About > Leadership

Our Leadership

The foundation of The Jacobson Group’s success is our focus and dedication to the insurance industry. Our executive management team mirrors this, collectively bringing more than a century of hands-on industry experience to our organization and our clients. In addition to industry knowledge, each executive contributes a unique blend of leadership, vision and creativity. Together, they are committed to the success of our firm, our clients and our industry.

 

Gregory P. Jacobson, co-Chief Executive Officer

Greg Jacobson

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Gregory P. Jacobson is co-Chief Executive Officer of The Jacobson Group, the leading global provider of talent to the insurance industry. Greg has successfully guided the firm through substantial growth over the years, as demonstrated by the company’s recognition as one of the nation’s fastest-growing private staffing firms on multiple occasions.

In addition to overseeing the organization, Greg manages select search assignments for the firm's executive search practice. He has consulted companies internationally in all areas of the life, health, property and casualty insurance communities. He has successfully assisted leading industry organizations in the acquisition of critical senior-level talent including Board Members, CEOs and other C-suite roles.

Greg is an active participant in the insurance community. He contributes to many industry association events, including those of the International Insurance Society (IIS), the Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), and the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA). He is considered an expert on the industry's labor market and is often called upon to share his perspectives on the industry’s talent outlook, human capital strategies, talent acquisition and succession planning. He is a featured columnist in Best’s Review and also contributes his insights with periodicals such as LOMA’s Resource, Reactions, National Underwriter Property and Casualty, and Business Insurance.

Greg is a Board Member of the National Insurance Industry Council for the City of Hope and a former Board Member for the Chicago Sinfonietta, the United States’ most diverse orchestra. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and an Independent Director of a New York-headquartered specialty property and casualty insurer. Greg graduated from Illinois State University of Normal.

 

Richard L. Jacobson, co-Chief Executive Officer

Richard Jacobson

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Richard L. Jacobson is co-Chief Executive Officer of The Jacobson Group. He maintains shared leadership and management of the firm’s day-to-day operations and strategic direction and plays a significant role in its continued growth and success.

Since joining the company in 1997, Rick has contributed to the substantial development and recognition of its flexible talent service offering. Previously, Rick served as Vice President of Operations and President of Jacobson’s temporary talent business unit, leading its growth to become the largest and most recognized provider of temporary talent to the insurance industry.

Rick is actively involved in the insurance industry, the staffing industry and especially the intersection between the two.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Detroit-based Center for Staffing Excellence, a risk-management education organization for the staffing industry, as well as serving on the Policy Council for the American Staffing Association (ASA).

Prior to his tenure with the firm, Jacobson worked as an IT integration consultant for Andersen Consulting in Chicago. He received his master’s of business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business in Evanston, Ill., with concentrations in management and strategy, as well as marketing. Jacobson earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

 

Margaret Resce Milkint, Managing Partner

Margaret Resce Milkint

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Margaret Resce Milkint is Managing Partner of The Jacobson Group. She handles executive management and actuarial searches on a national and international basis in the areas of life, property and casualty, healthcare, reinsurance, and consulting (benefits, life and health, property and casualty) for the organization's retained search practice. She also plays a significant role in the continued development of the entire organization as a member of Jacobson’s Executive Management Team.  Margaret is a key player in establishing cross-border relationships and broadening the firm’s global reach.

Margaret joined the firm more than 25 years ago and has successfully completed search engagements including Board of Director members, CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, COOs, CIOs, CROs, Chief Underwriters and Chief Actuaries. Her international search expertise encompasses disciplines such as actuarial analytics, underwriting, risk, finance and investment, legal, IT, sales and marketing, and claims. Prior to her tenure with the firm, she was employed by Allstate Insurance Company of Northbrook, Ill.

Margaret received her bachelor's degree with concentrations in English, French and marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently serves as a Career Development Speaker for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois. She is the former Chair of the Board of Directors for Easter Seals, DuPage and the Fox Valley Region, and a current Board Member of the Illinois Technology Foundation, focusing on the importance of communication, social media and networking skills. Margaret is also a volunteer instructor for Jobs for Youth, a non-profit organization addressing youth employment. Additionally, Margaret is a member of the Chicago Finance Exchange.

As the co-founder of the Women’s Insurance Networking Group (WING), Margaret is a champion of diversity and equality in leadership in the insurance industry. WING was launched as a platform for networking among the insurance industry’s female leaders and enlightened males, those who understand the importance of diversity and equality in leadership in the insurance industry.

Margaret's expertise on career and recruiting issues is widely-recognized throughout the industry. She was most recently called upon to share her perspectives with Best’s Review, Insurance & Technology, The Actuarial Review, LifeHealthPro, TechDecisions, and Diversity/Careers. She further communicates her insights with the industry through bylined articles; these were most recently featured in Stepping Stone, Riskpertise, and Broker World. Margaret is also called on to speak at many regional and national conferences, including National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS).

Margaret is based out of the firm’s global headquarters in Chicago. 

 

David E. Coons, Senior Vice President

Dave Coons

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As Senior Vice President of The Jacobson Group, Dave Coons provides leadership to Jacobson's professional recruiting, emerging talent and RPO practices. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of these business units, Dave serves on the Executive Management Team and plays an integral role in the continued growth and development of the firm.

Dave joined Jacobson in 2007 to head up its subject matter experts practice and later transitioned to his current role. With extensive experience in the human capital and professional services arenas, he most recently served as Vice President of Business Development for a global human resources consulting firm. His successful career record also includes executive tenures with a leading recruitment process outsourcing provider and a global technology consulting firm.

Dave earned his MBA from Loyola University in Chicago and his bachelor's degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. Currently, he is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), Chicago Area Healthcare Recruiters Association (CAHR), Harper College for Business Advisory Committee, and Loyola and Indiana University alumni foundations.

 

Catherine Prete, Senior Vice President of Operations

Catherine Prete

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Catherine Prete is Senior Vice President of Operations at The Jacobson Group, the leading global provider of talent to the insurance industry. In this role, she oversees strategic direction of corporate administrative operations and risk management for the organization. In addition, she directs the administration department which provides crucial services to the entire company. Catherine also serves on the Executive Management Team and plays an integral role in the growth and development of the firm.

Catherine joined Jacobson nearly 17 years ago as an accounting assistant. Her dedicated work ethic and extensive training, executive support and project management expertise have enabled her to move up the ranks. Prior to joining Jacobson in 1997, Catherine served as Employment Information Systems Supervisor at Reid Systems.

She received a bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University.

 

Brad Whatley, Senior Vice President

Brad Whatley

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Brad Whatley is Senior Vice President of The Jacobson Group’s subject matter experts service offering. In this role, Brad provides leadership to the company’s life and disability, and property and casualty subject matter experts teams. His teams give insurance organizations access to professionals with functional expertise and consultant-level talent for special projects and short-term accounting, actuarial, claims, compliance, marketing, technology and underwriting needs. Brad also plays a significant role in the continued development of the entire organization as a member of Jacobson’s Executive Management Team.

Brad brings a well-rounded insurance and sales background to his clients’ assignments. He began his tenure with Jacobson as a Territory Manager, offering temporary and temp-to-hire insurance professionals to the Atlanta insurance region through Jacobson’s temporary staffing practice and later advancing to National Territory Manager for the firm’s subject matter experts practice. Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Whatley served as a broker for Aon Corporation and as an agent for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Active in the insurance industry, Brad participates in several organizations such as the Association of Home Office Underwriters (AHOU), the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals (AICP). He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Northern Michigan University of Marquette, Mich. 

 

Abbe Sodikoff, Senior Vice President

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Abbe Sodikoff is Senior Vice President and Health Sales Manager of The Jacobson Group, the leading provider of talent to the insurance industry. In this role, she provides leadership to the firm’s subject matter experts health services team – a solution that gives insurance companies access to consultant-level insurance talent for special projects and short-term needs – and project solutions team – a rapid response solution to the insurance/managed care industry’s critical and often unforeseen workload situations. She also plays a significant role in the continued development of the entire organization as a member of Jacobson’s Executive Management Team

With a track record of success in sales and recruiting, Abbe brings more than 15 years of experience to her role. She joined Jacobson nearly 10 years ago as a National Territory Manager and has consistently moved up the ranks, gaining increasing responsibilities.

Abbe is an active participant in the insurance/managed care community and participates in a number of industry events on both the local and national levels. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.

 

Oyauma Garrison, MBA, CPCU, AIC, Senior Vice President

Oyauma Garrison

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Oyauma Garrison is Senior Vice President of The Jacobson Group. In this role, Oyauma provides leadership to Jacobson’s temporary staffing arm, which delivers experienced insurance professionals to help organizations seamlessly manage workload fluctuations. Oyauma also serves as a member of Jacobson’s Executive Management Team, contributing to the strategic direction and continued growth and development of the leading global provider of insurance talent.

An industry veteran, Oyauma offers more than 20 years of proven leadership experience in the insurance and financial services industry, including tenures with Allstate, Nationwide and State Farm. His deep-seeded insurance knowledge extends from sales, underwriting, pricing and marketing to claims and operations. Oyauma earned his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and Associate in Claims designations and holds his Ohio property and casualty, life and health, and Series 6 licenses. Oyauma remains active in the industry and is often called upon to share his insights on recruiting, talent development and succession planning. 

Extremely active in his community, Oyauma has received numerous awards for leadership and community service. Most recently, he was named the inaugural 2015 Emerging Leader Award recipient for the United Way of Central Ohio. His positive impact on the community has also been recognized with the United States of America Presidential 2014 Gold Standard Award for Community Service, proclamations from the Ohio General Assembly, and a Resolution of Expression from the Columbus City Council. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for BuildOn, an international nonprofit empowering U.S. urban youth to transform their neighborhoods and the world, and the Columbus Marathon Diversity Advisory Council.

Oyauma earned his bachelor’s degree from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and his MBA from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Oyauma was named the national 2007 MBA of the Year for demonstrating outstanding leadership and a commitment to business development. As President of the National Black MBA Association – Columbus Chapter, the organization went on to win Chapter of the Year four years consecutively. 

 

Johanna “JoJo” Harris, Senior Vice President of Human Resources

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Johanna “JoJo” Harris is Senior Vice President of Human Resources at The Jacobson Group, the leading global provider of talent to the insurance industry. In this role, she is responsible for leadership and management of the firm’s human resource functions. This includes formalizing, implementing and overseeing all human resources policies and procedures with a strong focus on internal talent acquisition, retention and development. Johanna also serves on the Executive Management Team and plays an integral role in the growth and development of the firm.

Johanna joined Jacobson in 2015 and quickly made a positive impact on the organization’s culture. Prior to joining Jacobson, Johanna served as Human Resources Director/Business Partner for Morton Salt. Johanna has also previously held the roles of Human Resources Manager for the Chicago Tribune Company and Cost Accountant and Human Resources Coordinator for Armstrong World Industries.

Active in her community, Johanna is an Advisory Board Member for the United Way Women’s Leadership Council and serves as the Children’s Church Director for Bright Star Church. She received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Penn State University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations from Loyola University of Chicago.



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