TDI Announces New Executive Leadership; Cadence Hires Bryant as Cyber Practice Leadership

TDI Announces New Executive Leadership

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has announced its chief deputy commissioner and new leadership for its Administrative Operations, Life and Health, and General Counsel divisions.

Jessica Barta is TDI’s new general counsel. Since 2014, she has served as the public counsel for the Office of Injured Employee Counsel (OIEC). Before Barta’s appointment at OIEC, she spent four years at TDI as the workers’ compensation legislative liaison and assistant director of government relations. Prior to her state government service, Barta was general counsel for Great American Financial Resources, Inc. Barta starts her new role on Feb. 1.

Melissa Burkhart is the new deputy commissioner of administrative operations. Burkhart joined TDI in 2000 and worked in property and casualty and regulatory policy before moving to administrative operations. For the past five years, she has served as TDI’s associate commissioner of procurement and general services.

Debra Diaz-Lara is the new deputy commissioner of Life and Health. Diaz-Lara joined TDI in 1999 as an insurance specialist. She has served as the director of the Managed Care Quality Assurance Office and the associate commissioner for Life and Health. Before coming to TDI, she worked for a commercial health insurance plan and in hospitals and physician offices.

Dan Paschal is the new chief deputy commissioner. Paschal was TDI’s deputy commissioner for external relations and served as a deputy commissioner at the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Before joining TDI, he worked at the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas House of Representatives and the Governor’s Office. Paschal is a licensed attorney.

Cadence Insurance Hires Bryant as Cyber Practice Leader

Cadence Insurance, Inc., a subsidiary of Cadence Bank headquartered in Houston, Texas, has hired Gabrielle (Gabby) Bryant as cyber practice leader. Among Bryant’s specialties are enterprise security assessments, pre-deal cyber due diligence and the development of cybersecurity policy for private equity clients.

In her role, Bryant will build and maintain carrier relationships, conduct coverage assessments for new and existing clients and work with Cadence Insurance’s clients to help identify cyber exposures and loss prevention measures. Before joining Cadence Insurance, Bryant worked for a large international insurance broker for nearly a decade, where she held various key positions in its cyber security practice.

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