Business newsmakers: Jesenik named chief operating officer at Orion180

·4 min read

Jesenik named chief operating officer at Orion180

Orion180 recently announced the promotion of Ryan Jesenik to chief operating officer.

Ryan Jesenik
Ryan Jesenik

In his new role, he will oversee business operations of the organization, which is a homeowners' insurance provider leveraging advanced technology to serve independent insurance agents in the Southeastern United States.

Jesenik joined Orion180 in January 2020 as senior vice president responsible for sales, marketing, underwriting, customer service and operations, working with company founder and Chief Executive Officer Ken Gregg to execute the vision and growth of the company.

The company said Jesenik’s transformative operational, analytical, business strategy and tactical execution have been instrumental with the company’s significant growth.

Since joining, the company has continued to execute on its business plan, growing the top-line written premium, while expanding its geographical footprint.

The company continues to experience high growth, with a 303% year-over-year increase in 2021, and will exceed $150 million written premiums in 2022, in its fifth year of writing business.

Jesenik also helped design and launch Orion180’s Star Outreach program, which commits a portion of every policy proceeds directly to charities selected by Orion180 agency partners.

The program donated more than $160,000 to various charities in 2021.

Jesenik will continue to support Gregg with the development and implementation of organizational strategies, while ensuring the company’s culture maintains its high standards, and it provides its employees with a thriving and nurturing work environment.

Jesenik will manage the business analytics, with special focus on rate adequacy, territory aggregate capacity management and the profile of the policies in force.

“Ryan came to Orion180 with an extensive track record of success," Gregg said. "His ability as an operator is evidenced in how he has helped our company grow three to four times each year. He has been instrumental in growing the organization to over 65 full-time staff, serving more than 50,000 policyholders with an expanded distribution across the Southeast."

Gregg said Jesenik's “talent and dedication have had a tremendous impact on our company. I am confident he will continue grow with and play a significant role in Orion180 meeting its aggressive milestones and vision.”

Prior to joining Orion180, Jesenik worked and consulted for multiple growth-stage companies, providing operations, finance and capital market support.

Before his consulting role, Jesenik spent five years at several aerospace manufacturing companies, including the majority at Precision Castparts, a Fortune 500 company purchased by Berkshire Hathaway in 2015.

Jesenik recently was named Young Professional of the Year by the Melbourne Regional Chamber, which is given to a young professional who, through dedication to the chamber and broader community, has made a significant impact on the Space Coast community.

Headquartered in Florida, Orion180 operates in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, with plans to continue expanding in 2022.

For more information about the Star Outreach Program, visit https://www.orion180.com/community-involvement/.

Houston to run Merritt Island State Farm office

Sara Hawks Houston recently took over the State Farm agency on Merritt Island, which at one time had been run by her father, Dave Hawks. The elder Hawks died in 2003.

Sara Hawks Houston
Sara Hawks Houston

Houston opened a Viera State Farm Agency in April 2017 at 1950 Viera Blvd., Suite 104.

The Merritt Island operation is located at 2255 N Courtenay Parkway, Unit 3, next door to where her father’s agency was once located.

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Prior to getting in the insurance business, Houston was a pharmaceutical sales representative, as was her father at one time.

Houston is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in business and marketing.

Both of Houston's State Farm locations are hiring for various positions. To find out more about employment opportunities contact Elise Sheck at sara@hawks-houstoninsurance.com or call 321-425-5444.

Women’s professional group honors drag racer Larsen

The Oceanside charter chapter of the American Business Women’s Association has awarded Elaine Larsen its 2022 “Making a Difference” award.

Elaine Larsen
Elaine Larsen

Larsen is the driver of the Florida Tech Generation 6 jet dragster, and has been jet racing for 19 years. In that period, she has won two World Championships.

Larsen also is the creator of four “Blaze” comic books, which were inspired by real-life experiences, and adapted to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, or STEAM, education curricula.

Florida Tech’s Jet Dragster is 27 feet long, has a General Electric J-85 jet engine, and can produce about 5,000 pounds of thrust. It can reach speeds of 280 miles per hour in about 5 seconds.

Larsen used it to win The International Hot Road Association championship in 2014. She is featured in the Jan. 17 issue of Drag Illustrated, where she talks about her 20th year in drag racing and "Two Decades of Thrills: Full Throttle Tour" this year.

Larsen said, at the conclusion of the 2022 tour, she is stepping down as the primary driver for Larsen Motorsports, the company she founded with her husband, Chris.

She will assume a more prominent leadership role within the Larsen Motorsports company and Blazing Trails, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit she founded to connect students to STEAM education.

If you have a Business Newsmakers item you'd like to publish, please email details to Wayne T. Price at wtpkansas@yahoo.com or contact him at 321-223-0230.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Orion180 promotes Jesenik to chief operating officer

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