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

Mr. Thomas joined PPM in 1999 and was promoted to Vice President-Risk Management in October 2015. With over twenty-five years of insurance industry experience, Mr. Thomas has focused the past nineteen 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 has published on risk management issues in several prominent national and state anesthesia journals such as the ASA Monitor, APSF Newsletter, Communique and Scope. Mr. Thomas also conducts a significant number of the Company’s on-site 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.

John M. Morhiser
Vice President-Underwriting

Mr. Morhiser was elected Vice President-Underwriting of PPM in June 2018. His responsibilities include the day-to-day direction of all underwriting and policyholder service activities. Mr. Morhiser joined Preferred Physicians Medical in 1992 and was named Underwriting Supervisor in 1996. Prior to joining PPM, Mr. Morhiser worked with countrywide commercial insurance programs for two large international insurance groups. Mr. Morhiser is a graduate of the University of Missouri College of Business with a degree in Economics.

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

Aubrey Maze, MD, FAAP -- Chair

Dr. Maze has been a Director of PPM since 1988 and Chair since 2001. Dr. Maze is board certified in both anesthesiology and pediatrics. He is President of the Western Region for Envision. Dr. Maze was the founder of Valley Anesthesiology & Pain Consultants and served as the CEO for 25 years. He is Executive Chairman of Anesthesiology at University of Arizona Phoenix Campus. Dr. Maze is past President of Stanford Anesthesia Alumni Association, past President of Medical Staff of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, past President of the Society of Pediatric Anesthesia, and past Secretary of the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research. Dr. Maze has also been an Associate Examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology from 1982-2010 and past Associate Editor of Anesthesiology.

Sandra L. Beretta, MD

Dr. Beretta has been a Director of PPM since 2017. She currently serves as Board Chair for the NORCAL Group and has been a Director of NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company since 2011. She has served as a member of NORCAL’s Claims Advisory Committee from 2003 to 2015. Dr. Beretta is a managing partner of a private practice partnership in San Mateo, CA and has been a practicing OB/GYN for nearly 25 years. Dr. Beretta has been a past Department Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mills-Peninsula Hospital. She also serves as a Director of Mills-Peninsula Medical Group.

Fabiola Cobarrubias, MD, MBA

Dr. Cobarrubias has been a Director of PPM since 2017. She has been a Director of NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company since 2012, and served as a hospitalist consultant to NORCAL’s Claims Advisory Committee from 2008-2015. She is a hospitalist at California Pacific Medical Center, where she held the position of Medical Director - Hospitalist Service from 2004 to 2011. She is also a founder, CEO and current board member of Pacific Inpatient Medical Group. She also serves as a Director of Brown & Toland Physicians. Dr. Cobarrubias holds an MBA from Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

Stephen K. Cyrus, MBA

Mr. Cyrus has been a Director of PPM since 2017. He has served as the Administrator of Atlantic Anesthesia, Inc. in Virginia Beach, VA, since 1986. He is responsible for the business and financial management of this medical practice which includes 38 physicians, 100 CRNAs and 30 staff members.

Scott Diener, MSIM, CPCU, ARe

Mr. Diener has been a Director of PPM since 2017. He has been a Director of NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company since 2015. Mr. Diener has served as President and Chief Executive Officer for the NORCAL Group since 2011. He has been a veteran of the insurance industry for nearly 40 years, specializing in medical professional liability. His work has spanned several areas of the industry including claims, risk management and business development.

Robert P. Edwards, MD

Dr. Edwards has been a Director of PPM since 2011. Dr. Edwards is a board-certified anesthesiologist practicing in the Salt Lake City, UT area. He 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.

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.

Rebecca J. Patchin, MD

Dr. Patchin has been a Director since 2020. She has been a Director of NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company since 2011. Dr. Patchin retired from practice as an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist in Riverside-San Bernardino counties after 22 years. She served on the American Medical Association Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2011 and as Chair from 2009 to 2010. Dr. Patchin served as Chair of The Joint Commission (2013 and 2014) and also served as Secretary and Treasurer. She also served as Chair of the Center for Transforming Health Care.

Harry B. Richardson, Jr. MD

Dr. Richardson has been a Director of PPM since 2017. Dr. Richardson has previously served on the Board of NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company from 1995 to 2012. He retired from the practice of Hematology/Medical Oncology in Sonoma County in 2003 after 29 years. He served as the Medical Director of the Blood Bank of the Redwoods. He was chief of the medical staff and on the Board of Trustees of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and was the founding Medical Director of Home Hospice of Sonoma County.

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.

William R. Vetter, MD

Dr. Vetter has been a Director of PPM since 2017. Dr. Vetter previously served on the Board of Directors of NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company from 1996 to 2010. While on the NORCAL Board, he served as chair of the Governance and Underwriting Committees. Dr. Vetter practices with Sutter Medical Group as an Invasive Cardiologist and served as President of the Sacramento Sierra Valley Medical Society in 1995.