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Wednesday, Oct 5, 2022
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Insurance Professional Turns Part-Time Citizen Lobbyist

The Honoree – Insurance Leader Carla Magarity Time Employee Benefits Insurance Services Carla Magarity doesn’t like to think of herself as a salesperson. Magarity, the owner of Time Employee Benefits Insurance Services says that her clients don’t need any persuasion when she speaks with them about health plans. “I don’t have to talk people into buying, they know the need for it and appreciate the need for it,” said Magarity. “What they’re interested in getting is expert advice and guidance from someone who is knowledgeable and honest.” Magarity has been selling health insurance since 1983, and said that she’s worked with many of her clients for her entire 21-year career. Magarity says she enjoys investigating new plans, especially now as there are more and more options available for business owners, and prides herself on knowing exactly what her clients needs are. But Magarity is know for being more than an encyclopedia of insurance policies. In addition to running her business, she’s been actively lobbying politicians in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. as a member of the California Association of Health Underwriters. She is currently chair of the group’s legislative committee, and says she’s found the position of citizen lobbyist to be more fulfilling than she ever expected. “Most legislators are pretty honest, hard-working people who appreciate someone who has expertise in an area and offer themselves as a resource,” said Magarity, adding that she doesn’t lean toward any political party in her lobbying efforts. “My politics are very non-partisan,” she said. “They are based on my belief in a free-market system and a desire for people to have affordable access to health care.” Magarity and CAHU take on some of the most contentious health care debates, including the issue of a single-payer health plan. The group provides briefings that analyze patient wait times in countries that offer universal coverage, which claim that Canadians, for example, wait longer for treatment, have less access to medical technology and have higher mortality for treatable diseases. The report concludes that the end result of such systems is a rationing of care through limits on spending. Magarity said that the group’s lobbying efforts have been remarkably effective both in Sacramento and the nation’s capital, and her colleagues agree. Barry Cohn, of RGEB Employee Benefits Consulting said Magarity “works tirelessly to improve health care coverage for clients and the citizens of the Valley as well as making sure that the legislature passes bills to assist all of us with respect to health care and health insurance. The Finalists Paul Davis Paul Davis & Alberta Bellisario Insurance Services It very well could be that Paul Davis’ business is successful because it serves the kind of businesses that have been the subject of debate as far as healthcare is concerned the firms that have fewer than 50 employees. As the co-owner of Paul Davis and Alberta Bellisario Insurance Services in Van Nuys states on his Web site: “This is quite a challenge in the current environment.” It is quite obvious, however, that Davis and his partner have found a niche, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand how he did it. Davis is from the Valley, has a bachelor’s degree in business from USC and is a member of numerous local organizations. Among them: Van Nuys Rotary Club, Mid-Valley Chamber of Commerce, Mid-Valley YMCA, New Horizons, and others. Masterful networking and salesmanship culminated in Davis’ business being recognized as the “best insurance agent for 2002” by a local newspaper in 2002. Slav Kandyba John Nelson Warner Pacific Insurance With each passing year, medical advances aid thousands of lives. Yet despite being involved in an industry incumbent on technological breakthroughs, John J. Nelson, vice-president of Westlake Village’s Warner Pacific Insurance, takes a decidedly old-fashioned approach to doing business. “Our success comes from a good work ethic and the basic principles of doing business. We have top-notch employees who’ve been here for a long time. We employ old-fashioned customer service skills and provide the best service we possibly can. We don’t settle for anything less than the best in terms of who we hire and the services we provide. It’s nothing fancy,” Nelson said. Nelson strives to reach out to the insurance agent community and lend support to help their clients. A respected authority on health insurance policy and legislation, Nelson is a frequent presenter at industry forums and an author of many articles on health insurance-related topics. He also is active in health care reform lobbying at both the state and federal levels. Nelson currently serves as president-elect of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), one of the nation’s largest organizations for health insurance professionals. He has been a member of the NAHU Board of Trustees for four years, during which time he has worked closely with NAHU’s Media Relations, Membership and Ethics committees. Nelson has received numerous leadership and legislative awards including The California Association of Health Underwriters’ President’s Award, which recognizes the outstanding Executive Board Member of the Year. In June 2000, he was also awarded the Paladin Award, the Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters’ highest service honor. Jeff Weiss

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