You work hard to help your business succeed. And when it comes to protecting it, you deserve to partner with a team that works every bit as hard as you do.

Intellectual Capital

We believe our greatest asset is our team, the knowledge we share together, and the experience we can bring to protect you and your exposures. We believe in investing in people, finding and developing the best and the brightest, and giving them an environment and tools they need to succeed. When you work with us, our people become your greatest asset, too. Your dedicated team of process-oriented, strategically driven professionals who pursue and deliver innovative solutions.


You work hard to make your business succeed. And when you partner with us to protect it, you can rest assured we'll work every bit as hard as you.

Ryan W. Ball Client Executive Partner
Ryan W. Ball

Ryan Ball advocates for his clients navigating through the risk management process. Throughout his career he has worked in entrepreneurial services, residential mortgage lending, new construction lending and investment services. His experience includes playing a part in guiding company development from infancy through to established Fortune 500 status. Ryan shepherds his clients through the risk management process from analysis, options, strategy and policy placement.

Since joining Sentinel, Ryan has developed a broad portfolio of clients, including restaurants (multi-location and franchise), commercial and multi-family property, manufacturing, non-profits, vocational rehab, health care and home health care, commercial real estate, technology and life sciences. Ryan takes great pride in helping people and businesses make smart financial decisions and build companies, brands and assets.

In addition to his professional contributions, Ryan remains active in serving his community, both by holding board positions and working with a number of nonprofit organizations.

  • Hayes Barton United Methodist Church Board of Trustees, Stewardship Committee
  • Graduate of North Carolina State University
  • Series 6 and 63 brokerage license
  • North Carolina Life and Health Insurance license
  • North Carolina Property and Casualty licenses
  • North Carolina and National Mortgage Brokerage licenses
  • Certified Authority on Workers’ Compensation
  • Amelia Hayes Bernstein, JD Client Executive Partner
    Amelia Hayes Bernstein, JD

    Amelia Bernstein’s legal background allows her to provide clients with complex needs with specialty lines of coverage. In her legal practice prior to joining Sentinel, Amelia handled client litigation and navigated complex class action lawsuits. Amelia leverages her background of negotiating complicated matters by working with her risk management clients throughout the entire policy selection and placement process – from information gathering to marketing and negotiation, and finally the proposal – to provide clients with the best protection for their needs.

    As a client executive and partner, Amelia oversees a broad range of client accounts, including all of Sentinel’s professional, executive and cyber liability insurance clients. She has a proven background of providing clients with risk management solutions they were once told were impossible to achieve.

    In addition to her professional contributions, Amelia lends her talent and support to numerous organizations in the community.

  • Junior League of Raleigh
  • NC History Museum Young Associates, supporter
  • NC Museum of Art, supporter
  • Graduate of West Virginia University
  • Graduate of West Virginia University School of Law
  • North Carolina Bar, admitted to practice
  • North Carolina Bar Association, member
  • Wake County Bar Associate, member
  • Teri Breci, CISR, CIC Client Executive Director of Medical and Dental Services Partner
    Teri Breci, CISR, CIC

    As Director of Medical and Dental Services, Teri’s primary role is to ensure that medical and dental practices receive the best representation and coverage for commercial insurance, professional and management liability. She works directly with business owners to help each client understand and navigate his or her insurance. As an active member in the medical and dental industry, Teri attends conferences across the state every year which provides opportunities for her to meet and further serve her clients.

    Prior to joining Sentinel, Teri spent 13 years with Medical Mutual Insurance Company of North Carolina after developing a career in medical insurance at smaller, local agencies. She finds her position incredibly rewarding due to the great impact her work can have on her clients’ businesses.

    In addition to her professional contributions, Teri volunteers her personal time to the North Carolina Food Bank and to traveling, often supporting her daughter’s cheer team on the road or to visit her son serving the U.S. Coast Guard.

  • Graduate of Marist College
  • Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR)
  • Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
  • Jonathan C. Broyles Client Executive Partner
    Jonathan C. Broyles

    Jonathan Broyles began his career in the insurance and risk management industry over a decade ago. Since then, he has been partnering with his clients to assess and meet their risk management needs. Jonathan’s experience includes designing and placing coverage on accounts of all sizes as well as serving as his clients’ main point of contact.

    In his time as a client executive and partner at Sentinel, Jonathan has developed a broad portfolio in the construction, real estate, manufacturing, non-profit and financial services industries. In addition to his portfolio of clients, Jonathan oversees the day-to-day management of the firm’s client relations and business development program. He takes pride in ensuring the firm’s continued growth while maintaining the highest level of customer service for its clients.

    Jonathan is passionate about giving back and is involved in variety of organizations that serve others in North Carolina.

  • SouthLight, Inc., board member and treasurer
  • Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina, board member
  • Ronald McDonald House at Vidant Medical Center, board member
  • White Memorial Presbyterian Church, Sunday school volunteer and usher
  • North Ridge Country Club, golf committee
  • Graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Mike Carlton Client Executive Partner
    Mike Carlton

    Mike Carlton’s financial services background includes 30 years in the banking industry as a founder, president and CEO of a community bank in North Carolina. He has worked with countless businesses as a partner helping them grow and succeed. As a former business owner himself, he understands risk management from the client’s perspective and knows what keeps business owners up at night. He recognizes the challenges and opportunities his clients face and uses his industry insight and experience to mitigate risk and protect clients’ investments.

    As partner and client executive at Sentinel, Mike advises clients in the financial services, operating companies, professional services, commercial real estate, non-profit, biotechnology and life sciences fields.

    Mike has remained active throughout his career both as a volunteer for several nonprofits and as a board member.

  • Wake County Salvation Army, Vice Chair of Executive Committee
  • North Carolina Bankers Association, Vice Chair of Board of Directors, past
  • Southwest Wake YMCA Advisory Board, past
  • Life Experiences, Inc., Board of Directors, past
  • Cary Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, past
  • Graduate of Elon University
  • F. Spencer Cosby Client Executive Partner
    F. Spencer Cosby

    In his several decades in the financial services industry, Spencer Cosby has held positions from CEO to Managing Director to Executive Vice President and Executive Vice President at several financial institutions in North Carolina. His broad experience on both sides of the desk allows him to analyze a company’s risk profile and match it to the proper insurance coverage.

    As a client executive and partner at Sentinel, Spencer applies his consultative risk management approach to his clients, including those in the manufacturing, education, professional services, restaurant and non-profit industries. In addition to his broad portfolio of clients, Spencer is charged with overseeing marketing operations for Sentinel in eastern North Carolina.

    Spencer is passionate about giving back to the community and has maintained involvement throughout his career by volunteering for a number of non-profits and serving on several boards.

  • Vidant Health Foundation, Trustee
  • Former board member and past chairman of the Boys and Girls Club of Coastal Plains Foundation
  • Committee 100, Director
  • Greenville Chamber of Commerce
  • Co-founder and former president of The Greenville Morning Rotary Club
  • Member of Uptown Greenville Association
  • Graduate of the University of Richmond
  • Aaron S. Driver Client Executive Partner
    Aaron S. Driver

    Throughout an impressive career in risk management, Aaron Driver has made it a priority to thoughtfully analyze the needs of her clients in order to provide tailored solutions. She has built an impressive portfolio of business in her time at Sentinel, including clients operating in property management, real estate, professional services and non-profits.

    Aaron, a partner and client executive in the firm, has a strong background in helping businesses mitigate risk and protect assets in catastrophic regions. She has worked with numerous clients across the United States operating in areas prone to catastrophic weather events. Additionally, Aaron is responsible for ensuring the firm’s commitment to superior customer service for all current and prospective clients and seeking and building new business relationships.

    Throughout her career, Aaron has also been active with several non-profit and service organizations, including as a mentor for young adults transferring out of the foster care system. She has been instrumental in helping to secure grants and raise funding for the multiple organizations she has led.

  • Triangle CREW, past president
  • Fostering Bright Futures, founding board member and past board chair, student mentor
  • Impact Award, Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)
  • Graduate of East Carolina Unviersity
  • Bob Gagnon, CPCU, AIC Director of Claims
    Bob Gagnon, CPCU, AIC

    As Director of Claims, Bob monitors claims investigations from the very start and oversees the entire claims management process. Bob is your claims advocate, analyzing coverage, investigating adjustment strategies, and offering guidance until your claim is settled. Sentinel clients benefit from his unique resolution strategies and 30-year career of accumulative experience—from auto appraiser to claim unit supervisor to multiline insurance client management specialist.

    Named the Raleigh Claims Association Adjuster of the Year in 2013, Bob is a dedicated professional who values his relationships with carriers and policyholders. He is an active member of the Raleigh Claims Association and the Eastern North Carolina Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) Society Chapter, fostering relationships with colleagues and future industry professionals.

    A proud U.S. Army veteran and East Carolina University sports fanatic, Bob is a passionate volunteer in the community and has coached both basketball and baseball.

  • Graduate of East Carolina University
  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)
  • Associate in Claims (AIC)
  • Erica Gray, CIC Client Executive
    Erica Gray, CIC

    Erica Gray is a tenured risk manager who is particularly adept at mitigating complex risk scenarios for her clients. She joined Sentinel in early 2017, helping to launch the firm’s Charlotte office expansion in her role as Client Executive.

    Erica has amassed an impressive client portfolio in her 20-year career in the insurance industry, punctuated by her creative problem-solving skills and a focus on delivering top-notch client service. Her acumen with high-risk industries, including transportation and construction, coupled with her extensive knowledge of worker’s compensation issues, make Erica a valuable team leader.

    Her clients agree: Erica inspires satisfaction and loyalty by being exceptionally responsive and skillfully innovative. She develops risk management solutions that leverage the assets of the industries she represents, ranging from small, entrepreneurial ventures to complex, middle market accounts.

    • Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
    Jacqueline Handel, JD Jacqueline Handel Director of Risk Transfer and Due Diligence
    Jacqueline Handel, JD

    Jacqueline Handel manages and mitigates complex risk scenarios for Sentinel clients. A licensed attorney, Handel develops strategies that optimize profitability through contractual risk transfer, due diligence, and performance risk review.

    Handel earned her law degree from Elon University in 2015, after which she worked in private practice representing businesses through estate administration, corporate formation, legal documentation review and compliance. Prior to law school, Handel double majored in criminal justice and forensic science at ECU. Her pre-law professional life included stints at the NC Farm Bureau and Workplace Solutions, a benefits provider.

    Handel used her time at Elon’s School of Law wisely, earning an Acorn Scholarship and serving as vice president of the Criminal Law Society.

    Member of the North Carolina Bar Association

    East Carolina University, Bachelor of Science
    Elon University School of Law, Juris Doctor

    Catherine F. Harvey, CRM, CIC, CBIA Director of Administration
    Catherine F. Harvey, CRM, CIC, CBIA

    Catherine Harvey is Sentinel’s lead administrator. Her work gives the organization critical structure and helps build capacity through integrated information systems. She manages various data and software systems to keep Sentinel operating smoothly on a day-to-day basis, while working to build and enhance the technology platforms needed to sustain the growing company in the months and years ahead.

    With more than a decade of experience in the insurance industry, Catherine’s strategic approach to data and risk management give clarity to complex issues for Sentinel clients and team members. Her understanding of risk management, from identification and analysis to control, gives Catherine a unique point of view and management perspective.

    In addition to her role as Director of Administration, Catherine helps manage a wealth of informational resources to keep Sentinel clients abreast of the latest industry trends.

    Catherine is active in the community, lending her support and talent to several organizations, including the Junior League of Raleigh and the N.C. Museum of Art.

  • Junior League of Raleigh
  • North Carolina Museum of Art
  • Graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Certified Risk Manager
  • Certified Insurance Counselor
  • Elizabeth Holden Account Manager
    Elizabeth Holden

    Liz is a seasoned industry specialist in Property And Casualty Insurance. She handles the daily insurance needs for large and midsized corporations who are predominately in the service, contracting, and habitational areas across 40 states.

    With over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, Liz brings a wealth of risk management knowledge and expertise to the team. She moved to North Carolina in 1999 and soon after joined Sentinel as an Account Manager. She has cultivated long-term relationships with many clients over the years.

    Outside of the office, Liz is an avid reader and equestrian.

  • Graduate of Boston University
  • Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR)
  • David C. Holmes Client Executive Partner
    David C. Holmes

    David Holmes began his business career as a public accountant before buying and successfully growing a company in the construction industry. After selling the company to an industry leader in 2004, David applied his accounting and business experience to the property and casualty insurance industry.

    As a client executive and partner at Sentinel, David uses his unique perspective to provide his clients customized and strategic risk management programs. David’s current portfolio includes large construction, manufacturing and life science companies. He knows what it is like to be on the other side of the business, and leverages his experience to serve his clients at Sentinel.

    David is dedicated to serving in the community and has remained active with several non-profit organizations as a volunteer and board member. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Emmaus House, which provides housing and support for drug and alcohol addicted men in recovery.

  • Emmaus House, Chairman of the Board
  • Wake Relief, current volunteer and past board member
  • Christ Church Outreach, committee member
  • Graduate of North Carolina State University
  • James L. Holmes, Jr., CPA Managing Partner Client Executive
    James L. Holmes, Jr., CPA

    Jim Holmes founded Sentinel Risk Advisors knowing that structured, measurable and smart processes drive results. With over 20 years of professional experience in positions including Controller, Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Operations and Chief Operating Officer at companies in the United States and abroad, Jim possesses the industry insight required to help clients protect investments, assets and businesses.

    As the managing partner at Sentinel, Jim oversees client and business operations, and has doubled the size of the company which now writes business in 42 states. Jim’s current client portfolio includes operating companies, professional liability, complex casualty, commercial real estate, income properties and growth companies.

    Throughout his career, Jim has remained active in the community. He was a Founding Committee Chairman of Fostering Bright Futures, a non-profit offering support to children transitioning out of the foster system, and has held seats on numerous boards.

  • University of North Carolina Board of Governors, Chair of the Public Affairs Board
  • Fostering Bright Futures, Advisory Board
  • WakeMed Foundation Board, past member
  • Wake Tech Foundation Board, past member
  • Band Together Advisory Board, past member
  • Triangle Business Journal “40 Under 40” Leadership Award
  • Graduate of North Carolina State University
  • Certificate of Accounting, Guilford College
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Rhonda Jones, CIC Account Manager
    Rhonda Jones, CIC

    Rhonda Jones is a senior-level account manager whose long career in the insurance industry is marked by an impressive depth of knowledge across multiple industries and service sectors.

    Rhonda got her start in the industry more than 15 years ago. Prior to joining Sentinel in 2017, Rhonda worked for a locally owned agency in Jacksonville, Florida. Her exceptional organizational skills, coupled with her orientation toward leadership, make her an invaluable member of the Sentinel team.

    A Montana native, Rhonda is enjoying her adopted state of North Carolina. She enjoys running and spending time with her young son.

    Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)

    David R. Lewis Client Executive
    David R. Lewis

    David Lewis has spent the crux of his career working on behalf of rural communities and businesses. A lifelong farmer and entrepreneur with strong ties to North Carolina’s agribusiness sector, David joined Sentinel to continue safeguarding and protecting the rural people and places he holds dear. David’s seven terms in the NC House of Representatives has earned him many accolades and awards for outstanding service to the citizens he represents in Harnett County. He currently serves as chairman of the House Rules, Calendar, and Operations Committee.

    David is currently leading the effort to open Sentinel’s newest office in Fayetteville, which also happens to be David’s hometown. David received his degree in Business Administration from Campbell University, which recognized him for his professional accomplishments and service to his alma mater with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013. Of all 170 state lawmakers, David was recently named the most business friendly legislator by the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation. He continues to oversee operations at his family farm, Lewis Farms, Inc., alongside his legislative duties and work for Sentinel.

    He is active in numerous civic and nonprofit groups in North Carolina’s piedmont region.

  • Dunn Kiwanis Club
  • Central Carolina Community College Small Business Advisory Board
  • Campbell University Alumni Board
  • Graduate of Campbell University
  • Susan Marshburn Account Manager
    Susan Marshburn

    Susan is a seasoned Account Manager with over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry with extensive client services experience. She came to Sentinel with an impeccable resume including leading a construction unit consisting of 11 team members, having a seven-year relationship serving City of Raleigh’s risk management needs, and being responsible for managing a book of business to the highest level of retention and growth. She has exceeded agency growth objectives for eight consecutive years and is an extremely dedicated and dependable insurance professional. Her ability to consistently meet and exceed agency service expectations is one of her greatest strengths and is demonstrated in the level of service she brings to every client.

    During her spare time, Susan gives back to the community through her involvement with the ALS Association and the PTA board at her daughter’s elementary school.

  • Graduate of Johnston Community College
  • Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI)
  • Received NC license from Independent Insurance Agents of NC
  • Jim McCluskey Client Executive Partner
    Jim McCluskey

    With over 35 years of risk management experience, Jim McCluskey offers unmatched industry insight to each of his clients’ unique needs and risk profiles. As Managing Director at a major global company, Jim learned that risk advisory means providing options and innovative solutions, and his clients benefit from his strategic approach to their individual needs. Jim has worked with both domestic and international clients, including a number of Fortune 100 companies.

    As a Client Executive at Sentinel, Jim handles complex accounts for businesses operating in a wide variety of industries, including agriculture, chemical, health care, education, manufacturing and utilities. He specializes in risk transference, risk management, alternative risk financing and high-level service requirements.

    Throughout his career, both in the United States and abroad, Jim has remained active in many community service and nonprofit organizations.

  • United Way
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Program
  • Deloitte Fast 50
  • Phoenix Zoo
  • Arcadia Christian School
  • Various museum and church committees
  • Graduate of the University of New Haven
  • MBA, University of Phoenix
  • Associate in Risk Management (ARM)
  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)
  • Lisa Mitchell, CRM Senior Director of Risk Management
    Lisa Mitchell, CRM

    Lisa Mitchell is Sentinel’s chief risk manager. She drives the development and delivery of elite risk management services as director of Sentinel’s Risk Performance Group. Lisa has amassed an impressive level of industry expertise over a 30-year executive career leading risk management programs in the U.S. and abroad. She has managed complex risk portfolios across a diverse array of industry sectors, including information technology, healthcare and consumer products, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

    She puts that unique skill set into play on behalf of Sentinel clients and stakeholders, ensuring effective risk mitigation and loss control strategies that save businesses time, money, and ultimately, position companies for optimal success.

    Lisa earned her MBA from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. In her free time, Lisa is a passionate advocate for seniors, volunteering her time with senior caregiving groups.

    MBA, St. John Fisher College (Rochester, NY)
    Certified Risk Manager (CRM)

    Ashley Muirhead Account Manager
    Ashley Muirhead

    Ashley Muirhead is Sentinel’s talented and newest account manager. Ashley is a recent graduate of ECU with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in risk management. She discovered her passion for insurance early in life, and has amassed an impressive level of experience in the handful of years she has worked in the industry.

    After graduating, Ashley honed her newly acquired skills at Rogers Insurance Agency; an Apex firm, where she learned the ins and outs of account management with a focus on commercial lines. Ashley adds depth to Sentinel’s account management team by offering administrative, technical and customer service support.

    In her free time, Ashley enjoys sports, the outdoors, and jumping out of the occasional airplane.

    Diane Racey Assistant Account Manager
    Diane Racey

    Everyone needs an extra hand, and that’s where Diane plays a crucial support role. Diane works with the account managers to check policies and endorsements for accuracy, and serves as a point of contact for our clients’ quick questions.

    An account manager for 30 years, Diane worked with other insurance consulting firms before joining Sentinel. As a seasoned professional in the industry, she is most proud of her longevity and loyalty to the business.

    Away from work, Diane is highly involved in her church, where she is active in several different committees and the hand bell choir. She is also a past member of the board of directors of Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network. Diane also enjoys reading, scrapbooking, and spending time with her four grandchildren.

  • Attended UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Denise A. Reinert Client Executive
    Denise A. Reinert

    Denise Reinert knows that selecting the best policy starts with properly educating her clients on the protection different policies provide and guiding them through the process from start to finish. Denise’s background of 40 years in the construction industry and 15 years as a licensed contractor gives her a deep understanding of property value, and the risks and exposures her clients may face.

    Since taking her role as client executive in Sentinel’s Personal Insurance Division, Denise has helped her clients with homeowners, automobile, motorcycle, boat and yacht, personal property and personal umbrella liability policies. Her passion for helping clients make educated decisions about protecting their investments and property has helped Denise develop client relationships based on trust.

    Denise takes pride in using her experience and ability to educate others. She serves her community as a member of numerous different organizations and provides fundraising support for local non-profits.

  • Business Network International
  • Women Business Owners Network of Cary
  • She’s Connected
  • Women’s Power Networking
  • Apex Chamber of Commerce
  • Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce
  • Attended Bucks County Community College and Mercer County Community College
  • North Carolina Licensed Contractor
  • Debbie Sewell Account Manager
    Debbie Sewell

    Debbie Sewell’s long career in the insurance industry is punctuated by exceptional attention to client service and to the tenets of smart insurance practices. She works with large and mid-size commercial clients covering an array of industries. Debbie’s ability to navigate a large, diverse client base and effect good relationships with Sentinel’s carriers and partners makes her an invaluable member of the team.

    Debbie joined Sentinel after logging successful stints at Scott Insurance, Robins and Weill, and the Insurance Center. She came to the insurance industry by chance more than 20 years ago, and stayed for the opportunity to be continually challenged and engaged with clients.

    Debbie is not only an excellent account manager; she’s an award-winning BBQ pit master. In fact, she recently won 49th place at this year’s USA BBQ Championship in Kansas City; an impressive finish given that more than 560 teams competed. Debbie is a Greensboro native who enjoys being active with her husband and three children.


    Amanda Sinagoga Account Manager
    Amanda Sinagoga

    Amanda Sinagoga manages risk management services for high performing small and medium-sized companies. With a long career in the insurance industry representing carriers, she joined Sentinel in January 2017 shortly after moving to North Carolina from her home state of Michigan.

    Prior to joining Sentinel, Amanda worked as an underwriter and operations team lead for a specialty carrier in the nonprofit sector. Today, she gives Sentinel’s Core Business Group clients the tools they need to preserve their assets and position their companies for growth. Amanda says what she loves most about risk management and insurance is the versatility and people-oriented nature of the industry.

    In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, traveling and sports, particularly baseball and hockey.

    Bachelor’s degree from Oakland University

    Michael L. Story, MBA Client Executive Partner
    Michael L. Story, MBA

    Michael Story’s diverse financial background gives him a unique perspective when working with business owners and risk management advisors to secure the most appropriate protection. Over a 30 year career in the financial services industry, Michael has served clients both in commercial banking and private industry as a Chief Risk Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President; he has also been instrumental in starting two successful businesses. His background provides an in-depth knowledge for evaluating and mitigating risk and for placing proper protective coverage.

    Michael joined Sentinel as a client executive and partner, and he assists with the management and operation of the firm. In addition to management responsibilities, Michael supports a robust portfolio of operating company clients as well as non-profit, professional services, real estate, banking and high net worth clients. He has worked with multi-state risks as well as international exposures. Above all, Michael advises his clients on mitigating risks and protecting assets whether through the proper placement of coverage or other options.

    Throughout his career, Michael has remained dedicated to serving the community through volunteering for a number of non-profits and board service.

  • StepUp Ministry, chairman elect, executive, personnel and board development committees
  • Rotary Club of the Capital City, past president and current board member
  • Raleigh Historic Development Commission, past commissioner and past executive committee member
  • Occoneechee Council annual fund raiser
  • BSA Troop 357 past Troop Committee Chairman and Advancement Chairman
  • Graduate of the University of Tennessee Knoxville
  • MBA, Wake Forest University
  • Michelle Taylor Director of Communications and Marketing
    Michelle Taylor

    Michelle Taylor has spent the crux of her career elevating corporate brands through carefully crafted media messaging. As Director of Communications and Marketing, Michelle is privileged to tell the story of Sentinel Risk Advisors in creative and impactful ways, leveraging the company’s work and mission on behalf of clients, partners and stakeholders.

    A former journalist and economic policy writer, Michelle joined the Sentinel team after leading award-winning communication and marketing teams in North Carolina, California and Ohio. She has a passion for strategic, multimedia communications; stories that strengthen the corporate brand, create new growth opportunities, and leverage client and team member loyalty.

    Michelle’s work has led to multiple industry designations and awards, trendsetting digital marketing and corporate rebranding campaigns. She is active in a number of civic organizations around Raleigh, and volunteers her time with area seniors by offering free Yoga classes.

  • Graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Justine Tillerson Director - Personal Lines
    Justine Tillerson

    Justine Tillerson believes building strong client relationships is vital to placing the right policies for her clients at Sentinel Risk Advisors. With her strong background in customer service, superior knowledge of the personal insurance industry and understanding risks and exposures, Justine ensures her clients have not only the protection and insurance they need, but also unmatched service for all of their account needs.

    As the director of personal lines, Justine provides clients with homeowners, automobile, motorcycle, boat and personal umbrella insurance. Beyond just finding the right policy, Justine assists clients with coverage questions, policy changes and billing issues, in addition to handling carrier correspondence and client records.

    Justine has been actively involved in various community projects through her long-time membership at the Apex United Methodist Church.

  • Graduate of the University of South Carolina
  • Barbara L. Thorson Controller
    Barbara L. Thorson

    Barbara is the controller for Sentinel and is responsible for the financial accounting reporting, analysis, and interpretation to the executive management team and is ready to assist in the overall efficiency and future growth of the company. She has over 25 years of business management and accounting experience at various information technology companies, and in the service-based and manufacturing industries.

    Barbara became a part of the insurance industry after relocating to North Carolina five years ago from New Jersey. She excels at financial analysis and is always anxious to learn more and expand her knowledge.

  • Graduate of College of DuPage Glen Ellyn
  • Hilary Varner Assistant Account Manager
    Hilary Varner

    In her short time in the insurance industry, Hilary Varner has developed a reputation for detailed client care. Hilary is a junior account manager, working with the medical and dental division to service insurance needs for physician practices in several states.

    Prior to joining Sentinel in the fall of 2016, Hilary worked as a hospitality manager, most recently for the venerable Carolina Country Club. Hilary has impressed Sentinel team members and clients alike with her quick-to-learn, eager-to-please approach. She always goes the extra mile for Sentinel’s physician practices, ensuring their needs are not just met, but their expectations surpassed.

    Dana Vorholt, ARM Director of Risk Management
    Dana Vorholt, ARM

    As Director of Risk Management, Dana Vorholt’s professional passion puts Sentinel clients on the path to workplace safety, compliance and optimal profitability. Vorholt is widely known and well respected in the loss control arena. He provides workplace and occupational safety guidance and training, and assures compliance standards are met for businesses with a diverse set of operational risk portfolios.

    Dana got his start in risk management working for a national carrier in 2005. He honed his skills for the next decade, exceling at key risk management roles on national accounts. His career took him from the Southeast, to San Diego, and finally, back to Charlotte, NC. He joined Sentinel in May 2017, drawn by the firm’s expansion to Charlotte and the opportunity to round out Sentinel’s Risk Performance Group team with his creative and strategic approach to risk control.

    Dana earned his Master’s degree in Safety and Environmental Management from West Virginia University, and is an accredited Associate of Risk Management. In his free time, Dana enjoys volunteering with a Charlotte-based community organization, Community Matters, and at a local animal clinic.

    Marshall University, Bachelor of Science
    West Virginia University, Master’s Degree
    Associate Risk Management (ARM)

    Darrin Warnock, CIC Charlotte Managing Director Partner
    Darrin Warnock, CIC

    Darrin Warnock leads the effort to build Sentinel’s brand and business in Charlotte. Darrin is a highly successful risk specialist with a sterling 25-year career in the insurance industry. He is a top producer nationally, one who has earned a reputation for the dogged pursuit of excellence on behalf of the clients he serves.

    Prior to opening Sentinel’s Charlotte office in 2017, Darrin enjoyed a long and successful stint at The Hartford, where he was the carrier’s top performer for 15 years. He is known among clients, partners and stakeholders alike as one of the industry’s best and brightest. Darrin believes his success can be attributed to his signature blend of pragmatism, innovation, and a relentless work ethic.

    Darrin embarked on a career in the risk management and insurance industry after a brief stint as a high school biology teacher, the field in which he holds a bachelor’s degree. He took a job as an underwriter in 1992, and never looked back. Though he’s worked for some of the largest insurance carriers in the nation, his success can be attributed to the depth of attention paid to each client in his care.

    In his free time, Darrin enjoys exercising his competitive nature with Mixed Martial Arts and the occasional Spartan Race.

  • Bachelor of Science, Westmar College
  • Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
  • Nicole Winkle, CPCU, CRM, CIC Chief Operating Officer
    Nicole Winkle, CPCU, CRM, CIC

    As Chief Operating Officer, Nicole ensures that our clients receive top-notch service and guidance. Additionally, Nicole works internally to maintain consistency across all policies and procedures.

    With over 20 years of commercial insurance marketing experience, Nicole brings extensive knowledge and leadership to Sentinel spanning account analytics, client service plan customization, placement strategies, and customer engagement. She served as Vice President of Marketing at previous firms, developing a sharp eye for developing new business and renewal programs. As an advocate for her clients, she often receives praise for her positive attitude, efficiency, and flexibility.

    Outside the office, Nicole supports her community through tutoring in math and reading, coaching a youth soccer team, and volunteering at her son’s school.

  • Graduate of Illinois State University
  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)
  • Certified Risk Manager (CRM)
  • Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
  • Standard Service Team

    Primary Client

    Single point of contact responsible for account strategy and team deployment

    Secondary Client

    Account specific redundant resource to ensure that there is no service gap

    Client Executive
    Executive Liability

    Responsible for service deployment and
    technical guidance


    Health & Safety

    Coordination of safety and training inititiatives

    Primary Account

    Primary service provider

    Secondary Account

    Secondary service provider



    Secondary service provider

    Account Management

    Support Account Management team’s processing requirements



     Raleigh ( map it )

    4700 Six Forks Rd.
    Suite 200
    Raleigh, NC 27609

     Greenville ( map it )

    417 Cotanche St.
    Suite 200
    Greenville, NC 27858

    Get in Touch

    Raleigh Location

    main (919) 926-4623

    toll-free (855) 490-2528

    fax (919) 926-4664

    Greenville Location

    main (252) 317-2779

    fax (252) 321-2360

    Or contact a specific team member here.


    Sentinel Adds Depth to Carolinas’ Risk Management Team

    Sentinel Risk Advisors this week announced notable additions to its risk management team with the hiring of attorney Jacqueline Handel and loss control expert Dana Vorholt. Handel and Vorholt add depth to Sentinel’s Risk Performance Group, an elite team of risk managers who work to measure and mitigate immediate risks while positioning clients for future … Continue reading Sentinel Adds Depth to Carolinas’ Risk Management Team

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