Meet the Executive team

The Berkley Aspire leadership team offers a wealth of experience in the insurance industry, yet we believe we need to continually challenge the status quo.  We encourage the entire Berkley Aspire team to continually think outside of the box to come up with solutions that make it easier for our agents and their clients.

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Frank Furious

Brian R. Griffith


Brian Griffith serves as President of Berkley Aspire, a disruptive direct-to-retail surplus lines insurer. He joined the company during the height of the pandemic in August of 2020. He has served previously in C-suite roles at The Hartford, QBE, and in private equity. Under Brian’s leadership, Aspire has tripled in size by expanding its product offerings and engaging with trading partners across the country. Brian is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Frank Furious

Robert Petronko

Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Rob Petronko is Berkley Aspire’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and has more than 19 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held leadership positions in finance, operations, and underwriting within Property and Casualty lines of business. Additionally, he worked at Ernst & Young’s Insurance Advisory practice, where he provided consulting services to large, multi-national insurers. Rob earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Frank Furious

Kevin Donovan

Senior Vice President, Chief Actuary

Kevin Donovan, Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary, joined Aspire in 2019. He has more than 30 years of actuarial experience in the insurance industry. Prior to joining Aspire, he held leadership positions and honed his strong discipline in actuarial reserving. Kevin earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He is also an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society.

Frank Furious

Paul Broughton

Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Distribution

Paul Broughton is Berkley Aspire’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sales, and Distribution. He joined Aspire in the summer of 2021 after a long career at Markel. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Paul is a graduate of Boston College and spends most of his time on the road, helping our business partners expand their hunting grounds and generate additional commission revenue.

Frank Furious

Lindsay Prince

Vice President, Underwriting

Lindsay Prince is Berkley Aspire’s Vice President of Underwriting and joined the company in January 2021. She is an accomplished underwriting leader with over 20 years of experience in the commercial insurance industry. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated an exceptional ability to develop profitable underwriting strategies, execute strategic initiatives, and build high performing and engaged teams. With a strong foundation in the Excess and Surplus lines space, Lindsay has played a pivotal role in Aspire’s growth since joining the organization. Having started her career in the retail space, Lindsay has a strong desire to provide creative solutions for our retail customers. 

Frank Furious

Courtney Beyer

Vice President, Human Resources Business Partner

Courtney Beyer is Berkley Aspire’s Vice President, Human Resources Business Partner and has more than 25 years of experience in human resources. Prior to joining Nautilus in 2022, she held HR leadership positions in several industries including hotels, hospitality, and direct sales. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arizona. Courtney has extensive HR leadership experience in employee relations, recruiting, talent and performance management, recognition programs, change management, and employee engagement, and is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) through the Human Resources Certification Institute.

Frank Furious

Jonathan Littlefield

Vice President, Strategy, Operations & Innovation

Jonathan is a highly collaborative and creative insurance professional with a proven track record in the development and profitable growth of specialty insurance products.  Prior to joining Berkley Aspire in April 2021, Jonathan spent over 20 years at The Hanover Insurance Group, where he developed and oversaw a direct to retail E&S offering, built and lead an environmental underwriting team, and oversaw distribution for the specialty industrial property business segment. Jonathan is responsible for oversight and alignment of operational functions and IT platforms and for the development, iteration and execution of the Aspire business strategy.  

Frank Furious

Katie Neurick

Assistant Vice President, Broker Operations

Katie Neurick, Assistant Vice President, Broker Operations, leads Berkley Connect Insurance Solutions, LLC, an internal Surplus Lines Brokerage, which facilitates the placement of Surplus Lines policies for Berkley Aspire and other Berkley Companies. She joined the company in 2022 after leading a similar organization at another firm. Her prior experience includes Surplus Lines underwriting and claims. Katie is based in Annapolis, MD and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Frank Furious

Nick Merollo

Assistant Vice President, Product Management & Corporate Underwriting

Nick Merollo is Berkley Aspire’s Assistant Vice President of Product Management and Corporate Underwriting and joined the company in January 2024. He has nearly 20 years of property and casualty insurance experience across multiple commercial, personal, and specialty product lines. Nick began his career as a pricing actuary and previously held product leadership positions with Palomar Holdings, Inc. and Kingstone Insurance Company. Nick looks forward to continuing to build out the Product Department function at Aspire.


Frank Furious

Kristy James

Assistant Vice President, Small Business & Training/Development

Kristy James is our Senior Director of Small Business Underwriting and Training and Development. She joined Aspire in the summer of 2019 to create our Small Business Underwriting Department. She has worked in the industry for many years spending time on the retail agency and carrier sides. Kristy has helped our Small Business Underwriting department grow from an initial team of 4 to a department of 20 today. Most recently, she has begun building out our Training and Development department to further solidify Aspire’s dedication to our teammates’ professional development.  

Frank Furious

Keith Mergen

Assistant Vice President, Underwriting Data & Analytics

Keith Mergen, Assistant Vice President, Underwriting Data and Analytics, leads our renewal team which specializes in a fast and frictionless renewal experience for our Agency partners. Keith joined Aspire in February 2007 with over 30 years of Underwriting experience in the commercial insurance industry. Keith has held leadership roles in many different facets of the industry including both the Standard Market side and Excess and Surplus lines. Keith has brought those experiences with him, and they have positively shaped the Aspire business model. Having dealt directly with retail agencies throughout his career, he enjoys working to find solutions for their business needs in the Excess and Surplus lines space.

Frank Furious

Tom Mason

Director of Claims

Tom Mason serves as the Director of Claims for Berkley Aspire. He joined the company during the summer of 2021. Tom has a multi-line background with over 25 years of Excess & Surplus claims experience. Tom earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Administration. He also holds several professional designations and is part of the Society of Claims Law Associates.