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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Bay Area – Insurance – Auto, Home & Life CATEGORY

David Hodges is a 30-year veteran of the insurance industry and vice president of Vantreo Insurance Brokerage, a Diamond Certified company since 2002. He can be reached at (877) 301-2017 or by email.

David Hodges

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David Hodges: A Leading Role

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

SANTA ROSA — As a young actor, David Hodges was naturally excited about landing the lead role in a San Francisco theatrical production. However, he didn’t realize that this experience would set the stage for something much bigger. “While preparing for a production at the Curran Theater in San Francisco, another cast member and I carpooled from Santa Rosa every night for rehearsal,” he remembers. “He was an insurance agent, and over the course of riding with him for several months, he convinced me to start selling life insurance.”

David says his experience as an actor benefited him greatly in his subsequent career. “One of the things I learned from acting was the art of listening. A director once told me to stop acting and start reacting—to listen to how a line was being said and respond honestly. That was one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received, and it’s something I regularly apply in my profession.”

Today, as vice president of Vantreo Insurance Brokerage, David says his favorite part of his job is finding solutions to his clients’ problems. “I think an insurance broker’s job is similar to that of a mechanic or doctor in that it requires an ability to listen, diagnose and repair problems. By talking with my clients and determining their needs, I’m able to fix the things that aren’t working for them and enhance those that are.”

A resident of Sea Ranch (where he lives with his wife, Nancy), David says his favorite part of living and working in the Bay Area is his unique daily commute. “I’m a pilot, and every morning I fly my plane from Sea Ranch to Santa Rosa for work. It’s a really scenic flight, starting over the ocean and then going over Sonoma County forests and vineyards. It’s a nice thing to wake up to—plus, it only takes me 15 minutes to fly to my destination, whereas it takes about 90 minutes to drive.”

Outside of work, David engages in a variety of pastimes, from hunting and golfing to writing music and gardening. However, he says a substantial portion of his free time revolves around aquatic activities. “The ocean is a big part of my life. I have a boat in Bodega Bay and enjoy going fishing and abalone diving with friends.” Additionally, David says he looks forward to family get-togethers during the holidays. “Nancy and I have five grown children, and we all get together for Christmas and Easter, which is always a lot of fun.”

In his life and career, David espouses the importance of having the right motivation. “I take an ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ approach to my job,” he explains. “If someone asks me for a second opinion after getting a quote from another broker, if it looks good, I tell them so and walk away rather than try to be a salesman. Obviously, being an insurance broker involves sales, but at the end of the day, you’re supposed to be solving problems, not trying to gain at the expense of your clients.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, David says he wouldn’t. “I’ll never retire—working is enjoyable to me. However, I do have plans to work less than I do right now. I’ve been mentoring a young man in the business, so by the time I’m ready to cut back, he’ll be prepared to take on some of my workload.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: St. Orres in Gualala—it’s a French restaurant that serves a lot of wild game.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Stay inside and watch the ocean. We have a great view of it from our home, so I love to just sit there with a hot drink and try to spot whales and porpoises.

Q: What’s one website you visit on a daily basis?
A: Facebook, because all my kids are on it.

Q: Do you have a favorite movie?
A: Yes, and it’s considered one of the worst movies of all time by most critics: “Dune.” My second favorite movie is “Forrest Gump,” and my third is “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
A: Chicken fried steak, eggs over easy, wheat toast, hash browns and a cup of coffee.

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Taking Advantage of Digital Insurance Platforms

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SANTA ROSA — Many things have gone digital during the last few years, and employer insurance platforms are no exception. With modern digital technology, once-tedious insurance processes like enrollments, terminations and plan alterations can now be implemented electronically, resulting in a faster,… Read more

Keeping in Compliance with the Affordable Care Act

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SANTA ROSA — If you’re a small business owner, you understand the importance of financial organization. In the age of the Affordable Care Act, it’s more important than ever for businesses to be proactive about compliance with federal regulations, which… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Avoiding Pitfalls with the Affordable Care Act

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Complete Video Transcription:

SANTA ROSA — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re a business owner, you’ll want to be aware of upcoming changes to the Affordable Care Act and how… Read more

Carl Lundgren is Director of Life and Health at Mitchell & Mitchell Insurance Agency, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 682-6395 or by email.

Carl Lundgren

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Carl Lundgren: Face to Face

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

NOVATO — As a math major in college, it only made sense for Carl Lundgren to pursue an analytics-based career. However, beneath his head for numbers was a heart for people. “I majored in math sort of by default—I didn’t really have a specific goal in mind; I was just good at it,” he says. “After college, I started working for PG&E as an economic analyst, but after a while I felt the urge to break out of the cubicle environment and do something that involved more face-to-face interaction. With my math background, I was able to get into financial planning, which eventually led to a career in the insurance business.”

Today, as director of life and health at Mitchell & Mitchell Insurance Agency, Carl says his favorite part of his job is interacting with clients. “In addition to good conversation, I like learning what our clients’ needs are and addressing those needs as best as I can. I think it’s important to not only give good recommendations, but also educate clients by explaining the reasons underlying those recommendations.”

A lifetime resident of the Bay Area, Carl currently lives in Novato, where he appreciates the temperate climate and natural beauty. “Marin County is an awesome place to live, weather-wise, nature-wise and otherwise,” he affirms. “It’s also a nice proximity to the city, so I have access to all the things the Bay Area has to offer.”

Outside of work, Carl engages in a variety of active pastimes. “I like to stay in shape by swimming a couple times a week, and I also dabble in tennis, golf, and skiing,” he says. Carl also enjoys volunteering his time to the enrichment of his community. “I coach water polo at a local high school and I’m very involved in my church.” Additionally, he takes time to keep up with his four grown daughters, who are pursuing their respective professional goals. “One of my daughters is headed to physician assistant school, one is attending the University of Alabama, one is a wedding planner and one works for a computer firm in San Francisco. Keeping up with all of them keeps me fairly busy!”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Carl says he’d divide his time between travel and volunteer work. “I’d definitely like to do some more traveling—I’ve always wanted to go on a safari, so maybe I’d start with a trip to Africa. I’d also like to get involved in more volunteer activities. There are lots of opportunities to help those in need, both locally and abroad, so I’d find one that really appeals to me.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland A’s.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio.

Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Fall—the weather is totally awesome.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Ice cream.

Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: Yes, I played water polo and I was a swimmer.

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Common Mistakes Regarding Beneficiary Designations

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NOVATO — If you’ve established a will or trust, you’re probably familiar with the term “beneficiary designation.” A beneficiary is any person or entity to whom you designate control of your finances and possessions in the event that you pass… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Understanding Beneficiary Designation

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Complete Video Transcription:

NOVATO — Host, Sarah Rutan: Whether you have or are planning to make a legal will or trust, you’ll need to know some important guidelines regarding beneficiary designation.… Read more

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