PEOCompass Writers’ Guild

Paul Hughes, Editor


Mr. Hughes has dedicated much of his career to the Professional Employer Organization (“PEO”) and staffing models.  Starting as a commercial property and casualty insurance agent with Liberty Mutual in 1992, Paul has participated in property and casualty transactions in the PEO and staffing sectors for nearly 30 years.  Mr. Hughes went on to become the Regional Client Services/Sales Manager for ManagedComp, a national workers’ compensation TPA/MGA based in Boston.

In the Year 2000, Mr. Hughes created a company called Risk Transfer, a specialist of insurance  and related services to the PEO and staffing sectors.  Originally designed as a retail agency, due to a severe lack of insurance capacity in 2001 to support PEO and staffing business, Risk Transfer quickly morphed into a Managing General Agency and eventually, a partner in the primary insurance carrier underwriting its clients.   In order to support the performance of the book of business, Paul created service providers Risk Transfer Programs (MGA), Risk Aware (safety), Alternative Risk Transfer (captives/reinsurance) and RiskMD (performance benchmarking/data management).

After a very successful run with Risk Transfer, where his team developed multiple MGA relationships with numerous private and public insurance carriers dedicated to the support of the PEO and staffing industries, Paul created another nationally licensed insurance agency in 2014, Libertate.  Like Risk Transfer, Libertate has both a retail and MGA arm dedicated to the support of the PEO and staffing industries.  Libertate was a part of the Ballator Group starting in 2017 and now serves as a division within AssuredPartners.

In 2018, Mr. Hughes was provided a patent for “The Acquisition, Valuation and Ongoing Management of a Business Insurance Transaction”.  It is the only known patent unique to PEO and outlines the ability to manage the overall lifeline of an insurance transaction on a paperless basis.  How to applicate, accept, price, bind, manage performance and audit in a paperless format.  Amongst his passions are data hygiene, cyber security and unlocking internal data’s value for executable consumption.

Mr. Hughes remains an active member of various industry and insurance associations, participates in legislative initiatives and writes often on this blog and elsewhere.  Paul has authored multiple articles for PEO Insider, National and Florida Underwriter publications and been quoted in many others.  Mr. Hughes has presented Risk Management Best Practices seminars on workers’ compensation, risk management, cyber security and employment practices liability to NAPEO, FAPEO, PACE and the Florida Workers Compensation Educational Conference (wci360).

Paul has a BA from Rollins College, and an MBA from The Crummer School of Business.

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Sharlie Reynolds, Author


Ms. Reynolds is the Senior Author of the Compass, and is also the Executive Vice President of Libertate Insurance.  Besides managing in excess of $30m in premiums for the company, she is a member of the executive operating board that governs operations and service. Prior to joining Libertate in September of 2014, Ms. Reynolds served several different service and sales capacities at Risk Transfer Programs.  Her initial assignment was the management and stewardship of a national $35m premium PEO that had five master policy placements.  Later, she went on to spearhead the company’s patented technology, RiskMD. During her career Sharlie has successfully managed almost $300m of commercial property and casualty insurance premiums, almost exclusively in PEO and staffing.

Before Sharlie started in the insurance industry, she had 14 years of successful Consumer Packaged Goods experience working for companies such as Coca-Cola, Tyson Foods, Cadbury Schweppes and Bacardi USA in the roles of Sales or Sales Management. She managed multiple key accounts as well as national and local program executions for high-profile brands such as Dewar’s Scotch, vitaminwater, smartwater and Canada Dry where she held lead roles in planning, sell-in, creative development, program execution and evaluation.

Ms. Reynolds has a BSBA from the University of Arkansas and an MBA from the University of Florida.

David Burgess, Author


David Burgess graduated from Cumberland University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and minor in Accounting. David began working in the insurance industry with Zenith Insurance as an Underwriter. In time, David went on to become the Vice President of Underwriting for MCIM, a regional workers’ compensation carrier.

Under his direction, MCIM worked with both PEO and retail agents. Additionally, David led a team of underwriters with the pricing and program placement for the workers’ compensation insurance. In 2012, David became the Underwriting Manager for Patriot National Insurance, a company who specialized in mono-line work comp products which included retail workers compensation underwriting and captive management services. Most recently, David led the PEO division of AmTrust Financial as the Director of Underwriting before transitioning to an independent agent and joining Libertate Insurance as an Executive Vice President.

David remains an active member of various industry and insurance associations and carries the designation for a Certified Marine Insurance Professional (CMIP), gaining an absolute understanding of marine-related risks and their associated coverages. He focused especially on those coverages and risks related to U.S. Longshore and Harbor workers legislation as he served as the specialist in this coverage for Zenith, MCIM, and AmTrust Financial.

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Reni Snider, Author


Reni attended Southern Illinois University of Carbondale where she studied physiology and bio-chemistry.  During her college years she interned for a diagnostics imaging network who focused on providing medical imaging services to workers’ compensation companies at a discounted rate.  Following college, she was offered a position at this firm heading up their network development division in 2002.  This position provided Mrs. Snider with her first real exposure to understanding the workers’ compensation industry.

In 2008 Reni relocated to Orlando, FL with her husband and obtained her 2-15 Life and Health license, accepting a position managing a benefits book for a large regional agency.  She remained in this position until December of 2013 when she joined Libertate Insurance, LLC.

Reni is now a Senior Account Executive for Libertate and also serves to advise RiskMD, a data management and analytics company, on insurance operations and practices.

Reni and her husband Ed have two daughters who attend the dual language program at Union Park Elementary in East Orlando.

Jennifer Bush, Author


Jennifer Bush manages Libertate’s Program Underwriting and Quality Assurance. In her role, she oversees the program carrier relationships of the company and the underwriting efforts to support them.  Additionally, Jenny is in charge of overall quality control for the company to ensure that our service product and value proposition properly deployed.  She prides herself on providing excellent customer service and maintaining great relationships with all her PEO clients.

Prior to joining Libertate, Jennifer was the Director of Operations at Comp360, where she was responsible for creating innovative marketing collateral, facilitating policy renewals, and overseeing 35+ state agency licenses.

Jennifer is a RWCS-Registered Workers’ Compensation Specialist, a notary and has a 2-20 Property & Casualty Insurance License.


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