President and Chief Executive Officer – Tony A. Loughman, CPCU, ARM
Mr. Loughman has over 21 years of insurance experience. As founder and CEO, he has overseen all aspects of the company. Prior to Southern Oak, his career included the positions of Claims Adjuster, Underwriter, Insurance Analyst, Underwriting Operations Manager, Director of Corporate Underwriting and Agency Administration, and Chief Underwriting Officer.
Mr. Loughman holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designations as well as a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Jacksonville University, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from The University of North Florida.
Mr. Loughman grew up in Jacksonville and now lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, where the beautiful northeast Florida climate allows him to play soccer, tennis, and golf year round.
“Growing up in Florida, I feel like our entire management team has a true appreciation of what it means to be a Florida resident. We bring this core value to all the decisions we make.”
Chief Operating Officer – Steve Bitar, CPCU, ARe, AIDA
Mr. Bitar is the newest member of the Southern Oak executive team, having joined in January of 2023. He has more than 25 years of insurance experience, with the last 20 specifically in the Florida property & casualty insurance industry. His background is broad-based and includes several executive-level positions in operations, underwriting, claims, product development, sales, and marketing, with direct responsibility for corporate strategy, reinsurance decisions, and financial results. Steve joins Southern Oak after approximately 3 years with Olympus Insurance and 17 years with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Bitar oversees the claims, claims legal, underwriting, product development, and technology functions within Southern Oak. His extensive experience in the Florida marketplace, coupled with his unique knowledge of Citizens and the industry, are optimized throughout the Southern Oak organization as Mr. Bitar leads our efforts to increase internal capabilities, streamline operations, and drive stronger returns.
Mr. Bitar is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston University and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Jacksonville University. In addition, he holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Reinsurance (ARe), and Associate in Insurance Data Analytics (AIDA) designations.
Chief Financial Officer – Heather McCoy
Heather McCoy has been a member of the Southern Oak management team since October 2021. She has almost 30 years of insurance accounting experience in the property casualty industry.
Previously, Ms. McCoy served as the Chief Financial Officer for FHM Insurance Company where she oversaw the Accounting and Finance Departments. She also managed invested assets, budgeting, enterprise risk management, rating agency reporting and coordination, regulation and compliance, and reinsurance transactions. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. She also holds the following certifications through the Institutes: Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF), Associate in Regulation and Compliance (ARC), and Insurance Regulation (IR).
Ms. McCoy grew up in the Tampa Bay area and has lived in Jacksonville and the surrounding area for the last 30 years.
Vice President of Finance – Daniel M. Kutzer, CPA
Mr. Kutzer has been a member of the Southern Oak management team since the company’s inception. He has over 20 years of insurance accounting experience and 40 years general business accounting experience.
Previously, Mr. Kutzer served as the Treasurer for Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association where he oversaw the Accounting and Finance Departments, managed capital assets, and handled claims bonding and reinsurance transactions. He is a Certified Public Accountant, and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.
Mr. Kutzer grew up in Jacksonville and both work and family have kept him in the area. He has 4 great children and grand children who keep him busy, and he prides himself on being the best table tennis player at Southern Oak, as well as the wittiest.
“Financial reporting is extremely important to our company and our policyholders. I want everything to be 100% accurate, on time, and relevant.”
Chief Compliance Officer – Julie Wild, CPCU
Mrs. Wild has also been a member of the Southern Oak management team since the company’s inception. She has over 25 years of experience in property & casualty insurance. Mrs. Wild’s background includes positions in claims, corporate underwriting, internal audit, and regulatory audit. As a regulatory auditor, she conducted insurance company examinations on behalf of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
Mrs. Wild holds a degree in Business Administration and holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.
Mrs. Wild grew up in St. Lucie County, and now enjoys calling Jacksonville ‘home’. On weekends, you can find Mrs. Wild enjoying a quiet sunrise on the beach or a not-so-quiet activity with family.
“By ensuring we are in compliance with internal and regulatory requirements, we can continue our focus on financial stability and protection for our policyholders.”
Vice President of Underwriting – Kimberly A. Chaney
Mrs. Chaney has been with Southern Oak Insurance since 2011 and has over 27 years of property insurance experience within the underwriting and product development discipline including 15 years in a managerial role. She oversees underwriting and customer service operations and has extensive experience in hurricane modeling analysis, as well as developing strategies for wind exposure and wind mitigation programs. Additionally, she is involved with rate and form filings on behalf of Southern Oak and the development of products and changes to Southern Oak policies.
Prior to joining the Southern Oak management team, Mrs. Chaney was the Director of Product Development for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with high honors from the University of Phoenix.
Mrs. Chaney grew up on the Westside of Jacksonville and later moved to Clay County where she now lives with her husband and 2 children. She is currently the Southern Oak “go-to” when it comes to decorating an office or sneaking an afternoon piece of candy. When not in the office, she loves seeing new places, trying new foods, and meeting new people.
“I love the underwriting process and the product development side of property insurance. I enjoy working on things that make the process of buying or understanding insurance better and working with us easier.”
Senior Counsel – Rochelle D. Brahm
Former Florida Assistant Attorney General, Rochelle D. Brahm joined the Southern Oak team in 2014 and brings a broad range of insurance industry experience focusing on the detection, investigation, and civil prosecution of fraudulent claims.
Previously Ms. Brahm held the position of Senior Associate with Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb in South Florida. Prior to that, during her tenure as Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Brahm directed investigations and prosecuted complex white collar crimes such as Medicaid fraud and money laundering. Additionally, she was active in the enforcement of elderly abuse, neglect, and exploitation of Florida citizens residing in health care facilities, as well as working with the Florida Attorney General’s Office to train attorneys and investigators.
Ms. Brahm holds an undergraduate degree from Florida International University, a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law, and is an AV-rated attorney.
Ms. Brahm grew up in Miami and recently joined the Southern Oak team. She enjoys spending time with her daughter who is the light of her life, and getting the most out of Florida’s hot sunny days.
“In any customer service industry, it’s important to make the right decisions.”