We are pleased to announce the leadership panel for the Axis Construction Consulting Forum which will take place in San Francisco on Oct. 24-25.

Jim Berriatua, SVP, Arthur J. Gallagher Construction Services.   Mr. Berriatua was a risk manager for 17 years before joining Gallagher as Risk Management Consultant/Broker in 1997.  His focus is on risk management for companies that seek professional counsel and guidance in managing risks within their operations.  His completed designations throughout his career include:  A.R.M. (Associate in Risk Management);  C.S.P. (Certified Safety Professional); P.E. in Safety, California; and B.S. Civil Engineering.  At Gallagher, Mr. Berriatua says he works with “a solid group of professionals who enable me to work in several specialty areas.”  Those areas include:  Self Insurance Programs; High Deductible Programs; Subguard;  Surety; Safety Management; Claims Management; Contractor Controlled Wraps (CCIPs) and Owner Controlled Wraps (OCIPS); Captives, both Single and Group programs; Health Benefit programs and Personal Insurance.

John P. Gill, Hughes Gill Cochrane, P.C.   Since 1992, John Gill has represented homeowners associations and property owners in construction defect claims, business litigation, and general transactional and corporate matters. Mr. Gill is the immediate Past President of the Bay Area and Central California Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI), and remains a member of the CAI Board of Directors. He is a member of the Contra Costa Bar Association and the State Bar of California. His career experience also includes representation of individuals, public entities, and businesses in general and business litigation matters.  Mr. Gill received his Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1989, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1986 from Santa Clara University.  Mr. Gill is a member of the Community Associations Institute (Past President of the Bay Area and Central California Chapter), the Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO), the California Association of Community Managers (CACM), and the Consumer Attorneys of California. He has written several articles and lectured on numerous occasions for trade organizations and memberships on a variety of topics pertinent to community managers, property owners, common interest developments and boards of directors.

Jan Gruen, Partner, SSL Law Firm LLP.   Ms. Gruen specializes in real estate litigation for commercial clients, home builders and business clients in the areas of leasing disputes, contracts, real estate, construction and insurance-related matters. She has more than 25 years of litigation experience and expertise in day-to-day risk management, commercial disputes, unlawful detainer work, large-scale construction defect claims, contractual issues, subcontractor liability, loss recovery, warranty related matters, employment issues and all forms of dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, civil trial act work, Calderon Act and SB 800 proceedings. Ms. Gruen received a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1987). She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Hastings College of the Law teaching Settlement and Negotiation. Ms. Gruen has been recognized by her peers as a California Super Lawyer for the last 8 years and most recently received recognition once again as one of the top 50 female attorneys in Northern California. She was recognized as a “2008 Woman of Distinction” by the East Bay Business Times and received the 2007 and 2009 Chairman’s Award for her dedication and service to the Homebuilder’s Association of Northern California. Ms. Gruen is 2011 president of the California Building Industry Association’s Professional Women In Building Council. She is also a member of CBIA’s Risk Management subcommittee and has been a member of the legal action and member services subcommittees. At the local level Ms. Gruen currently sits on the Building Industry Association Bay Area, Regional Board, the Professional Women In Building local board and Homeaid, a non-profit dedicated to providing dignified housing to homeless women, men and children in transition. Finally, Ms. Gruen sits on the board of the Peter Pan Foundation, a non-profit, dedicated to encouraging children of all ages to realize their full potential through musical theater and teaching the import of giving back to those less fortunate.

Phyllis Modlin, Markel Underwriting Managers.  Ms. Modlin is a Construction Defect Claims Supervisor with Markel in Walnut Creek, California where she manages construction defect claims on a nationwide basis. Ms. Modlin received her B.A. degree from University of California at Santa Barbara and her J.D. degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. For the past 19 years, she has developed extensive experience in handling and managing construction claims under both Commercial General Liability and Wrap policies with a focus on coverage, risk transfer, liability and litigation management.

Beth Morris, Associate General Counsel & VP Business Development, Axis Construction Consulting.   Ms. Morris is a licensed attorney who recently joined Axis after spending several years with Bay Area law firms litigating construction cases. While her practice was focused mostly on representing subcontractors and product manufacturers in construction defect matters, she also represented developers, general contractors, and real estate investment firms in construction lawsuits. During this time, she served as personal counsel for several subcontractors, defending construction claims as well as advising on contractual and employment-related issues.  Preceding this, she lobbied on behalf of a Fortune 100 telecommunications corporation, as well as advocated for several trade organizations in Washington D.C. and Sacramento. Ms. Morris was instrumental in the passage of key telecommunications legislation throughout the Eastern United States and served on a number of State Governors’ Board of Directors for Information Technology funding and research. She is a graduate of the University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law and earned a degree in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.

William Nagle, Mediator.  Mr. Nagle has practiced law for over thirty six years. He has served as a full time Special Master and Mediator since 1995, successfully settling over 2,000 cases including high profile matters involving: complex environmental cases; construction defect and mold cases involving courthouses, schools, subdivisions, condominiums, commercial high rises, and apartment buildings; public works and public entities; business and partnership disputes; aviation; real estate and land use.  Before becoming a Special Master, Mr. Nagle was a partner with Nagle, Vale, McDowall & Cotter in San Mateo and later with Nagle, Krug & Winters in Burlingame. During this time Mr. Nagle: Authored the rules for complex litigation (including the use of Special Masters) for San Mateo County in the early 1980’s; Helped create the first complex litigation unit in California for a major insurance company in 1983; Served as President of the San Mateo County Bar Association in 1993; Has been instrumental in establishing ADR programs at both the county and state levels, including State Bar Roundtables and the San Mateo County Courts Multi-Option ADR Project; and Served as a member of the San Mateo County Court Long-Term Strategic Planning Committee and numerous Bench Bar committees.  As an attorney, Mr. Nagle spent more than two decades practicing insurance defense trial law specializing in: personal injury; construction; environmental; complex litigation; insurance coverage; professional liability; real estate; and public entity law.   In addition, Mr. Nagle has received numerous awards and accolades for his innovative approaches and successful, cost-effective management and settlement of complex cases.

Conor Meyers, Vice President & General Counsel, Axis Construction Consulting.  Mr. Meyers is a licensed California attorney and has practiced exclusively in the areas of construction litigation and construction law, entity formation and governance and real estate. He was licensed in California to practice law in 1992. He graduated from Notre Dame Law School and received his undergraduate degree from UC Davis. He is also the principal of Meyers & Associates. Prior to beginning his law career, Mr. Meyers was active in construction having worked for contractors in the framing, sheetrock, painting and grading trades. As an attorney, continues to remain active in the construction law field including litigated and non-litigated matters.  He has represented a number of large developers and contractors, as well as counsel representing subcontractor trades. He handled construction defect claims totaling over $10 million claims where his office was lead defense for the general contractor.  In addition to the representation of contractors and developers, Mr. Meyers represents commercial building owners, HOA’s, homeowners and business owners in litigated and non-litigated matters. He has participated in over 500 depositions and has tried jury and bench trials, as well as arbitrations.