Staff Directory

Our values;

We are a tight-knit team at UWIB. We value our community’s diversity and bring you decades of Risk Management experience.

Our strength;

We are intentional about anticipating and helping to overcome the hurdles that your business and your family might face.

Our goal;

With “real world” know-how, we help you to navigate the legal and social challenges that today’s companies and wealthy families face.

How we do it;

In a consultative fashion, we help you to identify options and provide guidance so you can make strategically informed decisions about risk and risk transfer.

Dana Coates
Dana Coates
Dana Coates
- CEO & Strategic Advisor -
License #FC0529163

Dana has been a licensed insurance broker for more than 35 years and is the CEO of United Western Insurance Brokers, Inc.

In 1975 Dana worked for The Aetna Property & Casualty Insurance Company where he was trained as a Commercial Lines Underwriter and a Fire Protection Engineer. With that foundation in place, Dana transitioned into the brokerage and in 1990 teamed with several longtime friends to create one of California's premier agency clusters. In 2012 Dana & Gina parlayed what they had learned and established an affiliation with another west coast based cluster, United Agencies.

As the US financial services sector began adopting new and Advanced Technology, including sophisticated AI tools, UWIB saw the writing on the wall. Never fearful of strategically stepping into the future, UWIB rallied with other progressive agents to form a new cluster. In August of 2018, Dana & Gina combined their energy with six partner organizations to form ALKEME INSURANCE.

The UWIB division of ALKEME works with businesses across the Nation, many of which conduct operations around the globe. Most of the company's business clients have special insurance and risk management needs. The owners and C level teams also typically require cutting edge technology and seasoned consultation to help manage employee benefit plans and other complex risk-related infrastructure. UWIB provides some of the most user-friendly and technologically advanced digital tools available.

The company maintains physical offices in Seattle, Southern California, New York, and Florida. The company serves Importers, Exporters, Manufacturers, the Entertainment industry, the Coffee industry, the Commercial Marine industry, and Professionals in Technology, Software, Hardware, Medicine, and Law.

In their spare time, Dana and Gina Coates enjoy their animals, travel, physical fitness and the great outdoors. Dana previously raced Porsche & Ferrari automobiles and although he no longer races competitively, he is definately "a car guy." Gina is Dana's rock and his greatest cheerleader.

In addition to supporting Gina to co-manage the business, Dana has served on several non-profit boards including that of Boy Scouts of America, The University Club of Pasadena, The Rotary Club of Seattle, and he currently sits on the Board of Directors of a Southern California based Financial Institution. Dana has volunteered at Huntington Memorial Hospital, and recently retired from The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association after volunteering for more than thirty years.

Dana & Gina split their time between Los Angeles and Seattle, they have two married children and three Grand Puppies.

Gina Coates
Gina Coates
Gina Coates
- President -
License #0610591

Gina grew up in West Covina and after high school, took her first job in insurance. Being a natural "people person" and a quick learner, she excelled in her career.

While working at Ingham, Coates & Payne, she met Dana, but because Dana was one of the owners at ICP, Gina needed to transition to a different company. Through Gina's focused efforts, first at C.G. Anderson & Associates, and then later at Bolton & Company, Gina honed her skills in Risk Consulting and Business Management.

Today, Gina is the owner and President of United Western Insurance Brokers, Inc.

Structuring personal insurance plans for successful people is more of an art, than a science. For more than 35 years this has been Gina's primary focus, along with raising her two children. But not every family has a mansion; some have teenagers driving expensive cars, while others live in the mountains or at the beach and sail yachts, a few even fly aircraft.

Whatever the combination of needs, Gina and her team have the know-how to craft solid insurance portfolios to meet them, one family at a time.

Gina is quick to point to the fact that she does not consult on life insurance. Although this is often an important part of a family's risk management portfolio. For these specialized needs Gina relies on the expertise of other seasoned experts, like Martin Strauss.

Gina enjoys traveling with Dana, gardening, yoga, spinning, Hiking, shopping, and puppies (not necessarily in that order). She and Dana split their time between Los Angeles and Seattle where the company maintains a growing presence to serve clients in the Pacific Northwest.

Eric Schirding
Eric Schirding
Eric Schirding
- Account Executive -
License #0F18686

Eric was born and raised in La Canada and received his degree in Business Management from Cal-State Northridge, then immediately joined a well respected insurance carrier. After a fast-paced two year stint as a company underwriter, Eric parlayed that experience to transition over to the retail side of the insurance industry. After two additional years of retail insurance experience, Eric joined the Western Division of United Agencies in 2009.

Eric partners with middle market companies to help them become more profitable through the implementation of TCOR principles (Total Cost of Risk).

Eric's energy and commitment to his clients is evident the moment you meet him. Eric strives to go beyond being a 'trusted advisor' for his clients to being a 'trusted provider' of resources, information, and solutions.

Eric and his wife enjoy travel, sports and socializing with friends, they reside in Montrose.

Nick Latshaw
Nick Latshaw
Nick Latshaw
- Account Executive -
License #0D01285

Nick Latshaw is a native Californian, born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles called Northridge.

He began his insurance career in 1992 with Chubb Insurance Company and worked his way through the chairs to ultimately become a seasoned commercial underwriter. In June of 2000, Nick left the carrier side of the business and joined a regional insurance brokerage as a Commercial Account Executive, and in 2012 he joined UWIB where he has furthered his skills and frequently serves as a role model to other leading members of the Commercial Insurance Division. Nick's expertise in coverage for the Entertainment, Construction and Non-Profit Sectors is superior to that of most brokers serving these communities.

Also in 2012, Nick earned his CIC designation, a professional designation which requires extensive insurance study.

Nick seeks to partner with growing middle market companies, committed to protecting their hard work through risk mitigation. Nick has seen the carrier side and the agency side and enjoys helping business owners protect what they have built.

Nick, his wife Nikki, and their four children reside in the foothill community of Sierra Madre.

josh-acosta
Josh Acosta
Josh Acosta
- Account Executive - Seattle Division -
License #0K84922

Josh was born and raised in Pasadena, California and received his degree in Communication from Seattle Pacific University. After graduation, Josh pursued a business opportunity with Allstate Insurance Company where he gained a strong foundational understanding of the technical side of insurance underwriting. During his years with Allstate, Josh was honored to be selected to receive advanced training in Allstate’s National underwriting headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois.

Josh accepted UWIB’s offer to lead our operations in the Pacific Northwest in May of 2016. He is based in our Seattle office.

While in college, Josh built his love for and knowledge of the specialty coffee industry at Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea (now part of Peet’s) and Milstead & Co - one of Seattle’s most honored Specialty Coffee shops, which has been recognized among the top 10 SCAA shops in the US.

Josh is an accomplished athlete, cyclist, and golfer. He has developed close working relationships within the coffee, bicycle, hand-crafted beer, wine and distillery industries. As a result, he is truly the perfect fit to lead our Seattle office with a close focus on risk management and insurance practices on these industries, all of which are prevalent in the Pacific Northwest.

Carson
Carson Smith
Carson Smith
- Sales and Marketing Coordinator -

Carson is excited to join the rapidly growing team in Seattle! Carson is known for his friendly demeanor and go-getting attitude. He always has a smile and is working closely with Josh Acosta to grow UWIB's presence the Seattle area.

Sue Larson
Sue Larson
Sue Larson
- Retired Commercial Account Manager -
License #0498696

After fifteen years as a key member of UWIB, Sue Larson has retired to Huntington Beach with her husband, Dick Larson.

Sue grew up in Glendale California and fell in love with the Southern California beach communities. She took her first insurance job with California Casualty and later spent more than 17 years with Marsh & McLennan, the world's largest broker.

For the past fifteen years, Sue lead our Small Business and Technology Insurance Practice here at UWIB.

In January of 2017, knowing that she would be retiring from the insurance business at the end of 2017, Sue hand-picked and began to train her replacement. On October first, 2017, after working shoulder-to-shoulder with Sue throughout 2017, Mercedes Gonzales discretely stepped into Sue’s shoes and took control of the unit. Mercedes joined UWIB in 2014.

Sue and her husband reside in Huntington Beach, are active in their local community and enjoy spending time with their (very active) grandchildren.

Maria 2018
Maria Gonzales
Maria Gonzales
- Commercial Account Manager -
License #0772415

Maria grew up in Southern California and entered the insurance business just after high school. Her first job in insurance was with Thomas V. Humphreys followed by Ingham, Coates & Payne in Pasadena. After working for Jackson & Jackson and Narver Associates, she and Dana re-established their business relationship when, in 2003, Maria joined the Western Division of United Agencies as a Commercial Lines Account Manager.

With more than 25 years of insurance experience, Maria brings a broad spectrum of knowledge to our team. Many of the accounts for which Maria is responsible generate sales in excess of \$150 Million.

In addition to being a very capable Commercial Account Manager, Maria is also "down to earth" and is a wonderful mentor to others in the company, in particular our younger staff members. But more than that, Maria is our "curve-ball hitter", and so when any of our associates are struggling with a complex or "outside the box" problem, Maria gets involved to help.

Maria, her husband and their daughter attend Lake Avenue Church and reside in Pasadena.

Jose Herrera
Jose Herrera
Jose Herrera
- Commercial Account Manager -
License #0C86382

Jose grew up in Southern California and entered the insurance business in 1999. As is the case for many people entering the world of insurance, Jose started in Personal Insurance and over time was promoted to the Commercial Lines Division of AON. Since 2006 Jose has worked with other regional insurance brokerage facilities as he has continued to hone his strengths and skills as a Commercial Lines Account Manager.

In 2014 Jose joined United Western Insurance Brokers where he focuses his professional energy on the Entertainment Industry, the Professional Services Industry, and the Manufacturing and Wholesale industries.

Jose is tech savvy and enjoys sharing his knowledge with his co-workers. He is bi-lingual (Spanish) and detail-oriented. He holds the professional designation of CISR (Certified Insurance Representative) and has taken steps toward securing his CIC designation (Certified Insurance Counsellor). Besides his insurance background, Jose also has some accounting experience.

Jose enjoys going out on weekends with his wife and three teenage children, especially if it involves a good movie.

Lillian 2018
Lillian Chen
Lillian Chen
- Commercial Account Manager -
License #0K12495

Lillian grew up in Los Angeles, and attended the University of California, Riverside where she obtained her bachelor's degree in sociology. After graduating, Lillian went on to pursue a career in the insurance industry, familiarizing herself with all things Commercial Lines over the course of four years. Always one to go above and beyond, she obtained her CISR (Certified Insurance Service Representative) designation in 2016.

In her spare time Lillian enjoys spending time with her daughter, as well as her family and friends. On any given weekend Lillian may be on a hike in the local mountains, or at one of the many world-class museums in Los Angeles.

Maribel
Maribel Sosa
Maribel Sosa
- Commercial Account Manager -
License # 0D28825

Maribel has worked in the insurance industry since 2001, starting in Personal Lines and then moving into Commercial Lines. Maribel enjoys working in all aspects of Commercial Lines, and is particularly well-versed in working with manufacturers and restaurateurs.

Raised in Los Angeles, Maribel's first job was working at the Pasadena Mall, and she loves the Pasadena area. On weekends Maribel visits local sights such as the Descanso Gardens and the Norton Simon Museum.

Joy
Joy Walker
Joy Walker
- Commercial Lines Account Assistant -
License # 0M26200

Joy is an experienced Commercial Lines Account Manager who has partnered with UWIB to share her skills and lend her support. The Commercial Lines team loves working with Joy, and everyone appreciates her positivity, warmth, and upbeat attitude.

In her spare time, you can find Joy out on the golf course competing in tournaments with her friends. Joy knows how important it is to serve her community, she volunteers weekly at Patrick's Place hospice home. Joy lives with her husband Michael, and loves spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchild.

Monica
Monica Lopez
Monica Lopez
- Group & Individual Benefits Account Manager -
License #0F30446

In 1999, Monica Lopez entered the insurance industry as a receptionist. By 2011, she had earned her way up to being a full fledged Account Manager specializing in Group Benefits.

In 2015, she joined United Western Insurance Brokers as our Group Benefits Account Manager. Monica has extensive knowledge in Employee Benefits and is a seasoned problem solver. She is recognized for her exceptional customer care through her attention to detail and her ability to treat our clients like family.

Monica is a licensed Health & Life Agent and a Certified ACA Agent. Monica loves traveling to tropical destinations, dancing, romantic comedies & gardening. Monica and her family reside in Southern California.

Veronica Gonzales
Veronica Gonzales
Veronica Gonzales
- Private Client Services -
License #0K08931

Veronica Gonzales began her insurance career in 2003. In 2013 she joined us here at United Western Insurance Brokers as an Operations Assistant but quickly demonstrated the initiative needed to be promoted to Private Client Services Assistant, and ultimately to become a full-fledged Agent in our High Net Worth Division.

UWIB is very much a family oriented business and this is especially true in the case of Veronica's family where her mother, her aunt and her cousin are also part of the Corporate family here.

Veronica possesses a diverse array of attributes which are perfectly suited to meet the needs of our HNW clients and family members. Veronica is part of a team that strives to deliver truly excellent customer service. Her fast paced, fun and friendly approach to life fuels our office culture.

Veronica was born, raised and continues to reside here in Southern California with her husband and daughters. Veronica enjoys visiting with family members, baking goodies, and learning new things.

New Alicia 2
Alicia De Dios
Alicia De Dios
- Private Client Services -
License #0776524

In 1985 Alicia began her insurance career as a receptionist at Glendale Insurance Agency. In 1989 she became an Account Manager and obtained her Property and Casualty License.

Alicia is a lifelong Angelino who enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and continually exploring Los Angeles. On the weekend you may find Alicia at the beach, the mountains, or somewhere in between. She is one of ten children and has a very large family, including many nieces and nephews whom she adores.

In addition to her years of experience as a Personal Lines Account Manager, Alicia brings many skills to the table. Her attention to detail alongside her personable nature make her an ideal fit at UWIB. Alicia is a wonderful resource for coverage needs and is highly-regarded among our team.

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Sean Ortega
Sean Ortega
- Operations Manager -

Sean is a true Angeleno, having grown up in Manhattan Beach and later attending college at Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles. While at LMU Sean majored in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and was a member of the Entrepreneurship Association.

After college, Sean went on to Co-Found a successful Specialty Coffee Company in Michigan and later became Director of Operations for a mid-sized transportation company based in Southern California.

Sean is quite technically capable and is the point person for UWIB’s state-of-the-art cloud based data management system, the company’s cutting-edge Client Servicing website and spearheads the company’s Social Media campaigns. Sean brings positive energy and a can-do spirit to complement his seasoned entrepreneurial and operational excellence.

Eddie 2018
Eddie Dedovic
Eddie Dedovic
- Operations Assistant -

Eddie grew up in Torrance and loves living in sunny Southern California.

As an Operations Assistant, Eddie brings his many years of technological expertise to support UWIB's many technological endeavors. Eddie is a team player who loves solving problems for the organization.

SusieCompressed
Susie Nicastro
Susie Nicastro
- Accounting Manager -

Susie Nicastro has worked in the Insurance Industry since 2008 and in Accounting since 2002. In 2014 UWIB formed a strategic alliance with Susie’s company, Insurance Accounting Services. Through this alliance we were strengthened and today we draw on Susie’s seasoned talent to help us oversee all of our Corporate Accounting, assist us with Budgeting, and help us to analyze the many sources of financial data that we receive. As the result, we are empowered to make wise and strategic decisions that help us to maintain one of our core values, to be an organization that consistently operates at the highest degree of fiscal integrity.

Over her many years of providing Professional Service to our industry, Susie has honed her skills and it is our experience that Susie’s focused effort and commitment to excellence have made her into an excellent communicator and leader.

One of Susie’s most notable characteristics is her fundamental ability to remain objective in all that she does. Susie believes that integrity and open communication are vital qualities found in successful organizations.

Susie grew up in Simi Valley California and continues to call it her home where she lives with her husband, two boys and two dogs. When she’s not helping her clients to proactively manage their finances, Susie loves to travel with her family and read.

Milly Coates
Milly
Milly
- Los Angeles Greeter -
License #DOGGYIAM

Milly grew up in Southern California and entered the insurance business just after completing junior obedience school.

Her first job in insurance was as a reception specialist and she has been an active member of the Western Division of United Agencies for a considerable length of time.

With many years of experience as a reception host, Milly will welcome you when you visit the office, and she is very capable of cheering you up if you are having a bad day.

henrypic
Henry
Henry
- Seattle Greeter -
Licence #DOGGYIAM002

Henry was born and raised in Seattle, WA and was eager to get his insurance career rolling after completing his favorite course in school: Eating & Sleeping 101.

Henry's main job in our Seattle branch is to provide a good laugh and comfort during tough negotiations - he is also our Seattle branch's office manager and he starts each day by making sure that everyone's work station is stocked with enough snacks (for him!)

With a smile on his face, Henry welcomes all visitors to the UWIB office, he'll even greet you with a tennis ball in mouth!

Penny
Penny Mae
Penny Mae
- Seattle Greeter -
License #DOGGYIAM003

Penny Mae is the latest furry addition to the team at UWIB! She assists our bulldog Henry at the Seattle Office, and encourages everyone at the office to get plenty of exercise.

Penny Mae lives by the motto "work hard, play hard, and sleep hard". On weekends you can find Penny Mae exploring the beautiful natural surroundings of the Seattle area.

Jetta
Jetta
Jetta

Jetta is known for her jet black fur and jet setting nature. Jetta splits her time between New York and Florida. In her off time, Jetta loves taking walks and playing with her toys!