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Hortica Hires Two New Agents

Industry News

Jaye Hamel becomes a senior account executive and Maria C. Shepherd an account executive-retail sales specialist.

| October 22, 2009

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Hortica Insurance & Employee Benefits has hired Jaye Hamel and Maria C. Shepherd as agents.

Hamel will serve horticultural businesses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. Shepherd will serve horticultural businesses in California, Arizona, and Nevada.

Hamel handles commercial property and casualty insurance sales for Hortica. She is based in Thorofare, N.J. Hamel has five years of experience in insurance, most recently as a northeast marketing agent for Crop Growers, a subsidiary of First Pioneer Farm Credit, ACA. Prior to that, Hamel was a loan officer specializing in lending and providing financial services to the agricultural and horticultural industries at First Pioneer Farm Credit, ACA in Bridgeton, N.J.

Hamel was raised on a fresh vegetable farm in southern New Jersey. She was actively involved in the local 4-H program and also competed nationally in equestrian competitions. Hamel graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and applied economics.

 Shepherd has dedicated herself to the retail florist market since 1994. She previously worked for Hortica for 10 years as an insurance account executive serving clients in southern California. After working with other retail markets outside of the floral industry for the past year and a half, she returned to Hortica. Four years prior to working for Hortica, Shepherd worked as an FTD field business consultant in the Los Angeles and San Bernardino, Calif., markets.

Shepherd graduated from California State University Fullerton in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and an emphasis on advertising and marketing. She lives with her husband, Jerry, and daughter Ella in the city of Upland, Calif.

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