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Our Team

Our People Make the Difference

Meet your Sales and Administration team! With an average tenure of over 14 years of experience, we are ready to serve your supplemental benefits needs.

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Jim Pate President/CEO View Bio
Jim Pate

I began my insurance career in 1978 selling life insurance “at the kitchen table”. Over the years, I’ve owned my own agency, worked in sales for a worksite carrier, and led sales and marketing for a group/worksite carrier. With many years of sales experience, I am passionate about the way that APL fosters success with our producer partners. As President and CEO of APL since 2007, I lead an amazing team of colleagues in service to producers, employers, and our insured customers. I’m blessed with a beautiful wife who enjoys playing golf as much as I do, and a family that now includes six grandchildren.

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Dianne Aycock Vice President, Administrative Operations View Bio
Dianne Aycock

I began my career at APL at the age of 18 in the file room. Today, my teams include Customer Service, Policy Issue, Billing, Claims, Commissions and Information Systems. I enjoy that I am challenged each day to work with excellence and that I have opportunities to be a blessing to our customers and our colleagues. Our goal is to delight our customers; when a customer is delighted, so am I! Outside the office, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling and reading.

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Peggy Hayes Vice President, Sales and Business Development View Bio
Peggy Hayes

I’m privileged to work with marketing, product development and nationwide sales. In my seven years with APL, I’ve helped us achieve double-digit sales growth and transform from a regional to a national carrier. For nearly 25 years, I’ve been blessed to work with many amazing broker partners, colleagues and industry professionals who enrich the daily lives of others. When I’m home, you’ll find me playing in the dirt as I love to garden.

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Casey Shirley National Sales Manager View Bio
Casey Shirley

Two weeks after graduating from Oklahoma State University my career in the insurance business began. My 19 years in the industry have centered on sales and management in the group ancillary and worksite arenas. I find it extremely rewarding to be part of APL’s solution-driven sales team, helping brokers and insureds with any opportunity that is presented. In my spare time, I enjoy being with family, watching my children's athletics and playing golf.

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Laurie Crow Broker Relations Manager View Bio
Laurie Crow

I've had the good fortune to be employed within the insurance industry for 27 years. Those years have been filled with pure career joy, true dedication and a passion for assisting brokers, employer groups and employees with any and all service needs. I love my job and wouldn't trade it for anything. Life is too short to be spent doing anything for which you don't have passion.  

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Matt Grelle Broker Development Specialist View Bio
Matt Grelle

I have been blessed with a great team, and great company culture at APL. Together, we provide our partner agencies with an array of group supplemental products that continuously adapt and evolve. When I’m not working, you’ll find me with my wife and two dogs, or playing golf.

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Becky VanHoosen Sales Support Manager View Bio
Becky VanHoosen

I've been in the insurance industry for over 25 years, with Sales Support experience for 14 of those years. I've worked with many of our broker partners for a long time and enjoy the opportunity of meeting them in person at various tradeshow events. I look forward to serving our partners and hearing how we can help make the business of supplemental benefits educational, fun and exciting. I enjoy spending time with my family, being outside as much as possible either in a boat or any body of water, or attending the many activities of my 11 year old twins.

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Diona Manwell Senior Sales Support Specialist View Bio
Diona Manwell

My career in the insurance industry began in 1997 as a Customer Service Rep processing new business. Wanting to better myself and grow in the business, I became licensed for Life and Health, and in my current role, I’m honored to assist our brokers with the variety of challenges they face daily. When not working with our broker partners, I can be found at the lake spending time with my husband, our children and nine grandchildren.

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Sheri Rhodes Senior Sales Support Specialist View Bio
Sheri Rhodes

I’ve had the pleasure of working with brokers for 16 years, and it’s my utmost priority to provide great customer service. I enjoy building close working relationships with all brokers. I love scrapbooking and hope to get back to it one day soon; my 5 year old daughter keeps me pretty busy.

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Belinda Lay Sales Support Specialist View Bio
Belinda Lay

I began my career in 1990 working with our broker partners. Like many others, I have experience in several job functions, from New Business Processing to Agent Licensing, and since 2009 I’ve been doing what I like best - interacting directly with brokers on the Sales Support team. When not working, I can be found on ships, setting sail for any place warm as I love to travel, or on my motorcycle where I enjoy riding with my husband and friends.

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Kellee Sloan Sales Support Specialist View Bio
Kellee Sloan

I began my career in the insurance business in 1993 and have spent most of the last 20 plus years working with brokers. My job in Sales Support allows me to build personal relationships with our brokers and to build trust so I can help them do what they do best. In my spare time, I enjoy time with my children and my precious granddaughter, watching football and Thunder basketball.

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Barbara Woods Sales Support Specialist View Bio
Barbara Woods

Although I am new to the insurance industry, I came to APL with 14 plus years of Project Management experience.  I have obtained my Life and Health license and I’m ready to serve our brokers and their clients to make each experience the best. When not working or learning insurance lingo, I can be found with my husband of 22 years and my 15 year old twin girls. I am an avid gardener and cook.

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Sharon Starnes Customer Service Manager View Bio
Sharon Starnes

I joined APL in 1983, and over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work in many different capacities throughout the organization. My current position as Manager of Customer Service allows me to do what I have enjoyed most, working directly with our customers. When I am not working, I enjoy vacations to the beach or just spending time with family, especially my grandchildren.

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Edie Holder Benefits/Claims Manager View Bio
Edie Holder

I began my career with American Public Life in 2000. In my current role as Claims Manager, I oversee all aspects of claims management, identifying and implementing new technology to improve and streamline claim processes. I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family and pets.

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Cynthia Decareaux Information Services Manager View Bio
Cynthia Decareaux

I began my career at APL in 2011 as Manager of Information Services. I enjoy managing the ever changing technical environment and identifying ways to improve processes through emerging technology. Every day brings new opportunities to improve our systems and provide business and customer service support to our internal and external customers. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with family and traveling.

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Amy Roush Marketing Manager View Bio
Amy Roush

For the past five years, I’ve contributed to the evolution of the marketing team by utilizing my marketing and public relations experience in the financial services industry. As APL’s marketing manager, I see each day as an opportunity to assist our broker partners with innovative ways to showcase our extensive product portfolio. I love that each day is different and offers new and exciting challenges. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors and watching my daughter play on the high school drum line. 

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