My favorite thing about Shurwest is the people I work with every day.

Tessa
Ralston

VP of Operations

Tessa has been in the annuity industry for almost 20 years, more than half of that with Shurwest, after seven years working for MetLife. She oversees operations for annuity distribution at Shurwest, assisting producers and our annuity consultant teams, maintaining our carrier relationships and working to improve our business practices.

We save advisors countless hours they might otherwise spend on hold with a carrier or getting bounced from department to department. When advisors work with us, they are freed up to meet with clients and write new business.

Kristin
King

Annuity Operations Manager

Kristin has worked at Shurwest for eight years, and she leads the administrative team, helping them process and expedite applications, speed up contracting and commission checks and seamlessly resolve carrier issues. She enjoys learning about the different types of retirement options available, and values her personal relationships with both advisors and co-workers.

I love my job and plan to be here until I retire–in like, thirty years from now. It’s a wonderful atmosphere which allows for personal career growth.

Sara
Strub

Account Manager

Sara is a Shurwest veteran, having been with us for more than 10 years. She began her career with us as a receptionist and worked her way up to her current position as the dedicated Account Manager for Jordan McGrath’s Team. Sara is passionate about helping the advisors she works with understand the new business process from start to finish. Seeing a case from initial submission through issue and beyond is just part of what sets Sara apart. Having a dedicated Account Manager ensures the advisors she works with are receiving the consistent and accurate service they deserve.

My favorite thing about being part of the Shurwest family is knowing that I play a role in the success and growth of the business for both the advisors and Shurwest.

Windy
Nash

Account Manager

Windy has been with Shurwest for a year and a half, providing policyholder services and expediting new business. Prior to joining the company, she worked for over ten years in customer service. She understands what advisors need and is well-equipped to help them. She reviews every application prior to submittal to carriers in order to make the suitability review and issuing process move along more smoothly, and she assists with policy needs after applications are in force.

It’s rewarding to me to know that our part in the policy-writing process really makes a difference to advisors and clients.

Kim
Phillips

Account Manager

Kim is dedicated to assisting Shurwest financial advisors working with Marc Lindsey, Mike Whorton and John McConnell. She scrubs and follows up on applications and answers policy and post-issue questions. Prior to joining Shurwest, Kim spent more than a decade delivering memorable customer service in the hospitality and property management industries. Kim grew up in Hawaii and received her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. Recently married, she and her husband are enjoying settling into and remodeling their new home.

I really like the group atmosphere at Shurwest. I was used to a lot of separation in the military, here we’re interdependent.

Lauren
Edwards

Account Manager

Lauren handles application submissions and follow-up required to get our advisors appointed by the different insurance carriers we offer. She spent the last decade with the U.S. Navy, serving as a police officer and in administration, and was posted around the world. She ultimately rose to assisting top officers before joining Shurwest. Lauren will soon receive her bachelor’s in business administration from American Military University.

I came from a huge company, and I’m happy to be part of a smaller ‘work family’ here. Shurwest gets an amazing amount of paperwork processed every day.

Amanda
Messner

Contracting Consultant

Amanda pitches in and helps our staff as well as our financial advisor partners with administrative tasks and paperwork as needed. Originally from Milwaukee, she graduated with two bachelor’s degrees—one in public relations and one in psychology—from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Amanda has experience in processing automobile insurance policies which she gained while working at Enterprise. She’s a Packers fan and loves hiking in Arizona.

“The vibe is here is much more fun than your typical corporate culture, yet we get so much done.”

Chad
Van Zutphen

Account Manager

Chad helps the Shurwest team out with all sorts of requests and projects, and he enjoys working with people to achieve their goals from start to finish. He received his degree in communications from University of Hawaii at Manoa, and worked for three years in sales and operations for a medical supplies firm in Washington, his home state, before moving to AZ. He loves playing tennis and being outdoors–he’s rapidly getting used to the many sunny days here.

“Shurwest has a true team atmosphere. I feel comfortable asking for help as well as pitching in to help others. Collectively we get an amazing amount of work done.”

Victoria
Hernandez

Account Manager

Victoria helps Shurwest advisors all over the United States by scrubbing applications sent to multiple carriers, spotting anything missing or problematic, and working to eliminate issues quickly and efficiently. After graduating from ASU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she worked for financial institution for five years, and recently worked in operations handling a high volume of applications for a university. In her spare time, she is a huge music fan, and enjoys traveling.

I’m excited about making financial services my career path. I contribute to Shurwest and our advisors by doing whatever it takes to get the job done.”

Addison
Farmer

Contracting Consultant

A recent magna cum laude graduate of Grand Canyon University (GCU), Addison earned his bachelor’s degree in business management with a minor in communications. He will be working with advisors to help streamline and expedite the process of getting contracted with their desired insurance carriers. Prior to joining Shurwest, Addison worked for GCU as a Lopes specialist, helping students get credits transferred, as well as Little Caesars Pizza as a supervisor. But his real passion is music; he has been playing trombone since he was 12. He was selected as one of the Arizona Ambassadors of Music, performing in seven different countries in Europe, and was once interviewed on Channel 12 news representing the Thundering Heard Pepband of GCU.

Contact me to learn more:

800-440-1088
afarmer@shurwest.com

“The atmosphere and energy at Shurwest is extremely positive. Everyone is willing to pitch in and help out, and work as a team to meet challenges head-on”

Kim
Buhrow

Life Operations Manager

Kim is Life/Health licensed and has worked in the life insurance industry since 1995, most recently at Northwestern Mutual where she spent 16 years, and at New York Life prior to that. Because of that experience, she brings a wealth of skills to Shurwest, including the ability to analyze complex alternatives to meet client needs, find efficiencies in application processing, and fulfill stringent insurance carrier compliance. Kim is an Arizona native and studied business and communications at the University of Arizona on a swimming scholarship. In her spare time, she participates in triathlons and charity mud runs, volunteers at her church, and plays volleyball and racquetball. She is married to a man she first met in kindergarten; barbecues, hiking and (of course) swimming are just some of the activities they and their blended family of young adults enjoy together. Kim’s life goal is “to make an impact and leave a positive legacy” in terms of her children, her career, and her community.

“The whole team at Shurwest from top to bottom is willing to pitch in and help. I’m excited about the positivity and helpfulness of the new life department.”

Breanna
Arismendez

Life Case Manager

An Arizona native, Breanna worked for Fidelity National Financial for three and a half years in their title insurance department before joining Shurwest. She’s adept at reviewing legal contracts and ensuring that they are compliant, taking action to fix any issues in a timely manner so that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Breanna spends her free time with her four children enjoying the outdoors, playing board games and doing arts and crafts.

Contact me to learn more:
800.355.0581
NewBusinessRequirements@shurwest.com

“I truly enjoy my relationships with our advisors. I am on a first-name basis with many of them, and it is a joy when they come to visit.”

Victoria
Young

Front Desk Coordinator

Victoria is the professional presence taking care of logistics behind the desk and behind the scenes. From managing any/all facility issues, to stocking the kitchen daily, to ensuring phone calls get personally answered and quickly transferred, Victoria is busy juggling tasks for our busy office. Prior to joining Shurwest, she worked at Snell and Wilmer, one of the largest law firms in the state of Arizona. As docket technician, she was lauded by insurance companies and attorneys for her ability to ensure that the correct motions got filed in the right courts by their respective deadlines, keeping cases on track. She moved to the Phoenix area nearly 30 years ago from Nebraska to be with family.

“I’ve spent more than 13 years in the insurance industry, and I love the open atmosphere here at Shurwest”

Olivia
Rojas

Life Case Manager

Originally from El Paso, Olivia has worked for Financial Advisors and Practice Management Coaches at Colonial Life and Northwestern Mutual. She currently holds a life and health insurance license in the state of Arizona and is well-versed in every aspect of what advisors and their clients, as well as insurance carriers, require when it comes to insurance policies and contracts. In her free time, Olivia is a professional flamenco singer, and she performs throughout the Valley and Crescent Ballroom on a regular basis. She co-owns the Phoenix based flamenco company – Flamenco Por La Vida. She is contracted with Mayo Clinic to provide music and movement therapy for patients in rehabilitation, and is a part of the AZ Creative Aging Teaching Artists program with the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

NewBusinessRequirements@shurwest.com
800.355.0581

 Meet the Rest Of The Team