Our executive team

The leaders behind Pinnacol

Meet a few of our finest.

Meet our leaders

The Pinnacol Assurance leadership team is passionate about serving our customers and dedicated to supporting our employees. Each person on the team brings years of specialized experience to their role and is committed to driving change — not just for our company, but for Colorado and the the workers' compensation industry as a whole.

John O'Donnell

president and CEO
"I am passionate about Pinnacol’s future and its capacity to provide superior workers’ compensation coverage to both workers and businesses. I am dedicated to developing robust solutions that address the evolving needs of our customers, both now and in the future."
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John O'Donnell is a distinguished leader with a proven track record of orchestrating and nurturing organizational culture through transformative change. He is credited with aligning the organization around strategic goals that enable Pinnacol to provide the caring, efficient protection that drives its sky-high injured worker and customer satisfaction scores.

He has held many leadership roles across various industries and organizations. He was most recently an Executive Vice President at Allstate, serving as the President of the Western Territory and Board Chair of Allstate Canada, where he was responsible for 27 states and the Canadian company. O’Donnell's other roles at Allstate included Senior Vice President of Agency Operations and President and CEO of Allstate Canada.

O’Donnell also served in leadership positions at GMAC, the Walt Disney Company, and Goldman Sachs. His professional journey began as an attack helicopter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps, a testament to his unwavering dedication to excellence and devotion to service. He frequently uses his experience in the military to inform his leadership style and problem-solving approach. He earned an MBA with high honors from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy.

Recently, O’Donnell served as a board member of the United Service Organization (USO) of Illinois and established a military and veterans program at his prior company that led to the hiring and support of hundreds of veterans. He is the proud father of two children, and he loves outdoor activities, sports, and travel.

Quincy Douglass

vice president, operations
"I don’t think there’s another insurance company out there that cares for injured workers with the empathy and respect that Pinnacol does."
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Combining a mission with a competitive spirit, Quincy Douglass is driving operational excellence at Pinnacol and having fun in the process. As Vice President of Operations, Quincy Douglass leads the organization’s claims management, product, customer experience, and underwriting practices. He also oversees the performance and delivery of all medical operations activities, including our comprehensive preferred medical provider network of care, SelectNet, and our medical bill payments area. Douglass has applied his passion for both listening to and anticipating customer needs throughout his tenure.

Douglass joined Pinnacol in 2008 and has held various roles within the business. He led six business teams and the Customer Experience and Spanish Services teams. He also oversaw the transformation of the digital experience for policyholders and the creation of a comprehensive voice of the customer program. Douglass prioritizes the customer experience, implements solutions quickly, and learns from failure as fast as possible. Under his leadership, the organization earned a record-setting NPS (a measure of customer satisfaction)—61 versus the industry average of 31. Injured workers consistently rate Pinnacol as the top-performing workers' compensation carrier in Colorado based on the state’s satisfaction survey. These scores set a record and reflect the compassionate claims handling standard set by Douglass.

Douglass recently received the Denver Business Journal’s C-Suite award for his leadership and achievements. Prior to joining Pinnacol, Douglass spent time at Accenture Consulting and Corporate Express. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Wyoming and a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) certification. He spends his free time with his family, coaching soccer, playing golf, and loves taking on home improvement projects.

Tim Johnson

chief human resources officer and vice president of employee services
"I am grateful that I can help Pinnacol deliver on the company's mission to lead a revolution in caring by driving and supporting initiatives that demonstrate our care within the company and the community."
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Tim Johnson propels Pinnacol Assurance's people-centered revolution as the driving force behind it. Serving as the chief human resources officer and a member of the Pinnacol Foundation board, he brings decades of experience as a Human Resources C-suite leader, earning recognition for his accomplishments. He has also held senior leadership roles in various global industries, including Pepsi Cola and Dell, Inc. In these capacities, he crafted strategies and programs to enhance company culture, elevate employee engagement, foster development, and improve business outcomes. Tim Johnson boasts a consistent track record of culture transformation and enhanced business results in every capacity. His expertise spans change management, organizational design, succession planning, talent development, and compensation strategy.

Johnson oversees Pinnacol's nationally acclaimed work-based youth apprenticeship program, now entering its sixth year. Drawing from his own experience as a product of a similar work-based apprenticeship initiative, Johnson has pioneered new recruitment pathways for employees, setting a benchmark emulated by businesses nationwide. Early in his Pinnacol tenure, Johnson led the award-winning DE&I programs, establishing a culture that values every voice, celebrates each story, and ensures equal opportunity for all. Pinnacol's consistent recognition as a Top Workplace by the Denver Post for seven consecutive years underscores Johnson's leadership success. The company has also earned notable accolades as Colorado's premier large employer and a trailblazer in work/life alignment, as well as responsive and engaged management. Johnson's insights on workforce, leadership development, and culture building frequently appear in media quotes.

Beyond his professional achievements, Johnson finds joy in spending quality time with his family, coaching youth basketball, and fishing.

Kathy Kranz

vice president and chief financial officer
"As the vice president and chief financial officer, Kathy Kranz doesn't just manage finances – she orchestrates a symphony of corporate strategy, financial finesse, and risk navigation that has helped turn Pinnacol into Colorado's best-performing workers’ comp carrier, providing an essential safety net for all Colorado businesses as the state’s carrier of last resort."
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“I treasure serving as a teacher and mentor and seek out those who are eager to grow and make a difference - especially those who didn’t grow up with mentors or don’t currently have advantages in the workforce.”

In her current role, Kranz oversees Pinnacol’s corporate strategy & development, financial reporting, business planning, enterprise risk, and actuarial functions. Kranz joined Pinnacol in 2008 and has held various positions on the finance team.

Her accomplishments include doubling Pinnacol’s surplus, decreasing rates for customers, issuing general dividends back to policyholders for eight consecutive years (totaling $385 million), and issuing a $100M surplus note to an external investor. She was also one of the founders of Cake Insure and currently serves as Cake's Treasurer. Most recently, Kathy led Pinnacol’s first-ever acquisition of Attune, a technology platform, and managing general agent (MGA).

Pinnacol has outperformed its peers and competitors so dramatically during Kathy’s tenure as CFO that the company has earned a spot on the Ward’s 50 lists of best-performing property and casualty insurance companies among industry giants for five consecutive years. It has secured an A.M. Best rating of A- (excellent) since 2015 and an S&P rating of BBB+. Kranz was also named a 2018 Business Insurance Woman to Watch and a Colorado Titan 100.

Beyond the balance sheets and boardrooms, Kathy's heart beats for the community. She is proud to have been a board member of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) since 2013 and held numerous roles for them, including treasurer, chair of the Finance Committee, secretary, chair of the Policy and Governance Committee, a member of the Executive Committee, and a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. She deeply believes in the importance of a thriving art scene to attract businesses – and the talent they need – to Colorado. In 2022, Kathy joined the Mile High United Way as a board member and serves on their finance committee.

In her free time, Kathy enjoys travel, watching sports (especially rooting for the Michigan Wolverines - Go Blue), and spending time with her son.

Terrence Leve

chief legal and corporate resources officer
“I remain astounded that every day we have this opportunity to show care for others, to be part of a team where talented people want to work with us, policyholders and agents want to do business with us, and injured workers thank us. Ours is a business of service and purpose! Is that awesome or what?”
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As the Chief Legal and Corporate Resources Officer, Terry embodies the fusion of legal brilliance, strategic prowess, and unapologetic innovation.

Leve joined Pinnacol in 2012 and today serves as Pinnacol's General Counsel, Corporate Resources Executive, and Board Secretary. Leve provides advice and counsel to the Board of Directors and senior management on legal, governance, and corporate matters. He also leads the company's Legal Services, Subrogation, Compliance, Security, Special Investigations, Facilities, and Corporate Services functions. His legal services responsibilities include overseeing litigation, commercial transactions, regulatory affairs, and federal legislative activities. His corporate services responsibilities include overseeing records, mail, and print. Leve also directs Pinnacol's ethics officers and the crisis management team.

Leve received a law degree from the University of Southern California. He has attained LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell's prestigious AV Preeminent rating – a testament to his unrivaled legal acumen. His team has won various awards for effectiveness, and Leve himself was twice named Top General Counsel by First Chair. He also received the Top 10 Corporate Counsel and Trailblazer awards from OnCon.

Outside of his fulfilling work life, Leve enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.

Jennifer Neppel

vice president & chief investment officer
"I find inspiration in Pinnacol’s culture and the exceptional care offered to our injured workers. My passion lies in the commitment to extend this coverage to all workers, ensuring access to Pinnacol’s top-tier workers’ compensation insurance."
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Jennifer Neppel serves as the Vice President & Chief Investment Officer for Pinnacol Assurance. She is responsible for managing the $3 billion investment portfolio and Pinnacol’s treasury function. With her leadership, Pinnacol is able to reliably serve the organization’s important role of supporting those it serves in varied conditions and scenarios.

Before joining Pinnacol, Jennifer served as the Director of Investments for CommonSpirit Health, where she assisted in the management of approximately $50 billion in operating, pension, insurance, defined contribution, and foundation assets. Jennifer also led the investment team at Catholic Health Initiatives for 22 years, managing the centralized investment pools with aggregate assets of approximately $17 billion.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in information management with an emphasis in finance from the University of North Dakota and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Colorado. Jennifer earned her Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2001 and is a Certified Cash Manager. She serves on the board and as the Chair of the Investment Committee for the Catholic Foundation of Northern Colorado. Jennifer has also served on numerous private equity and real estate advisory boards along with chairing the investment committee for a university foundation.

In her free time, Neppel enjoys traveling, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.

Krista O’Rourke

vice president, sales and safety services
“I am excited and passionate about being part of such a mission-driven organization with the goal of truly caring for people.”
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Krista O’Rourke is the driving force behind Pinnacol Assurance's dynamic agent partnerships and commitment to safer workplaces for all workers. As Vice President of Sales and Safety Services, O’Rourke is responsible for leading and managing sales distribution and developing Pinnacol’s partnerships with agents – a stakeholder group that is crucial to Pinnacol’s business model and success. She oversees the planning of sales strategy and initiatives, working to build and expand Pinnacol’s distribution channels and provide industry-leading products and services to meet the future needs of our agents and customers. In this position, O’Rourke also sets the strategic direction for the safety services team, with a focus on keeping Pinnacol’s customers safe and healthy.

O’Rourke joined Pinnacol in 2013 as a Business Director and was promoted to Associate Vice President of Underwriting in 2016, where she was instrumental in leading Pinnacol’s efforts to improve the digital experience for agents, including enhancements to the Agent Portal, and launching straight-through processing in the Agent Quote system. Prior to joining Pinnacol, she spent 18 years in national program sales with top national insurance brokers. O’Rourke has a deep understanding of agency operations and agent/carrier partnerships. Active in the industry, O’Rourke serves on the Pinnacol Foundation Board of Directors, the Advisory Council for the Risk Management and Insurance program at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, and the board of the Colorado chapter of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation.

She remains a licensed property and casualty agent and has held the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation for over 20 years. A graduate of the University of Colorado Denver with a bachelor's degree in communication, she loves being outdoors, golf, and spending time with family, friends, and her grandchildren.

Wes Parham

vice president, public affairs
“Pinnacol’s culture of caring is real. It’s rare within any organization to experience that most every employee views their role as both a steward and an advocate for those they serve. Pinnacol’s service to employers, our workforce, and our communities is first-class.”
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As the vice president of public affairs, Wes doesn't just lead – he drives transformative conversations. Wes leads Pinnacol’s legislative, community relations, and public outreach initiatives. He is an accomplished and versatile government relations executive with established relationships throughout the key regulatory, legislative, labor, business, and state government organizations in Colorado.

Prior to joining Pinnacol, Wes led Xcel Energy-Colorado's state public policy and external advocacy efforts, playing an instrumental role in the development and implementation of numerous public advocacy campaigns. His efforts set the stage for transformative dialogue resulting in the advancement of clean energy, new technologies, and economic development opportunities throughout Colorado.

From nurturing young minds through mentorship to sculpting the landscape of education, entrepreneurship, and workforce development, Wes's heart beats for Colorado's growth. In addition to numerous committees and advisory councils, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Chamber of Commerce and the Adams 12 Five Star Education Foundation. He also serves on the Colorado Business Experiential Learning Commission and the Board of Advisors for Colorado Succeeds.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration, both from the University of Colorado (Go Buffs). Wes and his family spend much of their free time enjoying the various outdoor adventures Colorado has to offer.

Kate Schmitz

vice president and Chief Marketing Officer
“Pinnacol is not your average insurance company. While we maintain a sustainable and healthy business, what makes us hardest to compete with is that our people genuinely look for ways to give the very best care to our stakeholders. This care is highlighted daily in the feedback we receive from our customers, agents, and even our competitors. I’m honored to get to tell these incredible stories via our marketing channels.”
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Kate Schmitz is the vice president and chief marketing officer for Pinnacol Assurance, overseeing all aspects of Pinnacol’s marketing and brand communications across business units. Schmitz joined Pinnacol Assurance in 2017, helping the organization and its agent partners respond to an increasingly competitive marketplace and the dramatic escalation of industry innovations aimed at improving customer service, speed, and choice. She is focused on driving forward Pinnacol’s corporate strategy through building marketing programs that promote Pinnacol’s purpose-driven initiatives and showcase how Pinnacol is an important thread in the fabric of the evolving business community.

A growth mindset and relentless pursuit of innovation have driven Schmitz’s success at Pinnacol in ways that engage customers, workers, and key community partners. She is credited with establishing the marketing function within Pinnacol, growing Pinnacol’s brand awareness, identifying new distribution channels, and evolving an established brand for a modern sensibility that is respected today. Additionally, she has built valuable brand relationships with community partners like the Denver Zoo that are culturally aligned with the caring work Pinnacol delivers.

Prior to joining Pinnacol, she served as the Head of Brand and Digital at Transamerica, where she led a comprehensive rebranding process and was responsible for establishing and overseeing multiple digital platforms.

Schmitz holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 2019, Kate was awarded the Denver Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award, which recognizes the best and brightest young leaders in the business community. She was born and raised in Colorado and can often be found hitting the slopes with her family and friends.

Vlad Stojanovic

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Cake
"Pinnacol’s people, culture, and ambitious plans for the future were key drivers of my decision to join the team."
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Stojanovic joined Cake in 2023 after supporting the organization for several years as a consultant. Vlad is a seasoned senior leader with extensive expertise in expanding markets, transforming core insurance functions, and applying data and technology to drive performance for insurance carriers across all property and casualty (P&C) insurance lines.

In his role, Stojanovic oversees efforts to identify and implement operational structures to deliver on Cake’s revenue growth. Specifically, by establishing innovative approaches and partnerships that enhance Pinnacol’s customer value proposition and accelerate diversification.

Prior to joining Cake Holdings, he spent the last 12 years at Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm, a business unit of Marsh McLennan. As a partner in the firm, Stojanovic worked with a cross-section of leading P&C players within the large, middle, and small commercial markets, on topics ranging from portfolio and business unit strategy to underwriting and operational effectiveness. He also led the work within the very active insurtech and private equity spaces, where he helped investors identify and evaluate opportunities across the P&C industry.

Stojanovic holds a master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Brown University and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Stony Brook University. Vlad spends his free time with his three young children and wife. He is a competitive sailor, a Denver Nuggets fan, and enjoys cycling.

Tamela Vaughn

vice president and chief information officer
"I love technology, but I am inspired most by the people who solve business problems with innovative technology solutions. People are the heart and soul that gives any technology life, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented and caring people."
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Vaughn oversees business transformation strategies at Pinnacol, all fueled by her unrelenting commitment to customer experiences and enabled through cutting-edge technology. As Pinnacol's Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Vaughn’s responsibilities include implementing customer-centric digital transformation solutions, optimizing efficiencies through enhanced platform utilization, empowering business decisions through advanced analytics and data-driven insights, and ensuring the security of Pinnacol’s systems and data.

Vaughn joined Pinnacol in 2009 and has held several positions on her journey to CIO. She is credited with harmonizing previously fractured IT systems so the organization will be set up for success and its customers receive the best experience possible. Tamela is also leading an audacious project to modernize and improve Pinnacol’s core systems for policy, claims, and medical payment to ensure even more effective and efficient business management workflows. Previously, she was a consultant with Oracle and held several positions during her 15-year tenure with Pitney Bowes/Imagistics. Vaughn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Pepperdine University. She enjoys supporting nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank of the Rockies, and the local Alzheimer’s Association. Vaughn loves spending time with her wonderful group of friends and her spouse of 21 years, especially if it's in the mountains. She also enjoys paddleboarding with her dog, playing pickleball, going to the theater and concerts, riding bikes, and visiting the ocean as much as possible.