Let’s Talk Environmental Insurance with David Naughton | Earth Day 2021

Insurance and the environment, how do these two seemingly different topics tie together? In honor of Earth Day this year, we interviewed our very own Environmental Insurance specialist, David Naughton, to highlight the role insurance can play in our environment. Environmental Insurance, and the awareness David Naughton is building, is making an impact in our industry and local communities across the country. David Naughton, Vice President – Sales Producer at Acentria Insurance is helping to lead the way with over 30 years of experience in environmental insurance coverage needs.

We sat down with David Naughton recently to learn more about the importance of being environmentally aware, not just on Earth Day, but every day and to learn more about how Environmental Insurance is an important part of a Business Owners Insurance portfolio. Here are some highlights from our conversation:

  1. What is the biggest example of waste you’ve ever seen? Food waste is a huge problem in the United States. It’s sad that our society is so litigious in nature and we can’t share leftover food with those who need it in an easier way.

  2. How could saving the environment make people healthier?  Humans are the only animal that fouls their own nest. We need to hold ourselves accountable for our own actions. I believe if we do this, we will see how wasteful we truly are and where we can make an impact on our neighborhood and in fact our world.
  3. You currently live, work and play in Jacksonville, Florida. Where is the most beautiful nature in your community or a community that you serve?  I am learning we have some incredible parks and they are available to us all for little to no cost. From the city, to state, to National……so many beautiful places we can visit and share with others. 
  4. Do you have any local conservation associations that you’ve worked with or that you feel are making a difference? I am a local member of the Green Chamber which promotes green businesses and helps them learn how they can become more “Green—Environmentally Aware”. I can trace my affection for recycling and reuse back to my Grandfather. He used to take me “Trash picking” when I was just 6 years old. We would bring home other people’s “trash” and he would show me how to make useful things from items that had been discarded. I was too young to appreciate the economics of extending the life of durable goods but was totally hooked on how he made some really cool stuff from things others had tossed. I believe in the Institue of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) philosophy of recovering all they can from durable goods and either reusing them or recycling them into other “new” usable items.
  5. What are the most common environmental liabilities or exposures you can insure against? I think the biggest issue in Environmental Insurance is companies don’t recognize their true exposure……until it’s too late. Insurance is one of those things that you may not know is “broken” until it’s too late to fix it. Then you’re stuck paying not only for the loss, but all the costs associated with it. Companies don’t understand the standard definition of “Pollutant” can virtually be applied to any substance on earth……It truly just depends on the circumstances and the size of the loss.
  6. What are some rare environmental liabilities that are otherwise often overlooked? The chocolate syrup loss is my favorite. A large spill of chocolate syrup was actually denied as a claim because it was considered a “Pollutant”. Paint overspray is another example.  Overspray on automobile hoods…covered, whereas overspray enters a confined space and injures an employee…denied as a pollutant. The point being one never knows. It’s better to at least investigate the coverage terms and conditions available rather than just assume you do not have exposure.
  7. We often talk about building a better world for generations to come; what comes to mind when you think of ways people can help contribute to a better environment in their home and/or in business? I think people can contribute to a better environment by embracing old school concepts like “Common Sense”…..Technology is wonderful and makes our lives so much easier in a lot of ways but people forget how to do things with their hands; things that are important and things that last. What happens when the power goes out, or a natural disaster occurs? We need to know how to do things on our own. We are already seeing issues with these “green” alternatives. What do we do with old windmill blades and solar panels? Will they be recyclable? I believe the earth is strong, but we need to learn how to coexist with her. The climate changes over time and it’s been that way since the beginning. How can we cooperate with that fact and adapt to it?
  8. David, what does Earth Day mean to you? Earth Day to me means HOPE… warmth and new birth are coming!


“Restore our Earth” is this year’s Earth Day theme for 2021. At a time when so many across our nation are looking to restore some normalcy and our own lives can begin to bloom again, we can each do our part to consider how we live our day-to-day lives. The choices we each make may affect our Earth and further aid in helping to restore its current state for generations to come. We encourage you to take part, however big or small you can, and join in the “Restore our Earth” Earth Day awareness celebrations across the country. You can find more information on Earth Day 2021 here: https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/.

 

Here are a few of David’s latest repurposed masterpieces. From old windows repurposed as a wall hanging message board, a door from made into a table, pallets turned into mirrors, salvaged surfboards are now chalkboards, and a new firepit made from truck wheels. With a little imagination combined with the desire to reduce and recycle, anything is possible. Small changes in how we reuse, repurpose and recycle now can make a long-lasting impact on our environment for generations to come and help “Restore Our Earth”.

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Alan Florez

Executive Vice President, National Sales

Alan leads new business growth strategies and expansion, guides the development of resources and training for Sales Producers and their partnerships with Carriers. With over 15 years of industry experience, Alan also leads the Acentria Public Risk divisions working with municipalities and government entities for their coverage needs. He was appointed to the Halifax Health Board of Commissioners December 2020 and also serves as an Executive Committee member for our parent company, Foundation Risk Partners.

Previously, Alan served as Governor Jeb Bush’s Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Assistant. He is a former member of the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees and currently volunteers his time with the Florida Council of 100, Futures Foundation of Volusia County Schools and the Community Foundation of Flagler and Volusia. Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida.

Jackie Shaw

Senior Vice President
Commercial Lines

Mitch Weinstein

Partner

As Partner, Mitch oversees the operations of Acentria’s offices located throughout Florida and southeast region. He focuses on strategic business development and is committed to providing clients with exceptional customer service while ensuring the highest levels of standards.

Mary Lawless

President & Chief Operating Officer

As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mary brings over three decades of industry expertise to Acentria Insurance. With a strong focus on Mergers & Acquisitions, Mary is passionate about partnering with new agencies and leaders to continue the overall upward growth of Acentria. She works in conjunction with the CEO to lead and deliver specialized sales products, services and industry leading capabilities while implementing business and sales strategies to the Acentria sales team and carrier partners. Mary has direct oversight of all operational leaders throughout the entire organizational footprint and is responsible for operational financials and budgets.

She empowers her team members and because of it, is well respected by her peers and those she leads. Since her time with Acentria, Mary’s leadership has contributed to the agency’s exponential growth from 15 to well over 50 locations, increasing employment to over 700 team members, across the southeastern United States. Due to her leadership and contributions to the insurance industry, she has been nationally recognized as one of Insurance Business America magazine’s Elite Women and serves as a valuable member on the Executive Committee for Foundation Risk Partners, Acentria’s parent company. Prior to joining Acentria Insurance, Mary led operations for another national broker. Throughout her tenure, she has held a variety of management positions in Personal Lines, Select Business and Employee Benefits. Mary specializes in agency operations, partnerships and acquisitions and is truly passionate about developing team members to become great leaders.

When not shaping the future industry leaders at Acentria Insurance, Mary enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, Pat and their family and friends.

Kendall McEachern

Co-Founder

Kendall was a fundamental part of Acentria Insurance. As a co-founder, he brought more than 30 years of industry expertise to Acentria, helping transform the organization into a leading insurance provider. Beloved by team members, carrier partners and clients, he oversaw more than 400,000 insured multi-family units with property values greater than $22 billion, and over four million square feet of commercial office space and real estate buildings. Kendall has received numerous industry awards to include being recognized as a National Top Producer and Agent of the Year by both Insurance Business America and Insurance Journal. Away from the office, he served as chairman for the American Heart Association, actively participated in his church and golfing, watching sports and spending time with his family. Kendall passed away in January of 2021, leaving a lasting legacy on Acentria’s culture, success, industry-wide reputation – and on all of us fortunate to have worked alongside him.

Liz Bevelacqua

Senior Vice President
Personal Lines Sales

Doreen Castro

Senior Vice President
Personal Lines Operations

Jessica Davis

Senior Vice President
Marketing & Branding

Jason Cruse

Executive Vice President
Central Florida Sales

Anne Kraus

Vice President
Panhandle of Florida Region

Nathan Marks

Executive Vice President
Northwest Florida and Tallahassee

Brian Stanton

Executive Vice President
West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Keys

Chris Tolland

Executive Vice President
Northeast Florida Sales

Luke Wolkers

Executive Vice President
Benefits

Eric Austin

Operations Lead
Port St. Lucie & West Palm Beach

Alex Doberstein

Vice President
Benefits Resource Leader

Teresa Fillmon

Vice President
Small Business Unit

Kevin Mason

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

As Chief Executive Office of Acentria Insurance, Kevin focuses on developing insurance solutions that strengthen Acentria’s presence in the market and its commitment to client-relationships and exceptional service. With over 35 years of industry experience, he specializes in the overall growth of Acentria as is passionate about bringing new talent to the organization both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. Through his leadership and the support of the Executive Leadership team, Acentria Insurance instills a positive corporate culture which has led the agency in being recognized as a leader within our industry as a Top 100 Workplace, Employer of Choice, Best Agency to Work For and several other national and regional accolades.

Before co-founding Acentria Insurance, Kevin served as Branch Manager for another national broker. Kevin holds the prestigious title as an Agent of the Year and five-time National Top Producer. He is also a key member of the Foundation Risk Partners Executive Committee, which is the parent company of Acentria Insurance, while also serving as the National Director for Carrier Relations. In addition, Kevin oversees the Sales Leadership Council, which encompasses sales leaders across the entire FRP footprint in an effort to develop and refine shared resources while offering producer training and development programs.

Kevin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of West Florida. He is very active in his community and served over a decade on the Board of Directors of Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and remains as a trustee, which funds over 14 children’s charities along the Florida Panhandle. He is also a member of the Destin Chamber of Commerce, Community Association Institute and Florida Association of Insurance Agents. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys golfing, tennis, boating and spending time with his wife Laura, and their children.