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 board includes representatives from the insurance industry, consumers, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (www.nicb.org), the county prosecutor's office and law enforcement.
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.
Ed Anderson - PEMCO Mutual Insurance
Mr. Anderson is a Property and Special Investigations Unit supervisor for PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company. Since starting his insurance career in 1987, he has worked as a Damage Appraiser, Senior Property and Property General Adjuster, Supervisor, and Claim Manager. He has a bachelor's degree in business from the Oregon State University.
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).
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.
Renee Sunde - Washington Retail Association
Ms. Sunde serves as the President & CEO of the Washington Retail Association. She has over 20 years of experience leading teams. She has had several positions of leadership throughout the Thurston County region. She served on the Thurston County Board of Regents, Thurston County Regional Planning Council's Transportation Policy Board and the Thurston County Economic Development Council. She played a key role in the development and launch of the region's Center for Business Innovation. Prior to joining Washington Retail in 2017, Renee was the Economic Development Director for the City of Olympia.
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
Lindsey Trakel - Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office
Mrs. Trakel is a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the Thurston County Prosecutor's Office. Her caseload involves a range of felony offenses, including vehicular assault, drug offenses, property crime, and fraud. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science and communication studies from Washington State University in 2008 and her juris doctorate from Seattle University School of Law in 2012.
Undersheriff Wes Rethwill - Lewis County Sheriff's Office
Undersheriff Rethwill was appointed by Sheriff Rob Snaza to serve as the Undersheriff for the Lewis County Sheriff's Office in 2015. He began his law enforcement career as a teenager for the Waseca (MN) Police Department, working there through college. In 1986, he began his career with the Washington State Patrol, where he worked for 29 years and retired as a Captain. He holds a bachelor's degree from Mankato State University in criminal justice and sociology, and is also a graduate of the 254th Executive Session of the FBI National Academy.