About BMB

Our Mission & Vision

With a combined experience of over 150 years, Benefit Management & Brokerage (BMB) is a full service, local and minority owned agency, servicing the entire Gulf Coast area. BMB specializes in helping individuals and employers find the best benefits possible to fit their lifestyles and their pocketbook.

Ray Guzman

Senior Partner

Since May of 1983, Ray Guzman and his staff have had great pleasure in serving their clients, community, and friends by earning their support and trust. Ray’s background is in business and marketing. Ray is the senior partner for our organization. His years of experience have made him very successful in helping his clients achieve their goals. He is committed to staying a leader in the field and his staff is looking forward to maintaining and building a strong base of happy, satisfied and loyal clients. Ray is also a Certified Health Care Reform Specialist who values his vast knowledge of Health Care Reform. He has spent many years working to cultivate the service oriented, proactive attitude shared by all at BMB.

Ray Guzman​

Senior Partner

Since May of 1983, Ray Guzman and his staff have had great pleasure in serving their clients, community, and friends by earning their support and trust. Ray's background is in business and marketing. Ray is the senior partner for our organization. His years of experience have made him very successful in helping his clients achieve their goals. He is committed to staying a leader in the field and his staff is looking forward to maintaining and building a strong base of happy, satisfied and loyal clients. Ray is also a Certified Health Care Reform Specialist who values his vast knowledge of Health Care Reform. He has spent many years working to cultivate the service oriented, proactive attitude shared by all at BMB.

Kristel Ducote Ontimara​

Managing Partner

Kristel is our Managing Partner who has been with BMB since January 2010 and has been a licensed life and health agent since 2007. Kristel’s main role in our agency is to oversee all aspects of our operation. Kristel spends her time with business owners strategically planning to determine the most cost-effective benefit plans for their employees while ensuring they maintain compliance with state and federal laws. She ensures all of our clients are taken care of in the best manner possible and our team works to their best potential. As a licensed agent, Kristel has been able to gain a vast knowledge of the insurance industry. She has successfully helped many clients get the coverage that fits their needs. Kristel is also a Certified Health Care Reform Specialist and Self-Funding Specialist who works with each of our employers to ensure they are compliant with the ever-changing laws.

Kristel Ducote Ontimara​

Managing Partner

Kristel is our Managing Partner who has been with BMB since January 2010 and has been a licensed life and health agent since 2007. Kristel’s main role in our agency is to oversee all aspects of our operation. Kristel spends her time with business owners strategically planning to determine the most cost-effective benefit plans for their employees while ensuring they maintain compliance with state and federal laws. She ensures all of our clients are taken care of in the best manner possible and our team works to their best potential. As a licensed agent, Kristel has been able to gain a vast knowledge of the insurance industry. She has successfully helped many clients get the coverage that fits their needs. Kristel is also a Certified Health Care Reform Specialist and Self-Funding Specialist who works with each of our employers to ensure they are compliant with the ever-changing laws.

Erin Guzman​

Accounting Manager

Erin is our Accounting Manager who has been with BMB since 2009. She helps to ensure the quality of service in our office, as well as handle any billing issues our clients may encounter. Erin’s strong background in accounting helps her to have a keen eye for detail which is vital in keeping accurate records. This also helps to ensure clients are receiving help from a bookkeeping professional when the need arises. Erin creates and manages all payroll deduction guides for each of our clients to ensure deductions remain current for employees.

Brittany Dastugue

Individual/Small Group Account Specialist

Brittany is our valued Individual Account Specialist who has been with BMB since 2017. She helps service our individual clients to make sure they are taken care of with elite customer service. Her role includes helping individuals compare coverage, secure coverage, and helps with any issues related to those policies. She specializes in health policies on and off the Marketplace. She does a wonderful job in helping our clients determine which health and life policies will benefit them most. She also serves as an assistant group account manager on our 1 and 2 life group cases.

Joseph Ontimara

Benefits Consultant

Joseph joined BMB in 2020 as a broker and field agent.  His background in communications makes him ideal for communicating benefit importance to employers and their staff. Joseph's main goal is to help each individual decide the best fit for their lifestyle and their budget.

Ray Whatley Jr.

Partnered Agent

Ray Whatley Jr. CLU is an independent agent specializing in group and individual life and health insurance. After graduating from LSU in 1975, he built a successful practice in Baton Rouge. He was licensed in Property and Casualty in 1980 and Securities in 1983. Ray was recognized in 1987 as Young Agent of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Life Underwriters, an organization of 3000 members statewide. He served as President of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Professionals in Baton Rouge and was voted Underwriter of the Year in 1989. Ray lives in New Orleans and is a member of Rotary International as well as Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church on St. Charles Ave. With 40 years of experience, he has recently merged his employee benefits business with Benefit Management and Brokerage in order to better serve his clients.

Denny Ebersole

Partnered Agent

Denny began his career in insurance in 1983.  He specializes in helping small businesses provide "Big Business" benefits for employees. A broker representing all of the major carriers and a member and volunteer of the National Association of Health Underwriters since 1991. He has studied the "Affordable Care Act" extensively and done numerous presentations for professional business groups on the subject. He is uniquely qualified to help you and your business prepare and plan for the implementation. Denny has been a major part of BMB for many years and continues to help us grow.

Rachel Fernandez

Operations Supervisor

Rachel is our Operations Supervisor who has been with BMB since 2013. She specializes in working with business owners and their staff members. Her main duties consist of on-boarding a current and new groups, preparing presentations, any back-office duties needed, and helping with service-related concerns for our employers. Rachel's background in the individual market helps her strive to find the best coverage for each individual employee in her accounts. Rachel's experience as a claims and enrollment specialist, individual account administrator and current position as group account manager has provided her with the ability to train new hires and assist with any problem whether minor or major.

Alyssa Duggan

Account Manager

Alyssa is our Assistant Account Manager who joined BMB in 2018.  She specializes in accounts under 50 lives and truly excels at servicing these accounts.  Alyssa loves guiding our clients to the best coverage for their employees then helping those employees determine the best benefits for their families.

Sheri Thigpen

Admin Assistant

Sheri is one of our Administrative Assistants.  Her keen attention to detail and ability to juggle multiple tasks at once has made her a welcome addition to our team. Our clients find her upbeat and helpful attitude to be her best attribute.

Torri Chapman

Admin Assistant & Claims Specialist

Torri is one of our Administrative Assistants.  She has a background in customer service which helps her to ensure clients’ needs are being met.  She is the main contact for anyone who is having claims issues and serves as a backup for anyone in the office.  Her specialty in handling claims truly makes Torri an asset to BMB.

Charles J. Giardina

Partnered Agent

Charles Giardina has led a booming career as a Financial Services Executive since 1988. He graduated from Nicholls State University with a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration in 1987. His goal is to provide families and business owners with assistance in building their financial freedoms. With decades of knowledge and experience, he is able to meet any client’s customary goals. Charles is licensed in Life & Health insurance products in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and California. He is also licensed in Property & Casualty in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Along with being licensed in Life & Health and Property & Casualty, Charles’ expertise also extends to offer Security Products in the state of Louisiana, Florida and Colorado.  Charles has a broad range of skills to be sure he is the one-stop-shop for all of a client’s insurance needs. ​

If you're going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can't be erased.

Maya Angelou

Bob Agnelly

It is with great sadness that we lost one of our great team members Mr. Bob Agnelly in November of 2017.

He began his career in insurance and related products in 1976.  He became property & casualty licensed in 1978 and securities licensed in 1979.  In 1987. Bob began directing all of his efforts into personal brokerage production specializing in employee benefits. He was voted Health Underwriter of the Year by the members of the New Orleans Association of Health Underwriters for the 1992-1993 fiscal years. He taught several courses for the Life Underwriting Training Council and received the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation in September 1984. He had a Master of Business Administration  from Loyola University and in 2013 Bob merged his business with Benefit Management & Brokerage, Inc. in order to expand client services. Mr. Agnelly was a big part of our success and he will be greatly missed by all. 

Bob Agnelly

It is with great sadness that we lost one of our great team members Mr. Bob Agnelly in November of 2017.

He began his career in insurance and related products in 1976.  He became property & casualty licensed in 1978 and securities licensed in 1979.  In 1987. Bob began directing all of his efforts into personal brokerage production specializing in employee benefits. He was voted Health Underwriter of the Year by the members of the New Orleans Association of Health Underwriters for the 1992-1993 fiscal years. He taught several courses for the Life Underwriting Training Council and received the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation in September 1984. He had a Master of Business Administration  from Loyola University and in 2013 Bob merged his business with Benefit Management & Brokerage, Inc. in order to expand client services. Mr. Agnelly was a big part of our success and he will be greatly missed by all. 

Fred Holmes

Fred was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp where he served from 1966 to 1972 and was honorably discharged. He began working in the insurance industry with New York Life Insurance Company in 1972. He became an independent insurance broker and a financial consultant in 1978 and began Holmes and Associates. Fred was a Life member of the Million Dollar Round Table, as well as a member of NALU, IFAPAC, and the Society of Financial Planners. He received many awards and was recognized for his excellence in sales and planning throughout his career. He held designations as CLU, ChFC, MSFS, and LUTC and was devoted to his many clients. Fred passed away in 2016 and his loving wife Linda found BMB to be a new home for his clients.

Neil Williamson

Neil began his career in insurance in 1974. He offered Specialty products, Buy Sell Business planning, Group Life, Health, Disability, Dental, Estate Planning and Trust Selection, Excess coverage and Foreign Travel, Individual and Business Life. Neil owned and operated Group Health Plans of LA along with Williamson Properties. His untimely passing in 2017 left his clients without his caring touch and his daughter found BMB to be the best home for them. We are eternally grateful to be able to step into such big shoes and provide his clients with the same level of care he did.

Neil Williamson

Neil began his career in insurance in 1974. He offered Specialty products, Buy Sell Business planning, Group Life, Health, Disability, Dental, Estate Planning and Trust Selection, Excess coverage and Foreign Travel, Individual and Business Life. Neil owned and operated Group Health Plans of LA along with Williamson Properties. His untimely passing in 2017 left his clients without his caring touch and his daughter found BMB to be the best home for them. We are eternally grateful to be able to step into such big shoes and provide his clients with the same level of care he did.

Rai Lynne Jarabica

Rai Lynne Jarabica was a loving sister, daughter, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. As a single mother of four, she never let anything stand in her way. With her motto being “Don’t Quit” she couldn’t help but be successful in what she did. To know Rai Lynne is to know love and happiness. She was an educator, and a friend to everyone. She will be greatly missed at Benefit Management and Brokerage, but her legacy will live on through us and everyone who had the privilege to know such a beautiful woman. 

Rai Lynne joined BMB as an independent Agent. She worked in the insurance idustry for 30+ years and specialized in retirement planning, life insurance, annuities, disabilities, health insurance and business insurance. With various other professional training in management, sales, real estate, finance and business planning, Rai Lynne had the know-how to work with our clients to determine what kind of protection is needed. Rai Lynne was a wonderful asset to BMB and she will be greatly missed.

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