Beecher Carlson Power Broker Winners

February 26, 2020

Congratulations to Diane Bidek, Scott Buchholz, Olga Collins, Susan Garrard, Pete Kranz, Amanda Lania, Mary Leighton, and Cody Thompson on being named 2020 Power Brokers and Karl Choltus for being named a Power Broker Finalist by Risk & Insurance.

Diane Bidek, a Vice President of Beecher Carlson’s National Casualty Practice was named Power Broker in the Real Estate category. Diane was recognized for her work to develop a new allocation model with Americold. “She took the initiative to just do a whole new one. It was quite an undertaking in a short time frame, and she did a great job,” said Ellen Brunner, Risk Management Director of Americold.

Scott Buchholz, National Casualty Practice Leader, was recognized as Power Broker in the Transportation category. He has worked on the Feld Entertainment account for more than 10 years, helping place transportation coverage for the company that puts on 5,000 shows per year in 80 countries. “Scott and his team provide a level of intelligence that we need in order to manage our expectations and create results,” said Vin Foderingham, Vice President of Risk Management, Feld Entertainment. “He’s very in tune with the risks we face in the entertainment industry on a global basis.”

Olga Collins, Managing Director of Beecher Carlson’s Multinational Practice, was named Power Broker in the International category. Olga was recognized for her work as a member of the Worldwide Broker Network’s Board of Directors. “Olga was elected to the WBN Board in April 2019. She is the youngest of 18 board members. In six short months, she has already made her mark, including spearheading a client advisory panel,” said Francie Starnes, CEO, Worldwide Broker Network.

Pete Kranz, Captive Practice Leader, was named Power Broker in the Captive category. Pete was recognized for developing one of the first tenant liability programs for a large, multi-family property owner. “I would rate Pete and his team as first class in the area of customer service. They are always available, day and night,” shared a client.


Once again, Beecher Carlson’s Energy Practice swept the Renewable Energy category. Four of the six winner and the sole finalist recognized are members of the practice.

Susan Garrard, Managing Director of the Energy Practice, is a five-time Power Broker winner, having also won in 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Susan was recognized for her service guiding a company through a series of complicated claims following Hurricane Florence, negotiating a sizeable settlement on a property claim, and more. “She was very thoughtful [in] the way she characterized our assets and the way we operate them. She scheduled site visits to show off our operations and detailed our maintenance program,” said one client.

Amanda Lania, a Vice President of the Energy Practice, is a two-time Power Broker winner, having also won in 2019. Amanda was recognized for her work assisting a client through the claims and audit processes. “We were put in a bad spot by our previous broker, whose limited relationships ended up with our operational property policies for a subsidiary being shoehorned into coverage that was not a good fit,” said the Director of Finance at a solar energy company. “Amanda jumped into action and renegotiated our policies with the property carrier, realizing around 20% cost savings across the board and putting us in policies that were much better tailored to our needs.”

Mary Leighton, a Senior Vice President of the Energy Practice, is a three-time Power Broker winner, having also won in 2018 and 2019. Mary was recognized for her ability to assist a client in placing cyber coverage in the renewable energy industry. “Mary stepped in and helped us sift through the proposals and understand the coverage. She got us more information and ultimately new coverage at a good price,” said the president of the company.

Cody Thompson, an Account Executive in the Energy Practice, was recognized for his work in helping a client secure alternatives to a surety bond to meet environmental requirements of a certain state and for his expertise in managing international coverage. “Cody was creative in proposing an innovative captive insurance plan as a way for the company to manage risk while lowering costs,” said the CFO of a company.

Karl Choltus, National Surety Practice Leader, was named a Power Broker finalist in the Renewable Energy category. Karl is responsible for surety bond programs and surety placements in the US and international markets. He uses his skills and knowledge of the surety market, products, and competition to develop and maintain strong relationships with clients.

Click here for the full list of 2020 Power Broker winners.