Meet the Team
Mark True Cert CII - Managing Director
Mark founded The Insurance Centre in January 1996 with three colleagues from the Home Service Industry. In 2000 the business became a limited company and with nearly 30 years experience in the Insurance industry Mark’s expertise has contributed to the companies’ present strength and he remains the only founder member in the business. Mark’s main responsibilities involve Staffing & HR, Insurer Relationship Management & Bespoke Schemes Underwriting, to ensure we offer our customers the best products available, together with a high standard of customer service Mark is a keen Scuba Diver and Diving Instructor and has over 40 years experience diving & teaching in exotic locations around the world. Mark is also a Director of a local Watersports Shop & Diver Training Centre.
Mark’s other interests include golf, skiing and spending time with his family, including three grandchildren.
Mark Jackson BSc (Hons), Cert CII – Director
Since 2005 and following the completion of his degree course, Mark has worked for us full time, initially being solely responsible for the IT needs of the business. In 2007 he joined the board and in turn became a shareholder in the business where his role has now developed in to being responsible for a number of functions including compliance, marketing, MI and number of areas surrounding the companies finances. While still focusing on the ever changing needs of an Insurance Brokers IT systems, Mark has studied for and obtained his Certificate in Insurance from the CII in addition to a number of other industry recognised IT qualifications.
Aside from his keen interest in golf Mark’s other interests include football, boxing and spending time with his family.
Carl Balshaw Cert CII - Director
Carl has worked in insurance for more than 29 years and has been a director and shareholder of the business since 2007. Carl heads our sales team and is a great advocate in ensuring that we provide long term solutions for our clients with insurer markets that are both competitive and secure. In addition to his directorial duties Carl also personally deals with many customers particularly corporate clients and clients in the charity and not-for-profit sector.
Carl enjoys family life, walking his dog, real ale and for his sins, supporting Liverpool FC.
Darren Teasdale Dip CII – Director
Darren joined The Insurance Centre in 1998 as an Account Executive and was promoted to the board as a Director and shareholder in 2006. Darren has had an uninterrupted career in insurance for over 30 years working for both insurers and other insurance brokers. As well as gaining knowledge through experience Darren has studied for and gained the Diploma from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and as all staff at The Insurance Centre continues with evidenced learning through the CII’s Continuous Professional Development facility. Darren’s main focus is looking after a full range of mainly commercial customers varying from farmers and small businesses through to large corporate organisations. Darren is an active board member and is committed to driving the business forward with managed growth and excellent customer service for both existing and new customers alike.
Darren is another of The Insurance Centre’s keen golfers and also enjoys cycling and reading.
Valerie Evans – Office Manager
Valerie joined The Insurance Centre in January 2015 to replace the retiring Office Manager. She has worked in the insurance industry for most of her working life dealing in commercial, personal lines and the Lloyds market.
The Office Manager position involves ensuring that the office runs efficiently and smoothly and maintains compliance with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Valerie enjoys walking and cycling and is a keen photographer.
Dawn Lamb Cert CII - Office Supervisor
Dawn joined The Insurance Centre in 2005 straight from finishing her A Levels, initially providing admin support for the commercial team. In 2007 she took over the main handling of our farming account and is responsible for all aspects of general insurance administration from new business, renewals, mid term adjustments and claims handling.
In 2014 Dawn was promoted to the Office Supervisor for Lancaster where she now assists with the day-to-day running of the office in addition to her existing insurance administration and farm support roles.
Her hobbies include travelling, darts and socialising with friends.
Gail Farrimond - Commercial Dept.
Gail joined us in 2006 after 21 years with Legal & General, working within both their property and general insurance divisions. She deals with all aspects of commercial and personal insurances, providing administrative support to our team of Account Executives.
In her spare time she enjoys travelling, walking and reading.
Victoria Mitchell Cert CII - Commercial Dept.
Victoria began working for The Insurance Centre in 1996 when the company was first formed. She is a member of the commercial handling team as well as an account handler for one of the Directors.
Her hobbies include football, reading and baking.
Suzanne Davies - Commercial Dept.
Suzanne joined the company in June 2013 with over 25 years experience, beginning her career locally in 1997 with Adam and Gaskell Ltd. Suzanne is part of our commercial handling team offering excellent customer service to our clients.
Suzanne currently works part-time spending time with her family and array of animals, including three pygmy goats, two and half dogs, one miniature shetland pony, chickens and George Hugo, the 'yet' to be caught field mouse roaming her house.
Louise Holt - Commercial Dept.
Louise joined us in April 2014 as an Insurance Administrator. She has worked in insurance broking services for over 18 years and has experience in farm, commercial and retail insurance. She is the first point of contact for customers telephoning and visiting our Lancaster office.
Outside of work, Louise is a Governor in a local primary school, a helper in a local Scout group and enjoys watching darts and spending time with her family.
Alan Kettlewell - Commercial Dept.
Alan joined The Insurance Centre in May 2017 and has previously worked for a number of brokers over the past 10 years specialising in Private Medical, Personal Lines and SME/Commercial insurance.
Alan is a self confessed sports fanatic with football being the top of the list closely followed by his other favourite past time of walking his dog.
Shirin Patel Cert CII - Commercial Dept.
Shirin has worked at our Lancaster office since 1999 straight from leaving school. From starting her insurance career predominantly in the personal lines sector Shrin's main duties now involve the administration of commercial insurance risks.
Shirin enjoys cooking, entertaining large gatherings and spending time with her family.
Anne Jackson - Commercial Dept.
Anne has worked at The Insurance Centre since 2011 and her role is predominantly focused on outbound sales and lead generation for both personal and commercial insurance.
Her interests and hobbies include gardening, reading and spending time with her grandchildren.
Linda True - Accounts Dept.
Linda joined The Insurance Centre in 2005 as a member of the Accounts Department. She is responsible for the book-keeping of the business, insurer reconciliation and general office administration.
She enjoy's being outdoors walking her dog, snow skiing and spending time with her family.
Emma Maudsley - Accounts Dept.
Emma has worked in the Accounts Department since October 2014 having previously managed pubs, nightclubs and restaurants. She is a Brownie and Guide Leader and holds a County role in PR & Communication.
She also enjoys different kinds of crafts and visiting historical sites with her 2 children.
Chris Cokell Cert CII - Account Executive
Chris joined The Insurance Centre in 2001 straight from college and is an Account Executive providing support and independent advice to our clients across the North West.
Chris enjoys football, golf and running.
Claire Banks Cert CII - Account Executive
Claire joined The Insurance Centre in 2003 as an Account Executive having previously worked at several insurance brokers who predominantly dealt within the farming community.
Claire has over 25 years experience within the insurance industry and her specialism still lies with the farming and agricultural industry.
Claire is married with three sons and runs a family farm, she enjoys watching football.. as long as one of her sons is in the team.
Duncan Thomson Cert CII - Account Executive
Duncan has in excess of 20 years experience in insurance broking, gaining experience in both personal lines and commercial insurance. He joined the team towards the end of 2013 with his role being primarily a new business development executive specialising in the commercial lines sector.
He is a keen football fan, enjoys walking and socialising.
Knott End Office
Rebecca Ward Cert CII – Office Manager
Rebecca began working for The Insurance Centre in 2006 in the personal lines department. Since starting with us Rebecca has gained her Certificate in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute, and in 2012 was promoted to Office Supervisor where she began her Commercial Insurance training. In 2015 Rebecca was again promoted to a co-office manager role in anticipation of the retirement of the then long serving office manager and in 2016 she took on the sole responsiblity of managing the office.
In her spare time Rebecca enjoys baking and spending time with her family and friends.
Matisse Brignall Cert CII - Office Supervisor
Matisse joined the team in 2011 as a trainee and completed her Certificate of Insurance qualification in 2015. This subsequently led to a promotion in early 2016 with Matisse now being the supervisor for our Knott End-on-Sea office.
She is highly knowledgeable in the travel insurance market and one day hopes to travel the world going to all the places she helps other people go to.
Matisse is an avid reader, shopper and enjoys a good home cooked meal.
Michelle Jenkinson Cert CII
Michelle joined us in 2007 as an apprentice before completing training to gain her Certificate in Insurance from The Chartered Insurance Institute. In addition to insurance administration, Michelle also assists the accounts team reconciling insurer accounts.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, cooking, taking long walks with her two dogs and frequent trips to Florida.
Gill began working part time at The Insurance Centre's Knott End-on-Sea office in May 2015. She has worked in the insurance industry for over 25 years including time with Royal London Insurance and for the past 10 years with Adam & Gaskell at both their Garstang and Lancaster office's.
Gill enjoy's spending quality time with her family and also for her sins she is a season ticket holder at Burnley Football Club (well someone has to be).
Sue joined the team in 2015 and has spent time in Lancaster and Knott End as an insurance administrator. Her past roles have all involved delivering excellent levels of customer service which she continues to do.
In her spare time Sue enjoys spending time with her family, walking the dog and of course shopping! Sue has also recently been involved in a project to build a war memorial in the village where she lives. She enjoys all aspects of local and family history and has co-authored two books about the village of Euxton.
Thomas joined the rest of the team at Knott End at the end of May 2016 and is looking forward to learning about the world of insurance and his CII training that will accompany it.
Thomas enjoys a wide range of music with attending festivals being one of his favourite ways to enjoy it. As well as being a massive Liverpool FC fan he also enjoys various other sports and socialising with friends.