Top Producers 2021

Reaching new heights

Every cloud has a silver lining, and the cloud of 2020 is no exception. Thanks to COVID-19, hurricanes, wildfires and civil unrest, the net income of US insurers dropped roughly 25% year-over-year during the first nine months of 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Yet despite the overall bearishness of the market, insurers delivered an estimated $14 billion in premium relief to auto insurance clients, donated nearly $300 million to charities and largely retained the industry’s 2.8 million-strong US workforce – all with only modest increases in premiums, according to III CEO Sean Kevelighan.

Kevelighan told attendees at the virtual 2021 Catastrophe Risk Management Conference in March that “2020 proved how this industry can lead through disruption. We can adapt. We can innovate. We can keep our promises and pay claims – even during a global pandemic.”

In an additional silver lining, many individual producers have done quite well for themselves over the past year. IBA’s seventh annual Top Producers list features 128 producers from around the country, all of whom reached the $1 million threshold in commission revenue in 2020. Of these, 15 producers crossed the $4 million mark, and one even cracked $11 million. While most of this year’s Top Producers are veterans with more than 11 years of experience, the group also contains a solid showing by individuals new to the industry. From entertainment industry entrepreneurs to transportation experts and real estate gurus, these 128 men and women represent some of the best and brightest talent the US insurance industry has to offer.

The importance of expertise
One of this year’s highest-grossing producers is Robby McGehee, president of Smith McGehee Insurance Solutions in Clayton, Missouri, who entered the industry after a stint as a race-car driver.

“I graduated college in 1997 and continued my dream to race cars professionally,” he says. “I was blessed to be able to say I got to live my childhood dream when, after years of preparation at the lower levels, I had an opportunity to drive in the 1999 Indianapolis 500, where I finished fifth, received the Rookie of the Year Award and was propelled into a five-year career of earning my living driving 200-plus every weekend.”

Throughout his racing career, McGehee also worked in IT at his father’s insurance company, which was sold in 2004, the same year he got out of racing. McGehee stayed on and, in 2011, opened Smith McGehee Insurance Solutions, where he specializes in construction liability.

“We had our best year under COVID,” he says. “There was a three-month period where new development paused, and we paused with it. But when it turned back on, so did we, and it came back good.”

McGehee attributes his competitive advantage to three principles he learned from his father: honesty and integrity, business knowledge, and a willingness to serve.

“Buying the client a beer at the ballpark is fun, and I do it, but it’s not in the top 10 reasons of why we work together,” he says.

Rather, one of the key reasons McGehee has been able to maintain a loyal client base is that he not only provides cost-effective insurance coverage, but also spends a good chunk of his time talking with general counsels and attorneys about all types of claims.

“It’s certainly not exciting,” he says, “but that’s when it matters, and the clients know this.”

Going forward, McGehee says he’s focused on growing his business and in-house talent. The only things that can keep him from producing more, he says, are limited capacity and having less energy as he gets older.

His advice to those producers just getting into the industry? “Learn the business,” he says. “Be the best at the product you’re selling. If I go into a room to talk about insurance, if I’m not the smartest guy, we’ve got a problem! There are very successful producers who depend on supporting expertise. I would say to gain the expertise your-self. Just my way of doing it – no way is wrong if the business comes in.”

Building relationships
Another of this year’s highest-grossing producers, Annie Fleming, studied risk management and insurance at the University of Georgia before embarking on a 17-year-plus career specializing in insurance for the real estate, construction, hospitality and retail industries. She’s currently the managing director of the hospitality and real estate unit at Beecher Carlson.

Fleming says the pandemic has propelled her to discover new and creative solutions to optimize connections with clients and markets. But while the technology is great, she says, nothing will ever completely replace in-person interaction with clients, under-writers and industry partners, which she feels is the best way to solidify the trust that’s essential to relationships in this industry.

“I am passionate about partnering with clients to help them solve complex problems,” Fleming says. “I work to involve my clients in the development and implementation of strategies, negotiations, and overall process, enabling us to fully understand each organization’s goals and objectives and help to achieve them. I believe in white-glove customer service as well. While the renewal process is extremely important, so is the day-to-day customer service of an account. I take this very seriously and personally.”

In the current market, she says, certain risks have become increasingly challenging, but Beecher Carlson has designed and implemented solutions and structures that are popular with clients.

“We believe in analyzing a client’s total cost of risk, not just selling insurance,” Fleming says. “The more complex an account, the more we are able to excel by structuring unique solutions for our clients.”

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2021 and 2022, Fleming plans to further expand her book of business with best-in-class insurance and risk management programs and by offering superior customer service. And she can’t wait to travel again and meet face-to-face with clients and business partners.

For young producers just starting out in the industry, Fleming advises them to “focus on your clients and align with a mentor. Focusing on your clients keeps you working toward your and your clients’ shared goals and objectives and helps you to deliver the best insurance programs and solutions possible. Aligning with a mentor can help you to establish a direction for yourself and to develop your career.”

5-Star Excellence Awards

  • Adam Sammons
    Vice president, Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • Adam Sopenski
    Risk advisor, RRL Insurance Agency
  • Alexander H. Carothers III
    Commercial P&C risk advisor, Harmon Dennis Bradshaw
  • Alka Manaktala
    Vice president, IOA Insurance
  • Allen Chapman
    Executive vice president, HUB International
  • Annie Fleming
    Managing director, Beecher Carlson
  • Anthony Miller
    CEO, GS Insurance Solutions
  • Bart McGowan
    Executive vice president Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • Béat Koszinowski
    Producer, The Buckner Company
  • Ben D. Smith
    Managing director, Higginbotham
  • Bob Bamberger
    Executive vice president, Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • Bob Hendren
    Managing director – business insurance, Higginbotham
  • Bolling (Trey) Starke III
    President, Starke Agency
  • Bradley Meinhardt
    Area executive vice president; managing director, aerospace, Gallagher
  • Brett Nilsson
    Senior vice president, producer, The Buckner Company
  • Brian Gilberg
    Vice president, Odell Studner
  • Brian Hall
    Partner, Overmyer Hall Associates
  • Brian King
    Partner, AHT Insurance, a Baldwin Risk Partner
  • Brian Krimpelbein
    Principal/relationship manager, HNI Risk Services
  • Brian Schneider
    Managing director, Higginbotham
  • Brigitte M. Egbert
    Executive vice president, Monarch Insurance Services, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Bruce Ball
    CEO, Britton Gallagher
  • Bryan Moore
    President, risk advisor, IBTX
  • Carlos A. Chinchilla
    Senior executive vice president, Frank H. Furman, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Charles Fontenelle
    President/producer, Fontenelle & Goodreau Insurance
  • Charles Humphrey
    Commercial P&C risk advisor, Harmon Dennis Bradshaw
  • Charles Reynolds
    Senior vice president, HUB International
  • Chase Carlisle
    Vice president, Carlisle Insurance, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Chip Hoover
    Executive vice president, Marsh & McLennan Agency – Southeast
  • Chris Leming
    Senior vice president, TROXELL
  • Christopher F. Trapani
    Executive vice president, Eagan Insurance Agency
  • Christopher Hopper
    CEO, Crosby Insurance
  • Clinton Anderson
    President, national specialty practice, HUB International
  • Curtis Page
    Managing director, healthcare practice leader, Higginbotham
  • Dan Overmyer
    Partner, Overmyer Hall Associates
  • Dan Peck
    Vice president – construction practice, James G Parker Insurance Associates
  • David McKinnon
    Senior vice president Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance
  • Davor Mimica
    President and CEO, InSource
  • Edward M. Smith
    Executive vice president, Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • Eric Beck
    Senior vice president, national nonprofit practice leader, Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • Eric Leedom
    Area vice president, Gallagher
  • Eric Weiser
    Agency president, AssuredPartners
  • Frank Barbella
    Founder and CEO, SOLV Risk Solutions
  • Frank J. McMackin IV
    Area senior vice president, Gallagher
  • Frankie Harris III
    Executive vice president of sales, AssuredPartners
  • Gary Wells
    Managing partner, The Liberty Company Insurance Brokers
  • Greg Myers
    Executive managing director, Beecher Carlson
  • Gregory W. Havemeier
    Senior vice president, Gulfshore Insurance, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Jack A. Carra
    Senior vice president of sales, AssuredPartners
  • Jacob Barzivand
    Producer, Paramount Exclusive Insurance
  • James Oh
    Executive vice president, Marsh & McLennan Agency – Southeast
  • James W. Untiedt
    President, PentaRisk Insurance
  • Jason Young
    Senior vice president, Fisher Brown Bottrell
  • JD Powers
    President, POWERS Insurance & Risk Management
  • Jeff McIntosh
    Agent, Energy Insurance Agency
  • Jerrime Kitsos
    Senior vice president, HUB International
  • Jimbo Floyd
    President, Turner Wood & Smith
  • Joe Thompson
    Partner/client advisor, Gulfshore Insurance, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Joel Hirschfeld
    President, Hirschfeld & Associates Corp.
  • John Costello
    Executive vice president, sales, AssuredPartners
  • John Daughton
    President, Vanner Insurance Agency
  • John Gaynier
    Executive vice president, Rogers Gray
  • John Henry Ward
    Vice president, sales executive, AssuredPartners
  • John J Sirabella Jr.
    Account executive, CLG Insurance, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Jonathan Axel
    Managing partner, The Liberty Company Insurance Brokers
  • Joseph DeLucchi
    President, CAL Insurance & Associates
  • Joshua Jabour
    Sales executive, AssuredPartners Aerospace
  • Karin Venegas
    Managing director – business insurance, Higginbotham
  • Karl Henley
    Executive vice president, partner, SeibertKeck Insurance Partners
  • Kyle A. Kozel
    Senior risk consultant Lakenan Insurance
  • Larry Hansard
    Area director – healthcare practice, Gallagher
  • Leslie McLerran
    Vice president, producer Falcon, Insurance Agency of Houston
  • Marcus Eagan
    Vice president, Eagan Insurance
  • Mark Doscher
    Principal, Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • Mark Harrington
    Account executive, Taggart Insurance
  • Matthew Harrell
    Managing director, Franklin Street
  • Maureen Gallagher
    Agency presiden,t AssuredPartners
  • Michael Abacherli
    Account executive, HD Segur, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Michael Dix
    Producer, Smith Manus, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Michael Kellam
    COO, Ware Insurance
  • Michael Pollack
    Executive vice president, The Flanders Group, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Michael Shea
    Executive vice president, LassiterWare Insurance, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Michael Sullivan
    Vice president, growth practice lead, Embroker
  • Michael Tomasulo
    Managing partner, AHT Insurance, a Baldwin Risk Partner
  • Michael Trammell
    Senior vice president, Ironwood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency Company
  • Mike Todorovich
    President, Lockton Companies
  • Nathan Durham
    Executive vice president, Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • Neal Papevies
    Senior vice president, Beecher Carlson
  • Paul Praxmarer
    Agency president, producer, AssuredPartners
  • Phillip Lane
    Vice president, Insurance Office of America
  • Phillip Masi
    Agency president, AssuredPartners
  • Ray Deaton
    Executive vice president and COO, Commercial Insurance Solutions, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Richard Lonneman
    Executive vice president, sales, AssuredPartners
  • Richard Terlecki
    Area senior vice president, Gallagher
  • Robby McGehee
    President, Smith McGehee, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Robert Baldacci
    Account executive, National Housing Insurance Group
  • Robert Culpepper
    Senior executive vice president, Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • Roberto C. Menendez
    Commercial risk advisor, Frank H. Furman, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Russ Wardlaw
    President and partner, Insuramax
  • Ryan Hurley
    Producer – sales, AssuredPartners
  • Ryan Moss
    Managing partner, Higginbotham
  • Ryan Schmidt
    Client advisor/partner, Gulfshore Insurance, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Ryan Spalding
    CEO, Worthy Insurance Group
  • Ryan Von Haden
    Partner/vice president, business insurance specialist, TRICOR Insurance
  • Sam Sackler
    Senior vice president, Fisher Brown Bottrell
  • Sarah Wheeler-Monyette
    Senior vice president, Marsh & McLennan Agency – Southeast
  • Shawn Budney
    Vice president, Acentria Insurance
  • Shawn P. McBride
    President, Acrisure Affiliated Insurance Agencies
  • Stephen A. Stefanski Jr.
    Executive vice president, sales, AssuredPartners
  • Steven Fisk
    Principal, Marsh & McLennan Agency
  • Tim Powers
    Broker, Missouri General Insurance Agency
  • Tim Spear
    Client advisor/partner, Gulfshore Insurance, an Acrisure Agency Partner
  • Timothy Cline
    CEO, Cline Agency Insurance Brokers
  • Todd Jackson
    Senior vice president, Bolton & Co.
  • Tom Quintero
    Vice president of risk management solutions, IBTX
  • Tressa Bishop
    Vice president, community associations insurance practice, USI Insurance Services
  • Trevor Gilstrap
    Senior vice president and energy practice leader, AssuredPartners
  • Trey Wood
    Executive vice president, Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance
  • Vik Patel
    Vice president, Acentria Insurance
  • Wayne Willis
    Executive vice president, employee benefits, AssuredPartners
  • Will Denbo
    Managing partner, Commercial Insurance Associates
  • Will Giambalvo
    Area senior vice president, Gallagher
  • Zachary Fanberg
    Vice president, Eagan Insurance


Now in its seventh year, Insurance Business America’s Top Producers list highlights the best-performing insurance professionals from around the country. Starting in January, IBA invited producers to nominate themselves for the 2021 list.

To qualify as a Top Producer, producers must have achieved at least $1 million in commission revenue in 2020, with at least 50% commercial P&C business and demonstrated year-over-year growth from 2019. Each nominated producer was required to provide specific details about his or her business to be eligible.

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