The Jacobson Group is a team of diverse and forward-thinking individuals. We bring more than a century of collective hands-on industry expertise and valuable marketplace guidance to each assignment. With a strong multinational mix and networks firmly rooted in the global insurance and reinsurance industries, we operate across both the established and emerging markets.
Jacobson is proud to offer our clients a one-team approach to global executive search. Unusual for an executive search firm, we work under one P&L, as one team – regardless of geographic location – each supporting the work we undertake for our clients.
Our clients benefit from partnering with a firm where all individuals have one common goal: to succeed for our clients. Our consultants openly share their knowledge, contacts and expertise with each other. This collaborative approach sets us apart from other executive search firms by enabling us to deliver deeper intelligence on the market and its people and to ensure the widest possible reach.
Review the bios of key members of our team below:
Greg Jacobson is co-Chief Executive Officer of The Jacobson Group, the leading U.S. executive search and staffing firm to the insurance industry. He is also known industry-wide as an investor, board member and influencer.
Greg has assisted countless insurance companies, large and small, early stage and traditional, in achieving their goals by acquiring talented executives to drive their organizations forward. He has successfully led searches for critical senior-level disciplines including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, CFOs, and Independent Directors.
Greg contributes to many regional and national insurance events, including those of AM Best, American Property and Casualty Insurers Association, Medical Professional Liability Association, and National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, among others. He is considered an expert on the industry's labor market and has often been called upon to share his perspectives on the industry’s talent outlook, human capital strategic planning and talent acquisition. He has been a featured columnist in Best’s Review and also regularly contributes his insights with periodicals such as Carrier Management, Financial Time, Insurance Business America, Insurance Journal, and LOMA’s Resource.
Greg is currently on the board for the 1970 Group, a specialty financing company supporting the insurance industry. He has served as a board member of the National Insurance Industry Council for the City of Hope and the Chicago Sinfonietta, the nation’s most diverse orchestra. Additionally, he was a driving force behind the creation of the Insurance Careers Movement and continues to be an active supporter of the grassroots movement inspiring young people to pursue insurance careers. Greg is also a member of YPO, an exclusive global leadership community of chief executives. He graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in violin performance.
Judy Busby is the Senior Vice President of Executive Search and Corporate Strategy for The Jacobson Group. In this role, Judy offers leadership and strategic direction to the firm’s executive search practice, which provides executive search and selection consulting for insurance leadership positions across all disciplines. Judy is also a key member of Jacobson’s Executive Management Team and is accountable for directing corporate-wide initiatives that ignite the continued development and growth of the entire organization. In addition, she manages select executive-level search engagements for clients from all sectors of the insurance industry.
Judy brings an impressive track record of organizational development and high-performance leadership to her role at Jacobson. She has assisted countless executives, leaders and other valued team members in realizing their organizations’ strategic objectives. In fact, through her strategic and consultative approach to executive search, she has even inspired a few of our clients to shift their organizational structures to better align with their missions, visions and strategic objectives. Her expertise in human behavior science also uniquely positions her to offer guidance on attraction and retention strategies for high-impact executives.
A successful entrepreneur, prior to joining Jacobson, Judy owned a well-established management consulting firm specializing in high-performance leadership and executive coaching. Her impressive career record includes tenures with large publicly traded corporations, where she was responsible for leading several hundred technical and professional employees and contractors through strategic business initiatives. She also directed projects nationwide for new product development, process improvement and leadership development. Judy has held Executive Director positions in publishing, biotechnology, transportation and process management consulting, leading functions such as customer service, engineering, facilities, human resources, maintenance, operations and quality.
Judy received her Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior (MSMOB) with a major in organization development from Benedictine University, her MBA in operations management from St. Joseph’s University, and a bachelor’s degree in business logistics from Penn State University. She is a certified Project Management Professional® and has earned the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business.
Joyce Dunn is a Vice President and Managing Director for The Jacobson Group's executive search assignments. In this role, she manages CEO, President, C-level, Vice President and other executive-level searches primarily for life, health, property, casualty and reinsurance organizations.
Joyce brings more than 30 years of insurance and business experience to her position. Prior to joining Jacobson, she served in a variety of roles with Canal Insurance in Greenville, S.C., including Vice President of Business Development and Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer. Her extensive background also includes tenures with Lumber Insurance Companies, the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia and several years as a retail agent. Joyce's multi-faceted industry experience enables her to provide a valuable insider’s perspective on her clients’ searches.
Active in the insurance industry, Joyce holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation, and the Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designation. She has also completed a Harvard University executive leadership course, as well as a Dorman Consulting Associates product management course. Furthermore, she serves on the board of the Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation and is a member of the CPCU Leadership and Managerial Excellence Interest Group.
Joyce received the Academic Excellence Award in Business from Lander University, Greenwood, South Carolina, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She has also completed a Master of Science in Management (MSM) in risk management and insurance from Florida State University.
Mike Abate is a Managing Director for the executive search practice of The Jacobson Group, where he leverages nearly 30 years of insurance experience to manage C-level, Vice President and other executive-level search engagements for clients from all sectors of the industry.
Mike’s impressive insurance background stems from his longstanding tenure at MetLife. Mike served in a number of sales leadership and operational roles during his time with the global insurer, most recently as Head of Distribution overseeing a team of more than 150 responsible for $1.8 billion in premiums. He is a dynamic leader known for successfully spearheading numerous hallmark projects and cultivating a culture that inspires high performance and values individual contributions. With a proven history of working collaboratively across all levels enterprise wide to establish and achieve key company goals, Mike offers clients an unparalleled knowledge of their organizations, allowing him to successfully identify leaders who will be successful in their roles.
Mike is committed to giving back to the insurance industry and his local community. He served as a Board Member for InVEST, Big I’s premier classroom to career education program designed to build a talent pipeline of the next generation of insurance professionals by exposing students to the industry in high school. He is also proud to volunteer with programs such as Junior Achievement, Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity.
Mike holds his property and casualty and life and health insurance licenses. He attended the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing and management.
Brett Carter is a Managing Director for The Jacobson Group’s executive search team, managing C-level, Vice President and other executive-level searches for clients from all sectors of the insurance industry.
Brett brings more than 20 years of insurance experience to his role with Jacobson, most recently serving as Diversity Partner for Munich Re US P&C. In this role, he collaborated with human resources and other business unit leaders to attract, develop and retain top talent. During his time at Munich Re, Brett also served as Senior Territory Sales Manager for American Modern, a Munich Re subsidiary, managing the company’s growth and distribution strategies for Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Brett’s impressive career also includes tenures with Founders Insurance Company, Travelers and State Farm. Additionally, he holds the following industry accreditations: Associate in Claims, Certified Insurance Counselor, and Illinois property and casualty license. His deep industry experience, passion for innovation and organizational excellence, and strong communication skills translate into expert executive search and selection consulting for his insurance clients.
Brett is passionate about attracting diverse talent to insurance and fostering a supportive and inclusive industry that affords all individuals growth and leadership opportunities. A diversity champion, Brett serves as the Vice President of the National African American Insurance Association Chicago chapter and a member of the Rising Insurance Star Executives D&I committee. Brett is also a member of the Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association Career Development Committee, which aims to create interest, awareness and enthusiasm about careers in the industry. Additionally, Brett earned the Diversity Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace certificate from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business.
Brett is a Board Member for Ascentra Credit Union, a full-service not-for-profit financial institution serving members in the Midwest. He also previously served as President of the Illinois 1752 Club. Brett attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., where he received his Bachelor of Arts in marketing/advertising with a concentration in business management. He later received his Master of Business Administration from the Forbes School of Business & Technology at University of Arizona Global Campus and also holds the Six Sigma designation.
Jack Walsh brings nearly 20 years of experience in the life insurance industry to his position as Managing Director for The Jacobson Group’s executive search practice. In this role, he manages C-level, Vice President and other executive-level searches, helping life and benefits organizations access the leaders they need to drive their businesses forward.
His successful career culminates extensive experience with insurers and financial institutions, most recently serving as Vice President, Employee Benefits Consultant and Strategist for Arthur J. Gallagher. During his tenure, he leveraged his expertise in employee benefits consulting, strategy development and plan management to fulfill his clients’ needs. Jack also held a number of roles with Mass Mutual, where he increased client retention while simultaneously cultivating expertise in numerous insurance and investment products, including risk management planning. His impressive background also includes tenures with Northwestern Mutual, Colonial Life and Aflac. Jack’s proven leadership skills and capacious insurance background, coupled with his hands-on experience with senior-level recruitment, translate into meaningful executive search and selection consulting for his insurance clients.
Continually sharing his valuable industry perspectives, Jack was a featured industry speaker with Hoopis Performance Network, a global provider in digital sales and leadership development learning solutions. Jack regularly presented on topics pertaining to insurance, investments, leadership, client retention and full cycle recruiting. In addition, he remains active in the insurance community through speaking engagements and participation in industry events, including those of the American Council of Life Insurers, Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association, Life Office Management Association, and Society of Actuaries.
Jack has a Bachelor of Business Management from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. He also holds life and health insurance licenses in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Texas and Wisconsin.
Julie Czarnik (Dunn) is an Assistant Vice President and Engagement Director for The Jacobson Group’s executive search team. In this role, she manages C-level, Vice President and other executive-level searches for clients from all sectors of the insurance industry.
Julie brings more than 15 years of human resources experience to her role with Jacobson, almost half of which were within the insurance industry. Specializing in talent acquisition, she has served as a business partner to leadership teams across a variety of functions including consulting, IT, finance, operations and more. Julie most recently led the start-up human resources function for a growing private equity firm, playing a crucial role in crafting and driving their talent management and development strategies. Her impressive career also includes tenures with Aon Hewitt and Zurich North America. Julie’s human resources expertise coupled with her deep-seated industry knowledge translates into proven executive search and selection consulting for her insurance clients.
Julie studied architectural and art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also earned her Professional in Human Resources certification and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace certification from University of South Florida Muma College of Business.
Sarah Karvel is an Engagement Director for The Jacobson Group’s executive search team, strategically engaging and assessing C-level, Vice President and other executive-level candidates for clients from all sectors of the insurance industry.
Sarah brings 20 years of recruiting and human resources experience to her role, including nine years within the insurance and healthcare space. In her most recent role with Sears Holdings Corporation, she recruited candidates across a variety of disciplines, including C-suite and senior executive talent who would go on to impact the company’s transformation efforts. Sarah was so effective in attracting top talent into the organization that she was awarded the number-one recruiter designation within six months of joining.
Sarah’s tireless pursuit of talent able to directly affect an organization’s goals and success, as well as her insurance industry background, has given her the experience necessary to positively influence her insurance clients’ highly critical executive engagements.
Sarah attended Kaplan University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in communication. She pursues extensive volunteer work in her free time, particularly for children in crisis care.
Lakreshia Kindred is an Engagement Director for The Jacobson Group’s executive search team, strategically engaging and assessing C-level, Vice President and other executive-level candidates for clients from all sectors of the insurance industry.
Lakreshia brings nearly 15 years of account management and human resources experience within the insurance industry. In her most recent role, she led and streamlined human resources operations, and liaised with industry experts to enhance on-site and remote personnel performance. Lakreshia leveraged her expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion to establish and maintain relationships supporting human resource collaboration and strategic business integration.
As a results-driven individual with exceptional interpersonal skills, Lakreshia has the necessary experience to positively influence her insurance clients’ highly critical executive engagements.
Lakreshia attended the University of Illinois, where she received her Bachelor of Science in rhetoric professional writing. She also earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management. In addition, Lakreshia holds the Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional designation.
Nancy Savich is an Engagement Manager for The Jacobson Group’s executive search team. In this role, Nancy is responsible for engaging and assessing candidates for client’s C-level, Vice President and executive-level engagements. In addition to managing active client searches, Nancy cultivates Jacobson’s expansive network of insurance executives and thought leaders.
Nancy brings more than 20 years of insurance and recruiting experience to her role with Jacobson, including a variety of roles in human resources, talent acquisition and operations management at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. In her nearly 15 years with Nationwide, Nancy routinely managed the entire recruitment lifecycle, partnering with business stakeholders to break down barriers and meet their hiring needs. Throughout her tenure, she often led enterprise-wide projects driving innovation and collaboration at both the regional and national levels. This extensive insider knowledge uniquely positions Nancy to identify executives who can make an immediate impact in her client’s leadership roles.
Nancy attended The Ohio State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She later received her Master of Arts in counseling from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Nancy is dedicated to helping her local community and previously as a captain for the Central Ohio Hunger Relief Campaign.