Team Members

Management

Jeffrey Sutton
Jeffrey Sutton
President/Underwriter

Jeff graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a B.S. in Aeronautical Science in 1988. He also has his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law and is a Commercial pilot with his MEI ratings. Upon graduation from ERAU, Jeff started out on the direct writer side with Avemco. He has also held positions at Fidelity & Deposit Company and Falcon Insurance Agency, Inc. Jeff joined LAU in 2005 and quickly proceeded through the ranks to become a Vice President and Claims Manager in 2006 and then finally the President of LAU in 2008. Jeff’s favorite part about his job is working as a team to come up with the vision for LAU’s future and imparting it to the employees. He enjoys spending his spare time with his friends and family, reading, exercising, and playing sports.


Dale Bennett
Dale Bennett
Senior Vice President/Underwriter

Dale is a 1970 graduate of Normandale Junior College and a 1972 graduate of Pacific Lutheran University. He is a Commercial pilot with his CFI, MEI, Seaplane, and Glider ratings. Dale was an Air Traffic Controller at the very congested Minneapolis and Seattle centers before becoming a LAU underwriter in 1982. He was the previous claims manager for LAU and became a Senior Vice President in 1992. Dale’s favorite part about his job is creating the terms and conditions on transition pilots and difficult risks. In his free time, he enjoys playing as much golf as he possibly can.


Mary Palmer
Mary Palmer
Vice President

Mary has over 20 years’ aviation insurance experience in both the broker andunderwriter environments. She has a B.S. in Human Resource Management from WGU Washington as well as the Certified Aviation Insurance Professional(CAIP) and Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designations. Mary endeavors to ensure compliance in many areas at LAU. She also supervises administrative employees including the Service Underwriting team. Mary enjoys cooking, watching movies, and practicing yoga in her free time.


Melissa Pelham
Melissa Pelham
Vice President

Melissa has a B.A. in Finance from Washington State University. She started in policy issuance at LAU in 2004 and learned the aviation insurance industry while working as a Service Underwriter. Melissa is now a LAU Underwriter. She had a brief stint on the broker side but realized quickly that LAU is the place to be. Melissa’s favorite part about her job is that everyday brings something new and different as there is just something unique about each risk. In her spare time she enjoys doing yoga, reading, and spending time with her family.


Brian McGinty
Brian McGinty
Assistant Vice President

Brian began his aviation underwriting path at AVEMCO in 1990 before joining LAU in 1998. He wears many important hats at LAU other than underwriting. Brian submits and follows up with states regarding company rates and forms. Without Brian, LAU would not be able to write aviation insurance in 49 states. Brian’s favorite part about his job is being able to reflect on his mentorship from the founder of LAU, Michael Charlesworth, and using that knowledge to make sure the insureds have the coverages they need. In his spare time, the Washington native enjoys spending quality time with his wife and is very involved with his church.


Underwriters

 
Peter Barnes
Peter Barnes
Underwriter

Peter has been working in the aviation insurance industry now for over 35 years. He joined LAU in August 2020 and is operating the company’s first East Coast branch office located in Frederick, MD. He has extensive experience dealing with aviation risks in all categories - simple to complex - and enjoys trying to develop solutions to insuring viable, but hard to place accounts. Peter has a B.A. Degree in Journalism from California State University, Northridge (Los Angeles) and is a Private pilot. A new resident to the East Coast, he likes to hike with his family and dogs on weekends and explore the various historical sites and Civil War battlefields that are near his home. Peter also enjoys reading and relaxing and loathes doing yard work.


Kathleen Vogel
Kathleen Vogel
Underwriter

Kathleen has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Washington. Following graduation, she worked as a Communications Officer and 911 Dispatcher for the Washington State Patrol. After getting her fill of crashes and emergency situations, for the next 5 years she then was fortunate to work in risk management at Expeditors International Inc. handling claims and becoming a leading member of their cargo insurance brokerage team. In January 2018 she joined our LAU team as one of our Underwriters. From being a fast paced 911 dispatcher, to production driven broker, and then to a conscientious underwriter - Kathleen is surely capable of handling complex situations with a "roll up your sleeves" sort of attitude and a determination to get things done. Kathleen's favorite part of her job is working with one of the most knowledgeable underwriting teams in the Aviation industry to best serve our agents. In her free time she enjoys playing softball, soccer, tennis, gardening, and spending time with her family.


Lisa Kamuf
Lisa Kamuf
Underwriter

Lisa has a MA in Urban and Region Planning from the University of New Orleans. She has worked as a pollution liability underwriter for AIG and Great American Insurance Company. Prior to LAU, Lisa was working in risk management at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. She also has several years of insurance agency experience. She is enjoying exploring Washington state and volunteering at a local goat rescue.


Mike McGinty
Mike McGinty
Underwriter

Michael gained an interest in aviation at a very young age and has pursued a career within aviation ever since. He took specialty aviation classes throughout high school, and then attended Green River College where he studied Aviation Physics and their Professional Pilot Program. Mike was hired on at LAU in 2018 and has stepped up as the youngest underwriter at LAU. Mike enjoys all the challenges that come with underwriting and strives to do his best to help out in any way he can. In his spare time he enjoys spending time outdoors, camping, golfing, or spending time with his friends and family, especially around the fire pit.


Service Underwriters

 
Amanda Hillquist
Amanda Hillquist
Service Underwriter

Amanda started as an intern with LAU in 2001 and the following year she became a full-time part of LAU. Amanda has worked in many departments of the comany including running the front desk and pre-quoting the numerous submissions LAU receives for the underwriters. She now works in policy issuance producing our product for the insureds. In Amanda’s free time she enjoys decorating cakes, completing arts and crafts projects, and being a supportive sports mom to her kids.


Zena Contrades
Zena Contrades
Service Underwriter

Zena began handling personal lines with an insurance company in Hawaii. She moved to Seattle and joined LAU in 2005. Zena started out at the front desk and in policy issuance. She is now a Service Underwriter handling all aspects of each policy including pre-quote, binding, and endorsements. Zena’s favorite part about her job is the unique challenges that can pop up every once in a while that she needs to solve. In her free time, she enjoys taking trips with her husband, playing with her dog, and trying out new recipes to cook.


Assistant Service Underwriters

 
Aimie Reese
Aimie Reese
Assistant Service Underwriter

Aimie is new to the aviation insurance industry, but has 20+ years of experience working in various roles ranging from Account Representative to Office Manager. Aimie works at the front desk at London Aviation Underwriters, fielding incoming emails and documents. She is excited to continually learn new skills and advance in her career here at LAU. Aimie's favorite part of her job is working with the LAU staff helping out where she can. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, doing different crafts and projects, playing video games, reading and watching movies.


Carly Normandeau
Carly Normandeau
Assistant Service Underwriter

Carly graduated from Central Washington University in 2018 with a B.S. in Aviation Management. Just before graduating from college, she started her career as a Remote Pilot Operator in the training department for the Seattle TRACON facility for just over 2 years. At LAU, Carly is a service underwriter helping LAU process endorsements, binders, and policy issuance. Carly's favorite part about her job is working with incredibly talented people who share the same passion of providing great service in this industry. You could say aviation is in Carly’s blood. Her dad was a pilot and air traffic controller for 28 years. Her mom was a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines. Her brother creates training simulations for air traffic controller facilities. In her spare time, Carly coaches club volleyball, enjoys fishing and boating, she loves writing music, and cuddling up with her dog Jonah after a long day.


Haley Farrell
Haley Farrell
Assistant Service Underwriter

Haley has many years of experience working in an office setting. She is one of the newest members of the LAU team and is working as an Assistant Service Underwriter. Haley is hoping to work her way up the chain of command and further her career at LAU. Her favorite part of her job is her ability to learn new things and to assist the service underwriters and underwriters. She is eager to learn as much as she can about the business and is always willing to lend a helping hand. In her spare time, Haley enjoys working on arts and crafts, baking, listening to music, and spending time with her friends and family.


Leslie Bement
Leslie Bement
Assistant Service Underwriter

Leslie graduated from the University of Washington in 2018. Since then, she has worked in the aviation industry in varying roles and capacities, including customer service, marketing, and training development. An avid dreamer and hard worker, Leslie has been inspired to pursue a professional career in aviation from a young age. As part of the team at LAU, she's motivated to deliver quality work, and facilitate excellent and expedient policy issuance. A recently certificated private pilot, she plans to continue earning her professional flight ratings with the intention to share her love of aviation with others. When she's not flying, Leslie likes to hit the trail and explore Washington's incredible landscapes, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy a good strong cup of coffee.


Claims Administration

 
Anna Jacobs
Anna Jacobs
Claims Administrator

Anna has made it her career to be able to successfully manage the stressful situations that insureds go through during the claim process. She started out at Travelers in 1978 and was also a member at USF&G, Hartford, and Fireman’s Fund handling auto and general liability claims before switching to aviation claims with LAU in 2006. Anna is involved with every aspect of each claim at LAU from start to finish. Her favorite part about working at LAU is working together as a team to achieve a common goal of giving the client excellent service and closing the claim file in a timely manner. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.


Accounting

Sonja Ng
Sonja Ng
Senior Accounting Manager

Sonja graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. degree in business. She worked for over 10 years in the financial/banking industry and began as an intern at LAU while in college. She was hired full time as an Assistant Accounting Administrator after completing her college degree. Sonja is now the Senior Accounting Manager handling all day-to-day operations of the accounting department. She also manages the agency license compliance. In her spare time she enjoys travelling/sightseeing, reading books and magazines, and watching scary movies.


Natalie Sutton
Natalie Galindo
Accounting Administrator

Natalie is a graduate of Green River Community College with two accounting certificates and also received a B.S. from Brigham Young University – Idaho. She started working as a summer intern when she was in high school and college and started full time with LAU in 2012. Natalie began working at the front desk and is currently an Accounting Administrator. She handles our accounts payable and accounts receivable. Her favorite part about her job is getting to dig into the books if something is not adding up and solve the problem. In her free time she enjoys hiking, doing community service, and traveling.


Information Technology

 
Todd Etulain
Todd Etulain
Lead Developer

Growing up in Sitka, Alaska instilled in Todd a deep love of nature. Before graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in Computer Science, he was at times a commercial fisherman, television producer, and drove a truck for Budweiser. 2019 marks his 20th year of designing and building high-end, highly visible websites and applications. He now lives happily with his son and mutant dog Charlie. In addition to solving challenging problems, Todd also enjoys music, all forms of media, studying history, and gardening.


Thomas Breuler
Thomas Breuler
IT Manager

Thomas takes great joy in providing the right hardware, software and security solutions for his London Aviation Underwriter associates. He started at LAU in 2015 and has inhabited a variety of IT roles which involve providing his compatriots with top notch solutions and the least amount of downtime. In his free time, he is a voracious soccer fan, enjoys video games, and considers himself to be the undisputed champion of trivia.