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E&S/Specialty
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Executive leadership team

A successful company requires successful leaders. People with knowledge, business savvy and a forward-thinking attitude. People like the members of our executive leadership team. Each of our leaders brings a wide range of expertise to manage the company and take it to new heights.

Russ Johnston

Russ Johnston

President

Russ Johnston joined Nationwide in 2021 as president of our Excess and Surplus/Specialty (E&S/S) business. Nationwide E&S/S has a strong position within the industry with over $3.8 billion in direct written premium, anchored by deep relationships with distribution partners, a strong capital position and a solid brand reputation.

Prior to joining Nationwide, Russ was Chief Executive Officer of QBE North America, a $4 billion premium company writing program, specialty, and commercial insurance. In a career that includes more than 30 years of experience leading insurance organizations, Russ has served in a variety of executive roles, including Chief Operating Officer of AIG's US Commercial Business, President of Casualty Americas, CEO of AIG Environmental and President of AIG Risk Management. He began his insurance career as a commercial underwriting trainee at Chubb.

Russ received his bachelor's degree in Finance and Financial Management Services from Syracuse University.

Thomas Iorio

Thomas Iorio

Senior Vice President, Brokerage Specialty Lines and Financial Institutions

Thomas Iorio leads the Management Liability and Specialty Brokerage division, which is comprised of Financial Institutions, Commercial D&O, Commercial E&O (Cyber), Private Company, Fidelity, and Surety. He also is the department leader for the Financial Institutions team of underwriters and assistants in New York, and handles the underwriting authority for San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas.

Tom has more than 20 years of experience in the management liability industry. Prior to joining Nationwide, he was Vice President of Financial Services D&O/E&O department at Hartford Financial. Tom has also served in executive roles at Reliance National Insurance Company. In addition, he is a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) and is an active community service participant; dedicating the majority of his time to coaching various youth sports at the recreation and club levels.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rutgers University and a Master of Arts in Economics from Montclair State College.

Tom Jurgens

Tom Jurgens

Senior Vice President, Brokerage Underwriting

Tom brings more than 35 years of experience in the E&S and specialty insurance market to his role at Nationwide. His in-depth knowledge of this business allows him to understand the unique nature of the industry and the essential role the wholesale broker and program manager plays.

Tom began his insurance career as a retail broker and joined Scottsdale Insurance in 1993. Over the course of his 27 years with Nationwide, Tom held various leadership roles in Contract binding before he was named Chief Underwriting Officer for Nationwide Agribusiness in 2010. He took over leadership of the E&S/Specialty Brokerage and P&C Program divisions in 2015.

Tom earned his BS degree in insurance from the University of Northern Colorado. He has ASLI (Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance) and AAI (Accredited Advisor in Insurance) designations.

John Lopes

John Lopes

Senior Vice President, Management Liability and Specialty Programs

John leads the Management Liability and Specialty programs division. With more than 30 years' experience, John Lopes is an expert at managing profitable portfolios across Management, Professional and Specialty Lines of business. He has extensive expertise in both the open brokerage and program approaches to the business and has spent the majority of his career managing primary books of business.

John joined Nationwide in January 2008 and has built extensive relationships over the years at the retail and wholesale brokerage levels as well as with the reinsurance community. He enjoys taking on new challenges, pursuing innovation within existing products, and exploring emerging areas of risk. In addition, he is a PLUS member and is an active community service participant; dedicating the majority of his time to Covenant House and United Way of Long Island.

John has his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Wesleyan University.

David Nelson

David Nelson

Senior Vice President, Contract Underwriting

David, who started with Nationwide in 1991, brings a deep understanding of our business and products, an impressive financial acumen, and strong relationships with our customers to our Underwriting division. Over the course of his career, he has supported a number of major business initiatives and was instrumental in the diversification of our portfolio with start-ups such as Management Liability and Specialty, Commercial Auto and Nationwide Private Client.

David's most recent position was chief financial officer for the Scottsdale Insurance Group of Companies, Nationwide Agribusiness and Nationwide National Partners. As CFO, David retained financial oversight for $3.8 billion of annual operating revenue, while managing personnel in Scottsdale, Des Moines and New York City.

David has a bachelor's degree in finance from Arizona State University. He is active in the community and has served as President of the Board for Scottsdale Leadership, a nonprofit Arizona-based leadership program that helps develop community leaders.

Amber Wayne

Amber Wayne

Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Amber Wayne, vice president and CFO of Nationwide E&S/Specialty since December 2019, has more than 27 years of experience in the insurance industry.

She has a proven track record of strategic planning, managing financial results and, working with multiple business units and departments. She is well respected for her collaborative and inclusive leadership.

Prior to her current role, Amber was the Vice President of Operations at Nationwide Private Client. She has also held Finance AVP roles supporting Contract, Brokerage, MLS and Private Client.

Originally from Independence, Oregon, Amber earned her undergraduate degree from Oregon State University and her master's degree from Arizona State University. She currently serves as a board member for Free Arts of Arizona for Abused Children.

Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Information Technology Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Brian is responsible for leading the IT team in support of strategic objectives and business needs. He plays a key role in leveraging technology capabilities across the Nationwide enterprise to accomplish these objectives.

Brian has held several leadership roles at Nationwide including Vice President of Requirements and Testing Services, Vice President of Delivery Services, Systems Officer, and Associate Vice President/IT Delivery Executive for eCIF (Enterprise Customer Information File). He also held the position of Associate Vice President/IT Business Management Leader.

Prior to joining Nationwide, Brian served in leadership and project management roles at both JPMorgan Chase and Accenture. He has an MBA from the University of Dayton and a B.S. in business administration from Ohio State University.

Catherine Rudow

Catherine Rudow

Vice President, Cyber Insurance

Catherine Rudow works with many departments within Nationwide to expand cyber insurance offerings to meet the needs of its members. Her in-depth knowledge of cyber risk extends to developing strategies for non-cyber traditional lines of business that are exposed to technology and the internet.

Catherine has over 25 years of experience in the (re)insurance industry covering a wide range of casualty lines of business. Prior to joining Nationwide, Catherine worked at PartnerRe as a senior level underwriter where she built the cyber insurance portfolio and branded PartnerRe as a lead reinsurance market for cyber insurance business.

Catherine has a Bachelor of Commerce in International Business, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Concordia University in Montreal and an MBA from Yale University.

Dan Hatt

Dan Hatt

Associate Vice President of P&C Human Resources

Dan Hatt began his Nationwide career in 2003 and has a wide range of experiences in human resources across various areas of specialty. During his tenure, Dan led HR strategy for many divisions, including Life and Annuity, Investment Management Group, Nationwide Financial Network, Nationwide Corporate Solutions, Nationwide Non-Standard Auto Insurance, Property & Casualty Direct and Member Services and Property & Casualty Claims and Underwriting. He has also specialized in talent acquisition and employee relations.

In this current role as Associate Vice President of P&C Human Resources, he works with several different areas as their HR executive, leading talent and culture strategies. Dan earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and his MBA from Drake University, as well as the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation.

Steve Herman

Steve Herman

Associate Vice President and Associate General Counsel

Steve Herman brings more than 20 years of expertise ranging from corporate governance to commercial product development to Nationwide supporting Excess & Surplus/Specialty organization. As leader of the legal team responsible for supporting E&S, he plays an integral role in managing the legal, regulatory and compliance matters of the company.

In addition to directing the company's response to various legal threats, Steve proactively advises Excess & Surplus/Specialty leaders on potential risks and helps develop practical solutions to manage those risks.

Before joining Nationwide in 2007, Steve served as Regulatory Counsel at the Ohio Department of Insurance where he provided advice and counsel to the Superintendent of Insurance on a variety of matters including market regulation, company licensing, insurance legislation, rate and form filing compliance, claim handling practices and broker compensation. Prior to his public service at the Ohio Department, Steve was in private practice in Columbus, Ohio where he focused exclusively on property and casualty insurance litigation.

Steve earned his bachelor's degree in history from The Ohio State University, his Juris Doctor from Ohio Northern University College of Law and his Master of Laws in insurance law from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Steve also holds the CPCU designation.

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