Insgroup was founded in 1978 in Houston, Texas, by a group of entrepreneurs committed to a shared vision to provide the security necessary for business owners and individuals to pursue their dreams. Over the next four decades and through changes in leadership and tremendous growth, our vision has remained unchanged. We have become one of the fastest-growing independently held brokers in America, but have also made it our mission to stay true to our roots.
Clients appreciate that we are not generalists, but a collection of experts. Today, Insgroup is comprised of 200 colleagues with expertise in Property & Casualty Brokerage, Employee Benefit Consulting, Private Risk Services, and Surety. We serve clients nationwide and partner with premier national, regional and specialty insurance carriers across the United States.
Brian Kapiloff is the Southern Regional President at Insgroup, A Baldwin Risk Partner, and leads the organization with what colleagues would describe as a combination of fearlessness and an uncommon amount of trust in his Executive team.
Brian began his career with the firm in 1992 as a Personal Lines Risk Advisor, becoming the fourth generation in his family to work in the industry. Three years later, he began working with Commercial Risk Insurance clients and honed his expertise in Real Estate, Manufacturing, Wholesale/Retail Trade, Financial and Professional Services, and Not-for-Profit Organizations. He is regarded as an expert on the creative design, placement and servicing of large, complex, and catastrophe-exposed property risks, and is often invited to participate on thought leadership panels and industry advisory councils.
Brian became a Shareholder in 2001 and was named President in 2009. In 2018, he became CEO and the company has doubled in size under his leadership. In 2020, Brian was named as one of Houston’s Most Admired CEOs by the Houston Business Journal.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Texas at Austin, and received the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) from The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research.
With a passion for supporting local non-profit organizations, Brian has served as Vice President of the Board of Trustees at Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services, as well as Congregation Emanu El of Houston. Because of this, it’s no surprise that the core value within Insgroup’s Ethos that resonates the most with him is, “We help each other and our communities in times of need.”
Chris Charron has been a Benefits Advisor for over 33 years. Driven by bringing innovative approaches to healthcare, employee benefits, and workforce management, his solutions go beyond traditional lines of thinking which result in delivering better business and financial outcomes.
Prior to joining Insgroup in 2020, Chris was the owner of Benefit Design Consultants. For over 33 years Chris has brought value to his clients through innovative ideas and planning, efficient service, and quality product brokerage on an honest non-sales oriented, consultative approach. His business principals support the fostering of long-term relationships with his clients. As a result of his approach Chris had a client recognized by The Principal as a leading employer providing Employee Financial Security.
Chris has a passion for volunteerism in the community that helps make a difference. Chris is the founder and President of Friends for Charity Foundation whose mission is to bring people together to raise awareness, encourage volunteer service and support organizations that make a difference. In the past 4 years Friends for Charity Foundation has brought awareness and financial support to many local charities in the Houston area. Additionally, Chris is Board Secretary for H.O.P.E. Haven, an organization that helps the homeless move from crisis to lifelong self-sufficiency.
Chris and his wife Amie enjoy the outdoor life that includes traveling, golf, and sports fishing. Their homelife includes relaxing out back with their Lab/Heeler mix Reggie.
Philip Wise is a Managing Partner at Insgroup, A Baldwin Risk Partner, and oversees Property & Casualty for our Southern Region, leading the teams of Commercial Insurance Services, Placement, Claims and Risk Management, and Personal Risk Insurance. The combined work of these teams provides the growth strategy, execution, and service delivery for all P&C clients for Insgroup.
Philip joined Insgroup in 2006 as a Commercial Risk Advisor. Over time, he found a passion for working with Real Estate, Distribution, Retail and Manufacturing companies and still personally advises clients in those industries. He became a Shareholder in 2013 and was inducted into the Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2015. Philip has held various positions over the past 14 years with Insgroup and in 2019, he was named to his current position.
Prior to joining Insgroup, Philip was the co-founder of a frozen food distribution company. The years he spent as an entrepreneur provide him with invaluable experience in helping other business owners navigate success while managing risk. Insgroup’s core value, “Relentless Advocacy” is an integral part of how Philip approaches his role and why he believes gaining client confidence is truly an honor.
Philip earned the designations of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and Certified Risk Manager (CRM) from The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance.
With a heart for service, Philip currently serves on the board of trustees for Congregation Beth Israel, the Kinkaid School Advancement Board, and Texas Inter-Faith Housing Corporation. When he’s not working he enjoys watching sports, hanging out with his wife, Allison, and their two children, or playing a competitive round of golf.
Tommy Harris is a Managing Partner at Insgroup, A Baldwin Risk Partner, and oversees Insgroup’s Employee Benefits practice with responsibility for all aspects of development and delivery of benefits services. Under Tommy’s leadership, this pillar of Insgroup’s service offerings has become one of Houston’s largest independent consulting practices for organizations seeking employee benefits.
A native of Arlington, TX, Tommy’s entire professional career has been within the insurance industry while working for three Texas-based firms. He joined Insgroup in 2018 through the firm’s partnership with the Fred Brown Insurance Brokerage and immediately became President of Insgroup’s practice. As a Managing Partner with Fred Brown for 22 years, he was successful in delivering customized employee benefits programs for corporate and non-profit organizations of all sizes.
He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Texas Christian University, and a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Boston University. Tommy received the designations of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) from The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, and Certified Employee Benefit Specialist.
Ken Collier is a Managing Director at Insgroup, A Baldwin Risk Partner, and oversees the Private Insurance practice for the southern region of the firm. He is responsible for all aspects of the growth strategy and service delivery for personal risk management.
Ken has been with Insgroup for 30 of its 42 years in business. He would call himself one of the firm’s historians, but he’s served in various other positions before being named to his current role as Senior Vice President. Upon joining Insgroup, he helped to establish the firm’s Marine Insurance Practice with the acquisition of Elton Porter Marine. Under his leadership, it became one of the largest brokers for pleasure marine insurance in the United States. He’s still an avid boater and if given the opportunity to get his boat out in the Gulf, Ken can be found enjoying the hobby he loves most.
He is recognized within the industry and by clients as an expert on the design, placement and servicing of individuals and families who select Insgroup to mitigate risk and protect their assets. He advises and oversees many long-standing clients of the firm.
The core value that resonates most with Ken includes the Non-Negotiables – especially, “Act fast, think smart, and work hard!” This one, in particular, is special because it was often said by Insgroup’s founder, David Kapiloff, who hired him back in 1991.
Prior to joining Insgroup, Ken was the founder of an insurance agency in the Houston area from 1983 to 1989. He also attended Texas A&M University, taking a number of courses before becoming an entrepreneur.
Stacy Figg is Insgroup’s Director of Human Resources and is responsible for creating innovative ways to engage all colleagues in the company’s culture initiatives, while also establishing systems and training that will develop and empower employees to support business growth.
Stacy joined Insgroup in 2019 to lead the development of Insgroup’s talent management initiatives and articulate the firm’s strategy to company leaders for attracting, developing, rewarding and retaining the best talent in the industry. She finds importance in each of the company’s core values, but the tenet “People are not numbers, no matter how large we become” is the most meaningful to her. When asked to elaborate, she said, “We all have special gifts and talents that should be recognized and celebrated because it creates a sense of value and belonging. We all need to feel that our voices are being heard and that our contributions are making a difference.”
With more than 15 years of human resources experience, Stacy previously held leadership positions with Wisenbaker Builder Services and Trendsetter Engineering, Inc. She was instrumental in the integration of HR initiatives into the strategic goals of those organizations – and at Insgroup.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources Management and Services from the University of Phoenix. She is also an active member of HR Houston and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Stacy has spent the last six years in leadership positions with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and is currently a Vice Chairman working year-round with more than 300 volunteers to successfully execute her committee’s activities during the three-week event.
Stacy, her husband, and their two sons enjoy country life in Hempstead, TX, with their dogs, horses, and a miniature donkey named Chip.
Peter Schidlowski is the Partnership Manager for Insgroup. In this role, Peter develops the strategy for identifying and developing partnership opportunities, while also defining new revenue-generating opportunities to drive growth for the organization.
Peter joined Insgroup in 2020 with more 25 years of diverse experience that includes leadership positions in financial services, manufacturing, consumer goods, and healthcare industries. Prior to Insgroup, he spent nearly 20 years with Fiserv-Personix in progressive roles that led up to Senior Vice President of Revenue Generation and Client Management. In this role, he directed the overall business strategy to grow to the organization from $800M to $1B+ in three years.
Insgroup’s core value of Growth Mindset is fitting for Peter – since one aspect of it is “Success requires the courage to change.” Already in his time with Insgroup, he’s providing advanced methods for integrating recent partnerships and strategically planning new pathways for future partners.
He graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Business and Managerial Economics. He’s fluent in German and Spanish, and Six Sigma certified.
On the weekends, especially in the summer months, Peter can be found at Lake Travis with his wife and their three high school and college-age daughters.
Adeel Rashid is the Accounting Director for Insgroup with responsibility for the strategic development of all finance-related functions, including accounting, treasury, and corporate financing. He also leads the Information Technology, Legal, Facilities, and Compliance activities for the firm.
He joined Insgroup in 2017 as Corporate Controller and was named Executive Vice President of Finance in 2019. Throughout his extensive career, Adeel has established a reputation for building and leading teams that support business strategy in high-growth environments. Prior to Insgroup, he spent nearly a decade in the audit and assurance practice at Ham, Langston & Brezina, LLP, where he served as Audit Manager and Recruitment Director.
The entrepreneurial culture of Insgroup drew him to the firm initially, but the core value that speaks to our Non-Negotiables is even more personal three years later. Adeel said, “I guess I’m a Non-Negotiables type of guy…which means the three tenets that support that particular value are really important to me.”
Adeel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Houston – Clear Lake and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Texas. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (Houston chapter).
On weekends, Adeel and his wife enjoy spending time together cooking, watching sports, fishing and floating. The Houston natives are also huge fans of the city’s professional sports teams.
Jill King is the Director of Client Experience at Insgroup. She leads the firm’s Claims Advocates and Risk Consultants, a team built around the delivery of Insgroup’s most critical differentiator – relentless client advocacy.
Jill joined the firm in 2018 with more than 35 years of experience in claims and loss control. She provides a powerful combination of tactical and technical services to help clients drive down their loss costs and improve outcomes. In her first year at Insgroup, Jill’s team delivered the Risk Management Center, a customized online portal available to Insgroup’s Commercial clients.
Prior to Insgroup, she spent 13 years with Willis Towers Watson as an Area Practice Leader-Claims and was responsible for a multi-state region that included the catastrophe-challenged Gulf Coast. She was also an Account Director for the Caronia Corporation and a Claims Manager for the Texas Association of School Boards.
The diversity of her experience provides her with a unique viewpoint in working all types of claims and the ability to communicate with carrier leadership to drive prompt resolution. She prioritizes her team’s focus on creating value for Insgroup’s clients and pursuing solutions through commitment and determined execution, so it’s no wonder that the Insgroup core value that resonates the most with Jill is Relentless Advocacy.
Jill earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising/Marketing from Texas Tech University, and she received the designation of Associate in Claims (AIC). The Dallas native is a fine arts photographer in her free time and an avid listener of Country, Americana & Roots music (especially if there’s a live concert involved).
Deborah Bishop a Director of Client Experience at Insgroup, A Baldwin Risk Partners. Deborah leads the service teams responsible for Insgroup’s commercial clients. She manages the operational activities for the department through the implementation of additional efficiencies, while also ensuring superior service delivery through the attraction of exceptional talent.
Deborah joined Insgroup in 2019 with more than 20 years of commercial insurance experience. Most recently, she served as the Commercial Lines Leader for USI. Prior to USI, she held positions with Hub International, Brady, Chapman, Holland and Associates, and Arthur J Gallagher Risk Management Services for nearly six years.
Her experience at all levels over the trajectory of her career provides her with a unique perspective for attracting, developing, and retaining the industry’s best service team. Her favorite of Insgroup’s core values is Relentless Advocacy. She says it’s because, “in my role, I am looking to push the team to be their very best by thinking outside of the box. I am also looking to hire new people with those same ideals. As we continue to grow, we are stepping outside of our comfort zone and striving for more efficiencies through technologies and improved workflows which will allow us to be more proactive with our clients.”
Deborah is a graduate of Baylor University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and People Management. She also holds a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation from The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research and is a graduate of the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas Leadership Academy through the University of Dallas.
Deborah’s evenings and weekends are often spent watching her son and daughter play their sports, and she loves every minute of it.
Holly Bozant a Director of Client Experience for Insgroup, A Baldwin RIsk Partners. She leads a team of service-driven professionals who have created organic growth for the firm through their dedication to best-in-class service.
Holly entered the insurance industry in 1981 and joined Insgroup in 2017. In between those years, she’s held various leadership positions with some of the largest insurance brokers in the world. Most recently, Holly served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Southwest Region for the Marsh & McLennan Agency where she oversaw the development of organic growth and retention initiatives over a span of nearly four years.
Prior to Marsh, Holly was the Regional Marketing Director for Gallagher Benefit Services, and Vice President of Marketing and Strategic operations for USI Services’ Southwest Region. Her experience with firms and clients of all sizes has been a valuable asset for managing the operational side of Employee Benefits at Insgroup.
Perhaps because she’s worked for a number of very large corporations, she rallies behind Insgroup’s core value of Business is Personal. She is a firm believer that people are NOT numbers and every individual possesses knowledge and talents that we can all learn and grow from.
As an entrepreneur herself once and co-founder of a fitness center in Houston, Holly understands the unique needs of small business owners seeking guidance on benefits for their employees. While she doesn’t still own the fitness center, she remains very active in Martial Arts and is a 4th Degree Black Belt.
Kyle Lanigan is a Director of Client Experience at Insgroup. Kyle leads the commercial lines placement team and is responsible for cultivating carrier partner relationships. His team provides industry-leading solutions for a diverse grouping of middle and upper-middle market clients, including loss-sensitive and captive arrangements.
Kyle joined Insgroup in 2019 with more than ten years of experience in insurance brokerage. He held previous leadership positions with Lockton Companies, Marsh and QBE North America, with the most notable as Senior Vice President with Marsh managing a national placement team for nearly four years.
His favorite Insgroup core value is one of the company’s Non-Negotiables – “Act fast, think smart, and work hard!” He said, “I see my team doing this every day and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Even though he grew up in Winter Park, Florida, he has lived in a number of states including New York and Alabama, where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Auburn University.
When he’s not at Insgroup’s Houston office, he’s passionate about spending time with his wife, Laura and their young son, Willie. He also enjoys fly fishing, quail hunting and playing tennis (although there’s a lot less time for those things with a toddler in the house).
Wesley Bryan is a Managing Partner specializing in Energy and Marine for Baldwin Risk Partners. In this role, he is responsible for building out the energy and marine practice throughout the southwest region of the U.S.
Wesley previously served as the Managing Director at Wortham Insurance & Risk Management and was named one of the youngest partners along with Ryan Smith. Before this, he spent two years as a third-party administrator handling claims for TODCO, Transocean, and Caldive.
In 2017 and 2019, Wesley received the Power Broker and Rising Star Award specific to Energy and Marine from Risk and Insurance Magazine.
Wesley grew up in Meridian, Mississippi, and received his bachelor’s degree in Insurance and Risk Management from Ole Miss. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Houston Mariners Club as well as on the Seminar Committee for Houston Marine and Energy Insurance Conference (HMEIC).
In his free time, Wesley enjoys hunting, playing golf, and spending time with his fiancé, Laura, and dog Harper.
Ryan Smith is a Managing Director for Baldwin Risk Partner. In this role, he is responsible for developing the firm’s annual and long-term business development and sales enablement plans for the southwest region of the U.S.
Ryan was previously the Managing Director at Wortham Insurance and Risk Management, which then became Marsh through acquisition, for seventeen years. Prior to this he served as the firm’s statewide Sales Director in Texas and managed a book of business.
In 2014, Ryan earned the Power Broker Award from Risk & Insurance Magazine and 40 under 40 list.
He is a native Houstonian who attended Memorial High school and has both a BBA and MBA from Texas Tech University. He is on the Board of Directors for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and is involved in several charities. He and his wife Jill have two children: Lillie and Pearson.
Jacob Crawford is the Business Development Director for Insgroup, A Baldwin Risk Partner. In this role Jacob is responsible for Insgroup’s top-line organic growth and also the mentoring and coaching of our associate advisors.
Prior to Insgroup, Jacob spent a successful seven years at Arthur J. Gallagher’s Lafayette Louisiana office. In his time at Gallagher he started as an intern and worked his way up to Area Vice President. A majority of Jacob’s success was found on the client relationship side as he paved a new path to run after an untapped niche in Food & Agribusiness. From start to finish, Jacob doubled the size of the respective sector and earned the 2021 national award, Food & Ag Power Broker.
Jacob earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Outside of work, Jacob spends time with his wife exploring their new home in Houston and if the New Orleans Saints are playing rest assured he’ll be around a TV.
Bill Bray is the Director of Business Development, Employee Benefits, at Insgroup, A Baldwin Risk Partner. In his role, Bill is responsible for new business growth and leads a team of seasoned Employee Benefits professionals.
Bill has resided in Texas most of his life and has over 28 years of local market insurance experience. Having spent his entire professional career in Houston, the first 15 years were on the carrier side working for two major US insurance carriers in both a sales and management capacity. In 2007, Bill transitioned to being an independent insurance broker and has worked for both a regional broker, as well as a national broker before starting with Insgroup in June 2021.
Today Bill leverages his local market experience and carrier relationships to maximize his negotiations on behalf of his clients, advising on Employee Benefits as well as Commercial P&C. Bill holds a Self-Funding Certification from the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), served two terms as the Treasurer for the Houston Area Health Underwrites (HAHU) and is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a degree in Finance. Bill and his wife live in Cypress, Texas with their four children.
Yadira Anzueto is a seasoned insurance professional with almost 2 decades of experience. In 2001, she began her insurance career with State Farm as a sales representative and quickly became one of the region’s top property and casualty producers in California.
After leaving State Farm in 2009, Yadira served as a Risk Advisor for Large Family Offices and Affluents Families. Over the last 11 years, she has developed strong relationships with national wealth management firms, estate planners, CPA’S and other advisers that focus on the needs of successful individuals and families.
Yadira is passionate about continuing to build on her knowledge in the field as well as educate clients and referral partners on risk management needs for affluent and high-net-worth families. Her main focuses are on family offices and personal risk management, and she is excited about the challenge of building out the Texas PRM team.
Yadira holds a CIC and CAPI designation from the Wharton School of Business. Outside of work, she is a wife and mom of 3 boys. Yadira and her family enjoy travel, soccer, and jiu-jitsu! They are a family that is passionate about serving others in their community and leaving a legacy of love and kindness.
Ryan Shinkle is the Managing Director for Insgroup, Baldwin Risk Partner. In this role, he is responsible for developing the firm’s annual and long-term business development and sales enablement plans. His laser focus on strategic growth has helped the firm to achieve a growth rate of nearly twice the industry average.
Ryan has been with Insgroup for seven years, serving in previous roles as the firm’s Director of Brokerage and Vice President of Production. Prior to his current position, he spent five years as Area Vice President for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., and two years with Liberty Mutual.
Ryan’s eagerness to mentor new advisors resulted in the development of Insgroup’s Career Launch mentorship program. This formal program was designed to help new Risk Advisors find success as quickly as possible. He shares his own pathway to success in the design, placement and servicing of construction, transportation, and energy clients, which resulted in the prestigious Power Broker Award from Risk & Insurance Magazine in 2017.
Committed to his craft, Ryan has earned the designations of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and Certified Risk Manager (CRM) from The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Arts in History.
When asked about his favorite of the firm’s core values, Ryan pointed out Growth Mindset specifically because of the tenet, “We celebrate victories and learn from our losses.” He believes we are constantly learning and growing and there are valuable insights to be gained from both outcomes.
While not a native of Texas – or really any one place as the son of an Air Force Officer – he has enjoyed many years in Houston with his wife, Ashley, and their children, Grover and Piper.
Bill Van Pelt, IV provides strategic leadership to The Mid-Continent Companies, Ltd. In addition to board and management responsibilities, Bill directly manages a significant number of client assignments throughout the country. He has more than 30 years of experience working with the most complex business and estate planning situations involving the owners of family controlled private and publicly held companies. Consequently, Bill is especially adept at identifying latent business planning, estate planning, people and tax issues, their likely impact on a company and its stakeholders, and devising strategies to effectively and efficiently preempt their manifestation. Bill possesses a broad, deep understanding of financial concepts, strategies and tools, and their creative application.
Bill serves as Chief Compliance Officer of the company’s wholly-owned broker dealer, has extensive outside board experience and currently serves as a director of several marketleading companies in the financial services and marine products industries. An avid outdoorsman and conservationist, Bill participates in the leadership of several unique projects at the nexus of the natural environment and outdoor lifestyles: The High Lonesome Ranch, LLC, The High Lonesome Institute, Inc. and, from 2009-2013, Deep Water Cay.
Bill graduated cum laude from Boston College’s School of Management Honors Program with dual degrees in accounting and finance. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 28 and 63 registrations and Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designations. Bill is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization, The C Club of Houston, Lochinvar Golf Club and The Holland Society of New York. He resides in Houston with his wife and four children and is a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
Patrick Van Pelt offers an exceptionally diverse range of business perspectives and skills to clients and coworkers. Since joining The Mid-Continent Companies, Patrick has undertaken many strategic and altruistic initiatives that have shaped his family’s firm, as well as Houston’s cultural and built environment. His business acumen includes technology, financial consulting, estate planning, risk management, early-stage startups, emerging growth companies and business development.
Full restoration of the 1920s apartment building, The Benjamin, exemplifies Patrick’s diligent, hands-on approach to both his profession and his passions. Under Patrick’s project supervision, the restored building – current Houston headquarters of The Mid-Continent Companies – has received several notable awards, including the Good Brick Award, Official City of Houston Landmark, Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and National Register of Historic Places designation.
Patrick has held or holds numerous leadership positions with a number of philanthropic, academic, artistic and heritage organizations in Houston and beyond. From 2002 to 2005, Patrick served as the Founding Board President of Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, while from 2007 to 2010, he was Chairman of the Harris County Historical Commission. He also served several years as a board member of Houston Tomorrow (formerly the Gulf Coast Institute) and the Midtown Management District. The Congress for New Urbanism, The Holland Society of New York and Rice Historical Society are among many others that have benefited from his talents and vision. In addition, Patrick is a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, American Society for Training & Development, American Marketing Association and the Sons of the American Revolution.
A graduate of Marquette University with a degree in business, Patrick earned a Master of Business Administration from Rice University and maintains capabilities in four foreign languages, most notably Portuguese and Spanish. Patrick resides in Houston with his Brazilian wife and their two children. They participate in First Presbyterian Church, Holy Rosary Church and Presbyterian School.
Sara Babazadeh has spent many years of her life studying all aspects of the business world to prepare for a career in business. Born in Tehran, Iran, Sara received her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Tehran, a Master of Business Administration with a minor in marketing from the Swiss UMEF University in Geneva, Switzerland, and a Master of Business Administration specializing in oil and gas from the University of Tehran.
Upon realizing that she was missing an important component of her business training and expertise, Sara arrived in Houston in 2015 to attend the University of St. Thomas where she earned a Master of Science in Finance. She is pursuing a career in the field of finance and studying to become a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Following her studies in Iran, Sara began her career at Galperti Group The Original, Tehran Office, where she was a member of the marketing team acting as liaison between a local buyer and an Italian manufacturer, resulting in the procurement of a $60 million contract. She then worked for Rastak Parto Chabahar Company Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Tehran.
Serving as Marketing Manager, she became the liaison between an Iranian buyer and Indian manufacturer of gas pipe (MAN Industries (India) LTD), resulting in a $100 million project. Her final professional position in Iran was with Rastak Parto Anzali (FTZ), serving as General Manager. She provided financial advice and initiated a $10 million investment project for Tehran’s Rey Refinery. As part of her master’s program at St. Thomas University, Sara worked as a summer intern for the Houston’s TMB Companies, where she participated in providing financial advice on projects. In addition, she participated in performance analysis, accounting and other general office duties.
Sara has a passion for all things financial, as well as a multi-country background in business marketing, management and international business negotiations. Her broad background, both professionally and academically, contribute to projects involving financial analysis, mergers and acquisitions, risk management and investments, among others.
Sara is a member of Palmer Episcopal Church, where she serves as an usher, as well as a member of several ministries. She belongs to Beta Gamma Sigma international business honor society, University of St. Thomas’ Honor Society CFA Houston Society. In her spare time, Sara volunteers at Assistance League of Houston.
Eric Baker offers clients of The Mid-Continent Companies more than 30 years of experience in the delivery of high-quality employee benefits services. As both a strategic advisor and administrator of benefits programs, Eric wears many hats. In his function as a liaison between vendors and constituent employees, Eric advises employees on plan eligibility, coverage and other benefits matters. In large part, he is chiefly responsible for enhancing client relations and compliance across all phases of a plan’s implementation and service.
Eric’s professional roots span to 1988, when a large carrier provided him with comprehensive training in the processing of claims for large national accounts. Being responsible for the provision of accurate and timely claims adjudication set the standard for Eric’s ongoing commitment to exceptional customer service.
Prior to joining Mid-Continent, Eric served as Benefits Manager at ProSource Management Solutions, where he was responsible for benefits administration for 200 small- to mid-size employers. As Benefits Plan Consultant at Aon Hewitt, Eric was a subject matter expert in the company’s health and welfare domain, aligned with large Fortune 500 clients. As Claims and Customer Service Manager at First Health, Eric was responsible for implementation and ongoing project leadership of medical, dental, vision and flexible spending account administration. Additionally, Eric has directly and indirectly supported human resource functions for both large corporations and small privately held firms. Eric is a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. He is currently pursuing the PHR designation through the HR Certification Institute.
Serving his community, Eric is proudly aligned with a charitable organization that provides meals and support for the homebound. He is a proud husband of 28 years to his wife, a freelance writer, and father to his daughter, an overachieving Rice University graduate.
As a co-founder of The Mid-Continent Companies’ Employee Benefits Practice, Cody Hunter leads the team that consults with companies on all facets of design, implementation and administration of employer-sponsored benefits programs, with an emphasis on middle-market companies.
Cody is an expert in the design and funding of partially selffunded group medical plans, as well as retirement plan design, compliance and administration. He is particularly gifted in helping clients and their employees understand complex subject matters. Building on a career that began in underwriting and sales for an international insurance carrier, Cody’s unique knowledge and insights are supported by 27 years of experience across all facets of the employee benefits arena.
Cody joined The Mid-Continent Companies in 2002 and has since overseen the ongoing growth of its employee benefits practice. He is a 1992 graduate of the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas with a degree in business administration and a specialization in finance. Cody is an active member of the Retirement Plan Advisory Group and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Cody is a father of four and is active in his church and youth community activities.
Backed by nearly 30 years of industry experience, Robert “Bobby” Ritter is poised to guide clients of The Mid-Continent Companies through a complex and ever-changing insurance and employee benefits landscape.
Recognized for an exceptional approach to client service, advanced analytical skills and a comprehensive understanding of financial underwriting, Bobby has repeatedly earned awards and accolades from some of the insurance industry’s premier providers.
Before joining Mid-Continent, Bobby served as an Account Executive for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, where he was responsible for a client roster of companies ranging in size from 100 to 2,000 employees. For more than a decade prior, Bobby was a dedicated team member with Aetna, where he held numerous positions, including financial Underwriter, Underwriter Unit Leader, Senior Account Manager and Account Executive. During Bobby’s tenure with Aetna, companies with as many as 50,000 employees benefited from his expertise. Bobby began his career in the insurance industry as an Account Executive with Travelers Insurance Company, where he maintained and supported four major field offices in the company’s southwest region.
Bobby was awarded a four- year track scholarship to attend the University of North Texas, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance. He was a founding member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University.
Bobby currently lives in Sugar Land with his wife and their three sons. Bobby is an active member of Christ United Methodist, where he serves on numerous committees and volunteers with the youth. Bobby organized a golf tournament in year to fund research for multiple sclerosis, of which his mother suffers, and the tournament recently celebrated its 10th year and has raised more than $100,000.
Lyndon SmithManaging Advisor
With an impressive proven track record of 40 years as a seasoned Benefits Advisor, Lyndon Smith joined Insgroup in 2020. Previously, Lyndon was the owner and president of Employer Plan Services, Inc., a third-party administration firm, and EPSI Benefits, Inc., an employee benefits broker/consulting agency, where he and his team established a solid reputation of professionalism, integrity and superior customer service.
Through his experiences, Lyndon has developed an extensive knowledge of employee benefits with a keen insight to the multiple applications of self-funding, while working with long term clients of various industries such as oil & gas, manufacturing, fabrication and automobile dealerships.
Lyndon states “I take great pride in bending every effort to provide my clients with guidance and counsel to provide the level of benefits they envision offering their employees while securing their company’s bottom line. As a result, we establish a long-term relationship of trust with our clients that often exceeds 20+ years.”
When not working on his clients’ behalf, Lyndon enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends. He is a native Texan, a graduate of the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, a Lifetime member of the 100 Club, and a Life Member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Brett Todd is the Senior Accounting Manager for Insgroup, A Baldwin Risk Partner with responsibility for leading the firm’s financial and accounting functions. His expertise includes Database Administration, Financial Planning, and M&A Integrations – each of which has been extremely beneficial while Insgroup has grown at a rapid pace over the past few years. Brett has been a champion for many of the technologies utilized to manage the organization’s financial data and planning tools.
Brett joined Insgroup in 2018 as Assistant Controller and was named to his current position in 2019. Prior to joining Insgroup, he spent four years in the audit and assurance practice at Ham, Langston & Brezina, LLP. While the majority of his accounting experience was in the Banking and Construction industries, he was drawn to Insgroup’s culture and the organization’s growth mindset (which also happens to be his favorite of the company’s core values).
Brett earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and watching collegiate sports and NFL games, and if given the opportunity to dedicate half a day to something to relieve stress, he’ll always choose golf, golf and more golf.
Kimberly Fleming-O’Connor joined Insgroup as a Commercial Risk Advisor, March 2021. Previous to joining Insgroup, Kimberly was a Senior Executive Producer with MaximGroup/AssuredPartners for 25 years. During this time Kimberly earned designations from The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, of ACSR (Accredited Customer Service Representative in Personal Lines and Commercial lines) as well as CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor). Kimberly also earned her designation of CWCC (Certified Workers Compensation Counselor), from Insurance Partners Academy.
Kimberly’s insurance knowledge and excellent communication skills enables her to counsel clients about insurance and financial products, to help them manage the risks and recover from the unexpected perils of daily life. Over the past 25 years, Kimberly has become like family to her clients. Always “on call” for anything that may come up.
Kimberly is very active in her community, being on the board of many organizations. When she is not working, working out, or volunteering, you can find her on the Harley, the Boat, or her Paddleboard!
2021 is a great year for Kimberly, as an advisor for Insgroup, a Newlywed and a 1st time Grandmother!
Mason Barker is an Advisor for Insgroup focusing on the design and implementation of high-quality Employee Benefits programs for organizations of all sizes. He specializes in the development of comprehensive solutions, HR Administration Technology, and Compliance.
In addition to his work with Benefits clients, Mason also advises Commercial clients on Property & Casualty insurance, and high net worth individuals and families in search of Personal Risk Insurance.
Prior to joining Insgroup in 2019, he held positions on the carrier side of the industry. He spent two years as an Employee Benefits Representative and top producer with Sun Life Financial, and two years previous to that position as a Regional Sales Representative with Reliance Standard.
Mason is a native of Houma, Louisiana, and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Louisiana State University. If there’s an LSU football game on TV, Mason can be found in front of it, or driving to it if there’s time and tickets available. He’s also passionate about spending time with family, his faith, and cooking.
Andrew Bean is a Partner at Insgroup, A Baldwin Risk Partner. He specializes in Property & Casualty Insurance for middle-market companies and Private Risk Insurance for individuals and families. With more than a decade of experience in the industry, Andrew has forged strong partnerships with financial advisors and family offices to successfully strategize the right solution for shared clients.
Andrew joined the firm in 2009 as an Associate and was promoted to his current position in 2013. In 2016, he became a Shareholder. He has been in the insurance industry since graduating from college and credits his tenure to the enjoyment he finds crafting the right solutions to complex challenges.
His desire to provide clients with best-in-class service is evidenced by his receipt of the prestigious Power Broker Award in 2020 from Risk & Insurance Magazine. In the same year, he was named by the magazine as one of the industry’s Rising Stars (under 40). Both awards were the result of positive feedback from a handful of Andrew’s clients; making it not surprising that his favorite company core value is Business is Personal.
Andrew earned the designation of Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS) from The National Underwriter Company, and he graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
Greg Sanford is a Managing Advisor with Insgroup focusing on middle-market companies across multiple industries. His primary expertise is in the Real Estate sector with a heavy concentration on multi-family housing properties. He started his insurance career in 2006 when he graduated with a BBA degree from the University of Houston.
Greg brings 15+ years of insurance experience to Insgroup and specializes in designing tailor-fit risk management programs to fit his clients needs. He is passionate about building strong relationships with his clients and going above and beyond to exceed their expectations. His competitive nature and upbringing give him the mindset that any obstacle can be overcome to get the job done.
Greg is a native Houstonian and proud father of two kids, Caden and Alaina. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his family, golfing, fishing and traveling to new destinations.
Sonny Covington is a Managing Advisor at Insgroup, A Baldwin Risk Partner. He joined the firm in 2018 and focuses on middle market companies in a variety of industries including Oil & Gas, Transportation and Construction. In this role, he creates customized insurance and risk solutions, and he also advises many of the same clients on their Employee Benefits programs.
Prior to Insgroup, Sonny spent nearly two decades with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency as a Texas Licensed Agent selling Business Insurance and Employee Benefits. While there, he had many long-standing relationships with clients which he believes were the result of treating people with respect and using the Golden Rule as a guidepost. He says, “When you do this, you will have relationships that last a lifetime.”
Sonny earned the following designations: Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), Certified Pension Consultant (CPC), and Certified Health Care Manager (CHM). He also attended Texas State University and is fluent in Spanish.
He is very involved in the community through his church and a number of other volunteer activities including youth sports. He has served as chairman for various committees with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) – Houston Chapter, and is an active Free Mason.
Outside of work he thoroughly relishes the time he spends with his big family, but likes to sneak away once in a while for some saltwater fishing.
Katelynn Diamond is an Associate Advisor for Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner, focusing on the design and implementation of high-quality Employee Benefits programs for organizations of all sizes.
Prior to joining Insgroup in 2020, Katelynn worked for ADP for nearly five years as a Major Accounts District Manager. She also was a Workforce Development Administrator with Vallourec for three years. With nearly a decade spent on the technology side of Human Resources, she provides valuable insight during the development of Benefits solutions that will not only attract top talent but retain them.
To Katelynn, Business is Personal – it’s not only a company value, but it’s also a personal mantra. She says, “No matter the situation it’s always about the people. Strong and trusting relationships are what I always strive for in any relationship and I love knowing that I work for a company that feels the same way.”
Katelynn grew up in San Diego but made her way to the Houston area as an adult. She has taken a number of Organizational Leadership courses from the University of Houston and three years of business classes with the Lone Star College System.
She enjoys traveling whenever possible and is someone who will always give a great recommendation on the pairing of food and wine. She also counts a day that involves any type of fishing as a successful one.
Brad Eure is an Advisor with Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner, and specializes in working with Transportation, Professional Services, Healthcare clients. He joined the firm in 2018 and has been successful in creating strong relationships with the clients he serves on a daily basis.
Brad’s professional background is diverse, which provides him with the insight necessary for working with a variety of industries and organizations of all sizes. Over the past decade, he held Business Development roles with Kforce, Entrust Energy and alliantgroup; and he was a Branch Manager for Enterprise Rent-a-Car for six years.
One might notice that Brad doesn’t mind change – in fact he is motivated by the challenge of learning something new. Insgroup’s core value of “Success requires the courage to change,” is especially meaningful to Brad because he says, “Success is a moving target and the path to it can change. If you want to stay on the path, you’re going to have to constantly find ways to be better.”
Brad earned the designation of Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS) from The National Underwriter Company. He graduated from University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing.
He savors any time he spends with his wife and kids, but he also enjoys running and cycling.
Jan Fawcett is a Managing Advisor with Insgroup’s Employee Benefits practice. Jan has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry and is an innovative leader when it comes to delivering true value and consistent quality to clients. She is a Chartered Benefit Consultant designee who likes to collaborate, design, and revitalize employers’ benefits plans.
Jan and her team joined Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner, in 2017. Prior to joining Insgroup, she was the owner of The Fawcett Group, a firm specializing in Employee Benefit Plan brokerage and consulting to emerging and mid-market businesses and not-for-profit organizations. With her leadership, the team consistently delivered the knowledge, resources, and experience necessary to ensure each client’s employee benefit plan goals were met.
Jan graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Media Studies.
She is an avid fitness enthusiast, loves the performing arts, sporting events, and traveling with her twins – a son and a daughter – who are almost teenagers.
Jay Gerstenhaber is a partner with Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner. With more than 40 years of experience in insurance brokerage, he advises and services large Commercial Property & Casualty clients in a variety of industries.
Jay is the second generation of his family to work in the insurance industry, taking after his father who was an Allstate agent in Houston for 27 years. In 1978, Jay started his own insurance agency. Later that year, his agency was consolidated into Business Insurance Group (Insgroup’s preceding name until 1990).
While serving on the Board of Directors for Partners Bank of Texas, he was involved in the successful sale of the bank to Sterling Bank in 2007.
He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Insurance.
Cash Harbaugh is a Managing Partner with Insgroup’s Dallas office. Cash has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry with proven expertise in the real estate and restaurant sectors.
Cash joined Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner, in 2020 through a partnership with his firm, Harris F. Underwood III, Inc. The Underwood agency was founded in 1978, and he became President and Owner ten years later. The partnership between Underwood, an Insgroup company, provides his Dallas location with the opportunity to maximize efficiencies, share knowledge across industries, and increase use of technology to support clients in all practice lines.
Business is personal to Cash and according to him, “It’s extremely satisfying to provide the correct coverage to a business prior to a loss and see how it allows for recovery back to normal.” It also happens to be one of the company’s core values.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Art History from Emory University. Golfing and landscaping are among the things he’s most passionate about outside of work.
Todd Harris manages the firm’s Estate Planning and Executive Benefits practice. He is responsible for advising clients and their own set of advisors on planning while also analyzing supplied data to develop strategies for plan implementation through client-selected practitioners.
With more than a nearly two decades of high-end financial and estate planning experience, Todd has worked with some of the nation’s top estate attorneys in the refinement of planning concepts that utilize newly-created entity structures, specialized trusts, premium finance, captives, insurance and annuities from domestic and international sources.
Todd has been recognized for his ability to add a creative edge to traditional planning techniques and to innovative applications, such as AssetMax and Life Arbitrage strategies. His planning concentration has been with clients in Texas, Florida, Colorado, and California. He currently holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses.
Todd graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, and is an active member of the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Houston, as well as the Braeburn Country Club.
He is constantly looking for ways to learn grow and believes whole heartedly in having a Growth Mindset. It’s one of the company’s core values, but he’s been applying it to his personal life for as long as he can remember. He says, “If you’re not growing, you’re declining.”
Todd volunteers with the Cub Scouts and various youth sports organizations. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf and bird hunting.
Chris Hill is a Managing Advisor with Insgroup’s Dallas office. She has more than 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, and is an expert in providing Homeowner’s Association coverage, including townhouses and condominiums.
Chris joined Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner, in 2020 through a partnership with the firm she co-owns, Harris F. Underwood III, Inc. The Underwood agency was founded in 1978, and she became a co-owner in 1995. One of the things that made the most notable first impression on her about Insgroup: “It’s how vested they are in the happiness of colleagues. I don’t think I have seen a company of any size quite so interested in pleasing their staff.”
Strong relationships are the foundation of the work Chris does with every client – which means Business is Personal. In fact, she says the Dallas office was built on that philosophy, so it was validating to see that it was also one of Insgroup’s core values.
Chris grew up in Louisiana but has spent the majority of her life in Texas. If you’re looking for her on the weekends, she can usually be found at the lake with her husband bass fishing. If she’s not there, it’s because she’s traveling to see her sister and nieces.
Mason Howard is an Associate Advisor with Insgroup’s Employee Benefits practice. In this role, Mason advises clients on benefit options which deliver maximum value to employers and employees.
Mason joined Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner in 2018 when the firm acquired the Fred Brown Agency. He has more nearly 15 years of experience in the industry. As a fourth generation insurance broker, he was immersed in the industry at an early age. He is able to see the value that an insurance advisor brings to not only the employer they represent, but also to their employees and their dependents.
Mason is a Certified Self-funding Specialist, recognized by the National Association of Health Underwriters. He earned his Certified Healthcare Report Specialist (CHRS) and Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designations, and is licensed in Property & Casualty Insurance.
Insgroup’s Non-Negotiable core value is the most personal one to Mason because he says, “Being honest, treating people ethically and how you would expect to be treated are characteristics that lead to strong and lasting relationships.”
Outside of Insgroup, Mason enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, or simply spending time on the water. He attended Texas Christian University and majored in Political Science.
Hunter Jones is an Advisor with Insgroup’s Employee Benefits practice. In this role, Hunter works with clients to create highly tailored benefit plans to benefit employee health & wellness.
Prior to joining Insgroup, Hunter was a Business Development Manager for Employer Flexible, focusing on employee benefits, HR administration, and payroll services. He spent 18 years in the global power generation and energy commodities sector.
Hunter is a native Texan and graduated with a degree from Texas A&M University. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, family and friends, hunting, fishing, or being on the golf course.
Meredith Huff is an Advisor for Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner. Her extensive background in benefit, payroll and employee administration services allows her to design programs that alleviate the administrative burden on employers. Many of the executives that she works with on Benefits programs entrust her to service their Personal Risk Insurance as well.
Prior to joining Insgroup in 2019, she spent eight years with ADP in progressive roles leading up to Major Account District Manager. In that position, she helped clients achieve their goals through the utilization of industry leading people, technology and service as an extension of their current workforce. This background has been an extremely valuable springboard into her work in the employee benefits and insurance industry.
When asked to describe her favorite of Insgroup’s core values, she had trouble choosing. Business is Personal is important to her because building lasting relationships has always been a priority. But also, Growth Mindset is meaningful because staying stagnate is not an option personally or within business. She says, “We’re meant to evolve.”
Meredith graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Business Management degree from McCoy School of Business.
She enjoys any activities that involve her husband and their two young daughters, Ryleigh and Reese. Exercise is a stress reliever that she also happens to love – so much so that she was once a spin instructor.
Blake Krause is an Advisor with Insgroup’s Dallas office. His work on the carrier side provides him with a unique perspective for the development of solutions that meet the clients’ needs, the needs of their people, and works within their budget. He also advises high-net worth individuals and families on their Personal Risk Insurance.
Prior to joining Insgroup in 2020, he sold Employee Benefits products for Guardian Life Insurance, a top rated ancillary carrier, and his territory included West Tennessee, Memphis, and North Mississippi. The position with Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner provided a pathway to moving back home to Dallas to be near family. He was also drawn to the company’s culture and entrepreneurial spirit because it’s a safe space where you can share ideas with one another.
He was excited to learn that Relentless Advocacy is a core value of Insgroup because he says, “This is what makes me as an agent different from others. I’ve heard people say that insurance is a commoditized industry, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Who your agent is matters. If you are not receiving relentless advocacy from your agent, then it’s time to find another agent.”
Blake attended the University of Georgia where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Risk Management and Insurance from the Terry College of Business.
Outside of work, most of Blake’s passions are related to music – attending live music events, playing the guitar and piano. He’s also content to just sit on a beach or a boat somewhere and relax.
Mace Meeks is a Managing Partner with Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner. With more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, he has broad in-depth knowledge of Commercial, Personal and Employer-sponsored group benefit insurance programs.
Mace prides himself in being able to develop customized insurance programs specific to each one of his clients. “No two clients are the same and they all deserve the same great service,” is the motto that he has built his insurance practice on.
Mace and his team joined Insgroup in January of 2015. Prior to becoming a part of the firm, he was a partner at Dean & Draper Insurance Agency, LP for over 20 years.
He graduated from Rice University with a triple major in Managerial Studies, Political Science and Sports Management. While attending Rice on a football scholarship, Mace also participated on the Rice Indoor Track team.
As a proud member of the Houston Community, Mace has served on various boards over the years including President of the “C” Club, the Harris County Sheriffs 287(g) task force, and the redistricting committee for the Mayor of Houston.
Jenifer Moss is the Director with Insgroup’s Private Risk Insurance practice. With nearly 25 years of experience, Jenifer has worked closely with many successful individuals, families, and family offices. She has also forged strong partnerships with financial advisors to successfully strategize the right solution for shared clients.
Jenifer joined Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner in 2008 as a Director of Marketing responsible for submissions to carriers and the preparation of client proposals. Her current role began in 2019 and she has added dynamic leadership to the practice line. Jenifer’s previous positions include business development responsibilities with Aliant Insurance Services and Liberty Mutual.
Clients and partners trust Jenifer because she listens closely to their needs before customizing their programs. Business is Personal is the most meaningful of Insgroup’s core values to her because it has always been a natural part of the work she does.
Jenifer holds the designation of Chartered Private Risk and Insurance Advisor (CPRIA) from the Private Risk Management Association. She is a native of New Orleans and earned a Bachelors degree in Marketing from Louisiana State University.
She’s passionate about the sports and activities that her son and daughter participate in, but she also enjoys anything related to health and wellness. Most recently, she’s investing time in becoming a better golfer.
Butch Novy is a Partner with Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner, specializing Property and Casualty insurance. His expertise resides in providing solutions to middle-market companies with a particular focus on the Real Estate and Construction industries.
Butch entered the insurance industry in 2010, but he previously owned a real estate consulting business. His real estate experience gives him a unique ability to understand client needs from an operational perspective – not just from an insurance standpoint. He has worked closely with owners, developers, property managers, and the full spectrum of the real estate industry on a daily basis for nearly 50 years.
He has served many clients for more than 25 years and believes it’s the result of developing trust and delivering service with integrity. To him Business is Personal and it’s the firm’s core value that resonates deeply – after partnering with so many clients for two decades, how could it not be personal?
Butch graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Administration degree. He has been involved in many community organizations, including serving on the Board of Trustees and executive committee at Congregation Beth Israel of Houston. He is a member of the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), Texas Association of Realtors (TAR), National Association of Realtors (NAR), and National Multi Family Housing Council (NMHC).
Kevin Pesl is an Advisor with Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner, specializing in the development of solutions for Construction and Surety. The aspect he enjoys most about working with this sector is the ability to dig into how they conduct business and work with clients to close the gaps on potential risk.
He joined Insgroup in 2020 and has eight years of experience in the insurance industry. Prior to his current role, Kevin was a Commercial Insurance and Surety Producer for Dean and Draper Insurance Agency, LP. He’s also worked as Contract Surety Underwriter for Markel.
Kevin’s favorite of Insgroup’s core values is Business is Personal. He doesn’t look at an account as a number and views every client as a person who built a business through hard work. He tries to look at their needs by putting himself in their shoes and determining what matters most to them. In this way, he can provide them with what’s missing on their road to success.
Kevin graduated from Sam Houston State University with Bachelor of Business Administration and Management degree. He also completed the William J. Angell Surety School for the National Association of Surety Bond Producers.
His downtime is spent with family and friends, and it’s a bonus if that time involves activities outside while golfing or hunting.
Jacob Quinn is an Associate Vice President with Insgroup focusing on middle-market companies in a variety of industries. His particular expertise is in Real Estate, Distribution and Trade Contractors. He joined Insgroup in 2014 as a Client Executive and was promoted to his current position in 2018. In addition to his work with Commercial clients, he also advises and services a number of clients in search of Personal Risk Insurance.
Prior to Insgroup, Jacob spent nearly a decade in Beverage import, distribution and wholesale. He’s a Texas native, but spent a lot of time living and traveling abroad while working in the wine & spirits industry. When comparing the two industries, he says, “No one day is like the previous. I might be helping a client close a deal with the bank so he/she can grow the business, and the next day I might be helping a client work through a serious issue in regards to safety and putting employees first. It is different every day and not many careers offer that type of diversity.”
Jacob earned the designation of Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS) from The National Underwriter Company, and he graduated from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) with a degree in Modern Languages – Emphasis in Spanish.
Outside of work, he loves spending time with his wife, Mary Hammon, and their two young sons, Seamus and Peter. Jacob is active at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church where he serves on the usher team. He still enjoys playing 18 holes of golf but admits that he plays a lot less now that he’s a husband and father.
Mike Sawyer is an Advisor with Insgroup’s Addison office specializing in providing Personal Risk Insurance to high-net worth individuals and families. He joined Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner, in 2019 when Insgroup expanded operations to the Dallas area.
Mike’s been working with high-net worth personal and business portfolios for more than 45 years. He works closely with all the leading carriers and is experienced in Trusts, LLCs, Corporate Ownerships, vacation properties, investment properties, liability and more. He has worked in the industry long enough to access the resources required to develop programs for complex challenges.
Prior to Insgroup, Mike owned the Sawyer Insurance Agency, which he founded in 1975. The success he experienced was the direct result of his desire to help people and to “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” What was once considered to him to be a personal value came into perfect alignment when he learned about Insgroup’s core values.
Mike received his certification from Life Underwriters Training Council (LUTC). He grew up in Garland and spent a few years at Stephen F. Austin State University pursuing a degree in Music Performance before moving to the Dallas area. Music is still one of the things he’s most passionate about, along with scuba diving, golfing, and anything that has to do with his grandkids.
Jed Schmidt is an Advisor at Insgroup, a Baldwin Risk Partner. In this role, Jed advises large Commercial Property & Casualty clients in the Real Estate and Construction industries.
He joined Insgroup in 1998 and over the course of the more than 20 years, he has been recognized as a thought leader in real estate insurance. He has spoken at the Texas Apartment Association Convention, among other speaking engagements.
Jed earned the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) from The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. He is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Bradley Stephenson is an Advisor with Ingroup’s Employee Benefits practice. He is responsible for providing high caliber resources and a sustainable model for organizations seeking to lower health care costs while improving the health of their employees.
His depth of experience allows him to deliver best in class solutions from a financial and wellness perspective, and his expertise provides a pathway for helping a wide array of industries, including Construction, Engineering, Financial Services, Health Care, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, and Retail.
Brad joined Insgroup when his agency was acquired in 2018. His experience includes 8 years as a financial benefits advisor and 14 years in various capacities with two of the largest U.S. health insurance companies: Blue Cross Blue Shield and UnitedHeatlh Group.
Relentless Advocacy is the core value that is nearest to Brad’s heart for many reasons: “Employee Benefits matter to so many people in so many important ways. When I receive a call, there’s usually a problem to be solved and time is of importance. Insurance companies are difficult to navigate and the salt of an advisor is based on strategically using experience to leverage relationships and team work while breaking down barriers to challenge the status quo.” In his role, Brad has the opportunity to see the direct result of helping people during a difficult time.
Born and raised in Arlington, Texas, Brad graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and Exercise and Sports Science.
He’s passionate about advocating for mental health and wellness initiatives and volunteers with the Tri-County Consumer Foundation. He enjoys watching his kids play sports and spending time outdoors – fishing, golfing, hunting or running.
George Strake is an Advisor for Insgroup focused on Real Estate and Energy companies in need of Property & Casualty insurance. He also works closely with high-net worth individuals and families seeking Personal Risk Insurance to craft custom programs to meet their unique needs.
He joined Insgroup in 2015 utilized the past five years to form strong relationships with the clients he serves. He receives a number of referrals through existing clients who trust him to provide options for the coverage they need and considers it a huge compliment when he receives a call from someone who has been referred. He believes this level of trust is gained only through transparent communication, which aligns closely with company core value that means the most to him: Ethics and honesty are paramount in our dealings.
George earned the designation of Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS) from The National Underwriter Company. He graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Communications.
In his free time, George enjoys hanging out with his wife and watching sports (especially if a Baylor game is on TV), golfing or hunting. He’s also extremely competitive during fantasy football season.
Rob Strobel is an Advisor with Insgroup’s Austin office. Rob provides a tailored approach to developing Property & Casualty solutions for clients in Construction-related industries. He also advises individuals and families on their Personal Risk Insurance.
Rob joined Insgroup in 2018. Prior to Insgroup, Rob held a number of leadership positions within the banking industry. He spent eight years in the position of Director – Power Marketing for both Deutsche Bank Energy Trading and Citigroup Energy, Inc. Previously, he served as Vice President – Power Mid-Marketing with Cinergy Corporation.
Rob’s professional background has required him to build and maintain strong relationships, and he says that work is at the heart of his ability to be part of a solution. At Insgroup he’s able to do exactly that with confidence that trust and integrity are the blocks with which relationships are built.
Out of the company’s four core values, Rob’s favorite is Relentless Advocacy – specifically the supporting tenet of “Leave no stone unturned.” When asked why it holds meaning to him Rob says, “I believe that in anything a person can do, it is so important to perceive a solution from every possible angle. It is this type of mindset that will ultimately benefit any relationship.”
The native Texan loves spending time with his wife and their three kids, and he enjoys fishing, playing guitar, and being in the company of friends.
Scott Watson is an Advisor with Insgroup who has spent nearly 20 years working within the industries of insurance and financial services. Scott joined the firm in 2019 and provides a highly-tailored approach to developing Property & Casualty solutions for Construction, Marine, Oil & Gas, and Manufacturing clients.
Prior to Insgroup, Scott held the position of Vice President with Marsh’s Houston office. He has also been a Sales Executive for USI Insurance Services and a Director with Crystal & Company. Before he entered insurance brokerage, his experience included a number of finance-related roles, and he owned two companies within the real estate sector.
Scott’s experience as an entrepreneur allows him to understand the challenges that business owners face at various phases of their lifecycle – from smaller start-ups to larger companies who have been in business for decades. This perspective makes business even more personal to Scott. He says, “Clients invest in my ability to create a risk program that best suits their needs and protects their balance sheet. This can only be achieved through a foundation of trust.”
Scott volunteers with the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo and serves as a Vice Chairman on the International Committee. He graduated from the University of Houston with Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance.
He relishes any time spent with family and occasionally still plays a round of golf when the opportunity presents itself.
Donald “Woody” Woodard is an Advisor with Insgroup and has responsibility for some of the firm’s longest-standing Property & Casualty clients. With more than 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, Woody is always happy to answer questions from colleagues who are new to the firm or the brokerage side of business as a whole.
Prior to Insgroup, he served as CEO for Marsh McLennan Agency. Before that, he was Chairman of the Board at Insurance Alliance.
Woody earned the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) from The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. He maintains the Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU) designation. He graduated from Washington and Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and History.
Woody has been highly involved in the insurance industry through his service on the Boards of the Texas and Houston Independent Insurance Agents Associations. He previously held the position of President for the Houston association.
On the weekends, you might find Woody and his wife enjoying the Houston Museum District or the seaside community of Galveston. They’re also happy to just hang out at home when their grown children and grandchildren come back to Houston for a visit.
Hoyt Utay is a Partner with Insgroup’s Addison office. He specializes in working with Commercial clients and high-net-worth individuals and families to secure Personal Risk Insurance coverage.
Hoyt joined Insgroup in 2019, but he has spent the past 30 years in the claims and sales areas of the insurance industry. He previously served in the role of Client Executive with both Lipscomb and Associates, and McQueary Henry Bowles Troy.
With his deep experience in the claims process, specifically with regards to auto, home, business, and catastrophic loss, Hoyt digs into all of the potential risks during the development phase of working with clients. These areas might be overlooked by competitors seeking to secure a new client on price alone, but this is where he sees Insgroup as unique. He says, “Our core belief of relentless advocacy really does make us different than other firms.”
Hoyt earned the designation of Associate in Claims (AIC), and he graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science degree.
The Utay family is passionate about volunteering within their community. Hoyt and his son are avid duck hunters and together with his wife, they are involved with the conservation group, Ducks Unlimited – even holding a number of State and National-level positions over the years. They also participate in a number of organizations supporting the special needs community.
Matt Wren is an Advisor with Insgroup’s Commercial Risk Insurance practice. He joined Insgroup in 2018 and works diligently to provide solutions that are unique to the Transportation and Logistics industries.
Prior to Insgroup, Matt worked as a Sales Consultant for seven years at Hines Real Estate, one of the largest real estate developers in the world. He has experienced the noticeable difference of working for a corporation of that size compared to Insgroup who is right sized to meet the needs of large clients but still able to quickly move programs through the right channels.
Relentless Advocacy is the Insgroup core value that resonates the strongest with Matt. He says, “Throughout my career I have always thought that customer service, and working on behalf of the client, should be the number one priority.”
Matt attended Louisiana State University and earned a Bachelors degree in Economics. He can still be found on Saturdays watching LSU football games with his wife, Katie, and their Bernedoodle, Millie. Once in a while, he has time to enjoy a round of golf.