President & CEO, CPCU, RPLU, ARe, ASLI
After graduating from DePaul University in 1991, Alex worked for Intere Intermediaries, a national reinsurance broker. Alex has obtained an Associate in Reinsurance (ARe), Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI) and Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU). He built a book of professional liability to over $35M and manages a staff of nine brokers and six support staff. Alex served as the Chairperson and is a long standing board member of the Association of Lloyd’s Brokers. He is also a frequent presenter on professional liability at conferences.
Senior Vice President, RPLU
Originally from Slovakia, Vlad moved to the U.S. as a result of his exemplary hockey skills. Later moving to Chicago, Vlad earned a finance degree from DePaul University. After a brief term with Merrill Lynch, Vlad began his career with AJ Wayne in 2002. He earned his Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU) designation in 2011. With more than a decade of experience in risk management and professional liability insurance, Vlad focuses primarily on E&O, D&O, EPLI, Fiduciary, and Cyber Liability. Vlad has the experience to place risks for a variety of industries with both U.S. and international exposure.
Vlad’s pastimes include competitive sailing, skiing, and, of course, travel.
Senior Vice President, RPLU
Andrew graduated from DePaul University in 2003 and joined our team after his graduation. He focuses on marketing of professional liability, directors and officers liability, employment practices and casualty risks. Andrew earned his Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU) designation in 2007. He was promoted to Sr. VP in late 2020. During his time with the company, Andrew has enjoyed watching the company grow and takes great pride working for a family run business. The best part of being a broker, Andrew says, is when you can think outside the box and do something new that can make a difference and provide the proper protection when his insureds need it most. Andrew recently moved to Darien, IL, when his son John was born. When Andrew is not working he enjoys golf, traveling, weightlifting, and the occasional good book.
Vice President, RPLU
Matthew Bielaga is a Professional Liability Broker at A.J. Wayne & Associates, Inc. Since joining the A.J. Wayne team in 2007, Matt has become a seasoned insurance professional with expertise in crafting and negotiating complex coverage solutions for his professional liability clients. Prior to joining AJ Wayne as a broker, Matt graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Minor in International Politics. While in college, Matt gained valuable insurance experience working part-time at AJ Wayne providing support to brokers and administration staff.
Matt is focused on developing strong relationships with his clients to help them find solutions to meet their unique coverage needs. He earned his Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU) designation in 2020. While not at work, Matt enjoys seeing live music, rooting on his favorite sports teams, and firing up the grill for backyard BBQs with family and friends.
Assistant Vice President, RPLU
Patrick Flannery grew up in Northern Kentucky and has resided in the Chicago area since 1996. Patrick graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Economics. He joined A.J. Wayne in 2010, and was promoted to Assistant VP in late 2020. Patrick obtained his RPLU designation in late 2020 as well. Patrick has consistently grown his book and looks forward to new business relationships in the years to come. Specializing in several areas of professional liability, Patrick is able to place risks of all magnitudes and complexities. He welcomes new business ideas and is constantly striving for growth. Outside of the office, Patrick enjoys traveling, following world politics, attending sporting events, and loves spending time with his family.
Broker, Marketing, CIC
Suzie Dodds is a native Hoosier and Taylor University graduate. She joined A.J. Wayne in 2015 with 15 years of professional liability experience – college summers as a policy processor with Surplus Insurance Brokers (at the suggestion of her independent-agent father), 5 years as a professional liability associate/broker with Arlington/Roe, followed by 10 years with the Big “I” associations in IN and NM as Insurance Programs Administrator. Suzie earned her Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation in 2012, and has begun the Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU) designation. She is a versatile thinker and “geek” translator. Before beginning her insurance career, Suzie taught middle school choir and music for 4 years, and continued more recently as a classically-trained soprano in the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir for 6 seasons. Her broad interests include travel, live music/sporting events, needle arts, food tourism, technology, being her husband’s passenger on their Harley-Davidson Fat Bob, and learning to ride her own mini chopper.
Suzie provides a valuable and unique service in her current position. In addition to using her accrued knowledge of our industry, markets, and processes to support our marketing efforts in all media formats, she also serves as the primary backup for all brokers at AJ Wayne. This allows the brokers to attend conferences, seminars, classes for continuing education and also take vacations. During those periods, our clients can be assured that their accounts are still being addressed appropriately while brokers are out of the office.
Executive Broker, RPLU
Hanan Salim graduated from Benedictine University with a degree in International Business and Economics. During her time there, she studied abroad in Japan and China. Before joining the AJ Wayne team in 2015, Hanan worked as an Operations Manager at SMS Assist, LLC. At this time, she is working on her RPLU designation and building new business relationships. During her free time, Hanan likes to read manga & fiction books, workout, try new/different restaurants, paint, spend time with family & friends, and travel. In 2018, Hanan had the opportunity to live in Spain for most of the year and continue her work remotely. She was promoted to Senior Broker in 2019, Executive Broker in late 2020, and earned her RPLU designation in early 2021.
Senior Broker, RPLU
John Canavan was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. John joined AJ Wayne in 2009. He was initially employed for eight years at AJ Wayne as the Administrative Supervisor and Policy Account Specialist, then moved into his current role as a broker. Prior to his hiring he accumulated over 15 years of experience working for some of the largest insurance companies including Prudential, Aon and Marsh & McLennan. John was promoted to Senior Broker in 2019. He earned his Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU) designation in 2020.
Having grown up in South Bend, you won’t find a bigger Notre Dame fan. When he’s not busy following the Fighting Irish, John is an avid video gamer. If he ever does put down the controller and pick up a book you’ll find him reading Catcher in the Rye for the 50th time. If it’s a movie night you’re most likely to hear him quoting every line from The Godfather. John’s television guilty pleasures include Jeopardy, The Walking Dead and Survivor. Update: He used to watch The Walking Dead.
Gene Fitts is from St. Louis, Missouri. She attended Central Missouri State for her first year in college. Then, she moved to Chicago where she graduated from DePaul University with a degree in General Management. While in school, she volunteered for the Red Cross, worked at the Center for Public Interest Law at DePaul, and completed an internship at SPP Inc. Furthermore, she has a background in finance, human resources, compliance, and sales. She began her career in the insurance industry as a Litigation Technician prior to joining AJ Wayne. In her spare time, she likes to travel abroad and spend time with friends & family.
Like many of the brokers on staff, Adrian was born in Chicago and then later moved to Park Ridge when he was in high school. Adrian attended the University of Missouri and graduated in 2016 with a major in International Business with an emphasis in Finance. After graduation, he worked for Allstate at their headquarters as a pricing technician analyst for a little over a year. Adrian is currently working towards earning his Registered Professional Liability Underwriter designation (RPLU). In his free time, he enjoys working out, playing sports, traveling and spending time with family. A fun fact about Adrian is that he was born of immigrant parents that are from Poland. He can read, write, and speak the language fluently. He also loves the Polish National Soccer Team!