Rick Hobbs, CPCU, AIC, AIM

Senior Vice President of Claims

As senior vice president of Claims, Rick is responsible for creating, implementing and monitoring the strategic direction of the Claims department, while executing operational plans for continual improvement.

In 1986 Rick began his career in commercial casualty insurance with a focus on claims, underwriting and loss control. Prior to joining United Heartland in 2012, he held various leadership roles with Wausau Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Rick earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in management from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He’s also earned the following professional insurance designations: Charter Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Claims (AIC) and Associate in Management (AIM).

Rick was born and raised in southeast Wisconsin and is a long-time fan of the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.

Michelle McLane

Senior Vice President, Middle Market & National Accounts

With a strong background in underwriting, broker relations and territory management, Michelle joined the team in 2021 from M3 Insurance, a valued AF Group agency partner, where she most recently served as executive vice president of Sales. Prior to this, Michelle spent more than 16 years with Liberty Mutual Insurance in a variety of senior leadership roles.

In her role, Michelle leads business development, underwriting and distribution for AF Group’s Middle Market and National Account segments within their Commercial Markets division. Her experience, grounded in building collaborative teams and achieving positive customer outcomes, also plays a critical role as we continue to strengthen and grow our Commercial Markets brands.

Michelle earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University, where she was a junior fellow in International Relations – and holds the Senior Claims Law Associate (SCLA) designation. In January 2024, Michelle joined the Spencer Educational Foundation Board and also serves on their scholarship committee.

Mike Valiante

Senior Vice President, Small Commercial Market

Mike has diversified experience in the agency side of the business and a strong background in multiline insurance. He is currently responsible for business development and underwriting for AF Group’s Small Commercial Market segment within their Commercial Markets division. Prior to this role, he led Accident Fund’s business development, underwriting and regional operations — a role he previously held at Third Coast Underwriters.

Mike’s experience working with small- to large-sized accounts, long history of building profitable, diverse books of business and ability to cultivate long-standing business relationships help him lead a team of highly skilled business development consultants who serve our agent partners in the small commercial market.

Scott Babcock

Vice President of Customer Operations and Corporate Loss Control

Scott has more than 25 years of experience working with complex national accounts and specialty companies. He has a diverse insurance background, comprised of his roles as senior vice president of a regional specialty operation, senior loss control manager and risk manager. He has also served as a vice president account executive, where he directly managed multiple Fortune 500 insurance programs in multiple lines and for international accounts. His extensive background in customer experience and his knowledge of many industries enables him to serve customers with effective account management processes and loss mitigation consultations. Scott also provides enterprise oversight of Loss Control processes to ensure consistency across all brands and is responsible for enterprise adherence to individual state policy and procedures and for quality control and continuous process improvement.

Scott is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and has completed numerous continuing education courses in risk management and insurance.

David A. McGowan, WCCP, CAWC

Managing Director, Claims and Disability Management

David McGowan has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, where he has worked in a variety of claims leadership positions for large national carriers and a self-insured organization. He began his career at CompWest in 2009, serving as claims manager and later claims director.

McGowan holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Irvine. He has earned his Certified Authority in Workers’ Compensation (CAWC) designation, as well as the Workers’ Compensation Claims Administrator (WCCA), Workers’ Compensation Claims Professional, (WCCP) and the California Self-Insurance Administrator designations. He previously served on the Board of Directors for the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI).