Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2021 Emergency Responder Health and Wellness Grant sponsored by VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual!
We received a record-breaking 187 grant applications requesting almost $850,000.
Tom Newby is in his 30th year as an Employee Benefit Insurance Agent. In 2007 and 2008 he was named in ForbesTM magazine by Goldline Research as One of the Ten Most Dependable Insurance Professionals in Texas and the Central U.S., respectively. In 2011 he was named by Benefits ProTM as One of the Top Ten Brokers in the U.S. He is a graduate of Baylor University with a Bachelor of Business Administration for Economics, Entrepreneurship and International Finance.
Serving as the Director for Employee Benefits at Winstar Insurance Group, LLC he is responsible for the department’s growth and direction within WinStars’ primary client niches: fire and emergency service organizations, water supply entities and craft beverage businesses. A self-described insurance nerd, Tom thrives in the niche insurance industry. Prior to joining Winstar he worked with Physician and Chiropractic Organizations to develop their employee benefit programs.
Tom strives to understand all facets of his client industries including how they operate on a day to day basis, how they are funded, their market competition and any existing constraints. He is then able to create an employee benefit program on a large scale that can be tailored to the individual client groups within the niche client industry. As the Director for Employee Benefits at Winstar he has developed insurance programs for the State Fire Fighters & Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas. He is currently developing an employee benefit insurance pool for Emergency Service Districts (ESD’s) statewide. Tom understands the importance of staying abreast of the ever-changing rules and regulations with employee benefits. He strives to streamline the enrollment process, making it interesting and providing his customers with the tools they need to make educated decisions.
When asked to describe himself in five words he gave us these: Entrepreneurial, Dedicated, Tenacious, Passionate and Intelligent. Tom has two loves in his life: his work and his son Ezra. Tom adopted his son from Guatemala when Ezra was only a few days old. Today Ezra is 15 years old going on 30. Those of you with teenagers will completely understand what he means. Tom spends his free time learning to cook gluten free dishes and working in his garden.
WinStar Insurance Group is a thriving insurance agency based in Austin, Texas that specializes in serving niche industries. WinStar was founded in 2016 by Barbara Marzean, President; Steph Dew, VP; and Glenn Hastings, VP. The owners were previously employees of Regnier & Associates and purchased the assets of Regnier & Associates in 2016 upon retirement of the owner, Ted Regnier.
Since its inception in 2016, the agency has grown exponentially and has gone through many changes. WinStar has more than doubled their premium volume and has grown from 19 employees in 2016 to 28 employees today. Previously focusing on Property & Casualty only, the agency created a very successful Employee Benefits Department led by Tom Newby. Newby joined the agency in 2018 and has quickly grown the Employee Benefits Department to more than $10M in premium volume.
The agency devotes their time and resources to fully understanding the unique challenges and needs of their customers while partnering with key carriers to find viable solutions. WinStar is recognized as a key partner protecting the financial well-being of their clients through comprehensive insurance coverage, risk management solutions, education, training and safety. Instead of trying to know a little about of lot of industries, the agency seeks to dive deep into the specific niches they serve and become an integral partner. When their clients encounter new challenges, WinStar works with their long-standing carriers to develop products to specifically address their needs.
The largest niche WinStar serves is the emergency service community with over 1,500 emergency service organization clients throughout Texas. Additional niche industries include wineries, breweries, distilleries, water-related companies, for-profit ambulance companies and child care facilities. The agency is very active in client industry associations and has excellent relationships with each of these groups. The agency is recognized as the leader in these fields and has built their reputation one client at a time with hands-on involvement. As evidenced by their 98% client retention rate, WinStar has developed lasting relationships with their customers. In fact, many customers have been clients for over 30 years.
WinStar is dedicated to continuing the vision and commitment that the agency was founded upon in 1982. Every employee within the WinStar family recognizes they are part of something unique and special. They understand that success is measured when clients place their trust in WinStar Insurance Group to provide the best value, service and expertise in their industry
It is with extreme sadness to announce the death of Ted Regnier, the former Chairman of the Board of Regnier & Associates / VFIS of Texas. He passed on December 9, 2020 due to complications from COVID. Ted was the face and fearless leader of our agency for many years before retiring to the hill country in October 2016.
Ted was a staunch supporter and fierce advocate for the fire service. He would walk the halls of the State Capitol at every legislative session with Babe Schwartz to fight for our first responders. He loved to travel and to visit with our first responders. He had a deep respect for what they do and he always wanted to help them in any way that he could. He was very passionate and made a huge impact on our state’s fire departments and EMS providers. His tireless efforts, positive influence and significant contributions continue to benefit emergency service organizations today.
Ted’s funeral was held in Boerne, Texas on December 19, 2020. He leaves behind his loving wife, Sherry Moses Regnier, and his granddaughter/daughter, Izabelle Regnier, along with a legacy that will last forever.
VFIS of Texas NEWS
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