He is focused on advocating the role of technology in advancing the modernization of transportation and urban mobility. Chris provides business, communications and public policy consulting support to automakers, aerospace companies, suppliers, technology companies, investment firms and government organizations around the globe. Chris has provided consulting support to companies/organizations such as, AAA, Boeing, Bosch, BMW, Chrysler-Fiat, Delphi, Ford, Honeywell, Hyundai, Teradata, United States Department of Transportation, Visteon, Vulcan and more. Chris has been a transportation technology advisor for the recent USDOT/Vulcan Smart City Challenge focused on advancing smart city transportation innovation in cities across the US.

Chris has also supported the C3 Group and led the development of six major connected car conferences across the US.  In addition, Chris has been a Connected Car/Future of Mobility keynote/panel speaker at CES (Las Vegas), SXSW (Austin), RSA (San Francisco), CE Week (New York), A-Bace (Shanghai) and IAA (Frankfurt).  Chris has served as an executive board member on the Connected Car Council comprised of automotive and transportation technology leaders from across North America. Chris is also on the Board of Directors for the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) responsible for advancing improved commuter transportation options for commuters across the US.

Before starting CBC Consulting and supporting the C3 Group, Chris was a senior vice president at Waggener Edstrom Communications. He led the Waggener Edstrom Connected Car/Transportation team focused on driving effective business-focused communications in the rapidly evolving connected car and broader transportation markets. He also led business development and marketing for Waggener Edstrom’s North America operations.

Chris joined Waggener Edstrom from Honeywell Aerospace where he was the global director of communications and business development responsible for driving communications, marketing and product development across the company’s global defense, commercial and business aviation segments. Prior to joining Honeywell, Chris was a senior communications manager at Cisco Systems where he led all communications, marketing and new market development around the company’s $14B global public sector business including federal, state and local government, defense/security, education, healthcare and smart and connected cities. His previous experience includes corporate communications and executive speechwriting for the Office of the President at Boeing and press relations and issues management for US Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI).

He serves on the board of the American Marketing Association and is a four-time recipient of national PR Award honors in the categories of crisis management/issues management, business campaign of the year and mid-size company PR campaign of the year.


Joe Woods manages legislative and regulatory advocacy for APCIA in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. He also manages APCIA advocacy staff in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Joe has worked for APCIA for nineteen years.   

Prior to joining APCIA, Joe had over twenty years of experience working as a lobbyist for a variety of clients, including Texas Municipal League Liability Trust, Axciom, Tobacco Industry Labor/Management Council, Sandalwood Properties, Environmental Defense and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, with a brief hiatus to serve as director of government relations for the Texas Department of Insurance. From 1977 to 1984, Joe worked for various committees in the Texas State Senate, including serving as clerk for the Senate Jurisprudence Committee and the Senate Rules Committee. 

He graduated from the University of Houston with bachelors and masters degrees in political science.

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