For Consumers

Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU) advisory board members

Legislation that created the Criminal Investigations Unit mandates the insurance commissioner to appoint a 10-member advisory board. Members of the board serve voluntarily and advise the commissioner on the agency's fraud program. 

The Washington State Legislation that created the Criminal Investigations Unit also mandated that the insurance commissioner appoint a 10-member volunteer board to advise him on the agency's fraud program (leg.wa.gov).

The board includes representatives from the insurance industry, consumers, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (www.nicb.org), the county prosecutor's office and law enforcement.

Insurance industry

Craig Williamson - Farmers New World Life Insurance

Mr. Williamson manages the Special Investigation Unit for Farmers New World Life Insurance Company, Zurich American Life Insurance Company and Universal Underwriters Life Insurance Company. In 2012, he was appointed head of the Fraud Expert Network for Zurich Global Life. He has a bachelor's degree from Washington State University in police science and a master's degree in criminal justice from Pacific Lutheran University. In 2004, he earned his Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential. In 2009, he received the Association of Life and Health Claims (ALHC) designation from the International Claims Association.

Melanie Smith - Liberty Mutual Insurance 

Ms. Smith is the senior public affairs officer overseeing legislative, regulatory, and political advocacy efforts for Liberty Mutual. She covers an area including Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Ms. Smith has over 20 years of government relations and public affairs experience. She managed relations with the state government for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCIAA) Northwest region and Sound Transit. Originally from Missouri, Melanie moved to Seattle to work on clean indoor air laws for the American Cancer Society. She's called the Pacific Northwest home ever since.

Bill Baldwin - Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers             

Mr. Baldwin is the president of Baldwin Resource Group in Bellevue, Washington. He has a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Nevada.

Patrick M. Guiton - Blue Cross Blue Shield                    

Mr. Guiton is a consultant for Blue Cross Blue Shield specializing in fraud detection and investigative services. He previously served as the director of the External Audit and Investigations (EAID) Special Investigations Unit (SIU) at Cambia Health Solution/Regence BlueCross Blue Shield. He has law enforcement experience and earned his bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in criminal justice administration from East Stroudsburg State University.

Mike Tower - Progressive Casualty Insurance Company

Mr. Tower is a Special Investigations Unit manager for Progressive Casualty Insurance Company for Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Hawaii. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California in political science and international relations. In 1999, he earned his Fraud Claims Law Associate (FCLA) certification from American Educational Services. Mike is an active member of Puget Sound Special Investigators (PSSI), a local chapter of the International Association of SIU (IASIU), Western States Auto Theft Investigators (WSATI), and the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI).

Consumers

Eric Gonzalez Alfaro - Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO                               

Mr. Gonzalez Alfaro is the Legislative and Policy Director for the Washington State Labor Council. Prior to his current position, he served as staff lobbyist for OneAmerica, Washington’s largest immigrant and refugee right’s organization. He has dedicated his professional career to promoting social and economic justice and pursuing a life-long goal of giving a voice to those in need.                                           

Leeta Scott - AARP Foundation

Ms. Scott currently manages the AARP Foundation Call Center in SeaTac, Washington. The call center is staffed by volunteers who provide consumer education and fraud prevention information. The volunteers assist older consumers who have been victimized or are at increased risk of victimization. She is passionate about educating senior citizens in fraud prevention and provides community presentations at assisted living communities and senior centers throughout several counties. Ms. Scott received her degree in social work from Indiana University and has over 25 years of nonprofit program management experience.

National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)

Dana MacDonald - NICB                                   

Mr. MacDonald is the director of operations for the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) (www.nicb.org) for Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Mr. MacDonald entered the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in June 1972 and retired from the FBI in June 2002.

In 1971, Mr. MacDonald graduated from Santa Clara University with a bachelor's degree in commerce. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

County prosecutor's office

Olivia Zhou - Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office                   

Ms. Zhou works for the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office serving in the General Felony unit. There, she handles cases ranging from embezzlement, felony traffic including vehicular assault and homicide, theft and burglary.  Her expertise is also utilized in handling appeals in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. She has a bachelor's degree in political science and history from Washington University and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.

Law enforcement

Sheriff Gary Simpson - Kitsap County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Simpson is a 30-year veteran of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office (www.spf.kitsapgov.com/sheriff). Since 1984, he has served in a variety of leadership positions, including patrol deputy, patrol corporal, shift sergeant and chief civil deputy, and has worked as a K-9 handler and in the marine services unit (boat patrol). He is a part of several community service organizations and serves on the board of directors for the YWCA and Habitat for Humanity.

He is also a recipient of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office Medal of Valor for heroism. He is a graduate of the 206th Executive Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.