Board of Directors
Chair: Monica Derbes Gibson, Esq. (New Orleans, LA)
Monica Derbes Gibson is an environmental attorney who has practiced in both the federal government and the private sector. Ms. Gibson currently works for the law firm of Liskow & Lewis in her home town of New Orleans. Monica was previously of counsel with Venable LLP. She also served as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and as an attorney and manager in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Ms. Gibson is an active member of the community. In addition to serving as chair on MSAA’s Board of Directors, she also volunteers as a cook for So Others Might Eat, a Washington DC organization that helps the homeless. At St. Peter School on Capitol Hill, where her son is in fifth grade, she has served in numerous volunteer capacities, which includes bringing Mardi Gras to St. Peter School students.
Ms. Gibson is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was on the managing board of the Virginia Environmental Law Journal and was active in community theatre and the Charlottesville AIDS Support Group. She is a member of the American Bar Association and is admitted to practice in Louisiana, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. She is also a member of the bars of the Supreme Court and the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the First Circuit, the Fourth Circuit, and the Fifth Circuit.
Vice Chair: Jennifer L. Schwartz, Esq. (Philadelphia, PA)
Jennifer Schwartz is the Chief Legal Officer for Christiana Care, responsible for all legal affairs across the system. Ms. Schwartz provides counsel to the senior leadership team and Board of Directors. She also serves as health system corporate secretary and staff to the Board of Directors and committees of the Board, while managing and leading the Legal and Risk Management departments. Ms. Schwartz previously served as Vice President of Legal Affairs & General Counsel for Lourdes Health System (LHS) and St. Francis Medical Center (SFMC). She was initially hired by LHS as its first in-house attorney, and after just three years as the Assistant Vice President, Legal Affairs, was elevated to LHS’ Chief Legal Officer as a direct result of her foresight, strategy initiatives, and legal expertise. In 2015, she added SFMC to her legal responsibilities. In addition, as a result of her keen business acumen, she was also appointed in 2013 as the first President of the LHS Health Network, a new collaborative patient-centered Accountable Care Organization which now consists of 160 primary care doctors in four New Jersey counties.
Ms. Schwartz was recognized by her legal peers in 2011 as New Jersey Law Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40.” In 2014, Ms. Schwartz was recognized as a NJBIZ General Counsel of the Year Finalist. Ms. Schwartz was previously a partner at the law firm of Fox Rothschild in Princeton, New Jersey.
Treasurer: David L. Herzog (St. Albans, MO)
Mr. Herzog retired from AIG in April, 2016 after more than seven years as the Group Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Herzog serves on the following Boards of Directors: AMBAC Financial Group and is Chairman of the Audit Committee; DXC Technologies and Chairs the Audit Committee; MetLife Inc. and Chairs the Audit Committee, along with serving on the Finance & Risk and Compensation Committees; and PCCW (Hong Kong).
Mr. Herzog joined American General in February, 2000 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Life Division. Following AIG’s acquisition of American General in 2001, he was also named Chief Operating Officer for the combined United States domestic life insurance companies. He held several other executive positions until October, 2008 when he was appointed to the position from which he retired in 2016. Prior to joining American General, Mr. Herzog held numerous positions at General American Life Insurance Company, Reinsurance Group of America, GenCare Health, Family Guardian Life, and Coopers & Lybrand.
Mr. Herzog holds a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago. Additionally, he has attained the designations of Certified Public Accountant and is a Fellow in the Life Office Management Association.
Mr. Herzog has served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, and in addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, Mr. Herzog also serves on: the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business Strategic Development Board and the Investment Advisory Committee for the University of Missouri. Additionally, he has served on the Board of Trustees of the American College, The Logos School, and The University of Missouri School of Accountancy Advisory Board. He was recognized by Treasury & Risk Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in Finance and also recognized by Institutional Investor Magazine as one of the top CFOs in Insurance.
Secretary: Ira M. Levee, Esq. (West Orange, NJ)
Ira Levee is an accomplished attorney with extensive experience in bankruptcy law as well as commercial and bankruptcy litigation. Presently, Mr. Levee is a Senior Legal Editor at Thomson Reuters/Practical Law (Bankruptcy). Previously, he was Of Counsel with Lowenstein Sandler LLP for 15 years, and prior to that time, was first an Associate and later a Partner with Ravin Sarasohn Cook Baumgarten Fisch & Rosen PC, where he worked for more than 11 years.
Mr. Levee received his law degree from Seton Hall University. He also attended Rutgers University and Bucknell University, where he received his master’s degree and bachelor’s degree, respectively. His bar and court admissions include the State and District Courts of both New Jersey and New York. Mr. Levee has authored several articles on bankruptcy issues.
In terms of memberships and affiliations, Mr. Levee is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute; he previously was a member of the Board of Trustees, NJ Metro Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 2002-2016, and the Chair of the Governance Committee from 2015-2016. Additionally, Mr. Levee provided legal services for the Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program (Newark, NJ) and the Honorable Morris Stern Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project (Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, NJ).
Audrey A. Allsopp (Bryn Mawr, PA)
Audrey Allsopp is a strategic, customer-centric leader with more than 25 years of experience identifying risk and protecting company assets. She has successfully managed national workers compensation programs in various industries that include manufacturing, healthcare, financial companies, and retail.
Ms. Allsopp is currently the workers compensation practice leader and claim consultant for Conner Strong and Buckelew in Camden, NJ. An insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firm, this industry leader provides high-risk businesses with comprehensive solutions to prevent losses, manage claims and drive growth. Ms. Allsopp is passionate about helping businesses mitigate claim cost, creating return to work programs for injured workers and helping clients impacted by the opioid crisis.
Ms. Allsopp was the Corporate Claims Manager for Dollar Tree Corporate in Chesapeake, VA. Prior to her work at Dollar Tree, Ms. Allsopp held three positions from 1994 to 2007 at General Electric Insurance Company in Louisville, KY. She began her career there as Disability and Risk Manager, moving on to Manager of Worker Compensation Claim Operations, and finally Pharmacy Project Manager. Ms. Allsopp began her career at Aetna Life and Casualty in their Hartford, CT and Philadelphia, PA locations from 1987 to 1994, holding positions in the areas of Commercial Liability Claims and Worker Compensation Claims.
Ms. Allsopp received her MBA from Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, and received a BS in Commerce and Engineering, with a Minor in Marketing, from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She also received her CPCU (Charter Property Casualty Underwriting) Designation from the Insurance Institute of America. In addition, Ms. Allsopp has spoken professionally on the topic of workplace violence.
Ms. Allsopp is a supporter of the American Red Cross by donating blood every other month.
Ann Baird Bishop, Esq. (Atlanta, GA)
Ann Baird Bishop graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University in 1973 and from Mercer University School of Law with a Juris Doctor in 1976. Since 1981, Ms. Bishop has practiced almost exclusively in the area of workers’ compensation representing employers and insurers. Ms. Bishop is delighted to have joined Hall Booth Smith P. C. in 2019 where she continues to represent employers and insurers.
Ms. Bishop has received Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating (A-V), has served on the Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar of Georgia, was Section Chair for 2007-2008, and has served on the Rules and Mediation Committee of the Chairman’s Advisory Council of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation for more than 25 years.
Ms. Bishop is on the Board of Directors and is a past president of the Board of Kids’ Chance of Georgia, Inc. She also served on the Board of Directors of Kids’ Chance of America and was president of the national organization for 2014-2016. In 2012, Ms. Bishop was inducted as a Fellow into the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers and currently serves on its Board. She served on the Board of Visitors for Mercer University School of Law to which she was elected Secretary in 2012 and Chair for 2017-2019. Ms. Bishop was honored to receive the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar of Georgia and is a 2018 recipient of the Justice Benham Award for Community Service.
Eric K. Bossard (Worcester, PA)
Eric Bossard founded Commonwealth Insurance Advantage in 2016 in an effort to expand his outsourced risk management and insurance expertise globally. In addition, he co-founded Archway Insurance in 2002 as an outsource risk manager, which placed insurance coverage on behalf of brokers nationwide. In 2006, Mr. Bossard was instrumental in the acquisition of Alliance National Insurance Company (formally UMI Insurance Company), a New York domiciled property and casualty insurance company where he originally served as president and chief operating officer. He is currently one of the owners.
A graduate of West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mr. Bossard has amassed more than 30 years of industry experience on both the broker side (sales, marketing, and e-commerce) and the carrier side (accounting, finance, preparation of the insurance company annual statement, budgeting, underwriting, and reinsurance, including captives). He has served on the Board of Directors for both profit and nonprofit entities. He also volunteers his time coaching youth sports.
Paula Nitto (Wayne, NJ)
Paula Nitto, a Finance Executive and Strategic Partner, is most renowned for driving financial health and growth. A true change agent, she is a passionate and hands-on leader with proven success in establishing and managing a strong financial infrastructure that fosters flexibility to achieve revenue growth through increased cost management and operational effectiveness.
The “Center of Excellence” is the hallmark of her approach and it is based on what she entitles her “Three P’s: People, Process, and Performance.” Her accomplishments in these areas include: building a strategic alliance among executives and staff with different backgrounds and cultures, resulting in an increase in productivity; re-engineering operational processes throughout the Company, providing cost efficiencies; and being the driving force behind the implementation of Operational and Financial Systems, resulting in increased performance for customers, vendors, and internal operation.
Currently, Ms. Nitto is the CFO of Axis Global overseeing Finance & Accounting, HR, IT, Administration and Legal. Prior to joining Axis, Ms. Nitto was the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance for NYK Line (NA), Inc., a Japanese Global Shipping and Logistics Carrier, for over 16 years. Ms. Nitto was also the first woman appointed to the board of directors in the history of NYK (North America).
Ms. Nitto began her career in public accounting with Coopers and Lybrand (PwC) serving financial services, insurance and telecommunication. She later transitioned to various management positions at a telecommunications company before becoming a CFO of an architectural firm.
Ms. Nitto is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York State. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Pace University. A native of Sicily, Italy, Ms. Nitto grew up in Brooklyn, NY before moving to New Jersey, where she currently resides. She considers home “wherever her kids are.”
Alexandra von Plato (Gladwyne, PA)
Navigating new technologies and media to help clients since the early days of the digital revolution, Alexandra “Alex” von Plato has played a key role in the success of several award-winning, next generation communications and media businesses. As a creative leader, Ms. von Plato has overseen the development of groundbreaking brand marketing initiatives and programs for leading life sciences, biotech, and wellness companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Target, Nestlé, and Weight Watchers. As a business leader, Ms. von Plato has driven consistent performance through a commitment to building strong teams and enduring client relationships.
Ms. von Plato currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of Publicis Health, where she leads global teams of nearly 4,000 professionals with expertise in advertising and branding, strategic communications, digital media and technology, service design, health sciences, and medicine. In addition to her work as CEO of Publicis Health, she is also an accomplished creative and business leader as well as a sought-after healthcare expert.
Before holding the position of CEO of Publicis Health in 2018, Ms. von Plato served as Global Group President for Publicis Health’s Communications & Media Group for three years. Prior to that time, she was President & Chief Creative Officer at Digitas Health (DH), where she was the principal creative executive responsible for building DH into an award-winning healthcare agency and the only digitally native brand agency in healthcare.
Wendy B. Scott, Esq. (Burlington, NC)
A graduate of Harvard University and New York University School of Law, Professor Wendy Scott made history as the first African-American to serve as Dean for the Mississippi College (MC) School of Law. Scott became the eighth Law Dean at MC Law and served with distinction from 2014 to 2016.
Prior to joining the MC Law faculty, Ms. Scott taught at the North Carolina Central School of Law for eight years, serving as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2009 to 2012. She previously taught at Tulane Law School in New Orleans for 17 years and served as Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. She has also been an adjunct professor at Hunter College, Brooklyn Law School, and CUNY Law School.
Prof. Scott teaches Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Evidence, Native American Law, and Gender and the Law. Her scholarship focuses on constitutional theory and school desegregation. Her work on the desegregation of public colleges and universities has been widely cited. She is currently completing a book on the dissenting opinions of Justice Thurgood Marshall with co-author University of Wisconsin School of Law Professor Linda S. Greene.
Early in her career, Ms. Scott practiced employment law as a Staff Attorney for the Legal Action Center of the City of New York and as an Associate at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard in New York City. She directed litigation as the Associate Counsel for the Center for Law and Social Justice, a community law office in Brooklyn, New York.
Barry A. Singer, MD (St. Louis, MO)
Barry Singer, MD, has been the Director of The MS Center for Innovations in Care at Missouri Baptist Medical Center since 2008. He is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine since 1999 and maintains privileges at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He has been an investigator in greater than 25 multiple sclerosis trials (Phases I to III) focused on new therapeutic options. He continues to publish peer-reviewed articles, present posters and lecture globally on multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Singer earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his residency training in neurology at New York Hospital-Cornell University. In addition, Dr. Singer completed a neuroimmunology fellowship focusing on clinical and laboratory research in multiple sclerosis at the National Institutes of Health.
As a patient advocate, Dr. Singer started national award-winning www.mslivingwell.org and www.ICanWithMS.org that provide information and inspiration, respectively, to those living with MS globally. He has served on the health advisory committee of the Gateway Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society since 2000 and is the recipient of the 2008 Pathlighter Award. In addition, Dr. Singer has received a Congressional Proclamation for MS Research in 2008.
MSAA’s Chief Medical Officer:
Barry A. Hendin, MD
Barry A. Hendin, MD, is a highly accomplished neurologist who specializes in MS. He is the chief medical officer for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) and has spoken at several of MSAA’s educational programs. Dr. Hendin currently practices medicine at Phoenix Neurological Associates, Ltd., where he has been a neurologist for the past 45 years. He also holds the position of director of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at Banner University Medical Center and is a clinical professor of neurology at the University of Arizona Medical School.
Dr. Hendin earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University and his Medical Doctorate (MD) degree at Washington University Medical School. To date, he has had more than 15 clinical appointments to various medical facilities – many of which were at the Good Samaritan Hospital, where he served as chief of neurology for 35 years. He has had seven academic appointments, largely at Washington University Medical School and Arizona Medical School. Dr. Hendin has also been appointed to nearly 30 councils, committees, board of directors, and a task force, all in the fields of medicine, patient care, education, and research.
More than a dozen honors and awards have been presented to Dr. Hendin, including several for his outstanding work as a teacher. He has been a member of five societies, including the American Academy of Neurology, where he was a Fellow Member (a formal distinction recognizing special achievement). Dr. Hendin has co-authored more than 30 medical articles and has given more than 50 presentations to physician academies and other groups of medical professionals. His articles and presentations cover a wide range of topics, from prevention and management of cerebrovascular disease, to epilepsy, neuropathic pain, migraine, and of course, multiple sclerosis and its treatments. Additionally, Dr. Hendin has been the principal investigator for more than 115 clinical trials, evaluating the safety and effectiveness of different treatments for a host of neurological conditions.