Filed Under:Agent Broker, Agency Management

Florida People, Places, & Products–September 2011 Round-Up

William Stander Forms Advocacy Firm

William H. Stander, formerly state government relations assistant vice president for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), has formed a Tallahassee-based advocacy firm, WHISPER - William H. Stander Public Relations, Inc.

As a lobbyist for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Stander worked to bring 1000+ member insurance companies together on the complex and often contentious issues facing the industry. He will continue to represent PCI as an outside consultant.

His other previous lobbying clients have spanned a broad array of industries including life and health insurance, economic development and small business, transportation, solid waste, K-12, and post-secondary education.

Stander has 20 plus years experience advocating before the governor and Cabinet, state legislators, agency officials, print, radio, and television reporters, and business and industry trade groups. As a spokesperson, Stander has been quoted and published in major print and electronic media outlets and industry trades. He also serves on the editorial advisory board of Florida Underwriter magazine.

“WHISPER will provide experienced public policy campaign management and coordinated lobbying and media advocacy in and out of Florida, so clients can be sure they speak with one message delivered by one voice,” says Stander. “Don't shout—WHISPER.”

Stander may be reached at 850-212-3250;

Shelly Middlebrooks Offers Trucker Program

Shelly, Middlebrooks & O’Leary, Inc., a Jacksonville-based wholesale broker, has developed an exclusive program with an A.M. Best rated A+ XIV carrier to provide commercial auto coverage for sugar cane haulers. The program will provide a 6-month insurance policy for truckers hauling sugar cane from the field to the processing mill. Additional agriculture harvest seasons will be eligible for coverage over the next several months.

The program will provide liability, personal injury protection, physical damage, extended towing & trailer interchange coverage. Applicants must have a minimum of 2 complete years of commercial driving experience. For additional information or to obtain a quote, contact Erin O’Leary at 800-342-2498;

Main Street America Group Announces Senior Appointments

Three executives at Main Street America Group have been promoted to new roles. The super regional property & casualty insurer, headquartered in Jacksonville, has appointed Steve Peeters as COO and executive vice president of insurance operations, Bruce Fox as vice president of legal services, and Dan Gaynor as vice president of commercial lines. All will remain based in Jacksonville.

As COO, Peeters oversees the carrier’s commercial lines, personal lines, bonds, and assumed reinsurance product lines, as well as its pricing, information technology, claims, and customer service functions. He will continue to report to Chairman, President and CEO Tom Van Berkel.

Fox, Main Street America’s general counsel and secretary, leads the company’s corporate law and state filings functions. He provides legal advice and counsel to all company personnel on matters affecting interests of The Main Street America Group, its five subsidiaries and two affiliates. Fox is also responsible for ensuring that the organization’s business practices, policies and all other dealings meet state and federal regulatory requirements. Fox will continue to report to Van Berkel.

Gaynor leads Main Street America's commercial lines product group and is responsible for the company’s commercial lines product premium growth and profitability results. Additionally, Gaynor is accountable for development, management and administration of all of Main Street America’s commercial lines products and oversees its commercial lines underwriting function. Gaynor will continue to report to Peeters.

The Main Street America Group operates seven property-casualty insurance carriers: NGM Insurance Co., Old Dominion Insurance Co., Main Street America Assurance Co., MSA Insurance Co., Great Lakes Casualty Insurance Co., Grain Dealers Mutual Insurance Co., and Main Street America Protection Insurance Co. It currently writes nearly $900 million in premium and insures more than 600,000 policyholders in 27 states and writes bonds in 44 states. A.M. Best Company rates The Main Street America Group as an "A" (Excellent).

Main Street America Group Enters Minnesota Market

Main Street America Group has reached an agreement with Minnesota-domiciled Spring Valley Mutual Insurance Co. to become an affiliate of the Florida super regional property & casualty insurance carrier.

The affiliation has been approved by the Minnesota Department of Commerce Insurance Commissioner’s Office. The state’s action follows approvals by the boards of directors of both companies, as well as approval by Spring Valley Mutual members at a special policyholders’ meeting held in July. Terms were not disclosed.

Spring Valley Mutual, based in Spring Valley, Minn., provides farm owners and homeowners coverage to approximately 6,000 policyholders throughout Minnesota. In 2010, Spring Valley generated $9.3 million in net written premium. Like Main Street America, it offers its products through the independent agency distribution system. It will continue to operate from its Spring Valley headquarters and will become a part of Main Street America’s Midwest Region.

Brown & Brown-Michigan Acquires PEBS

Brown & Brown of Central Michigan, Inc., a subsidiary of Brown & Brown, Inc., has acquired substantially all the assets of Public Employee Benefits Solutions, LLC, (PEBS) of Saginaw, Mich.

Founded in 2003 by Fred D. Todd and Mitchell T. Singer, PEBS, with approximately $2.3 million of annual revenues, provides employee benefits coverage and advice to municipalities, public and quasi-public agencies, and not-for-profit organizations throughout Michigan. The PEBS team will remain based in Saginaw under the leadership of PEBS's current president, Angela L. Garner.

Michael Hudson Joins HealthPlan Holdings

Tampa-based HealthPlan Holdings, Inc., a provider of outsourced solutions to insurers in the individual, union trust and voluntary benefits markets, has appointed Michael Hudson as CFO and executive vice president. In this role, he will manage the financial and accounting functions for the company’s businesses. Prior to joining HealthPlan, Hudson served in several executive positions at Aetna.

Stahl & Associates Acquires Herndon

St. Petersburg-based Stahl & Associates Insurance, an independent insurance agency with offices in Oldsmar and Lake Mary, has acquired Herndon & Associates Insurance LLC in Lakeland. The acquisition expands the company’s footprint along the Interstate 4 corridor and is part of an overall growth strategy. Terms were not disclosed.

Herndon & Associates Insurance will now be known as Stahl Herndon & Associates Insurance. The firm currently employs more than 100 full-time insurance professionals. Its services include commercial insurance and risk management, employee benefits and financial services, and personal insurance.

Connelly, Carlisle, Fields & Nichols Merges With Triton HR

Connelly, Carlisle, Fields & Nichols, a Clearwater-based full-service insurance agency, has merged with Triton HR of Oldsmar, an administrative services organization specializing in payroll outsourcing, human resources and employee benefits.

Triton’s vice presidents and co-founders, Anthony Arcaro and John Arcaro, have joined CCF&N—Anthony Arcaro as sales director and John Arcaro as benefits advisor.

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