Women’s History Month: Highlighting the Exceptional Leaders at ISC


Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture, and society and has been observed annually in March in the U.S. since 1987. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting the achievements of several women in leadership positions at ISC. In speaking with each of them and discussing their career trajectories, leadership roles, and success, several universal themes emerged: a strong work ethic, no boundaries on what you can accomplish, and the value of providing compassion and learning moments.

Sabrina Fry, Vice President, Human Resources

For more than 20 years, Sabrina has been an HR business partner, helping global and national small, midsize, and large organizations respond to personnel needs. Her focus until joining ISC in 2023 was in the technology space. “It’s been an awesome experience at ISC due to the high caliber of talent at our company.”

In her career, Sabrina has benefited from two mentors who understood her strengths and weaknesses and provided navigation techniques. “Having access to them to help me approach certain situations is invaluable. In addition, throughout my career, I have found that having people in the room acting as sponsors helps me leverage my voice and opens a space where I feel safe to share my ideas, thoughts, and feedback. They support what I bring to the table and reinforce my message. I think having sponsors who will back you up is important and motivating. I try to be a sponsor for others.”

Hard work also shaped Sabrina’s career. “My differentiator when I entered the workforce was taking my time to build my craft, including using time away from work to help me gain personal success.”

In discussing leadership qualities, Sabrina underscores the importance of one’s personal value system, reflected in a company’s board of directors and decision-making. “Every day, we make decisions – large, complex, small, and not so complex – with every decision impacting someone in the organization. As good and effective leaders, we need to understand the impact of our decisions on people in how they work and collaborate. Having values that guide our decision-making and moral compass is incredibly important.”

Balancing empathy with tough decisions is also critical to leadership success. “As leaders, we need to be aware of the roadblocks that may be affecting an individual’s work to help unlock his or her potential. This takes great empathy and compassion, which are demonstrated in various ways, including listening, checking in with people, transparency, being present, and engagement. It’s about balancing empathy and compassion with tough discussions.”

Kathy Szur, Vice President, Underwriting – Hospitality

Kathy’s insurance career began with CNA in operations, where she expressed an interest in underwriting and was allowed to shadow an underwriting manager while doing her job. She moved into underwriting, eventually managed a staff of 15, and became responsible for CNA E&S Programs Division. At the time, the program generated $200 million in business and covered auto dealers, hospitality, habitational, school districts, municipalities, storage facilities, and McDonald’s. Kathy was with CNA for 15 years until she moved to First Nonprofit, where she served as Regional VP, and later at Skyward Specialty, where she ran the Hospitality division.

She joined ISC in 2021 and is responsible for our Restaurants, Bars, and Taverns program, which covers everything from fine dining to family/casual dining, sports bars, breweries and tap bars, karaoke lounges, billiard halls, and other classes of business.

Kathy has had many opportunities in our dynamic and fast-paced industry. She contributes determination and a positive attitude as part of her success. “You have to bring ideas to the table, look at how you can improve or enhance the company, its products, culture, etc.”

In addition, mentorship has been impactful throughout her career, and she pays it forward. “Learn from others, get involved with other organizations to build connections, and learn more about the business.”

In her leadership role, Kathy says listening is paramount. “Take the time to process what your staff says, to understand what is going on at work and in their lives.”

Wendy Nowosiadly, CPCU, AU | SVP, Underwriting

While attending school at night, Wendy worked as a full-time file clerk at General Accident Insurance in Buffalo. She was promoted to the accounting department and later became a commercial lines rater while continuing her education with INS courses from The Institutes and CPCU classes. Throughout her 17 years at the company (which became CGU and later One Beacon), Wendy worked in various commercial underwriting positions, including large account underwriting.

Her career path took her to MGA Greene & Associates, where she worked as an excess underwriter and in wholesale broking. Wendy contributed to the management of the Excess program and internal audits. She successfully launched and managed a primary construction program while also assisting with the Excess program’s management.

Wendy joined ISC in 2020 and launched the ISO-based Premier GL Contractors program in 2021 and the Excess for Everything program in 2022, and is responsible for both programs.

In discussing the longevity and success of her insurance career, Wendy stresses education. “I took the time to take classes and earn my certifications, which helped me grow and take on new challenges. The more we motivate and educate ourselves, the more opportunities are available. I am still having fun, learning, and growing in the industry.”

In her management role, she emphasizes communication, sharing information with the team, and valuing their input. “It’s important to recognize your team’s efforts and accomplishments. Let them know how critical they are to the organization.”

Wendy also learned a great deal from ISC’s employee Gallup poll. “Based on the feedback we received, we are putting together action plans to ensure we are constantly engaged with our team and that the team has management’s support to achieve its goals.”

Regarding the insurance industry as a whole, Wendy feels there are many more opportunities for women today. “Women are increasingly taking roles on the tech and executive side. The C-suite is no longer just a space for men.”

Corinna Ybarrondo, Director of Operations

At 18, Corinna’s first job was as a clerk at a print and copy shop, where she quickly moved up to office manager, hiring, training, overseeing staff, and handling large client accounts. She worked there for 10 years until joining SIS in 2005. SIS is an ISC company today and offers monoline General Liability as well as exclusive programs in Excess Liability, Inland Marine, Builders’ Risk, Workers’ Compensation, Home Inspection, Property Preservation, and Contractors Bonds. It also has a division of wholesale carrier partners that can write virtually all lines of business across all 50 states.

During the early years at SIS, Corinna helped create the company’s first quote-rate-bind online platform. She was later promoted to Binding Manager, where she created workflow processes and continued to contribute to platform enhancements. Corinna also brought her business expertise and knowledge of the inner workings of each department to create a brand new platform later. Her contributions, expertise, and experience were recognized, and in 2016, Corinna was promoted to Director of Operations, where she was responsible for building the department and team.

Several people, including her dad, formed Corinna’s strong work ethic. “He instilled in me the tenacity to do better, to go beyond my comfort zone in everything I do. He believed in me and showed me that, if I worked hard, I could reach any goal I wanted.”

Her mother and grandmother, both strong women, also shaped who Corinna is today. “They were role models for me of what was possible, as was the woman I worked for at the print and copy shop. I saw firsthand an amazing, smart woman with tremendous compassion for community and volunteer work. She was pivotal in inspiring my growth and showed me that you can be strong, smart, and sensitive in a leadership role. That’s how I operate today.”

Corinna cares about her fellow owners and leads by example, always having their back in everything and taking every opportunity to support their growth. “I always try to share why or how things happen so they can learn from experience. I provide the background knowledge so they better understand the organization or task. I try to make it a learning experience for everyone.”

Chantelle Burton, Vice President, Underwriting – Allied Healthcare

Chantelle is new to ISC, having joined in November 2023 to create our Allied Healthcare program, but she is not new to the insurance industry. She has 30 years of insurance experience, 25 in Allied Healthcare. Before joining ISC, Chantelle held several management and underwriting positions in the Allied Healthcare space, building books of business and portfolios.

Her career in the industry began quite interestingly. Chantelle was a political science major at university and was planning to attend law school. Nearing graduation, she worked for an attorney and reviewed countless insurance policies in liability cases. She decided to pivot and took the opportunity to join an underwriting program with a major international carrier that offered college graduates on-the-job and classroom training. She applied for the program, and the rest is history.

At her first job, Chantelle learned the art of underwriting commercial insurance, including for Workers’ Comp, GL, and Commercial Automobile for large corporations with premiums of up to $1 million. She eventually transitioned into Professional Liability and Allied Healthcare when she joined an MGA in the late 1990s.

Along the way, Chantelle had the opportunity to work with wonderful people who recognized her talent and skills and promoted her into positions of leadership to help foster her career growth. “The comradery I built in the industry helped my career growth, and I have maintained long-term relationships in the Allied Healthcare space.”

Chantelle’s experience has served ISC well with the addition of our new, exclusive Allied Healthcare program to our portfolio. Due to her relationships and expertise, she was able to build the program in a short time. “I met with the leadership at ISC, who saw the opportunity to create a profitable program in a great space. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the company and me.”

When it comes to being an effective leader, Chantelle feels it’s essential to bring in people with skill sets that could help grow the sector. “It’s also important not only to lead people but to mentor them as well. When people become part of an organization, they want to learn. Allow them to do so. My management style involves creating teachable moments versus feeding information.  I ask specific questions to create dialogue and greater understanding rather than just provide an answer.

“I also want to help individuals grow and advance in their careers. It’s a full-circle moment for me. Someone did it for me, and now I can do it for others. It’s important to provide this space within an organization.”

Chantelle iterates what her ISC colleagues have also shared. “To me, it’s not very challenging to do what is comfortable or what is known. Do the hard thing. Sometimes, diving into the unknown will propel your career to heights you may not have known were possible. Doing the hard work helps you grow much more than remaining in a predictable situation.”

Hadar Raz, Chief Marketing Officer

Hadar began her career in marketing in the financial services sector and quickly moved to the technology industry as the high-tech boom took off. Her first foray into the insurance industry was eight years ago when she was asked to modernize the marketing department for an emerging company in the space.

Fast forward, Hadar joined ISC in 2021 and is responsible for the marketing and communications of the company’s brand, programs, acquisitions, and retail units (Gaslamp, CCIS, and Go Bonds). “I initially focused on developing the ISC brand to have a distinct look and one that represented the attributes of the company – forward-thinking, tech and data-driven, and customer-focused. I wanted to ensure that the market would recognize an ISC product, program, announcement, email, activity, etc.”

Over the last couple of years, Hadar has spearheaded revamps for ISC’s digital sites, a strong social media presence, effective lead/nurture campaigns, and broker, employee, and retail customer engagement. In addition, Hadar and the ISC marketing team have begun implementing account-based marketing, incentivizing and recognizing high-performance brokers, and strengthening their relationships with ISC through the Broker Council and the newly launched Platinum Circle.

In discussing her career trajectory, Hadar credits having a strong work ethic, gaining expertise in her field, and being free of self-imposed limitations. “What helped me tremendously in my career was being exposed to a variety of business types at different maturity levels. Working with and for start-ups, I had to develop strategies with a lean team and budget, and I was exposed to every aspect of the marketing mix instead of just focusing on one area. I became an early adopter of content and digital marketing and, today, most marketing tactics are either digital and/or content based.”

Hadar also credits the many mentors, both men and women, she has had in and outside of the workplace with forming her leadership skills. “And I continue to learn every day and try to adopt the characteristics and behavior that work well and that I respect. A good leader is constantly learning or they’re not a good leader.”