E. Gerard "Gerry" Mannion
David Baria is a current member of the Mississippi House of Representatives and practicing attorney from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. David served in the State Senate from 2008-2011 where he led the fight for post-Katrina insurance reform in the Mississippi Legislature. He is currently completing his third term as Chairman of the Gulf Coast and Atlantic States Task Force of the Southern Legislative Conference.
David is a partner in Baria-Williamson, PLLC with offices in Bay St. Louis and Jackson, Mississippi. David has practiced law as a consumer advocate for over 20 years and is a past President of the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association (now known as "MAJ"). He is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. In his law practice, David has focused on bad faith cases and he assisted many victims of insurance company abuses in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which virtually destroyed his hometown of Bay St. Louis.
A. Christine Davis
Chris is a Director at the CPA firm of DZH Phillips LLP and the practice leader for the firm’s forensics team. As a forensic accountant providing litigation support and investigative services to attorneys and clients for eighteen years, she is retained as a consulting and testifying financial or accounting expert in matters involving claims of economic damages and other complex business disputes and provides expert testimony by deposition and at trial. She also opines and testifies regarding a party’s ability to pay punitive damages. She was a consulting expert for several high-profile securities matters and evaluated or investigated alleged violations of accounting rules, auditing rules, PCAOB standards, and Sarbanes-Oxley and SEC rules and regulations. Similarly, she has worked on matters for regulatory agencies, including the SEC and the FDIC.
Chris is also retained to investigate suspected misappropriation of company assets. In this capacity, she quantifies the loss to the company, presents evidence that identifies the wrongdoer, prepares required written reports, and communicates with law enforcement authorities. In addition, Chris performs valuations of businesses and business interests.
Chris received her accounting degree from Golden Gate University and is a CPA actively licensed in California and New York. She holds the Certified in Financial Forensics credential and is a Certified Valuation Analyst. She contributes to the professional community by speaking to various audiences and writing published articles on financial accounting, forensic accounting, economic damages, business ethics and fraud. Chris lives in San Francisco with her husband of 25 years and has two daughters who recently graduated from college.
Stanley G. Feldman (Ex-officio)Stanley G. Feldman served as a justice for twenty-one years, including a five year term as Chief Justice. During his long tenure, the Arizona Supreme Court became one of the nation's most respected state supreme courts, due in significant part to Justice Feldman's exceptional writing, analysis, and active participation during oral arguments (Excerpted from an article by Toni Massaro that appeared in the Albany Law Review in 2003).
Since retiring from the bench, Justice Feldman has returned to private practice and is representing policyholders in insurance disputes. He prepared an amicus brief pro bono in Cundiff v. State Farm. Our brief contributed to the Arizona Supreme Court granting review on two key issues.
Larry P. GinsburgLarry Ginsburg is a certified financial planner with offices in the Montclair Village District of Oakland. He has served as the Chairman of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of the East Bay and Chairman of the FPA Northern California Presidents' Council.
Mr. Ginsburg volunteered his time after the 1991 Oakland/Berkeley firestorm to help many of his friends and neighbors in the Oakland Hills get their insurance claims settled and their finances in order and joined UP's Board in 1994.
William H. HeddenWilliam Hedden is President and CEO of Consolidated Adjusting, Inc, a public insurance adjusting firm. In 1991, he became a licensed Public Insurance Adjuster with the California Department of Insurance. He is also a licensed real estate broker and a licensed B-1 general contractor in the State of California. He earned a law degree from Hastings College of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1979.
Mr. Hedden has been an active member of the Board of United Policyholders since 1997.
Jim Jones is a Managing Director with Scale Venture Partners in Foster City, CA. Jim joined Scale Venture Partners in 2000 and currently sits on the Board of Directors of 5 private high technology companies, and previously served on the board of Monolithic Power Systems (NASDAQ: MPWR). Prior to Scale Venture Partners, Jim held executive roles with 3Com and National Semiconductor. Jim also previously served on the Board of Directors of The Learning Center, a non-profit pre-school in Palo Alto, CA. Jim holds a BSEE from the University of California, Davis.
Brian Kabateck, the founder and managing partner of Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP in Los Angeles, is a plaintiffs-only attorney who has helped consumers recover more than $1 billion in settlement awards for injury and wrongdoing. He currently represents consumers in mass torts litigation, class actions, insurance bad faith, insurance litigation, personal injury and wrongful death. The firm has been involved in disaster related insurance litigation in several jurisdictions around the United States.
Kabateck, currently the Legislative Chair and Vice President of the Consumer Attorneys of California, has worked with the California Legislature and California Department of Insurance to draft several laws. He continues to work to improve the law both thought the legislature and the courts to protect policyholders.
Shirley Roberson (Ex-Officio)Shirley Roberson has been indispensable to United Policyholders since 1997 in various paid and volunteer capacities. Shirley brings a wealth of skills and dedication to the Board. She was a cofounder of A Central Place, an incubator for fledgling nonprofits in downtown Oakland, California, where she served as the Executive Director for nearly 10 years. At her first Board meeting as an official member, Shirley recently commented "I've stayed involved with UP over the years because I recognize the tremendous need for the organization's work and the value of the services that UP provides."
A survivor of the 1991 Oakland Hills Firestorm and long time emergency preparedness advocate, Susan Piper has close to 45 years of experience in public relations, marketing communications and community organizing. She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and earned a Master’s in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles.
She has been providing high quality public relations and marketing communications consulting services to health, education and nonprofit organizations and to public agencies since 1985. Most recently, she served for seven years as a Policy Analyst to Oakland Council Member Jean Quan, and then as Mayor Quan’s Communications Manager from January 2011, until September 1, 2012 when she retired.
Prior to establishing her consulting practice, she was Vice President of Public Affairs at Alta Bates Corporation in Berkeley, California and held similar positions with the Oakland Unified School District, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, Grant Hospital in Chicago, Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, and The KPBS Stations in San Diego.
Sue has been an ardent proponent of seismic retrofitting during her 8 years as a Council and Mayoral Aide. She not only led efforts within the City of Oakland, but championed the cause regionally and state-wide in order to ensure that seismic retrofits are not just a good idea, but are actually completed before the next major disaster.
Deborah Senn (Ex-officio)Deborah Senn has been a lawyer and consumer advocate for 28 years. Ms. Senn has provided legal representation for a broad range of clients including consumers, community groups, women's groups, labor unions and small businesses.
Ms. Senn served two terms (1993 – 2001) as Washington State's seventh State Insurance Commissioner. During her tenure, she saved Washington's insurance consumers millions of dollars. She stood up to the insurance industry on behalf of the public. Senn was described as "the best insurance commissioner in the United States."
William Shernoff (Ex-officio)Mr. Shernoff returns to United Policyholders board, having served on UP's first Board of Directors. He was a founding partner of the law firm Shernoff, Bidart & Darras. He has devoted his career to fighting insurance company abuses. In 1974 Mr. Shernoff set the legal precedent that established bad faith law. He has been listed in the The Best Lawyers in American every year since 1983 and was named a Super Lawyer of 2000 by Law and Politics Magazine and Los Angeles Magazine.
Mr. Shernoff has authored three books and has donated copies of his most recent book: Payment Refused: How to Make Insurance Companies Pay your Claims as one of the thank-you gifts to UP's new membership program. He has always been a friend to UP and always been a valued advisor and contributor.
John SullivanJohn Sullivan has more than 25 years of corporate finance experience at both large and small companies including 8 years at JDS Uniphase Corporation and 9 years at PG&E Corporation. As Vice President and Treasurer at JDS Uniphase, John managed global treasury operations, risk management, indirect procurement, and global real estate and facilities for the world's leading manufacturer of broadband test equipment, fiber optic network components and other advanced technology products. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Alice WolfsonAlice Wolfson, a nationally known policyholders' attorney, is a founder of the National Women's Health Network and has served on their board for six years. Additionally, she was a founder of the Committee to Defend Reproductive Rights/Coalition for Medical Rights of Women where she has also served as Executive Director. She also served as a consumer representative on an FDA Advisory Committee.
Ms. Wolfson has extensive experience in health and disability insurance issues, as well as non-profit administration and social action. Ms. Wolfson joined the UP Board in 2000.
Amy Bach, Executive DirectorAmy Bach has been a professional advocate for insurance consumers (policyholders), since 1984 and an attorney since 1989. A native of Brooklyn, New York residing in San Francisco, she is co-founder and Executive Director of United Policyholders, ("UP"). UP is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1991 that helps solve insurance problems and advocates for insurance consumers throughout the United States. Bach oversees the organization's three programs: Roadmap to Recovery™, Roadmap to Preparedness, and Advocacy and Action.
Bach graduated cum laude from Cornell University in 1982. She received her Juris Doctor degree in 1989. Bach represented non-profit entities including the Center for Public Interest Law and the Proposition 103 Enforcement Project in regulatory and litigation matters in California. She litigated insurance disputes on behalf of individual and commercial policyholders with Bourhis & Associates, then with the Law Office of Amy Bach. In 2005 Bach left private practice to become the full time Executive Director of United Policyholders.
Ms. Bach has performed government service with the New York State Legislature, the New York State Consumer Protection Board (1980's) and as a consultant to the California State Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Bad Faith and Consumer Rights, (2000). She served as counsel to a special master overseeing reforms at the California Department of Insurance in the 1990's. Bach was appointed in January, 2008 by the California Insurance Commissioner to Chair a Consumer Advisory Task Force.
She is serving her third term as a funded consumer representative at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and her first term on the NAIC Consumer Participation Board of Trustees. She has extensive experience providing input to public officials on insurance and legislative matters, particularly those that arise in the aftermath of natural disasters.
Bach has received awards from the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California, the Proposition 103 Implementation Project, and the Consumer Attorneys of California. She has authored and contributed to numerous publications on insurance matters, and is co-author of "The Disaster Recovery Handbook & Household Inventory Guide" (UP Press 2006).