[caption id="attachment_38841" align="alignleft" width="202" caption="Victor McKnight"][/caption]

PETALUMA -- Edgewood Partners Insurance Center has brought on long-time Santa Rosa employee benefits consultant Victor McKnight as a principal in the Petaluma office.

Mr. McKnight's landing at EPIC comes barely two weeks after EPIC relocated to a bigger location in Petaluma and just over a year after its arrival in the North Bay.

In his new role, Mr. McKnight will help EPIC acquire new clients, take part in strategic planning and program design, help ensure quality, timeliness and accuracy of all deliverable coverage, and developing employee benefit communication programs.

Mr. McKnight will work closely with North Bay insurance veterans and EPIC principals Bill Merget and Mike Ryan, both formelry of ABD Insurance, which was acquired by Wells Fargo Insurance Services in 2007. They opened the Petaluma branch last July.  Mr. McKnight will also be a key member of a team responsible for employee benefits initiatives, working with EPIC's Benefits Practice Leader Dana Liedel.

Most recently, Mr. McKnight, a 16-year health insurance veteran, spent the last seven years managing employee benefits in the North Bay for Sitzmann Morris & Lavis, an Oakland-based insurance agency with a Santa Rosa location. He joined EPIC after his position was eliminated.

"Bill and I are pleased and excited to have Vic join our growing North Bay team," Mr. Ryan said. "His thorough understanding of how to design and deliver effective and competitive benefits packages for clients is a huge asset. Vic is well-connected and highly-regarded in the local community."

Mr. McKnight said he had always wanted to work at a one-stop shop, and that he always had a good working relationship with the two EPIC principals.  EPIC, the North Bay's ninth largest independent and property casual agency, had just over $30 million in premium volume in its first year. Its employee benefit division had nearly $6 million in volume.

"Vic brings well-honed, effective consulting and technical skills to our North Bay team," Ms. Liedel said.

Mr. McKnight, a frequent speaker on health care reform and health insurance trends, graduated from St. Mary's College of California in Moraga with a BA in business management. He is active in the Windsor Rotary Club and the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and also serves on the board of trustees of the Mark West Union School District, and is a past president of the North Coast Association of Health Underwriters.

EPIC is based in San Mateo and has about $60 million in annual revenues. It is among the top 50 retail brokers in the U.S. and the 5th largest privately-held broker in California.