DeGraide Named to DVIC Strategic Board

By Newswire | September 3, 2013

Fort Myers, FL, 9/3/13 – Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers, dedicated to helping disabled U.S. veterans by providing new opportunities for training and employment in the insurance industry, announces the election of Adam DeGraide to the organization’s strategic board.

In 1997, DeGraide founded his first company, Providence, R.I.-based BZ Results, a digital marketing company assisting car dealers use the Internet to grow their businesses. In 2006, with more than 1,600 dealership clients and 150 employees, DeGraide and his partners sold BZ Results to Advanced Digital Processing.

Later that year, DeGraide launched Astonish, recently ranked 267th on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. and currently serves more than 7,000 insurance industry users.

As the founder and Co-Chairman of Astonish, DeGraide and his team are the driving forces behind a vision to help the insurance industry grow their businesses by using the Internet. DeGraide and his team have been highlighted in Rough Notes magazine article, “Unfair Advantage,” as well as an Insurance Journal cover story, “The Face of Freakin’ Agency Marketing.” He was also featured on the cover of National Underwriter magazine article, “Game Changers.”

“Adam is a dedicated leader,” said James R. Pender, DVIC co-founder and chairman. “His knowledge and experience are assets that will strengthen DVIC’s mission.”

In addition to DeGraide, DVIC’s strategic board includes James R. Pender CPCU, CLU, ChFC, ARM, Oswald Trippe and Company, co-founder; Gary V. Trippe CIC, Oswald Trippe and Company, co-founder; retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Gary L. Bryant, president and CEO; Thomas E. Callanan, retired president/CEO of Advantage Workers Compensation Insurance Company; retired United States Army Colonel Thomas A. Dials, chairman emeritus of the Armed Forces Insurance Corporation; Lee Knapp, Knapp Consultants, founding member; Brady Polansky, Polansky Enterprises, founding member; Jon Bidwell, Chubb Insurance Group, founding member; Walter J. Gdowski, The Rough Notes Company; James R. Hackbarth, Assurex Global; Robert M. Menke, Bankers Insurance Group; George (Shad) A. Steadman III, Rutherfoord, A Marsh & McLennan Agency; retired U.S. Air Force Captain Gerald J. Sullivan, The Sullivan Group; John Wepler, Marsh Berry; Jeff Grady, Florida Association of Insurance Agents; and David M. Howard, AmRisc, LP.

The organization’s operating board consists of retired U.S. Army Major General James L. Dozier; Roger C. Mercado Jr., Community Cooperative Ministries Inc.; Pender; Trippe; Bryant; Kathy Pender, Kathy Pender M.A., L.P.C.C.; retired insurance agency executive Gay Trippe; and John M. Pollock, CIC, BB&T Insurance Services.

Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers is a nonprofit organization with the mission to educate, train and generate meaningful employment opportunities for physically disabled veterans who will excel at proactively cross-selling personal lines insurance products on behalf of leading independent insurance agencies. For additional information, call 239-433-8523 or visit

About Astonish:
Astonish is on a mission to change its clients’ lives by changing their business. The company firmly believes the local distribution channel is the greatest asset of the insurance industry and is dedicated to helping this channel (including insurance agencies, firms, and individuals) adapt to the modern landscape of the Internet consumers in order to thrive and not get left behind.

Astonish has grown to become a leader in providing digital marketing solutions to the insurance industry. Since 2006, Astonish has built a complete business growth system. The Astonish system leverages three main arenas to help their clients grow: marketing, technology, and training.

Chad Troutman
Marketing Manager, Astonish
401-921-6220 ext. 154

Astonish 2013

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