Our People

Meet our board of directors

We're extremely appreciative of the diverse group of talented leaders that makes up our board of directors. Not only do they share our deep commitment to protecting the health and safety of Colorado employers and their employees, but they work hard to support our mission and vision, and the impact it has on our community.

2023 board meeting dates: February 22 | May 17 | August 17 | November 1

If you'd like to contact the board for any reason, please send an email to boardchair@pinnacol.com.

Mark D. Goodman, board chair

Mark D. Goodman joined Pinnacol Assurance's board of directors in 2015 and was appointed to Board Chair by Governor Polis in 2022. He serves on the board's compensation and executive committees.

Goodman is chair and chief executive officer of the Colorado Nut Company, a Colorado-based company.
He has served as the top executive in leading public and private equity-backed companies. Most recently, Goodman served as chief executive officer of Boyer Coffee Company.

Additionally, Goodman is active in supporting educational institutions on a national basis. He has served on the boards of directors for St. Louis University School of Business, Tufts University School of Arts & Sciences, Xavier University, Livingstone College, History Makers, Eton Academy and Cal State's Dominquez Hills School of Business. Currently, Goodman serves on the board of trustees at Tufts University and the College of Wooster.

Goodman received his bachelor's degree in philosophy and logic from the College of Wooster and his master's degrees in philosophy and logic from Tufts.

Akasha Absher, board vice chair

Akasha Absher joined the Pinnacol Assurance board of directors in 2020. She serves on the investment committee.

Absher is the president of Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, a national investment consulting firm exclusively focused on nonprofit organizations and philanthropic private clients.

She also is the principal for Syntrinsic Social Capital, which provides impact strategy engagement, investment manager selection and deal advisory services. Absher acts as a connector, educator, convener, facilitator and contributor to the broader impact investing ecosystem.

In 2020, Absher was named one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Colorado by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She is currently a board of advisors member of both the Colorado CLIMBER Loan Fund Program and Colorado Succeeds and a board member of both the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation and Colorado Charter Facility Solutions.

Absher earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Clark Atlanta University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Howard L. Carver, insurance representative

Howard L. Carver joined Pinnacol Assurance's board of directors in 2013.

He serves as chair of the risk and audit committee and a member of the governance and ethics committee.
Carver spent 35 years with Ernst & Young, including serving as regional director of insurance operations; associate national director of insurance operations; co-chair of Ernst & Young's International Insurance Committee; a member of the Ernst & Young National Insurance Steering Committee; and managing partner of the Hartford, Connecticut, office. He also has served on the boards and audit and governance committees of three public companies.

A Summit County resident, Carver was previously the Continental Divide Land Trust's board president and is a current advisory board member. He is a member of the board and chair of the development committee for Keystone Science School and an active member of the Summit Foundation.

He is also active in many of Colorado's community and charitable organizations, including Mile High United Way, the Lake Dillon Theatre Foundation and the Family Intercultural Resource Center.

Carver holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Bradley University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Celia Dietrich, finance representative

Celia Dietrich joined Pinnacol’s board of directors in 2022.

Dietrich is the founder of Dietrich Partners, a nationally recognized business consulting firm providing expertise in merger and acquisition integration, complex program delivery, and operational performance improvement. For more than 25 years, Dietrich served in geographic and service line leadership roles with global consulting firms, including PwC and RGP.
Dietrich is currently on the board of the Colorado Judicial Institute, is an advisory board member of Vectra Bank Colorado, a Founding Donor and Committee Member of the United for Families Program (through the Mile High United Way), and an advisory board member of Johnson Financial/JFG Wealth Management Group. Dietrich is actively involved with Colorado Concern, the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Colorado Technology Association. 

Dietrich holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Metropolitan State University of Denver, is an inactive State of Colorado CPA (in good standing) and received her MBA from the University of Colorado.

Mowa Haile, employee representative

Mowa Haile joined Pinnacol’s board of directors in 2021.

Haile is the founder and president of Sky Blue Builders, a general contracting and construction management firm with offices in Colorado and New Mexico.
He is currently the co-chair of the Mayor’s Economic Relief and Recovery Council and chair-elect of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Haile earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.

Emily King, agriculture employer representative

Emily King joined Pinnacol’s board of directors in 2023.

King is a marketing and compliance manager for Fagerberg Produce, a supplier of produce to retailers and food services, both locally in Colorado and nationally.
Additionally, she is the labor committee chair for the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. She strives to provide growers with the resources to ensure compliance with agriculture labor laws at the state and national levels. 

Throughout her career, King has worked in agricultural operations of various sizes. Her experience leading daily operations prepared her for her current role, where she manages the safety of workers and ensures quality food production.

King is passionate about positively impacting the lives of agricultural employees. She believes the industry’s greatest asset is the people who relentlessly work to feed Americans.King received her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University.

Andi Rugg, employee representative

Andi Rugg joined the Pinnacol Assurance board of directors in 2021. 

Rugg is the principal and owner of P.I. Practices, an advisory services firm with a principled, intentional approach to business and philanthropic challenges.
Previously, as general manager of the Energize Colorado PPE marketplace, she oversaw operations to supply personal protective equipment to Colorado organizations using a cost-neutral model during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rugg currently serves on the boards of directors for PBS12 and for Collins Bard Inc, an early-stage company building a proprietary product in the alternative and clean energy space.

She also served on the board of directors of the Queens County Farm Museum and managed the OPEN Digital Advisory Board while at American Express.She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Jesus Salazar, employer representative

Jesus Salazar joined the Pinnacol Assurance board of directors in 2020.

Salazar is the co-founder and CEO of Prosono, a company that provides agile and sustainable strategies and execution support for organizations throughout North America.
In addition to being on the Pinnacol board of directors, Salazar holds two gubernatorial appointments ­— to the Business Experiential Learning Commission and the Colorado School of Mines board of trustees. He is the chairman of the Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting System and co-chair of Colorado Succeeds board of directors.

Salazar earned a bachelor’s degree in math and computer science and a master’s degree in engineering and technology management from the Colorado School of Mines.

Isaac Wanasika, employee representative

Issac Wanasika joined Pinnacol’s board of directors in 2023. 

Wanasika is the department chair and professor of strategy at the Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado.
He previously served as a commercial executive for a Fortune 500 multinational company. Wanasika serves in numerous academic organizations, including the Academy of Global Business Research and Practice, where he is the current vice chair. He is a founding member and coordinator for Innovation Greeley-Weld Hub — a networking hub for business innovators, entrepreneurs and startups in Northern Colorado. 

Wanasika has provided strategic consulting services to various institutions, including the US Department of State. His research on corporate strategy and business ethics has been published in business journals, books, case study repositories and book chapters.

Isaac holds a Ph.D. in business strategy from New Mexico State University, a certificate of Business Ethics from the University of New Mexico and a master’s degree in business administration from Alfred University in New York. 

Fiona Arnold, employer representative

Fiona Arnold is president of MAINSPRING Developers; a Colorado company engaged in commercial and residential real estate development and retail business operations.

Arnold began her career as an attorney in Australia before joining the international law firm of Jones Day in Dallas in 1998 and moving to Colorado in 2001. She has held executive positions at Vail Resorts, Western Gas Resources Inc. (now Anadarko Petroleum) and Crown Media Holdings.
From 2015 to 2016, Arnold served on Gov. Hickenlooper’s cabinet as executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. She has also served on state commissions on workforce development and experiential learning.

Currently, Arnold serves as a board member for the CUBE Corp, a non-profit charter high school, and as a board member of the non-profit CareerWise, an organization introducing the youth apprenticeship system in Colorado. Arnold holds a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting from the University of Tasmania, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Adelaide and a Master of Laws (International and Comparative) from Southern Methodist University.