Sound Bytes: Q3 2022

By Nicole Karfakis | October 12, 2022


Welcome to Sound Bytes – TAI's Quarterly Newsletter, bringing you a summary of the latest news from across the TAI family. Summer is over, and the kids are heading back to school. The last quarter of the year is usually our busiest time as we work to get projects wrapped up for year-end. Working with our clients and partners, we expect to finish 2022 strong and make 2023 successful for all of us. "We can build this thing together, standing strong forever. Nothing's gonna stop us now!" (Starship)

Recent Hits

This quarter, we are proud to welcome new companies to the TAI family, celebrate our first South African client going live and onboard clients to TAI Treaty and our revamped Insights tool.

New Clients – Bestow is implementing TAI Life while two new clients are implementing TAI Annuities.

Sanlam Goes Live – Our first South African client – Sanlam - has gone live with the TAI system.

TAI Treaty – Ameritas is the latest client to implement TAI Treaty. Previously, TAI uploaded all of Ameritas' treaties into a database. Now, with TAI Treaty, the process will be automated and completed in a fraction of the time. Plus, Ameritas will be able to manage, search, and compare its treaties much more efficiently. To get a demo of the Treaty Digitization and Management Software, reach out to Nicole Karfakis.

TAI Insights – In September the pilot version of our revamped reinsurance data analytics platform, Insights, went live and Amica Life is the first client to onboard this tool.

Coming Soon 

Webinars – That's a wrap on 2022 webinars, you can look out for the next webinar in 2023 on TAI Claims Functionality. In the meantime, log in to the Help Desk to catch up on everything we covered this year.

Blogs - This quarter, be on the lookout for our next blog about strategic resourcing.


RAPA 2022 – We are excited to be in person at this year's RAPA conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida. If you are attending the conference, let's connect.

ASSA 2022 – Andy Hazell is heading to Cape Town October 25–28 for the 2022 ASSA Convention and is eager to reconnect with the ASSA community in person and host the Happy Hour.

Tech Corner

Each quarter, we bring you tips to help you get the most out of the TAI system.

For this quarter, we explore Queries in the TAI System. There are two generic avenues available to users to run a query and extract data from the system:

Useful Links

Here are a few useful links to upcoming conferences, product launches, and articles of interest.


Meet the Band: TAI Help Desk Business Analysts


The TAI Help Desk team is dedicated to providing the support you need when you need it. When you submit a ticket to the Help Desk, this is the team that researches your inquiries and answers your questions or coordinates with the right subject matter experts to provide you with a solution. This group of talented professionals is a vital part of the TAI team. We are so excited to introduce them to you!

Paula Kordell Paula

Paula started at TAI as a systems administrator and then took on various roles in IT Procurement and systems training. Paula has been in the reinsurance industry for over 20 years, first as a systems administrator for an agency management system, then in QA and BA roles, testing software for an insurance software development company. At one point, she had an Illinois P&C producer license and thought about working in that field, but she decided to return to being a BA, and she is glad she did!

Paula is a member of the Illinois Mycological Association (5 points if you can guess what that means). She enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her husband, Jerry, and their two daughters, Erin (20) and Maddie (17). They enjoy attending art shows (her youngest is an artist), fairs, and fan conventions – especially if they can dress up! She is also interested in sustainable wild food foraging, so, along with her youngest daughter, she forages seasonal vegetables, mushrooms, and various wild fruits. Paula's favorite band is Queen, and her favorite song is "Hazy Shade of Winter" by the Bangles.


Michelle Faheymichelle

Michelle is a big sports fan, and she watches a lot of games. She LOVES the St. Louis Cardinals. Her favorite teams are the Cards, Notre Dame, Illinois, and the Bulls. Michelle's favorite band is Green Day, and her favorite song is Green Day's "Still Breathing."

 Michelle loves hanging out with her family – her husband, Andy, kids Brendan (21) and Brigid (18), and her three dogs. She also spends a lot of time with friends playing euchre and doing trivia (although she will not admit to her prowess in these activities). Michelle also owns a photography business, Sugar Pop Photography, and she spends a lot of time with this on weekends.


Maria BustamanteMaria

Maria has been in the workforce for almost four decades, having worked as an independent contractor in various IT roles before joining TAI. She is a proud graduate of the University of Toronto (Canada) and the University of New South Wales (Australia).

Maria loves to bake cakes and make pastries. She can make amazing pavlovas!

She still loves to read Nancy Drew books to revisit her feelings and psyche as a young reader… What was she thinking back then?

Growing up, Maria loved listening to Doris Day and Doo Wop! Now, she loves listening to her nephew's music. He has started a rock band, and she is a proud auntie!  

Cheryl Simon Cheryl

Cheryl and her family love to cook together! That's their fun family time – hanging out in the kitchen and making something delicious. She has always loved to make bread and has been working her way through Bread Illustrated by America's Test Kitchen. She has recently started canning things like jams, salsa, and red pepper jelly.

Cheryl and her family like to camp and have an RV lot and trailer at a nearby lake. They are also rabid Saskatchewan Roughrider fans and have season tickets.

Cheryl greatly enjoys painting. In Cheryl's Words: "Do I have fun painting? Yes. Yes, I do. Am I any good? Absolutely not. Does my husband hang up my paintings? Yes, he does. Should he hang them up? No. No, he should not. They're really not great."

Wisdom from Wilson
– The last word …


I'm not usually a "remember the good old days" person, but I do wish the summer season felt like it did when I was a kid, when a week in July seemed to take forever, and time moved slower. Nowadays, I blink, and it is already September. But hopefully you all had a chance to bask under the sun, travel to another destination either near or far, dip your toes in a pool/lake/ocean, and enjoy a melting ice cream outside.

Regardless of the season, there is nothing like nourishing your mind and imagination via a podcast or a good book. We asked the TAI team to round up their top picks, which may spark some enjoyment for you: 

Andy Hazell: The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl – It's an amazing read!

Justin Payne: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir – An irresistible interstellar adventure, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival.

Tiffany Sirkle: 24 Hours in Ancient Rome – A Day in the Life of the People Who Lived There by Philip Matyszak. It's intriguing to see how those living as far back in time as Julius Caesar and Cicero dealt with the same everyday issues and activities that we do today.

Pete Murphy: Magissa by Kassandra Flamouri is outstanding – magic realism set in modern-day Greece. I know the author, so I'd be happy to hear feedback from anyone who reads it.

Brittainy Rivers: Beyond Happiness by Jenn Lim – The co-founder and CEO of Delivering Happiness updates the Delivering Happiness model for our new normal, showing organizations of every kind how to cultivate a culture that can adapt to change, be highly profitable, and support all its people...starting with yourself. 

Guru Nathan: All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells – a tense science fiction adventure that interrogates the roots of consciousness through artificial intelligence.

Lara Zini: Cain's Jawbone by Edward Mathers – from 1934, it's a combination of a murder mystery and the most fiendishly difficult literary puzzle ever written, a puzzle that only four people have solved.

Nicole Karfakis: The Happiness Lab by Dr. Laurie Santos is a great podcast that studies the science of happiness and finds that many of us do the opposite of what will truly make our lives better.

Brian Wilkinson: Led Zeppelin: The Biography by Bob Spitz – The authoritative account of the group many call the greatest rock band of all time, arguably the most successful, and certainly one of the most notorious.

Theresa O'Shea: Today Explained by Sean Rameswaram and Noel King – Great perspectives on the big news items going on in the world.

Chris Murumets: Measure What Matters by John Doerr – This book shares a broad range of first-person, behind-the-scenes case studies, with narrators, including Bono and Bill Gates, to demonstrate the focus, agility, and explosive growth that Objectives and Key Results have spurred at so many great organizations.

For me, I would recommend Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. It's not only a fun memoir but also an enlightening read on learning how to deal with life's challenges and being better for getting through these moments.

Enjoy yourselves, no matter what you do, and enjoy your Autumn everyone!

Mic Drop

Thanks for reading, if you have suggestions for future topics, don't hesitate to reach out.