Emilio Fernandez, President, has been in the real estate industry for 20 years. Prior to joining North American, Emilio was a partner in the international law firm of Holland & Knight LLP, where he practiced in the real estate group and routinely issued title insurance policies on complex commercial real estate matters. Emilio is a member of the Florida Bar and numerous real estate industry organizations — most recently, RESPRO, a trade organization that brings together a cross section of providers in the real estate/financing industry. Emilio works from our Eastern Region office in Miami, Florida.
Valerie Grandin, Executive Vice President and Chief Underwriting Counsel, she brings a wealth of commercial real estate experience to her position, including commercial acquisition, conveyance, financing and development, as well as title insurance underwriting. Prior to joining NATIC, Valerie was Senior Underwriting Counsel at Attorneys’ Title Fund Services, LLC, in Orlando, Florida, where she provided underwriting assistance to commercial law firms, foreclosure practices and residential title agents. From 1999 to 2007, she handled all phases of commercial and residential real estate for Graham, Builder, Jones, Pratt & Marks, LLP (now Burr & Forman) in Winter Park. She also managed a real estate caseload for Miami-based Shapo, Freedman & Fletcher for four years prior to that. Valerie is a graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park and earned her Juris Doctorate at the University of Miami, School of Law. She is a member of the Florida Bar, CREW Orlando and the Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section (RPPTL). She volunteers with the Christian Service Center in Orlando, where she served on the board of directors from 2008-2010.
Geoffrey Ginn, Senior Vice President, Independent Agency Division, has 15 years of experience as a real estate attorney within the title insurance industry. Geoff previously owned a multi-state law firm and title agency which operated throughout New England, and also has corporate experience in sales, management and operations. Geoff is a member of the Massachusetts State Bar and the North Carolina State Bar. He earned his JD and his MBA from Suffolk University Law School and Sawyer School of Management in Boston, MA. He is primarily responsible for building North American's Independent Agency Division throughout the United States, and to that end, has been leading efforts to double NATIC’s agency client base and sales team members on a yearly basis. Geoff is a North Carolina Certified Mediator and Certified CLE Provider. Geoff also leads efforts to help advise title insurance agencies in the formation and execution of Joint Ventures and AfBA’ s, with a focus on regulatory compliance and financial analysis. Geoff works from our National Independent Agency field office in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jeff Howeth, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Jefferson "Jeff" Howeth is General Counsel of North American Title Group. He brings a 20-year background in real estate and corporate law to this position, in addition to experience in securities, finance, and executive management of legal and compliance functions of title insurance underwriters and agencies. Prior to joining North American Title, Jeff served as Deputy General Counsel of PGP Title Inc. and Premier Land Title Insurance Co., subsidiaries of PulteGroup Inc. He had previously served as General Counsel of Commerce Title and Closing Services, and had spent nine years with Centex Corp., where he had held the position of Executive Vice President, General Counsel of Centex Financial Services LLC. Jeff graduated magna cum laude from Oklahoma Baptist University and from the Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Margery Q. Lee, Executive Vice President and National Claims and Litigation Manager, has been a member of the California State Bar Association since 1980. Margery oversees all of the title insurance and escrow claims and litigation matters for North American’s national operations. Prior to joining North American, she was in private practice. Additionally, Margery was in-house litigation counsel for a major national title insurer, actively engaged in trial and appellate defense of title insurers and underwritten agents in California. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Reed College, Portland, Oregon, and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco, School of Law, San Francisco, California. She currently serves on the Legislative Committee of the California Land Title Association. Margery works from our Western Region office in Concord, California.
Robert N. Meyers, Vice President and Senior Underwriting Counsel, provides expert residential and commercial underwriting guidance to independent agents and affiliate operations in the Eastern Region. Bob also handles both routine and complex title insurance claims in the Eastern Region. He has over 31 years of title insurance industry experience. Prior to joining NATIC, Bob held underwriting, commercial and managerial positions for a major national underwriter. He earned a BBA degree from Western Michigan University and JD and LLM degrees from Wayne State University. Bob is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Florida Bar, the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and the Dade County Bar Association. Bob works in the Eastern Regional office in Miami.
Sunny Akins, Vice President and Agency Operations Manager, Eastern Region, had spent fifteen years at the corporate office of another major underwriter before joining Lennar’s title operations in 1993. She is responsible for making the agency network operate smoothly by addressing agents' questions, needs and obligations. Sunny attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Miami. Sunny works from our Eastern Region office in Miami, Florida.
Claudio D'Ugard, Director of Information Technology, Claudio D'Ugard is Director of Information Technology for North American Title Insurance Company. With more than 14 years' experience delivering stable, robust and cost-effective information technology systems and infrastructure, Claudio provides a keen focus on efficiency and stability as well as an emphasis on the IT department as a partner to the North American Title enterprise. He is proud of his ability to build an IT team that believes in its role in the business and value to it. Claudio is responsible for all aspects of network, telecom, server and help desk operations. He also manages vendor relationships and the implementation of new technologies. Before coming to NATIC in January 2014, Claudio worked for two years with Lennar as IT Director and five years for a smaller national homebuilder as Senior Director of IT Operations. His three previous jobs had each brought him increased responsibilities and accomplishments.
Chris Casa, Director of Marketing and Educational Programs, has 14 years of content marketing and business development experience. Prior to joining NATIC, Chris was a founding member of an award-winning multimedia publishing company educating the real estate, settlement services and mortgage lending industries. As an entrepreneur he has built a career focused on the mastering and teaching of others on marketing campaigns, list and audience development, relationship building, communications, publishing and the operational systems that support them.
Regional Underwriting Associates: Ginny Abiassi, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Texas and Oklahoma Michael Bates, Esq., Regional Underwriting Counsel, Southeast Eugene Berkes, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Illinois and Ohio P. David Dickard, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Mountain States John Graham, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Arizona and Nevada Mark Heacock, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Mid-Atlantic Robert Meyers, Vice President, Senior Underwriting Counsel, Eastern Region Gytis Nefas, Vice President, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Southern California Kent Pelt, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Northern California Bill Reetz, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Pacific Northwest Michael Waiwood, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Mid-West