Executive Management

Bradford A. Phillips
Chief Executive Officer, President & Chairman of the Board

Mr. Phillips has served as a chairman and director of the LBL Group of Insurance Companies since 1999. He has served as President of Midland Securities, LLC, a Dallas, TX based broker/dealer since 2002.

From January 1998 to May 2002, Mr. Phillips was the President of InterFirst Capital Corporation of Los Angeles, California, a Securities and Exchange Commission registered securities broker/dealer firm. From 1995 – 1998, Mr. Phillips served as President of Avacelle, Inc., of Dallas, Texas. Mr. Phillips worked for Arco International Oil and Gas Company of Plano, Texas from 1992 to 1995.

Mr. Phillips holds a number of securities licenses, including the Series 4 (Options Principal), Series 7 (General Securities License), Series 24 (General Securities Principal), Series 27 (Financial and Operations Principal), Series 53 (Municipal Securities Principal), Series 55 (Equity Trading Principal), and Series 63 (Blue Sky Securities License).

In addition, he currently serves on the Board of Directors for Life Insurance Council and on the Board of Trustees for the Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas.

Mr. Phillips obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University in Computer Science and Economics. He later obtained a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago – Graduate School of Business, with a concentration in finance.

Robby Abraham
Chief Investment Officer

Mr. Abraham has served as Chief Investment Officer of the LBL Group of Insurance Companies since 2020.

Prior to joining LBL, Mr. Abraham was Head of Illiquid Credit / Direct Lending at Global Atlantic Financial Group. Prior to Global Atlantic, Mr. Abraham held investment roles at Lone Star Funds / Hudson-Advisors, H.I.G. Capital and Abacus Finance Group. He started his career in investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Mr. Abraham graduated from New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business with a Bachelor’s in Finance & Accounting.

Tamara A. Burden
Senior Vice President, Chief Risk Management Officer

Ms. Burden has served as Chief Risk Officer of the LBL Group of Insurance Companies since 2017.

Prior to joining LBL, Ms. Burden was a principal and consulting actuary for Milliman Financial Risk Management LLC. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor’s in Foreign Languages, minoring in Math and Biochemistry.

Janet Gustafson
Senior Vice President, Compliance and Secretary

Ms. Gustafson has served as Senior Vice President Compliance of Liberty Bankers Insurance Group since 2018.

In addition to having over 20-years of combined legal, insurance, and compliance experience, she is a Chartered Life Underwriter and former General Securities Principal.

Eric Johansson
Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer

Mr. Johansson has served as Chief Operations Officer of the LBL Group of Insurance Companies since October 2015. Prior to his tenure with LBL, Mr. Johansson served as Vice President of Administration for the Puritan Life Group of Insurance Companies and Chief Operations Officer for the Oxford Life Group of Insurance Companies.

He possesses over 24 years of experience in the life and health insurance industry, working in all aspects of insurance marketing, operations, technology, and strategic development. Mr. Johansson has successfully managed the operations and data conversions of over six insurance company acquisitions and led companies in the areas of product development, implementation, lean process improvement, and change management programs.

Professionally, Mr. Johansson is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute and holds the designations of Insurance Regulatory Compliance Associate, Customer Service Associate, Insurance Agency Administration, and Certified Senior Advisor. He also is a member of the Life Insurance Council operations and technology subcommittees.

Mr. Johansson graduated from Evangel University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Management.

Van Vaughan
Executive Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer

Mr. Vaughan has served as Treasurer and Chief Accounting Officer of the LBL Group of Insurance Companies since July 2008.

Prior to joining LBL, Mr. Vaughan served as a senior financial officer for a variety publicly traded life insurance and property & casualty insurance companies including Affirmative Insurance Holdings, HCC Insurance Holdings, American Indemnity Financial Corporation and Employers Insurance of Texas. He possesses more than 35 combined years of accounting experience in the insurance industry. He started his career as an auditor with Matson Driscoll & Damico, a forensic accounting firm serving a variety of insurance industry clients in the assessment of business interruption loss claims.

Mr. Vaughan is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. He graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

David D. Vrla
Executive Vice President, Chief Actuary, and Appointed Actuary

Mr. Vrla has served as Chief Actuary of the LBL Group of Insurance Companies since February 2007. Prior to joining the LBL Group of companies, Mr. Vrla served as Assistant Vice President in the North American office of SCOR Global Life, the 5th largest life insurance reinsurer in the world.

He has also served as Vice President and Board Appointed Actuary of Optimum Re and Vice President of Great American Reserve Insurance Company in charge of its annuity lines of business.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Mr. Vrla has a broad range of experience in the insurance industry. He was Chairman of the Great American Reserve Product Development Committee overseeing the design, development and implementation of its life and annuity products. He served as the Financial Planning Manager for the President of the Southern Region of Unitrin Property & Casualty Insurance Company. Mr. Vrla also has supplemental life and health insurance experience serving in various financial, product line and marketing management positions for the JC Penney Life Insurance family of companies.

Professionally, Mr. Vrla is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, Fellow of the Life Management Institute, and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematical Sciences.

Insurance Lines of Business

Mark A. Aremia
Senior Vice President – Ordinary Life Division

Mr. Aremia serves as Senior Vice President for the Ordinary Life Insurance Division. Mr. Aremia is responsible for the recruiting and development of the independent sales force representing Liberty Bankers’ life insurance products.

Mr. Aremia entered the insurance industry in 1978 as a career agent. As a top producer, he qualified for the NSAA awards as well as completing Life Underwriters Training Council, CAN and FNA training. He served as president of his local National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors chapter for two terms and received the Life Underwriter of the Year award in 1981. During 1983 he transitioned from a career agent/manager to a brokerage Personal Producing General Agent recruiter. He also serves as treasurer for the North Carolina Triangle Chapter of University of Tennessee Alumni.

Since 1987, Mr. Aremia has held positions of Regional Vice President of Sales for a number of insurance companies and built top producing regions through the development of distribution networks comprised of Master General Agents.

Bobby Pierce
Senior Vice President – Pre-Need Division

Mr. Pierce started in the Insurance Industry while attending Mississippi State University in 1993 in the Home Service business.

He has sold and has experience in many lines of business including home service, final expense, Med Sup, supplemental lines, and Pre Need. Mr. Pierce is also a former Funeral Director at a local funeral home in Mississippi. He started with American Benefit Life in July 2014 as a Regional Director, then to Regional Vice President and now Senior Vice President. He is a CPC Certified (Certified Preplanning Consultant) through the NFDA (National Funeral Directors Association).

Todd A. Stone
Senior Vice President – Home Service Division

Mr. Stone has led the Home Service Division since 2005.

He began his career in 1989 in the home service life business and his unique experience in this specialized market allows him to manage all aspects of the Home Service Division for the Liberty Bankers Insurance Group.

Steven A. Wilson
Executive Vice President – Annuity Division

Mr. Wilson, Executive Vice President Marketing, joined the Liberty Bankers Insurance Group in June of 2004.

Prior to Liberty Bankers Life, Mr. Wilson was President of ASI Advisors, Inc., one of the nation’s leading independent annuity marketing and consulting organizations, having generated billions of dollars of fixed annuity premium for several insurance companies since 1975.