The Power of Networking Panel
Moderator – Brooke Penders
Executive Director of Career & Professional Development, University of Hartford
Brooke Penders is the Executive Director of Career & Professional Development at the University of Hartford. With decades of experience creating successful communications and philanthropic programs, she partners with university and industry partners to help students explore, prepare, and launch into their post-graduate lives and dreams. Brooke graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Journalism, currently lives in Wethersfield, where she serves on several town commissions, and is the Vice Chair of the National Conference for Community and Justice. She is also the Development Chair for The CT Mirror and a member of the IQUILT Partnership Board of Corporators.
Senior Vice President, The Hartford
Karmela is Senior Vice President of the Enabling Solutions organization. In this role, Karmela has accountability for specialized functions supporting The Hartford’s Claim and Operations’ organization. Her accountabilities include, Claims Sales & Service, Legal Operations, Special Investigations and Counter Fraud Operations, Subrogation, Quality & Training Programs, Supplier Management and Hartford’s Reinsurance Center of Excellence
Previously, Karmela was the Chief Compliance Officer for Property and Casualty supporting Commercial Lines, Personal Lines and Claim organizations. She has 20+ years of experience in the insurance industry and has a diverse background which includes operations, technology, process optimization and law.
Karmela joined The Hartford in 1996 as an attorney with the New York City Staff Legal Office representing The Hartford’s policyholders in automobile, premises, and product liability litigation. Since that time, she has held several positions of increasing responsibilities with The Hartford including, Home Office Claim Consultant, Managing Attorney for Staff Legal Office, Vice President Operations and Vice President of Claim Quality and Solutions. Karmela also served as the Co-Chair of The Hartford’s Professional Women’s Network from 2008-2011.
Prior to joining The Hartford, she was an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County New York.
Karmela holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus, and a Juris Doctor from University of Miami School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.
Karmela resides in Connecticut. She volunteers for Girl Scouts of Connecticut and is on the Board of the National African American Insurance Association Greater Hartford Chapter.
Chief Talent Officer, MetroHartford Alliance
Kim Bishop is the Chief Talent Officer at the MetroHartford Alliance, the region’s business and economic development organization. In this role Kim manages the conceptualization, building, and implementation of the Alliance’s developing talent attraction strategy. AllHart, & oversees HYPE (Hartford Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs), the Alliance’s young professionals networking group in its 15th year with over 4,000 members. Prior to the Alliance, she worked for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford & Hartford Public Library. She holds a Bachelors in Human Development & Family Studies from University of Connecticut.
Underwriter Associate, Business Risk Partners
Ian has recently graduated from the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford in May of 2021. He has graduated with a BSBA degree with a major in Accounting and double-minor in Risk Management and Insurance and Actuarial Science. Most recently, he has been working as an Underwriter Associate for Business Risk Partners. Ian is passionate about insurance, risk management, and the future of insurance found in insurtech.
Insurance Agent, Sardilli Insurance Agency
Dan Sardilli is an insurance agent at his family’s business (Sardilli Insurance Agency in Southington, CT) where he specializes in personal and commercial insurance. Dan is very involved in the CT River Valley Chamber of Commerce where he is on the Board of Directors, and is the President of SPARC (the CTRVCC’s young professionals group). He enjoys playing hockey, golf, and visiting breweries across New England with his wife, Lisa.