Executive Team

Executive Leadership

John M. Word, III


The Word & Brown Companies

John M. Word III is renowned for transforming the California insurance broker’s role in the small group health benefits marketplace through his pioneering technological and marketing advances since 1972.

Edward J. "Rusty" Brown, Jr.


The Word & Brown Companies

Edward J. “Rusty” Brown, Jr. is highly respected throughout the health care insurance industry for establishing and delivering standards of performance and service designed to exceed all customers’ expectations.

Jessica Word


The Word & Brown General Agency

Jessica Word is President of the Word & Brown General Agency, the recognized leader in developing and distributing comprehensive health benefit plan models and insurance solutions through licensed brokers.

Marc McGinnis

Vice President of National Sales​

The Word & Brown General Agency

Marc McGinnis is Vice President of General Agency Sales, focused on streamlining sales processes and directing the regional leadership and sales teams.

Scott Diehl

Vice President of Product & Digital Strategy

In his product management leadership role, Scott Diehl oversees software and insurance product strategy, identification of market trends, and broker demands in the health insurance marketplace.

Regional Vice Presidents

Cindy West

Regional Vice President

Los Angeles

Cindy West is Regional Vice President for Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Kern counties.

Daniel Pierce

Regional Vice President

Inland Empire

Daniel Pierce is Regional Vice President for the Inland Empire region. In this role, he works with brokers and agencies in San Bernardino and Riverside counties to develop and deliver solution-based products and services to satisfy the diverse needs of their group clients.

Darrell F.H. Smith

Regional Vice President


Darrell F. H. Smith is Regional Vice President in Nevada. A resident dating back to the early 1970s, he relocated to Nevada with his family from South Carolina.

Matt Leslie

Regional Vice President

Northern California

Matt Leslie is Regional Vice President at the Word & Brown General Agency in San Jose. The Northern California region encompasses 48 counties and stretches from the California-Oregon border south to Monterey, Kings, Tulare, and Inyo counties in Central California.

Vanessa Benitez

Regional Vice President

San Diego

Vanessa Benitez is Regional Vice President in the San Diego area, which includes Imperial County and San Diego County.


Dientre Le’on

Director of Broker Resources

As Director of Broker Resources, Dientre Le’on has broad responsibilities that engage departments across the organization in addressing the needs of brokers.

Karen DeFazio

Director of Plan Maintenance

Karen DeFazio manages the Plan Maintenance team and is responsible for maintaining accurate medical, dental, vision, and life rates, plans, and benefits for all California and Nevada carriers included in the WBQuote online quoting system.

Ken Venier

Director of Business Project Management

As Director of Business Project Management, Ken Venier drives multiple product development efforts and works across the organization to translate business needs into documented implementation requirements.

Lydia Robledo

Director of Underwriting, IFP and Broker Services

Lydia Robledo is responsible for Small Group and Large Group Underwriting, Individual & Family Plans (IFP), Broker Resources, Plan Maintenance, and Compliance.

Paul Tran

Sr. Director of Business Development

Paul Tran is Senior Director of Business Development, where he oversees Account Management, Elite Agency Partners, Carrier Relations, and Renewal Retention.