©2017 by MAPS Weather Risk Alumni Society

Your Leaders

The Board

Our executive board is a compilation of Penn State weather and catastrophe risk management professionals with a passion for networking, professional development and mentorship.

Executive Board

Brian Bastian
President & Founder | Penn State 12'
Current Role: Vice President & Product Manager,  Guy Carpenter
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Brian is a Vice President and Product Manager of Guy Carpenter's proprietary exposure management and spatial analysis platform. In addition, Brian frequently consults with client's senior leadership regarding catastrophe risk management techniques, technologies and frameworks. Brian received his B.S. degree in Meteorology in 2012 and also earned his M.Eng. degree in Systems Engineering from Penn State in 2015.  Brian is a member of the International Society of Catastrophe Managers (ICSM), a former member and mentorship chair for the AMS Board for Private Sector Meteorologists (BPSM), and an active volunteer climate and weather educator for the non-profit, Nepris.

Ryan Leddy
Vice President & Networking Chair | Penn State 11'
Current Role: Senior Product Manager, Risk Management Solutions (RMS)
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Ryan is a Product Manager for Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS), focusing on global earthquake catastrophe risk models and data. In this role within the Model and Data Product Management organization, he ensures product quality and market acceptability, and recently managed the overall release and go-to-market strategy for the updated Version 17 North America Earthquake catastrophe model suite. Ryan received his B.S. degree in Meteorology from Penn State in 2011 and is currently in the final year of an MBA at Rutgers University, specializing in Strategy, Leadership and Global Business. Ryan is a member of the International Society of Catastrophe Managers (ICSM) and is an active participant in the community in the greater New York City area, volunteering at the Hoboken Homeless Shelter and iMentor. In his free time, Ryan enjoys running and has completed both the New York City and Philadelphia marathons.

Allison Lederer 

Education Chair | Penn State 14'

Current Role: Meteorologist, Sesco Enterprises LLC

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Allison is a Meteorologist for SESCO Enterprises, an energy trading firm located outside of Pittsburgh, PA. She works closely with traders, briefing them on the bal-day and next day weather for the entire country. This also includes various renewable energy forecasts and comparisons. Allison graduated with a BS in Meteorology from Penn State in 2014. She is now pursuing a graduate degree in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh, and plans on graduating in December 2018. 

Kerry Mindiak 

Mentorship Chair | Penn State 16'

Current Role: Senior Catastrophe Modeling Analyst, Guy Carpenter

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Kerry is a Senior Catastrophe Modeling Analyst at Guy Carpenter in Philadelphia. She performs checks and edits on exposure data, and runs catastrophe analyses on the data to produce estimated catastrophe losses. She also interprets the results and communicates findings to brokers and clients. Kerry received her B.S in Meteorology from Penn State in December of 2016. In her free time, Kerry enjoys playing squash and going for runs.

Jeff Schmidt 

IT & Social Media Chair | Penn State 16'

Current Role: CAT Exposure & Risk Management Services Consultant, Guy Carpenter

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Before joining Guy Carpenter, Jeff worked as a Research Scientist and Catastrophe Modeling Analyst in Philadelphia for Chubb. His primary roles included validating and assessing third party catastrophe models for internal use as well as creating bespoke solutions for non-modeled perils. Jeff also lead the event response for Chubb's corporate catastrophe team. Jeff received his B.S in Meteorology from Penn State in May of 2016. Jeff is also a member of the International Society of Catastrophe Managers (ICSM) and is actively pursuing a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys playing volleyball and volunteering for PAWS. 

Committee Leadership

Cory Barwatt

Mentorship | Penn State 15'

Current Role: Trading Operations Analyst, Susquehanna International Group, LLP

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Cory works in Philadelphia at Susquehanna International Group. His responsibilities as a trading operations analyst include weather forecasting/research for commodities, as well as market analysis and profit reporting.  Cory consults daily with commodity and energy traders to provide them with up-to-date research and gain an edge on the market. Cory graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in Meteorology in May of 2015. N his free time, he participates in multiple Philadelphia sports leagues and volunteers with PennEnvironment to increase awareness about the threat of climate change.

Beth Kaplan

Special Events | Penn State 10'

Current Role: Senior Broker, Guy Carpenter

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Beth Kaplan is a Senior Broker at Guy Carpenter working primarily on Property accounts in New York City. Prior to becoming a Broker, Beth was a Senior Property Treaty Underwriter at Swiss Re. Beth was a part of the Global Property Desk on the North America Property team. She joined Swiss Re in 2010 through Swiss Re's global rotational Graduates Program. She started her career as a Natural Catastrophe Analyst then transitioned to a Property Treaty Underwriter in 2013.  Beth has rotated to other teams throughout her tenure at Swiss Re - Business Development, Weather and Energy Insurance, and Property Underwriting at Swiss Re’s Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Beth is passionate about recruiting young talent to the Insurance industry and she has an affinity towards making the world more resilient through insurance. 

DJ Bennett 

Social Media & Marketing | Penn State 15'

Current Role: Senior Associate Account Executive, Risk Management Solutions (RMS)

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Amanda Kohnen 

Membership Outreach | Penn State 08'

Current Role: Catastrophe Modeling Team Leader, Brit Global Specialty USA

David (DJ) Bennett is a Senior Associate Account Executive for catastrophe model vendor Risk Management Solutions (RMS) out of Hoboken, NJ.  In his role, DJ is responsible for managing relationships with key insurance industry clientele who rely on RMS products and software to help manage catastrophe risk.  Prior to working at RMS, DJ was a Marketing Coordinator and Product Marketing Manager for AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions.  DJ graduated from Penn State in 2015 with a B.S. in Meteorology, Weather Risk Management Option.  He enjoys traveling back to Happy Valley for football games and late nights at the Phyrst.

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Amanda Kohnen (Bason) is based in Chicago, IL with 6+ years of experience as a Catastrophe Modeler for Brit Specialty Insurance.  Prior to working at Brit, Amanda held an Analyst role with GeoVera Holdings, where she was originally exposed to catastrophe modeling and provided loss analysis deliverables, performed model validation, and created impact analyses.  Amanda graduated from Penn State in 2008 with a B.S. in Meteorology.  During this time she held an internship with Southwest Airlines as an operational meteorologist.