Roland Paradis

Roland Paradis has over 40 years of underwriting experience. He has been active in the industry and has a demonstrated passion for underwriter training and development. He joined the Academy of Life Underwriting (ALU) as a question writer in 1988 and moved through the organization holding positions such as Exam Coordinator, Treasurer and ultimately Chair of the Education Committee of the ALU from 1999 to 2002. One of his last contributions to the ALU program was to begin a major overhaul of the curriculum more closely mirrored to an underwriter’s career development, removing material that was no longer relevant, and focusing on the core information a home office underwriter needs to know in order to succeed. This change has resulted in a significant increase in the number of underwriters pursuing their educational development. Roland is still active in underwriter education and rejoined the ALU last year as Director of the Medical Underwriting Task Force. Roland was a member of the 1st AHOU executive committee when he joined the group as AVP Program Development for the meeting in Seattle in 2002.  He then served as Program Vice President, Executive Vice President and ultimately President of the AHOU for its 4th annual conference in San Diego in 2005. Roland is also the recipient of the Academy of Life Underwriting Outstanding Achievement Award.


Lee Janecek

Lee started his career with WoodmenLife in 1986 as an Underwriter Trainee. He has held several underwriting positions throughout his tenure at WoodmenLife, including Senior Underwriter, Manager of Underwriting Technical Service and Assistant Chief Underwriter. In 2002, he was named Director of Claims, and in 2007 he was named Chief Underwriter. He was appointed to his current role of Vice President of Operations and Chief Underwriter in 2015.   Lee held several positions on the AHOU Executive Council, including AVP and VP of Convention Activities. And of course Lee was the AHOU's 13th President, presiding over our 2014 Annual Conference in Indianapolis. He has held several positions with the Academy of Life Underwriting (ALU), including exam question writer, Secretary, Treasurer, and President. He was also part of the team that organized ALU, Inc., serving on the ALU Board of Directors for three years. He served four years on the Nebraska Home Office Life Underwriters Association, chaired the Midwest Home Office Underwriters Conference, and served as the Chair of the Fraternal Home Office Underwriters. Lee has served on the MIB Advisory Council for seven years, currently serving as Chairperson. He is also a member of the Keep Omaha Beautiful Board of Directors. 


Sharon Smith

Sharon entered the life and health insurance industry in 1980 and began her underwriting career in 1984.  She has managed underwriting, issue and claims departments at a number of direct and reinsurance companies, working in both the Canadian and U.S. marketplace.  In April 2008 she came back to work in the Canadian marketplace as Chief Underwriter for Sun Life Financial Canada.   In 2014 she took on additional responsibility for claims risk management. Over the last 20 years Sharon has played a leadership role in industry affairs on both sides of the border having served as: President, Metropolitan Toronto Underwriting Club, Chairperson, Canadian Institute of Underwriters, President, Association of Home Office Underwriters, Canadian Coordinator, Life Underwriting Education Committee, LOMA text reviewer, and Member of the MIB Risk Advisory Board Sharon is currently: Chair of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) Committee on Underwriting Issues and a member of the Society of Actuaries, Underwriting and Mortality Survey Committee and chair of the Sub-Committee that is researching Improvements to the New Business Process.


Barb Lutz

Barb is currently Underwriting Director at CUNA Mutual Group, leading a team of twenty five associates.    She began her career of service to the industry with involvement in the Life Underwriting Education Committee, where she served as the Project Paper Group Coordinator from 1988 to 1990.    She was instrumental in revitalizing the Seminar Group, serving as Coordinator from 1991 to 1993.  From 1994 to 1996 Barb led the Education Committee.   From 1990 to 1992 Barb served on the Executive Committee of the Institute of Home Office Underwriters (IHOU).  She followed that by serving the Home Office Life Underwriters Association (HOLUA) as executive member, after which she was elected as President for the 1999-2000 term.  Barb played a lead role on the committee that successfully merged these organizations in 2002 to what we now know as the AHOU.    Barb has served on numerous special industry committees as both a committee member and chair.  She is currently acting as an Associate Editor for On The Risk, and is also the recipient of the Academy of Life Underwriting Outstanding Achievement Award.


Hank George

Hank began his career with Northwestern Mutual in 1970. He has also worked for Manulife in Toronto, Lincoln National Re and ExamOne, leaving as senior vice president in 2002 to start his own education/consulting business.   He is an ex-president of the Home Office Life Underwriters Association (HOLUA), founder/chair of the International Underwriting Congress, and founder/first editor of On the Risk. He manages 3 underwriting study groups for insurers, reinsurers and service providers.   Hank has written over 550 research papers, articles and books. He also writes Hot Notes, a longstanding monthly e-newsletter with over 5000 readers in 55 countries. He has addressed most industry organizations and underwriting associations in North America, the UK and Australasia, including twice on the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) main stage.   Hank is the recipient of the Academy of Life Underwriting Outstanding Achievement Award.