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 the largest closely-held firm in Texas and one of the top 100 in the country, but we have stayed 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 President & CEO of Insgroup 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.”
Philip Wise is Insgroup’s President of Property & Casualty, leading the teams of Commercial Insurance Services, Placement, Claims and Risk Management, and Personal Risk Insurance. The combined work of these teams provide the growth strategy, execution and service delivery for all P&C clients.
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 the President of 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 Houston’s largest, privately-held consulting practice 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.
Ryan Shinkle is Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Insgroup. 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.
Adeel Rashid is Chief Financial Officer 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 which 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.
Stacy Figg is Insgroup’s Executive Vice President 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.
Jill King is the Executive Vice President of Claims & Risk Management for 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).
Kyle Lanigan is Executive Vice President of Placement for 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).
Peter Schidlowski is the Executive Vice President of Partnerships 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 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.
Ken Collier is the Senior Vice President for Insgroup’s Private Insurance practice and one of the firm’s Shareholders. 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.
Holly Bozant is the Senior Vice President of Employee Benefits for Insgroup. 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.
Deborah Bishop is Insgroup’s Senior Vice President of Commercial Lines. 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, Champan, 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.
Gail Volkmann is Insgroup’s Senior Vice President of Quality Management. Gail’s experience over the past 40 years includes working with both personal and commercial insurance, managing, training and mentoring agency staff. Insgroup values her experience in developing efficiencies and maximizing them across the firm.
Gail joined Insgroup in 2017 on the Marketing/Placement team and was named to her current position in 2019. Prior to joining Insgroup, she was a Partner at GEM Insurance, one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Houston for a decade before the agency was sold. Before becoming a Partner, she served as GEM’s Senior Vice President at that firm, leading the support team for over 20 years.
She says she “fell into” the industry at the age of 16 and learned quickly how much she enjoyed helping people. Ethics and honesty have always been important to her, so when asked which of Insgroup’s core values is most meaningful, that’s the one that came to mind first. She says, “If you put those first, the rest falls into place.”
Gail is a designated Certified Insurance Consultant (CIC), and she has served on various carriers’ Advisory Councils and is a past Director of the Independent Agents of Houston.
In her free time she loves to travel and garden, and she also raises and trains show dogs.
Brett Todd is the Corporate Controller for Insgroup 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.
Edgar Alvarez is a Risk Advisor for Insgroup focusing on middle market companies in a variety of industries. In particular, Edgar’s expertise includes creating customized insurance programs and risk solutions for organizations in the construction, transportation and manufacturing industries.
Prior to joining Insgroup in 2019, he held senior consulting positions with Resourcing Edge and Paychex. With nearly a decade of experience, Edgar earns the trust of clients through his ability to build long-term relationships through honesty and integrity.
Edgar earned the designation of Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS) from The National Underwriter Company. He also has a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management degree from the University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio), and an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration from San Jacinto College. While attending both colleges, Edgar participated in the Men’s Soccer programs.
Edgar still plays soccer in his free time whenever possible, and spends weekends at the soccer fields with his wife watching their two young sons learn and play the sport.
Mason Barker is a Benefits 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 a 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 Senior Vice President with Insgroup. 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.
Ryan Cheramie is a Risk Advisor with Insgroup and specializes in developing commercial insurance solutions for the marine and construction industries.
He joined Insgroup in 2020, and spent the previous decade of his career on the other side of business as the Chief Operating Officer Ocean Marine Contractors, Ocean Marine Contractors (Scrap Division), & Ocean Marine Operators. His background in business operations allows him to craft programs which solve complex challenges unique to these two industries.
When asked which company core value is most important to him, he said “It has to be Business is Personal because I know firsthand that business really is personal and having a qualified agent/broker that actually knows your business model goes a long way.”
The Louisiana native attended Nicholls State University while studying Business Administration and playing collegiate baseball. He still enjoys playing sports but these days it’s golf, and whatever his two young daughters, Rylee and Rose, are interested in.
Sonny Covington is a Vice President with Insgroup. 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 a Benefits Advisor for Insgroup 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, it’s 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 a Risk Advisor with Insgroup 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 Senior Vice President 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 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 Senior Vice President and Shareholder with Insgroup. 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 Vice President 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 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 Vice President 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 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 a Benefits 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 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.
Meredith Huff is a Benefits Advisor for Insgroup. 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 a Benefits 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 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 Senior Vice President and Shareholder with Insgroup. With more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, he has broad in-depth knowledge on 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 a Vice President 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 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 Vice President with Insgroup, 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 a Risk Advisor with Insgroup, 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 six 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 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 down time 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 a Risk Advisor with Insgroup’s Addison office specializing in providing Personal Risk Insurance to high-net worth individuals and families. He joined Insgroup 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.
Greg Scheinman is a Senior Vice President and Shareholder with Insgroup. Greg’s expertise, marketplace relationships, and unwavering commitment to insuring his clients’ success is at the cornerstone of his practice. In 2020, he received the prestigious Power Broker Award by Risk & Insurance Magazine for his work with the hospitality industry.
A true entrepreneur himself, Greg brings a unique business background to the table: Michael Eisner acquired Greg’s startup, Team Baby Entertainment, in 2007. He is also the founder of Row Studios, a brand of indoor rowing gyms. These personal experiences as an owner, creator, and innovator allow Greg to manage risk for his clients with a different point of view.
Greg’s passion for speaking on entrepreneurship is evident through his work on Insgroup’s 1FOR10 series on IGTV. He has also brought thought leadership to national audiences with his appearance on Big Idea with Donnie Deutch on CNBC, and as a host for Profiles of Innovations on PBS-TV for three seasons. He currently develops all aspects of and hosts The Midlife Male Podcast on GOW Media Network featuring conversations with prolific entrepreneurs, risk takers and CEOs.
He earned the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) from The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. Greg graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.
Outside of Insgroup, Greg is involved in a number of health and wellness activities – personally and with his wife and their two sons. He has competed in The D10 Decathlon (where he is also a board member) and most recently, the Executive Championship to raise money for local charities.
Jed Schmidt is a Senior Vice President, Shareholder, and the manager of Insgroup’s Austin office. 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 a Vice President 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 a Risk 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 a Risk 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 a Risk 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 a Vice President 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 Vice President 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 a Risk 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.