Meet Our Team

John Johnson

John Johnson

President & CEO

johnj@mcdermottcosta.com

John joined the agency as a Commercial Producer in 1985, when McDermott Costa acquired Matchless Agency. He became Vice-President of Sales in 1992, and later, President, in 1996. Prior to joining McDermott Costa, he served in various capacities at Transamerica Insurance, Vanguard Insurance, and the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.

Mike McDermott

Mike McDermott

Vice President

mikem@mcdermottcosta.com

Mike is a third generation McDermott, with 23+ years of experience in the Commercial Lines Insurance brokerage industry. He specializes in food related industries, including QSR Restaurants, Food Processors, and Manufacturers. Mike handles national workers’ compensation accounts, and works closely with large complex accounts, including Alternative Risk Financing through Group Captive Programs.

Rich Suess

Rich Suess

Vice President & Employee Benefits

richs@mcdermottcosta.com

Rich has 40 years of experience, specializing in Employee Benefits, Group Medical, Dental, Life, Vision & LTD. Originally from Saddle Brook, New Jersey, Rich currently lives with his wife of 38 years, Yolanda, in the San Jose area. They have 2 sons, Ricky and Cory, and 3 grandchildren, Kennedy, Kayden, and Colt. Outside of work, he loves playing the guitar and spending time with his family.

Ashani Dass

Ashani Dass

Controller

ashanid@mcdermottcosta.com

Ashani has been with McDermott Costa for over 20 years. She joined McDermott Costa as a Clerical Assistant, then moved her way to Accounting Assistant, and later accepted the Controller position, in 2006. She is past President of Bay Fair Toastmasters and now holds the Treasurer position. When she is not at work, she enjoys raising her son with her husband.

Gina Diego

Gina Diego

Commercial Lines Manager & Producer

ginad@mcdermottcosta.comGina joined McDermott Costa in 1985 as a clerical assistant. She has grown within the agency and has worked all departments within the office. She became the Commercial Lines Manager in 2005. She writes all lines of insurance, but her specialty is Daycare, Private School and Non-Profits. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her 6 grandbabies and her 2 Chihuahuas, Bruiser and Buddy.

Valerie Taylor

Valerie Taylor

Producer, Commercial Lines

valeriet@mcdermottcosta.com

Valerie started in the wholesale brokerage insurance industry in 2006. Working closely with underwriters and agents, she discovered her desire to bridge the gap between the two sides of the industry. She transitioned into the retail agency side, in 2011, where she was able to fulfill her growing passion to help clients directly. She joined McDermott Costa in 2012, and specializes in Commercial Real Estate, including Community Associations, restaurants and cannabis businesses.

Luis Zambrana

Luis Zambrana

Producer, Commercial/Personal Lines

luisz@mcdermottcosta.com

Luis joined the agency as a Personal & Commercial Lines Producer in February of 2019. Prior to joining McDermott Costa, he was a Personal & Commercial Lines Account Manager for Stratton Agency in Redwood City. He obtained his Property & Casualty License in 2000 and his Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) designation in 2015. Luis is originally from Nicaragua, is fluent in Spanish, and has lived in the Bay Area for over 30 years.

Rosemary Pestana

Rosemary Pestana

Bonds Specialist

rosemaryp@mcdermottcosta.com

Rosemary joined the agency as a Personal Lines Customer Service Representative in July 1970. She joined the Commercial Department, again, as a Customer Service Representative in January 1972. She became a Notary Public in 1974, and an Insurance Broker in 1975. She purchased a small agency in 1976, which she incorporated into McDermott Costa. Rosemary is now the Bond Specialist.

Frank Stevenson

Frank Stevenson

Producer

franks@mcdermottcosta.com

Frank got into the insurance industry in 1959, while working with his father. In the 1960’s he opened up his own insurance brokerage. Prior to insurance, he graduated from U.C Berkeley, where he studied Business, and was part of the football and rowing teams. After graduation he became a Naval Officer, where he served 2 years at sea, and 6 years in the Reserves. He and his wife of 40+ years, Sharon, enjoy sailing on their free time.

Robert W. Cook III, CIC

Robert W. Cook III, CIC

Broker / Producer

robcook@mcdermottcosta.com

Rob formed his agency, Cook Insurance Services, with his father, Bob Cook, in 1984. Rob worked in various capacities at Cooper & Cook Insurance from 1978 to 1984.
Rob received his Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 1991. Past President of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of the Hayward, as well as Southern Alameda County.
Past President of the Rotary Club of Hayward, CA and the Hayward Rotary Foundation. Current member of Portola Rotary Club in Clio, CA

Char Franklin

Char Franklin

Account Manager, Commercial Lines

charf@mcdermottcosta.com

Char joined the agency as an Account Manager in 2018. She has over 30 years of experience in the Insurance Industry. Prior to joining McDermott Costa, she worked for various insurance companies and agencies as an Assistant Vice President, Manager and various positions in the Commercial Lines Business, including claims and managing medium to large accounts. She has a BS degree along with an AIC designation.

Teresa Hayward

Teresa Hayward

Account Manager, Commercial Lines

teresah@mcdermottcosta.com

Teresa joined the agency in July 2020. Prior to joining the team, she had been dedicated to the Insurance Industry for over 25 years, servicing Commercial and Personal Insurance Accounts with brokers in the East Bay/San Francisco counties, as well as, serving as an agent for 10 years with GEICO, on the East Coast/Quad State areas. She is a native of Philadelphia, PA, and happy to now be residing in the Bay Area.

Lily Young

Lily Young

Account Manager, Commercial Lines

lilyy@mcdermottcosta.com

Lily rejoined McDermott Costa in 2020 after working at another insurance agency. She specializes in the Restaurant and Life Science Industry. Lily has a BA degree in Business Management and holds a CIC as well as a CISR designation. She has over 18 years of experience in the industry.

Shelly Crossley

Shelly Crossley

Account Manager, Commercial Lines

shellyc@mcdermottcosta.com

Shelly rejoined McDermott Costa in 2019 as a Commercial Lines Account Manager, after working at another agency for a number of years. She specializes in Commercial Real Estate, Non-Profits, Hospitality and Construction risks. She has over 35 years’ experience in the insurance industry.

Maria Costa

Maria Costa

Account Manager, Commercial Lines

mariac@mcdermottcosta.com

Maria joined McDermott Costa Co. in 2003 as a Commercial Lines Account Manager. In 2012, she earned her CISR designation. She has over 40 years of insurance experience. In her free time, Maria enjoys watching classic movies, reading, yoga, belly dance classes and spending time with family and friends.

Teela Neal

Teela Neal

Account Manager, Commercial Lines

teelan@mcdermottcosta.com

Teela joined the agency as a Commercial Lines Account Manager in 2014. She is a jack of all trades as she has handled and managed several desks in the agency, and worked with multiple producers and their clients, which has proven her to be a true team player. Prior to joining McDermott Costa, she worked at an insurance agency in Oakland for 8 years, where she started her insurance career as the backup Receptionist and Data Entry Clerk.

Jessica Martin

Jessica Martin

Account Manager, Commercial Lines

jessicam@mcdermottcosta.com

Jessica joined McDermott Costa in 2015 as a Commercial Lines Clerk. In 2016, she earned her Property & Casualty license. Once licensed she began her journey as a Small Business Commercial Lines Account Manager, specializing in Property & General Liability. She has over 5 years of insurance experience. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, being outdoors, watching Disney movies and spending time with family and friends.

Lenny Newman

Lenny Newman

Account Manager, Commercial Lines

lennyn@mcdermottcosta.com

Lenny initially started in the insurance industry in 2009 when he was 19 years old, and moved to McDermott Costa in March of 2018. Prior to joining McDermott Costa, he worked for different insurance brokerages, including Heffernan Insurance Brokers, and Arthur J. Gallagher. In his spare time, Lenny enjoys boxing, snowboarding, playing golf and spending time with family.

Veronica Santos

Veronica Santos

Clerical Assistant, Commercial Lines

veronicas@mcdermottcosta.com

Veronica started in the insurance industry in 2006. She joined McDermott Costa in 2014 as the Receptionist, and later became Commercial Lines Clerk, in 2016. Prior to working in insurance, she held other positions, such as, CNA for many years, and a Teacher’s Aide for Oakland Public Schools. She loves plants, cooking, cleaning and spending time with all four of her furry babies.

Ruby Kaur

Ruby Kaur

Clerical Assistant, Commercial Lines

rupinderk@mcdermottcosta.com

Ruby Kaur Joined the agency in 2019 as a Commercial Lines Account Manager Assistant. She assists Account Managers with Quotes, Certificates, Premium Finance Agreements, and more. Prior to Joining McDermott Costa, she was employed by another insurance agency, where she worked for 4 years, providing insurance for commercial trucking.

Iveth Loera

Iveth Loera

Clerical Assistant, Commercial Lines

ivethl@mcdermottcosta.com

Iveth obtained her Property & Casualty insurance license in 2016. After working at Farmers Insurance for three years, she then joined McDermott Costa, in August 2019, as part of the commercial lines clerical team. Outside of work, she and her significant other enjoy spending time with their dog, cat, and rabbit.

Koren Pilkinton

Koren Pilkinton

Clerical Assistant, Commercial Lines

korenp@mcdermottcosta.com

Koren works as a Commercial Lines Assistant. She has a B.S. in Kinesiology and a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Cal State University, Hayward. She has held various positions in Toastmasters. When she is not working she enjoys the great outdoors, traveling, skiing, camping and martial arts.

Judi Martin

Judi Martin

Personal Lines Manager

judim@mcdermottcosta.com

Judi has been in the insurance industry for over 13 years, and specializes in auto, home and umbrella insurance. She joined the agency as a Personal Lines Assistant in 2007. In 2012, she received her CISR designation. She later became Personal Lines Manager, in 2017. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her son and family.

Maeva Waipa

Maeva Waipa

Account Manager, Personal Lines

maevaw@mcdermottcosta.com

Maeva has been in the insurance industry since 2003. She specializes in Personal Lines; Home, Auto, Renters, etc. She has her CISR designation as well. She also has 1 wonderful daughter with her husband.

Angie Law

Angie Law

Account Manager, Personal Lines

angiel@mcdermottcosta.com

Angie got into insurance in 1996, where she started working part time as a file and data entry clerk. She received her Property & Casualty license in 1999 and became a Personal Line Account Manager. In 2014 she received her Life & Health license. In 2016, she joined McDermott Costa. She has one beautiful daughter with my better half.

Jesell Neal

Jesell Neal

Account Manager, Personal Lines

jeselln@mcdermottcosta.com

Jesell joined McDermott Costa in October 2016 as a Personal Lines Clerk. In April 2018 she received her Broker-Agent license, and in 2019 became a Personal Lines Account Manager. Prior to McDermott Costa, she was a Supervisor at UPS, for 7 years. Outside of work she enjoys roller skating, riding ATV’s, shooting pool, and hanging with friends & family.

Anna Neal

Anna Neal

Clerical Assistant, Personal Lines

annan@mcdermottcosta.com

Anna joined the agency as the Receptionist in 2016. She later became the Personal Lines Assistant in 2018. Prior to joining McDermott Costa, she served in various capacities as a UPS Driver and a Certified Medical Assistant. Outside of work she enjoys being a mother and spending time with her family.

Victoria Wright

Victoria Wright

Clerical Assistant, Personal Lines

victoriaw@mcdermottcosta.com

Victoria started with McDermott Costa in June 2017 as a Commercial Lines Clerk. In October of 2018 she received her Property and Casualty license and became a Commercial Lines Account Manager. After taking a year of personal time in 2019, she rejoined the agency in July 2020 as a Personal Lines Assistant. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her son, participating in her church youth group, traveling to new destinations and being outdoors.

Tami Chan

Tami Chan

Senior Account Manager, Employee Benefits

tamic@mcdermottcosta.com

Tami joined McDermott Costa in 2016 and has been in the insurance industry for 35 years. As an Employee Benefits Account Manager and Notary Public, she specializes in Group and Individual Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, LTD, and Medicare. She is a San Francisco native and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Kaila Jones

Kaila Jones

Account Manager, Employee Benefits / HR

kailaj@mcdermottcosta.com

Kaila joined McDermott Costa back in 2014. She is currently in HR and is also an Employee Benefits Account Manager. As an Account Manager she specializes in Group and Individual Medical, Dental, Vision and Life. She is also a member of Bay Fair Toastmasters in San Leandro. Kaila has a set of skills which include, but not limited to, choking on air, falling up the stairs, and tripping over completely nothing.

Peter Starck

Peter Starck

Claims Manager

peters@mcdermottcosta.com

Peter has 10+ years in Commercial and Personal Lines Claims experience at several large insurance carriers. He has extensive experience in all aspects of homeowner, auto and commercial line claims. He is married with a child in middle school and is currently a Scout Leader and Little League Coach.

Jackie Tufo

Jackie Tufo

Workers Compensation Claims Liaison

jackiet@mcdermottcosta.com

Jackie joined McDermott Costa in 2014. She has 30+ years’ experience in the Workers Compensation Industry. At McDermott Costa, she monitors all Workers Compensation claims, working closely with Workers Comp carriers, and their adjusters. She is a mom to 2 adult kids, and a grandma to 3 little active grandsons.

Mei Qui

Mei Qui

Accounting Manager

meiq@mcdermottcosta.com

Mei started with the insurance agency in 2006. She graduated from Cal State East Bay where she majored in Accounting and Financing. She has been a member of the San Leandro Bayfair Toastmaster’s for almost two years. Outside of work she likes to indulge in different cuisines and travel with friends.

Tabitha Crutchfield

Tabitha Crutchfield

Operations Specialist

tabithac@mcdermottcosta.com

Tabitha joined McDermott Costa in 2016, and has since served in various roles, including, but not limited to, Accounting, Clerical Support, and Business Operations. She got her Bachelors of Science degree in Finance, from San Francisco State, in 2014. While not at work, she enjoys personal shopping, making DIY clothing and furniture, and being outdoors.

Elizabeth Kariuki

Elizabeth Kariuki

Office Administrator

elizabethk@mcdermottcosta.com

Elizabeth joined McDermott Costa in July 2019, as an Office Administrator. She has experience in Administrative Support, Office Coordination and Business Operations. She is also working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at San Francisco State University. While not at work, she enjoys sight-seeing, reading and spending time with her 4 nieces and 2 nephews.