Rice Insurance makes new hires, opens office in Kent

Rice Insurance has made several recent hires in its Bellingham office, and the independent agency has also expanded outside of Whatcom County with a new office in Kent, according to an announcement from the company.

The Kent location is staffed by Gary Kelley and Nicole Cassat.

Kelley began his career with Travelers Insurance as a commercial underwriter and shifted to the broker side in 2009. He has a broad spectrum of experience within the insurance market. Cassat also started at Travelers Insurance. She specializes in small-business service.

Additional hires announced by Rice Insurance include:

-Amy Dalton as business ambassador for the company’s benefits department. Dalton has many years of experience in customer service, and she has attended both Whatcom Community College and Western Washington University in Bellingham.

-Taylor Oldfield as administrative assistant for the benefits department. Oldfield graduated from WWU in June with a bachelor’s in English literature and a minor in art history. She is enrolled in an online graduate school program through San Jose State University to obtain a master’s in library and information science.

-Amelia Dobson as a personal insurance agent. Dobson previously worked in a State Farm office in eastern Washington, and has also worked as a personal-lines agent for a variety of insurance agencies in Whatcom County. She attended Washington State University, but is originally from Bellingham.

-Shane Vander Giessen as a personal-lines producer. Vander Giessen, a lifelong resident of Whatcom County, has more than four years of experience in personal-lines insurance.  He attended the University of Washington, where he graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration.

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