How We Got Started

AVYST started out as a dream. Gail Salazar dreamt that someday there would be an easier way to equip her team of producers, agents and CSRs with a tool that would help them become more productive and effective. Taking years of tribal knowledge, we built a solution that provides a single workflow to guide an individual down the path of managing the application process turning a referral into a book of business!

Investor Relations

Paul Voorheis, CFO and Board Member

paul@avyst.com

Why We’re Here

An independent agency is a complex business to manage. With hundreds of carriers, tracking which carriers have what products, which states they can be sold in, conditions and stipulations to quoting and writing a given policy can become an arduous task.

Now factor in the experience that is required to know what questions to ask the client to enable the best solution given the client’s individual needs and suddenly the next challenge becomes finding and hiring the right talent with the skills to be able to meet this demand. Couple this with an aging workforce of insurance professionals and the fact that the insurance industry is not viewed as terribly sexy; it becomes difficult to attract talented young professionals.

Carrier complexity, a general lack of technology and a shortage of talent means independent agencies are at a significant disadvantage to captive agents and makes it difficult to increase revenues and profits. The independent agency must look for ways to streamline its operations to reduce costs associated with inconsistent processes, reduce client touch points and keying data into duplicate systems. All of which lead to lengthy sales cycles and poor close rates. AVYST changes this paradigm by addressing all these challenges and more in a single insurance agency software solution. We shift the advantage to the independent agent as our Sales & Risk Management solution empowers an agency to efficiently process new business and drive renewals.

Our Products

Paul Voorheis
Chief Financial Officer
720.893.3005

Management & Board of Directors

Marc Still

Marc Still

CEO, Board Member

Mr. Still has been an active participant in the investment banking and private equity sector for over 30 years. In 1983, Mr. Still began his career at Bear Stearns & Co. focused primarily in Risk Arbitrage.

Subsequently, he was Vice President at Kidder Peabody, Principal at First Southwest Company, President of Dallas Research, and Senior Managing Director at Imperial Capital before forming Aspen Advisors, LP, a Dallas, TX based merchant banking firm, in 2000. Having participated in over one hundred corporate transactions, Mr. Still has earned a reputation for being creative in implementing strategies and structures for companies, management teams, Boards of Directors, secured lenders, and entrepreneurs. In addition to serving on several Boards of Directors, he has also directed the operational and financial turnarounds of distressed companies and has acted as CEO in many instances in a variety of industries including financial and business services, technology and telecommunications. Mr. Still holds a BBA from Southern Methodist University.

Mr. Voorheis has been involved in investment banking, private equity and financial management for over 20 years. In 1992, Mr. Voorheis began his career at Salomon Brothers with a concentration in mergers, acquisitions and high yield financings.

While at Salomon Brothers, Mr. Voorheis’ experience included transactions in industries such as insurance, broadcast/media, technology, waste management, manufacturing, plastics, and energy. After Salomon Brothers, Mr. Voorheis spent several years in operational roles in the areas of corporate development, accounting, and finance prior to forming Aspen Advisors, LP in 2000. Mr. Voorheis graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Finance and Minor in Economics.

Paul Voorheis

Paul Voorheis

CFO, Board Member

Paul Voorheis

Paul Voorheis

CFO, Board Member

Mr. Voorheis has been involved in investment banking, private equity and financial management for over 20 years. In 1992, Mr. Voorheis began his career at Salomon Brothers with a concentration in mergers, acquisitions and high yield financings.

While at Salomon Brothers, Mr. Voorheis’ experience included transactions in industries such as insurance, broadcast/media, technology, waste management, manufacturing, plastics, and energy. After Salomon Brothers, Mr. Voorheis spent several years in operational roles in the areas of corporate development, accounting, and finance prior to forming Aspen Advisors, LP in 2000. Mr. Voorheis graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Finance and Minor in Economics.

Gail Salazar

Gail Salazar

COO / Chief Designer, Board Member

Ms. Salazar has been involved in the insurance industry for over 25 years. Ms. Salazar began her career at Safeco Insurance in 1987 and served in a variety of roles over a 15-year period including underwriting, accounting, claims, agency support, commercial lines, and many others.

After Safeco, Ms. Salazar formed her own independent insurance agency in 2002 which became the basis for the formation of Wave Financial Partners. Ms. Salazar holds a variety of licenses including property, casualty, and life in addition to being a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and completing the final institute of the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU).

Ms. Moore has over 25 years in business operations, organizational development, sales, marketing and services with organizations spanning from start-ups to large systems integrators such as Capgemini Consulting.

Over the past 15 years, Ms. Moore has been focused in the software development industry where she was responsible for bringing new products to market and supporting existing solutions in both a pre and post-sales implementation capacity. Ms. Moore also led marketing, PMO, and technical support in addition to building two services organizations as a means to drive subscription renewals and augment licensing revenue with professional services. She has also operated two small businesses and been an avid consumer of personal and business lines of insurance. Ms. Moore has an Executive MBA from the University of Denver and has served on the Harvard Business School Publishing e-Learning Advisory board to help bring a subscription based e-learning product to market.

Susanne Moore

Susanne Moore

Vice President, Product Marketing and Deployment

Susanne Moore

Susanne Moore

Vice President, Product Marketing and Deployment

Ms. Moore has over 25 years in business operations, organizational development, sales, marketing and services with organizations spanning from start-ups to large systems integrators such as Capgemini Consulting.

Over the past 15 years, Ms. Moore has been focused in the software development industry where she was responsible for bringing new products to market and supporting existing solutions in both a pre and post-sales implementation capacity. Ms. Moore also led marketing, PMO, and technical support in addition to building two services organizations as a means to drive subscription renewals and augment licensing revenue with professional services. She has also operated two small businesses and been an avid consumer of personal and business lines of insurance. Ms. Moore has an Executive MBA from the University of Denver and has served on the Harvard Business School Publishing e-Learning Advisory board to help bring a subscription based e-learning product to market.

Kelly Long

Kelly Long

CTO

Mr. Long has been innovating in the software and storage industry for over 20 years. An expert in software architecture and development, Kelly has contributed to the advancement of a wide range of technologies such as hard drives, high-currency multi-thread/multi-processor/multi-computer computing, and clustered storage systems.

He holds multiple patents and has worked at leading companies including Maxtor, StorageTek, LeftHand Networks, Copan, Dot Hill, Crosswalk, MySQL, Sun, NexGen Storage, FusionIO, Sandisk, and Pivot 3. He was also a co-founder and chief software architect at LeftHand Networks and co-founder and CTO of NexGen Storage. Kelly has a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is an active angel investor in the Denver metro area.

Cliff Chaney

VP, Software Engineering

Mr. Chaney has over 25 years of experience in software architecture, development and product management. Mr. Chaney started his career at Allstate where he led agency software development with a focus on product sales illustrations and business partner integration.

Over the past 15 years, Mr. Chaney has led the development of insurance industry standards in B2B communications, electronic forms and architecture. He was the architect behind a set of information, data and process models that have literally become industry standards adopted by carriers and vendors around the globe. This has provided Mr. Chaney with the unique opportunity to partner with dozens of insurance carriers and solution providers providing thought leadership, training, architecture and implementation support. Mr. Chaney graduated from Union College with degrees in Computer Engineering and Accounting.

For over 25 years, Mr. Cash has performed as a successful venture capital investor and his investments have created companies with market values of more than $5 billion.

Mr. Cash is currently a director of the following public companies: CIENA Corporation (CIEN), Silicon Laboratories (SLAB), First Acceptance Corporation (FAC) and Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (AGII), and the following private technology companies: Javelin Semiconductor and Nuventix. He was an investor and director of the following companies that became public companies: Airspan (IPO), AMX (IPO), CIENA (IPO), Silicon Labs (IPO), Cyrix (IPO), Benchmarq (IPO) and Crystal (IPO). In addition, he was an investor and director of more than 15 start-up companies that completed a successful exit via an M&A transaction. Mr. Cash was a General Partner of InterWest Partners for thirty years and a Founder and General Partner of Berry Cash Southwest Partnership for ten years. Earlier, he was a founder of ProNet and was a consultant to the original Macintosh Computer project at Apple Computer. Prior to that, he was a Founder and Vice President of Mostek Semiconductors which produced some of the first CMOS chips for calculators. Mostek became a public company and was later acquired by United Technologies. Mr. Cash started his business career at Texas Instruments as a Technical Director of their semiconductor group.

Barry Cash

Berry Cash

Board Member

Barry Cash

Berry Cash

Board Member

For over 25 years, Mr. Cash has performed as a successful venture capital investor and his investments have created companies with market values of more than $5 billion.

Mr. Cash is currently a director of the following public companies: CIENA Corporation (CIEN), Silicon Laboratories (SLAB), First Acceptance Corporation (FAC) and Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (AGII), and the following private technology companies: Javelin Semiconductor and Nuventix. He was an investor and director of the following companies that became public companies: Airspan (IPO), AMX (IPO), CIENA (IPO), Silicon Labs (IPO), Cyrix (IPO), Benchmarq (IPO) and Crystal (IPO). In addition, he was an investor and director of more than 15 start-up companies that completed a successful exit via an M&A transaction. Mr. Cash was a General Partner of InterWest Partners for thirty years and a Founder and General Partner of Berry Cash Southwest Partnership for ten years. Earlier, he was a founder of ProNet and was a consultant to the original Macintosh Computer project at Apple Computer. Prior to that, he was a Founder and Vice President of Mostek Semiconductors which produced some of the first CMOS chips for calculators. Mostek became a public company and was later acquired by United Technologies. Mr. Cash started his business career at Texas Instruments as a Technical Director of their semiconductor group.

Bob Nero

Bob Nero

Board Member

With more than twenty-five years successful experience as President/CEO of several public and private information technology companies and forty years in software, e-commerce and SAAS based businesses, Bob Nero is a knowledgeable and proven chief executive, board member and advisor to the IT and financial services sector.

From 2003 through 2010, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sircon Corp, the insurance industry leader for producer lifecycle management and producer compliance services. Headquartered in East Lansing, Michigan, Sircon was acquired by Seattle-based Vertafore Inc. in 2008.  In 2011, he was appointed Sircon’s Executive Chairman.

Bob was named Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by the Greater Lansing Business Monthly in 2007.  Ernst & Young also named him Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2000, 2005 and 2007.

Prior to Sircon,  Bob served as President and CEO of Interface Systems, a software provider based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he transformed a low-growth publicly held  (Nasdaq: INTF) company into the leading provider of  online statement delivery in the financial services industry.  

He has served on the board of a variety of venture capital backed firms.  He was also the Development Chair for the SILA Foundation, a 501c3 charity linked to the Securities and Insurance Licensing industry.    

He holds a master’s degree in mathematical statistics from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from The University of Dayton.

Mr. Savino serves as an AVYST Board Member. He is Managing Partner for Broadfield Group, LLC, a National insurance agency/brokerage with roots dating back to the 1800s. His disciplines include Telecom, Technology and Bio Science practices and Professional, Executive and Specialty Lines.

He is also a specialist in High Net Worth Private Client programs. He oversees the firms longstanding Cyber Liability practice, with over 15 years’ experience in this area.

His experience and commitment to the industry is impressive. Keith is the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) National Director for the state of New Jersey. He is an executive committee member of PIA National, serving as Vice President. He is past President of the Professional Insurance Agents, New Jersey (PIANJ). Mr. Savino is well known as the father of the “buy button”. An industry effort around the issues facing placement of insurance.

Committed to technology automation and industry standards, Keith serves as the immediate past Chairman of the Board of NETVU (Vertafore user group). He has served as the industry relations chair and participates in numerous Carrier and Industry groups on behalf of NetVU such as the Agents Council for Technology (ACT) for the IIABA. He is a current member of the Leaders Council for AUGIE (Association and User Groups Information Exchange), representing PIA National. He sits on the IVANS advisory board and DocuSign Advisory Councils. In Addition, Mr. Savino is a former member of the ACORD Board of Directors. ACORD is the insurance industry standards setting body. He chaired the Professional and Specialty Lines group, among numerous standards projects over two decades.

Over the years, Keith has been past-president of a number of National insurance associations including: ARIAS (now called ANEU), the retired user group for Ebix Inc., and a past-president of The CPIA Society (now called AIMS), an organization dedicated to certification of insurance sales excellence and education. Additionally, he has served terms on many Carrier advisory boards / councils including Hanover, Adirondack and Preferred Mutual.

Keith Savino Insurance Agency Software Solution

Keith Savino

Board Member

Keith Savino Insurance Agency Software Solution

Keith Savino

Board Member

Mr. Savino serves as an AVYST Board Member. He is Managing Partner for Warwick Resource Group, LLC, a National insurance agency/brokerage with roots dating back to the 1800s. His disciplines include Telecom, Technology and Bio Science practices and Professional, Executive and Specialty Lines.

He is also a specialist in High Net Worth Private Client programs. He oversees the firms longstanding Cyber Liability practice, with over 15 years’ experience in this area.

His experience and commitment to the industry is impressive. Keith is the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) National Director for the state of New Jersey. He is an executive committee member of PIA National, serving as Vice President. He is past President of the Professional Insurance Agents, New Jersey (PIANJ). Mr. Savino is well known as the father of the “buy button”. An industry effort around the issues facing placement of insurance.

Committed to technology automation and industry standards, Keith serves as the immediate past Chairman of the Board of NETVU (Vertafore user group). He has served as the industry relations chair and participates in numerous Carrier and Industry groups on behalf of NetVU such as the Agents Council for Technology (ACT) for the IIABA. He is a current member of the Leaders Council for AUGIE (Association and User Groups Information Exchange), representing PIA National. He sits on the IVANS advisory board and DocuSign Advisory Councils. In Addition, Mr. Savino is a former member of the ACORD Board of Directors. ACORD is the insurance industry standards setting body. He chaired the Professional and Specialty Lines group, among numerous standards projects over two decades.

Over the years, Keith has been past-president of a number of National insurance associations including: ARIAS (now called ANEU), the retired user group for Ebix Inc., and a past-president of The CPIA Society (now called AIMS), an organization dedicated to certification of insurance sales excellence and education. Additionally, he has served terms on many Carrier advisory boards / councils including Hanover, Adirondack and Preferred Mutual.

The AVYST Advantage

AVYST helps your agency become more productive while also becoming “easier to do business with” as a byproduct of the automated sales pipeline and communication work-flow. Designed by agents for agents, AVYST helps you operate far more smoothly and rapidly, dramatically reducing wasteful repetitive data entry and eliminating excessive touch points. AVYST is the path to increasing production, to more profits, and to more clients. Everyone wins:  clients, agency staff and carrier partners. If binding more business is important to you, AVYST is the solution!

INSURANCE: Simple. Easy. Done.

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