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Construction Risk Advisors: Meet The Team.

Is your broker truly a specialist?

Has your broker earned the professional designation Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS)? Check the list of Connecticut CRIS designees. 65% of them work for Construction Risk Advisors.

Discover the new criteria for choosing your insurance representative.

Robert G Phelan, ARM, CRIS – Chairman & CEO

Bob is a thirty-year veteran of the insurance industry. He brought the industry-leading Risk Reduction ApproachTM to the construction community and developed forward-edge workers compensation loss-control and claim-litigation strategies for contractors. An expert in all types of Alternative Risk Transfer and Alternative Risk Financing, in 2009 he was named a Construction Power Broker by Risk and Insurance magazine. In ’05, after a nationwide search, The National Alliance Research Academy recognized Bob as one of “The 25 Most Innovative Agents in America”. A graduate of Tufts University, Bob is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Rough Notes Magazine, the largest-circulation insurance-brokerage trade journal.

James Fabiaschi, CIC, RPLU, CPA, CRIS – Vice President & Risk Reduction Strategist

An owner of the firm, Jim joined us in 1985 and has served in many capacities. He was previously a financial auditor for Deloitte, a Big 4 Accounting Firm. Jim brings a business owner’s perspective to risk management with emphasis on appropriate protection and cost efficiency. In addition to his professional designations, Jim has a BS in Accounting from Fairfield University and an MBA from the University of New Haven. He is an active member of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce and the United Way as well as a member of the Torrington Elks, Rotary and UNICO clubs.




Dan Phelan, CRIS, CLCS – Commercial Lines Account Executive

Dan is responsible for helping his clients with claims, coverage issues, and loss control. He was one of the first members of our team to earn the professional designation of CRIS (Construction Risk Insurance Specialist). Joining Construction Risk Advisors after four years in the ski industry, he earned a CLCS (Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist) at the Hartford School of Insurance. Dan is the author of a popular blog about construction and insurance, with a focus on controlling worker’s compensation costs.



Dan's Blog

Doran K. Lamond, CRIS – Assistant Vice President

Doran Lamond has designed, marketed and serviced domestic and global insurance programs for an extensive range of industries, with a focus on the construction industry. Her area of expertise includes Loss Sensitive Programs (including retrospectively rated, large deductible, and captive plans), Professional Liability, International Placement, and CyberLiability. Doran is a leader and an innovator whose recent accomplishments include recreating NCCI’s EMR calculation with the unique ability to separate Wrap-up payroll & claims; developing a certificate compliance-tracking model; and coordinating and outsourcing initiative with a partner firm in China. Doran holds a B.A. from Trinity University.

Gayleen Pont, CRIS – Bond Manager, Senior Account Manager

Gayleen’s 20 years of expertise in both the surety and insurance industry has given her the unique ability to develop, design and manage surety and insurance programs for clients in every field of construction. Her extensive experience has honed her problem-solving and negotiating skills, enhancing her abilities to manage risk and structure insurance programs for complex construction operations. Gayleen is a graduate of Bay Path College.

Debra C. Kuhne, CRIS, AAI, CPIW, AIC, AIS, DAE, CELS – Director of Client Services

Debbi has over 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry. Her expertise in Workers Compensation Claim Management and cost reduction strategies helps to mitigate the impact of claims on our clients’ bottom line. She sits on their Safety Committees to help create a company-wide safety culture, developing job descriptions, designing return-to-work programs and educating supervisors on assisting an injured employee’s recovery and successful return-to-work. She has extensive training in FMLA, COBRA, ADA and Sexual Harassment issues. Debbi was named 2009 Regional Insurance Professional of the Year by the National Association of Insurance Women International and is the current Connecticut Council Director of National Association of Insurance Women.

Kimberley Gauvain, CRIS– Senior Claim Analyst

Kim has over 10 years of experience in the insurance industry. She manages Workers’ Compensation, Auto, General Liability, and Property claims. Her proactive approach has effectively expedited claim resolution and reduced the total cost of risk to clients. To mitigate the impact of Workers Compensation claims, Kim helps clients create a safety culture: developing hiring practices, designing job descriptions, implementing return-to-work programs and educating supervisors. Kim works closely with carriers to justify and reduce claim reserves and NCCI to identify and correct errors on experience modification worksheets to assure a client’s experience modification factor is accurate and at its lowest possible level. She holds an Associate’s degree from the University of Connecticut.

Catherine Martin, CRIS, CIC, AAI, ACSR – Account Manager

Catherine Martin has twenty-nine years of experience in the insurance industry. With a focus in construction, she collaborates with clients in the structure, administration and management of insurance and surety programs and contractual risk transfer strategies. Catherine provides guidance to clients on risk management, coverage and safety issues. She was the recipient of the Estelle Gawak Memorial CIC Scholarship.

Angela D. Hohider, Business Development Supervisor

Angela provides our clients with a suite of risk reducing services, including Safety Resources, Educational Workshops and Human Resource Compliance. Angela also conducts mandated Sexual Harassment Prevention Training to our clients across the state of Connecticut. Angela holds a degree in Marketing from Post University. She is an active member of Toastmasters International, currently sitting on the local board as Vice President of Public Relations. She is also a member of the Northwest Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals.


Karen Yanok, AAI, CRIS - Account Manager

Karen joined us in 1998 with a wealth of knowledge and experience from more than 30 years in the insurance business. She has managed accounts ranging from large-scale real estate developers to the heavy construction industry. Her construction segment is focused on street/road, paving, concrete specialty applications, excavation/blasting, and environmental and asbestos abatement contractors. Karen advises clients on contractual risk transfer strategies, reviews the insurance-specific portions of project bid specifications, secures supplemental coverage as needed, handles claims and audit issues, and fosters the client-carrier relationship. She has expertise in cost-efficient insurance programs for municipalities, woodworkers, and manufacturers. In keeping with the heavy fire loads associated with these enterprises, she has completed specific training in sprinkler system testing and maintenance.

Lynn Alfieri, CRM, CRIS, CIC - Senior Account Manager - Commercial Lines

Lynn joined us in 1986 and is a Senior Account Manager in our Commercial Lines Department. With 23 years experience, Lynn has a broad knowledge of insurance with special expertise with public entities, financial institutions and the wholesale and construction industries. Lynn manages the day-to-day needs of her clients, helps to implement risk-reduction service plans, performs coverage analyses, designs marketing plans, and is the primary liaison between clients and their insurance carriers. She handles several group captive clients and surety bond programs. Lynn has a B. S. Degree in Communication Sciences from the University of Connecticut.

Read about Construction Risk and Insurance Specialists (CRIS).
The CRIS professional designation was created by IRMI (International Risk Management Institute) to provide specialized training to those insurance and risk management professionals dedicated to the construction industry. Like never before, specialization is the key to success in today’s marketplace. The CRIS designation is what separates the generalist insurance agent from the very specialized construction risk advisor. This is designation is only conferred upon those people who successfully complete five national exams testing a comprehensive knowledge of construction risk management. There are 16 insurance professionals in CT who hold the CRIS designation. Of these, 10 or 60% work for CRA. No other firm in CT has a team of professionals as highly specialized and focused on risk management for contractors.

Read about Construction Power Brokers.
The Risk and Insurance®Power BrokersTM is an annual listing of the most influential commercial insurance brokers in 25 industry practice groups. In 2009, 147 individual brokers were identified as “Power Brokers.” The “Power Broker” designations are based on nominations provided by brokers and risk managers as judged by separate panels of risk managers for each industry segment. More than 300 risk managers were interviewed in the process of identifying and soliciting, evaluating and judging the final nominations. Brokers were judged primarily on their creativity in solving risk-related problems during 2008, their demonstrated industry knowledge and their high level of client service.