NGI's leadership team shares a commitment to building enduring business solutions that benefit consumers and the organizations who seek to serve them. Our executive team has worked with some of the most successful financial service companies and most innovative marketing services companies in the nation.
John Fees, Co-Founder & CEO
Co-founder and CEO of Next Generation Insurance Group (NGI), John Fees is a proven entrepreneur and a thought leader in affinity and collegiate marketing. For more than 19 years, Fees has specialized in building successful affinity / partnership marketing businesses for media and financial service industries which makes him a savvy and dedicated leader for Next Generation Insurance Group, established in 2008.
Fees is adept at creating innovative affinity marketing solutions that support consumer activity via the internet and direct-to-consumer channels, and his strategies have proven to be ground-breaking. In fact, his success in this arena has led to the sale of two prior businesses ventures, Y2M and Members Connect, to Fortune 500 companies.
In 2000, Fees co-founded Y2M: Youth Media and Marketing Networks, which owned and operated College Publisher, the nation's largest online network of college newspapers with commercial rights to print, online and email editions. In 2006, Fees completed the acquisition of Y2M by Viacom's MTV Networks' mtvU.
Additionally, in 1999, Fees co-founded Members Connect, which became the largest affinity partnership marketing company in the North American education finance market. The company was sold in 2004 to Collegiate Funding Services (NADAQ: CFSI), where Fees served as an executive officer. He was instrumental in the growth and success of that company which was subsequently sold to JPMorgan Chase.
Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures he served as Senior Vice President for First USA Partners (Affinity Partners International) where he was responsible for creating affinity credit card partnerships in the collegiate and affinity market. In addition, he was Membership Marketing Vice President at Student Advantage, the nations' largest student membership organization, as well as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Arizona State University Alumni Association.
Fees is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in History and holds a Master in Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Professional Insurance Marketing Association, the Spitzer Center for Ethics and a board member for the Foundation for Blind Children. With his wife Melissa, Fees currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with their five children. You can follow John on Twitter @johntfees.
Bill Suneson, Co-Founder & President
Co-founder and president of Next Generation Insurance Group (NGI), Bill Suneson is one of the nation's foremost affinity sales and marketing leaders. He brings nearly 20 years of sales and business development experience to NGI and has a track record of forging profitable affinity marketing strategies for Fortune 500 brands and start-up companies alike.
A seasoned marketing veteran, Suneson helped propel new ventures and prominent brands into partnership marketing leaders. He hired, mentored and influenced the performance of national sales and relationship management teams and also successfully developed over 250 major partnerships which permitted exclusive access to partner's brands, members and/or customers.
Before co-founding Next Generation Insurance Group, Suneson served as Senior Vice President at JPMorgan Chase, where he led the student-lending industry's top affinity marketing business. He was an active member of their extended leadership team, contributing to the success of one of the largest student loan businesses in the nation.
Prior to JPMorgan, Suneson was the sales leader and a senior management team member for Members Connect, which became the largest affinity marketing company for student loans in the United States. Because of its growth and success, during its fifth year, the firm was sold to Collegiate Funding Services and subsequently became part of JPMorgan Chase.
Additionally, Suneson served as Vice President at Affinity Marketing Group where he contributed to the creation of Affinity Insurance Agency and led sales efforts for client partners including GMAC Insurance, Liberty Mutual, and other leading consumer brands. Early in his career, he worked as an insurance agent developing niche workers' compensation programs and worksite marketing initiatives.
Suneson maintains a national license to sell Property/Casualty and Life/Health Insurance and holds an Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) designation. He is a member of the Professional Insurance Marketing Association and Inter-Company Marketing Group.
Suneson is a graduate of Marquette University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree and competed as an NCAA Division I tennis player. He grew up in Fall River, Mass. and currently resides in Bridgewater, Mass. with his wife and two children. He enjoys spending time with his family and is a passionate Red Sox fan.
Jean-Marie Lovett, President, MassDrive Direct Auto Insurance
President of MassDrive.com Direct Auto Insurance, Jean-Marie is a seasoned operations and marketing executive with more than 12 years of experience. She has an extensive background in marketing, product development, and quality assurance. With a successful track record launching new consumer products, she has proven herself instrumental in shaping and growing businesses both large and small throughout her career.
As president of MassDrive.com, Jean-Marie is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and tactical marketing efforts. As leader of the account management team, she directs and supports company objectives and evaluates processes to determine efficiency, results and growth targets. Her goal is to turn MassDrive into one of the largest, most reputable insurance companies in Massachusetts.
Before joining MassDrive, Lovett served as Vice President, Marketing and Operations for JP Morgan Chase in the Education Finance division. There she managed the marketing channels and operations for all student loan partnerships, including nearly 200 affinity groups, as well as the largest internal partner - Chase's retail bank branches. Lovett established a winning track record at Chase, creating substantial growth within departments under her direction.
Prior to JP Morgan Chase, Lovett was Director of Product Marketing for Abridge, Inc. As part of the senior management team, Lovett led the product development process including marketing, quality assurance and software user interface design.
Earlier in her career, Lovett was a Senior Innovations Manager for consumer products at BellSouth Telecommunications. She led multiple product launches and market trials including VoIP and personal emergency response systems.
Lovett is a graduate of Colgate University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors, and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Kenan Flagler Business School at UNC, Chapel Hill. She is a member of the Massachusetts Associate of Insurance Agents (MAIA). Lovett resides in Roslindale, Mass. and is married with two children.
Paul Pennelli, Vice President, Consumer Marketing
As NGI's Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Paul brings a wealth of marketing, media, and Internet product development experience to NGI's businesses and Internet properties. Paul is responsible for NGI's Internet channel, covering marketing, technology development, user experience, and creative. He has led all of NGI's major technology releases, including GradGuard.com and MassDrive.com.
Most recently, Paul was the first head of marketing at Reputation.com (formerly ReputationDefender) in Redwood City, California, the pioneer in Online Reputation Management (ORM). Paul was a member of the company's original management team and built Reputation.com's first direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns, marketing operations, and creative development. In addition, Paul managed the company's high-value channel partnerships with top financial institutions, Internet affiliates, and membership marketing organizations.
Prior to Reputation.com, Paul worked extensively in college marketing and digital media. An early-stage employee of Y2M Networks in Boston, he drove partnership growth and retention for College Media Network (formerly College Publisher) and expanded the company's reach from a handful of college-focused websites to a network of over 600 unique media properties. Paul was instrumental in the sale and transition of College Media Network to MTV Networks. At MTV, Pennelli held the role of Director of Affiliate Relations at mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, and served on the channel's executive strategy team.
Paul is a graduate of Fairfield University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. He resides in Melrose, Massachusetts with his wife. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @paulpennelli.
Chris Meinerz, Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration
As Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration, Chris Meinerz brings more than 20 years of accounting, corporate finance and treasury experience to NGI.
Prior to joining NGI, Meinerz was with MedAire in Tempe, Arizona, serving as the Vice President of Finance for a division of International SOS, a $1 billion international healthcare, medical and security assistance, and concierge services company based in Singapore. He also served as the Global Vice President of Finance for eTelecare, a $300 million public company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he successfully helped lead the initial public offering in 2007 and sale of the company in both 2008 and 2009.
Meinerz's past accounting and finance experience also includes leadership positions in companies in the banking, insurance and healthcare industries. He worked in the Corporate Controllership group of United HealthCare in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which subsequently led to co-founding and serving as CFO of a consumer based e-health startup company cranespharmacy.com. After selling cranespharmacy.com, Meinerz joined PacifiCare Health Systems as Director of Corporate Development and Treasury. Meinerz also held senior finance leadership positions with Banner Health System in Phoenix and First National Bank of Arizona in Scottsdale.
He began his career in public accounting with firms BDO Seidman in Chicago and Grant Thornton in Madison, Wisconsin. Meinerz is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with degrees in Accounting and Finance. He is a Certified Public Accountant and currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona with his wife and two daughters.
Dennis Wentworth, Senior Vice President, College and University Relations
As Senior Vice President of College and University Relations, Dennis Wentworth comes to NGI with a long history of building relationships with university officials and collaborating with universities to serve their students.
Dennis joined USA Funds/ USA Group in 1987 and has spent 25 years working in Higher Education School Channel Sales & Marketing, working with schools and organizations that support the schools. Dennis has worked with both not-for-profit and publicly traded companies before joining NGI. His career spans several years working for the American College Testing in Chicago, to 14 years with USA Funds/USA Group in Indianapolis, to the past 11 years with Sallie Mae. At Sallie Mae, Dennis held the position of President and SVP of Sallie Mae National Sales and was responsible for the company's sales efforts for all products and services across the country. His Sallie Mae Sales/Marketing Team grew to 400 plus people before Dennis joined Next Generation Insurance in July 2011 as SVP of National Sales.
Dennis is originally from Minnesota and is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree and also holds a Master of Science Degree in Academic Administration from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. He resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife Rhonda and has 5 older children. He his very active athletically and is a passionate college basketball/March Madness fan. You can follow Dennis on Twitter @WentworthDennis.
Brian Kelley, Chief Technology Officer
Chief Technology Officer, Brian Kelley is a technology pioneer and passionate online product advocate. A designer, developer and repeat entrepreneur, Brian brings this passion to NGI's technology and online products, architecting and building the platform for all of NGI's technology offerings. He has over 15 years experience building enterprise-class software applications in a wide variety of industries including music, sports, finance and education.
Most recently, Brian was the Chief Technology Officer of The Bay Citizen. A non-profit news organization based in San Francisco, their mission is to provide high-quality local journalism covering the Bay Area, and to build a successful and sustainable model for journalism.
Prior to Bay Citizen, Brian was the founding CTO of Reputation.com (formerly ReputationDefender), the world’s first comprehensive online reputation management and privacy company. As Chief Technology Officer, he assembled a quality technology team that is capable of maximizing company resources related to technology strategy, software development, and system infrastructure.
Before Reputation.com, Brian Kelley was the founding CTO of The Ticket Reserve, an online futures market for sporting event tickets. Following The Ticket Reserve, Brian became CTO of The Academic Approach, leading the development of online interactive educational software.
Brian is an active musician and car enthusiast and supports a number of non-profit organizations including Rock-For-Kids and Save the Music Foundation. Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Skidmore College. He lives in Palo Alto, California and you can follow Brian at @brian_c_kelley.
Vikas Dumra, Vice President, Product
As NGI’s Vice President of Product, Vikas brings a wealth of insurance product development, cross-sell and customer experience knowledge to NGI’s businesses. He is responsible for developing product road maps and identifying cross-sell opportunities for the collegiate and young adult markets across all NGI brands.
Most recently, Vikas was Marketing Program Manager at Wells Fargo Insurance, where he led product development and customer experience initiatives for the Direct Response Group. As a licensed agent, Vikas built strategic relationships in the industry to source product, created due diligence processes and worked with key stakeholders to help distribute products across multiple marketing channels. He also led teams that built operational best practices and developed engagement strategies to drive customer loyalty.
Prior to insurance, Vikas worked as a personal banker when he joined Wells Fargo in 2003. In this role, he built strong customer relationships by recommending relevant products and services. Additionally, he developed a strong understanding of the sales, referral and cross-sell model.
Earlier in his career, Vikas worked for an insurance agency at American Family Insurance, where he built a broad understanding of the agency business and the insurance industry. He gained significant experience in sales, marketing, collections and customer retention.
Vikas has a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Xavier’s College- Ahmedabad, India as well as from the University of Minnesota. He also received his MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota. A current resident of Roseville, Minnesota, Vikas will be relocating to Boston with his wife and two children.