First Choice Repair 2013 Convention
As our speakers provide us with their information this page will be updated so please check back frequently to get more information regarding our speakers.
If you would like to submit to be a Speaker
or would like to submit a topic that you would like to see at our convention
please click here to visit our submission page.


James W. Southerland


First Choice Repair, CEO

James W. Southerland, Jr. is the CEO of the First Choice Repair Program (FCRP), which he founded in 2003. First Choice Repair specializes in managing and providing access to a national network of certified and credentialed roofing, siding and gutter contractors that allow Property Insurance Carriers the capability of offering qualified restoration services to their policyholders – Managed Repair. FCRP manages the entire process including, performance, quality assurance, costs and customer service.  FCRP provides this service for both daily and catastrophe related property claims and is the only company offering a solution of this nature for large-scale catastrophes.  Through their proprietary systems and management techniques, FCRP is able to provide efficient and timely repairs, while enhancing the customer service experience.

Southerland has been a pioneer in the industry since 1994 when he founded the Property Insurance Industry’s first Managed Repair Company, The PRISM Network, Inc., which was eventually sold to Crawford and Company. 

Southerland is a Florida native receiving his BS and MBA degrees with an emphasis in Finance from Florida State University in 1981. Upon graduating, he joined Andersen Consulting in Atlanta and proceeded to work in various public and private sectors, including The Federal Reserve Bank and Memorial Healthcare System.

Steve Rausch


First Choice Repair, President & COO

 Steve Rausch is a Florida native, receiving his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1981 and post bachelors computer science courses at University of North Florida focused on artificial intelligence and expert systems. Upon graduation, he joined Westinghouse Electric for three years as a mechanical engineer/software developer providing advanced mechanical engineering solutions to the nuclear power industry. Steve then co-founded Pathtech Software Solutions where over the next 15 years he grew the company from 4 employees to 85 employees. During this time, Steve worked in various capacities including technical analysis and development, sales and marketing, operations, etc. including the design and development of the first Managed Repair Software system. Upon leaving Pathtech, Steve was the Director Analysis/Consulting for Cotelligent’s insurance and financial services division where he lead a national practice group that provided application design/development consulting services. Three years prior to joining First Choice, Steve worked for Kemper Insurance as the Director of Application Development/Enterprise Project Manager responsible for implementing new web based technology and applications. Steve brings 28 years of systems, insurance and financial services experience to First Choice Repair.

Jason Young, Keynote Speaker


Former Senior Level Customer Service Training Manager of Southwest Airlines

Author, speaker and consultant. Jason Young has been called a “rare breed” when it comes to developing leaders, teams and customer service initiatives. No wonder. As a former senior-level manager at Southwest Airlines, Jason learned the value of a successful workplace culture. During his 10-years with the airline consistently rated No. 1 in customer service and employee satisfaction, he was a key driver in creating and developing the company’s innovative training programs for its successful leadership and customer service culture that have become renowned in the business world today.
Driven by the need to extend his unique insight in leadership development to others outside Southwest, Jason separated from the pack in 1998, when he left the airline to launch his own consulting practice to focus on corporate training and development services provider specializing in leadership, customer service and team building. Today, as president of LeadSmart, Inc., Jason shares his vision in developing successful corporate cultures and workplace environments with forward-thinking companies, including Starbucks, Coca Cola, Radio Shack and Tyson Foods, to name just a few. He has even captured his philosophy of creating high performance cultures in his recent book, Culturetopia - the ultimate high performance workplace.
Capturing the innovative strategies and tactics he created at Southwest Airlines, Jason offers insights and practical information that can be imple- mented immediately. His keynote presentations and training programs are in demand for audiences of all types – from senior level executives to front line employees. Jason’s messages reach to the core of every audience member with his unique style and engaging presentation skills. Participants are treated to a compelling experience that will change the way they view themselves, their customers and the company for which they work.
Jason’s keynote presentations are designed to reinforce the concepts and skills geared to increase learning and assist in the transition from the meeting room to the workplace. The result is an inspirational encounter that resonates long after his presentation is over.

Travis Bingham 


ITEL , Director of Business Development

The ITEL APP: Bring the Lab with You on Roofing and Siding Claims 

 Travis Bingham is an insurance repair industry veteran with over 10 years of    experience. Travis joined ITEL as Director of Business Development in February 2012 and has worked closely with national and regional carriers and contractors to develop and implement new direct repair programs. Before joining ITEL, Travis was the Director of Operations for CRDN, where he managed day to day business of the more than 100 member CRDN contractor franchise network.

Tim Bruffey


Accurence, INC., Customer Development Partner

Tim Bruffey is the Customer Development Partner for Accurence, Inc., a Colorado based technology provider with inspection and scope automation solutions for insurers and contractors. Tim is an industrial engineer and inventor with 25 years of solution oriented IT expertise for the property and  casualty insurance and construction industry. Previous work includes plant QA manager for GM's Cadillac brand, founding MonitorBOT,  a remote moisture monitoring system for mitigation vendors and operating a ServiceMaster franchise for over 15 years. He spends his time at Accurence working with insurance carriers to innovate their claims workflow aiding contractors in system implementations that generate consistency and scalability.

Bruce Clark


American Family Mutual Insurance Company, Manager of Catastrophe Department

Bruce has worked for over twenty-four years in the property restoration and claims arena. Prior to American Family Insurance, Bruce worked as a general contractor with his own contracting firm as well as with Paul Davis Restoration Specialist. He has worked for Atlanta based Crawford & Company handling property and catastrophe related losses. He started his career with American Family Insurance as a field property adjuster in Toledo, Ohio. He was also a property claims manager for American Family Insurance in Columbus, Ohio. Bruce transitioned to the American Family Catastrophe Team in 2001 and is currently head of the department. He lives with his wife Cathy in Shakopee, Minnesota. They have three adult sons who live in Annapolis, Maryland, Lambertville, Michigan, and Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and a daughter who lives in Greenville, South Carolina.  Bruce and his wife will be moving to Madison, Wisconsin, to American Family’s National Headquarters.

Lance Dore


Allstate Insurance Company, Home Office Staff Claim Manager

Lance Dore has worked at Allstate Insurance Company for over twenty-five years in various capacities. He has been in a leadership role since 1994 working in the states of Virginia, Louisiana, and Illinois. From 2003-2005 he served as a Home Office Analyst and Business Designer. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he worked as a Property Market Claim Manager for the southeast states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi from 2005-2007. In 2007 he became a Casualty Market Claim Manager for Louisiana and was in this role until 2011 when he was promoted to Home Office Staff Claim Manager as a Property Project Team Lead. Lance is married and has two teenage kids aged 17 and 14. His hobbies include fly fishing, soccer, and Harley motorcycles. 

Heidi Ellsworth


Eagleview, Marketing

Staying Competitive and Winning Jobs through Technology

Heidi Ellsworth, a graduate of University of Portland, has been working in the roofing industry since 1993. Having held positions with Malarkey Roofing, Carlisle SynTec and EcoStar, LLC, Heidi is best known as the founder of the roofing - focused marketing firm, HJE Marketing. With responsibilities for overall marketing for EagleView she also leads the sales efforts for the construction industry.

Raj Goswami


MICA , CEO and Founder

 Managing Water Mitigation Programs Efficiently Through Technology

Raj Goswami is the CEO and founder of MICA Software.  MICA, Mitigation Industry Control Application, is a mobile software designed to make managing mitigation programs easier.  MICA is a subsidiary of BuildFusion, Inc. which Raj founded in 2003.  BuildFusion, Inc. provides custom technology solutions to companies in multiple fields such as transportation, health care, franchise operations, etc. and has been developing software solutions for the restoration industry for the last 9 years.  Prior to founding his own company, Raj worked as an IT consultant for Fortune 500 companies.  Raj holds a Masters in Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.  He resides in Northeast Florida.

David Luse


Xactware , Director of Development

Xactimate 28: Estimating Across Platforms

David Luse the Director of Development for Xactimate. In this role, he is responsible for all service providers, contractors, independents, and XactRemodel, as well as for third-party vendors. This requires a great deal of communication among key audiences, translating essential project information into both technical terminology and business talk, depending on the audience, and keeping the team on track to produce excellent outcomes for the client. David has been in this role with Xactware for six years. He has spend 13 years in the field of IT and project management, before which he worked in construction and remodeling. He received a bachelor's degree in IT management from Excelsior College. David recently represented Xactware as the Chairman of the NARI National Members Council.

Robert Nadeau


The Hartford Insurance Group, Assistant Vice President Property Claim Practices 

Robert Nadeau attended Central Connecticut State College where he earned a B.S. in Industrial Education. He has years of experience in the insurance claims industry, serving at Aetna Life & Casualty, Blue Ridge Insurance Company, and The Hartford. With The Hartford, Robert worked as a Northeast Regional Claims Manager from 2000-2003, overseeing hundreds of millions in claims payments and expenses. He created a collaborative and high performing team of diversely experienced staff that consistently achieved best-in-class business results related to operational strategies and initiatives. In his current role as the Assistant Vice President Property Claim Practices at The Hartford Insurance Group, Robert has worked to establish continuous quality improvement processes and develop responses to emerging environmental claim issues within the property arena. Robert has a proven, successful track recordeaud driving critical business, financial, and team results. He has extensive expertise in strategic and innovative tactical initiatives that support business objectives with a customer service focus.

Chris " LC" Nussbeck


Accurence, Customer Development Partner

Chris Nussbeck, LC” is a Partner at Accurence and focuses on contractor development by helping roofing contractors avoid common pitfalls and create long-term sustainable roofing operations.  He has dedicated his life to the roofing storm industry beginning as a loader at a supply facility, then seeking education and becoming the first US citizen to be certified by Canadian roofing installation bodies.  He leveraged his knowledge and energy to become a great salesman, lead and train teams, ran a group that completed over $100 million in re-roofing after seven hurricanes devastated the Florida peninsula in 2004 and 2005, and ultimately started and sold Aspen Contracting, the most successful national brand for disaster restoration roofing completing over $100 million in storm services in the 2011 season.  His calls for higher standards and innovation in the storm damage roofing industry have appeared in Contrator Managzine, Roofing Contractor Magazine, MIRCA and numerous other national and regional trade publications.

Brian Peterson


Farmers Insurance

Damage Recognition Training

Brian has 10 years of experience in the residential and commercial roofing industry, three years in general remodeling and 12 years in the Property Insurance Claims Industry, which includes five years in the catastrophe line. He has developed and taught numerous courses on damage recognition not only to his farmers colleagues but also, other organizations around the country.