June 2023, Amplified – Diversity In Insurance – You Don’t See a Lot of It in the Executive Ranks


Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His AsiaTechPodcast.com show has listeners in more than 130 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Theresa is the founder of the Asia InsurTech Podcast and a Thought Leader on innovation in insurance with a focus on the Asian market. She has worked for ten years for leading multinational insurers in Europe and Asia before turning to management consulting and venture building with the goal of transforming the insurance industry and helping shape its future in the region.

David Gritz

David Gritz is an InsurTech community leader, public speaker, and InsurTech advisor. He has been featured in recognized Insurance media including Carrier Management, Digital Insurance, IIR, AM Best TV, and the Re/Image Podcast. David is the co-founder of InsurTech NY, the largest InsurTech community in the NY metro area. David also serves as a strategic advisor to high-growth InsurTechs to help them go from concept to scale. Previously David has served as the Director of Innovation for the Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator (SVIA) and has led product at Zero, a behavioral safety focused InsurTech acquired by EverestRe. He holds a J.D. from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and business and industrial engineering degrees from Lehigh University.

Tony Lew

Tony Lew is the Managing Director and co-founder of InsurTech NY, the largest InsurTech community in North America. InsurTech NY has run a growth-stage accelerator since 2020 and graduated 80 portfolio companies. It also runs the Digital MGA Lab which has graduated nine InsurTech startups focused on distribution of insurance. Tony is also a General Partner of InsurTech Fund, a seed-stage VC fund focused on InsurTech and InsurTech adjacencies. Prior to building InsurTech NY, Tony held product strategy and management leadership roles at Alibaba and Gartner, where he managed $1B IT product research business to double-digit growth annually. Tony also advised and helped Fortune 500 companies with growth and operational strategy as a management consultant at BCG. Before switching his career to business strategic roles, Tony held numerous individual and leadership roles in a variety of IT functions including Business Intelligence, Data Management, IT infrastructure, and Software engineering at companies such as NBCUniversal, Verizon and Informatica. Tony has an MBA from NYU Stern, MS from George Washington University, and BS from Carnegie Mellon University.

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In our segment “This Month, Amplified,” Theresa Blissing and Michael Waitze together with David Gritz, and Tony Lew from InsurTech NY, tackle some of the most pressing topics and their impact on the insurance industry. Through this segment, listeners can acquire an in-depth understanding of the dynamic challenges within the insurance industry, offering a holistic view of the modern insurance landscape.

This month the conversation begins with an urgent look at the escalating wildfire threat and its repercussions on the insurance industry. We explore the impacts of these calamitous events on the insurance field. For a deeper dive into this topic, don’t miss the recent episode featuring Ivan O’Neill, co-founder and CEO of Wuuii.

The team then carries on with an sincere conversation about diversity in the insurance industry and its link to better business performance. This conversation was not just about demographic diversity, but also cognitive diversity — the inclusion of people with different ways of thinking and problem-solving. We discussed strategies to boost diversity within the sector and share inspiring examples of organizations taking strides in this direction.

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