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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

Patricia L. Torres, Esq.

Eric C. Bauman, Vice Chair

Wilbert Smith, Ph.D.

Steve Aspel

Steve Vicencia, CPCU

Bobby L. Blake

Luther W. Nash

Daniel Falcon, Jr.


Please visit our Biography Page for additional information.


Agenda and Minutes




ABC7: Double-check your insurance for fire season


New Link:

Flood Insurance Awareness Tip Sheet



Fraud Facts and Statistics

Department of Auditor-Controller - Office of County Investigations

California Department of Insurance - Enforcement Branch

Insurance Tips


LA County Office of Emergency Management

State of California Commissioners

California Department of Insurance

Governors Office of Emergency Services

Los Angeles County Fire Department





Commissioners names and titles: Scott Svonkin, Chair, Eric C. Bauman, Vice Chair, Steve Aspel, Bobby L. Blake, Daniel Falcon, Jr., Wilbert Smith, Ph.D., Patricia L. Torres, Esq., Steve Vicencia, CPCU, Luther W. Nash


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 and is the current Chairman of the Commission. Chair Svonkin possesses an extensive insurance background, having spent six and a half years as a Director and National Project Manager for Prudential Health Care at its Western Headquarters in Woodland Hills. Chair Svonkin received the company’s Community Champions Rising Star Award for his commitment to helping others and the Hero Award for creating a voter registration and grassroots-lobbying program. Chair Svonkin is in his second year as president of the Board of Trustees, first chosen by his fellow trustees in July of 2014 and then again in July of 2015. He was first elected to the Board in May of 2011, then re-elected in March of 2015.

Chair Svonkin is also serving a three-year term as a member of President Obama’s College Promise National Advisory Board, part of the campaign to allow responsible students to attend two years at community college tuition free.

He enrolled at Pasadena City College, went on to get a B.A. at California State University, Northridge, and served on the San Gabriel Unified School District Board before being elected to his current position.

His career focus has been in public service, particularly on education and non-profits, and as a business-man and experienced community activist. Chair Svonkin currently serves as Chief of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang.

Previously, Chair Svonkin served as a member of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s staff and worked as Senior Advisor to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Chair Svonkin has also served as Chief of Staff for State Assemblyman Paul Koretz and was a Deputy Councilman for West Hollywood. As a chief of staff, Chair Svonkin was involved in key legislative projects such as: an aggressive anti-crime program focused on getting guns off the streets, the protection of children from tobacco and its advertising arms, and support for public education and working families. As Deputy Councilman, Chair Svonkin worked on important legislation, community liaison activities, intergovernmental affairs, media relations, and constituent services for West Hollywood.

Chair Svonkin is committed to promoting educational opportunities for all through various organizations. He twice served as President of the Los Angeles County School Trustees Association and has served on the Los Angeles Valley College Foundation Board, the California State University, Northridge Legislative Advisory Council, the LA PROSPER Board of the Los Angeles Community College District, and the Center for Southern California Studies Advisory Board. He is a former Chairman of the Los Angeles Unified School District Advisory Council for District Four. As a health care executive, he arranged for his company to donate almost one thousand computers to public schools.

Concerned about public health, Scott served on the board of the Children’s Hospital L.A. Huckleberry Fund and on the California Respiratory Board where his fellow members elected him President shortly after his appointment. Chair Svonkin is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Credit Union—a billion-dollar financial institution, and is also Chairman of the Los Angeles County Insurance Commission.

A native of Los Angeles County, Scott attended public schools and served two terms as the Student Member of the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees before going on to Cal State Northridge.

Chair Svonkin and his wife Jennifer have a daughter, Rose, and a son, Sam.


Eric C. Bauman

Vice Chair


Eric C. Bauman was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 2012. He currently holds the position of Vice Chair of the Commission.


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 also the Chair of the California Democratic Party’s Organizational Development Committee.

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

Previously, 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 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.

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


Patricia L. Torres, Esq.

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 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.


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.


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 since 1981.  He is Vice President of Vicencia & Buckley Insurance Services a Division of Hub International 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 for outstanding community service by presenting him with the 2008-2009 “Doug Padelford Memorial Award”, and 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 adult children and two grandchildren.



Wilbert Smith, Ph.D.

Wilbert Smith was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Insurance by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich in 2015. He was raised in Los Angeles and attended local public schools. Later, in 1973, he received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from California State University Dominguez Hills, followed by a master’s degree in Business Management from International College in 1977. In 1984, Commissioner Smith received a master’s degree in Special Education For The Learning Handicapped from the University of San Francisco before, in 1987, completing a Doctor of Philosophy degree from International College in Business Management.

Commissioner Smith is not only a businessman, but also an author, and award winning filmmaker. His most recent work includes a nonfiction book entitled, Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed, and an award-winning documentary of the same title. Through his work as managing partner of Smith Leonard Productions, Wilbert endeavors to stimulate his audience by demonstrating the essence, and power of the human spirit. He inspires others through his message of hope, and commitment to education, and hard work.

Before forming Uplift Productions, Wilbert enjoyed a successful business career. Bank of America employed him for 26 years, beginning in the mailroom at age 17. Wilbert over time was elevated to Vice President and Director of National Accounts for its Business Services division. A consistent high achiever, he was the recipient of numerous awards including the CEO's "Eagle Award," the highest award granted by Bank of America.

Wilbert is active in his community and served as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for over 20 years. His assignments included the drug abuse detail where he provided intervention for both juveniles, and adults through schools, and other community-based programs.

He has taught in the School of Business at Pasadena Community College and served on the Board of Directors for its foundation. Wilbert was also appointed by then Governor Pete Wilson to sit as a prestigious member of the Community Colleges Board of Governors, where he established policy and procedure for then 107 of California's community colleges. Today, Wilbert serves as a Senior Fellow in Education Policy for the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy.

In 1989, Wilbert was elected to a four-year term on the School Board of the Pasadena Unified School District. In 1994, he finished a close 3rd place among a crowded field of 14 candidates, each seeking to become California's State Superintendent for Public Instruction. Following that election, Wilbert was asked to join the governor’s staff as Director of then-Governor Pete Wilson's Office of Community Relations.

He joined Allstate Insurance Company’s agency force as an exclusive agent in 1998. Alongside family members, Wilbert continues to own and operate one of Allstate Insurance Company’s premier insurance agencies.

Wilbert has been a contributing newspaper columnist, and has hosted community programming for both cablevision, and radio. An outgoing, and fluent personality, he is a frequent speaker before various church, and civic organizations. He is an author, lecturer and consultant in the areas of business, education, law enforcement, film, and government.


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.