The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) presented the 2021 Raymond Mauk Leadership Award to Debra Richardson and 2022 Raymond Mauk Leadership Award to Bo Gilbert during an awards presentation at the 30th Annual ICT/AFACT Property & Casualty Insurance Symposium. This award recognized each of them for their significant career contributions to the Texas property and casualty insurance industry. This year, ICT honored two recipients as the organization did not hand out the award in 2021 because the Symposium was not held in person.
The Raymond Mauk Leadership Award is honors former Texas Fire Commissioner Raymond Mauk and is considered the industry’s highest honor and is intended to bestow recognition on those who have made a significant difference or notable contributions to the business of insurance in Texas. Richardson and Gilbert, respectively, are the twenty-third and twenty-fourth recipients of the prestigious award.
Debra Richardson is the 2021 recipient and the second woman to receive the award. Her distinguished 45-year career includes advancing from her first job in the mailroom of Safeco in Cincinnati, Ohio to progressively more responsible roles as an underwriter for commercial risks, and eventually serving as regional vice president for Hanover, where she established their Dallas office. Debra has multiple professional insurance designations, CPCU, CRM, CIC, and AINS, including her MBA from the University of North Texas.
“We are direct recipients of her constant enthusiasm for this industry as we have heard it for many years, even before we graduated high school. We are both successful underwriters because of her support as a teacher, mentor, and Aunt,” said Ben Orr and Ryan Alexander, Richardson’s nephews while presenting her with the Mauk Award. “Not only did she recruit us to the industry, but also three other family members here in Texas.”
In 2009, Richardson began a distinguished and fulfilling career in academics when she was hired as part of the risk management, insurance, and financial services faculty at the University of North Texas (UNT). At UNT, she was a Senior Lecturer in the Risk Management and Insurance Program and was the founder and faculty advisor for the Gamma Iota Sigma Beta Zeta Chapter. In 2015, she became the director of the undergraduate risk management & insurance program at The University of Texas at Dallas, where she helped build and develop the program into what it is today. She also was the founder and faculty advisor of the school’s Gamma Iota Sigma Beta Phi Chapter. Richardson gained a reputation of being a tireless advocate while securing funds for the schools from various organizations and convincing industry professionals to serve on advisory boards and developing curriculum for both programs. Even in her retirement Richardson continues to give back by being a supporter of the ICT Education Foundation and is active in her community.
“Debra has had a tremendous impact on the insurance industry in Texas being a well-respected professional and industry advocate,” said Albert Betts, executive director, Insurance Council of Texas. “Her diverse background in insurance and education, and contributions to our industry, made her an obvious choice as our 2021 Mauk Award recipient. Having worked with Debra over the years, she is a strong advocate and cheerleader for the industry, but more importantly, her students.”
Bo Gilbert is the recipient of the 2022 Raymond Mauk Leadership Award for his long and storied career as an insurance expert, industry leader, and champion for the insurance industry. Bo’s career includes representing both the insurance agents and later the companies at the Texas capitol and Texas Department of Insurance. Bo’s four-decade career began when a college advisor recommended insurance adjuster as a career, and he began with Kemper as an adjuster trainee and later was promoted to an underwriter role. He later moved to Nationwide where he held various roles until 1998, when he began a career in government and industry relations by taking a position with the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT). It was there he honed his skills as an advocate for insurance and relationship building with state leadership and policy makers. He also began to work with others in the industry on critical property and casualty issues that were impacting the industry across the state.
“Bo has been a trusted and respected advisor to the insurance industry for the better part of four decades,” said Betts. “He led the ICT board during the transition of the organization to new leadership and has seen many changes in the industry, including more effective use of technology, improved customer service, and a more diverse workforce. He has always been a believer in serving the people of Texas and supporter of the good the industry does for its policyholders.”
After seven years with IIAT, Gilbert assumed a role in the government and industry relations office with San Antonio based, USAA. He continued to be an effective and respected voice for the property and casualty industry for over 15 years and was a regular face at the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) and in the Texas Capitol. He was often sought out by commissioners and state leaders for his input and thoughts on industry issues. Gilbert recently retired in July 2022 after 16 years with USAA where he oversaw all state regulatory issues for the insurer. Additionally, he served on the ICT board of directors and was board chairman from 2014-2015.
About the Award
The Raymond Mauk Leadership Award is presented by the Insurance Council of Texas and honors former Texas Fire Commissioner Raymond Mauk and annually recognizes someone who has made a notable contribution to the Texas property and casualty insurance industry.
Mauk enjoyed a long, distinguished career, and held many positions of leadership within his company and industry organizations.
More than 70 years ago, Commissioner Mauk was convinced that fundamental change was needed to protect the insurance buying public and the integrity of the marketplace from the misapplication of rates and forms.
To accomplish his goal, Mauk envisioned the creation of a central checking office that would enforce good business practices and audit the insurance industry’s paperwork for errors and competitive greed. Faced with opposition and resistance to change, Mauk labored for two years to build support from both agents and companies.
By February 1935, Mauk’s leadership had led to the successful establishment of the Texas Insurance Checking Office, an institution, which continues to serve the Texas industry today.