Our Team

Experienced professionals, providing innovative and customized professional, pollution and protective coverages for contractors and protective professional indemnity for owners

Steve Porcelli

President

 

Steve has more than 30 years of experience in the professional liability segment of the insurance industry in the roles of business leader, manager and underwriter. Steve started and managed successful professional liability businesses for three insurance carriers prior to joining the W. R. Berkley Corporation to form Berkley Alliance Managers in 2013. Throughout his career he has succeeded in hiring and cultivating teams of specialist professional liability executives, underwriters and claims people to build innovative insurance solutions in specialty markets.

 

Steve holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Industrial Relations from Syracuse University. Steve is based in Albany, New York.

 

  518.407.0088

  [email protected]

email Steve Porcelli email Steve Porcelli

Edward L. Sheiffele, Jr.

Executive Vice President

 

Ed has nearly three decades of experience underwriting construction professional and environmental liability insurance. Prior to joining Berkley Construction Professional, he was with a leading insurance carrier where he assisted with the start-up of their construction professional business unit and then established the environmental business unit where he successfully entered a crowded marketplace with innovative products. Prior to that, Ed spent 13 years with a worldwide insurance carrier, starting in the environmental unit. He also assisted in establishing the construction professional unit and held various positions including the role of a regional managing account executive.

 

Ed holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, with a double major in Biology and Environment, Technology & Society. Ed is based in Morristown, New Jersey.

 

  973.775.7492

  [email protected]

Edward L. Sheiffele, Jr. Edward L. Sheiffele, Jr.

Laila Santana

Executive Vice President, Chief Claims Officer

 

Laila is a licensed attorney and has been a claims professional dedicated to the design and construction industry for more than twenty years. Laila oversees all claims operations for Berkley Alliance Managers. Before joining the company in 2013, she was the director of design and construction professional liability claims for a leading insurance carrier where she created, grew and led the claims department. Prior to that position, Laila was the vice president, executive claims counsel and regional claims manager for a leading carrier that provided architects and engineers with professional liability insurance. Before entering the insurance industry, Laila practiced law with Booth, Mitchell & Strange, LLP in Orange, California. She earned a Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Business from Pepperdine University, Seaver College. Laila is a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Risk Management Committee, the ACEC Legal Counsel Forum, the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) and the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM). She is based in Irvine, California.

 

  949.387.2919

  [email protected]

Laila Santana Laila Santana

Andrew D. Mendelson, FAIA

Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Management And Cx Officer

 

Andy is an acknowledged design and construction industry leader in the area of risk management and contracts. He joined our company after a 35-year career as a licensed architect and firm principal. Andy directs the company’s client experience (CX) initiatives as well as oversees efforts to provide leading-edge, risk and practice management resources, tools and training. Andy has a diverse background of practice, project, financial, operations and risk management experience, particularly in large and complex projects. He has advanced the development and publishing of industry-standard design and construction contracts through the leadership of and engagement with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Documents Committee, the Large Firm Round Table Legal Committee and as a presenter at industry conferences and webinars. He also serves on the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Risk Management Committee and Legal Counsel Forum. Andy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a business management certification from the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. He is based in Chicago, Illinois.

 

  312.340.3475

  [email protected]

email Steve Porcelli email Steve Porcelli

Valerie M. Foster

Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer

 

Valerie is senior vice president, chief marketing officer responsible for brand, marketing, social media, digital marketing, media relations and communication strategies. She brings more than 30 years of experience in strategic marketing and communications in the financial services and technology industries, including 18 years in the specialty insurance sector. She has expertise in all facets of business-to-business marketing including brand management, communications, integrated campaigns, thought leadership and digital marketing. Valerie joined Berkley Alliance Managers in 2017 as vice president, director of marketing. Prior to that, she was the vice president of marketing communications for Berkley Select, a Berkley Company. Her previous experience includes marketing leadership roles at a large national healthcare association and an international financial services company. She is an active Insurance Marketing Communications Association (IMCA) member. Valerie was the executive chair from 2019 to 2020 and served on the Board of Directors for nine years. Valerie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Bradley University. Valerie is based in Chicago, Illinois.

 

  312.705.1135

  [email protected]

Valerie M. Foster               Valerie M. Foster

Dennis M. Baez

Senior Vice President

 

Dennis has more than 20 years of experience as a professional liability broker. During that time, he has worked with design firms, contractors, project owners and developers providing advisory and brokerage services for various practice and project professional liability programs. Dennis is responsible for underwriting primary and excess business within the retail and wholesale insurance communities, fostering strong broker relationships and achieving profitable growth for Berkley Construction Professional’s contractors and owners professional liability portfolio. Dennis is a licensed insurance agent in California and New York. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) in New York City. Dennis is based in Midtown New York City.

 

  347.813.1074

  [email protected]

Dennis M. Baez Dennis M. Baez

Peter Brooks

Senior Vice President

 

Peter has more than 25 years of experience underwriting professional liability insurance for design and construction firms. Before joining Berkley Construction Professional in 2015, Peter created a successful construction professional/pollution market for a leading carrier from the ground up. Prior to that, he spent seven years with a worldwide insurance company providing key underwriting support for construction professional lines. Peter also worked for a leading specialty design professional liability insurance carrier on a regional and national level. Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Utah State University, Logan, Utah. He is based in Centennial, Colorado.

 

  720.360.7500

  [email protected]

Peter Brooks Peter Brooks

Chris McQueen, CPCU, ARM, CIC

Senior Vice President

 

Chris is a founding member of Berkley Construction Professional and manages the Southeast underwriting team. He has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry with the last 20 years specializing in the construction and design professional liability industry. Before joining Berkley Construction Professional, Chris created a successful construction professional/pollution market for a leading carrier from the ground up before being tapped to head that company’s Design Professional Liability team in 2013. The prior six years were spent at a worldwide insurance company as a construction underwriter focusing on professional lines. Chris is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in Risk Management and Insurance. He is active in the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society (CPCU) and was recently awarded the Outstanding Course Leader distinction as an Institute Instructor. Chris is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

  770.893.9246

  [email protected]

Chris McQueen Chris McQueen

David Pacifici, CIC, CRM, RPLU

Senior Vice President, Ca License #0H05115

 

David has more than 35 years of experience as an underwriter and licensed broker specializing in construction and design professional liability Insurance. For the past 25 years, his focus has been on providing professional liability insurance to real estate developers, construction contractors and design professionals. He specializes in innovative insurance solutions for large infrastructure and vertical projects. David provides strategic leadership and direction for crafting coverage to solve clients’ professional liability insurance needs for alternative project delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (IDP), Public-Private Partnerships (P3) and Progressive Design Build. He frequently presents about different project delivery methods and their impact on risk allocation between project owners, contractors and design firms. David attended the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is based in Los Angeles, California.

 

  818.291.6231

  [email protected]

David Pacifici, CIC, CRM, RPLU David Pacifici, CIC, CRM, RPLU

Colleen Kennedy, CPCU, RPLU, AU

Vice President

 

Colleen joined Berkley Construction Professional from our sister company, Berkley Design Professional in 2023. She has been a professional liability underwriter for the past 15 years. Throughout the course of her career, representing both small specialty and large global carriers, Colleen has focused on providing innovative insurance options to the design professional sector in both an admitted and surplus lines capacity. She is well-positioned to apply her knowledge and experience in the design professional industry to provide creative insurance solutions for the construction professional liability sector. Over the course of her career, Colleen has earned several insurance designations including the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU), Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU), Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI), Associate in General Insurance (AINS) and Associate in Insurance Services (AIS). She is also a licensed Property & Casualty insurance agent in the state of Pennsylvania. Colleen received a Bachelor of Science in Crime, Law and Justice from Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus. She is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

 

  215.268.9390

  [email protected]

Colleen Kennedy Colleen Kennedy

Annie Buelow, CRIS

Senior Underwriter

 

Annie joined Berkley Construction Professional in 2016. She is responsible for the growth of the small-to-mid-sized firm portfolio as well as the large firm opportunities for all Berkley Construction Professional products. Annie has achieved her Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS) designation and is currently pursuing her Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. She is based in Chicago, Illinois.

 

  312.705.1128

  [email protected]

Annie Buelow, CRIS Annie Buelow, CRIS

Courtney (Fowler) Preston, CRIS

Senior Underwriter

 

Courtney joined Berkley Construction Professional in 2019. She has 10 years of underwriting experience in the construction sector. As a senior underwriter, Courtney provides professional and pollution insurance solutions for construction firms and project owners on all project types – from small to large and complex on an annual or project basis. She’s well versed in proving coverage for several types of project delivery methods including design-build and integrated project delivery (IPD). Previously, Courtney worked in various construction underwriting roles for leading commercial casualty and professional liability insurance carriers. She specialized in the general liability and excess sector with a concentration in New York construction. Courtney graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

  770.910.1020

  [email protected]

Courtney (Fowler) Preston, CRIS Courtney (Fowler) Preston, CRIS

Lauren B. Taylor, MBA, CRIS

Senior Underwriter

 

Lauren joined Berkley Construction Professional in 2017. She has more than 15 years of professional liability underwriting experience. Previously, Lauren worked in a construction professional practice group with a global insurance carrier, where she underwrote risks for contractors and owners. Lauren began her career underwriting architects and engineers (A&E) risks for a leading national underwriting manager. Lauren received a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Maryland Global Campus and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Risk Management & Insurance from Fox School of Business, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is based in Manhattan.

 

  212.822.3396

  [email protected]

Lauren B. Taylor, MBA, CRIS Lauren B. Taylor, MBA, CRIS

Sean C. Brown, CRIS

Underwriter

 

Sean joined Berkley Construction Professional in 2018. He is responsible for the growth of the mid-sized firm portfolio as well as the large firm opportunities across all product lines. Sean has achieved the Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS) designation. He is a graduate of Villanova University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance and Real Estate. He is based in Morristown, New Jersey.

 

  973.775.3368

  [email protected]

Sean C. Brown, CRIS Sean C. Brown, CRIS

Vaishali Desai

Underwriter

 

Vaishali joined Berkley Construction Professional in 2020 as an underwriting assistant, after spending five years at Berkley Surety Group as an underwriting administrator. In 2022 she was promoted to the position of underwriter. Vaishali has 11 years of underwriting operations experience. Before joining us, she held various underwriting positions at several global insurance carriers. Vaishali received a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Purdue University, Indiana. Vaishali is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

  770.910.1026

  [email protected]

Vaishali Desai Vaishali Desai

Ashley Harrell, CRIS

Underwriter

 

Ashley joined Berkley Construction Professional in 2019. She underwrites commercial construction professional liability risks for contracting firms of all sizes, as well as owners of commercial construction projects. She has achieved the Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS) designation and is currently pursuing the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. Ashley is a graduate of Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising. She is based in Chicago, Illinois.

 

  312.340.3458

  [email protected]

Ashley Harrell, CRIS Ashley Harrell, CRIS

Nicholas Johnston

Underwriter

 

Nick joined Berkley Construction Professional in 2022. As an underwriter, he is responsible for the growth of the mid-sized firm portfolio as well as large firm opportunities across all product lines. Nick holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Business Analytics from Villanova. He is based in Morristown, New Jersey.

 

  973.775.7496

  [email protected]

Nicholas Johnston Nicholas Johnston

Join Our Team

At Berkley Construction Professional a division of Berkley Alliance Managers, we believe in hiring entrepreneurial people who can work within our culture of teamwork and accountability.

 

Through an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and innovation, Berkley Construction Professional attracts and retains employees with a unique blend of construction professional liability expertise and a passion for excellence.