Stephen Vollbrecht, Executive Director
Stephen Vollbrecht serves as the State Risk Manager for Texas, overseeing the State Office of Risk Management as Executive Director. Previously in private practice, Mr. Vollbrecht has served in progressive roles with SORM since 2001, as Deputy General Counsel, General Counsel, and Deputy Executive Director, and was named by the Board as the Executive Director in 2014. Mr. Vollbrecht is also commissioned as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGC), assigned to the Texas Military Department, State Guard, HHC.
Mr. Vollbrecht received his Bachelor of Arts from Texas Lutheran University, Master of Arts from the Naval Postgraduate School, and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law. He is a graduate of the Governor’s Executive Development Program at the University of Texas, LBJ School of Public Affairs, and holds Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Insurance Services (AIS), and Risk Management (ARM) designations from the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. Mr. Vollbrecht is certified as a Professional/Master Continuity Practitioner (PCP/MCP) by the Emergency Management Institute, FEMA, and a Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) by the State Guard Association of the United States.
He is a member of the Texas Bar College, American Bar Association (ABA), State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS), Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP), State Risk and Insurance Management Association (STRIMA), University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA), Public Risk and Insurance Management Association (PRIMA), Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), JBSA Electromagnetic Defense Initiative/Domestic Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations (SA-EMD/DEMSO), and the ASSP/U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ANSI ISO/TC 262/TG 5 (ISO 31000).
Todd Holt, Deputy Executive Director
L. Todd Holt joined SORM in January 2015 and currently serves as Deputy Executive Director. Prior to joining SORM, Mr. Holt held several executive management positions such as the Division Director of Claims Administration for the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and as the Assistant Vice President of Industry Training for the Texas Mutual Insurance Company (formally known as the Texas Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fund). His background includes managing operations that handle workers’ compensation, commercial property, errors and omissions, general liability, and auto. During his 19+ year tenure at TASB, he developed expertise in the Texas Tort Claims Act, was involved in the placement of property stop loss insurance (including international Lloyds markets) and actively participated in the executive leadership of a large risk pool.
Mr. Holt holds bachelor and master’s degrees from Texas Tech University and is a licensed multi-line adjuster (Type 08). He holds several professional designations, which include Associate in Claims (AIC) and Associate in Claims Management (AIC-M) from the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. He also holds a Casualty Claims Profession (CCP) designation from the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, and is certified as a Professional Continuity Practitioner (PCP) by the Emergency Management Institute, FEMA.
Deea L. Western, J.D., Division Chief and General Counsel, Legal Services Division
Deea Western joined SORM as General Counsel and Division Chief for Legal Services in April 2015. The Legal Services Division is comprised of three departments including Litigation Management, Special Investigations, and Compliance and Practices.
Ms. Western was born in Arkansas and attended Arkansas State University. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, she moved to Bell County, Texas and taught elementary school on Fort Hood before going to law school.
Deea Western obtained a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has been licensed to practice law in Arkansas and Texas since 1992. Ms. Western served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Texas Office of the Attorney General. Following that, she was a solo practitioner. In 1996, she accepted a position with the Texas Department of Insurance Enforcement Section where she directed a team of attorneys and investigators and supervised litigation for 18 years. In addition to her legal career, Ms. Western also taught college courses at Central Texas College in Killeen.
James Cox, Division Chief of Strategic Programs
On November 1, 2017, the State Office of Risk Management welcomed James Cox as the new Chief of the Strategic Programs Division. As Division Chief, Mr. Cox oversees the Risk Management, Claims Operations, Communications & Development, and Document Processing departments. He serves as the leadership for administering workers’ compensation benefits for state employees, introduces new insurance lines for the state, expands the vision for Continuity of Operations (COOP), and advances Enterprise Risk Management (ERM).
Mr. Cox is a licensed insurance adjuster in 32 states. He comes to SORM from Shield Global Partners in Indiana where he served as the Director of Claims Management, and has over 20 years of experience in risk management and insurance. James holds an Associate of Science from the University of South Carolina, a Bachelor of Science from Wayland Baptist University, and a Master of Business Administration in Risk Insurance and Risk Management from Walden University. Mr. Cox is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
PAST EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
Claire Bow – Executive Director
Claire Bow served as Executive Director of SORM from 2004 through 2014. Born and raised in Alpine, Texas, Ms. Bow received a B.A. in Political Science from Sul Ross University and a J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law. After working in private practice as an attorney in Lubbock, Ms. Bow joined the Office of the Attorney General as an Assistant Attorney General. She served ten years with the Attorney General’s Office, ending her tenure as the Presiding Administrative Law Judge in the Child Support Division. In 1998, Ms. Bow joined SORM as General Counsel and served the agency in that capacity until named by the Board of Directors to the position of Executive Director.
Ron Josselet – Executive Director
Mr. Josselet was appointed Executive Director of SORM by the Board of Directors in January 2000. He held the professional designations of Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), and certifications from the Texas Department of Insurance in risk management and workers’ compensation. Mr. Josselet earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and an MBA from Southwest Texas State University. He served as Executive Director from 2000 – 2004.
Bruce Birdwell – Executive Director
Mr. Birdwell was appointed Executive Director of SORM by the Board of Directors in February 1998. He was the Risk Manager of the City of San Antonio, member of Public Risk Management Association, Risk and Insurance Management Society, and the American Society of Safety Engineers. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington. Mr. Birdwell served as Executive Director from 1998 – 1999.