Team Member

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What brought you to Mission West Insurance?
I came to the realization after many years of running my own employee benefits agency that in order to meet the full spectrum of needs for my clients, it was imperative to partner up with a agency that can offer all of the business insurance programs that employers need to rely on.  At the same time, Mission West felt similar needs to offer their clients a reputable employee benefits program that was in alignment with the same vision and customer focused mentality. The rest, as they say is history.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Over the years my clients have become friends, I pride myself on those relationships, and the high level of trust that they have placed in me to manage their employee benefits program.  It’s rewarding to have that mutual trust.

What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
Building my own company from nothing to a level of success that has been recognized by my peers, clients, and my carrier partners.  For many years, things were difficult, we made sacrifices in order to stay committed to success and over time the success came.

What is your favorite book and why?
Ghost Rider, Travels on the Healing Road – written by Neil Peart, the drummer with the band Rush.  After losing is wife and child to cancer within 18 months of each other, he unplugged himself from life and set out alone on a journey to travel the world on his motorcycle.  No phone, no laptop, just left his world behind. Although not as extreme as what he went through, I made several smaller journeys on my motorcycle after my wife was diagnosed with cancer.   There is a lot to be said for being alone and leaving the pace of your day to day life behind, even if it’s just a short time. It helped me immensely, and fortunately for me my wife made it through her journey as well.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?
One-A-Day – when I first contemplated staring my own insurance agency I met with a person who had been running his agency for almost 40 years.  He told me as long as you sell something each day, the success will come over time, it doesn’t matter if it’s something large or small, anything counts.  When we first launched the agency we went seven years straight with bringing on a new client each day. The commitment to accomplish that result was huge, exhausting at times, but in the long run it has rewarded my family, my clients, and my business immensely.

Who do you respect most in the industry and why?
Anyone who totally commits themselves to success regardless of the cost.  If it’s answering the phone on a Sunday night, or pulling over on a vacation trip to start up your laptop to respond to a client, it’s all part of delivering a high level of customer satisfaction.  Any other broker who shares that same level of commitment will always have my respect.

Walt Hollis has nearly three decades of experience with group medical insurance, having worked both on the carrier and brokerage sides of the ever-evolving employee benefits arena.  Walt’s background includes senior management positions at Kaiser Permanente as well as launching his own web based benefits brokerage firm that grew to nearly 2000 clients statewide.  Walt feels that health care reform and compliance to it are the biggest challenges facing employers of all sizes today. The solution is for an employer to be reliant on a full service insurance brokerage that can guide them through the laws and compliance requirements facing them daily.  Walt feels that his success with clients is by always remaining “hands on” and putting himself into the shoes of the client so to act in their best interest.

Walt graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Marketing and returned to school several years later to accomplish obtaining his Master’s in Business Administration.

Walt and his wife Laurie, a registered nurse, live in Anaheim Hills and enjoy spending their free time boating and tending to their only “children” still at home, their bulldog Sam and Frank the cat.

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