Executive Management Team

J. Patrick Gallagher Jr.


Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr. began his career with Gallagher as an intern in 1972, started working for the company full time in 1974 as a Production Account Executive and was promoted to Vice President-Operations in 1985. He was elected to the Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Board of Directors in 1986. In 1990, he was named President and Chief Operating Officer and, in 1995, was appointed Chief Executive Officer by the Board of Directors. In 2006 he was appointed Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Gallagher joined the Board of Trustees of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters in 2003, and serves on the Board of Founding Directors of the International Insurance Foundation and the Board of Directors of InnerWorkings, Inc. In addition, he serves on the Advisory Council of Boys Hope/Girls Hope and the Board of Advisors for Catholic Charities, and is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives Club of Chicago and the Commercial Club of Chicago.

In 2007, Mr. Gallagher was granted Freedom of the City of London by the city’s Lord Mayor in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Lloyd’s insurance market and for his support of the Gallagher Lifelong Learning scholarships. In 2009, he was honored by the Spencer Educational Foundation (which is affiliated with the Risk and Insurance Management Society) for his ongoing support of the Foundation. And in 2013, he was named Insurance Broking CEO of the Year by Reactions Magazine.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University.

Walter D. Bay


General Counsel and Secretary

Walter D. Bay joined Gallagher in 2007. As General Counsel, he manages the global legal team and advises senior management and the company's Board of Directors on a wide range of issues, including regulatory and legal compliance, securities law, corporate governance, litigation, and mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Bay has more than 20 years of legal and business experience. He began his career at Chase Manhattan Bank. After attending law school, he joined Harter, Secrest & Emery LLP, where he became a partner in the law firm’s Corporate Department. In 2000, he joined GE Capital Services, first as its Mergers & Acquisitions Counsel and then as General Counsel for GE Commercial Distribution Finance.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the College of Wooster and a Juris Doctorate, with honors, from the George Washington University National Law Center.

Joel D. Cavaness


President, U.S. Wholesale Brokerage

Joel D. Cavaness joined Gallagher in 1986, working as a marketing representative in Gallagher's St. Louis office. Joel worked his way up to an Area Vice President by 1990 and in 1996, he moved to Itasca as President of International Special Risk Services, Inc. In 1997, he was named President of RPS and in 2000 he was appointed a Corporate Vice President of Gallagher.

Mr. Cavaness is very active in NAPSLO, having served on the Board of Directors since 2010. He holds both CPCU and ARM designations.

He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration from Southeast Missouri State University. Joel also spent three years working as a casualty underwriter for standard and excess/surplus carriers.


James W. Durkin Jr.


Chairman, Employee Benefits Consulting and Brokerage

James W. Durkin, Jr. joined Gallagher as an Employee Benefits Account Executive in 1976, and assumed responsibility for the Chicago employee benefits sales team in 1982. He was promoted to President of Gallagher’s employee benefits consulting and brokerage operation in 1985, and in November 2016 was appointed Chairman of the division.

Mr. Durkin began his career with the Travelers Insurance Company in Hartford, Conn., as a Field Representative in the Group Division. He is actively involved with Notre Dame College Prep, a private Catholic boys’ high school in Niles, Ill., and currently sits on the school’s President’s Advisory Council.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind.

Thomas J. Gallagher


CEO, Brokerage Services

Thomas J. Gallagher joined Gallagher in 1980 as a producer after participating in the company's summer internship program for two years. He was promoted to Area President of the Milwaukee office in 1987, and in 1996 was named President of the San Francisco Construction office. Tom helped establish Gallagher Construction Services, serving as Niche Managing Director from 1997 to 2002. After working in the field for 15 years, Tom returned to Itasca in 2002 to lead the Brokerage Services Division’s Midwest Region. In 2011 he was appointed to lead the International Brokerage operations, and in November of 2016 he was named CEO of Gallagher's global Brokerage Services division.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Southern California.

James S. Gault


Chairman, Brokerage Services

James S. Gault joined Gallagher in 1974 as a commercial property/casualty producer after participating in the company’s summer internship program during his college years. In 1981, he was promoted to Area Vice President of the Chicago Branch, responsible for building a Commercial Sales Unit. Over the ensuing two decades, he was promoted to a succession of branch, regional and divisional management positions. He was named Executive Vice President in 2001, and one year later he was named President of Retail Property/Casualty Brokerage. In November is 2016, he was promoted to Chairman of Gallagher's global Brokerage Services division.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Washington University, St. Louis.

Douglas K. Howell


Chief Financial Officer

Douglas K. Howell joined Gallagher in 2003 as Chief Financial Officer. He oversees the company’s financial, investment, information technology and administrative functions, and represents Gallagher in dealings with global investment analysts, institutional shareholders and prospective investors. He also leads many operational, quality and productivity initiatives.

Mr. Howell came to Gallagher with more than 20 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry, including serving as CFO of both public and private insurance companies. He began his career with the public accounting and consulting firms now known as PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG.

In the December/January issue of Institutional Investor magazine, Mr. Howell was named one of America’s Best CFOs, ranking first place in the Insurance sector by sell-side analysts.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. He is additionally a Certified Public Accountant.

Scott R. Hudson


President and Chief Executive Officer, Risk Management Services

Scott R. Hudson joined Gallagher in 2010 as President of its global Risk Management Services operations.

Mr. Hudson came to Gallagher with more than 25 years of experience as a business consultant specializing in the insurance and financial services industries. He began his consulting career with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and later held key leadership positions with Information Consulting Group; McKinsey & Company, Inc.; Renaissance Worldwide, Inc.; and, most recently, as Insurance Practice Director for Bridge Strategy Group.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Iowa State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Vishal Jain


Global Chief Service Officer

Vishal Jain joined Gallagher in 2005 and has since been instrumental in the establishment, ramp up and ongoing management of the Gallagher Service Center, which provides data management, document processing, and quality control support to Gallagher’s operating divisions and ultimately its customers.

In July 2014, Mr. Jain was appointed Chief Service Officer. In this role, he will help lead efforts across Gallagher’s various divisions to further enhance the level of service provided to customers, while also improving operational efficiency and quality.

Prior to working for Gallagher, Vishal spent more than 15 years as a management consultant, primarily with Bridge Strategy Group and McKinsey & Company. In this capacity he worked with a wide range of Fortune 1000 companies, helping them craft high-level strategies and implement significant operational and organization change at the ground level.

He holds a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from BITS in India and an MBA from Yale University.

Christopher E. Mead


Chief Marketing Officer

Christopher E. Mead joined Gallagher in 2017. As Chief Marketing Officer, he is responsible for leading the company’s global marketing and communications efforts.

Mr. Mead came to Gallagher from the CME Group, the world’s largest futures exchange. As Managing Director-Marketing, he helped shape CME’s global strategic direction and was responsible for the development of global marketing strategies, planning and implementation activities. In addition, he has held various marketing leadership positions within marketing/advertising agencies serving clients in the sports entertainment, restaurant, retail and healthcare industries.

Mr. Mead holds an undergraduate degree from Keene State College in New Hampshire and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Susan E. Pietrucha


Chief Human Resources Officer

Susan E. Pietrucha joined Gallagher in 2007. She is responsible for developing a comprehensive human resources and organizational strategy to address key margin improvement initiatives and drive the development of a robust, performance-based culture.

Ms. Pietrucha came to Gallagher with 16 years of human resources experience, most recently as Vice President of Human Resources for General Electric's Commercial Distribution Finance business. Prior to that, she was Vice President of Human Resources for Financial Guaranty Insurance Company, Vice President of Human Resources for GE Capital Auto Financial Services, and Director of Human Resources at Ernst & Young.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. In addition, she is a graduate of GE's Management Development Program.

William F. Ziebell


CEO, Employee Benefits Consulting and Brokerage

William F. Ziebell joined Gallagher in 2000, working as a Producer and Manager for the employee benefits consulting and brokerage operation in the Troy, Michigan office. In 2002, he assumed the role of Assistant Branch Manager for the operation’s Chicago branch, where he was named Branch Manager in 2003. He has managed the region since 2004, and was promoted from Executive Vice President, North Central Region to Chief Executive Officer in 2017.

Mr. Ziebell began his career with Ernst & Young as a CPA, and has more than 25 years of sales and leadership experience. Throughout his career, he has led the way in centralizing and enhancing critical client services such as financial reporting and underwriting, wellness and employee communications.  

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Business Policy from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.