Morton D. Weiner
1922 - 2008
Morton D. Weiner retired at age 55 after successfully heading a number of Fortune 500 companies. Following retirement, he was encouraged to return to his first love, the insurance agency business. Thus, Morton D Weiner & Co. (now MDW Insurance Group) was established in Miami in 1979. Morton Weiner's diverse experience, combined with his expertise in customer-centric service, created an insurance agency of high integrity whose sole mission was to deliver outstanding products and services to satisfy its clients' needs.
When selecting an insurance agency, it is important to know something about its future direction. Jeff Weiner, the company's CEO, has continued and expanded his father's vision of providing only the highest quality insurance products delivered with unparalleled professionalism, expertise and personal service to its diverse range of clients
Sharing in this vision of a commitment to excellence and service are Jeff's partners Ivor Bamberger, President of the agency and Henry C. Godwin, Jr. Executive Vice President–all highly trained and experienced insurance entrepreneurs.
In addition to its core business, the agency has developed specialized divisions to meet the needs of select niche markets particularly in the areas of Financial Institutions, Law Firms, Professional Service Providers and high net-worth individuals.
Jeff's career began in the London Insurance Markets where he trained at Lloyd's of London. He completed his training at Willis Faber & Dumas where he brokered business to Lloyd's underwriters. As CEO, Jeff supervises the agency's production operations including sales, underwriting, and marketing.
He is a graduate of American University and a former research analyst at the Brookings Think Tank. For the past 25 years, Jeff's career in insurance has primarily focused on the banking industry. Jeff served on the board of Intercredit Bank for more than 16 years where he held the position of Investment Committee Chairman.
In addition, he has been named to the Board of Directors of Baptist Hospital and he also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Jewish Committee and the Florida Grand Opera where he is co-chairman of the Opera's Crescendo Circle.
Ivor began his professional career in Public Accounting with Arthur Andersen & Co. in Cape Town, South Africa. After moving to the United States, Ivor joined Laventhol & Horwath in Coral Gables, Florida in the accounting and auditing practice. Ivor has held the position of Chief Financial Officer of Margo Corp., a NASDAQ publicly listed company, and Chief Financial Officer of The BSP Group, a private communications company where his responsibilities included all aspects of the company's financial and management accounting, internal controls, treasury, and human resources. Ivor serves on the Board of Directors of the American Jewish Committee and is immediate past president of the AIPAC Broward County and is a member of the Beacon Council's Aviation Committee. Ivor is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and has completed the Executive Education Program at Wharton School of Business.
Karen Samuels brings over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry with particular emphasis in professional liability, executive protection and the life sciences. Her career focus is characterized by executive brokerage management, custom insurance product development and risk management portfolio oversight, predominantly in respect of large professional firms and life science corporations. Ms. Samuels is considered an expert in policy form construction and wording by clients and industry colleagues in the domestic and global insurance marketplace. Karen most recently served as Vice President of XN Specialty Risk and previously as President of Allied Risk Consulting, Inc. Karen's earlier experience spanned over 18 years in leadership roles with USI Florida-Southeast, a subsidiary of USI Holdings, as Senior Vice President, and as Executive Vice President of Century Financial Services/Summit Global Partners. Karen is an active member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) and serves as a Business Partner and School Advisory Council member in the School District of Palm Beach County.
Henry Godwin began his insurance career in 1974. Prior to joining the MDW Insurance Group, Henry served as an underwriter and marketing manager of Travelers, one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies in the industry. Henry joined MDW Insurance Group in 1986 to lead its Personal Lines department.
Henry's passion for the South Florida community has led him to currently serve on the boards of local nonprofit organizations such as Neat Stuff, Inc., the Urban Initiative Committee, and Bethel Church. Henry is also an active member of the Beacon Council. Henry holds an undergraduate Human Resource Management degree from the University of West Florida and has partaken in graduate courses at Nova Southeastern University.
Craig joined the MDW Insurance Group as part of the company's acquisition of Genesis Risk Advisors. As one of the founding partners of Genesis, he was responsible for overseeing business development, recruiting and strategic planning for both the Property & Casualty and Human Capital Resources Divisions. Prior to forming Genesis Risk Advisors, Craig held the position of Senior Vice President for USI Insurance Services- Commercial Lines Division, the largest privately held Insurance Brokerage firm in the US. As an architect of insurance programs, Craig's unique consultative, risk management approach to insurance includes a diagnostic review of a client's Property and Casualty, Employee Benefits, Executive Benefits, and Human Resources programs. Throughout his career, Craig has developed specializations in the following industry segments: Professional Services Firms (Law Firms, CPA Firms, Architects & Engineering Firms), Hospitality, Real Estate, Condominium Associations and Retail & Wholesale Distribution. Craig is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a degree in Finance. He currently holds the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC).
Chuck has been a Consultative Insurance Broker in South Florida for over 30 years. Throughout his career, Charles has specialized in custom designing Executive Benefits and Group Employee Benefits plans for business owners and executives, taking into account the potential financial risks they will face throughout life. Chuck joined the MDW Insurance Group as part of the company's acquisition of Genesis Risk Advisors. As one of the founding partners of Genesis, he was responsible for overseeing business development, recruiting and strategic planning for the Executive Benefits Division. Prior to forming Genesis Risk Advisors, Chuck held the position of Vice President for USI Insurance Services- Wealth Management Division, the largest privately held Insurance Brokerage firm in the US. Chuck is a graduate of Ithaca College in New York.
Gary Farbish is a partner in the MDW Insurance Group in Coral Gables, Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Insurance Risk Management and Finance, he immediately entered the insurance industry. Gary's career in insurance spans more than 30 years, both Commercial Lines and Group Benefits Producer.
At MDW, Gary capitalizes on a wide range of skills developed during his tenure as Sales Manager and Partner of a local independent agency. In 1998, that agency was acquired by a National Brokerage firm, and Gary served as VP of their Commercial Lines Division overseeing $60 million of commercial premiums for the Tri-County area.
Throughout his career, he has had extensive experience working with non-profit and social service organizations, professional firms, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, large real estate developers, and high net-worth clients. At MDW Insurance Group, Gary chairs the agency's not-for-profit and social service organizations client specialty group.
Gary Farbish has strong philanthropic ties and believes wholeheartedly in giving back to the community in which he resides. He is an avid supporter of organizations such as Teach for America, ChildNet, and Big City Mountaineers. Among his many affiliations and directorships over the years, Gary has been proud to serve:
- Independent Agents Association of Dade County, Past President
- Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Trustee Member
- Florida Bar Grievance Committee, Member
- Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Not for Profit Chapter
- American Heart Association, Silver Sponsor
- Sits on the Advisory Council For National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
- Past Board Member of Easter Seals of South Florida
Gran began his insurance career over 10 years ago in New York where he gained knowledge and experience in the most sophisticated concepts and service models for the industry. Prior to joining MDW, Gran was the president and founder of Axiom Insurance Services, a boutique Employee Benefits Agency. Gran's focus is to provide industry leading service with insightful analysis and plan design to MDW's clients. Gran' approach enables clients to make the most informed decisions and design the correct Employee Benefits plan for their situation. Gran holds a B.A. degree from Syracuse University.
Janette's career in the insurance industry spans more than 23 years in commercial and personal lines. Prior to joining MDW, Janette served as Marketing Manager and Commercial Lines Manager for Gil Garden, Avetrani Insurance Group, LLC, and as Commercial Lines Marketing Representative with Collinsworth, Alter, Nielson, Fowler & Dowling. Janette has expertise in risk analysis, underwriting, and negotiations with admitted carriers and surplus lines brokers. Jeanette holds the designation of Certified Insurance Broker (CIC).
Anna has 20 years of experience as an insurance professional, beginning her career at a local agency and transitioning to a large national organization. Her background includes Account Executive experience at RA Brandon Insurance Agency where she then advanced to the capacity of Divisional Manager. Through extensive relationships with local, statewide, and national brokers and insurance companies, Anna brings expertise in customized insurance solution for high net worth clientele. Anna oversees the Personal Lines Division of MDW, and focuses on middle market and high net work clients. Anna is licensed in property and casualty insurance and she holds the designation of Certified Professional in Insurance (CPII).
Leslie brings more than 15 years of experience working with national and regional corporations and municipalities, providing economic and intangible value to their Human Resource and Employee Benefits departments.
Prior to joining MDW, Leslie held senior positions with two national benefits consulting firms and later founded American Benefits Partners, a boutique employee benefits firm where she held the position of President.
Leslie holds the certification of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Florida Health and Life Insurance License. Leslie earned a Bachelor or Arts degree from the University of Delaware and has served on the board of the Greater Miami Society for Human Resource Management (GMSHRM).
Roy has over 40 years' experience in both public and private accounting and has been in the insurance industry over 14 years, as a Controller, Director of Finance, and Chief Financial Officer for local, regional as well as national insurance agencies. He is a Certified Public Accountant with the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation. He has been involved in local and civic organizations as a Trustee at his church and the Treasurer of his condominium association. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Denise's career in the insurance industry spans more than 33 years. Before joining MDW, Denise worked with several of the large independent agents in the South Florida area including Seitlin Insurance, HRH Insurance (Willis) and Collinsworth, Alter, Nielson, Fowler & Dowling. Denise's background includes experience in Operations, Information/System Management and Accounting and she currently overseas the Accounting department at MDW. Denise attended FIU as an Accounting Major and holds the designation of Associate in Automation Management, AAM.
Melissa brings 23 years of accounting experience, including over 17 years in the insurance industry. Prior to joining MDW as Controller, Melissa was the Accounting Department Manager at InSource. Melissa has been an active volunteer at the American Cancer Society's Relay for life, and has served as the Captain of the team for the past 2 years. She was born and raised in Boston, MA, and currently resides in Kendall with her husband and daughter.
Vidal joined the MDW Insurance Group in 1993, specializing in Habitational Risks, Professional Liability, and all exposures related to the medical field. He began his insurance career in 1970 as a personal lines underwriter and claims administrator for large accounts. He graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. He is licensed in all areas of life and health, Property and Casualty, and other major lines of insurance.
Ernesto has over 39 years of experience in the insurance industry. He joined the MDW Insurance Group in 1994 specializing in commercial accounts with emphasis on mercantile, professional liability, export/import distributors, dentists, and financial institutions. Ernesto graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and holds the prestigious designation of Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) from the Insurance Institute of America. Ernesto is past president of the Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies.
Carmelita's insurance career began over 15 years ago, and she now specializes in construction, commercial real estate, and hospitality related risks. Prior to joining MDW, Carmelita was a Commercial Insurance Specialist for Brown & Brown Insurance/HBA Insurance Group, Inc., in Miami. She obtained an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Miami Dade College and serves on the Board of Directors for YWCA of Greater Miami Dade, Inc. Carmelita is also a member of Business Network International and Club Miami Dade, Inc.
Following graduation from law school, Justin worked in the London Insurance Market with RKH Insurance Brokers where he was able to gain hands-on insurance experience working with Lloyd's of London brokers and underwriters. Justin is a fully licensed agent in all designations of Florida insurance including life and health, property and casualty and surplus lines. Justin earned his Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and his J.D. from the University of Florida.
Prior to joining MDW, Jorge was a Sales Executive for USI Insurance Service. Jorge has worked closely with clients from a diverse set of businesses, with an emphasis on the Real Estate, Life Science, and Nonprofit organizations. Jorge is a graduate of Florida State University's School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Risk Management / Insurance. Jorge has been involved with various organizations, including serving as a Board Member for Leadership Broward Foundation (LBF), a nonprofit organization. Through his involvement with LBF, he was instrumental in the success of Emerge Broward (EB), the 600 member young professionals program of LBF. For EB, Jorge served on the Executive Board as the Develop Co-Chair, and a second term as the overall Program Co-Chair, of the organization.
Terry is a licensed insurance agent in the areas of property, casualty, life and health. Through his consultative risk management approach to insurance he is able to provide clients with a complete evaluation of their insurance programs to identify current exposures and provide value-add need-based solutions to mitigate the risk. Terry earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida. Prior to joining MDW, Terry worked as a Sales Consultant in Human Workforce Management. He built strong relationships with C-level management to assess and optimize their organizations internal business processes.
Kirk Colwell has thirty years of experience providing employee benefits to employers across the country focusing on companies with more than 500 employees. He is knowledgeable in all areas of employee benefits including health and welfare plans, qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation and executive benefits.
Prior to joining MDW he was a Senior Consultant with Marsh & McLennan. He has a Bachelors degree in History and English Literature from Hiram College.
J.R. has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry with account management, customer service, information technology, sales and management.
In 2004, he began his insurance career as an employee benefits enroller, working for an enrollment company performing extensive enrollments for Perry Ellis, Bethesda Hospital, Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Monroe County among other large groups. He joined American Benefit Partners, Inc. in 2005 performing one-on-one enrollments and client support. His position today has many facets, including account management, client services and support, operations and renewal marketing. He attended Newberry College studying business administration where he was a soccer letterman.