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Meet our Senior Leadership Team

Veronica M. Schmelzer, FLMI, HIA, SICS

Founder & President of Strategic Underwriting Solutions

Vicki is a 30 year veteran of the health insurance industry specializing in risk management. She is an underwriting leader with proven success in managing high-quality teams and billion-dollar blocks of accident and health insurance risk, including fully insured and stop loss health business. She also provided risk management and product development services for dental, short-term disability and life underwriting products. She is a Certified Specialist in Self-Insurance and is an entrepreneur who founded Strategic Underwriting Solutions (SUS) with prominent industry investment partners in 2006 to bring high quality, innovative risk management and compliance solutions to the market. SUS is a full service Managing General Underwriting company for A-rated stop loss carriers and a full-service risk management consulting company for the accident, health and life insurance industry.

Vicki and her partners formed this organization specifically to respond to a market need for third party administrators, insurers, managed care organizations and risk bearing entities considering entry into new products and markets where they have efficient administration, distribution, clinical expertise, other positive factors but require highly qualified and capable medical underwriting staff and risk management services.

Cheryl Wesa, FLMI

Vice President, Stop Loss Underwriting

Cherie is responsible for production staff and personal production risk management, including profitable pricing of small group and stop loss health insurance business. She is also responsible for financial activities that impact the profitability of the carriers and risk-taking entities SUS services and achieve profit, growth service and expense objectives on assigned blocks of business. Cherie represents the underwriting function in customer meetings and client/broker interactions. She assists with monitoring and controlling SUS’s annual operating plan with a commitment to long-term business relationships. She provides input and overall management of stop loss operations, including quality database management at SUS.

Lori Michaels, ALHC

Vice President, Risk Management Operations

Lori is responsible for staff and processes related to all aspects of operations for underwriting, premium remittance/inforce account management, specific and aggregate excess claims adjudication and case management. She is also responsible for documentation and training of underwriting guidelines for specific carrier and MEWA programs, risk management tools, and quality reviews of internal staff for her related areas. She works closely with executives and customers to develop profitable sales plans that achieve persistence and contribute to its performance objectives. She assisted in the development of our business continuity and disaster recovery plan.

Joseph Toohill, FLMI, AIRC, HIA, CHRS

Vice President, Compliance and TPA Management

Joe is a regulatory and compliance Vice President with extensive experience in individual, small and large employer health and ancillary markets. Joe is responsible for policy issuance, agent/agency appointments, product development, legal, regulatory and compliance functions and services. He coordinates relationships with and conducts administrative audits of partner third party administrators. He completes regulatory research as needed for new, pending, and existing health product requirements, including advertising compliance and rate filings for clients. He implements compliance updates and corrective action plans as required by regulators, carriers and risk-takers.

Robert Dvorak, FLMI

Vice President, Finance, Audit and Actuarial Support

Bob is responsible for all aspects of the financial management of SUS operations. He is responsible for the insurance block and SUS financial reporting. He coordinates all internal and external auditing activities. Bob is also responsible for assisting with the pricing of risk for assigned blocks of business and evaluating the underwriting formulas and base rate models utilized in SUS pricing methodology.

Derek Schmelzer, MBA

Assistant Vice President, Financial Operations & Business Development

Derek is responsible for key financial activities, reporting, internal and external audits, strategic planning and overall management of SUS operations and sales initiatives. He has earned his way to this key position at SUS through continued education earning his MBA and continuous learning over the past ten plus years holding various key positions in the accident and health insurance business including extensive experience in underwriting, rating, audit, and finance as well as sales and inforce administration. He is a key member of the senior leadership team responsible for maintaining relationships with our carriers, reinsurers, third party administrators, and benefit consultants.

Sue Malecki

Regional Director of IT & Administration

Sue is responsible for SUS technology and facilities management along with complete project management support with the President of Strategic Underwriting Solutions. Sue has over twenty five plus years’ experience in the accident and health insurance business working in multi-faceted roles including underwriting, administration, IT and complete facilities management. She is very detail-orientated and brings the utmost in high quality work, superior work ethic, and excellent HR and administration support for the entire organization at all levels. She handles the most complex and confidential details of the business with the utmost professionalism.

Paul Hathway

National Director of Marketing and Sales

Paul is responsible for maximizing the sales potential of the private label stop loss programs managed at SUS including recruiting, training and supporting brokers, maximizing sales opportunities through new relationships as well as providing key support for our top private label managers. He joins SUS with over twenty five years of successful sales experience in the small group and individual accident and health markets in both inside and regional external sales positions for prominent carriers in the industry. Paul is accountable for the overall success of our stop loss business, in both growth and profitability as a key member of the senior leadership team.