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Team

Steve Lekas
CoFounder & CEO
An 18 year insurance professional, Steve began his career in claims at Allstate where he would go on to hold roles in technology, underwriting and product management. Following his time at Allstate, Steve went on to Esurance where he built the US’s first online home insurance business. In 2015, he joined Verisk Analytics and was promoted to president of the Insurance. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and computer information systems from Kent State University.
Joe Emison
CoFounder & CTO
Prior to Branch, Joe founded BuildFax (acquired by DMGT), Spaceful (acquired by Xceligent), BluePrince (acquired by Harris Computer), and EphPod (acquired by Wind Solutions). Joe graduated with degrees in English and Mathematics from Williams College and has a law degree from Yale Law School.
Kelly Fogarty
COO
Kelly has over three decades of experience in the Property & Casualty Insurance industry. She began her career at Allstate as an actuarial analyst where she would later go on to hold leadership roles within nearly every function of the company, including ultimately as VP of Product Operations. Most recently Kelly led the development of the personal homeowners business at Velocity Risk Underwriters, focusing on providing coverage for coastal communities. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Northern Illinois University and a Masters with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Illinois Chicago.
Chris Styrsky
Chief Actuary
Chris started his career at Allstate as an actuarial analyst. During his time at Allstate he worked on pricing, research, modeling, risk management, product management, and line management. Most recently, Chris was a Senior Actuary. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) and Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).
Charlie Wendland
Head of Claims
Charlie has held various technical claims positions at Progressive Insurance and Travelers Insurance. Most recently, Charlie was the Director of Claims for National Interstate Insurance. Charlie earned both his Bachelor degree and MBA from Cleveland State University. He also received the Senior Claim Law Associate (SCLA) designation from the American Educational Institute (AEI) and Certified Claims Professional (CCP) designation from the Claims College at Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM). Charlie is a licensed Property and Casualty Adjuster, former President and current Vice President and board member of the Northeast Ohio CLM and Chair of the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA) Insurance Claims Executive Committee. He is also the 2018 recipient of the OACTA Committee Chair of the Year Award.
Kim Klenk
Growth Marketing Director
Kim started her career as a Marketing Analyst before joining the Quicken Loans Family of Companies. Most recently, Kim was a part of the team that started Rocket Loans where she was the VP of Marketing and lead the Business Intelligence team. Kim graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Wittenberg University and an Applied Statistics Certificate from Texas A&M.

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