President and Chief Operating Officer

Location: Wakefield, Massachusetts, United States
Req Number: ER513
Posted: 9/14/2021
Category: Financial : Insurance
Job Type: Permanent

Position: President & Chief Operating Officer
Institution: Mutual Fire Association of New England (MFIA)
Location: Wakefield, MA
Reporting Relationship: Board of Directors

The Mutual Fire Association of New England

The Mutual Fire Association of New England (MFIA) exists to sustain and promote the mutual insurance business model by establishing and leveraging the shared objectives of its member companies. Comprised of nine New England domiciled property and casualty mutual insurance companies who act as the stakeholders of the organization, MFIA aims to help its member companies profitably underwrite business, achieve economies of scale, and diversify and manage their risk.

The principal services MFIA provides its member companies are in the areas of loss control, expense control, risk management, education, and training. In addition, the association provides its members with a venue to network, share ideas, and seek business opportunities.

The majority of MFIA’s time and resources are devoted to loss control, where the organization maintains a team of approximately 20 loss-control engineers and several support staff working out of their home offices throughout New England.

With the impending retirement of its long-time President and COO, the Association is seeking to recruit a successor who will provide strategic leadership and oversight that will further strengthen the organization and pave the way for greater impact within the mutual insurance industry.

The Role & Responsibilities

The President & Chief Operating Officer leads the Association to carry out its mission, vision and to develop and implement strategy. The President & COO provides overall leadership, direction, coordination, and oversight of the organization and serves as the face of MFIA. This executive will be responsible for defining the association’s mission and establishing shared objectives for the MFIA member companies.

The President & COO must lead in an inclusive and anticipatory style with the Board, staff, and members.  An executive who can lead equally from a strategic standpoint as they can from an administrative skillset with proven experience in financial and budgetary management and possess an extensive operational acumen. This leader will be looked at to fully optimize Board member engagement and utilization while providing proactive vision and direction to ensure organizational and financial strength, operating efficiency, proper reporting procedures and people systems while preserving and facilitating MFIA’s mission, offerings, and service to the New England region.

Among their principal responsibilities, the President and COO will oversee:

Member relationship management:

  • Act as the organization’s brand ambassador with all stakeholders—effectively communicating the benefits and obligations of membership.
  • Foster a spirit of collaboration among all member companies.
  • Maintain open lines of communication with each member at both the C-suite level and the leadership levels within the claims and underwriting areas.
  • Communicate and engage frequently with member companies to gather feedback and identify opportunities for MFIA to add value.
  • Organize and lead periodic member meetings including the planning and selection of meeting venues and events.
  • Continuously seek opportunities to improve loss control services, reduce costs, manage risk, and educate.

Board management:

  • Maintain open lines of communication with all Board Members.
  • Administer quarterly Board of Director meetings including setting agendas, distributing materials in advance of meetings, and taking minutes of each meeting.
  • Present annual budgets to the Board of Directors and account for performance relative to budget throughout the year.

Loss-control management:

  • Supervise the General Manager of Loss Control along with a team of ~17 loss-control engineers working remotely regionally throughout the New England Territory. 
  • Working collaboratively with the General Manager of Loss Control, communicate with members to continuously align workload with inspector resources.
  • Assist the General Manager in selecting and partnering with third-party inspection firms to handle MFIA work overflow when MFIA inspection staff have reached capacity.
  • Collaborate with the General Manager in setting goals and objectives for inspector productivity, consistency, and time-service.

Financial management:

  • Oversee the development of good internal controls to ensure timely and accurate financial reporting.
  • Manage third-party vendors in their delivery of accounting, financial reporting, payroll, bank reconciliation, and tax-filing services. Directly manage bookkeeping, clerical, and accounting staff.
  • Prepare and present annual budgets and other relevant financial data to the Board of Directors.
  • Manage the Association’s resources in accordance with approved budgets and account for all variances.
  • Oversee the annual financial audits and act as the key contact for auditors.

Talent management:

  • Provide leadership for entire MFIA team of approximately 25 employees.  Foster a positive environment with continuous learning to attract and retain talent.
  • Directly manage the clerical staff supporting the loss control department and the general administration of MFIA.
  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors in developing a written talent management strategy to address succession planning, recruiting, onboarding, training, and staff development.
  • Develop and maintain training programs for staff to ensure a consistently high-quality service delivery for members.
  • Oversee the recruiting, onboarding, and training of staff.
  • Maintain job descriptions, set goals and objectives, monitor performance, and oversee annual reviews for each position.
  • Develop and implement policies, procedures, and practices to promote quality, consistency, good time service, and compliance.

Technology management:

  • Oversee MFIA’s use of technology and software to manage its business.
  • Collaborate with members in setting IT strategies and selecting third-party vendors to provide MFIA with software and services including network management, hosting, security, and software-as-a-service.
  • Seek opportunities for system integrations, business-process improvements, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to save money, improve consistency, provide better information, and add more value.
  • Act as key contact for all technology-related vendors.
  • Lead all major technology initiatives—conducting RFP’s, communicating business requirements, overseeing implementations, and managing testing processes.
  • Ensure MFIA staff and loss control team have the current tools, equipment, and support to do their jobs well.

Administration & compliance:

  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors in setting staff policies and procedures.  Work with Board and HR consultant to maintain an up-to-date employee handbook.
  • Oversee the administration of the organization’s group insurance and retirement benefits. Manage the relationships with third-party vendors in the administration and compliance of the retirement plans to ensure timely and accurate filings.
  • Ensure MFIA’s compliance with all applicable employment laws and regulations. Maintain up-to-date employee files in compliance with the law and best practices.
  • Manage and administer the fleet of Association-owned vehicles including negotiating lease or purchase terms, securing appropriate insurance, and registering the vehicles.
  • Oversee the placement of the Association’s insurance programs including business-owners coverage, workers compensation, and automobile insurance.
  • Negotiate and manage contracts and leases as appropriate for equipment, vehicles, and real estate including management and administration of the fleet of Association-owned vehicles including negotiating lease or purchase terms, securing appropriate insurance, and registering the vehicles.
  • Maintain a written record-retention policy and oversee compliance with the policy.
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.  Collaborate with members and engage with outside counsel as appropriate when addressing questions of compliance and the law.

Qualifications & Characteristics

  • A minimum 15 years’ leadership experience with demonstrated management and solid business sense with an emphasis on focused planning and procedures, budgeting expertise, and a propensity towards strategic thinking and planning.
  • A comprehensive knowledge of mutual insurance industry and a demonstrated familiarity with the regulatory and compliance elements governing the industry.
  • Strategic mindset with a results and solutions-oriented ethos; ability to identify connections and leverage opportunities across an organization.
  • Conscientiousness: strong attention to detail, follow through, and timeliness.
  • Critical thinking: ability to easily learn new information, think independently, solve problems effectively, and add value.
  • Curiosity: continuously seeks out new ideas and new ways of doing business that can add value to the organization and its members; not afraid to challenge the status quo.
  • Cooperativeness: demonstrate high emotional intelligence with a command of their own emotions and an awareness of the emotions of others.  Must be able to build rapport and work effectively with everyone. 
  • Strong written and verbal communications. Must possess good listening skills and be adept at tailoring their message to the audience. 


Bachelor’s Degree required. Advanced degree in management or insurance-related/risk-management/loss control related field preferred.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to the finalist candidate.

Application Process

Interested and qualified candidates are welcome to submit a resume and cover letter to: