Underwriter Profiles

La Crescenta

Phone (818) 249-0100
Fax (818) 249-1166

Underwriting Assistants

COMMERCIAL INSURANCE

Mark Kaufman


markk@monarchexcess.com

Direct (818) 330-6652, Main (818) 249-0100, ext. 1225

I’ve worked on the E&S side of the insurance industry since 1984 and with Monarch since 1994. I have a Mathematics degree from CSUN and I currently live in Tarzana with my lovely wife Sharon, son Jordan and daughter Sofia. I enjoy coaching my son’s soccer team, playing golf with friends & colleagues and racing in triathlons throughout the year.

Nicole Loven, Commercial Lines
Nicole Loven


nicolel@monarchexcess.com

Direct (818) 330-6689, Main (818) 249-0100, ext. 1265

I have been in the insurance industry since 1992. I started at Monarch in December of 1992 and have been with Monarch ever since. I was originally hired as a file clerk and have worked my way up to a Commercial Underwriter. I am a single mother to a beautiful 9 year old daughter. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my daughter, stalking Mark Wahlberg and hanging out with my friends.

Kimber West, Commercial Lines
Kimber West


kimberw@monarchexcess.com

Direct (818) 330-6559, Main (818) 249-0100, ext. 1224

I have been working in the insurance business since 1978. I have experience working on the carrier and retailer side of the business but I must admit I prefer the General Agent side the best. I have taken many insurance courses enough to have obtained an Associated Insurance Services, AIS designation. For enjoyment I love to hike to San Gabriel Hills, yoga is a great get away from any stress during the busy day and playing golf is a challenging sport. I also spend fun times with my family and friends dining, going to the movies or having BBQ parties.

Randy Scott, Commercial Lines
Randy Scott


randys@monarchexcess.com

Direct (818) 330-6722, Main (818) 249-0100, ext. 1226

I joined Monarch as a Senior Commercial Lines Underwriter in February, 2007. Prior to joining Monarch, I held a position as a Commercial Lines Manager at another Southern California wholesaler, producing property and casualty business. I began my insurance career in 1997, working for Commercial Union.

My goal at Monarch is to provide superb customer service and quick quote turnaround. I believe that insurance is all about building and nurturing an excellent rapport with both agents and companies, and I’ve enjoyed nurturing those relationships. In addition, I love a challenge: to beat our competition!

On the personal side, I reside in Glendale with my wife Digna and our daughter Charly. I like to spend my free time with my family and I enjoy rollerblading, snowboarding and softball. Also, I’m a recreational “hacker”…golf, that is!

Lori Sarti, Special Risk Lines
Lori Sarti


loris@monarchexcess.com

Direct (818) 330-6645, Main (818) 249-0100, ext. 1251

Underwriting Assistants

PERSONAL INSURANCE

Dave Skogstrom, Personal Lines
Dave Skogstrom


daves@monarchexcess.com

Direct (818) 330-6535, Main (818) 249-0100, ext. 1241

I was born & raised in Southern California and began my career in the insurance
industry in 1993 with another Los Angeles area wholesale office. I joined the Monarch
team in 1998 as a Senior Underwriter and now manage the Personal Lines Department
& a staff of 4 outstanding individuals who make it their top priority to provide
great service & expertise to our valued agents & brokers. I enjoy the classic car
hobby, traveling & spending quality time with family & friends.

Sherry Brodek, Personal Lines
Sherry Brodek


sherryb@monarchexcess.com

Direct (818) 330-6488, Main (818) 249-0100, ext. 1239

I’m Sherry Brodek, Underwriter for Personal Lines Property Division. I have been with Monarch E & S since October 1993. Starting in Technical Services I have been given a wonderful opportunity to work my way up through Various positions to become the Underwriter that I am today. Thanks Monarch! I truly enjoy Underwriting and find it very challenging in today’s market place. On my off time I love many activities. Especially the summer ones in my garden, working on my home or relaxing in the pool. I also love sharing Music, dancing, concerts and traveling with my friends.

Stefanie McLeod, Personal Lines
Stefanie McLeod


stefaniem@monarchexcess.com

Direct (818) 330-6491, Main (818) 249-0100, ext. 1240

I was born and raised in La Crescenta and have been working in the insurance industry since 2002. Since joining Monarch at that time I have become a senior underwriter for personal lines, have been on the board of directors for the IBA-BGP Board from 2009 – 2011 and have tried to be an active member of the insurance industry. When I am not at work I love to go snow boarding, dirt bike riding, and camping with my husband Jeff. My childhood friend, Kristen Wheatley (Commercial Dept) recommended me for the job & industry and I am very grateful for it, Monarch is a wonderful place to work that provides many opportunities to their employees.

Underwriting Assistants

Special Risk INSURANCE

Helene Briskin, Special Risk Lines
Helene Briskin


heleneb@monarchexcess.com

Direct (818) 330-6553, Main (818) 249-0100, ext. 1248

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, where I started my insurance career with another E&S broker in 1974. What began as a part-time typing position while in college developed into a full time career of more than 30 years! I joined Monarch over 10 years ago to start the Personal Lines/Special Risk Department and now employ a staff of 7 very dedicated employees. My husband and I currently split our time between homes in Encino and Newport Beach. When not working, I love to travel, cook & read.

Brokerage

Cindy Blazer, Brokerage Operation
Cindy Blazer


cindyb@monarchexcess.com

Direct (818) 330-6533, Main (818) 249-0100, ext. 1223

I am a native Southern Californian (3rd generation in fact). I have worked in the surplus lines insurance industry since 1984, when I gave up my dream of being a political operative in order to pay the bills. In my spare time I am involved in local community and political issues, enjoy reading, have seen every episode of the West Wing dozens of times and I am a Los Angeles Lakers fanatic.

 

SAN DIEGO

Phone (619) 521-2170
Fax (619) 521-2180

Underwriting Assistants

COMMERCIAL INSURANCE

Alice Carlisle, Commercial Lines
Alice Carlisle


alicec@monarchexcess.com

Direct (619) 452-1401, Main (619) 521-2170, ext. 4229

I have 30 years of experience in the insurance industry. All in MGA Excess & Surplus. I have held jobs from receptionist to underwriting and everything in between. I am Texan by birth, raised Midwest Buckeye but Californian at heart.

PERSONAL LINES

Marisela Valencia, Personal Lines
Marisela Valencia


mariselav@monarchexcess.com

Direct (619) 452-1406, Main (619) 521-2170, ext. 4232

I started my insurance career in 1987, working for a retail agency in North Hollywood, California. I have been in San Diego for the past 16 years and have enjoyed working with Monarch for the past 20 years. Since 2002, I have had the pleasure to work mainly as Personal Lines Underwriter, Office Manager and now Commercial Lines. On a personal note my wonderful husband Julius and I have been very blessed with 2 beautiful children Jocelyn and Nicholas.

 

RANCHO MIRAGE

Phone (760) 779-5555
Fax (760) 779-5234

Underwriting Assistants

COMMERCIAL INSURANCE

Phil Rathbun, Commercial Lines
Phil Rathbun


philr@monarchexcess.com

Direct (760) 610-0205, Main (760) 779-5555, ext. 3280

I was raised in Tucson, Arizona and completed my education at the University of Arizona. I moved to Los Angeles in 1975 and have worked on the Excess & Surplus Lines side of the insurance industry since then. I started at Monarch in February 1986 as one of the first two employees. After spending weekends in the Palm Springs area for many years I made the decision to become a full time resident of the Coachella Valley and transferred to our Rancho Mirage branch in 2006. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, movies, discovering new restaurants, watching tennis and playing three card poker at any of our nearby casinos.

Debbie Messina, Commercial Lines
Debbie Messina


debbiem@monarchexcess.com

Direct (760) 610-0182, Main (760) 779-5555, ext. 3227

I grew up in the Midwest and attended University of WI from 1971 to 1975. My insurance career started when I moved to Southern California in 1978. I’ve worked both the retail and wholesale side of the insurance industry for 33 years. Currently, I’m Branch Manager for the Monarch, Rancho Mirage office and enjoy the long term relationships with the retail agents and company personnel that I’ve developed over the years. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, working out at the gym, traveling, good books and music.

Vicki Johnson, Commercial Lines
Vicki Johnson


vickij@monarchexcess.com

Direct (760) 610-0316, Main (760) 779-5555, ext. 3290

I’ve worked in the E&S wholesale side of the insurance industry for 16 years and almost half of those have been with Monarch. I live in Indio with my husband of 20 years Steve and my beautiful daughter Shannon. I enjoy doing anything outdoors including going to the beach, running and swimming. If I am not behind my desk here at Monarch you will find me on vacation in Hawaii which is one of my most favorite places to go.

Linda S. Stephens, Commercial Lines
Linda S. Stephens


lindas@monarchexcess.com

Direct (760) 610-0197, Main (760) 779-5555, ext. 3224

Native New Yorker from the South Shores of Long Island. Moved to So. CA with my husband Jonathan, in 2001. We reside in a small town called Beaumont CA. I started in the insurance industry in 1972. I have been with Monarch E & S as Broker / Underwriter since February 2009. Prior experience was as Senior Underwriter/ Broker for another wholesaler in the LA area from 2001 to 2009. Also worked as Program Manager & Senior Underwriter for an MGA, handling construction accounts from 1992 to 2001. Before 1992, I have held several Senior Underwriter /Large Lines Specialist positions for different E & S insurance companies. I am able underwrite all aspects of Property & Casualty business – Primary & Excess/ Umbrella Liability. I love listening to music, dancing, cooking and playing dominos and going to thrift shops. I am very active in my community church.

 

SIMI VALLEY

Phone (805) 577-6800
Fax (805) 577-1915

Underwriting Assistants

COMMERCIAL INSURANCE

Matt Merkle, Commercial Lines
Matt Merkle


mattm@monarchexcess.com

Direct (805) 813-8962, Main (805) 577-6800, ext. 2226

In 2004 I came on board and opened a Monarch E&S Insurance Services branch office in Simi Valley, CA. In addition to overseeing the day to day operations of the office, I enjoy writing property and casualty business (the more difficult the better). Prior to joining Monarch, I was President, Director and Partner of a multi office insurance e&s wholesaler producing property and casualty business in California. I reside in Simi Valley with my lovely wife Chris and daughter Amanda. When I’m not in the office, I’m spending time with the family, enjoying NASCAR or hacking away on the golf course.

Sharron Johnson, Commercial Lines
Sharron Johnson


sharronj@monarchexcess.com

Direct (805) 813-8963, Main (805) 577-6800, ext. 2222

I am a native Southern Californian, beginning my insurance career in 1985 with a
large retail agency. I quickly moved over to the wholesale side, where I still enjoy
the challenge of underwriting a wide range of risks. When not working hard on your
business, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, and exploring the outdoors
in the Thousand Oaks area.

Doris Rojas, Commercial Lines
Doris Rojas


dorisr@monarchexcess.com

Direct (805) 813-8956, Main (805) 577-6800, ext. 2229

I began my insurance career in 1989 on the retail side and therefore my extensive retail experience gives me an edge in the business and enables me to understand the varied insurance needs of my agents and by being bilingual I am able to extend my knowledge & expertise to the Hispanic Market as well. I’m ready to assist you with all of your submissions. If your risk doesn’t fit one of the many programs or lines we have available in-house, I’m also quite savvy in dealing with all of our Brokerage markets. If it can be done, I will get it done for you! You will never hear NO on a risk until I have exhausted the markets for you. I love the challenge of the insurance business everyday is different. When I’m not at the office, working on your submission, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

JUNIOR UNDERWRITER

Luisa Kamali


luisak@monarchexcess.com

Direct (805) 813-8961, Main (805) 577-6800, ext. 2230

I started in the insurance industry in 1997. I took some time off to raise my three beautiful kids and to work as a substitute teacher for special needs children. I have been with Monarch since 2007 as an underwriting assistant and worked my way up to a junior underwriter. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from CSUN graduating on the Dean’s List and I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

Special Risk INSURANCE

Genette Nice, Commercial Lines
Genette Nice


genetten@monarchexcess.com

Direct (805) 813-8957, Main (805) 577-6800, ext. 2225

I joined the Monarch team in 1996 as a Senior Underwriter in the Personal Lines/Special Risk Department. My career in insurance began 26 years ago with 21 of those years underwriting Special Risk accounts including Personal Article Floaters. I split my time between both the La Crescenta and Simi Valley offices. I live in Simi Valley with my husband and three children.

PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE

Wayne Bernstein, Professional Lines
Wayne Bernstein


wayneb@monarchexcess.com

Direct (805) 813-8964, Main (805) 577-6800, ext. 2223

I have been in the insurance industry for nearly 25 years. During that time I have worked on both, the retail and wholesale sides. Over the last 12 years I have focused on executive liability and professional lines. As a specialist, I have authored many articles on a variety of subjects, which have been published in a number of trade magazines. Formally, I was a managing director and founding member of another wholesaler, specializing in executive liability and professional liability. I came to Monarch to develop and expand the professional services department by applying my knowledge, experience and expertise. I work in our Simi Valley office. In my spare time, I enjoy riding my Harley and spending time with my wife Vicki and son, Brandon. I also enjoy ice hockey both as a participant and a spectator.

 

FRESNO

Phone (559) 226-0222
Fax (559) 221-5345

COMMERCIAL INSURANCE

Dona Shurtz, Commercial Lines
Dona Shurtz


donas@monarchexcess.com

Direct (559) 549-6537, Main (559) 226-0222, ext. 6227

I was born and raised in Fresno, CA. Starting my Insurance career from an early age, as my mother was in the business. I worked for a General Agency for 20 plus years as a Personal and
Commercial lines Broker. When the passing of my boss came, I was offered a position with Monarch starting on St. Patrick’s Day 2008. It truly was a lucky day. I enjoy playing golf (for the exercise of course), going to the mountains and spending time at the beach with my family and friends.

San Marcos

Phone (760) 891-2811

Marisela Valencia, Personal Lines
Marisela Valencia


mariselav@monarchexcess.com

Direct (619) 452-1406, Main (619) 521-2170, ext. 4232

I started my insurance career in 1987, working for a retail agency in North Hollywood, California. I have been in San Diego for the past 16 years and have enjoyed working with Monarch for the past 20 years. Since 2002, I have had the pleasure to work mainly as Personal Lines Underwriter, Office Manager and now Commercial Lines. On a personal note my wonderful husband Julius and I have been very blessed with 2 beautiful children Jocelyn and Nicholas.

Michelle Mitchell, Sr. Underwriter/Broker
Michelle Mitchell, Senior Commercial Underwriter/Broker


michellem@monarchexcess.com

Direct (760) 891-2801, Main (760) 891-2811, ext. 7222

I was born and raised in Jamaica, West Indies, where my insurance career began in 1983. I have been in the Excess and Surplus Lines business since 1993 and have enjoyed it immensely. Over the years, I have developed relationships with both my retailers and company representatives and I do cherish those relationships. I have been with Monarch since May 2016 and I reside in San Marcos, CA with my daughter, Kristen. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, the outdoors, baseball, softball or just relaxing at home listening to music.

Janet Tharp, Sr. Underwriter/Broker
Janet Tharp, Senior Commercial Lines Underwriter / Broker


janett@monarchexcess.com

Direct (760) 891-2803, Main (760) 891-2811, ext. 7224

I am a third generation native to San Diego. I started my insurance career in July 1997 while working for another E&S wholesaler. I began by working in the mail room and worked my way up to an underwriting position in February 2006. I joined the Monarch E&S team in May 2016 as a Senior Commercial Lines Underwriter and have enjoyed every moment of my time here. I fell into insurance on accident, but am so grateful to have found a career that I absolutely love! Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with my husband Kris and our son Jacob, reading, enjoying a good glass of wine and exploring our beautiful city.

Dayna Herron, Underwriter/Broker
Dayna Herron, Underwriter/Broker


daynah@monarchexcess.com

Direct (760) 891-2807

I was born and raised in San Diego, California and started my insurance career in 2003. It seems insurance was my destiny as my Mother, Father and older sister all work in insurance, so I felt it necessary to follow in their footsteps! I have always worked on the E&S side of the business where I began as an office assistant pulling mail and worked my way up to Sr. Underwriting Assistant. I joined the Monarch E&S team in May 2016 where I was promoted to Underwriter. On my time off, I enjoy boating, riding motorcycles, relaxing by the pool and spending time with my husband and daughter.

Chrissy Hellman, Sr. Underwriting Assistant
Chrissy Hellman, Senior Underwriting Assistant


chrissyh@monarchexcess.com

Direct (760) 891-2802, Main (760) 891-2811, ext. 7223

I’m a born and raised Southern California girl. I have been in the insurance industry since 2003; I didn’t have any plans of turning insurance into a career; however, I started as a Mail Clerk and slowly worked my way up to becoming a Senior Underwriting Assistant and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I really love what I do and I am so happy to have become a part of the Monarch team since May, 2016. I have a boyfriend of 14 years and we have 1 fur baby (Chihuahua) named Zena. In my spare time, I enjoy working out, reading, as well as hanging out with my friends and family.

Kristen Don, Senior Underwriting Assistant
Kristen Don, Senior Underwriting Assistant


kristend@monarchexcess.com

Direct (760) 891-2804

I was born in Portland, OR and moved to San Diego when I was seven years old. I fell into the insurance industry in 2001, when I joined another E&S wholesaler as a Mail Clerk. I spent nearly 15 years there, moving up and becoming a Senior Underwriting Assistant. I then joined Monarch E&S in May of 2016 where I hope to spend the rest of my insurance career. Outside of work I like to spend time with my boyfriend, my two boys and my two French Bulldogs.

 

ARIZONA

Phone (877) 406-8026

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