David Block, CLTC
After achieving a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, David spent several years as an educator until he began a career as an agent with The New York Life Insurance Company. He was associated with the Keystone General Office located in Philadelphia, PA.
In August of 1984, David attended an Executive Council Meeting in Norfolk, VA where he would meet his future wife Andrea. After marrying in October of 1985 and continuing to work as New York Life agents, David and Andrea acquired Insurance Specialties, Inc. in 1992.
When David is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 Labrador Retrievers at their home in the Greater Asheville, NC area. He also enjoys hiking, reading, and sharing great adventures with his 3 grandchildren.
David has written and moderated several continuing education courses (including LUTCF and CLE for attorneys in the state of North Carolina), written many published editorials, and speaks at a number of conventions regarding health issues. David has played an important leadership role in many local and national organizations including:
- North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters (Federal Law and Legislation Chair)
- The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (Philadelphia, PA Chapter)
- The National Association of Health Underwriters (Past President of Western North Carolina Chapter)
- North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters (Past Media Relations Chair)
- North Carolina Health Insurance High Risk Pool (Communications Advisory Board)
- Crescent Health Solutions, Asheville, NC (Vice Chair, Board of Directors)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina (Big Brother)
- Volunteer Elementary Math Teacher
Andrea Penson Block, CSA
Andrea grew up in Lawrence, NY. She is an Alumnae of Hofstra University. As a New York Life Agent from the Miami, FL General Office, she met David Block at an Executive Council Meeting held in Norfolk, VA in August of 1984. They were married in October of 1985 when she moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia where David was already residing.
In 1992, David and Andrea acquired Insurance Specialties, Inc. and further developed this successful firm into one that reflects their core values of Integrity, Service, and Ingenuity.
Andrea lives in the Greater Asheville, NC area with David and their Labrador retrievers Pythagoras and Bourbon. Andrea enjoys classic Jazz and Blues, gardening, dancing, charity fundraising, and travel. Journeys with David to visit her children and grandchildren who live out of state are her favorite.
In her professional life, Andi is a proud member and participant of many national and local organizations including:
- 2017/2018 President of Western North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters
- Society of Financial Service Professionals - Associate Member
- National Association of Health Underwriters (Media Chair for WNC Chapter and Board Member)
- National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors - Western North Carolina (Member and Past Professional Development/Awards/PR/Sponsorship Chair)
- North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters Symposium (Board Member)
- North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters (Past Education Chair)
- WNCAHU Health Insurance Awareness Day (Chair)
- Buncombe County Firefighters Charity Calendar (Founder & Chair)
- The Rotary Club of Asheville (Major Donor Chair: Auction/Dinner/Dance Fundraiser, and Ad Journal Founder & Co-Chair)
- Asheville/Buncombe County Crimestoppers (Commission Appointed Member)
- Buncombe County Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee (Served as Commission Appointed Member)
- National Council of Jewish Women
- The Asheville Jewish Business Forum - (Served as Board Member)
- WRTI Jazz 90 – Philadelphia, PA (Past Corporate Development Volunteer)
Melody I. Herman
Licensed Broker, Brokerage Manager, Director of Marketing
Melody is the company’s voice of a younger generation who often jokes of her lifetime of rebellion when it came to building a future within the insurance industry. In July 2014 she moved to the Asheville, NC area from Philadelphia, PA, stopped resisting what she now feels is ultimately a part of her, and opened up to the possibilities within her family business…a business of service.
Melody brings an in-depth and varied set of professional skills to the table, her sense of humor, and aunique perspective of the industry having grown up in the business. She spent many years assisting in the office while growing up, and after graduating from West Virginia University with a B.S. degree in Business/Marketing and a Minor in Communications, she became a licensed agent with New York Life Insurance Company.
She has served as VP and head recruiter of a small but fast growing direct sales company where she handled operational and HR responsibilities, including training others and aiding in the expansion of several locations around the country. She provided assistance to a Financial Advisor of an International investment firm for several years handling client management, marketing, and administration. In her own entrepreneurial spirit, she started her own one person operational and administrative consulting business where she helped small business owners get and stay organized in their day to day behind the scenes activities. She says, “When we start a business we’re excited and have so much to give, yet we may not realize how many responsibilities there really are. If you’re unprepared or don’t have the right team, you can get overwhelmed and lose passion for your vision.” Her goal has always been and continues to be assisting and encouraging others to thrive in all areas of their lives.
When you speak with Melody, it’s no secret that she is passionate about life, being in the family business, and what the future holds. “I respect and love what we do; we build relationships. People helping people; isn’t that really what it’s all about? I have been given an opportunity to make an impact on the world in some way and I don’t take that responsibility lightly. It’s my goal to connect with people and take insurance, a subject matter absolutely crucial to discuss (although no one ever wants to talk about it!), and give it some “pop” on top of knowledge and expertise. Ultimately, I hope to bring a smile to people’s faces and foster answers and guidance for areas of their lives that need to be solved.”
Melody is most enthusiastic about her family, friendships, a growing business, community relationships, and volunteering with various non-profit organizations. She’s committed to an ongoing personal development practice, yoga and meditation, and enjoys tapping into her creative and artistic side.