APIW names Insurance Woman of the Year

RT Specialty veteran honored

APIW names Insurance Woman of the Year

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

The Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW) has announced that Brenda (Ballard) Austenfeld, president and CEO of RT National Property, has been named the 2024 recipient of the APIW Insurance Woman of the Year Award.

Austenfeld will receive the award at an event on May 14 in New York City.

“We are thrilled to present the 2024 APIW Woman of the Year award to Brenda Austenfeld,” said APIW president Elizabeth Kramer. “Brenda’s executive leadership, both at RT Specialty and within the insurance industry’s largest associations, has been second to none. Currently, Brenda serves on the executive board of directors of the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) – slated to be the next president starting in March 2024 – the board of directors for the WSIA Diversity Foundation, and the board of directors for the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB).

“In addition to her tireless dedication to our industry, she has been recognized by numerous associations and publications for giving back to her community and championing the development and advancement of women in our industry,” Kramer said. “We cannot be more pleased to have Brenda represent APIW as this year’s Woman of the Year.”

Austenfeld has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance brokerage space. She joined RT Specialty through its 2013 acquisition of Westrope, where she was a partner and executive vice president. Prior to joining Westrope, she served as a global property broker and held various leadership roles at Aon Risk Services and Alexander & Alexander.

In her current role of president and CEO of RT National Property, Austenfeld is a member of the executive team for RT Specialty. She is also a founding member of WOW! (Women. Opportunity. Winning.), a program created for the women of Ryan Specialty.

“Congratulations, Brenda, on this very deserving award,” said Pat Ryan, chairman and CEO of Ryan Specialty. “Since joining Ryan Specialty in 2013, you have provided great strength to RT Specialty and to Ryan Specialty holistically. You are a perfect choice for this esteemed honor.”

“Brenda is a driving force of RT Specialty and has grown our property practice to new heights every year,” said Tim Turner, chairman and CEO of RT Specialty and president of Ryan Specialty. “Brenda’s vision, leadership, hard work and support of teammates and trading partners is what makes her so deserving of this award. As a female leader, Brenda is a fantastic role model for so many women in the industry. I’m so glad that she is on our team. Congratulations, Brenda, on this outstanding award.”

“It is an honor to be the APIW 2024 Insurance Woman of the Year,” Austenfeld said. “To be recognized by my fellow women insurance leaders is very meaningful. I have spent my entire career in the insurance sector and believe it is a special industry providing incredible opportunities. I have been fortunate to work with many talented people and grateful for the amazing mentors along with my supportive husband throughout my career. It has been so rewarding. Thank you again for this great honor.”

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