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Leadership & Board

Executive Leaders

Wade D. Willard, JD

President and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Willard was elected President and Chief Operating Officer of PPM in November 2017. Mr. Willard joined Preferred Physicians Medical in 1997 and was promoted to Senior Claims Attorney in 2000. In 2008 Mr. Willard assumed responsibility of the Claims Department as the Claims Department Supervisor and was promoted to Vice President-Claims in 2010. As President and COO, Mr. Willard is responsible for PPM's overall insurance operation as well as executing the Company's short and long term strategies for growing its business while maintaining the company's high underwriting standards and focus on the needs of the anesthesia specialty. In addition, he continues to manage the customary operations of the Claims Department. Mr. Willard regularly speaks at national and regional society meetings and conducts on-site risk management seminars.

Mr. Willard is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law. Prior to joining Preferred Physicians Medical in 1997, he clerked for the Kansas Medical Society and Kansas Medical Mutual Insurance Company.

Deanna R. Olson
Chief Financial Officer, Vice President-Finance, Treasurer and Secretary
Ms. Olson is responsible for all accounting and financial reporting for the Company. She is responsible for preparation of the financial statements, as well as coordinating efforts with regulators and auditors. She is also directing the enterprise risk management process for the Company. Ms. Olson, a CPA since 2004, joined PPM after spending three years as a Director with McGladrey & Pullen, where she was charged with development and training of the national insurance practice curriculum and audit documentation. Prior to McGladrey & Pullen, Ms. Olson spent seven years with KPMG, leaving as a Manager having served companies of varying size almost exclusively within the insurance industry audit practice. She received her graduate and undergraduate degrees in accounting from Missouri State in 2002.

Brian J. Thomas, JD
Vice President-Risk Management and Claims
Mr. Thomas joined PPM in 1999 and was promoted to Vice President-Risk Management in October 2015. With over twenty-eight years of insurance industry experience, Mr. Thomas has focused the past twenty-two years exclusively on providing risk management services to anesthesia providers and defending high severity medical negligence litigation. Mr. Thomas is also Editor of PPM’s risk management newsletter, Anesthesia & the Law. Mr. Thomas was elected to the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation’s (APSF) Board of Directors in 2019 on the APSF’s Editorial Board and Corporate Advisory Council.

Mr. Thomas has authored or co-authored in several prominent publications, including international, national, and state anesthesia journals such as Anesthesia & Analgesia, ASA Monitor, APSF Newsletter, Communique and Scope. Mr. Thomas has conducted over 250 on-site and virtual risk management seminars, and frequently lectures on anesthesia risk management topics for national, regional, and state medical society meetings and other health care organizations.

Mr. Thomas is a 1995 graduate of Washburn University School of Law. Before joining PPM, he served as in-house counsel to several national insurance companies where his duties included the management and supervision of claims and litigation.

Warren L. Rhodes, CIC
Vice President-Underwriting
Mr. Rhodes was elected Vice President-Underwriting of PPM in October 2022. His responsibilities include the day-to-day direction of all underwriting, policyholder service, and office service activities. Mr. Rhodes joined Preferred Physicians Medical in July of 2022. Prior to joining PPM, Mr. Rhodes spent the last 26 years holding various underwriting and business development leadership positions with both regional and national insurance carriers in the commercial insurance industry. Mr. Rhodes is a graduate of Pittsburg State University Kelce College of Business.

Steve Stark
Vice President-Business Development
Mr. Stark was elected Vice President-Business Development in June 2018. Mr. Stark’s responsibilities include management of the day-to-day operations of the business development functions including client retention and growing PPM’s policyholder base of highly qualified anesthesia groups. In addition, Mr. Stark attends numerous anesthesia conferences each year. Mr. Stark joined PPM in 1989 as Regional Sales Representative when the Company insured fewer than 200 anesthesiologists and was promoted to National Sales Manager in 2001. Mr. Stark has been a key member in PPM’s growth and success.

Board of Directors

Robert P. Edwards, MD -- Chair
Dr. Edwards has been a Director of PPM since 2011, and was elected Board Chair in October 2022. Dr. Edwards is a board-certified anesthesiologist in the Salt Lake City, UT area. He was a member of Mountain West Anesthesia, having served as a Treasurer-Secretary on their Board of Managers. Dr. Edwards has served as an Executive Board member and Treasurer of the Utah Society of Anesthesiologists and as Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at The University of California at San Francisco. He earned his MD at the University of Illinois, College and Medicine and pursued his specialty in anesthesiology at the University of California, where he also completed his fellowship.

Christine G. Cattaneo, MD
Dr. Cattaneo was appointed a Director of PPM in March 2022. Dr. Cattaneo is a board-certified anesthesiologist practicing in Annapolis, MD. She served as President of Anesthesia Company, LLC for over 10 years and currently serves on their Manpower Committee and as Schedule Coordinator. She has served as Secretary/Treasurer and Chair of the Resident Component of the Maryland & DC Societies of Anesthesiologists. Dr. Cattaneo has also served as an instructor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiologists as a Diplomate.

Robert D. Francis
Mr. Francis was appointed a Director of PPM in June 2021. Mr. Francis is Executive Vice President, Underwriting and Operations, for the Healthcare Professional Liability operation within the Specialty P&C division of ProAssurance. He most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer of The Doctor’s Company and was previously employed at ProAssurance for twenty years, during which time he held a number of positions including Chief Underwriting Officer. He oversees the Healthcare Professional Liability underwriting and operations.

Derick T. George, MD, MBA
Dr. George has been a Director of PPM since 2018. He is a board-certified anesthesiologist practicing in Port Jefferson, NY. He is a Founding Member of Long Island Anesthesia Physicians, LLP and is the Chairman of Anesthesia and Perioperative Services at St. Charles Hospital, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital and Peconic Bay Medical Center/Northwell Health. Dr. George has been recognized by both St. Charles, May 2016 and Mather Memorial Hospital, October 2017 as “Physician of the Year” with the Theodore Roosevelt Award. Dr. George holds an MBA in Management from Adelphia University.

Dana S. Hendricks
Ms. Hendricks was appointed a Director of PPM in June 2021. Ms. Hendricks is an Executive Vice President and the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of ProAssurance Corporation. Prior to assuming her role as ProAssurance’s CFO in September 2018, Ms. Hendricks was the Senior Vice President of Business Operations for the Podiatry Insurance Company of America n/k/a ProAssurance Insurance Company of America (PICA), a ProAssurance subsidiary, having previously served PICA as Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller, and in several other executive-level capacities. Prior to joining PICA in 2001, Ms. Hendricks held various finance and data analysis positions with American General Life & Accident Insurance Company, as well as finance and accounting positions in both public and non-public companies. She is a member the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a graduate of Murray State University where she majored in Accounting.

Ian J. Kallmeyer, MD
Dr. Kallmeyer was elected a Director of PPM in October 2020. He is a board-certified anesthesiologist in Phoenix, AZ. He serves as Senior Vice President of Anesthesia for Envision Physician Services and as President of Valley Anesthesiology Consultants, Ltd. Dr. Kallmeyer is a Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesia at the University of Arizona, a Fellow of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and serves on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Society of Anesthesiologists.

Jeffrey P. Lisenby, JD, CPCU
Mr. Lisenby was appointed as a Director of PPM in June 2021. Mr. Lisenby is an Executive Vice President of ProAssurance Corporation and is their General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. He joined Medical Assurance, the predecessor to ProAssurance, in 2001 and has served as head of the corporate Legal Department since that time. Prior to joining Medical Assurance, he was in private practice in Birmingham, Alabama, from 1996 to 2001 and served as a judicial clerk for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama from 1995 to 1996. Mr. Lisenby received his bachelor and law degrees from The University of Alabama. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the United States Supreme Court Bar and is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter.

Karen M. Murphy, ESQ
Ms. Murphy was appointed a Director of PPM in March 2023. Ms. Murphy is the Executive Vice President & Head of Life Sciences for ProAssurance. She is responsible for all aspects of our Life Sciences business, including underwriting, claims, risk management, IT applications, and business development and marketing. Ms. Murphy began her insurance career as Staff Attorney for Medmarc Insurance Group and was later promoted to Vice President & General Counsel. As General Counsel, she oversaw the legal, regulatory compliance and human resources functions and served as Corporate Secretary. She assumed responsibility for Risk Management in 2007. In 2010, she was promoted to Senior Vice President and moved into an operational role, leading the claims, risk management, and marketing and business development areas. Ms. Murphy was promoted to her current role as Executive Vice President in 2016 and reports to the President of the Specialty P&C Segment. She earned her JD from the American University, Washington College of Law, and her BBA from the University of Cincinnati. She is licensed to practice law in the State of New York and holds a Corporate Counsel license in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Steven R. Sanford, JD
Mr. Sanford rejoined the PPM Board as a Director in 2017. Mr. Sanford previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of PPM until his retirement in November 2017. During his 26 years with PPM, he served in various leadership roles beginning his career in the Claims Department. Prior to joining PPM, Mr. Sanford was Senior Attorney for Kansas Health Care Stabilization Fund, an excess insurance provider for health care practitioners in the state of Kansas. Mr. Sanford also served 11 years on the Board of Directors of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation and is a practicing attorney in Topeka, Kansas.

Charles C. Smith, MBA
Mr. Smith was appointed a Director of PPM in March 2022. Mr. Smith has served as the CEO of Mountain West Anesthesia, LLC (MWA) in the Salt Lake City, UT area since 2003. Prior to becoming the CEO of MWA, Mr. Smith was the Regional Director Practice Management for Team Health Anesthesia Management Services and Regional Director Practice Management for Integrated Specialists Management Services, Inc., being directly involved in operations for clients acquired in surrounding states. His work included improving governance, operations, internal client communications and expansion of business. Mr. Smith worked closely with Legal and Finance Departments to coordinate resolution of financial, legal, or governance related client issues. Mr. Smith has an MBA from Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT; and a BS in Accounting from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT.