Christa Rapoport – Cardenas, Goldwater, Taplin Inc.
It could be identifying how to improve cybersecurity compliance, increasing access to attorneys for low socioeconomic families, responding to regulatory inquiries, or volunteering for special education and math literacy in her town.
It could even be standing up for employees who are new mothers, so they have lactation areas that are more private, sanitary and welcoming than a restroom.
Throughout her nursing and legal careers, Christa Rapoport has made it her practice to be an advocate. Now as executive vice president and advisory board member for Cardenas, Goldwater, Taplin Inc., she helps the company create solutions or advocate for its clients in the insurance industry.
“I started as a surgical RN at a university medical system,” Rapoport says. “That science-based analysis involves looking at fact patterns and issues, seeing solutions and then selecting the most appropriate actions. I try to act ethically and suggest effective actions in my practice.”
A happy return
Cardenas, Goldwater, Taplin and its related companies assist clients with licensing and filing issues, mergers and acquisitions and raising capital. It also helps insurers form and register new companies or restructure them. Its consultants and leadership are comprised of attorneys, former regulators, actuaries and lobbyists.
Rapoport returned to the firm, formerly known as NTG, on Dec. 1, 2021, after serving as senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer for Insurance Care Direct. She says working with the Cohen family, IDC’s owners, gave her opportunity to work in technology and intellectual property law, insurance production and with compliance in areas including cybersecurity, machine intelligence and lead generation.
“I think it’s great fun to take initiative and create solutions to new problem sets,” Rapoport says. “Developing a vision and building the structure for efficient operations in various insurance ecosystems are the things I know.”
In her executive role, Rapoport provides consulting services while leading a client team and helping retain and grow Cardenas, Goldwater, Taplin’s client base.
“Cardenas, Goldwater, Taplin has long-term customers that are well structured and some startups that have less structure and approach us for help,” she says. “I can identify the strategy to fit the client’s needs and budget.”
Rapoport is also a part of Cardenas, Goldwater, Taplin’s advisory board chaired by Al Cardenas. Cardenas is joined by former New Hampshire Commissioner Roger Sevigny, former New Mexico Commissioner Eric Serna, former New York Superintendent Lou Pietroluongo, former North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and former senior associate commissioner of the Texas Department of Insurance Danny Saenz.
The board provides guidance on whether to onboard new clients as well as emerging marketplace trends and issues, such as ride sharing services, blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, surplus business lines and even cannabis issues, Rapoport says.
For example, she says the board advised a company that was stumped about why regulators did not accept its business model. The consultants pointed them to technology enabling them to develop an innovative product under the positive guidance of regulators.
A positive outlook
A native of Philadelphia, Rapoport is the daughter of a chemical engineer, which she says generated her interest in science. She earned her bachelor’s in nursing from Rutgers University’s Camden campus in 1986 while being named the Outstanding Senior of Sigma Theta Tau, the international nursing honor society.
While working at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Rapoport took an ethics course at the Wharton School, which sparked a career change as she considered the legal issues surrounding disparities in health care.
Rapoport pursued a law degree at the University of Virginia School of Law, earning her J.D. in 1992. After graduating, she clerked for state judges and then litigated complex medical cases until joining AIG as associate general counsel in November 1995.
Next, she joined Tokio Marine America in 2002 as its U.S. senior counsel. In November 2004, she became corporate counsel at Selective Insurance for its commercial lines property and casualty underwriting business units.
When Rapoport became chief compliance officer at Corporate Synergies in September 2007, she restructured its broker compensation practices while defending a New York Department of Financial Services investigation which led to the implementation of transparent consent, compensation disclosure, client contracting and compliance controls.
In June 2011, she was named senior vice president for regulatory strategy and compliance at NTG. The consulting work allowed her more time to raise her sons when they needed more “hands-on parenting,” she says. She’d successfully built up enough clients from insurers, managing general agents, pharmaceutical companies and third-party insurers to work full-time and remotely before joining Insurance Care Direct in May 2019.
Rapoport has also provided business and transactional legal assistance to nonprofits as a volunteer with the Pro Bono Partnership since 2017. She’s a volunteer elected District Five Leader of the Montclair Democratic County Committee and has chaired the Montclair, New Jersey, Civil Rights Commission since 2015, focusing on neuroatypical issues like ADHD, autism and learning disabilities. She’s also involved with the American Association of Ancillary Benefits and the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.
“I believe in trying to understand multiculturalism, ethical duties and intellectual free speech and try to live my principles every day,” she adds. “Diversity is a challenge, but one gains much by listening and understanding divergent positions to achieve new solutions.”
Away from the office and her volunteer efforts, Rapoport and her husband, Michael, are raising their family. She also enjoys gardening and has a second-degree black belt in the International Taekwon-Do Federation.
“I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of interesting things in my career, and I hope to keep getting new problem sets to study and solve,” Rapoport says. “I love to impact others in the company in a positive way by empowering them to accomplish goals that are based on or within the guidelines of new laws and regulations.”
View this feature in the Vanguard Spring IV 2022 Edition here.
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