Working at WNC Insurance Services means being part of a team of dynamic professionals with a passion for service, innovation and collaboration. Being at WNC means that no challenge is too big or too difficult. We believe we have the experience and expertise to offer the best solution for our clients, and if need be, the resources and determination to develop it.
These are the same attributes that we seek in future members of our team. We need individuals with a strong desire to learn and to apply knowledge and skills to find the best answers. We want professionals with the entrepreneurial drive to stand out and aim higher, the willingness to question traditional answers, and if opportunity dictates, the confidence to sidestep the path of least resistance.
When you join our team, you will learn that integrity is our most valuable offering. We deliver results that make our clients’ work easier. We fulfill their commitments as if they were our own. This is the central theme of our manifesto. It is also what makes working at WNC a promising opportunity to learn, create, serve and succeed.
A great place for a fulfilling career
At WNC our success is ultimately built on the talents and skills of our people, drawing on their combined expertise, knowledge and willingness to collaborate to provide you with the best products, services and support every day.
Each team is led by industry veterans with deep product knowledge and a passion for building the business based on client success. We do our best to offer our employees a rewarding career that helps them grow, develop and play to their strengths.
Our values underpin everything we do and how we work together. They are:
- Empowerment of our people so they make informed decisions for which they take ownership
- Fairness in all that we do, so we operate honestly and responsibly and continuously build on our reputation for professionalism and trust
- Integrity drives our thinking and our behaviors and ensures we always do the right thing
- Excellence means always providing the best service possible inside and outside the company and treating our clients’ commitments as if they were our own
- Innovation keeps our minds open to new ideas and concepts and helps us find new ways to solve client problems
- Teamwork comes from valuing our people, encouraging their development and rewarding their entrepreneurial approach
Mr. Blandford joined WNC as board member in 2004 to focus on growth strategies. He assumed an operating role in 2011 as the Managing Director of Strategy and Finance. In that role, he led acquisitions, product line expansion and relationships with key capital partners, including Tokio Marine Kiln. He was named CEO in 2018 to lead WNC’s expansion plans.
Prior to joining WNC, Mr. Blandford spent 20 years investing in and advising growth services companies. He was a Managing Director of two private equity firms, Frontenac Company and CCCC Growth Fund. He led both firms’ financial services investments.
He began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Mr. Blandford serves on the boards of directors for ESCO Ear Services, GCH Capital Advance and Source Intelligence.
Linda Long joined WNC in 2001. As Chief Operating Officer, Linda is responsible for all of WNC’s operations and financial accounting functions including payroll, general ledger, cash management, budget, and financial statement preparation. She also oversees the annual financial audit and income tax preparation.
Linda has over 25 years of experience in both life and property and casualty insurance accounting. A graduate of Central Oklahoma University, Linda began her career at First Life Assurance Company and rose to Vice President of Subsidiary Accounting. She joined CSC Logic in 1989, serving as Division Controller and assisting the larger corporation in acquired company integration.
Linda is a Certified Public Accountant and a Fellow of the Life Management Institute.
Kiran Achen joined WNC in 2018. As Chief Information Officer (CIO), Kiran is responsible for defining and implementing a technology strategic vision aligned to WNC’s growth and performance goals. He has oversight of the technology organization and all technology initiatives.
Prior to joining WNC, Kiran Achen was Assistant Vice President in the IT organization of CNA Insurance focused on strategy, roadmaps, IT modernization & simplification, digital innovation, customer experience and cloud computing.
Kiran began his career with Deloitte Consulting and subsequently worked in Healthcare, Telecom, Transportation, Retail industries before joining CNA.
Kiran holds a Master of Business Administration degree from University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University.
As President of the Private Flood Division, Norman Heinrich is responsible for the management, marketing and development of Private Flood programs administered out of the WNC First Miami office. His thirty plus years of Property and Casualty sales, marketing and underwriting experience have given Norman the expertise to develop, administer and underwrite Flood insurance programs for insurance companies, wholesalers and reinsurance partners.
Prior to joining WNC, Norman was the Director of Marketing and Flood operations for Capital Assurance Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Skandia Companies. His responsibilities included the marketing and sales functions for the Property and Casualty units and the marketing and underwriting functions for the Flood operations. The Flood operations included voluntary and NFIP flood programs.
Norman Heinrich holds a degree in Accounting from Florida International University and is a licensed Property and Casualty agent and a Surplus Lines insurance agent.
Rick Girden joined WNC in 2015. As President of the Construction Division, Rick is responsible for the P&L and all of the operations within the division.
He started his career 37 years ago with Prudential of England located in Winnipeg, Canada. He has focused the last 30 years in the construction property area. In 1996, he was transferred to the U.S. where he has held senior positions with some of the largest Insurers and Wholesale Brokers.
As President of the Financial Services Division, Robert Shekell is responsible for day-to-day operations, and the financial institution products and services provided by WNC's South Pasadena, CA and Dallas, TX locations. Before joining WNC in July 2016, Robert worked at QBE Insurance Group for 17 years where he held many leadership roles, including Director of Client Development, Operations, Executive of Best Shores Global Operations and Director of Account Management and Industry Relations.
At QBE, Robert Shekell was also responsible for client advocacy and best practices while initiating and facilitating strategic industry initiatives. Through more than 15 years of membership on the Loan Administration Committee of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Robert has been instrumental in helping to modernize and protect the mortgage servicing and hazard insurance industries.
Further, Robert Shekell has held senior leadership roles in Corporate Training, Escrow Administration, and Default Management. He has been active in the Institute of Financial Education and was President of the Los Angeles Chapter for two terms and an instructor for six years, teaching among others, the fundamentals of Mortgage Loan Servicing and Loan Originations. Robert also authored a First-time Homebuyers Program that was used nationwide to facilitate minority homeownership.
Chief Underwriting Officer and Carrier Relations, Financial Services DivisionDownload vCard
As Chief Underwriting Officer and Carrier Relations, John’s primary responsibility is the management of property and casualty lender-placed insurance programs for financial institutions – including flood, hazard, wind, and physical damage coverage for automobiles. John and his Product Support team work very closely with all of WNC First’s insurance carriers, producers and client lenders to provide lending compliant insurance programs.
Before joining WNC First, John’s career of more than 30 years was exclusively devoted to the insurance carrier side of the business – with major carriers such as Allstate, Transamerica, and most recently, Balboa. During his years with these companies, John was responsible for underwriting and product development of all types of property and casualty coverages such as automobile liability and physical damage, renters, condo-owners, boats and recreational vehicles, plus fire and homeowners coverages for property owners.
Recognized as an expert in lender-placed insurance products, John has had the opportunity to participate with state insurance regulators in the development of regulations that were effective in protecting the interests of consumers and lenders, as well as the insurance industry. John has also been able to provide expert testimony for the support of lender-placed programs in several areas of litigation.
John has dual degrees in Business and Marketing from the University of Southern California.
As Senior Vice President, Jordan N. Gray serves as chief legal advisor to each of the Company’s divisions and departments, including Private Flood, Financial Services, US Construction, Reinsurance, Claims, Human Resources, and Information Technology.
With more than twenty-five years of experience in the insurance industry, Jordan holds licenses to practice law in California, New York and the District of Columbia, where he is also admitted to practice before California and New York federal district courts, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Jordan enjoys an “AV” rating in Martindale-Hubbell for his legal work in California.
Before joining WNC, Jordan served as a partner in Arias, Lockwood & Gray, a boutique litigation firm, and as a partner in Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, a national full service law firm. His private practice clients have included Allstate Insurance Company, Hartford Insurance Company, Protective Life Insurance Company, Specialty Risk Services, WNC Insurance Services, and the County of Riverside, California.
Jordan earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of California, Riverside, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Montana, School of Law, where he served on the Montana Law Review.
Art Lee joined WNC in April of 2018. Art is responsible for overseeing, managing, and maintaining the company’s compliance management system for all the WNC businesses. Art and his team will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the company’s risk and compliance issues in an independent manner, and helping to keep the company current with regulatory issues and compliant with changes in laws applicable to the company’s products and services.
Art has over 20 years of legal, regulatory, product and compliance experience in the financial services and insurance industries, including the last 14 years as senior in-house counsel for a lender-placed insurance provider. A graduate of UCLA and Loyola Law School, Art began his career at the Automobile Club of Southern California as a Claims Coverage lawyer and eventually as its Personal Lines Insurance Product Manager. In 2003, he joined the Balboa Insurance Group as in-house counsel and rose to the position of Senior Vice-President within the successive owners of Balboa’s lender-placed insurance business, including Bank of America, QBE Insurance and National General Insurance.
As President of WNC wholly owned Precise Adjustments, Inc., Mark Sarrett is responsible for the operations, direction and growth of the organization and has been since 2005.
Mark has over 35 years of experience in the insurance claims industry and has been managing claims and other operations within insurance companies for over 25 years. He began his insurance career with Safeco Insurance Company and subsequently moved to Balboa Insurance Company where he became the Vice President of Claims.
Mark’s employment at Balboa and now Precise brings forth his claims experience from the viewpoint of the financial institutions. His varied career expertise has given him a unique and well-rounded perspective of claims service as well as a slant toward an entrepreneurial spirit.
Mark is a graduate of Biola University.