Executive Chairman & Director
Mark E. Schwarz was elected Executive Chairman of the Company in August 2006. He served as Chief Executive Officer of the Company from January 2003 until August 2006, and as President from November 2003 through March 2006. Since 1993, Mr. Schwarz has, through Newcastle Capital Management, L.P. and Newcastle Capital Group, L.L.C., controlled the general partner of Newcastle Partners, L.P., a private investment firm. Mr. Schwarz presently serves as Chairman of the boards of directors of Pizza Inn, Inc., an operator and franchisor of pizza restaurants; and Wilhelmina International, Inc., a model management and talent representation company. Mr. Schwarz is also presently a director of SL Industries, Inc., a developer of power systems used in a variety of aerospace, computer, datacom, industrial, medical, telecom, transportation and utility equipment applications. Within the past five years, Mr. Schwarz has served as a director of Bell Industries, Inc., a company primarily engaged in providing computer systems integration services; MedQuist, Inc., a provider of clinical documentation workflow solutions in support of electronic health records; and Nashua Corporation, a manufacturer of specialty papers, labels and printing supplies. He also serves as a director of various privately held companies.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Mark J. Morrison was named President of the Company in April, 2006 and became Chief Executive Officer in August 2006. He joined the Company in March 2004 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and was appointed to the additional position of Chief Operating Officer in April 2005. Mr. Morrison has been involved in the property and casualty insurance industry since 1993. From 2001 until joining the Company, he had served as President of Associates Insurance Group, a subsidiary of St. Paul Travelers since 2001. From 1996 through 2000, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Associates Insurance Group, the insurance division of Associates First Capital Corporation. From 1995 to 1996, Mr. Morrison served as Controller of American Eagle Insurance Group. From 1993 to 1995, he was Director of Corporate Accounting for Republic Insurance Group. From 1991 to 1993, he served as Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis at Anthem, Inc. Mr. Morrison began his career as a public accountant with Ernst & Young, LLP from 1982 to 1991, where he completed his tenure as a Senior Manager.
Senior Vice President & Chief Accounting Officer
Jeffrey R. Passmore has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of the Company since June 2003, and previously served as Vice President of Business Development for the Company. Prior to joining the Company in November, 2002, Mr. Passmore had served as Vice President and Controller of Benfield Blanch, Inc. and its predecessor E.W. Blanch Holdings, Inc., a reinsurance intermediary since 2000. From 1998 to 1999, he served E.W. Blanch Holdings, Inc. as Assistant Vice President of Financial Reporting. From 1994 to 1998, he was a senior financial analyst with TIG Holdings, Inc., a property and casualty insurance holding company. Mr. Passmore began his career as an accountant for Gulf Insurance Group from 1990 to 1993. Mr. Passmore is a certified public accountant licensed in Texas.
Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President - Commercial Lines
Kevin T. Kasitz was named an Executive Vice President of the Company effective April 2006 and became Chief Operating Officer in December 2006. He is the President of the Personal Lines business unit and served as the President of American Hallmark Insurance Services, a business unit handling standard lines commercial insurance, from April 2003 to January 2011. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Kasitz had been employed by Benfield Blanch Inc., a reinsurance intermediary, where he served as a Senior Vice President in the Program Services division (2000 to 2003) and Alternative Distribution division (1999 to 2000), a Vice President in the Alternative Distribution division (1994 to 1999) and a Manager in the Wholesale Insurance Services division (1991 to 1994). From 1989 to 1991, he was a personal lines underwriter for Continental Insurance Company and, from 1986 to 1989, was an internal auditor for National County Mutual Insurance Company, a regional non-standard automobile insurer.
President - Standard Commercial Business Unit
Robert B. Wilson was named President of American Hallmark Insurance Services, Inc., a business unit handling standard lines commercial insurance, in January 2011. Prior to this role, Mr. Wilson served as the Executive Vice President of Insurance Operations (2008 to 2010) and Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing (2007 to 2008). Before joining the Company, Mr. Wilson served as a Senior Vice President and Producer (2004 to 2007) and Vice President of Operations (2001 to 2004) for Wm. Rigg Co., an independent insurance agency based in Fort Worth, Texas. Mr. Wilson began his insurance career in 1994 at the Millers American Group, a Property & Casualty insurance carrier, where he was Vice President/Reinsurance Manager & Special Projects (1999 to 2001) and Assistant Vice President/Reinsurance Manager (1997 to 1999). Mr. Wilson has a Masters from Vanderbilt University and BA in Business Administration from Baylor University.
President – Excess & Surplus (E&S) Commercial Business Unit
Donald E. Meyer was named President of Hallmark Specialty Underwriters, Inc. (formerly TGA Insurance Managers), a business unit handling primarily excess and surplus lines commercial insurance, after the acquisition of the subsidiaries comprising this operating unit in January, 2006. Mr. Meyer has served as the Vice President of the primary subsidiary within the TGA Operating Unit, Texas General Agency, Inc., since 1981. Since 1986, he has also served as the President of Gulf States Insurance Company, which was also acquired by the Company in January, 2006. Mr. Meyer served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Surplus Lines Association, an industry trade group, from 2002 through 2004. He had previously served on the Board of Directors of this organization from 1991 through 1996 and served as its President during 1995 and 1996. In 1999, Mr. Meyer was appointed by the Texas Insurance Commissioner to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas, a surplus lines self-regulatory organization, where he served as chairman in 2001.
President – Hallmark Select Business Unit
James A. Damonte was named President of Hallmark Select Companies in 2013, overseeing the operations of Hallmark Select’s subsidiary segments and their companies: General Aviation, Excess & Umbrella and Medical Professional Liability. Mr. Damonte also began serving as President of the business unit handling excess and umbrella casualty insurance in March 2010. Mr. Damonte has served as Executive Vice President of the primary subsidiary within the excess and umbrella business unit, Heath XS LLC., since August 2008 after the acquisition of the subsidiaries comprising the operating unit. Since joining Heath XS in 2004, Mr. Damonte initially served as Vice President of Underwriting and, from 2006 to 2008, later served as Executive Vice President of Jeffrey L. Heath, Inc., in charge of insurance operations. Mr. Damonte started his insurance career as a facultative underwriter for General Reinsurance Corporation in 1999 and was responsible for a portion of the Western United States handling both individual risk and program reinsurance. Mr. Damonte attended graduate school at SMU's Cox School of Business and did his undergraduate studies at University of Nevada.
Vice President – Workers Compensation Business Unit
Benjamin A. Siddons was named Vice President of Hallmark Workers Compensation Insurance (formerly Texas Builders Insurance Company), a business unit focused exclusively on workers’ compensation insurance. Before joining Texas Builders in 2009, Mr. Siddons served as the Director of Business Development at American Physicians Insurance Company (2005-2009) and was a surety producer at Frank Siddons Insurance from 2003-2005. Mr. Siddons has a Masters of Business Administration from Saint Edward’s University and BBA in Finance from Texas Tech University.