Meet our Board of Directors
The members of our Board of Directors represent a balanced
blend of respected, experienced professionals whose unique and
diverse fields of business expertise serve to guide the company and
advance our mission and vision.
Rod Ross, Chairman and Owner
Earl Roderick "Rod" Ross is the owner and majority shareholder of Equitable Life & Casualty. Rod represents the third generation of ownership of the company within the Ross family, founded in 1935 by his grandfather, Roderick Earl "Doc" Ross. After attending the University of Kansas, Rod began his career at Equitable in the early 1970s. With over 40 years of experience in the business of insurance, Rod has guided the company in expanding its life and health insurance footprint across the country. Over this time he has served Equitable in a number of key executive management roles, and has represented the company and held leadership positions in both state and national industry trade associations.
Bill Prouty, Equitable CEO
Bill Prouty has more than 45 years of experience in the insurance industry, including life, health and property casualty. Before his current role at Equitable, Bill was a partner in Pivotal Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in assisting companies with strategic transformation. Prior to that, he was CEO of Financial Industries Corporation, an insurance holding company in Austin, Texas. Earlier, he was part of the team brought in to turn around Conseco and ran Bankers Life & Casualty as part of that effort. Bill spent much of the 1990s in managed care, including being COO of Novalis Corporation, a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm. He was a Partner at Ernst & Young and was responsible for their insurance industry consulting practice in the Northeast. Bill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Kendall Surfass, Equitable President & General Counsel
Kendall Surfass has been with the Company since 1987. He has 30 years of experience in the life and health insurance industry. As a senior executive and chief legal officer his responsibilities include Federal and State corporate and regulatory compliance; litigation risk avoidance and litigation management; product development and marketing support; strategic planning; enterprise risk management; corporate communications; and government relations. Kendall received a Bachelor of Science degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1975, and a Juris Doctor degree from Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa in 1978.
Gil Rohde, Lead Director; Owner, The Rohde Group
Gil Rohde is an insurance professional with over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has served as a Director, President and CEO of two property and casualty insurance companies, and as a Director, President and CEO of two life and health insurance holding companies. Gil has an extensive background in acquisitions and divestures within the insurance industry. He reengineered and transformed three unprofitable companies into growing and profitable businesses and positioned them for acquisition at considerable gains for the owners. Gil has held leadership positions in both state and national insurance trade associations. He is a 1970 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, with a major in Economics and Business Administration. In 2000, Gil received an executive degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Lynn DeBry, CPA
Lynn DeBry served as a Certified Public Accountant in the firm of KPMG LLP for 31 years, and he was a Partner for 22 of those years. He worked in the Salt Lake City, Utah office, the KPMG LLP executive office in New York and the Sao Paulo, Brazil office. Primary industry responsibilities included information technology, manufacturing, health care and life science, insurance and distribution. Subsequent to his retirement he served as the CFO of Cirque Corporation that manufactured touch pads for notebook computers, PDAs, smart phones and industrial applications. Lynn received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Utah in 1968. He has also completed the Stanford Management Course.
Marilyn Froelich, CFA / Investment Consultant
Marilyn Froelich is an investment professional with over 30 years of insurance and institutional asset management experience. She is experienced in the critical areas of fixed income investment management, including portfolio management, credit research, risk analysis, strategy, policy development and reporting. Marilyn has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science degree from North Dakota State University. In addition to being a Chartered Financial Analyst, she is a Chartered Life Underwriter and Fellow, Life Office Management.
Bill Adams, CEO, Full Circle Group & The Leadership Circle
Bill Adams is a master at working with corporations to manifest their leadership and organizational potential. With over 30 years of experience, Bill is a leader, consultant and entrepreneur. Bill co-authored the books, The Whole Systems Approach: Involving Everyone in the Company to Transform and Run Your Business and The Quest for Quality: Prescriptions for Achieving Service Excellence. He contributed to two editions of The Change Handbook: Group Methods for Shaping the Future, and to Managing Quality in America's Most Admired Companies. Bill has a Master's degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication from the University of Montana.