Chris Bakes: President/Founder
Enjoying a wealth of experience that spans 2 decades, Chris has grown Nationwide Appraisals into a thriving organization where he supports over 40 employees. More than 15 years of diverse executive leadership in sales, operations, and IT has allowed him to cultivate a well-rounded perspective on the needs of his clients and employees. This perspective, when coupled with his entrepreneurial background, has served as a solid foundation for Nationwide Appraisals.
Since 2010, Chris founded and transformed a two-man operation into an effective business that manages approximately 120,000 claims annually. His vision for a seamless client experience has earned Nationwide Appraisals a rank within the Top 5 Independent Appraisal companies in the United States. Today, that same commitment to a solid client experience endures as he works to further advance and serve our clients.
Tim Szpila: VP of Business Development
Tim supports Nationwide Appraisals by building meaningful relationships with our clients and vendors. He established an extensive career in the insurance and fleet leasing industries, and he’s spent nearly 20 years sharpening his ability to deliver claims administration services on a national scale.
His own experience as an entrepreneur – successfully selling his own business: Netcost Claim Services – advanced the opportunities he needed to create valuable partnerships in the industry. Tim understands the necessity of building these relationships so that we can better serve our clients. As a new addition to our team, Tim brings an abundance of experience that has allowed him to deliver a high-value service to his clients. He continues that tradition at Nationwide Appraisals in his role as Vice President of Business Development.
Emily Muenster: Director of Operations & Finance
Having built her career with us since our formative years, Emily has had the opportunity to grow as a leader alongside Nationwide Appraisals. She began her journey with us in 2012, and she’s contributed a diverse background in office administration, bookkeeping, data analysis, and mortgage refinancing. Starting off as an account coordinator, she molded her unique experiences into a valuable skillset, which has earned her the current leadership role she occupies. As Director of Operations and Finance, Emily’s management leads the claims staff and ensures our clients are delivered a hassle-free experience.
Nicole Bartunek: Director of Client Relations
Nicole provides over two decades of wide-ranging experience in the insurance industry. She’s worked within various capacities, and she’s developed a distinct combination of skills that have been a part of our team since our founding years. Beginning as an account coordinator 9 years ago, she has used her distinguished background to foster an environment that values genuine client relationships. Her current role as the Director of Client Relations gives her the agency to make sure our clients are consistently met with an unparalleled experience.
Nicole King: Claims Manager
After dedicating herself to her family as an at-home mom for 12 years, Nicole recharged her professional career with us in 2013. Beginning as an account coordinator, her prior management experience in various industries allowed her to advance quickly at Nationwide Appraisals. She went on to serve as a team lead where she gained a comprehensive understanding of the claims process, client services, and resolving claim escalations.
Nicole leveraged this knowledge to eventually oversee our entire claims process as Claims Manager. In this capacity, she is directly responsible for our claims team, and is accountable for the efficient execution of the claims process. Today, her leadership secures a straightforward, no-nonsense process for our clients.
Aaron Adams: Vendor Manager
With 20 years of targeted experience, Aaron has a deep understanding of the numerous sides of the auto appraisal industry. His professional career has taken him across the United States from Seattle-Tacoma to the Chicago Suburbs. His time in these settings has encouraged an ability to foster meaningful and necessary vendor relationships.
Aaron brought his unique leadership experience to Nationwide Appraisals in 2011 after managing a staff of 25 appraisers at Innovation Auto Group. As Vendor Manager, his adaptable leadership oversees the recruitment and delivery of technical support for our network of nearly 1000 appraisers. Our clients can be confident that that they will receive an efficient experience, due greatly in part to Aaron’s commitment to maintaining fundamental vendor relationships.
Chris Nowlin: Physical Damage Manager
Devoting his entire professional career to the auto industry, Chris brings a rich and diverse background of experience. At the age of 16, he built a robust foundation in the industry through his family’s auto-rebuilding and towing businesses. Chris went on to run the day-to-day operations of the towing and recovery division, which eventually propelled him into the Physical Damage Claim arena.
As his career progressed, it took him across the United States where he developed his knowledge of the claims and appraisal processes. With a career covering over 2 decades, multiple locations, and several management roles, Chris currently finds himself reunited with his Midwestern roots at Nationwide Appraisals. As our Physical Damage Manager, his far-reaching experiences mean our clients benefit from a truly competent service provider; one who is mindful of every step of the process, from start to finish.