T: 317.876.6226 | info@arsoncontrol.org

Speakers

Gerald Albrecht

A Partner at Butler, Gerald “Jerry” Albrecht practices in our Arson and Fraud, Coverage Defense, and
Extra-contractual departments. Since joining the firm in 1989, Jerry has served on the firm’s
Executive Committee and the Property Coverage department. He is admitted to practice in all three
Federal District Courts in the State of Florida, as well as all state courts in Florida. He is rated AV
Preeminent by Martindale Hubble. Jerry has handled cases throughout the United States and most
notably tried, and won, the Russian Roulette wrongful death case.

Kenneth Allen

Kenneth Allen grew up in Muncie, Indiana.  He worked at UPS and at Budweiser for most of his adult life.  He coached basketball leagues throughout Indiana and helped to develop talented basketball recruits for college basketball teams.  As a result, four of his players have ended up in the NBA. He currently is employed as a truck driver, for Waste Management.  Mr. Allen also participates in providing presentations regarding his involvement in the largest and most extensive arson-for-profit schemes in the United States.  He has participated in these presentations for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, the National Association of Professional Insurance Investigators, two state chapters of the International Association of Special Investigations Units, and for ATF.

Thomas Cellilli

Tom is a recognized leader in defending cases of arson for profit.  His knowledge of fire science and the intricacies of NFPA 1033 and NFPA 921 give him unique perspectives on expert witness qualifications and their scientific method. Tom has particular experience in fire and explosion cases involving sophisticated industrial equipment involving dust, ammonia and electrostatics.

He is invited to speak, as an arson expert, at conferences worldwide such as the International Association of Special Investigation Units and Insurance Fraud Management Conference through the Insurance Services Office (ISO) and the International Association of Arson Investigators New York Chapter.

John Davies
Tristan Fitzpatrick

Rick Hammond

Rick Hammond is a Partner at the law firm of HeplerBroom LLC.  He serves as national counsel on matters relating to property insurance coverage, fire and explosion cases, bad faith, and as counsel to corporate executives, municipalities and elected officials on high-profile business litigation cases.  He also serves as an expert witness on insurer bad faith and insurance law and coverage issues, and he is an Adjunct Professor on Insurance Law at the John Marshall Law School.

Before practicing law, Rick was the Assistant Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance’s Chicago office, and he held managerial positions in property claims and agency for two national insurance carriers.  Rick recently returned to his prior role as the Executive Director of the Insurance Committee for Arson Control (ICAC), after serving many years as ICAC’s General Counsel.

Mr. Hammond is Past-President of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, formerly served on the faculty and Board of Directors of the Insurance School of Chicago, and he is a columnist for the International Association of Special Investigation Units’ (IASIU) magazine, “SIU Today.”

 

Brian Henry

Brian Henry is a Shareholder with Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl Company, LPA, and serves the firm from its Florida offices.  Brian has an extensive background in insurance litigation, fire science litigation, and product liability, and he has served as national coordinating and trial counsel for several Fortune 500 companies.  Brian’s practice also includes the representation of expert witnesses whose qualifications or methodology have been challenged in litigation.  He has handled over 100 Daubert-type challenges in twenty-five states, and he provides consultation to expert witnesses throughout the country.

 

Dan Jaegar 

Daniel I Jaeger, CPCU, AIC- Dan Jaeger began his career with State Farm Indemnity Company as a Catastrophic PIP Claim Representative.  Within 18-months Dan transferred into State Farm’s SIU where he investigated suspicious BI, UM/UIM, PIP and PD losses.  During his tenure with State Farm, Dan was also assigned to State Farm’s Organized Activity Unit where he investigated suspicious claimants, attorneys and healthcare practitioners in New Jersey.  In 1998 Dan was hired by American International Group to investigate suspicious auto and homeowners losses in Philadelphia, Maryland and Delaware.

Dan is a member of the CPCU Society, the International Association of Special Investigation Units and the International Association of Arson Investigators.

Jason Karasinski 

Jason Karasinski is currently the President/ Owner of Fire Research and Technology, LLC (FRT). He is an NFPA 1033 Nationally Pro Board Certified Fire Investigator, New York State Level I/II Fire Investigator, IAAI- CFI, NAFI- CFEI, and holds the current position as President for the NY State IAAI Chapter 23.  As President, he holds a seat on the Training Committee, Peer Review Committee, as well as the 921 Committee for the NY State Chapter. Jason serves as a volunteer firefighter for the Wallington Fire Department where he holds the position of Fire Investigator and has served as President. Jason also serves as an instructor at the National Fire Academy (NFA). Jason has provided advanced electrical instruction for ATF at the National Center for Explosives and Research Center. Jason has conducted, or participated in hundreds of origin and cause investigations within the United States including major explosion incidents in San Bruno CA, West Texas Fertilizer Plant, Allentown, Dixon City PA, and Springfield MA. All through his time as a fire investigator and fire fighter, he has also had an opportunity to conduct hundreds of live burns, demonstrations, testing and training for both the public and private sectors. During 2012-2013, Jason was a key contributor that led the effort to successfully secure a $267,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security, awarded to the NYS IAAI Chapter 23, for the development, delivery and institution of electrical training for fire investigators and Fire Dept. Line Officers in New York and regionally. The training initiative encompassed 8 seminars ranging in length from one to five days, as well as development of Course Expert Material, Subject Matter Experts, technical articles, hand-outs, and web based content.

 

Donald Kohtz

Don Kohtz is the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) for Markel Corporation. In that role he manages the investigations for Markel’s P&C lines of business in North America. Fires are one the complex claims, Markel is faced with investigating on a periodic basis. They are always challenging and require a team effort to resolve.

Don is credentialed as a Certified Insurance Fraud Investigator (CIFI) from the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). He is also licensed to practice law in the States of Nebraska and Missouri.

Roy Mura

Melvin “Dixon” Robin

SSA/CFI Robin has been employed in Federal law enforcement for over 20 years and is currently an ATF Senior Special Agent/Certified Fire Investigator stationed in Rochester, NY.  SSA/CFI Robin has been involved in ATF’s CFI program since 2003 and is currently assigned full-time to ATF’s National Response Team which responds to large fire and explosion events throughout the United States.   In addition, SSA/CFI Robin sits as the Vice President for the Western Zone for the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) NY State Chapter 23.  As a Vice President, he chairs the Training & Education Committee, and has a seat on the Peer Review Committee, as well as the 921 Committee for the NY State Chapter.  SSA/CFI Robin also sits as a member on the Training and Education Committee for the International Association of Arson Investigators.  SSA/CFI Robin has recently been appointed to the NIST OSAC Fire and Explosion Investigation Subcommittee which was created in response to the 2009 National Academy of Sciences Report on Strengthening Forensics in the United States.  SSA/CFI Robin has created, taught, and coordinated several courses on fire investigation throughout New York, the United  States, at the National Fire Academy, and overseas.  SSA/CFI Robin holds a BA (History) and an MA (Forensics – Crime in Commerce) from The George Washington University.  In addition, SSA/CFI Robin is an IAAI Certified Fire Investigator and Certified Instructor.

 

Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith serves as Of Counsel for Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl (skav-doll) Company, LPA.  He founded the firm in 1989 after beginning practice as an insurance defense attorney in Florida.  From starting as a one-attorney office, the firm has grown to eight offices and now provides insurance law services throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

He serves as legal counsel to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, is a past President of the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators, chairs the Insurance Committee of the International Association of Arson Investigators, and is a member of the Defense Research Institute, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance and numerous other insurance law related organizations. Mr. Smith is a frequent lecturer on insurance law matters throughout the United States.

 

Michael Vergon

Mike Vergon was an ATF Special Agent for nearly 24 years, retiring in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2012.

Mike spent the last 15 1/2 years of his career as an ATF Special Agent Certified Fire Investigator, and was also a member of ATF’s National Response Team.  He now owns and operates Vergon and Associates Fire Investigation, LLC., based in the Indianapolis, Indiana, area, specializing fire and explosion scene investigation, consulting, and training and presentation.

His experience has included the investigation of numerous large, multi-million dollar loss and fire fatality scenes, investigation of complex, multi-defendant arson-for-profit cases, and the investigation of serial arsonists and bombers.  Mike was also a regular instructor at the ATF National Academy, has instructed at the National Fire Academy, and has instructed at the International Law Enforcement Academy, in Budapest, Hungary.  He is also twice past president of the Indiana chapter of IAAI, currently serves on the Indiana State chapter board of NSPII, and is an instructor at the IAAI Complex Arson Investigation School for the Insurance Industry.  He has provided numerous presentations to various public and private organizations, nationally and internationally.

Kavin Winton