Meet the team

Vanessa Benitez

Executive Vice President of Growth and Business Development

The Word & Brown General Agency

Vanessa Benitez is Executive Vice President of Growth and Business Development at Word & Brown, overseeing Underwriting, Strategic Partnerships, Client Experience, and Sales in the San Diego and Inland Empire regions.

She earned her promotion in 2024, after spearheading our Associated Health Plan Trust transition, generating added production for carrier partners, and helping build and launch our Elite Plus Solutions program. She has been a principal player in multiple corporate initiatives, pilot program development for sales and retention, and expanding key agency partnerships throughout California and Nevada.

Vanessa entered the health insurance industry in 2006, working as an Enroller with Health Net in the large group division. She joined Word & Brown in 2007 as an Enrollment Specialist, earning multiple promotions to Field Sales Representative, Senior Regional Sales Manager, Field Sales Director, and Regional Vice President. In leading the San Diego region, she helped double annual production during her tenure.

Vanessa attended UC Berkeley, where she double majored in Political Science and Latin American Studies.


John M. Word III
Edward J. "Rusty" Brown, Jr.

Executive Leadership

Jessica Word
Marc McGinnis
Vanessa Benitez
Emily Crognale
Jason Culp
Scott Diehl
Linh Huynh
Paul Tran

Regional Vice Presidents

Nick Bramson
Tawny Friedly
Cindy West


Dena Allchin
Paul Roberts
Karen DeFazio