Our Team

Our leadership team is comprised of industry experts who average more than 23 years of experience. They are committed to providing industry-leading service and solutions to our clients.

Dan Spragg



As President of Berkley Select, Dan Spragg joined the company in 2019 with a broad background in commercial insurance that spans over 33 years. He joined as president after working for nearly 12 years at an insurance consulting firm, where he was a founding partner. Dan is an attorney and active within the American Bar Association. He is also on the board of directors for Gamma Iota Sigma (a collegiate business fraternity focused on the insurance industry) and is acting Secretary. Dan has focused on our team’s culture and core values and is thrilled that Berkley Select was awarded a 2023 Best Places to Work by Business Insurance. Dan has a JD in Insurance Law from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology and a BA in Economics from Drury University.

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Bill Fair

Chief Underwriting Officer


Bill Fair is the Chief Underwriting Officer for Berkley Select. He is an industry veteran with 30 years of commercial insurance experience. As CUO, Bill is focused on creating a best-in-class team and culture, and exceeding client expectations. Bill oversees our Professional Liability and Management Liability teams. Prior to joining Berkley Select in 2020 Bill was Senior Vice President, Sales and Strategy for another carrier for 21 years. He is also a licensed attorney and has held various strategic leadership roles in Property & Casualty and Facultative Reinsurance underwriting organizations. Bill taught Positive Psychology for several years and incorporates it into his client relations and management work. Bill has a BBA in Finance from the University of Iowa, a JD from Notre Dame Law School, and an MA in Applied Positive Psychology. He also has CPCU, RPLU, and ARe certifications.

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Jeff Yao

Chief Claims Officer


As Chief Claims Officer, Jeff oversees Berkley Select’s claims operation. He has overall responsibility for the technical, operational and financial management of the claims department. Prior to joining Berkley Select in 2020, Jeff worked for another carrier for 22 years in various management roles with national responsibility. He also practiced law in Pittsburgh, PA with a concentration on corporate litigation. Jeff has experience in a wide variety of claims involving corporate governance, professional liability, federal securities, trade secret, employment, employee benefits (ERISA), and class actions before a variety of private resolution forums and state and federal courts. He is a subject matter expert in the areas of lawyer malpractice and often participates in speaking engagements at various industry events. Jeff was recently appointed as Berkley Select’s Chief Innovation Leader in addition to his claims role. Jeff has a JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a BA in Political Science from Washington & Jefferson College.

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Joan Comfort

Chief Financial Officer


Joan Comfort joined Berkley Select in November 2023. Prior to joining Berkley Select, Joan was a Financial Officer at another carrier. She commenced her career in public accounting consulting in financial services in the audit and tax practice groups. Joan is a certified public accountant (CPA) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting (BBA) from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN.

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Al Roberts

Vice President, Underwriting, Professional Liability


Al Roberts joined Berkley Select in 2021 as Vice President of Underwriting, Professional Liability and has an impressive 25 year background in the insurance industry. His experience spans working at an MGA and multiple carriers specializing in professional liability. After a brief stint in private practice at a law firm in Chicago, Al was driven back to underwriting lawyers professional liability. Al has served on the Professional Liability Underwriting Society’s (PLUS) Midwest Steering Committee and has been a guest speaker as well as a moderator at several industry events over the years. He is a strong networker leading a best-in-class team of LPL underwriters. Al has a JD from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and a BS from Northern Illinois University.

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Chris Zanchelli

Vice President, Underwriting, Management Liability


Chris Zanchelli joined Berkley Select as a public D&O underwriter in 2009 from the wholesale broker side of the business. Prior to his time as a broker, he underwrote private company and non-profit D&O for a large carrier. Chris found his home on the Management Liability (ML) team in 2014 and has led a best-in-class team with our private and nonprofit D&O, EPL, and Fiduciary product lines and is always up-to-date as a subject matter expert on current risks and trends in the EPL and D&O market. In 2022 Chris graduated from the W. R. Berkley Corporation Leadership Oculus development program that focused on building innovation across the organization. Chris has a Bachelor’s in Communications from the University of Iowa.

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Carlos Montanez

Vice President, Affinity Underwriting


Carlos Montanez joined Berkley Select in 2021 as Vice President, Affinity Underwriting. With over 19 years of insurance experience, Carlos was an assistant vice president for another large insurance carrier before joining us. He has a wealth of knowledge in underwriting including specialty programs, healthcare, and writing special risks. Carlos is an innovative leader, proposing new programs for the Affinity E&O market. Carlos attended Columbia College in Chicago.

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Lisa Rowland

Assistant Vice President, Marketing & Distribution


Lisa Rowland joined Berkley Select as Assistant Vice President, Marketing & Distribution, in early 2021. With a 20 year background in insurance, Lisa began her career as a commercial lines underwriter with a national carrier before moving into sales and marketing roles shortly thereafter. Since joining Berkley Select in 2021, the company’s marketing efforts have excelled dramatically. Lisa’s strong understanding of our product lines and continued relationship building with our producers has made her a trusted mentor and subject matter expert amongst many in the industry. She is an active member in the Insurance Marketing and Communications Association (IMCA). Lisa is a graduate of DePaul University where she attained her MBA in Marketing. She completed her Bachelor’s in Finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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Donald Avery

Vice President, Human Resources


Donald Avery is Vice President of Human Resources within W.R. Berkley supporting the following Berkley Companies: Vela Insurance Services, Berkley Select, Berkley Program Specialists and Berkley Re Solutions. As a human resource professional with the Berkley brand since 2013, Donald is specialized in organizational behavior, change management, business strategy and leadership effectiveness. Donald has a solid reputation in the industry as a trusted mentor and friend, working closely with entry level talent and programs to introduce minorities and women into the financial services sector. Howard University, INROADS, and Women Unlimited are some organizations that he has worked with during his many years in the industry. Donald has a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from the University of Loyola.

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Steve Lacke

Chief Actuary


Steve Lacke joined Berkley Select in 2023 as Chief Actuary. Steve spent the prior 30+ years building a career as an actuary with various insurance, accounting and consulting companies. He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS), a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA) and earned an MBA from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota. In the community, Steve is a Board Member – True Friends Foundation, a volunteer at “Friends of the Hudson Library” and a parent volunteer in the Hudson area school district.

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Guy Blair

Vice President, 

Information Technology


Guy Blair serves as Vice President of Information Technology at Berkley Select and has been with Berkley Select since 2007. He brings over 27 years of experience in large-scale IT initiatives, 18 years of which is in the insurance industry developing innovative insurance processes and applications. In his current role, Guy works with a high-aptitude team on projects including digital transformation, advanced analytics, and intelligent automation, leveraging modern, agile architectures to strengthen Berkley Select’s speed, skill, strength and overall customer experience. Guy holds a BSc in Computer Science from Staffordshire University and MSc from University of Sussex.

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Alastair Shore

Chief Operating Officer


Alastair Shore joined Berkley Select in 2019 as Chief Operating Officer. Alastair has been in the insurance industry for 38 years and an actuary by training and is a fellow of both the UK based Institute of Actuaries and the US based Casualty Actuarial Society. He initially worked in the London insurance market focused on medical malpractice and long tail liability insurance before moving to the US in 1995. Alastair has expertise in risk management, reinsurance and financial planning and analysis. He has an MA from the University of Cambridge.

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