Leading the way in innovative talent resourcing
Meet the industry experts and founders of WAHVE
Sharon Emek, PH.D., CIC
Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Sharon Emek, WAHVE’s founder & CEO is the indefatigable force that leads WAHVE and keeps the company always focused on its purpose.
Sharon has effectively broken the mold by infusing flexibility into the traditional office staffing structure with a proven blueprint that is gaining widespread attention, changing lives, and yielding impressive results. With decades of industry experience, Sharon understands firsthand the challenges that employers and “vintage” professionals are facing today.
Before founding WAHVE, Sharon spent thirteen years of her career as a partner at CBS Coverage Group, Inc., where she managed the New York City office and provided business insurance and risk management for a large client base. Prior to joining CBS, Sharon was president, founder and CEO of The Emek Group, an insurance agency she formed in 1988. Sharon began her career as a professor at Rutgers University and a management consultant to businesses.
Sharon is a dynamic leader, a frequent industry speaker, and a progressive thinker with an award-winning record of success for ushering in a much-needed WAHVE of change for finding talent.
Sharon has earned numerous awards for her thought leadership, including the 2018 Leadership Longevity Award: Women in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the 15th annual What’s Next Boomer Business Summit, which showcases the nation’s outstanding individual and group achievements in serving the powerful longevity economy; the 2016 SmartCEO Brava Award honoring top female CEOs and the Vistage Leadership Legacy Award; Insurance Business America’s “Elite Women in Insurance” 2014, 2015 and 2016 and the 2015 “Hot 100” list; the first woman to receive the 1882 Fellow Award, the highest honor presented by IIABNY (2014); Outstanding Committee Chairperson Award from IIABNY (2008); the first woman to receive the Sidney O. Smith Government Affairs Award from the IIABA (2007); the Distinguished Service Award from IIABNY (2006); the Helen Garvin Outstanding Achiever Award from the NAIW (1999); and the National Promising Research Award for her doctoral research (1978).
Sharon is frequently sought out by the media as an expert on insurance, management and business issues. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, CBS, Fox and Lifetime; has authored numerous articles; and is often quoted in national news periodicals including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, National Underwriter and Business Insurance. Sharon has testified before the New York State Assembly Insurance Committee, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee Subcommittees and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Sharon served on the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York Board for ten years and is a past chair. She served as a board member of ACT (Agents Council for Technology) for four years and Chaired the Mid-Commercial Working Group. She has served on numerous other boards including the Institute for Student Achievement, Women Builders Council, Center for Women’s Business Research, NYC Mayor’s Small Business Advisory Board, and the IBM Small Business Research and Technology Advisory Council.
Sharon received her doctoral degree from Rutgers University (1977). She is the author of Answers for Managers and numerous articles on management and insurance issues.
President and Chief Sales Officer WAHVE Insurance
Bill Hunt is a founding partner, President & CSO, WAHVE Insurance, and the driving force at WAHVE that inspires businesses to engage our work-at-home vintage experts.
Throughout his career, Bill has developed deep relationships with businesses and is known as a brand in his own right. He has worked with many of the industry’s leading innovation companies delivering new state-of-the-art solutions that have had significant success in the insurance industry.
Bill has a long history of devising solutions for the insurance industry and is regarded as one of the best leaders of sales teams in the technology sector. He was a sales consultant for the Lexis Nexis Insurance Exchange, Sr. Vice President at Artizan Internet Services, a leading company in products that serve the entire Insurance value chain, and Executive Vice President at XDimensional Technologies. As a Sales Executive with many successful years at SAP, AMS, and CISGEM, Bill built several successful sales and marketing teams and worked successfully with many of the industry’s leading national brokers and carriers. He has authored and has been quoted in numerous articles on technology research in the insurance space.
Bob Criscuolo, CPA
President and Chief Operating Officer WAHVE Accounting
Bob Criscuolo, President & COO WAHVE Accounting, is a highly experience entrepreneur having founded two highly successful business executive search firms specializing in accounting.
Prior to joining WAHVE Accounting, Bob worked at BDO USA as the Director of Business Development for their Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey offices. In that role, he was fully immersed in the sales and marketing functions while working closely with the office partners. In addition to generating business opportunities for the team, he also developed and implemented strategies to increase brand awareness and identify strategic alliances with target companies. Bob utilized a consultative approach with qualified prospects that allowed him to effectively provide cost effective solutions for the region’s business leaders.
Prior to BDO, Bob was the founding partner for two executive search firms, including one that was part of a national roll-up and successful IPO. He spent over 25 years in the executive search field focusing specifically in the Accounting and Finance disciplines.
Bob’s career began at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he focused on emerging business clients and developed extensive experience advising corporate executives and business owners.
Bob grew up in the Philadelphia area and has remained deeply involved in the local community as a coach for both girls lacrosse and boys youth ice hockey.
Managing Member of Wahve Holdings
& President of BQS
Josh Pianko, Managing Member of Wahve Holdings and President of Brainwave Qualifying Solutions (BQS), is a true entrepreneur having launched a number of successful startups.
Josh brings a wide breadth of experience to growing successful companies. He is a skilled executive who knows how to find and keep talent. He is an expert negotiator having negotiated contracts and leases in the U.S. and Asia.
In 1996, Josh founded his first company, KIDSWONDER, a graphical search engine for children. His next ventures were in developing the online strategies and brand images for Maybelline.com and “Design Your Own Engagement Ring” for De Beers. His entrepreneurial pursuits led him to Macau, where he started Optica Asia, a leading retailer of luxury eyewear. In 2014 he sold the company to the largest eyewear company, Luxottica.
After the sale of Optica, Josh launched a new optical company, Vitra Eyewear, which is devoted to offering the world’s most unique eyewear collections from leading designer brands with locations in Orange County, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and New York. He continues as Owner/Operator of Vitra Eyewear Group.
Josh and his family live in Las Vegas and he is actively involved in his community. He currently sits on Jewish Nevada’s Board of Directors and is the Chair of the Allocations Committee. He is a past a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). He is a past board member of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Our team members
Our WAHVE team is made up of amazing individuals from around the country
Our WAHVE team is made up of amazing individuals from around the country etc etc etc.....
Kelly AmadeiSystems Support Assistant
Kelly, with her extensive career in insurance and computer systems, can wear both caps when helping our clients and wahves with tech support working from her home in Maine. She has held numerous positions including PL CSR, agency management agency systems training and compliance.
Carla CowanQualifying Team Manager
Carla has the detective instinct which makes her the consummate interviewer. She also keeps our qualifying team running smoothly from her Texas home office. She has been managing teams for more than 30 years whether working at a carrier, MGA or independent agency, and has held many positions including COO and is P&C licensed.
Patti DeschaineIT Manager
Patti keeps the lights on, figuratively speaking, from her home in NC. She is a technology wizard and keeps our home offices and virtual company running. She has over 18 years’ of insurance and systems administrator experience, on both the agency and company sides. She is A+ and Net+ certified.
Deborah FalcoAdministrative Assistant
Deb keeps us on track, organizing our company meetings and conferences. She never forgets a staff birthday or work anniversary. Deb is both a licensed Property and Casualty broker and licensed Master Social Worker. She has had a 20-year insurance career. She flew the NY coop to Florida.
Susan FletcherQualifying Specialist
Susan, with her extensive knowledge of all aspects of the industry and her warm personality, is adept at qualifying talent. Her insurance career spans 41 years, having worked as an Account Executive at large brokers, an Underwriter at carriers and a Manager at reinsurers. Susan works from her home in Indiana.
Connie GeorgePlacement Specialist
With over 30 years of mid-market industry experience in various positions, including Underwriting Supervisor, Sr. Marketing Rep, and Placement Specialist, and having numerous industry designations, Connie knows how to match the right talent to the right assignment. Connie works from her home in Washington state.
David (Denny) GilmoreQualifying Specialist
Denny is an interviewer par excellence, but as we say, a Johnny-Come-Lately to insurance. He is a famous cultural anthropologist who has written seven books. After retiring as a professor, he is now using his amazing interviewing skills to qualify our applicants. Denny lives in New York.
With over 20 years in the insurance industry serving in many positions from CSR to office manager, Kristy knows how to keep assignments humming. From her home in NC, she provides guidance and assistance to clients and wahves in order to make each assignment a success.
Connie HerrickRelationship Manager
Connie makes taking care of our clients and wahves look easy, which she does from her helm in Maine. With her 27 years’ experience in the insurance industry, both at the agency and company levels, Connie has held many positions, including Senior Account Manager and Senior Underwriting Assistant.
Rita KattRelationship Team Manager
Rita manages, from her home in CA, the team that keeps our clients and wahves happy. She knows how to listen having successfully worked for a family-owned retail agency for 35 years. She was part of the management team, helping plan for future growth and solve problems. Rita is P&C licensed.
Melody KauffmanQualifying Specialist
Melody is one of our great interviewers. From her home in PA, she spends her day speaking with applicants and vetting them. Her insurance career has spanned 32 years, starting in a large agency as Commercial Lines Manager and Account Executive and then AVP of Commercial Underwriting for a carrier.
Elizabeth KordekPlacement Specialist
With a background in psychology, it is not surprising that Elizabeth knows how to help people. She has held a variety of positions ranging from Property & Casualty Account Manager to heading up the company’s Learning & Development team. She is P&C licensed and works from her home in Chicago.
Retiring Talent Account Manager
Lorrie is our head detective. She finds our industry’s retiring talent while working from her home in New York. She had a 20-year career with a national insurance staffing firm managing a staff of recruiters and helping many insurance firms fill their staffing needs. Lorrie worked 10 years for a large insurance carrier.
Dana McKoewnRelationship Manager
Dana brings a breadth of relationship management experience having worked for both an agency and carriers during her 30 plus year career. As a Field & Underwriting Manager, she worked with over 40 agencies before becoming Operations Manager for a retail broker. Dana works from her home in Florida.
Rick MorganSr. Vice President of Marketing
Rick, who lives in CO, is our branding guru and keeps us in the media. He is as one of the industry’s leading marketing and branding experts and has been named by the Insurance Media Association as one of the "100 Most Powerful People in Insurance in North America." He is also an active participant in ACT.
Julie NardonePlacement Specialist
Julie has been successfully matching and placing people at positions in the insurance industry for more than 15 years. With her background at various insurance firms in underwriting, claims and rating, she knows how to match the right person to the right assignment as she works from her home in Minnesota.
Julie PettyPlacement Specialist
With her sixteen-plus years of progressive staffing insurance industry experience, Julie is adept at understanding the key skills and the requisite knowledge needed to place people in the right job. She began her career at a retail agency. Julie works out of her home office in Michigan.
Kim PhippsPlacement Specialist
Kim is a pro at matching wahves to our client’s job needs from her home in North Carolina. With more than 25 years in the commercial insurance industry, she is a veteran insurance professional whose carrier experience includes underwriter, operations supervisor and management consultant.
William (Bill) RyanCFO
Bill is like a mother hen who watches over our finances from his home office in CT. What else would you expect from a Marine? His career spans more than 30 years, presiding over the growth of American Phoenix, a company that grew to more than 650 employees and seven hundred million of premium sales.
Neil SchwanReference Check Specialist
It takes a skilled person to do a great reference check and no one does it better than Neil. After retiring as a principal in his own independent insurance agency in PA, Neil joined the WAHVE team and moved to Florida. With a 40 year insurance career, Neil has held various teaching positions in the industry.
Chrissy TadlockOffice Manager
Chrissy is the glue that holds us all together. She runs a crackerjack operation from her home office in Las Vegas and keeps all the lines of communication flowing. She is a highly experienced office manager having run large complex businesses, including insurance, staffing and hospitality.
Delcie ThibaultPlacement Team Manager
Delcie is the consummate matchmaker and chief cook and bottle washer for the placement team, which she manages from her home in CT. With her long career in Human Resources, Public Relations and Journalism, she knows how to listen. She also holds a Certificate in Human Resource Management.