Rod, a graduate of Boise State University, joined family-owned Higgins & Rutledge in 1968, specializing in commercial accounts. Since becoming President in 1989, he has guided the agency’s growth through acquisitions, aggressive commercial strategies, new account development, and modern internal systems that ensure fast, comprehensive service for all Higgins & Rutledge customers.
As agency president, his thoughtful approach is to listen to client needs, analyze their concerns, focus on solutions that are achievable and workable. In addition, Rod has remained very active as an industry and community leader, holding various positions over the past 35 years.
- Associated General Contractors – Board of Directors
- Independent Insurance Agents of Idaho – Past President
- Surplus Lines Association of Idaho – Past President
- Boise Insurance Agents Association – Past President
- Region 1 National Association of Surety Bond Producers – Past Vice President
- Bishop Kelly Foundation
Gail JohnsonCommercial Lines Agent
Gail has earned his Certified Insurance Counselor designation and has been actively involved in the insurance industry since 1979. He graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Public Administration. Gail’s extensive insurance background began with underwriting and marketing positions for several major insurance companies before joining Higgins & Rutledge Insurance in 1994. His knowledge of both banking and the insurance industry, coupled with deep agency experience has contributed to Higgins & Rutledge becoming well-known for negotiating exceptional insurance coverage and pricing.
Over 30 years in the business, Gail has held the following positions:
- Boise Independent Insurance Agents – President
- Commercial Lines – Producer
- Surplus Line Association of Idaho – Director
In 1997, Gail was recognized as the Idaho Insurance Underwriters Association Idaho Independent Insurance Agent of the Year. Currently, Gail serves on several advisory councils for several prominent companies Higgins & Rutledge represents.
Greg SwensonCommercial Lines Agent
In the fall of 2004, while completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing at Boise State University, Greg worked as an intern at Higgins & Rutledge Insurance through the Boise State Internship program. While at BSU, Greg was a scholarship athlete on the school’s acclaimed football team from 1999-2003. After graduating in 2004, Greg joined Higgins & Rutledge Insurance as an Agent.
Greg has emerged as an industry leader and is already recognized as one of the top young agents in Idaho. After only six years, Greg was recognized by the insurance industry as Young Agent of the Year in the State of Idaho for 2011. Greg has completed many specialty schools, such as the Cincinnati Insurance Producer School and the National Association of Surety Bond Producers.
He currently serves as an Executive Committeeperson on the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Idaho board of directors and has taught various commercial insurance educational classes and workshops for both the Associated General Contractors and the Associated Builders & Contractors.
Greg has held the following position:
- Independent Ins. Agents & Brokers of Idaho – Young Agents President
Jared YingstCommercial Lines Agent
Having grown up in Twin Falls, Idaho, and working in various industries from his family’s trailer manufacturing business to farming and retail sales, Jared brings a unique approach to the insurance industry. He has been an insurance agent for a decade, focusing primarily on agriculture, construction ,and agribusiness, specifically dairy farms and row crop farms. His extensive knowledge of these industries provides the perspective crucial to advise his clients on how to properly protect their assets and manage the risks that are distinctive to their respective industries. Jared is pursuing a designation as Certified Insurance Counselor, as well as an Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist Certification.
Tracy ForsytheCommercial Lines Agent
Tracy attended Idaho State University prior to beginning her insurance career with an independent agency in Pocatello, Idaho in 1974, and has been a leading agent for over 38 years. Joining Higgins & Rutledge Insurance in 1983, Tracy rapidly became a key ‘go-to’ employee known for her commitment, detailed analysis and willingness to take on virtually any challenge. She has maintained her Certified Insurance Counselor’s Designation for more than 20 years.
Tracy has extensive knowledge in property and casualty insurance and is an active member of the Boise Association of Independent Insurance Agents and currently sits on its Board of Directors. Tracy is also a past member of the Boise Chapter of BOMA International, Boise Insurance Women, and Bannock County Chapter of Civitan International.
Through the course of her career, Tracy has held each of the following positions:
- Agency Accounting Manager
- Agency Claims Manager
- Personal Lines – Account Executive
- Commercial Lines – Account Executive
- Commercial Lines – Producer
Jeff CavenderCommercial Lines Agent
With a commitment to joining an exceptional team of agents, Jeff Cavender became another key member of Higgins & Rutledge, bringing over six years of experience and a background of accomplishment. Originally a Nevada resident, Jeff graduated from Elko High School in 2003 and was awarded a full-ride scholarship as an offensive lineman for the Boise State Broncos. Jeff quickly became a star, playing and starting during the years 2003-2007. Jeff played an integral role in Boise State’s 2006-07 undefeated season that culminated with an overtime victory over Oklahoma in the 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and went on to set the school career record with 51 consecutive starts. Completing his academic and football career in the winter of 2007, Jeff earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Communications from Boise State University, prior to beginning his insurance career.
Before coming to Higgins & Rutledge, Jeff served as a direct policy writer for over six years, specializing in writing insurance for various distributors and manufacturing operations ranging from machine shops, sheet metal workers, plastic injection molding, electronic component manufacturing, and printing operations. During this time, Jeff developed exceptional skills in policy analysis, research and customer relations, demonstrating a commitment to excellence and teamwork that has established him as a valuable and dependable risk advisor for a broad range of clients.
Randy PipalCommercial Lines Agent
Randy Pipal has been an insurance agent with Pipal-Anderson Insurance for 24 years. However, being a third generation agent/owner of a 69 year old agency, he has been “in the business” all his life. After receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Finance at the University of Idaho, Randy continued his insurance education by earning his Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Risk Manager designations.
As a highly active insurance professional he has served on the Idaho Education Committee for The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research for the past 14 years, is currently a member of the Executive Board for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Idaho (IIABI). Randy has served on its Legislative Committee since 2005, was appointed Chairman in 2010 and, as a result of his contribution over many years, received the IIABI Outstanding committee Chairman award in 2011 and The George Remington, Jr. IIABI Agent of the Year honor in 2012.
Outside the office Randy leads a healthy, robust outdoor life camping, hiking and fishing, and spends many rewarding hours coaching his three boys’ youth soccer, baseball, lacrosse, and football teams.
Lynette LarangoPersonal Lines Agent
Lynette has earned the Certified Insurance Counselor designation and has been actively involved in the insurance industry since 1982. She began her work specializing in personal lines for a firm in Montana where she built a large following through attention to detail and exceptional customer care. Higgins & Rutledge Insurance was proud to welcome Lynette in 1996 and has helped her further evolve as a recognized leader in personal lines insurance.
Along with her CIC designation, Lynette also holds the Certified Professional Insurance Woman and Certified Professional Service Representative designations. In 1997, Oregon Mutual awarded her with the Underwriter’s Choice Award and in 1998 Safeco presented her with their Insurance Achievement Award. She was also awarded the 2014 Agent of the Year by The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Idaho, Inc.
In over 24 years in the business, Lynette has held the following positions:
- Personal Lines – Account Executive
- Boise Association of Independent Insurance Agents – President
- Southwest Montana Insurance Women – President
Lynette currently serves on several advisory councils for various companies represented by Higgins & Rutledge Insurance.
Nola HolmstromPersonal Lines Agent
Nola is a highly accomplished veteran of the insurance industry, having worked in property casualty insurance in the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho over the past 20 years. During that time, she has continued her education in the insurance field, seeking new credentials that allow her to better serve her clients.
After earning her property casualty agent’s license in 1992, she earned the Certified Insurance Service Representative designation, and is in the process of earning the Certified Insurance Counselor designation. As a senior member of the celebrated Higgins & Rutledge Personal Lines team, Nola has consistently received excellent ratings for outstanding customer service and is a leader in client relations and in developing policies and protocols that sustain the Agency’s reputation as a highly responsive and efficient provider.
Being an Idaho native, Nola has remained deeply invested in the community as a volunteer for the Idaho Food Bank and as an active member of the Idaho Conservation League. And, expressing a personal commitment to health and fitness, she remains active in hiking and cross country skiing.
Jessica AtwoodPersonal Lines Agent
With fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in the insurance industry, Jessica is one of the most seasoned employees in the agency. Beginning her insurance industry career in 2001 as a receptionist for Pipal-Anderson Insurance, Jessica continued her studies and became a Certified Insurance Service Representative in 2004 then earned her property and casualty insurance license in 2005. Continued success, dedication and great customer relations allowed Jessica to move up to personal lines supervisor, reflecting the trust of her clients and colleagues. She joined the Higgins & Rutledge team in 2015 and is currently working toward the Certified Insurance Counselor designation.
Due to Jessica’s father being in the Air Force when she was a youngster, she was able to experience many cultures and adventures while her family lived in Okinawa, Japan and Hawaii. She is happily married with one son and lives in Kuna, Idaho.
Kash Browne & Company LLCBenefits Agent
Specializing in management of Workforce Life Cycle Solutions (Benefits, Payroll, HR Time & Attendance, Wellness, …) we understand the complex issues that face employers today. Our experience allows us to become an extension of your internal benefits/HR team. KB will help you develop objectives or, if already in place, assist with review and refinement of those objectives as often as necessary. Our goal is to assist your business in meeting company objectives.
Kasheila (Kash) L. Browne, MHP, SFA, CSFS® has over 33 years experience in the insurance industry and is the principal at Kash Browne & Company, LLC providing insurance and benefit consulting services to businesses in the western United States. Prior to establishing her business in 1999, Kash spent 8 years as a senior account executive with Sedgwick, an international benefits consulting firm, 13 years and several differing positions with Blue Cross of Idaho, a major health insurance provider, and 2 years as sales account executive with a TPA/Human Resources consulting firm.
Kash holds industry designations including Managed Healthcare Professional (MHP) from Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA), the Self Funding Academy Designation (SFA) as well as the CSFS® designation from the Health Care Administrators Association.