Welcome to the New Data Movement

October 27-28, 2019 // Hilton Beachfront, Santa Barbara

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What is Data in Paradise about?

Data in Paradise is the crossroads of modern insurance expertise and engaging network opportunities, set in the idyllic backdrop of the American Riviera. Join your fellow industry leaders and digital insurance pioneers all asking the same question: What comes next?

Who’s Joining the Movement?

Our Incredible Customers

Our customers are transforming the insurance landscape. Together, we strive for a future where the insurance experience is fast, accurate, and reliable for every policy holder.

First and foremost, this event is for you. Since you’re already on board with the ways that Carpe Data unlocks new dimensions of insight, join us for an exclusive look at our upcoming products and features.

Data Decision Makers

Do you determine which technologies are right for your organization or line of business? Even the greats need a little guidance every now and then.

Join us to hear from fellow insurance influencers and thought leaders, and connect with other executives pursuing similar goals.

Industry Innovators

We’re calling all data-obsessed, efficiency-focused doers fascinated by the tightening relationship between alternative data and AI.

If you have a finger on the pulse of InsureTech and you’re the first to predict when bleeding-edge tech will make big waves, we have the inside scoop you’re looking for!

Join the Movement


Molly Bloom
Best-Selling Author of "Molly's Game"

Molly Bloom

Molly Bloom is an inspirational keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and bestselling author of Molly’s Game, which was adapted into an award-winning film of the same name by Aaron Sorkin. Bloom’s memoir chronicles her journey from college student to LA waitress to building and operating the largest and most notorious private poker game in the world. Her games featured hundreds of millions of dollars and players like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, A-Rod, and Ben Affleck.

Bloom was finishing her degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado – Boulder, and was in the process of applying to top tier Law Schools, when her assistant job turned her into an accidental entrepreneur, running one of  the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world, pulling in as much as $4 million per year. What happened next is where her story truly begins.

The film Molly’s Game, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, stars Jessica Chastain (as Molly), Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Brian d’Arcy James, and Chris O’Dowd. Bloom has appeared on numerous shows and in media outlets such as Ellen, Vice, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, Vulture, and has been asked to speak at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, for companies like Blackrock Financial, SiriusXM Radio, and delivered the 2018 commencement speech at Colorado State University.

David Connolly
Partner, EY

David Connolly

David is based in Silicon Valley, California, leading the Global Insurance Digital Practice.  In this capacity he and his team have defined a multitude of business-driven, technology-enabled offerings that both Property/Casualty, and Life & Annuity carriers need to consider in order to remain competitive in the digital marketplace. 

He and his team help carriers define their digital strategy, once EY presents the art of the possible. EY then supports the implementation of digital offerings, through various means including migrating the carrier’s legacy systems into the cloud to be used as callable services, rapidly designing and building new products and digital capabilities for carriers, running the products and digital offerings for carriers via a “platform as a service” model, and/or providing a completely outsourced offering from a business process, IT application and hosting perspective.

David has also been the Partner leading the EY Guidewire practice globally since 2008, and has otherwise been working with Guidewire since 2004.  He has personally been involved with over 30 Guidewire programs, and his team has successfully supported over 175 Guidewire implementations around the world. 

Finally David serves as the Americas Information Technology Group leader for the Insurance sector, which includes all technology delivery and service offerings for P&C and Life & Annuities.

Shefi Ben-Hutta
Cofounder, Coverager

Shefi Ben-Hutta

Shefi Ben-Hutta is the cofounder of Coverager, a media and intelligence firm covering insurance innovation. Its flagship daily email – with a 40% open rate – is widely acclaimed for its wit, op-ed and thorough yet brief analysis of industry happenings.  Its data platform offer access to insurtech funding, analysis of relevant companies by technology, a look at insurers’ investment and more – all tailored and customized for the modern insurance professional. In addition to daily coverage, Coverager offers customized reports on digital strategy and has been presenting to top life, P&C and reinsurance companies to bring them up to speed on customer acquisition strategies, new entrants, microinsurance and more. Shefi holds a B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from Bar-Ilan University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business with a specialization in strategy and marketing.

Max Drucker
CEO, Carpe Data

Max Drucker

For two decades Carpe Data CEO Max Drucker has trailblazed the insurance industry as a data visionary, always on the forefront of technological change. Before Carpe Data’s launch in 2016, Max excelled as both executive and entrepreneur—in 1998 he served as CIO and co-founder of eCoverage, the nation’s first online auto insurance company.  Looking again toward the future Max founded Steel Card, one of the world's first InsureTech companies, which was acquired by ChoicePoint in 2006 and now owned by LexisNexis, earning him recognition by Insurance & Technology Magazine as one of the Top 10 Innovators of the Decade. In 2010 Max co-founded the nation's first social media background screening company, Social Intelligence, whose technological innovations in online data and analysis paved the way for Carpe Data's current suite of products.

Max is a graduate of Colorado College where he received a Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Political Science.

Abim Kolawole
VP Benefits Group, Northwestern Mutual

Abim Kolawole

Abim Kolawole is an executive officer and Vice President of Northwestern Mutual’s Policy Benefits Department.  In this role, he oversees the administration of all claims relating to life insurance, disability income and long-term care.  He also oversees the operations shared services teams and the Company’s Special Investigations Unit which is a primary resource for investigating benefit eligibility and claims fraud while also serving other enterprise needs.  Before leading the Policy Benefits Department, Abim held positions of increasing responsibility within insurance operations, including his leadership of the Disability Income benefits division and Post Approval division.  Before these roles in operations, Abim spent 11 years as a securities lawyer in NM’s law department where he worked on numerous corporate finance transactions, including private debt and equity transactions and restructurings for NM’s general account.  

Before joining Northwestern Mutual in 2003, Abim worked as a corporate finance lawyer at New York based law firms and served as a staff attorney with the enforcement division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in New York.  At the SEC, Abim was responsible for the investigation and prosecution of insider trading, accounting fraud and other types of alleged violations of the federal securities laws.

Abim received his J.D. cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School in Boston and is a member of the New York and Wisconsin bar associations.  Abim also served as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Army Reserves for nine years.  He is married to Beth Ridley, has three children and is an avid cyclist and runner and enjoys traveling.

Karen Schecht
Vice President Claims, Allstate

Karen Schecht

Karen M. Schecht, Claims Vice President Allstate Insurance Company has a proven track record of delivering exceptional results for this multi-billion-dollar business.  Karen has executive responsibility and accountability for countrywide Bodily Injury, PIP, MedPay and SIU claims.   She sets strategies, designs processes, and acquires the best tools for the fast and fair resolution of injury claims, ensuring thorough investigations and resolution of suspected fraudulent claims.

Ms. Schecht has been in the insurance business for over 30 years, with the last 20 years at Allstate Insurance Company.  Prior to joining Allstate, Ms. Schecht held various senior level positions at CNA Insurance and Providence Washington Insurance Company.  Ms. Schecht is a graduate of Elmhurst College where she majored in Business Administration.

Rob Thomas
SVP Claim Analytics, CNA

Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas is responsible for all aspects of CNA's Claim Analytics, Finance and Operations areas, including working closely with the company's Commercial, Specialty and International businesses and corporate functions. A key focus area for Rob and his team is to improve overall performance by enriching the feedback mechanisms between Claim and Underwriting with sophisticated analytics and data insights.

Rob joined CNA in July 2017. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief P&C Actuary at The Hartford where he began his career in 1994 as a Specialty Lines Actuary. He held a wide variety of roles with increasing responsibility including pricing, product management, claims and reserving (including runoff and mass tort), capital attribution, business intelligence and predictive modelling supporting pricing, underwriting and claims.

Robert holds a bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science from Worchester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from the University of Hartford. He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society.  Rob has a new puppy at home and he and his family are constantly hiding shoes and cleaning up after her.

Andy Beal

Andy Beal

Jon Godfread
North Dakota Insurance Commissioner

Jon Godfread

Jon Godfread was elected North Dakota’s 22nd Insurance Commissioner on November 8, 2016. In service to the citizens of North Dakota, Godfread has prioritized consumer advocacy, ensuring North Dakotans are better aware of the services offered by the Insurance Department beyond industry regulation. He has also worked to restructure the department for efficient, effective use of tax-payer dollars, along with employee satisfaction. On a national level, Commissioner Godfread has been an active voice in discussions about insurance regulations including use of technology, air ambulance service, and healthcare reinsurance. He currently chairs the Innovation and Technology Task Force for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Prior to serving as Insurance Commissioner, Godfread was most recently Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Greater North Dakota Chamber in Bismarck. His background also includes banking and professional athletics. He has held prominent roles in discussions around the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), across-the-board tax reductions for North Dakotans, creation of the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund, K–12 education efforts and more.

Godfread earned a law degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of North Dakota in 2011. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business with honors from the University of Northern Iowa in 2005.

Nick Gerhart
Chief Administrative Officer, FBL Financial Group

Nick Gerhart

Nicholas C. (Nick) Gerhart, J.D., M.H.A., joined FBL Financial Group as Chief Administrative Officer in January 2017. In this role, Gerhart has responsibility for enterprise strategic planning, government relations, human resources and health services, among other administrative functions. 

Gerhart served as the Insurance Commissioner for the State of Iowa from February 2013 until December 2016. During his time as Commissioner he was very involved at the NAIC and appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance. 

Prior to serving as Commissioner, Gerhart worked at Sammons Financial Group and American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company. He earned his law degree and health law certificate from St. Louis University School of Law and a Masters of Health Administration from St. Louis University School of Public Health. He also earned a B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa. Gerhart is an active community leader and currently is a deputy of the Iowa Business Council, a member of U.S. Bank Advisory Board, United Way of Central Iowa’s Workplace Cabinet, and the West Des Moines Chamber Impact Council. He also serves on the boards of ABI, ChildServe, Variety-The Children's Charity, Carpe Data and the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR).

Anne Melissa Dowling
CFA, Insurance Executive

Anne Melissa Dowling

Anne Melissa Dowling is an accomplished insurance industry executive with significant private sector, public sector service, and board experience.

Over the past six years she has served at a high level in state government. In 2015, she was recruited by newly elected Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner as the state’s Director of Insurance. She led highly successful regulatory innovations, developing and delivering creative solutions to an ever-expanding set of dynamics driven by technology, globalization, and a historically low interest rate environment.

Prior to serving in Illinois, she was appointed as Connecticut’s Deputy Commissioner of Insurance by newly elected Governor Malloy’s administration in 2011. Her portfolio included virtually every domestic regulatory issue affecting the insurance industry. Over three years, she led successful initiatives in such diverse areas as healthcare, financial services, and consumer outreach. In 2014, she was Connecticut’s Acting Commissioner of Insurance, leaving the post in 2015.

Anne Melissa had a highly successful career in domestic and international insurance investment and operating divisions which included executive roles with Massachusetts Mutual (MMG), Aetna, and Travelers. She grew the Institutional Insurance Division of MMG from startup to $13 billion in assets under management.

Anne Melissa is a graduate of Amherst College and the Columbia University School of Business.

John Peleponuk
2VP Data Strategy & Management, Travelers

John Peleponuk

An accomplished leader with over twenty-three years of experience in the insurance
and financial services industries, John has broad experience in both business and
technology roles, delivering large and complex projects and systems that provide
business value.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Southern
Connecticut State University, John led multiple teams to deliver complex business and
IT transformation solutions for several companies in the Hartford area. His experience
includes multiple leadership roles focused on resolving problems with data-driven
methodologies in a variety of fields, such as healthcare, property casualty insurance.

In his current role, John works with business insurance underwriters, technology
architects, operations leaders, and actuaries to obtain data that facilitates the
assessment and acquisition of profitable business.

John is a Connecticut native who currently lives in the historic district of Wethersfield,
volunteers in the Read to a Child program, and works with a local animal rescue.

Scot Barton
Head of Business Insurance R&D, Farmers Insurance

Scot Barton

Scot Barton serves as the head of commercial research and development at Farmers Insurance®. He is responsible for leading a team of highly dedicated data scientists to help the national insurer group better serve customers, agents and employees through advanced analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Over the course of eight years with Farmers, Scot has managed claims and commercial business analytics teams.

Prior to Farmers, Scot worked in business and technology consulting for various Fortune 500 companies.  He holds a degree from Northwestern University and currently resides in Southern California with his wife, 3 girls, 2 dogs and 1 rabbit.

Keith Schraad
Director, Arizona Department of Insurance

Keith Schraad

Governor Doug Ducey appointed Keith Schraad to serve as Director of the Arizona Department of Insurance (“ADOI”), in February of 2018. The ADOI performs important functions that protect and promote a health Arizona economy. The ADOI protects insurance consumers; promotes a safe, strong and competitive insurance marketplace for Arizona citizens and businesses; and, annually collects over $500 million in insurance premium taxes. Keith is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and serves as Vice Chair of the NAIC Innovation and Technology task force and a member of the Life Insurance and Annuities (A) committee.

In addition, Keith serves as Interim Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Financial Services. AZDFI is statutorily charged with the licensing, supervision and regulation of state-chartered financial institutions and enterprises ensuring the safety and soundness of the financial services industry in Arizona.

Keith comes with over 25 years of both private and public-sector experience in the areas of insurance, healthcare, technology and government. During his term as President and CEO of Online Insurance Corporation (2008-2015), Keith helped developed solutions for insurance companies and health care professionals that streamlined their customer service operations and improved their interfaces with government.

Formerly from Kansas, Keith served in the Kansas Senate from 1996 to 1998, where he was Vice Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He was also Vice President of a government technology company, where he worked with states to improve the delivery of government services.

Keith has a Bachelor of General Studies in History from the University of Kansas and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University School of Law.

Stay tuned as we reveal even more great speakers and sessions for Data in Paradise 2019!


Sunday, October 27th

Monday, October 28


7:00am - 8:20am

8:35am - 8:45am


8:45am - 9:15am

The State of Insurance

9:15am - 10:00am

Next Generation Data: The Evolution of Claims Processing

10:00am - 10:15am

10:15am - 11:00am

Harnessing New Data in Commercial Insurance

11:00am - 12:15pm

12:15pm - 1:15pm

1:15pm - 1:45pm

The Future of Insurance with David Connolly

1:45pm - 2:30pm

Regulation in the Age of InsureTech

2:30pm - 2:50pm

2:50pm - 4:15pm

4:15pm - 4:25pm

5:00pm - 6:00pm

6:00pm - 9:00pm

Cocktail Hour & Dinner

9:00pm - 11:00pm

Early Adopter
May 28th - July 29th


Insurance Innovator
July 30th - October 27th


Onsite Registration
October 28th - 29th


Register to Attend

All passes are full access and include entry to all conference sessions and networking functions. There are no partial attendance rates.

Bringing a group to Data in Paradise? Register 3 or more attendees at once with the code GROUP to save.

Please note: Passes to Data in Paradise are processed electronically. Carpe Data does not process or store any credit card information. Please see our privacy policy for additional information


We have a limited number of rooms at the Hilton Beachfront Hotel held for Data in Paradise 2019 attendees. To take advantage of the discounted rate starting at $259 per night, (plus resort fee & tax) just click or use the toll-free call in information below. 

Call: 1-800-879-2929  and reference Data in Paradise 2019.

The deadline to book your room is October 4th, 2019 or as long as rooms last, whichever comes first.

View Rates

Arriving In Santa Barbara

From the North/ Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA): If you are staying at the Hilton Beachfront Hotel, complimentary transportation from the airport is available 5 AM to 9 PM by calling the hotel directly upon arrival at  805-564-4333. Turn right out of the airport onto William L. Moffet PL / Sandspit Road. Follow this road appx. 1/4 mile, which will curve towards the beach and under a bridge. Merge onto Ward Memorial Blvd/CA 217 North for appx. 1/2 mile. Merge onto US-101 South via the exit on the left toward Santa Barbara for appx. 10 miles. Take the Garden Street exit and make a right onto Garden Street, which will end at the beach. Turn left onto Cabrillo Blvd. Turn left onto Calle Puerto Vallarta and left into the hotel parking lot.

From the South / LAX: Take 101 North to Santa Barbara. Exit the freeway at exit 94C Cabrillo exit (this is a left side exit ramp). At the bottom of the off- ramp, turn left onto Cabrillo Boulevard. Follow Cabrillo about 1 ¾ miles. Turn right onto Calle Puerto Vallarta. The hotel entrance is the first driveway on the left. Come in the driveway, and head left, following the signs to the hotel lobby. 



Thank you for your interest in Data in Paradise! We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact us below with any general inquiries and we will reply within one business day. If you are interested in speaking or sponsoring at future Data in Paradise events, please indicate your interest type in the dropdown below and use the comments suggestion for a brief summary of your proposal.