Our Team

Pete Proffer – President

Pete has been active in the financial services arena for over 30 years.  He obtained an MBA in Finance from Southern Illinois University.  Pete’s insurance career started at Liberty Mutual as a claims adjuster and supervisor.  He then obtained a position with Alexander & Alexander (now AON) where he was promoted to Vice President of Risk Analysis Management for the St. Louis office, then President of the Alternative Funding unit in Michigan.  Familiar with Arkansas through his client, Wal-Mart, Pete moved to Rogers, Arkansas where he created Midwest Risk Management Services, Inc.  specializing in retail accounts for affinity groups and large commercial accounts in Arkansas.  In 2002 he created Corporate Risk Services, LLC to provide excess workers’ compensation for brokers on a wholesale basis outside the state of Arkansas.  This was another opportunity for Pete to take advantage of his expertise in the alternate funding arena.  It has now grown to 18 policies, primarily for brokers in Missouri and Kansas.




Diane Shaw – Senior Account Executive

Diane is a native of North Carolina and has 35+ years experience in Commercial Insurance.  She started her insurance career in the Commercial Lines Department of a small company in Winston-Salem called Integon Insurance.  While with Integon, she received her Certificate in General Insurance from the Insurance Institute of America and now has the Associate in Insurance designation which was conferred in August 2010.

In 1980, Diane’s husband was transferred to Northern California where she worked for The Hartford as a Senior Rating Technician for four years.  In 1984, she joined Nationwide Insurance where she was the Training Unit Supervisor for Commercial Rating and Policy Services.  While employed with Nationwide, Diane completed Part One of the Associate in Risk Management Program offered by the Insurance Institute.

In 1986 Diane’s family returned to North Carolina where she became a licensed Property & Casualty Insurance agent and worked in two separate insurance agencies in their commercial lines departments.  When North Carolina adopted the Continuing Education Requirements for Insurance Agents in the late 1980s, Diane was approved as an instructor for the Continuing Education Program.

In September 2008, Diane and her husband relocated for his employment and she was able to transfer her insurance license to Arkansas.  She worked briefly in an agency as a Personal Lines CSA before joining Midwest Risk Management in September 2009.  At Midwest Risk Management Diane is responsible for all multi-line business and manages two guaranteed cost workers’ compensation programs for nursing homes.


Melissa Bohannon – Accountant and Group Fund Manager

Missy is a native of Rogers, Arkansas and a graduate of the University of Arkansas where she obtained a B. S. in Business Administration degree with a major in accounting in 1996.  She then completed her CPA certification.  Missy applied her accounting skills while working for two local trucking firms and Federal Savings Bank in Rogers.  She then moved to the public accounting firm, Lundy Allard & Company, PLLC as a senior accountant.

In January 2006, Missy began working as an accountant for Midwest Risk Management Services, a former client.  In October 2007, she was promoted to group fund manager of a workers’ compensation self-insurance trust made up of Arkansas nursing homes administered by Midwest.  Missy coordinates directly with the Board of Trustees, the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission, all members and vendors that service the fund, plus conducting all accounting functions for the nursing home fund, Corporate Risk Services and Midwest Risk Management.

Since joining Midwest, Missy has gained vast knowledge of the insurance industry and has obtained both her property/casualty license, and her life/health license as well.


Lance Cowell–President of Cowell Insurance Services, Inc.

Lance2Lance Cowell has over 27 years of experience in the insurance industry. In 1986, Lance joined The Woodsmall Companies as part of a summer intern program and returned the following year to join the company full time. Lance holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Iowa. Lance then joined several different brokerage operations as a producer and learned a great deal about the insurance industry. Through his business experiences, Lance developed a deep understanding and expertise for the alternative market and program business. In 2001, Lance and 3 other executives previously employed by Gallagher, and the former owner of The Woodsmall Companies created Alternative Risk Services (“ARS”) from a spin-off of the Third Party Administration (TPA) and Lender Services Divisions of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in Kansas City. After selling ARS, Lance decided in 2009 to create Cowell Insurance Services, Inc., a company focused on designing programs for retail agents, industry clients or a combination in order to meet the unique challenges of the insurance industry.

Lance Cowell’s expertise and carrier relationships coupled with Pete Proffer’s experience and existing business model have resulted in the creation of high hazard innovative products that are geared, but not limited to, the Healthcare Industry. These products are marketed through Corporate Risk Management and offer value-added services for niche industries.