ABOUT US

WHO WE ARE

Since our formation as Diversified Insurance Brokers, Inc. in 1963, we have focused on creating innovative solutions for our clients through various alternative risk transfer methods. We created some of the first Liability and Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance programs in the 1960’s. We knew early on that the cost of claims is by far the largest item in our client’s insurance expenses. As such, we focused on claims handling and creating insurance programs where the interest of insurer and insured are aligned. In 2001 when we changed our name to Transtar Insurance Brokers, Inc. we focused entirely on the transportation industry – specifically for-hire motor carriers. We are now on our 2nd & 3rd Generation of family ownership and continue to attract the industry’s best talent to help our clients meet their own goals rather than off the shelf products.

Transtar currently has over 50 employees, all dedicated to transportation insurance and risk management. Whether your business has 20 trucks or 20,000, we have the ability to bring you solutions that will ultimately reduce your total cost of risk. We embrace technology as a tool to increase productivity and deliver a better product to our clients. We understand your business and the insurance marketplace that serves it and we are always looking for and creating new and creative concepts to lower your cost of risk. We are actively involved in state and national trucking associations and keep up to date on current issues. We do not fall into the trap of leaving something with an insurance company for a long period of time because it is easier, we always push them to keep performing for our clients.

We are a boutique operation that has dedicated our entire practice to one of our nation’s most important industries. We pride ourselves on committing our resources to you, our client based on a formula that has worked for not only the small and middle market, but also for top 25 Motor Carriers as well. Come see the Transtar difference and why bigger is not always better.

OUR LEADERSHIP

Kenneth F. Palmer, Jr.

President

Ken has over 40 years’ experience in the insurance industry.  He has primarily been an insurance broker specializing in large self-insured accounts in both retail and trucking.  From 1980 to 2001, he built and successfully ran Pinnacle Risk Management Services, a third-party claims administrator with over 170 employees located throughout the country.  Pinnacle was sold to the Workers’ Compensation Fund of Utah in 2001 and he decided to focus exclusively as an insurance broker for trucking companies.  He has extensive knowledge in captives, self-insurance programs, large deductibles and fronting.

Kenneth F. Palmer, III

Executive Vice President

Kenny attended Denver University and upon graduating in 2008, began his insurance career with Transtar as an account executive. Since that time, he has worked to seek out long term clients who value a relationship and collaborative based approach to fulfilling their insurance needs in the trucking industry. He has worked with management to organically grow the sales and support team while maintaining the growth of Transtar’s client base.  Kenny is active in both state and national trucking associations and keeps up on current industry trends.  Not only is he versed in traditional insurance programs, but he has extensive experience with captives, self-insured retentions, large deductibles and various Owner-Operator coverages.  He is also responsible for our valued market relationships and the development of new products. 

 

Shelley Howick

Vice President – Claims

Shelley began her insurance career over 35 years ago with Farmers Insurance Company in the claims department.  Within 3 years when was promoted to claims manager in the Salt Lake City claims office.  She has held management positions with both insurance companies and third-party administrators.  She helped build Pinnacle Risk Management Services from 1990 to 2001.  She currently oversees litigated and high exposure claims for our clients and runs Blue Star Claims LLC, a Transtar subsidiary.  Blue Star is an Occupational Accident claims administrator for trucking companies. 

 

Christopher Lynberg

Chief Operating Officer

Chris started his insurance career in the late 90’s while earning his degree in Risk Management & Insurance at the University of Georgia.  In 2005, Chris began his focus on the Transportation sector and ever since been committed to this industry.  Chris joined Transtar in 2018 as its Chief Operating Officer where he manages the service team and day to day operations at the brokerage.  He also works closely with all major accounts.  Chris has earned the Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designations.

 

Tyler Theisen

Vice President – Benefits

Tyler currently manages our benefits department in addition to serving as our in-house actuarial analyst.  He provides our clients with advisory and broking services to manage their health and welfare programs. He also performs independent reviews of actuarial loss models and helps analyze and negotiate loss picks. He began working in the actuarial profession in 2003, and earned his Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) designation in 2008.

Crystal Guarin

Vice President of Human Resources

Crystal has over 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, and started at Transtar in 2011 as an account manager. She moved into an operations roll shortly after joining the team overseeing all daily accounting and operation activities, supervising our support staff, assisting with recruiting and training new personnel, as well as implementation of our software platforms and service standards. Crystal now oversees all operations of the human resources department. She creates and enforces legally compliant human resource policies, procedures, and best practices that incorporate regulations for all 50 states. She keeps up to date on changes with state employer regulations, along with providing leadership and guidance to our management team. Crystal also supports the executive team with developing long term organizational goals in accordance with Transtar’s mission and strategy.

Tom Long

Director of Loss Control

We are excited to announce that Tom Long has joined the Transtar Insurance Brokers team as the Director of Loss Control.   We believe Tom’s diverse background in transportation safety, law enforcement, CSA and federal regulations, and organizational change will provide a new level of client support in 2022.

Tom served with the 3rd Marine Air-wing as a computer programmer.  After serving in the Marines, Tom became a police officer in Tempe Arizona.  Tom retired as a Police Commander with assignments in patrol, criminal investigations, special investigations, special events, SWAT and administration.  Tom is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. 

With over fourteen years’ experience in the transportation arena, Tom has served as the Senior Director of Safety for Knight Transportation, Director of Safety for Hub Group, and the Enterprise Director of Safety and Security for Matrix Medical Network.  Tom’s industry involvement includes serving as the Arizona Trucking Association’s Safety and Maintenance Council Chairman, and as a guest speaker at state and national conferences.  

With Tom’s experience in creating and managing organizational change, conducting safety audits, root cause accident investigations, implementing and leading event recorder programs, hours of service compliance, vehicle maintenance programs, employee development, driver hiring, driver safety training, managing accident and worker compensation claims, developing driver vehicle examination report process, cost control programs, and CSA compliance, we believe Transtar will be positioned to support the safety needs of our clients.