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Leadership Team

Our experienced team is committed to your success by delivering the resources and support you need to take your business to the next level.

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Chris Treanor is the President & CEO of Specialty Program Group. In that role, he is responsible for the development and execution of a strategy to acquire and grow best in class specialty brokers and underwriting managers. Prior to starting Specialty Program Group in July of 2015, Chris was President of Preferred Concepts, LLC., a nationwide program manager. Chris joined Preferred in 2010 when the company acquired Mercator Risk Services, Inc., a national wholesale brokerage firm that Chris co-founded in 2006.

Prior to founding Mercator, Chris worked for 20 years at Marsh, where he held leadership roles in brokerage, sales and office management. Ultimately, he served as Chief Executive Officer of the firm’s global placement operations. Chris was a member of the Marsh, Inc. Board of Directors and the company’s Management Committee.

Chris received an BA in Economics and History magna cum laude from Duke University in 1985 and received his MBA from Columbia University in 1991. He has an honorary Doctorate from Centenary University, where he previously served as a Trustee and Vice Chairman of the Board. He currently serves as a Trustee and past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Freedom House Inc., an organization providing substance abuse treatment and residential recovery programs throughout New Jersey.

Maryellen Dolan is the Chief Operating Officer responsible for process and technology initiatives for Specialty Program Group. In this role, she is responsible for designing business strategies to create process efficiency and technology enhancements to support business partners. Prior to joining Specialty Program Group, Maryellen spent 29 years in the insurance industry holding various underwriting, financial and operational leadership roles with prominent property casualty insurance companies. Her most recent position was with AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., where she held the position of Assistant Vice President, Operations, responsible for managing system integration and process efficiency projects to support the consolidation of acquired business to new policy platforms.

Prior to joining AmTrust, Maryellen spent 17 years in senior leadership positions with Tower Group Companies, designing technology enhancements and leading customer experience, process improvement and operational control projects that delivered solutions to support solid results for the Underwriting, Finance and Claims organizations. During her tenure, Maryellen led several technology initiatives, including developing and designing the first generation underwriting and billing service center, which later expanded to five operation centers nationwide. In addition, she designed an online service delivery platform that improved customer experience and organizational efficiency for underwriting and financial support functions. She provided leadership, guidance and support to internal and external teams responsible for providing underwriting and financial services to brokerage partners.

Maryellen holds various professional operations designations, including Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Chartered Insurance Operations Professional and a Project Management Certification, which has provided the knowledge and expertise to successfully design process and technology projects resulting in efficiency gains for business partners. In addition, Maryellen is an active member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), where she participates with local chapters to support ongoing learning around quality, service and process efficiency practices.

Jonah Lipin joined SPG in 2019 as Chief Product Officer for Specialty Program Group and provides strategic guidance to acquired business partners for new and replacement program development, large retail distribution strategy, & cross sell within Specialty Program Group portfolio of companies.

He began his insurance career with Kaye Insurance Associates in 2002 which was acquired by HUB International shortly thereafter. After progressing through the HUB Management training program, Jonah joined HUB’s MGA/Wholesale arm Program Brokerage Corporation as a Business Development Leader for their MGA division. During his time with HUB/Program Brokerage, Jonah was responsible for distribution of MGA products as well as development of sales and underwriting tools. He rose to position of Vice President and achieved the Platinum sales award 12 consecutive years.

Jonah graduated from Clemson University with a Major in Business Management and a Concentration in Real Estate Finance.

He is a licensed property, casualty and surplus lines insurance professional, holds a green belt six sigma certification, & Certified Programs Leader (CPL) Designation.

Ryan Barnes is the Chief Financial Officer for Specialty Program Group (SPG). In this role, Ryan is responsible for leading the finance function in support of SPG’s continued revenue growth.

Ryan has been in the insurance industry since 2007 serving in various regional CFO capacities for Hub International. Ryan joined Hub International in 2007 as the CFO of Hub International Transportation Insurance Services. He was instrumental in growing the Transportation specialty through a series of key acquisitions around the country. In March of 2016, Ryan added to his existing responsibilities at the time by becoming CFO for Hub International Northwest. In this role, Ryan has led the finance function through strong growth in revenues, including several acquisitions in an increasing footprint in the Northwest.

Ryan began his career in 1995 with KPMG in Las Vegas, Nevada and spent four and a half years in audit and assurance services supervising financial audits of public companies in the bio tech, manufacturing and real estate development sectors. After KPMG, and before joining Hub, Ryan had roles as Manager of Budgeting and Financial Reporting in a $500M dot.com company. He was also a Regional Controller of a $600M division of a publicly traded building materials company which included a trucking division and then a VP of Finance in a large real estate developer and home builder in Las Vegas.

Ryan has been an active licensed Certified Public Accountant since 1998. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Masters of Accountancy from Southern Utah University in 1994 and 1995 respectively. In 2010, Ryan earned his MBA from the University of Utah.

Christopher Lamitola is the Chief Sales Officer for Specialty Program Group and provides strategic sales and marketing guidance to acquired business partners. Chris has over 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He began his career in claims before becoming an insurance agent with Liberty Mutual Insurance in 2007.

Chris grew his book organically by developing centers of influence and building relationships through affinity marketing. Chris’ career progressed into sales leadership roles where he consistently took the next step and advanced into higher level management positions. He has worked directly with producers and top line management driving production results.

Chris earned a bachelor’s degree from the University at Albany and is a licensed property, casualty, life & health insurance professional. He also holds a LUTCF designation.

Matt Pinkham is the Chief Legal Officer of Specialty Program Group and is responsible for all legal related aspects impacting SPG’s business, with a particular focus on strategy, regulatory compliance, contract review and support, claims and mergers and acquisitions. Matt works closely with the SPG executive leadership team and serves as a dedicated resource and business partner for all of SPG’s boutique specialty, program, wholesale and retail businesses.

Prior to joining SPG, Matt spent eight years in the legal department at Hub International Limited where he primarily focused on mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Hub, Matt was a corporate transactional attorney at the law firms of Reed Smith LLP and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP where he focused primarily on private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions as well as other general corporate matters.

Matt received a BA in Psychology from Brown University, where he was a four-year member of the varsity football team, and received a JD from the University of Virginia. Matt also has a Master of Arts in Sports Administration from Northwestern University. He currently resides in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and three children.

Dennis Kane


Dennis Kane is the Executive Vice President and Director of Program Underwriting for Specialty Program Group (SPG). He is responsible for the P&L and program profitability of the program underwriting businesses at SPG. In addition, he leads efforts to build out best-in-class capabilities and drive quality & consistency across all underwriting operations of SPG.
Prior to joining SPG, Dennis was the Global CEO of Amynta Warranty, the largest global warranty administrator with operations in Australia, Colombia, Barbados, the UK, Canada, and the US. At Amynta, he successfully led transformation and growth strategies including the launch of a structured solution captive in Barbados. Other initiatives included building out underwriting unit and  being granted underwriting authority by eight carriers, launching a start-up auto dealer MGU, and transferring claims operations to Bogota, Columbia. During this time, Dennis also served on the board of Foundation Automotive, one of the fastest-growing auto dealers in the US and Canada.

Prior to Amynta, Dennis was the Global Mergers & Acquisitions Leader for Victor Insurance Holdings, a division of Marsh. In addition, to M&A responsibilities, he led efforts to transform a sidecar syndicate at Lloyds of London into a full authority syndicate and was appointed as the syndicate underwriter. Dennis previously co-founded SeaFire Insurance, an MGU for auto dealers in 2011 and sold the business to Victor Insurance in 2014, achieving a full earn-out. Before SeaFire, Dennis worked at Zurich for 20 years and held various leadership positions, ending as Executive Vice President where he led a $1.5B GWP SBU, formally known as Universal Underwriters. He also was a member of Zurich’s Program Executive Committee that approved and oversaw the profitability of all program business. 

Dennis received a BS in Business Administration from the University of Kansas. He has completed executive education programs at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Northwestern University.

Danny Fogel


Danny Fogel is the Vice President – Mergers & Acquisitions for Specialty Program Group driving business growth through analytical support, financial planning & analysis, and mergers & acquisitions guidance. Danny is a highly trusted business partner to senior management, operational leaders, and board members.

In 2007, Danny began his career as an auditor and consultant with Clifton Gunderson. He provided assurance, advisory, technical and transaction services to government and healthcare clients.

In 2011, he moved to Orbitz Worldwide. His role included managing the month-end accounting close, internal control compliance, and scaling process improvements.

In 2013, he joined the corporate finance group at Hub International. His focus was on improving business results through forecasting, budgeting and value-add reporting. He helped grow revenue by over 100% through organic growth and accretive acquisition strategy.

Danny graduated from Indiana University Kelley School of Business with a double major in finance and accounting. He received his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with a concentration in financial analytics. He is a licensed and registered CPA.

Brandon Heutmaker is Vice President and Actuary supporting Specialty Program Group’s program underwriting businesses. In this role, Brandon is responsible for working with program leadership to project the underwriting results of each program and identify areas of opportunity to improve the underwriting results for all stakeholders. In addition, he leads SPG’s efforts to improve the data and analytics available to monitor and manage each of the programs.

Brandon has worked for a number of carriers since entering the insurance industry in 1997. The last 20 years of his experience has been supporting excess and surplus lines carriers. In his most recent role, Brandon was the founding Chief Actuary for Verus Specialty Insurance, a Berkley Company. He worked there for twelve years and his position grew in that time to include both Chief Financial Officer and Chief Actuary roles, responsible for pricing, reserving, financial planning and analyses, financial reporting, and collections. Prior to joining Verus, Brandon worked for Argo Group’s excess and surplus lines segment, Colony Specialty Insurance for five years. His responsibilities there included leading a team of both pricing and reserving actuaries. Brandon’s experience prior to Argo Group, includes supporting variety of lines of business from non-standard personal lines to worker’s compensation.

Brandon graduated from the University of Arizona with a major in mathematics.

He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Emily Landa


Emily Landa is the Senior Human Resource Business Partner for Specialty Program Group. Emily leads strategy, talent management, and delivery of core human resource functions.

Prior to joining Specialty Program Group, Emily was the Human Resources Generalist for HUB International Midwest in Chicago, Illinois. She was responsible for all human resource functions including performance management, onboarding and benefit support. Emily also served as the lead Regional Recruiter for the region, focusing on the recruiting and talent acquisition function and strategy.

Emily began her career in human resources at Laurus Strategies in Chicago, Illinois as a Human Resources Consultant after graduating from St. Norbert College with a Business degree. There she provided clients with both project based and strategic human resources outsourcing services. Laurus Strategies was acquired by HUB International in 2014.

Eli Orozco


Eli Orozco is the Vice President of Marketing for Specialty Program Group and provides marketing leadership, strategy, project management, and marketing operations to support Specialty Program Group and its portfolio of brands.

Eli is a Systems Engineer by trade who started his career as a Junior IT consultant managing projects for NAM & LATAM regions. He relocated to the US from Mexico City where he had the opportunity to join a rotational leadership program.

His leadership, performance and commitment to excellence has allowed him the opportunity to lead marketing projects at a global scale including the UK & China.

Eli has over 15 years of experience in Marketing, strategy, building and developing high-performing team. His engineering background along with his creative and outside-of-the-box thinking, has allowed him to be a key assets to businesses looking to scale and bring marketing solutions to their business goals and challenges.

Eli has a passion for people, strategy, the IoT, AI and all emergent technologies. When he’s not solving business challenges, you’ll find him playing tennis, doing sprint triathlons, traveling and looking for new culinary and mixology experiences.

Elizabeth S. Thimme


Elizabeth Thimme is leading the charge in digital transformation and strategic IT initiatives at Specialty Program Group. Her strong background in digital product management, transformational change programs, and leadership positions her as a key player in driving the company’s digital strategies and integrating technologies across platforms.

With a proven track record in private banking, investment management, and Fintech, Elizabeth has excelled in business process re-engineering, strategic planning, business development, building partnerships, and managing risk. Her experience as COO and Product Owner at a life insurance technology firm showcased her ability to develop product roadmaps, launch new capabilities, and lead high-performing teams, all while promoting growth through agile practices. Her roles at Morgan Samuels Company and J.P. Morgan emphasized her skills in client relationship management, enhancing customer experiences, and leveraging technology for innovation.

Elizabeth’s approach is centered on fostering a culture of continuous improvement and teamwork, ensuring her efforts significantly support Specialty Program Group’s strategic goals and digital advancements.

Elizabeth’s journey from specialized roles in Fintech and banking to leadership in digital transformation at Specialty Program Group highlights her as a trusted advisor and key contributor to the company’s success. Her academic and professional background, characterized by a focus on leveraging technology and strategic planning, aligns with the company’s vision for growth and innovation.

Curtis Johnson


Curtis Johnson stands as a cornerstone of Specialty Program Group, leading the charge in Strategic Claims Management, Process Optimization, Operational Efficiency, and cultivating a culture of excellence.

With a rich background in insurance claims management, Curtis brings a strategic and business-minded approach to SPG, fostering team performance through innovative training, mentoring, and a keen focus on strategic planning.

His journey through the industry is marked by significant roles, including Vice President of Claim Operations at Texas Mutual Insurance Company, where he spearheaded major improvements in claims handling and operational efficiency. Curtis’s expertise spans across personal lines, workers’ compensation, and commercial property & casualty, underpinned by a deep understanding of contract and tort law, coverage analysis, and litigation management.

A visionary in digital analytics and vendor management, Curtis has a proven track record of developing metrics that drive decision-making, enhancing client relationships, and managing high-value partnerships. His leadership at SPG is characterized by a commitment to excellence, continuous improvement, and leveraging technology to advance strategic claims processes and methodologies.

Curtis’s academic credentials include an MBA from Franklin University and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His commitment to professional excellence is further evidenced by his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, representing advanced knowledge in risk management and insurance.

His professional ethos is defined by a dedication to leadership, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of operational excellence, making him an invaluable asset to SPG and the broader insurance industry.

Jennifer Spindler has joined Specialty Program Group LLC (SPG) as the Chief Product Officer, focusing on expanding and enhancing the company’s portfolio of specialty risk solutions in the United States. Her extensive background in underwriting operations and strategy positions her to lead SPG’s product development initiatives, ensuring the company remains at the forefront of innovation in the specialty insurance market.

Throughout her career, Jennifer has demonstrated a commitment to driving profitable growth and operational excellence in the insurance industry. At Lemonade, she served as Senior Director, Head of Underwriting, where she led strategic and global initiatives that significantly contributed to the company’s success. Her extensive experience in product development at AIG, along with her previous roles at PURE Group of Insurance and Chubb Ltd., further established her as a leader in underwriting and product development. At AIG, she was instrumental in shaping the property and casualty lines of business, showcasing her ability to implement effective strategies and systems that foster growth and innovation.

Jennifer’s expertise and strategic insight are key to SPG’s goal of offering tailored solutions that meet the evolving needs of their clients and capitalize on new market opportunities. Her role at SPG underscores the company’s dedication to developing innovative products that support business leaders in expanding their offerings and adapting to market changes.

Jennifer graduated from Franklin and Marshall College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Sociology, providing her with a strong foundation in the principles that have guided her professional journey and contributions to the insurance sector.



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