CEO of Astonish
Simply stated, Adam DeGraide is where rock ’n roll meets the insurance industry. As a veteran Internet marketer and sales guru, Adam DeGraide has made a name for himself over the past decade as an entrepreneur, record producer, and motivational speaker.
President of Astonish
Tim Sawyer is getting the insurance industry PSYCHED about their agencies again!
Tim travels around the country speaking to hundreds of insurance agencies, re-calibrating them to better serve the modern consumer and change their old ways of doing business.
Tim is passionate and effective in helping agencies grow, even in a down market, and will go to any length to help his 300+ agency partners through Astonish.
COO of Astonish
After graduating from Gordon College in 1992 with a degree in chemistry, John Boudreau became a laboratory director and began investing in real estate, both commercial and residential. By 2004 he was able to generate enough cash flow and leave his position as laboratory director and begin Ion Marketing Group. After one year's time, Ion had 90% of the largest brokerages in Rhode Island as clients.
In 2006, Ion was sold and Astonish was founded with Adam DeGraide, Dave Simas, and Timothy Sawyer. He oversees all aspects of the digital marketing system.
President of Paradiso Insurance and Financial
Chris Paradiso started selling life, health, and annuities in 1998. In 2002, Chris branched off on his own, continuing his insurance career in the property/casualty area. What started out as a small Independent agency has now grown to 13 employees and several locations, and continues to grow. Chris and his agency have been featured in leading industry publications including Rough Notes and the Insurance Journal eMarketing Minute. Chris also was nominated as a "40 under 40" professional from the Hartford Business Journal.
President of Paul T. Murphy Insurance Agency, Inc
In a community with 26 competing agencies, Paul Murphy decided that he too wanted to take a stab at selling insurance, which led him to build the Paul T. Murphy Insurance Agency, Inc. from scratch in 1988. Paul Murphy serves as the President of the Astonish Agency Advisory Council. In February, 2010, the agency was honored by being named the "E-Marketing Agency of the Month" in Rough Notes Magazine and has also been featured in Insurance Journal, as well as several other industry trade publications. The agency has been voted the "Best of the Best" in the Malden area for 10 years straight.
Exec VP of Sales & Marketing of Rough Notes Magazine
If you're looking for a man with a diverse career, Eric Hall fits the bill. A 30+ year veteran of the insurance industry, Hall has held three distinct vocational pursuits. Hall began his career as an insurance agent who happened to split his time as a part-time stand-up comedian and part-time furniture salesman. Today, Hall acts as the Executive Vice President of The Rough Notes Company.
VP of Marketing of Mercury Insurance Group
Brandt began his insurance career in the late 80's as an underwriter and has held various marketing and sales positions over the last 20 years. Coming from a family that owned its own insurance agency, Brandt understands the value that a local agent provides to customers and carriers; and he is committed to helping Mercury's independent agents increase their market share today and into the future.
Exec Director of American Agents Alliance
D'Arelli has an extensive understanding of insurance, banking, securities, and real estate. He is licensed in California as a Property & Casualty Broker-Agent, Life Agent with Variable Contract Authority, Series 7 General Securities Representative, Series 65 Investment Advisor, Series 63 Securities Agent State Law, and a real estate broker.
CEO of Encharter Insurance
As a 20+ year veteran of the insurance industry, having also worked as an insurance company underwriter for two major insurance companies, Ken Petersen brings a wealth of firsthand experience and insight to this year's summit. Petersen is also a public speaker who actively discusses how local businesses can utilize Internet marketing and social media advertising to their competitive advantage.
Owner and President of Rockwood Programs
Glenn W. Clark is currently the Owner and President of Rockwood Programs, an insurance agency based in Wilmington, Delaware. As the first employee of the company when it first launched in July 1996, Clark has seen firsthand the level of dedication and commitment it takes to grow a successful business. Rockwood serves as the administrator of several nationwide management liability programs, including Employment Practices Liability, Life Agents Errors & Omissions, and Medical Malpractice. Additionally, Rockwood maintains a separate E&S brokerage operation and provides marketing services to insurance carriers.
VP of Raving Fan Management, Astonish
Kelly Donahue joined Astonish in 2009 as the first Raving Fan Manager for the insurance industry. Currently she oversees the client satisfaction and success for over 350 Astonish clients. Kelly graduated from Bentley University in 2003 with an Honors in Relationship Marketing. After graduating she worked as Director of Client Relations for the largest real estate law firm in Connecticut. Shortly after leaving the firm, Kelly met Tim Sawyer through her consulting work with a mutual client in the mortgage industry. From there Kelly joined Astonish full time.
GM of Astonish
After graduating from Bryant College with a Marketing and Communications degree, Jonathan Monterecy joined Adam DeGraide at his first digital marketing company, BZ Results, in 1999. While there, he had the opportunity to wear many hats and develop his skills in sales and marketing, management, and effective digital marketing strategies. After 10 years at BZ Results, he’s now in his fourth year at Astonish serving as General Manager. He works closely with all the departments by improving people and processes, providing continuous sales and marketing training, and developing the most effective digital marketing strategies for our agencies.
Social Media Manager, Astonish
Alicia has been on the Astonish team for over a year and a half and currently heads up the social media sector of the internet marketing department. From working with new clients to getting their social media sites up and running, to strategizing with Astonish veterans on the next big thing, Alicia works hand-in-hand with many of our clientele to ensure their social media is up to par and that they have the best practices necessary to help their agencies grow.
President of Penny Insrance
Will Penny is the owner of Penny Insurance Agency, a third-generation agency in Hendersonville, NC. He has been an Astonish client for two years, is the very lucky husband of Lynn Llewelyn Penny, and the father of four daughters.
Senior VP of Astonish Coaching
Scott Roberts joined Astonish in 2009 to help launch and develop the Astonish Coaching training division. With over 20 years in the trenches of sales, sales management, and training experience, Scott has worked hands on with hundreds of Astonish agencies to help maximize their people, processes, and tools for optimum results. Scott has a passion for working with people to help reach their potential, make a lasting impact with their lives, and achieve success.
President & CEO of Pixelsilk
With decades of experience and hundreds of software and Web development projects under his belt, Mark Knowles has an in-depth understanding of Web design, development, marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). During the past several years, Mark's focus has been founding and developing the first-ever SEO-friendly content management system (CMS), Pixelsilk. At Pixelsilk, Mark leads a team that combines the Web CMS with SEO best practices for client websites across the globe.
President of Downey Ins
Executive VP, Consulting & Business Dev
Stuart Ganis is currently the Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Astonish, where he manages the greatest Digital Marketing team in the country. With 17 years of experience in managing and owning independent insurance agencies, Stuart is widely known in the industry as an agency sales, management, and leadership expert.
Stuart started in the Insurance industry in 1989. He has held numerous positions including Producer, Sales Manager and Executive. He was responsible for managing, recruiting, and training of a staff of 95, and consistently exceeded sales and retention targets throughout his career.
In 1999, Stuart and his wife, Mary, started a small insurance agency in Redondo Beach, CA. Within 3 years the agency employed 32 full time individuals in 2 locations, with over 7,500 active clients producing over $2M in annual commission revenue. Stuart and Mary successfully sold the agency in December, 2005. For the past 7 years he has been Consulting and Training agencies in the areas of Sales, Marketing and Operations.
Director of Professional Services Group, Swett & Crawford
Caitlan Perez has been a professional services broker with Swett & Crawford since May 2009. Based out of San Francisco, she services all professional lines with a specialization in cyber/network security coverage. Perez has been deeply involved within the commercial insurance industry for more than 11 years. She has a Masters of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA.
Founder and Executive VP, ThinkRisk Underwriting Agency
For 10 years prior to joining ThinkRisk, Chad Milton was the national practice leader for Media and Intellectual Property at Marsh. There, he worked with Marsh offices nationwide to serve clients in a wide variety of media and related industries. Milton is a regular speaker and moderator at forums presented by organizations such as the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio and Television News Directors Association, among others.
CEO of Dagley Insurance
Nathan Dagley founded Dagley Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. in 2001. As the CEO, Dagley is responsible for the strategic direction of the company and brings both strong leadership and a clear vision to the agency. Dagley has been highly successful in refining and perfecting the agency's business model, as evidenced by the success of the many offices that are currently in operation. Nationwide Insurance Company has also honored Dagley for his ability to attain the level of expertise and experience associated with the Champions Conference and President's Conference, multiple years in a row.
Clark Sitzes began his insurance career in 1989 as a contract lobbyist representing several insurance organizations, including agent/broker producer associations, major insurance companies, and surplus lines brokers. After 17 years as a lobbyist, Sitzes opened up Association Management Services (AMS). As the Owner and President of AMS, Sitzes represents the PIA Western Alliance, an association representing nine western states, as well as the corresponding insurance agents and brokers engaged in the sale and service of property and casualty insurance.
Founder of Arroyo Insurance Services, Inc.
Jim Armitage is an insurance salesman and the Founding Member of Arroyo Insurance Services, Inc. in Arcadia, California. He is currently the Chairman of the Agents Council for Technology Committee of The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA), and a Committee Member of the Blue Ribbon Conference Committee of IBA West. He is a past President of NetVU, formally the AMS User’s Group.
Armitage earned his Accredited Advisor of Insurance (AAI) designation in 1990, Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation in 1986, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing and International Management from the University of Southern California. He began his career in insurance as a commercial casualty underwriter and marketing representative with Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, and in 1986 formed Arroyo Insurance Services.
Ed Gillman literally has insurance blood running through his veins. As a third-generation "insurance man," he spent most of his young life in his family's Florida insurance agency. Upon graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in Government and then earning a diploma in Risk and Insurance at the College of Insurance in New York, Gillman learned all aspects of insurance agency operations. It was his deep-rooted dedication and experience within the insurance landscape that led him to become a "Top 100 U.S. Broker." His accomplishments further fueled his entrepreneurial spirit and the launch of several industry-related initiatives.