Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. I graduated from Palo Verde high School and the University of Arizona. After graduating from the U of A, I went to work for a large insurance company. I ran a successful multi-line agency for 12 years before selling that enterprise to pursue a career as a pharmaceutical sales representative. After 10 years of promoting brand name medicines, I found myself needing another change.
I then signed on as a captive agent with another multi-state company. After three successful years, I found myself wanting the autonomy that comes from being an independent agent, and my own boss. That’s when I decided to join my old friends Gary and Max to expand Tucson Insurance Associates. As an independent agent, my only obligation is to do the best I can for clients, while working within the various company guidelines. I am never forced to place a “round” client with a “square” carrier.
I have been married to my beautiful wife Kerry for over 30 years and together we have raised 3 wonderful children. In my free time, I enjoy socializing with family and friends. I volunteer on the Kappa Sigma fraternity house corporation and on my homeowner’s association as president. I enjoy supporting the American Heart Association with their Heart Walk and Kerry and I have built a good-sized team to walk and raise money each year.
Our family moved to Tucson in 1979 from Illinois. Upon graduation from high school, I moved to Flagstaff to study Finance at NAU. My first job after graduation was as a credit analyst in Laughlin, Nevada. New opportunities in Tucson brought me back home in 1999 – a good friend of the family had decided to retire from the insurance industry. It was a great experience for me as I had the ability to learn from an experienced agent, work with his clientele, and develop my own Book of Business.
Now, 20 years later, I have decided to leave the captive world and experience the freedom of being an independent insurance broker. I now offer so many more types of products and coverages than I was ever able to do with my prior carrier.
Something interesting about me is that I decided to go back to school to get my nursing license. I’ve always enjoyed the interaction with people on a daily basis working as an insurance agent, but still felt like I was missing something. After finishing nurse school, I worked as a floor nurse, charge nurse, and as the MDS Coordinator while running my insurance agency. The passion that I feel in insurance and nursing are surprisingly similar. But now, I have turned my full attention to insurance and am very excited about our agency here at Tucson Insurance Associates.
On a more personal level, we have a family member who is an African Sulcata tortoise. He is less than 1lb now but will grow. He is very cute. My whole family is in love with our new pet. My wife and children are a great inspiration to me. I have learned as much from them as I have, hopefully, imparted on them. And if lucky, you can find me on the baseball diamond again soon and play Men’s Senior Baseball. Weight lifting, cycling, running, and general exercise are also my hobbies.
In terms of a guilty pleasure, I have a pretty well built COC base and enjoy clan battles and clan wars and when it comes to volunteer activities or non-profits, in the past I’ve been involved with: Past Cubmaster; den leader, Past 20-30 Club Member, Registered Nurse, MSBL Participant, Marathon Runner, and 1000 Stairs of Bisbee contestant
I have worked with Andy’s independent agency since 2013. I was born and raised in Tucson, AZ. Attended Salpointe Catholic High and attended University of Arizona. I am excited to help the agency grow and to provide a great experience for our customers. I enjoy my family and friends and love watching soccer, especially my daughter’s soccer games on Friday nights! You can find me riding my bicycle on the weekend, walking our dog Dallas, and relaxing in front of the TV watching soccer. Every year I volunteer for the CDO Soccer Club Tournament and form a team for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.
I am originally from San Diego, being raised in a Navy household meant we moved many times but had the pleasure of growing up primarily in Tucson… so consider myself a native Tucsonan. I went to Tucson High and later went on to attend the University of Arizona. In my time away from the office, I enjoy to travel, hiking with my dogs and hus-boyfriend…and having fun with my nieces and nephews! Hockey and soccer are my fave sports to watch and play.
I have been a client of Andy’s since 2011 and worked with him at his agency before he joined Gary and Max as an independent agent. I’m very excited to be part of Tucson Insurance Associates, now and for a long time to come! A current focus of mine is developing community within the type 1 diabetes online and local family.
I am Head of Security here at Tucson Insurance Associates. My experience of chasing tennis balls and naps has prepared me for this honorable role in the office. Come by to say Hi I would love to show you how we can protect you and your family!
Gary worked as an insurance agent for 40 years, and an independent agent since 2011. Other than 2 years in Sierra Vista, AZ where his daughter was born, he has lived in Tucson since 1960. What he enjoyed most about insurance “is the fact that nothing stays the same in this business, I still learn something new every day!” Gary loved the long-time relationships with clients that he built, and especially enjoyed the relationships with the children of his clients when they went out on their own.
When he was not in the office you could find him mountain biking, camping, supporting his daughter in Special Olympics or visiting his son in Silver City, NM. He also enjoys to woodwork and puttering in the yard or home improvements. Getting involved with the community has always been very important, he was a Special Olympics softball & floor hockey coach for many years.
Now that our friend and founder Gary has retired, he will be spending much more time with these activities. We will miss him in the office, but we wish him all the best for a long and happy retirement!
Max had a long, family tradition in insurance. His grandfather, Kit Karson Shemwell, started ‘Shemwell Insurance’ in his hometown of Doniphan, MO in 1908. Later his father, Max Sr., took over after WWII. He expanded and operated the business until he retired in 1982. After graduating from the University of Arizona in 1982 Max began his career with Met Life and then started with Allstate in 1984. In 2011 he founded Tucson Insurance Associates with his long-time office partner Gary and was joined by Andy in 2013. Max was always proud to say he offered his clients many of the same fine companies that Kit and Max Sr represented during their careers.
He and his wife Elizabeth, a teacher in the Marana School District for many years, raised 2 great kids. He loved just about any outdoor activity. He was an avid mountain biker and hiker and supported many fine organizations and non-profits that promote multi-use trail access, expansion, and maintenance. On weekends, you could often spot him biking or hiking somewhere in the Tortolita Mountains, near their home in Continental Ranch.
Max will be missed, but his influence on all of us makes him unforgettable. We at Tucson Insurance Associates will continue to carry on his legacy of service.