PARTNERS, MANAGERS & ASSOCIATES
Thomas Walters is an outstanding leader, passionate speaker, author, trusted advisor, consultant, and President/Owner of several successful insurance agencies in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. A Raleigh native, Thomas earned his BSBA in Marketing from East Carolina University. After college Thomas began his business career with Wachovia Bank in commercial banking. In 1993 Thomas started his first Allstate Insurance office. Since then Thomas has been recognized by Allstate Insurance as a company leader. His agencies consistently rank in the top of over 13,000 agencies countrywide. Thomas has also named been named Agency of the Year for the state of North Carolina twice. In the past 23 years Thomas has received Awards and Recognition for Inner Circle, Chairman’s, and Leaders Forum many times. Thomas is currently a Mega Agency Owner.
In 2009 Thomas was selected from over 13,000 agents as the Ray Lynch Community Service Award Winner for Allstate. One of only sixteen recipients in company history, Thomas was also honored in Washington, DC with the Jefferson Award for Community Service and named to the Triangle Top 50 Entrepreneurs.
Thomas has worked with every phase of the Allstate agency model from scratch startup, small, medium, large, and mega agencies. He has participated with many satellite and merger scenarios. Thomas brings a very strong process management aspect along with a keen marketing skill set that is an asset for those agency owners that wish to grow their business opportunity. Thomas currently serves on the National Allstate Agent Advisory Board as well as his state and regional Board. At the National level Thomas is the current Co-Chair of the Agency Customer Experience group. This work encompasses technology, workflows, and operational efficiencies for both agencies and customers.
Thomas is a leader in his community having served as the Chair of the local YMCA as well as a Board Member of the Triangle YMCA regional association. Thomas also serves as President and a board member in Kiwanis as well as a past president and director of the local Fire Department. Thomas served his town politically as a Town Commissioner and Mayor Pro-tem. Thomas also represents Allstate as a Board Member of the National Organization of Students Against Violence which is funded in part by the Allstate Foundation.
Thomas resides in Wake Forest, NC with his wife, Jennifer and three sons.
Lee Herring is an executive consultant with over 35 years of experience in his field. Lee enjoyed a successful career as Senior Sales Leader with Allstate Insurance Company where he was involved in agency operations throughout the Southeastern United States. He was recognized with the Key Manager award multiple times as well as winning Allstate’s coveted Spirit of the Eagle award sales going to the top sales leader in the country, He launched Herring Consulting Partners in 2011 where his client base included both buyers and sellers of Allstate insurance agencies. Through his successful consulting practice, Herring has played an integral part in the sale or purchase of over seventy five million dollars of earned premium for his clients. He is recognized as a leader within his field having established a strong referral based business that continues to meet and exceed the needs of the clients he serves.
Lee is very active in his community having served as past Board Chair of The Michael O’Neal Singers, Inc. located in Roswell, Georgia….the largest auditioned chorus in the southeast. While serving as its Chair, the organization experience significant revenue and audience growth under his leadership. He has served on the Board Chair Consortium which includes arts and culture leaders for the greater Atlanta area. Lee is a long standing member of the Board of Visitors of the College of Arts and Science at his alma mater, Jacksonville State University. He is an active member of the 10,000 member Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta where he has held a leadership position on the Administrative Council as well as lay leader in the music ministries of the church. Lee and his wife, Gail, reside in Marietta, Georgia.
Chris Mackay is Managing Partner of Energia Consulting Partners. He is an executive consultant with successful entrepreneurial background and excellent business operations management skills. His strong work ethic, determination and goal driven orientation has supported any business venture he has pursued. Chris built a multi-million dollar agency while representing Allstate Insurance Company starting with a single, scratch location growing to three agencies. His business was in the top 2% of Allstate agencies having been recognized for his outstanding performance. More recently, Chris has been active in the Venture Capital and Private Equity marketplace supporting small to medium sized entry level start up business ventures.
Chris is involved in his community having begun the Gordon Jeans Foundation that supports our veterans. He resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife and children.
Kirk Price has been in the insurance and financial services industry for 40 years. He has worked in all areas of sales including Sales Leadership, Management, Education, Compliance, and as a Registered Principal for Allstate Financial Services, LLC. His main responsibility was recruiting new talent for the Corporation which is what he still does today as an Associate Partner with Energia Consulting Partners.
He received numerous awards and recognition in his roles both as a personal producer, and as a Sales Leader. As an Agent and Sales Leader, Kirk earned the Honor Ring, Life Millionaire, National Champions, Passport, Chairman’s, and Chairman’s Inner Circle awards as well as the prestigious Key Manager Award 17 times. He also earned industry recognition with the National Quality Award and the National Sales Achievement Awards for excellence in sales volume and quality new business. During his 30 year tenure with Allstate, he was widely recognized as the top recruiter year in and year out both within the Southeast Region and Nationally. Kirk holds the professional designations for LUTC, (Life Underwriter Training Council) and CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter).
Kirk’s greatest reward has been providing others with the opportunity to achieve the freedom, flexibility and financial independence that comes from owning their own Allstate Insurance Agency, which he believes to be one of the best small business opportunities in America. “I’ve lost count of how many individuals I have actually brought into the business over the past 30 years, but it’s always so gratifying to hear from them and see their personal growth and success, both professionally and financially. That includes my son, Breck Price, who is celebrating his 13th year as an Agency Owner. ”
He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and a member of the 1976 UGA SEC Championship Team which also played for the National Championship in the Sugar Bowl against Pitt in January 1977. He lettered as a freshman in 1973 and was selected to the Birmingham News/Post Herald All SEC Freshman Team.
He is currently President of Price Consulting, LLC where he recommends, counsels and advises candidates who are interested in starting a career in the insurance industry with the most recognized name in the business. He also serves as a Financial Specialist and Consultant with The Price Agency in Birmingham Alabama.
Attorney Charles (Chuck) McGhee is the President of SteelGhee Consulting, LLC and has over forty years of business and insurance experience. He has worked extensively with Agency Owners and Purchasers in the evaluation, sale, and purchase of Allstate books of business. He has also hired and trained many agents and staff persons, while being intricately involved in the growth and development of new and existing agencies. This has included both the installation and implementation of processes designed to drive agency successes.
During his career at Allstate Insurance Company, Chuck served in several states in the Midwest and South as an Agent, Sales Leader, and Executive Training Manager. His accomplishments included the Life Leader, Chairman, and the Prestigious Key Manager awards. Chuck distinguished himself by earning the Territorial Manager of the Year Award seven times, and the prestigious Key Manager Award twenty three times (the most by any manager in the Southeast at that time).
He currently serves as Steward Board Chairman and Men’s Retreat Co-Chairman at his Church. He also serves on Boards that include: Sisters Inspiring Sisters Through the Arts (SISTA), Malon D. Mims Boys and Girls Club, and the Tuskegee University Annual Alumni Golf Classic. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Chuck and his late wife Mirian were married for 45 years and have two daughters, a wonderful son-in-law and one grandson.
Gilbert Granados is an accomplished business leader, certified business coach, speaker, and trainer with over two decades of experience in the insurance industry.
Gilbert spent twenty five years as a part of the Allstate Insurance Company in the state of Texas. Over the course of his career Gilbert held positions as a Market Sales Leader, New Agency Consultant, and as a Territorial Education Manager. During his time with Allstate Gilbert was a Key Manager 13 times, Agency Manager of the Year for Texas and was nationally ranked among company leaders with a Spirit of the Eagle honor from Allstate. His background gives him a wealth of knowledge for helping agency owners establish high performance organizations through leadership and process delivery. Gilbert knows how to leverage technology and market opportunities to create immediate impacts in agency performance. Gilbert is also well equipped to recruit and deploy new agency owners with the tools that they need for success. After Allstate Gilbert purchased a small business, scaled the business, and sold it to a national corporation. Gilbert understands the unique challenges that business owners face as they buy and sell businesses. He knows the value of having a solid business plan, good communication with everyone in the organization, and proper training programs. Gilbert feels so strongly about helping business owners succeed that he became a director and certified business coach in the John Maxwell organization. Through that role Gilbert performs workshops, keynote addresses, and both short and long term coaching engagements. Gilbert is currently the host of a radio show entitled “Play with a Plan”. He believes that you should live your live by design, not by default. You should build your business with intention, design and protect your time and calendar.
Gilbert and his wife (an Allstate Agency owner), are residents of San Antonio Texas. Gilbert is a proud father of three children and has 2 grandchildren. Gilbert is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of New Mexico State University.
As a Regional Consultant with Energia Consulting Partners Gilbert will have primary responsibilities in the state of Texas.
Nigel is a Senior Software Executive with over 25 years of experience helping clients achieve return on their software and business investments. As a business consulting professional he brings an ability to avoid complex business issues but also an ability to resolve critical and complex business problems should they occur. His strong leadership skills together with a track record of increasing performance, increasing personnel retention and effectiveness enables businesses to achieving P&L goals. Highly customer focused aiding them to adopt business and technology solutions to meet strategic and operational goals. A demonstrated ability in building high performance consulting sales and delivery teams.
He has managed global operations, managed and led international and national professional services teams. His strong interpersonal skills allows interactions at C-Suite and other levels in organizations. Self-motivated, culturally sensitive and internationally traveled.
He lives in Cary, North Carolina with his wife Lori.
LeAnna Brennan has intimate knowledge of the Farmers Insurance business opportunity from working with the company as a corporate recruiter. During her time with Farmers she was introduced to Energia Consulting Partners through their work assisting Farmers Insurance agents in selling their agencies. LeAnna was so impressed with their work that she made the decision to join ECP as a regional consultant specializing within the Farmers Insurance channel.
LeAnna is also widely known for her work as a Life and Business Coach. Through this role she focuses on business owners who want to design systems for marketing, operations, staffing and effectiveness so that their business is personally and professionally fulfilling. She uses a very individualized approach that emphasizes each business owner’s unique strengths, goals and personality. LeAnna is licensed and credentialed through the International Coaching Federation. This level of training and coaching will be very beneficial to her work with Energia Consulting.
She is very active in her community through her church and networking groups. As a woman of faith, she has led groups of every age and size including retreats for women and for a non-profit business.
LeAnna is an American Camellia Society Judge and former Master Gardener who resides in NW Florida.
An accomplished leader and businesswoman, Debbie Dykes is passionate about increasing the
profitability of every insurance agency she works with. Having owned a mega-size Allstate agency with
multiple locations herself and having served as a Field Sales Leader, Debbie has extensive expertise in
the purchasing, selling, evaluation and running of Allstate agencies.
Graduating from Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Industrial Engineering, Debbie worked
for IBM both as an engineer and in sales. Later, she decided to teach high school mathematics. In 2008,
she transitioned once more, this time to the insurance world, where she has truly found her home.
In eight years as an agency owner, Debbie steadfastly grew her business from a single location with
annual revenues of $2 million into two locations earning over $9 million. As a result, Debbie’s agency
was named Agency of the Year for the state of Georgia, while Debbie herself was honored to serve on
Allstate’s Regional Advisory Board as well as the National Advisory Board.
In addition to agency ownership, Debbie’s role as a Field Sales Leader has permitted her the opportunity
of working closely with many owners, each in varying stages of the Allstate agency model—from small
startup to mega-agency. She has assisted agencies in increasing profitability, merging locations, and
developing satellite offices. Both as a Field Sales Leader and as an agent, Debbie was consistently
awarded the Inner Circle, National Conference, and Honor Ring. Each year as a Field Sales Leader she
also earned Key Leader recognizing her for the success of the agencies in her market.
Allstate agents and management around the country know Debbie as one who excels in getting tasks
accomplished enthusiastically and successfully. As a consultant with Energia, Debbie will draw upon her
experience of coaching and leading, as well as an extensive network of agents, sales leaders, and
managers across the country, to assist candidates who want to start a career in the insurance industry.
Debbie makes her home in the suburbs of Atlanta where her three children and five grandchildren also
Bob White retired from Allstate after 38 successful years. Bob started his career as an agent and later assumed responsibilities within the sales leadership side of the agency distribution channel. Always a supporter and leader of agents, Bob’s roles included District Sales Manager and also Independent Agency Manager in Pennsylvania, Field Sales Manager in Rochester New York, and Territorial Sales Leader in Pittsburgh. In his last assignment at Allstate Bob served as a Territorial Sales Leader in South Florida.
Bob has appointed hundreds of agents during his career and guided them to success. During his career Bob earned Key Manager numerous times and as a Territorial Sales Manager was awarded The Spirit of The Eagle 3 times as the top TSM in the country. Bob brings a wealth of experience and great energy that will add value to our clients at Energia.
Bob’s family is a “True Blue” Allstate family that has had ten family members work at Allstate within the sales, claims, and underwriting organizations. Upon retirement, Bob started Agency Consulting Inc.to help agents improve their agencies and assist them in the sales of their agencies when they were ready to retire. Bob is excited to join forces with Energia Consulting Partners and make a difference for retiring agency owners and prospective agency candidates. Bob and his wife Rose reside in Weston Florida.
For 34 years, Patrice Lancourt has been an acclaimed leader in the insurance field. As a recent retiree for Allstate Insurance Company, Patrice began her career in claims, as a Claim Adjuster trainee. Over the next 20 years, Patrice was promoted to Unit Claim Manager, Casualty Claim Manager, and Market Claim Manager serving Deerbrook and Allstate Insurance companies. In 2007, Patrice transferred to sales and served as a Field Sales Leader and New Agent Leader. Throughout her career, Patrice earned Distinguished Leader four times in her 7 years as a Market Claim Manager and achieved Key Leader six times during her tenure in sales.
Patrice is extremely passionate about helping entrepreneurs. Over the past 20 years, Patrice and her husband, Todd, have been small business owners in the food service industry. Cultivating entrepreneurship and investing her time in consulting small business owners have been the highlights of her life and career. Patrice is very excited to join the Energia Consulting Partners to serve and support agency owners, as well as new agency candidates, as they transition to their next venture.
Patrice lives in Boise, Idaho. Her and her husband are proud parents of two daughters and an untrained golden retriever. In her spare time, Patrice enjoys mountain climbing with her family and volunteering for the Eagle Idaho Food Bank.
Gary Holmes retired from Allstate after 33 successful years. He began his career as an agent in a Sears Store in 1987 and in 1996 he transitioned to the corporate side of Allstate into sales leadership within the agency distribution channel. Always a supporter and leader of agents, Gary’s roles included the Field Sales Leader role as well as a Financial Services Consultant all in the Florida Region. During his career, Gary also served on the Regional Advisory Board and the National Advisory Board to help make the Sales Leader role more productive while building a consultative approach to work with the agency owners in his Market. He also appointed many agency owners during his career and helped to guide them to grow their businesses and achieve profitable success.
As a Field Sales Leader and an Agent, Gary consistently was awarded Inner Circle, National Conference, and Honor Ring as annual sales awards. He brings many years of experience and a wealth of knowledge that will be an invaluable resource to the clients of Energia.
Gary and his wife, Caroline, are natives of Florida and reside in Jacksonville. They are both the proud parents of two young men who are both Captains in the United States Marine Corps. In his spare time he enjoys many outdoor activities that include weekends in South Carolina during hunting season, catching an afternoon baseball game, and trips with Caroline to visit with their sons wherever they may be stationed.
Gary is excited to work with clients at Energia and assist agency owners as they transition from their business as well as prospective agency owners as they pursue the entrepreneurial opportunity of agency ownership.
Brett Chittum had a great 22-year career with Allstate from staff, agency owner, senior sales instructor and then back to agency owner. During those years Brett purchased and sold multiple agencies; achieved Honor Ring, Leaders Forum, National Conference, Chairman’s, and Inner Circle. He has extensive knowledge of the everyday running’s of an Allstate agency and the company.
In 2014 Brett moved from Seattle to Michigan to work with captive agents within a small regional company, assisting in growth and development as a Territory Sales Leader. In 2017 he began his own consulting firm and with his background in insurance and IT, started working with insurance agencies and IT companies on process improvement, business integrity and the customer experience.
Brett has consulted many business owners across the country and has lead workshops and conferences on business development and process improvement. He resides in Grosse Ile, Michigan with his wife and two children.