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Members of the Commission on Insurance are nominated by the Board of Supervisors and selected on the basis of experience or knowledge in the area of consumer insurance which includes automobile liability, homeowners, health and earthquake insurance. As members of the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance, we hold ourselves accountable to the Board of Supervisors and to the communities that they serve and from where we reside. A diverse group of insurance specialists, we work collaboratively to inform the Board of significant developments, court cases, and the status of pending legislation concerning consumer insurance matters. As an advisory body to the Board, we submit regular and special reports and recommendations to the Board as deemed appropriate; develop information and make recommendations on methods for reducing the costs of insurance; improve customer education and broaden community awareness regarding insurance issues. Upon specific approval by the Board, the Commission may be authorized to conduct public hearings, call witness and experts, present testimony and participate in insurance matters before the Congress, State Legislature or State Insurance Commission or other appropriate public bodies.




Scott J. Svonkin (Chair)

Daniel Falcon, Jr.

Barry R. Binder, Esq.

Bobby L. Blake

Eric C. Bauman

Kathy Crooymans

Helene S. Lohr, LUTCF

Steve Vicencia, CPCU

Patricia L. Torres

Luther W. Nash


Please visit our Biography Page for additional information.


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Commissioners names and titles: Scott Svonkin (Chair), Daniel Falcon, Jr.,
Barry R. Binder, Esq., Bobby L. Blake, Eric C. Bauman, Kathy Crooymans,
Helene S. Lohr, LUTCF, Steve Vicencia, CPCU, Luther W. Nash, Patricia L. Torres


Scott J. Svonkin



Scott J. Svonkin is a native of Los Angeles, and has been a member of the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance since his appointment by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky in 1997. Mr. Svonkin is the current Chairman of the Commission.

Mr. Svonkin is President of Svonkin Consulting, a marketing and public affairs firm specializing in marketing, media relations, legislation, community liaison, coalition building, fundraising, public relations and inter-governmental affairs. Mr. Svonkin possesses an extensive insurance background, having spent six years as a Director and National Project Manager for Prudential Health Care at its Western Headquarters in Woodland Hills.

Mr. Svonkin began his career in public service working as a representative for Mayor Tom Bradley. He served as Deputy Councilman for the City of West Hollywood from 1998 to 2001, and as Chief of Staff for the State of California from 2001 to 2003. He has been an active participant and fundraiser in various local, state, and federal political campaigns, and has attended numerous state and national conventions as a member of the Democratic Party. Mr. Svonkin’s contributions to the community span civic, political, cultural, and Jewish activities. He was recently appointed to the San Gabriel Civil Services Commission and serves on the Board of Directors of the San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce. Because of his commitment to the community and public schools, Mr. Svonkin was appointed to represent the Mayor at the SGUSD Strategic Planning session. He is the founding member of his Neighborhood Watch and is Block Captain. Mr. Svonkin is also a member of the San Gabriel Historical Association, Friends of the San Gabriel Library, and was recently asked to serve as Vice President of the San Gabriel Coordinating Council. He was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the California Credit Union, a billion dollar financial institution.

Mr. Svonkin served as Chairman of the B’nai B’rith Center for Public Policy and as President for the California Respiratory Care Board. He has also served as Chair of the LAUSD Advisory Council District Four, Vice President of the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance and Chair of the Community Relations Committee, and as Chair of Hillel at Pierce and Valley colleges.

Mr. Svonkin attended Pasadena City College, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge. He is especially proud of his lovely wife, Jennifer, and his beautiful daughter, Rose Alise.


Patricia L. Torres

Patricia L. Torres joined the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance in January 1994, as an appointee of Supervisor Gloria Molina, First District.

Patricia began her career in public service as a Deputy for Former Second District Supervisor, Yvonne B. Burke. As a Deputy, she advised on public policy issues involving various County Departments including the Courts, District Attorney, Public Defender, County Counsel, Latino and Women’s issues. She participated in two Democratic National Conventions as member of the Rules Committee.

Later she joined the County Counsel’s Office where she served as an attorney advising the Sheriff’s Department, Public Administrator, Public Works, etc. In 2007, Patricia resigned from her position as Deputy County Counsel to devote more time to care for her family, including her daughter (7), father (92) and mother (85).

Patricia’s other legal experience includes: Staff Attorney, State Department of Fair Employment and Housing; and Research Attorney, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen O’Neil. In addition Ms. Torres volunteered on the State Bar Committee on Women in the Law.

Patricia continues her commitment to community service. She currently serves as Supervisor Gloria Molina’s appointee on the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance. Recently, she completed her service on the Girl Scouts Mt. Shasta Vista Council Board of Directors. Patricia serves on the Loyola Law School Alumni Board of Governors. She also takes pleasure in volunteering at her daughter’s school.

Patricia was born in Los Angeles and raised in the community of Echo Park where she attended public schools. Furthering her education, she attended East Los Angeles College and received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from UCLA in 1986. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in 1990.


Daniel Falcon, Jr.

Daniel Falcon, Jr. was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance by Supervisor Gloria Molina in 1991. He has previously served as Chairman of the Commission, and currently holds the position of Vice-Chair.

Mr. Falcon is Special Assistant to the General Manager in the City of Los Angeles Housing Department. He was principal of the Falcon Group, a real estate evaluation and consulting firm. His experience as a real estate appraiser also includes service with Marshall & Stevens, Inc. Additionally, he has worked as an accountant with the Xerox Corporation.

Mr. Falcon is a member of the Northeast Community Plan Advisory Committee for the City of Los Angeles. He also serves as a board member for the Lincoln Heights Local Development Corporation.

Mr. Falcon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1984.


Eric C. Bauman


Eric C. Bauman was appointed a Commissioner in July 2012 by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, representing the Second District.

Mr. Bauman is the Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party and is serving his seventh term as Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the largest local Democratic Party organization in the nation. He is the Chair of the California Democratic Party’s Organizational Development Committee.

Professionally, Bauman is the Senior Advisor to California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and the Director of the Speaker’s Office of Member Services – Los Angeles (SOMS-LA).

Prior to joining the Speaker’s office, Eric held various senior-level positions in California Government, including serving as Senior Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, Senior Advisor to Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, and Deputy Insurance Commissioner – overseeing the Community Relations Branch of the California Department of Insurance.

Prior to joining the Department of Insurance, Eric was Special Assistant to Governor Gray Davis and Director of the Governor’s Los Angeles Regional Office. He served as the Governor’s liaison to the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities. He had a major role in the broad range of issues affecting southern California and health care policy.

Eric is a Registered Nurse with graduate education in Health Care Administration. He spent many years in intensive care and trauma nursing before moving into hospital administration. In 1991, Eric co-founded a health care management consulting firm, Consultants in Nursing Services Administration, specializing in the administrative, staffing and information system needs of hospital nurses.

Bauman is a member of the NARAL Pro-Choice Privacy PAC, the advisory board of the Medical Reserve Corps of Los Angeles and of the LA County Voting Systems Assessment Project Advisory Committee. Until recently, he was on the board of Glendale Memorial Hospital and the Latino Coalition against AIDS. He is a past board member of the American Cancer Society’s and the American Heart Association’s northwest regional boards.

In 2012 Eric was appointed as a Commissioner on the LA County Commission of Insurance, and delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Eric lives in North Hollywood with his husband of many years, Michael.


Bobby L. Blake


Bob L. Blake has been a resident of California since 1974 and was appointed a Commissioner in 2006 by Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, representing the Second District. Bob has been self-employed for over 18 years in the Insurance & Financial Services businesses.

Bob Blake & Associates, Inc. specializes in Benefit Communication and Supplemental Insurance products for Public Sector and Private Non Profit businesses. Bob manages over sixty full-time independent agents and the vision of the firm is to be the best sole provider of employee benefits, providing customers with products and services which distinguish them in the marketplace. The firm prides themselves on being a diverse, customer focused organization.

Bob received his AA degree from Long Beach City College and USC Marshall School of Business with a certificate in Sales, Leadership and Branding.

Bob’s mission is to protect working American families from catastrophic events that can ruin their future. His firm also strives to provide personal attention, attending to individual needs and small details while sustaining a professional and caring team representing the industry’s highest rated companies. The firm is located at 401 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 204, Long Beach, CA 90802. Phone (562) 437-7723.

Mr. Blake’s experience in the insurance field has given him great insight in consumer needs, including that of insurance coverage for residents in Los Angeles County.  Some of his organizational affiliations are: National Forum for Black Public Administrators Southern California Chapter; 100 Black Men; Los Angeles Health Underwriters; Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce; Long Beach African American Chamber of Commerce; National Conference of Minority Transit Officials; and currently is Vice President of the National Forum of Black Public Administrators.

Bob’s awards include: 2005 Business Entrepreneur of the Year, Greater Los Angeles Black Chamber of Commerce; 2004 Small Business of the Year Award, National Forum of Black Public Administrators, 2003 People Development Award, Colonial Supplemental Insurance; 2000 Recruiter of the Year Award, Colonial Supplemental Insurance; 2000 Office of the Year Award, Colonial Supplemental Insurance.


Barry R. Binder, Esq.


Barry R. Binder was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky in 2000. Mr. Binder brings a wealth of legal, financial, and taxation experience to the Commission.

Mr. Binder is the principal attorney with the Law Offices of Barry R. Binder, and has been an active member of the California State Bar since 1972.

Mr. Binder is an experienced litigator in insurance claim cases and in family law. He also has extensive experience negotiating settlements for insurance companies and government entities. Mr. Binder is admitted to practice law in all State courts, in the Southern and Central California United States District Courts, and the United States Tax Court. Prior to forming his own firm, Mr. Binder was a Senior Partner in the law firm of Binder, Cacciatore & Izenstark. Mr. Binder spent four years as Senior Tax Accountant for Touche Ross & Company, predecessor of Deloitte Touche. He has also worked as a tax auditor for the State of California Franchise Tax Board.

Mr. Binder is an active member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, the Italian American Lawyers Association, and the Family Law Section of the California State Bar. He is a past faculty member of the California Trial Lawyers Association, where he taught taxation and family law.

Mr. Binder has served as Co-Chairman and Dinner Chairman of the Accountants Division of the United Jewish Fund, and on the Jewish Federation Council’s Community Relations Committee of Greater Los Angeles and Advisory Board. He has actively participated in local government as a member of the Los Angeles District Attorney Advisory Committee, and the Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Board. Mr. Binder has also served on the California Commission on Interracial Relations and the California Democratic State Central Committee.

Mr. Binder received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Accounting from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1964. He completed graduate study in Accounting at California State University, Los Angeles, in 1966. Mr. Binder earned his Juris Doctor degree form Whittier College in 1971.

Mr. Binder is married to Ruth Binder, CPA, and is the proud father of three children (two are also attorneys and the other a university professor). He has four grandchildren.


Helene S. Lohr, LUTCF


Helene S. Lohr was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance by Supervisor Don Knabe in July of 2006. Her extensive experience, knowledge, and insight in a wide variety of insurance markets are invaluable assets to the Commission.

Mrs. Lohr has been a licensed Property, Casualty, Life, and Health insurance agent for Farmers Insurance since 1976, and operates her own agency in Manhattan Beach. She has been a Broker since 1986, placing clients in outside markets when appropriate. Her experience also includes marketing, presentations, underwriting policies, working on behalf of clients with underwriters, computer technology, educating clients about products, rates and market conditions, and processing and following up on claims.

By emphasizing a practical, thoughtful, and ethical approach with her clientele, Mrs. Lohr has become a perennial top producer in her district. She has attended numerous Championships, Toppers Club and Masters Conferences. Mrs. Lohr has earned membership in the Life Underwriters Training Council Fellowship (LUTCF), and also represents Farmers Insurance at their annual Legislative Conference in Sacramento.

Mrs. Lohr has also been active in her community, having served as a Board Member and Treasurer for the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, on their annual Golf Committee, and as a Director for the Manhattan/Hermosa Lions Club. She is also the Founding Chairperson of the Leadership Manhattan Beach program.

Helene and her husband Brad reside in Manhattan Beach and have four grandchildren.


Steve Vicencia, CPCU


Steve Vicencia was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance by Supervisor Don Knabe in 2005.

Mr. Vicencia has been a licensed insurance agent/broker for twenty-five years. He is President of Vicencia & Buckley Insurance Services, Inc., and is a licensed fire & casualty agent, broker, and surplus lines broker. Mr. Vicencia obtained the designation Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) in 1988, which is widely acknowledged to be the highest professional designation in the industry. His broad experience includes placing business in London and other European markets along with major United States underwriters. Mr. Vicencia has placed coverage for sports and recreation risks, large property risks and large manufacturing, and retail and wholesale risks. He has brokered all lines of coverage including general liability, property (including earthquake), products liability, professional liability, errors and omissions, directors and officers, employment practices liability and workers compensation. Prior to entering the insurance business, Mr. Vicencia worked as Sales Manager for the Southland Corporation.

Mr. Vicencia has served as President of the Cerritos Chamber of Commerce, which honored him as “Business Person of the Year” in 2004. He has also served as President of the Mid Cities Chapter of Independent Insurance Agents, and was the organization’s “Agent of the Year” in 1987. As a certified SCUBA Diver, Mr. Vicencia has participated in risk management seminars at the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association Trade Show. He has also authored several insurance articles and has conducted workshops on workers compensation experience rating.

Mr. Vicencia has contributed to the youth of his community through his participation in youth sports. He has managed Little League and Pony League baseball, and served on the league’s Board of Directors. He has also coached youth basketball for eight years. In addition to his passion for SCUBA diving, Mr. Vicencia is an avid golfer.

Born and raised in Southeast Los Angeles County, Mr. Vicencia graduated from Saint John Bosco High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from San Diego State University in 1977. Steve and his wife Mary Kay have three children.


Luther W. Nash


Luther W. Nash was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich in 2009.

Mr. Nash has been in the insurance business 55 years, 25 years of experience were with an insurance consulting firm where he held positions in management in Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, New York and California. He resigned as a Regional Vice President of the firm in 1979 to go into business for himself where for the past 30 years he has owned and operated an insurance agency in Montrose, California. His experience includes being a legislative advocate at the Federal and State level, for his company and the insurance industry. Lobbying for legislation that would enable the industry to quickly respond to the usual claims that fit into their estimates for a maximum probable loss and also disaster claims which could present an unusual demand on capital reserves.

Mr. Nash was appointed by three California Insurance Commissioners to serve on an advisory board to the California Department of Insurance and participated on a research committee for the development of the California Earthquake Authority.