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Our Company


Since 1913, Pathfinder/LL&D Insurance Group has been guiding Texans and their businesses through the wilderness of the insurance market. Over the decades, our determined efforts to get our clients the coverage they truly need earned us a reputation. Today, the insurance brush has grown even thicker and wilder, and smart folks choose Pathfinder for any expedition to discover a policy that will keep their company safe.

A. Daniel Langham started the Langham Insurance Agency in 1913, with a small office in the old Cotton Exchange Building in downtown Houston. He was soon joined by Ernest Langston and Arthur Burnett. Eddie Dyer stared the Dyer Insurance Agency in 1950 after having coached the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series Championship in 1946. Then, in the 1950, Arthur Burnett left LL&B and Eddie Dyer came on board — Langham, Langston and Dyer (LL&D) was born. Langston achieved immortality as the namesake for the annual River Oaks Country Club tennis tournament, and Langham gained some notoriety when one of his four wives ran off to California with Clark Gables. David Laing joined the firm in 1988 when the Laing Insurance Agency merged with LL&D, and Lauren Tarkington joined in 1991.

Pathfinder started in 1964 as an affiliate of Jim West & Company, a local real estate firm. By the 1970s, the real estate firm had grown to be the largest residential realtor in Houston, serving nearly a quarter of all Harris County home transactions. Jim West Insurance became Pathfinder in 1974 and grew rapidly. In 1978, Scott West joined the firm. Pathfinder added a business insurance department in the mid-1980s and opened an Austin office in 1987, the same year Laurie Dempsey came on board. Pathfinder merged with Langham, Langston and Dyer in 2001. Then, in 2005, Pathfinder purchased an agency that specialized in insuring churches and private schools. Our San Antonio office opened in 2008, growing into a hugely successful organization that specializes in multifamily and real estate insurance solutions.

Our Team


Scott West
CEO | CIC

Office: 832-230-0606

Scott serves as the face and guiding force of Pathfinder LL&D Insurance Group. He leads strategic discussions, liaisons with our major insurance partners, and leads our sales team. He specializes in complex business risks, foreign exposures, professional liability, and executive insurance coverage.


After graduating from Trinity University in 1978, Scott began his career in sales. He received a Commercial Insurance Counselor designation in 1987. He served as President of the Independent Insurance Agents of Houston from 2006-2007, and currently represents the IIAT as an advocate for responsible insurance legislation in Washington D.C. He also serves on the board of Preferred Bank.


Scott is very active in our industry. He has served on numerous advisory committees, including board positions, for both local and national insurance companies. He regularly meets with television and radio reporters to give an expert opinion on developments in the industry, especially those that affect people who live and work in Texas.


Despite his dedication to Pathfinder, Scott will take every opportunity to spend time with his family at his ranch in Fayetteville, Texas.

Laurie Dempsey
Vice President of Operations

Office: 832-230-0604

Laurence Dempsey is Vice President, involved in operations for Pathfinder / LL&D. She is responsible for the development and management of the company’s senior staff members. She leads the agency’s long- term planning and the development of service platforms. She is directly involved in creating and facilitating marketing initiatives and human resource programs.


Prior to Pathfinder, Laurie led the marketing team for Aetna Life & Casualty’s Southeast Texas territory. She is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She has completed the Texas Certification Program for Mediation and continues with her training. For the past 5 years, Laurie has been involved as a volunteer mentor with IMPACT Mentoring which provides one-on-one mentoring to students in the Spring Branch School District. She also serves on the board of Heart4Children, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to furthering the education of children in third world countries.

Lauren Tarkington
President

Office: 832-230-0602

Lauren Tarkington grew up in Cuero, Texas and is a second generation insurance agent. She graduated in 1982 from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Liberal Arts. After graduation she began her insurance career as an underwriting trainee with American General. She next worked in marketing for Aetna Life and Casualty.


After 8 years on the company side of the business, she became an independent insurance agent in 1990 and has remained in that capacity as an owner and producer of all types of insurance for the last 22 years.

David Laing
Vice President | CIC

Office: 832-230-0616

David Laing, Certified Insurance Counselor, has enjoyed a successful career selling all types of insurance since 1973.  He is focused on being the best insurance agent possible for all of his clients whether they are commercial property/liability/employee benefits customers or personal auto/home/life/health customers.  He is a native Houstonian and likes to fish, hunt, and travel.

Jason Hall
Executive Vice President | CIC, CFP

Office: 210-616-4447

Jason first began his insurance practice in 1998, after graduating from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. Immediately out of school, he worked with MetLife and Merrill Lynch as Certified Financial Planner, specializing in investments, estate planning and life insurance.


In 2003, Jason joined a family owned agency, and transitioned into the property and casualty field. He joined Pathfinder in 2007, charged with opening our San Antonio office. Jason is a Certified Insurance Counselor, and specializes in risk management for the construction and real estate industries. He is active with several associations, such as TAA & TAAHP, and serves on the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Apartment Association.


Jason and his wife, Kimberly, live in northwest San Antonio, and enjoy spending time with their 2 sons, Ethan and Wyatt.

Wes Kurtz
Vice President | CIC

Office: 832-230-0663

Wes enlisted in the United States Air Force in 2003 and was honorably discharged in 2007 after serving the full term of his enlistment. After separation from active duty military, he joined the Pathfinder team and began working toward his Bachelor's Degree in Business Management at Sam Houston State. In 2011, after completing his degree, he moved into sales and promptly found oil and gas to be a natural fit. Wes specializes in commercial insurance for all types of companies that directly support oil and gas exploration and production. From technology firms, the down hole contractors, from manufacturing to pipeline construction, firms that are both on and off shore.

Thomas (Hill) Adams
Vice President | CIC

Office: 832-230-0641

Hill Adams graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Business Administration in 1981 and has been working as a commercial insurance broker in Houston since 1982. During this time he has developed a very broad range of practical and technical expertise. He brings a depth of experience to Pathfinder/LL&D, having insured both public and private companies ranging in revenue from a few million dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars with operations across the USA. Hill earned his Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 1989. He views his relationship with his clients as that of a trusted advisor, with the goal of identifying as many areas of insurable risk as possible and presenting solutions in a consultative way. Hill is active in the community, having served on the board of directors for the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce and three terms as a city councilman for the City of Katy. He and his wife, Carol, have been married since 1980 and have two children.

James (Jim) Cook
Partner | CPCU, CIC, CRM

Office: 832-230-0608

James (Jim) Cook graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Finance. He is a licensed Risk Manager, a Certified Insurance Counselor, and Certified Property Casualty Underwriter.


In January of 2000, Jim joined Pathfinder Insurance Group of Houston as partner and Chief Operating and Financial Officer. His current focus is risk management and insurance for his business clients, private schools, and churches.


Jim and his wife, Tamara, live in Tomball, Texas, and are active in a local church and political grass roots. He is past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Houston, serving on the association’s board of directors for over nine years.


The Cook family established Heart4Children, a 501c corporation, primarily to support education of children in Honduras. Jim is a member of the board of directors for Ninos de la Luz, a home for orphan boys in Armenia Bonito, Honduras.


Tamara, a former school teacher of 20+ years, and Jim have three children. Their son Brandon, a physics and philosophy major at Rice University, died of cancer January 2011. Their daughter, Bethany attends Texas A&M University, and is working toward both Spanish and Education degrees. Their "adopted" son, Marquis, works for a regional hospital.

Nancy Roberts
Senior Sales Associate | CIC

Office: 832-230-0620

Nancy Roberts began working in the insurance industry in 1978 and has been a part of the Pathfinder family since 1984. She earned her Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation in 2001, which is granted to agency personnel for outstanding customer service and product knowledge. Nancy has excelled in providing her clients with the care and service that they deserve. Her goal is to continually bring the highest level of service, ethics and diligence to every client. She appreciates the fact that our clients are our greatest asset and her professionalism, dedication, flexibility and expertise allow her to deliver the product that our agency is committed to providing. Nancy is here to help you with all of your insurance needs, as well as helping you design an efficient life and health portfolio.


Nancy was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas and moved to the Houston area in 1982. Her roots are now deep in the Houston/Katy community and she is active in her church, Holy Covenant United Methodist Church. Her passion is for family, music and community services.

Thomas (Tom) J. Clark
Sales Associate | CIC

Office: 832-230-0625

Tom is a graduate of Texas A& M University with a BBA degree in Accounting. Tom has been a Sales Associate with Pathfinder for 7 years. He works with churches, private schools and other nonprofit organizations as well as commercial enterprises including wholesalers, distributors, contractors, law firms and other professional liability Insurance. Key Man Life Insurance and Insurance funded - Buy/Sell Agreements are another area of specialization.


Tom is married with two children who keep him very busy with scouts, soccer, music, hunting, fishing and wooden boat building.

Gina Silva
Sales Associate | ACSR

Office: 832-230-0614

Gina has 22 years of experience with an independent insurance agency. She is currently licensed in property & casualty. She has excellent planning, organizational, interpersonal and negotiation skills. Gina gives out information and recommendations appropriate to the needs of her clients and to marketing carriers for appropriate coverage. She facilitates requests and needs of carriers on behalf of clients. She has a proven history of value improvement and delivering results to clients.


Gina’s main role is to produce new account sales of personal lines and small commercial accounts. She generates new leads and accounts through insurance and professional groups, fundraisers, cold calling and rounding out accounts in our current book of business. Gina has been married to Rene Silva for 20 years with two beautiful children, Gabriella 17 and Josh 15. Her hobbies are taking long walks, being outdoors and relaxing anywhere by the water. She loves to help those in need, especially children or teens.

Kim Whaley

Office: 832-230-0652

Kim brings 20 years of both group and individual life and health experience to Pathfinder. Kim focuses on the needs of the consumer to assist in controlling costs and has an individual commitment to client satisfaction. She follows her belief of honesty and integrity at all times in all situations.


In her role as a Benefit Specialist, Kim has focused on advising small group employers in the areas of health, dental, life and disability insurance as well as directing employers in areas such as Sec. 125 Plans, legislative updates, payroll deduction plans and other supplemental group benefits. Kim received her Registered Health Underwriter designation in 2005 and is an active member of the Houston, Texas and National Associations of Health Underwriters.


Married to Ken for over 30 years, Kim has one married daughter, a business owner who resides with her husband in Austin, Texas and a younger daughter still in high school with career goals in law enforcement. Kim stays busy with her volunteer and church activities.

Russell Laing
Producer

Office: 832-230-0653

Russell Laing began working in the insurance industry in 2008 and has been a part of the Pathfinder/LL&D Insurance Group family since 2010. He is a third generation independent insurance agent in the Houston area. Russell is a multi-line licensed agent, which means he can help you with all of your insurance needs. He specializes in commercial insurance, making sure your business is fully protected. He can also take care of your auto, home, life, and health insurance needs.


Russell was born and raised in Northwest Houston. He is a graduate from Sam Houston State University. He enjoys fishing, hunting, and training his Labrador retriever in his spare time.

Bill Grun

Office: 281-360-3829

Bill graduated in 1971 with a degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University with a concentration in Human Resources. He received his MBA from University of Louisiana Lafayette in 1979.


Bill joined Pathfinder opening the Kingwood office in 1986. His focus is serving small business owners - consulting on risk-management, employee benefits, retirement planning, Key-Man protection, Non-qualified compensation, and owner Exit Planning strategies. He is a 19-year member of the Kiwanis Club of Kingwood, Texas (Kiwanis is changing the world, one child, one community at a time.) serving as president (twice) and secretary (twice). 


Bill and his wife Maureen are members of St. Martha Catholic Church in Kingwood, TX. Bill serves on the Stewardship Committee and the Between Jobs Ministry. They had three children: Bobby (deceased), Nicole McNeely, and Melissa Peck and four grand-children.

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