At Summit Insurance, we partner with our clients to offer all available benefit options. We believe that every business owner, employee, and family is deserving of the benefits that a well-planned insurance program provides: safety, securing and peace of mind. Summit Insurance is an independent insurance and employee benefits brokerage and consultant, with a proven record of providing risk management guidance and insurance products for public and private companies, growing entrepreneurial firms and high net worth individuals. As an insurance advisor and employee benefits consultant, we are committed to providing expertise, leadership, and innovation to meet the risk management challenges of our clients. We work with all of the insurance carriers and, because we are not wed to one insurance brand, we can create a customized benefits package within a budget.
James K. Biggar
As President of Summit’s employee benefits division, Summit Insurance Advisors, Jim serves as the lead employee benefits consultant, with over three decades of professional experience in the insurance industry. In this role, Jim provides expert analysis of current employee benefit programs, industry wide knowledge of various forms of insurance products, experience with implementing customized employee benefit packages and extensive understanding of regulations, including both state and federal compliance requirements. Additionally, Jim offers guidance negotiation with benefit providers and exceptional customer care including providing education for employees and resolving concerns.
In the community, Jim has served on boards, supported and participated with various local foundations and charities. Jim has served on CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s Broker Council and is a graduate of Western Maryland College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree from Loyola College in Maryland in Business and Finance. Also, Jim currently holds multiple Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) licenses and serves as Vice President of Summit Financial.
Jim lives in Phoenix, MD with his wife, son, and dog and is an avid golfer.
In 1993, he founded Summit Financial with a vision of providing unbiased comprehensive financial, retirement, investment, and employee benefit planning for individuals and businesses. Tom has extensive knowledge regarding intricate financial planning and investment advisory strategies. Additionally, he understands the complexities of investment risk management, estate and tax planning and the overall securities industry, including insurance products and services. Tom also serves as Chief Compliance Officer for the firm, enforcing the adherence to all legal regulations and requirements.
Tom is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD with a degree in secondary education and history. He attended Lasalle University in Philadelphia to further his career in education until his move to Baltimore. In 2010, Tom earned his Financial Planning Certificate from Boston University. His credentials include his ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant, AIF® – Accredited Investment Fiduciary designations, as well as his membership with the Retirement Partners Consulting Program (RPCP) with LPL Financial.
He lives in Phoenix, MD with his wife and two children. Tom is an avid history buff – enjoys spending time with his family, playing trivia, reading, and listening to music.
Marissa Waskiewicz, SHRM-CP, Director of Client Services, has been with Summit Insurance Advisors since 2015. She brings over 20 years of superior service experience with extensive employee benefits knowledge. Marissa is committed to the success of our clients through employee benefit structure and planning. Through managing the employee benefits accounts and 401k portfolio, Marissa is responsible for Summit clients’ renewals, 401k portfolio management, claims support, customer service, and marketing communications at the group and individual market level; throughout the year. She also supports our staff internally by handling the licensing, insurance, and compliance for our Summit Insurance Advisors staff.
Marissa supervises the implementation and activities of clients’ employee benefit plans, growth of existing clients through relationships, and provides all of our clients with excellent customer service. She manages accounts on an ongoing basis, performing essential functions including plan analysis and plan design recommendations, negotiating rates with carriers, preparing submissions, proposals, meeting materials, maintaining compliance documents, and supporting clients with ACA requirements and reporting.
Marissa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland and is SHRM-CP certified. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and dog Sally. While away from the office, Marissa is an avid equestrian and enjoys being outside and being with friends.
Michael joined Summit Financial in 2004. As Vice President – Director of Client Service and Operations, Michael provides management support for the firm’s private wealth clients. Over his 15 years in the industry, Michael has extensive investment product knowledge to assist advisors with sales through financial product research, strategic implementation, and assisting in the development of financial strategies for clients.Michael contributes to the management and facilitation of the company’s organizational strategies, policies and procedures. As a member of the Summit Financial Investment Committee, Michael is an integral part in the development and implementation of meeting initiatives. His expertise includes, developing tactical and strategic investment models, guidance on proper Asset Allocation and overall investment knowledge and support.
Michael is a representative providing insurance services as well as comprehensive underwriting management for life, disability, athlete protection, and long-term care insurance programs. Additionally, he works exclusively with the firm’s employee benefits division regarding the plan development and implementation of 401(k), 403(b), SEP and SIMPLE retirement portfolios. In this role, he provides guidance in selecting, monitoring, and optimizing the retirement fund lineup, as well as assisting businesses with fiduciary, compliance and legal requirements.
Michael received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Systems from Villa Julie College and earned his Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Towson University. When away from the office, he actively spends time playing soccer and tennis. He lives with his wife, Lauren, and daughter Charlotte, in Fallston, MD.
As Director of Operations, Larisa continuously evaluates the efficiency of Summit’s business procedures, according to organizational objectives, and applies strategic improvements where necessary. She oversees and organizes private wealth management client support processes and implements effective workflow designs to enhance client satisfaction. She provides management, monitoring and oversight of all internal firm activities and functions including staff hiring and training. Additionally, Larisa works directly with the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer and assists in the maintenance, training, education and enforcement of the firm’s compliance program, including ongoing documentation, monitoring, risk assessment, auditing and evaluation of the program’s effectiveness.
Additionally, in her role, Larisa provides superior client service and assistance, cultivating relationships with the firm’s private wealth clients through handling financial requests, developing personalized presentations and facilitating new account openings and money movement transactions. Larisa also directs marketing initiatives for the firm, working to retain clients while attracting new opportunities through planning, directing, and coordinating innovating marketing efforts.
Larisa received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Towson University. Currently she holds a Life & Health insurance and FINRA Series 6 license, entitling her to sell mutual funds, variable annuities and insurance. Away from the office, she enjoys traveling and practicing yoga.