Skip to main content
Joshua Weisberg – Director, Risk Management Services and Senior Counsel

Josh joined the ES&P team in 2014 following ten years of outside legal practice representing insurers and policyholders in general liability and insurance coverage disputes. As Director of Risk Management Services, Josh oversees all aspects of the TPA’s claims handling functionality and broader array of deliverables connected to contractual analysis, loss control, and other affiliated operations. As Senior Counsel, he is one of ES&P’s chief claims professionals with a dedicated practice handling the most complex and serious exposures for the TPA’s clients.

Earlier in his career, Josh served as claims and underwriting counsel to various liability insurers and seconded to a Lloyd’s of London syndicate as in-house counsel. In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing liability defense matters, drafting insurance forms, and general oversight of risk portfolios covering engineers, real estate brokers, financial planners, and other professionals.

Josh graduated from Fordham Law School in May 2005 and obtained his B.A. from Yeshiva University in September 2002. While at Fordham, Josh served as an assistant to the General Counsel for the New York State Insurance Department (now the Department of Financial Services) where he drafted advisory opinions regarding New York State’s insurance laws and regulations.

Tracey A. Nixon – Senior Claims Specialist

Tracey is a Licensed Independent Adjuster, and has been in the insurance industry for 25 years. She holds a BA degree from SUNY Old Westbury, a designation of Legal Principles Claim Specialist by the American Educational Institute and a General Law Studies Certification through Adelphi University’s Lawyers Assistance Program. Ms. Nixon has held both insurance rating and claims positions for three national insurance carriers. Tracey handles general liability claims for family entertainment centers, shopping centers, a supermarket chain, a “big box” wholesale chain, and the County of Rockland.

Helen Behek – Senior Claims Specialist

Helen Behek has over 25 years of claims handling experience in the insurance industry. Helen started her career at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company managing their national corporate fleet account for automobile and general liability claims. Through her career with several national insurance carriers she has become proficient in the investigation and evaluation process as well as analyzing cases for potential fraud and subrogation opportunities. She interacts extensively with plaintiff and defense attorneys and is a strong negotiator. She attends mediation arbitration and trials on a routine basis to resolve cases in a prompt and cost effective manner for her client. She is a certificated arbitrator with National Arbitration Association. Ms. Behek is fluent in Word, Excel and in our Filehandler claims system.

Linda Vanella, Esq. – Claim Attorney

Linda Vanella graduated summa cum laude from St. John’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. She received her J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law. Linda began her career as a Deputy Town Attorney in the Town Attorney’s Office in Hempstead. Since then, she has worked in private practice, including Sobel and Kelly, P.C. (currently the Sobel Law Group) and Greenfield and Ruhl, P.C. During that time, she practiced negligence defense, including premises liability, auto cases, labor law, and property damage. She also served as in-house counsel for Travelers Insurance.

Maria O’Connor – Claims Assistant

Maria O’Connor, Claims Assistant has been in the insurance industry for 10 years. She provides assistance to the claim specialists in ES&P. Of note, Maria is responsible for all of the billing for claim administrative services. Maria worked previously for Chase Manhattan Bank and Stock Investment Companies.

Steven A. Markowitz, CSP, ARM, ALCM – Vice President of Loss Control

Steven Markowitz, Vice President of Loss Control for SterlingRisk, has over of 30 years experience in the field of loss control and accident prevention. After receiving a Masters Degree in Occupational Safety and Health from New York University in 1980, Steve worked in private industry for five years as the Manager of Occupational Safety and Health. During this time, Steve developed and implemented employee, fleet and property safety programs for an industrial organization with 14 production plants throughout the Northeast US and a fleet of over 500 commercial vehicles.

Over the next 25 years, Steve worked for several national insurance carriers, conducting risk assessment evaluations and providing risk improvement programs and advice. Steve has developed expertise in various lines of coverage, including property protection, general and product liability, auto liability and workers’ compensation. These programs included presentations, guides and checklists in several subject areas, including preventing slip/trip/fall accidents, emergency evacuation and response procedures, ergonomic improvements to prevent strain/sprain injuries, inspection and testing of fire protection systems, and safe driving techniques.

While in the insurance industry, Steve achieved the Certified Safety Professional, Associate in Risk Management and Associate in Loss Control Management designations. Steve is also a New York State Certified Safety Auditor.

Joanna Strzalka

Joanna is a claims professional that has been in the insurance industry for over 16 years. She holds a BA degree in Sociology and Business from Queens College, CUNY and is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. Joanna has held insurance claims positions for national insurance carriers for the duration her career. Her last position before she came to Essential Services & Programs was with Chubb Insurance, where she held the title of Senior Claims Director, specializing in complex coverage work, class action lawsuits and overseeing complex litigated claims, including Labor Law and Premises Liability defense. Joanna handles general liability claims for a wholesale supermarket chain, shopping centers and other clients.