Heath Ritenour: IOA Brokers Receive Accolades from Risk & InsuranceApril 21, 2021
Heath Ritenour is the CEO of Insurance Office of America and a well-seasoned thought leader in the insurance industry. Heath’s parents, John and Valli Ritenour, co-founded Insurance Office of America with the idea of creating a one-stop insurance brokerage that emphasized excellence in customer service. It was an idea that took off. Today, under Chairman & CEO Heath Ritenour’s leadership, seven of the company’s brokers have been named “2021 Power Brokers” from Risk & Insurance. The honor awards insurance professionals who demonstrate excellence in the industry.
Said Heath Ritenour about the winners, “We couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments of this team during one of the most challenging years imaginable. Our main goal is to focus on the risks unique to each client, so they can focus on the future of their business. For this team of professional advisors to accomplish this recognition shows that they know how to provide expert-level guidance and support no matter the market conditions.”
The winners were chosen from hundreds of nominees. Those selected were determined by evaluating the nominee’s knowledge, creativity, resourcefulness, customer service, and client recommendations. Winners are selected by a team of 15 Risk & Insurance editors and writers, based on the strength of the testimonials they provide. Each applicant was required to provide client testimony for consideration. The winners are:
Spencer Allen Jr. — Employee benefits
Spencer Allen Jr. is a senior vice president, a partner, and a member of the advisory board of Insurance Office of America. He joined IOA in 2016, and his insurance practice concentrates on the mid-to-large ‘unbundled’ partially self-funded market segment. These are business clients that have chosen to self-insure for some risks, but desire insurance for other risks. Allen has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry.
Allen holds a business degree in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia.
Said Kathy Lambert, human resource director at Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, in her client testimony, said “Spencer always brings new and innovative solutions to the table that help reduce the overall cost of our plan, while also offering cost savings to our employees and members.”
Matt Engle — Nonprofit
Matt Engle is a commercial insurance broker at IOA. He joined the company in 2019 and works in IOA’s western region. Engle has more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry and is very knowledgeable about the construction, hospitality, nonprofit, and cannabis industries. In fact, he is frequently invited to speak about the unique insurance challenges of the cannabis industry. A graduate of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, he is the past president of the University’s alumni association as well as the past president of the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.
Engle wrote in his application for the award, “I strategically position a nonprofit’s risk to insurance carriers as a safety risk to insure, due to the risk having important internal safety controls in place to minimize claims.”
Alka Manaktala — Hospitality
Alka Manaktala works as an insurance producer for Heath Ritenour’s IOA. She brought two decades of quick-service franchisee and fine dining experiences to her job in IOA’s hospitality and restaurant division. At her previous insurance position, Manaktala was named a top producer in 2014, out of 375 producers in 125 offices.
Said one satisfied business owner in her client testimonial, “One employee was giving us a very hard time with workers comp. First, it was one knee, then the other knee, all different body parts. We were skeptical, but claims have to be taken seriously. Alka sat down with us and with our carriers and made a plan to keep the employee on modified duty. The idea was to make the employee continue to earn the money, not just give it away … That was best for everyone.”
Howard Massey — Hospitality
Howard Massey is the managing director and vice president of the National Restaurant Division of IOA. Massey has decades of restaurant management experience, including serving as the chief operations officer for Denny’s and being a franchisee for El Pollo Loco via 16 locations. According to his company bio, he specializes in “results-oriented insurance programs and has been building and perfecting restaurant safety programs for over 20 years.”
Massey is a graduate of the University of Texas.
Says one restaurant owner and client about Massey in his testimonial, “We had a workers comp claim under our previous broker. It was ignored, and the employee hired a lawyer who made things very difficult. When Howard took over, he and his team started tracking everything. They recommended legal services and got everything sorted. That claim was a huge worry, and insurance was something I’m not supposed to worry about.”
Billy McQueeney — Hospitality
A positive-thinking leader, Billy McQueeney is a vice president for IOA. He has more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, most of it in the hospitality and real estate sectors.
McQueeney holds a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel and an MBA from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.
Said one asset manager of McQueeney’s service, “We had a master policy with all our properties. We were facing our renewal and could not afford the one big premium. With just two days to go before renewal, Billy got 35 different policies placed.”
Steve Miller — Technology
Steve Miller joined IOA in 2020. He has more than 10 years in the industry and specializes in construction, food, future mobility, and technology. Miller heads up IOA’s mobility and innovation group. Miller holds the certified insurance counselor (CIC) and certified risk manager (CRM) designations.
Said one of Miller’s clients in his testimonial, “In the world of autonomous driving, the insurance landscape is just so complex. Steve’s probably one-of-a-kind in the sense that he really has an understanding of the autonomous space, and he was able to address every single concern that I had.”
Bo Shaw — Real estate
Bo Shaw joined Heath Ritenour at IOA in 2016. He specializes in commercial real estate including, but not limited to, condominium associations, property management, multifamily, commercial mercantile, subcontractors, and various hospitality risk. Bo holds the professional workers’ compensation adviser (PWCA) designation. He also earned a BBA degree in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia.
Said one client in Shaw’s testimonials, “I think Bo’s made a good career so far of understanding the long-term implications of this business and understanding how important relationships are.” Another client put it like this, “His responsiveness and attention to detail make my job a lot easier.”
In addition to the seven winners, two other IOA producers were named as finalists. They are:
Andrew Cruse — Transportation
Andrew Cruse is the vice president of IOA’s transportation division. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina with a double major in business management and real estate. Cruse played for five seasons in Major League Baseball after being drafted ninth in the MLB draft in 2006. He started working in the insurance industry after leaving baseball and now has nearly 10 years of experience.
Andy Glenn — Real estate
Andy Glenn is a senior vice president with IOA. He specializes in providing property and casualty insurance for risk management accounts in the real estate, service, financial, manufacturing and healthcare fields.
About Insurance Office of America
Founded by Heath Ritenour’s parents, John and Valli, Insurance Office of America is headquartered in Longwood, Florida, and has more than 60 locations across the United States and in Ireland. Over the years, the company has grown from a three-person operation to one that now has more than 1,300 team members. As a hands-on CEO, Heath Ritenour works to inspire and empower all team members.
In 2020, Insurance Journal ranked Heath Ritenour’s IOA 11th on its list of “Top 100 Independent Property/Casualty Agencies in the United States.” That same year, Business Insurance magazine ranked the company 25th on its list of “100 Largest Brokers of U.S Business” list. The company is honored to have so many of its team members recognized by Risk & Insurance magazine this year.