Chapter Awards

Clay Hopkins - Light the Way Award

The AZ Chapter of CPCU created the Light the Way Award to honor and remember Clay Hopkins. Clay was very active in Education for both the chapter and for the entire CPCU Society. He contributed to writing the CPCU Property textbook and taught the Property classes here in Phoenix for many years. He made a lasting impression on all he came in contact with. This award is reserved for those who are deemed to have made a consistent and powerful contribution to our chapter and to the local industry, in essence, “Lighting the Way” for others to serve and follow.  The award is not given out each year, so as not to diminish the honor of receiving it.

Yorrick DeSouza Service Award

The Central Arizona Chapter of CPCU initiated the Yorrick DeSouza Service Award in 2003 to honor Chapter volunteers and recognize their “extraordinary service and selfless contribution” to the Chapter.  The award was named in remembrance of one of its active members, Yorrick DeSouza, who passed away in 2002.  After receiving his CPCU designation in 1999, Yorrick immediately began supporting the chapter’s activities by participating in Good Works services, being an I-Day Committee member and providing databases and spreadsheets for various Chapter activities.  He could be counted on to support all Chapter events.



2017 Rick Lambert

Rick Lambert

At our December luncheon, Past President Brett Clausen presented the 2017 Light the Way Award to Rick Lambert, CPCU

Rick received his CPCU designation in 1980 and has served our Chapter and the CPCU Society in a variety of leadership roles over the last 37 years.  His involvement at the National CPCU level includes the positions of Past Regional Vice President, Past Director, and Past Chair of the following committees:

  • Chapter Affairs Committee; 1989 – 1994
  • Leadership Development Committee; 1997 – 1999
  • Annual Meetings and Seminars Task Force; 1999 – 2000
  • Agent & Broker Interest Group; 2001 – 2007
  • Interest Group Leadership Council; 2011 - 2012
  • CPCU Nominating Committee; 2013 – 2016

In addition, Rick was also a member of the CPCU Society Membership Committee, Claims Interest Group Committee, Executive Committee and Professional Experience Resource Group Committee. 

His expertise and leadership was further put to work as he served as Interest Group Governor (2007 – 2012), as CPCU Loman Foundation - Term Trustee (2007 – 2012), and on the CPCU Loman Foundation Executive Committee (2009 – 2012).


2017 William Thomas

Will Thomas is Director in Product Management with USAA, leading a team of product managers responsible for meeting member needs and achieving financial and market objectives for a territory of 11 states. Prior to joining USAA, Will worked for ten years at Hanover Insurance Company and began his insurance career as a personal lines underwriter with Safeco Insurance Company. 

On November 14, Chapter President Brent Dohogne presented the Yorrick DeSouza Service Award to Will Thomas for his years of service to the Arizona Chapter and CPCU Society. Will has served in numerous capacities, including I-Day Committee Member, Chapter Secretary, Chapter Treasurer, Chapter President, Chapter Governor, and Leadership Council Member. Throughout his tenure, he has been known for his upbeat personality and inclusive approach to leadership, and everyone can agree that Will has brought fun with him into the Arizona Chapter. No one is more deserving of the DeSouza Service Award than Will Thomas.


2016 Brett Clausen


During our I-Day event on November 17th, Kim Ferrera, Chapter President and Will Thomas, Area Governor, presented the 2016 Light the Way Award to Brett Clausen.  Brett is the Arizona Business Unit Vice President for Farm Bureau Financial Services.  He’s our past president of the AZ CPCU Chapter, currently serves as the Vice President of the Professional Experience Resource Group of the CPCU Society and on the board of the Arizona Insurance Institute.  Brett has a Master’s degree from Boston University and holds the CPCU, AIC, API, Are, AU, CIC designations as well certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.


Brett was selected for this prestigious award for his ongoing contributions to the Arizona chapter, our local industry (including the Arizona Insurance Institute), and the Society’s PERG Interest Group, among many others. The implementation of the mentoring program is the just the latest example of how he continues to light the way for others to serve and follow.




2015 Tom Gutierrez

The Yorrick DeSouza Service Award is presented to Tom Gutierrez, CPCU. Tom is a Phoenix native and graduated from ASU in 1987 with a BS in management. He started in the industry in 1988 with Prudential as a personal lines underwriter, and earned his CPCU designation in 1994. After earning the CPCU designation, he has attained the CLU, AIC, ARE and ARM designations and is 2 courses away from earning the CHFC designation. He graduated from Boston University in 2006 with a MS in insurance management. In addition to Prudential, he has worked for Liberty Mutual, Farm Bureau Financial Services and is currently a product manager for MetLife. He joined the Arizona CPCU Society Chapter board in 2008, the executive board in 2009, and served as President in 2011-2012. Since that time, he’s continued to be involved, serving on the golf committee, I Day committee, scholarship committee and board nomination committee. He represented the chapter in the Insurance Workplace Taskforce, including the development of the curriculum for the new insurance certificate program being offered by Rio Salado, Mesa and Glendale Community Colleges. Tom also is a past president of the Arizona Insurance Council.


2015 Rick Jones

The 2015 Light the Way Award was presented to Rick Jones, CPCU. He received his CPCU designation in 1990 and is the Chief Operating Officer of CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company. He has over 30 years' experience within the insurance industry, beginning with risk management for a division of Teledyne. He served as senior vice president of compliance and assistant secretary for CNA National Warranty Corp., opened the Arizona branch office of EBI Insurance Companies, and served as vice president of marketing at Corroon & Black (now Willis of Arizona). He is a licensed insurance agent in 47 states and in Canada, is past president of the Arizona CPCU Society Chapter and serves as a committee member on the Regulation and Legislative Interest Group Committee, since 1992 for the CPCU Society. He holds a Master's in Business Administration from Arizona State University's Executive MBA Program and completed an Executive Leadership Development Program at Darden School of Business. Jones is the past president of the Arizona Insurance Council and was instrumental in assisting with forming the Arizona Insurance Institute. He is currently Vice Chair of the East Valley Partnership and is co-chair of the Arizona Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF). Jones is also a member of the Dean's Council at the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, serves on the board of the Sandra Day O'Connor Institute and on the board of Chicanos Por La Causa.

2013 Lamont Boyd

In 2013, the Arizona CPCU Society Chapter awarded Lamont D. Boyd, CPCU our Light the Way Award. This award is reserved for those who are deemed to have made a consistent and powerful contribution to our chapter and to the local industry, in essence, “Lighting the Way” for others to serve and follow.

Since 1990, Lamont has contributed his time and service to the Golden Gate and Arizona CPCU Chapters in a variety of ways, most recently as Candidate Development chair.  At the national level, Lamont developed the Society’s Student Program for Risk Management/Insurance and Actuarial students and he is past chair of the Information Technology Interest Group and incoming Chair of the Underwriting Interest Group.  Lamont also serves on the board of the Arizona Insurance Institute, working to create a clearer path for Arizona students to join our industry.  



2012 Sandra Masters

At the chapter meeting on May 16, 2012, Sandra Masters received the Light the Way Award. This award is reserved for those who are deemed to have made a consistent and powerful contribution to our chapter and to the local industry, in essence, “Lighting the Way” for others to serve and follow.






2012 Rich Pineda

Rich Pineda, is the most recent recipient of our Chapter’s highest award, the Yorrick De Souza Service Award. Rich was presented with the award at the January 18thmeeting.

Rich has demonstrated tireless dedication to the cause of the CPCU Society, holding leadership positions in 3 different chapters, including President of the Arizona Chapter. He is very deserving of the award, which recognizes extraordinary service and selfless contribution to the work of the Chapter.


Please join the Chapter in congratulating Rich on this great accomplishment!




2008  Michael Schmitt CPCU

The Yorrick DeSouza Service Award was presented by Chapter President Richard Pineda CPCU ARM on February 24, 2009, to Michael Schmitt CPCU for his extraordinary service and selfless contribution to Chapter goals.  After completing CPCU courses in 2000, Michael was selected as one of two graduates to speak at the Annual Meeting in San Antonio.  For 8 years, Michael has been a member of the I-Day Committee and responsible for gifts.  He also made the database and prepared letters to solicit I-Day sponsors.  After receiving the Yorrick DeSouza Service Award, Michael said, “I was truly surprised and honored to receive this prestigious award named for a fellow classmate.  I will always be grateful to this professional organization and its members for this honor.”



2007  Chris Behymer CPCU

At I-Day, November, 2007, Chris Behymer CPCU was presented the Yorrick DeSouza Service Award for his over 10 years of service to the Chapter as Education Director.  He has taught and facilitated CPCU and IIA classes throughout the Phoenix Valley.  Chris commented, “I met Yorrick when he entered the insurance industry and was a student in many of my classes.  His dedication and drive to improve not only his own skills but also those of others always struck me as the work of someone special.  In 2003, I was honored to present the first Yorrick DeSouza Service Award to his wife, Genie, and in my 30-plus years of public speaking, it was the first time I almost broke down.  Being recognized with this award is something that I treasure and will always remember.”



2006  Diana Dean-Spurgeon CPCU ASLI CPIW

Diana Dean-Spurgeon CPCU ASALI CPIW was presented the Yorrick DeSouza Service Award by her boss, Mike Miller, President of Scottsdale Insurance Company and the guest speaker at the CPCU luncheon meeting on January 17, 2007.  For many years, Diana has been active in the Good Works Committee and was its Chair in 2005 and 2006.  Upon receiving the Yorrick DeSouza Service Award, Diana commented, “Receiving this award is very special to me because I worked with Yorrick at Scottsdale Insurance Company for many years and continue to work with his wife, Genie, at the company.  Being presented the award by Mike Miller made it even more significant.  I was totally unaware that I was the designated recipient of the award and felt very honored to receive it.”



2005  Dorothy Harvey CPCU

Dorothy Harvey CPCU was given the Yorrick DeSouza Service Award in 2005.  Dorothy received her CPCU designation in 1987 and immediately joined the I-Day Committee.  Through the years she worked with the Good Works Committee, chaired the New Designee Committee and served as the Public Relations Director.  Dorothy said, “I was honored and humbled to receive the Yorrick DeSouza Service Award.  Yorrick was a wonderful person who was an exemplary role model.  I have always believed that when you are blessed with so much you have a responsibility to give back to the community.  The CPCU Society is a great professional organization that provides its members with increased knowledge, practical guidelines and standards for us to do a better job serving the public.”



2004  Martin Beavers CPCU

For all his efforts on the I-Day Committee and for encouraging new CPCU designees, Martin Beavers CPCU was presented the Yorrick DeSouza Service Award in 2004.  Martin commented, “I was very much surprised to receive this prestigious award.  While I never had an opportunity to meet Yorrick, I was aware of his personal efforts to make the Chapter’s activities run smoothly.  I was honored to receive this award with his name.”



2003  Genie DeSouza

Genie DeSouza, Yorrick’s wife, was the first recipient of the Yorrick DeSouza Service Award for her loving support of her husband’s many activities.  It was presented in 2003 by Chris Behymer CPCU a co-worker of Yorrick and Genie at Scottsdale Insurance Company.  Genie said, “All I can think of is that I know how proud Yourrick was to be a part of this prestigious CPCU Chapter and association.  He appreciated the opportunities it presented for him to give back to the community and to network with some very special people.”