Mark L. Carter
Mark L. CarterChief Financial Officer
Mark’s broad experience in finance, financial analysis, fiscal control systems, auditing, taxation and capital deployment strategies ensures that TAG maintains the fiscal discipline necessary to continue the company’s rapid expansion. Mark is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a B.S. in Accounting.
Robert G. Casey, CSA
Robert G. Casey, CSAChief Compliance Officer
Rob joined TAG nearly seventeen years ago as an agent and worked his way up to a team leader managing agents. Rob is uniquely qualified to head up TAG’s compliance department due to his ability to see issues from both the agent’s and client’s perspective. An expert in insurance law and regulation, Rob is charged with making certain TAG is compliant in all areas of the business. Rob, a licensed agent, is a graduate of The University of North Carolina holding a B.A. in Psychology. Rob and his wife Jill are the parents of two daughters and are expecting their first grandchild.
Jonathan Cole
Jonathan ColeSenior Vice President, Corporate Recruiting
Jon first joined TAG as an agent in 2004 and has served in a variety of roles over his long association with the company. During his tenure at TAG, Jon has been a successful leader on both the sales and corporate side, most recently serving as TAG’s final expense “subject matter expert” where he was responsible for sales growth, developing and delivering field training and maintaining quality metrics on the final expense block of business. Previous to joining TAG’s corporate leadership team, Jon served as a Regional Sales Manager for TAG and consistently earned ranking as a top five sales office. Jon and his wife Jennifer have two daughters.
Jennifer Dennis
Jennifer DennisManager, Commissions & Contracting
Jennifer has an 8 year tenure at The Assurance Group and oversees both the commission and contracting departments. Jennifer works closely with both the home office staff and the field sales force to ensure that these two vital departments run at maximum efficiency. Jennifer has a B.S. in Accounting from High Point University and she and husband Jason are the parents of two children – Macy, 19 and Gavin, 14.
Robert Fogle, LUTCF
Robert Fogle, LUTCFVice President, Ordinary Life Sales
Rob joined TAG in 2014 to oversee the fast-growing Ordinary Life Division. Rob has a wide range of experience in this market having spent over twenty one years between ING and Jackson National Life in positions of increasing responsibility ranging from agent to Regional Sales Officer. In his short time at TAG, Rob has created new training programs, increased back-office support and developed web-based sales tools to support increased sales in this line of business. Rob is a licensed agent and attended Clemson University.
John M. Gentry
John M. GentryVice President, Medicare Sales
With over ten years of service to TAG in various capacities, John is a recognized expert in the Medicare space. John’s tenure with TAG, as a former financial advisor with American Express and a stint as a Regional Sales Manager with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of South Carolina provides him with a unique understanding of the complexities of both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans. John is a licensed agent and a true “Renaissance” man with many and varied activities and interests.
Steven H. Jarvis Jr.
Steven H. Jarvis Jr.Vice President, Marketing
With over a decade of career experience at The Assurance Group, Steven currently serves as Vice President of Marketing. Beginning his career at TAG with a major in Computer Programming, he has embraced a radically different philosophy to traditional marketing. Steven’s fusion of information technology experience and his passion for finding creative marketing solutions has simplified nationwide brand expansion for The Assurance Group. It is his career mandate to utilize technology to enable TAG to continue making a difference in the lives of their agents and each of the individuals insured.
W. Curtis Klein
W. Curtis KleinChief Marketing Officer
Curt joined TAG in 2007 and is responsible for sales across both the career and brokerage channels in addition to management and oversight of TAG’s corporate marketing initiatives and brand development. With twenty-five years of industry experience, sixteen of those in senior-level positions at insurance carriers, Curt has developed expertise in sales distribution and management, product development and agent compensation and incentive programs. Curt, a licensed agent, is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University with a BA in Human Resource Management. Curt and his wife Sharon have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Keith J. Minn
Keith J. MinnVice President, Business Development
Experienced as both a personal producer and builder of sales teams, Keith’s focus at TAG is in the recruiting, training and development of final expense agents and sales leaders. Prior to entering the insurance business, Keith was a successful manager and leader in the pharmaceutical industry. Keith enjoys a unique ability to increase productivity through maximizing an individual’s distinct skill sets. Keith attended Mount Saint Mary College on a Lacrosse scholarship graduating with a BS in Biology. Keith and his wife Angela are the parents of three sons.
Jack T. Mitchell
Jack T. MitchellVice President, Recruiting & Brokerage Services
Working in a variety of different departments since joining TAG over four years ago, Jack’s talent became apparent when asked to oversee TAG’s recruiting team. In addition to supporting both career and brokerage recruiting efforts, Jack also maintains key brokerage relationships with many long-time TAG distributors. A licensed agent, Jack and his wife Brooke are the parents of son Jackson.
Scott W. Osborne
Scott W. OsborneVice President, Business Development
With over twenty years of insurance industry experience, Scott considers it an honor and privilege to coach, counsel and mentor agents and managers throughout TAG’s career channel. Affectionately known as “Scooter”, Scott has a long history with TAG beginning in the late 1990’s as a Regional Director.

Although knowledgeable in all lines of business, Scott is widely known for his expertise in final expense – both as a personal producer and as a successful team builder. Scott has a unique ability to transfer his many skill-sets to agents while supporting their growth and development as insurance professionals. A native of High Point, NC, Scott has four children and one grandchild.

H. Vann Owens Jr.
H. Vann Owens Jr.Director, Information Technology
One of The Assurance Group’s first full-time employees hired nearly 25 years ago, Vann oversees TAG’s robust information technology platform. Vann and his team are responsible for the development of new processes to support all home office administrative functions and for the design and maintenance of TAG’s proprietary agency management system. Vann earned Bachelor of Science degrees in both Business Administration and Computer Information Systems from High Point University. Vann and his wife Misty are the parents of two children – Brent, 16 and Shay, 13.
J. Darwin Parks, CPA
J. Darwin Parks, CPAVice President, Business Development
Darwin’s diverse experience, coupled with his finance and acquisition background, allow him to be successful in both the recruiting and development of new agents and managers. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a B.S. in Accounting, Darwin is also a Certified Public Accountant. Darwin and his wife Laurie have two children.
J.T. Peterson
J.T. PetersonVice President, Business Development
A top performing Sales Management and Financial Services professional, J.T. brings to TAG a record of achieving and exceeding sales and market goals. With over 17 years of experience in identifying and developing talent, J.T. is passionate about creating a team atmosphere, motivating staff and team members to high levels of individual and group performance. J.T. and his wife Mendy enjoy spending time with their two children on the lake or golf course.
Tracy Polk
Tracy PolkSenior Vice President, Sales
Tracy came to TAG in 2013 after a stellar seventeen year career as a Regional Sales Director at Bankers Life and Casualty. And since he arrived, he has been busily building the California and Nevada markets for TAG. A true champion for his agents, Tracy’s brand of leadership will serve TAG and our agents well as he continues expanding his presence in the west. As Tracy likes to say, “I’m in it to win it”. Tracy is a licensed agent and attended California Polytechnic University. Tracy and his wife Laura are the parents of three children and have six grandchildren.
Edward L. Shackelford
Edward L. ShackelfordFounder & Chief Executive Officer
Never able to contain his entrepreneurial spirit and his dreams of growing a company, Ed left the textile industry twenty-eight years ago to begin building the foundation for what would eventually become The Assurance Group. Ed is recognized throughout the industry and among his peers as a trend-setter in the areas of employee benefits, final expense distribution and Medicare Advantage sales. Actively engaged in the day-to-day management of the company, Ed continually brings forth fresh and innovative ideas that fuels TAG’s explosive growth year after year. Ed and his wife Beverly have twin daughters and one grandson.
F. Diane Slack
F. Diane SlackDirector, Sales Support
Diane is a loyal advocate of The Assurance Group with over 20 years experience in various positions at the company. As the Director of Sales Support you will find her expansive knowledge of the insurance industry and The Assurance Group invaluable. From managing the agent support hotline and assisting the on-boarding of new recruits to maintaining TAG’s records and updates – Diane is focused on helping you make the most of your experience at TAG. Diane and her husband of 43 years have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Isaiah Smith, II
Isaiah Smith, IIVice President, Annuity Sales
Since Joining TAG in 2013, Isaiah has made a significant impact on annuity sales through enhancements in TAG’s training, submission and issue procedures and through the resources he provides to agents to un-complicate the sales process. A seasoned financial professional, Isaiah has over eighteen years of experience in the annuity, life insurance and mutual fund markets. In his previous position prior to joining TAG, he was responsible for growing annuity sales from $350 Million to over $1.4 Billion over a nine year period. Isaiah, a licensed agent who also holds his series 65 license, is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte earning a BSBA in Marketing. Isaiah and his wife Nicki are the parents of four children.
Duane Vestal
Duane VestalExecutive Vice President
Duane joined Ed as an independent agent in 1988. Ed asked him to leave his new career in banking to knock doors of local employers & offer supplemental health insurance. As the client base began to grow, so did the product line. Duane worked to attract new agents & carriers from the early days of the company. As employees were hired to support the growth, Duane continued to bring new clients and worked closely with the office staff to form the company’s operational infrastructure. Duane was named Executive Vice President in 1999, just before the company was about to see explosive growth and diversification. Duane now works with the Executive Management team with a focus on corporate strategies, including managing Insurance company relationships and Information Technology platforms while remaining involved in all aspects of the company’s focus and culture. Duane feels that the company is better poised for the future than at any time in the company’s history.
Christopher L. Weaver
Christopher L. WeaverSenior Vice President, Sales
A recognized expert in the development and distribution of supplemental health products, Chris joined the “TAG Team” early in 2014. For nearly thirty years, Chris served in senior positions with Capitol American Life, Conseco and PMA-USA. In 2012, Chris founded Queen Street America, a national company focused on the sale and marketing of cancer plans. Chris’ role is to recruit talented sales leaders in order to support the continued growth of both the career and brokerage channels at TAG. Chris is a graduate of The University of Evansville (IN), and has two daughters. Chris’ wife Amy is a soon-to-be published author.
Darrell W. Wilson, CIC
Darrell W. Wilson, CICVice President, Property & Casualty Division
After thirty one years of owning and operating Wilson Insurance Associates, Darrell joined TAG’s sales team upon the acquisition of his agency. A Certified Insurance Counselor and a multi-line licensed agent, Darrell continues to grow TAG’s presence in the P & C market in addition to providing TAG’s agents with an outlet for their P & C clients. Darrel also oversees the operations of four other P&C agencies recently acquired by TAG. Very active in the local community, Darrell attended Appalachian State University and he and his wife Lori are the parents of three children and have four grandchildren.