2019-2020 ELP Class

CIRB is proud to announce the 5th Class of the Emerging Leaders Program.


Neely Phelps, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc

Neely began her crop insurance career in 1998 after earning a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness from Arizona State University. She held different positions with AFBIS, Inc. which allowed her to learn the underwriting, claims, and training aspect of crop insurance.  In 2005 she took time off to raise her family and returned to crop insurance in 2014.  She currently holds the position of policy administrator specializing in claims and quality control.  She resides in North Carolina with her husband Chris and their two daughters, Grace and Makenna.


Jay Mark, ARMtech Insurance Services

Jay has worked in the crop insurance industry for the past 10 years and now serves as the Regional Claims Supervisor in Minnesota for ARMtech Insurance Services. Jay also has been elected as Chair to the Tumuli Township in Ottertail County, MN. He graduated from Mayville State University in North Dakota with a B.S. in Education. Jay and his wife, Jesse, and their four children live in the heart of lakes country near Dalton, MN. Their family also runs a BBQ sauce business, “Curt’s BBQ Sauce,” proudly making and selling his father’s secret recipe all over the country.


Craig Conroy, COUNTRY Financial

Craig currently serves as the Agribusiness Underwriting Manager in Bloomington, Illinois and is responsible for employee management, profitable farm growth, customer retention and the coordination of related activities between underwriting and the agency force. Prior to his current role he held multiple positions within the Agribusiness Division included Farm Underwriter, Commercial / Agribusiness Research & Development Analyst and Farm Underwriting Supervisor. Craig was raised on a grain and livestock farm in central Illinois.  He graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign / Urbana. He and his wife, Sarah, have three young daughters and reside in Bloomington, IL.

David Stewart, Crop Risk Services

David began his career in the crop insurance industry in 2011 as a crop adjuster and he now serves as a Senior Claims Adjuster for Crop Risk Services. Prior David served for more than two decades as a police officer in Illinois and graduated from Shawnee Community College in Ullin, IL with a degree in Law Enforcement Technology. He now resides in Vienna, IL.



Cade Stockberger, Crop Risk Services

Cade Stockberger currently serves as a Senior Sales Manager in the Eastern Sales Region for Crop Risk Services, an AIG company. Since joining CRS in 2011, as a Territory Integration Manager, he has held positions on the sales team, and has recently served as a Sales Manager assigned to Farm Credit Mid-America. Cade received his Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Business with a minor in Crop Science from The Ohio State University.

Zach Allsup, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa

Zach has been in the crop insurance industry for 10 years, and currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of Claims with Famers Mutual Hail. Zach grew up in eastern Iowa and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a double major in finance and real estate. He now resides in Polk City, IA with his wife, Kelly, and their 2-year-old son Cameron and new baby girl Rylie.



Chad Simon, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa

Chad has been involved in the crop insurance industry for 22 years and serves as a product development manager at Farmers Mutual Hail. He manages all new and existing product development activities and projects to ensure the products and services are competitive and relevant to the customers. He also provides general business insights and recommendations by collecting and analyzing data to aide in the business product strategies. He and his wife, Josyndia have three kids and reside in Polk City, IA. He enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his kid’s sports, fishing, bowling, golfing, and being outdoors.


Duane Hynes, Holborn

Duane is an Assistant Vice President in the broking area of HOLBORN Corporation. He serves as a liaison to the reinsurance market and internally coordinates the service departments on various clients’ behalves; managing the reinsurance renewal process as well as any client-directed ad hoc projects and deliverables. He joined the firm in 2009, after graduating from Princeton University with a B.A. in Economics. Duane serves on the editorial committee of the IRUA’s Journal of Reinsurance and is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU). In addition to the CPCU, he also holds Associate in Reinsurance (ARe), Associate in General Insurance (AINS), and Associate in Insurance Services (AIS) designations. He is currently pursuing his Associate in Claims (AIC) and Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist (AFIS) designations.

Jaya Hahn, Hudson Crop Insurance Services, Inc

Jaya has worked in the crop insurance industry for 10 years and now serves as the Western Claims Manager for Hudson Crop Insurance Services. She earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and a master’s degree in crop science and plant genetics at Washington State University. Jaya resides in Spokane, WA and enjoys spending time with her family, biking, hiking, boating, kayaking, fishing, and gardening.

Alexis Schroeder, Hudson Crop Insurance, Inc

Lexi is the Senior Marketing Communications Specialist for Hudson Crop. She began her career in the crop insurance industry immediately upon earning her bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communications from Iowa State University in 2012. She has held various AIP roles involving sales, field services, marketing and communications. Lexi grew up in West Central Iowa and currently resides on an acreage with her husband and three children.


Mat Brueggeman, Rural Community Insurance Services

Mat serves as a Field Service Representative in South Dakota for RCIS.  He manages the overall partnerships with agencies he services in the state.  His responsibilities include working with agents to help manage their overall growth in the business, educating them on all crop insurance related products, and helping strategize to enhance efficiencies. Growing up on a fourth generation family “century” farm in Miller, South Dakota, agriculture has always been a strong interest in Mat’s life.  Mat graduated with an associate’s degree in graphic design from Southeast Technical Institute and furthered his education with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Bellevue University.

Robert Rankin, Rural Community Insurance Services

Robert serves as a Field Service Representative covering North Carolina and South Carolina for RCIS. Prior to this role, he served as a Regional Underwriting Manager for RCIS with responsibility for a team of 10 underwriters servicing the Northeast region of the United States. Robert has provided his expertise in the crop insurance industry for nine years. Robert earned a bachelor’s degree of science in business administration from Ferrum College in Virginia.  He and his wife, Hannah, have two sons, Avery (4) and Nolan (2). In his spare time, Robert enjoys the outdoors with family, hunting, and fishing with his dad.