Lara announces appointments to Curriculum Board and the Insurance Diversity Task Force

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announces several appointments to help advance the California Department of Insurance’s vision of insurance protection for all Californians.

These appointments include naming Aretha Hartley as the newest member of the Curriculum Board and reappointed members Pradip Khemani, Jose Plascencia and Vikita Poindexter.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

“I am pleased to announce these appointments to the Curriculum Board and the Insurance Diversity Task Force,” said Lara. “Californians will benefit from their advice on how we can continue to protect consumers and ensure a healthy and diverse insurance industry in our state.” 

The Curriculum Board oversees the development of pre-licensing and continuing education curriculum for agents and brokers to uphold professional standards that protect consumers. This includes a list of preapproved courses of study as well as courses of study for professional designations. This board also develops standards for providers and instructors who offer courses and other training to licensed agents and brokers.

The Insurance Diversity Task Force oversees the Department’s Insurance Diversity Initiative, which encourages insurers to advance diversity of insurance company corporate boards and increase procurement contracts with diverse businesses owned by women, veterans and disabled veterans, members of historically disadvantaged communities, and LGBTQ+ people.

Additionally, the Task Force makes recommendations to the commissioner regarding innovative ways to increase diversity within the insurance industry. Last year, Lara introduced the first-ever Insurance Diversity Index, a groundbreaking benchmarking tool for a more inclusive insurance industry.

The next Curriculum Board meeting is July 18, 2024 and the next Insurance Diversity Task Force meeting is June 20, 2024. More details are available at All positions are uncompensated.

Appointed members include
Curriculum Board
Aretha Hartley is sales market leader for Allstate Insurance. Hartley recruits and consults over 75 exclusive agents per year in the Northern California territory. She has more than 20 years experience in sales management and operational leadership, with a focus on business development, sales consulting, data analytics, and organizational development. Hartley has received multiple awards for her achievements at Allstate, including the Key Leader Award in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2023 and the Rookie of the Year Award in 2018. She also serves on Allstate’s Field Sales Organization Advisory Council. Hartley has been appointed to the Curriculum Board in the insurance company representative seat with a term ending on April 18, 2027.

Insurance Diversity Task Force
Pradip Khemani is vice president, business solutions and strategic alliances that is inclusive of Global Business Services, Health Trend Solutions and Blue Partnerships for Blue Shield of California. He has more than 28 years of international business experience with diverse expertise in many areas including business process sourcing strategy, procurement, supplier governance, and environmental, social, governance and diversity outcomes. He is a board member of the National Sourcing and Purchasing Council, a forum exclusively for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association licensees to promote the exchange of best practices and information unique to procurement strategy, vendor, and risk management. He is also a board member of the CalAsian Chamber of Commerce that supports minority-owned small businesses in California with a wide variety of services, as well as advocacy. Khemani has been reappointed to the Task Force as an insurance industry representative with expertise in supplier diversity with a term ending on April 29, 2026.

Jose Plascencia is owner of Jose Plascencia Allstate Insurance. He is a former market development director and media spokesperson for AAA of Northern California, where he led, facilitated, and championed several diversity and inclusion initiatives during his 15-year career. He is also board chair of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Foundation where he oversees the effectiveness of the diverse supplier program, which helps Hispanic and Latino-owned businesses to connect to companies with contracting opportunities. He is the first Latino board chair for the Greater Reedley Chamber of Commerce and board chair for United Health Centers Foundation of the San Joaquin Valley. He is also the former board chair for both the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Valley PBS. Plascencia has been reappointed to the Task Force as an advocate/representative for minority business enterprises with a term ending on April 29, 2026.

Vikita Poindexter is the CEO/president of Poindexter Consulting Group, LLC, a minority woman-owned small business. She educates her fellow business owners on how to propel and grow their business in the U.S. with an emphasis in California on human resources, diversity in staffing, and recruitment. Poindexter is an appointed executive council member of AARP-CA, board member of California’s statewide Micro Enterprise network and board member of GRID Inland Empire. She is also a board member for the National Black Entrepreneurs Project and member of several committees for the California Small Business Association, including the Labor and Employment Issues Committee, Workforce Skills Committee, Education Committee, and Workers’ Compensation Committee. Poindexter has been reappointed to the Task Force as an advocate/representative for women business enterprises with a term ending on May 13, 2026.