Officers & Directors

Please welcome our 2018 Officers and Directors.


Wallace Eason



Wallace began his State Farm career in 1992. His 25 years in fire underwriting includes Personal lines, Commercial lines, and leadership experience. He has a BS in Business Adm/Management from Liberty University, Lynchburg VA. He earned his IIA in 1994. In 2007 he received his CPCU. He also obtained his Property and Casualty license the same year. He served as a director for 3 years, worked with New Designees and championed others for CPCU engagement. In 2017 he became the Vice President and served as New Designee Chair. He also took on the role as Volunteer Chair/Coordinator, recruiting chapter officers, directors, committee chairs and committee volunteers.

Vice President

Precious Norman-Walton



Precious is Vice President of Account Management for Insureon, a Commercial Brokerage based in Chicago, IL. She works with a team of Account Managers and Producers who specialize in servicing a Small Business and Non Profit clientele. Prior to Insureon, she worked for State Farm Insurance in Business Lines Commercial Underwriting and Personal Lines Property Claims. In 2016, Precious earned her CPCU designation, and currently holds a P&C & L&H license in 50 states, and a Texas All Lines Adjusters License. She teaches Continuing Education classes for her firm, and mentors a group of agents interested in Professional Development and Industry Designations.


Nicole Soto-Garcia



Nicole is a California native, yet Texas has won her heart.  She is a personal lines underwriting supervisor for State Farm Insurance, and is proud that her company supports her insurance education journey.  She earned her CPCU designation in 2016 and celebrated at the conferment in Hawaii with her husband and son.  She looks forward to serving the Dallas CPCU Chapter in 2018 as the Board Secretary.


Karen Pieroni


Karen began her insurance career in 1994 with Great American Insurance selling home & auto until 1998.  She joined Liberty Mutual in 1998 holding several positions in Personal Insurance: Sales Rep, Life Trainer, Sales Manager, Lean Coach, and Sr. Compliance Analyst. She has a BS in Marketing from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.  She earned her LUTCF in 2004 and CPCU this year.  She recently completed all requirements for her API designation. Karen has lived in Chicago, Lincoln, NE, Syracuse, NY and has been in Dallas since 1987. She recently served as Recording Secretary for the CPCU Dallas Chapter and is now serving as Treasurer.

Director; All Industry Day Committee Co-Chair

Linda Bunts



Linda is an Executive Umbrella/Excess Underwriter for Crum & Forster Insurance in Richardson.  She has over 35 years of underwriting and leadership experience specializing in construction, transportation and heavy manufacturing.  Over the years, she has worked for a number of carriers in FL, GA and PA, including AIG, Zurich,  C N A and Great American.  She has also spent some time as a wholesale broker, having held her Florida and Texas agent licenses. She received her degree in Business Administration from Grove City College in 1980.   

Director; All Industry Day Committee Chair

Tony LaRocca



Tony is an claim specialist for FCCI Insurance Group in Richardson, Texas. During his claims career he has handled commercial auto, general liability, and property claims of all kinds and complexity. He has handled claims for commercial insureds and customers of all sizes across the country.  The Southwest Regional Office of FCCI Insurance opened in 2012.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Texas State University - San Marcos in 2006.  

Director; Membership Committee Chair

Tia Tolbert



Tia began her State Farm career in 2006. She has worked in a variety of claims areas with the majority in Human Resources and Auto Claims. Currently, as a Property Claim Trainer, she is a licensed Claim Adjuster and trains all levels of employees/leadership at State Farm.  Tia received her CPCU in 2016, roughly 1 year after passing her first exam. She received her AS in Liberal Arts from Kalamazoo Valley in Michigan, where she is from. She received the highly regarded Enterprise Trainer Certification in August 2016 at State Farm.

Director; Community Good Works Committee - Chair

ShaRhonda Caviness



ShaRhonda started her insurance career at State Farm in 2013 with the attitude that "some heroes wear capes, others adjust claims".  She is currently an Auto Bodily Injury Claims Adjuster but has held multiple roles as an inside and field deployable adjuster for property claims. She has her AIC, AINS and CPCU designations.  She received her BA in Business Administration, BS in Management and MA in Management and Leadership at Webster University.  She is currently working on her MA in Cybersecurity with intentions to meet the growing need in the insurance industry.  


Director; New Designees Committee - Co-Chair

Kerrick Porter



Kerrick is a Vice President and Manager of RLI’s Executive Products Group – Central Zone.  He has profit/loss responsibility for Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and the entire Midwestern region of the United States. He began his employment with RLI in 2007 as a Senior Underwriter prior to starting his insurance career in 2003 with the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies serving in a number of roles. He earned a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a MBA from Texas Tech University along with completing the Rice University Executive Education Accelerated Development Program.

Immediate Past President (2017)

Kristen Schmiedel


Kristen Schmiedel is an Underwriting Consultant for Liberty Mutual Insurance. With over 9 years of experience in the insurance industry, Kristen has thrived on challenges and is continuously pursuing opportunities to increase her knowledge.  In addition to her CPCU designation, Kristen has earned three other designations and has served as a mentor for new hires.  Kristen has led system training and marketing initiatives, including serving as project manager for region-wide Agent/Broker Sales Meetings. She has her Master of Science Degree in Insurance Management and Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Boston University.

Committee Chair - Event Organizing & Planning

Kate Guy



Kate is an Underwriter for State Farm, specializing in Market Area Support. She began her career with State Farm in 2010 and has experience in a variety of areas including underwriting, customer service, and billing. She received her AINS designation in 2012 and her CPCU designation in 2015.

Social Media Committee - Chair

Ana Guajardo



Ana is a Claim Specialist III at Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC) handling Workers’ Compensation claims for over 7 years. She has handled claims across multiple jurisdictions (14 states). Ana has furthered her career by achieving the following designations: AIC, AINS, ARM, SCLA, and Workers Compensation Professional (WCP®). Ana is also actively pursuing her CPCU designation and her MBA. Ana holds a BS degree in Biology with a minor in French from Eastern Connecticut State University.

Membership Committee - Assistant Chair

Allison Dunlap



Allison is an Underwriting Specialist in Excess Casualty with Liberty Mutual. She began her insurance carrier after receiving BS in Management from Texas A&M University. She has held roles in both Claims and Underwriting since graduating and has worked for Liberty Mutual for 11 years. She earned her CPCU designation in 2014 and serves on both local and national CPCU Committees.

Mentoring Committee Chair

John A Martinez, Jr



John obtained his BS in Industrial Distribution & Safety Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2001 and his JD from Texas Southern University in 2006.  John joined the State Farm Dallas CLC team in March of 2011.  John is currently serving as Supervising Counsel which began in November 2016 with the Litigation Section.  John also currently serves as the Relationship Manager to the Hispanic National Bar Association.  John earned his CPCU in May 2017 and is currently serving as the Mentorship Chair and on the I-Day Committee for the Dallas Chapter of the CPCU Society.

New Designee Co-Chair

Shelly Thomas


Shelly graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelors in Finance in 2013. During her college career she interned within RLI’s Claims and Treasury departments. After graduation, she started her career with State Farm.  In 2015, she returned to RLI to work with the Executive Products Team and underwrites Cyber Liability. She is currently pursuing her MBA with a Business Analytics concentration at TWU.