News Releases

ARCHIVES: | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 |

Tolman & Wiker is helping Community Health Centers bring smiles to local Santa Maria students

RELEASE DATE: October 15, 2014

2014-10-14_TWIW-ChkPresent_01Marcus Wilson, Senior Vice President at Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, gives Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Inc. (CHC) CEO Ronald Castle a check for $10,000 to support CHC’s dental program. Wilson and Castle are pictured with CHC dentist Israel Armijo, DMD, next to one of CHC’s two mobile dental vans. The donation will be used to provide braces for three Santa Maria High School students selected at the upcoming health fairs at the school on Nov. 1 and 15.

A generous donation by Tolman & Wiker Insurance of Santa Maria to nonprofit health care organization Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Inc. (CHC) will put smiles on the faces of local students. The $10,000 donation, presented to CHC CEO Ronald Castle and CHC dentist Israel Armijo, DMD, at Fairlawn Elementary School Oct. 14, will be used to provide free braces to three deserving Santa Maria youth.

“CHC is extremely grateful for the support Tolman & Wiker is showing for our organization and the work we do here on the Central Coast,” said Castle. “Donations like this allow CHC to further our mission of providing a wide range of health care services to members of all our local communities.”

The donation to CHC was made by Marcus Wilson, Senior Vice President at Tolman & Wiker. Wilson said he admires the work CHC does in the community, and believes the donation marks the beginning of a partnership between the insurance company and CHC.

“I feel strongly about the work Community Health Centers delivers here on the Central Coast,” Wilson said. “It’s a privilege to support such a dedicated and talented team of doctors, nurses and executive staff. Tolman & Wiker and myself will continue to partner with CHC in the future and look forward to helping them provide affordable, comprehensive and quality healthcare services on the Central Coast.”

Three students will be selected during health fairs CHC is conducting at Santa Maria High School Nov. 1 and 15. The free health care clinics for SMHS freshmen will include screenings, immunizations and health exams conducted by CHC’s team of health care professionals. At the health fairs, three SMHS students will be given the opportunity to win prizes including free braces, sponsored by the Tolman & Wiker donation. Please contact SMHS for more information on the health fairs.


Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Inc. (CHC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit network of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s) in San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties. CHC provides comprehensive and affordable healthcare, including Primary Medical Care, Family Dentistry, Chiropractic, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Optometry and Behavioral Health services. To find out more, visit


TWCommunity_100186524To learn more about how Tolman & Wiker gives back to the communities we serve, view the full list of the local and national organizations, associations, and agencies we support: 


Tolman & Wiker named as a “Top 100” Agency by Insurance Journal in 2014

RELEASE DATE: August 4, 2014

For the 7th year in a row, Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services has been named as one of Insurance Journal’s Top 100 Property/Casualty Agencies in 2014. This year marks the tenth annual publication of the report, which identifies and ranks the nation’s leading privately-held independent property/casualty insurance agencies, ranked by total property/casualty agency revenue for 2013 and comprises only those agencies that are privately-owned firms whose business is primarily retail, not wholesale, insurance brokerage.


Tolman & Wiker’s CEO Greg Van Ness shared the following comments upon the release of this year’s ranking: “Tolman & Wiker consistently ranks among Insurance Journal’s Top 100 U.S. insurance brokers, which is a testament to our team’s hard work and excellence. This prestigious ranking is something that we don’t take for granted, since clients have choices about who they do business with. Our client’s expectations are high because of the challenging, highly competitive nature of today’s business climate, and so are their needs for great protection and great service from our team. This annual ranking among our industry peers speaks loudly about our team’s excellence and professionalism. We are pleased and humbled to have made this elite roster once again.”


Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC, established in 1923, is one of the largest independent, privately-held risk management, benefits consulting and insurance brokerage firms in California. With offices in Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Maria, and Bakersfield, Tolman & Wiker team members serve clients with locations and personnel throughout California and the West, across the United States, and around the globe. To learn more, contact us today. We look forward to working with you, too!

Tolman & Wiker Announces The Creation of The Robert E. Acquistapace Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund



“Bobby was passionate about the value of education and the opportunities it provides. He would be proud to know his legacy will benefits students in the community for generations to come.”

The Robert E. Acquistapace Memorial Scholarship Endowment was founded by his fellow members of Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC as a way to honor Bobby’s legacy which touches so many in the Santa Maria Valley.

Bobby spent 40 years as an insurance professional in Santa Maria, was a rancher and steward of the land, and a dedicated community servant his entire adult life. Bobby also held a passion for education. He encouraged people in his life and his employees to better themselves through education. He lived by example, always seeking out new opportunities to learn, both professionally and personally.

The scholarship will be awarded annually to a business major at Allan Hancock College. Having an interest in Insurance or Risk Management is encouraged but not required. Tolman & Wiker will match donations up to $10,000.

Bobby is survived by his wife of 40 years, Wanda Acquistapace, his son Robert Leo Acquistapace, his wife Autumn and grandson Trenton Joseph of Santa Maria, and daughters Abby Louise Acquistapace, Pasadena, and Christy Dian Acquistapace, Glendale.


Gifts may be mailed to the Allan Hancock College Foundation, P.O. Box 5170, Santa Maria, CA 93456-5170 with checks made payable to the AHC Foundation. Please note in the memo section that the gift is for the R. Acquistapace Scholarship Endowment.


Questions about a gift may be directed to the AHC Foundation office at 805-925-2004

Bobby’s Contributions to the Community

  • 40 Year Member of Elks Lodge 1538
  • Elks Parade Chairman 1978 to 2009
  • Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Founding Member of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business
  • Founding Member of the Santa Maria Police Council
  • Santa Maria Noon-Time Rotary Club
  • Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club
  • Santa Maria Valley Roping & Riding Club
  • Santa Maria Valley Economic Development Association
  • Vaqueros de Los Ranchos
  • Rancheros Visitadores
  • Society of Los Alamos


Download a print-friendly PDF File: Acquistapace Scholarship Endowment Announcement Flyer

Remembering Tolman & Wiker Member Bobby Acquistapace

RELEASE DATE: December 2013

Tolman & Wiker Member Robert “Bobby” Acquistapace passed away at his home on Tuesday December 3, 2013 from an apparent heart attack. Bobby’s impact, his contribution, and his legacy as a strong, compassionate insurance professional and friend with a big heart, a generous spirit, and a passion for our business and our clients was significant for our team, our clients, and for the Santa Maria community. His loss is equally significant, and we will all miss him very much.


Viewing will be held at Dudley Hoffman Mortuary will be held Monday, December 9 from 4pm – 7pm. Bobby’s Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, December 10 at the Santa Maria Elks Lodge #1538, 1309 North Bradley Road, Santa Maria, CA 93454, with a BBQ lunch immediately following.

Below are a couple of links to news articles and a newscast that pay warm and fitting tribute to Bobby: |

Tolman & Wiker Named October Business of the Month

RELEASE DATE: October 2013

On October 21, 2013, the City of Ventura and Chamber of Commerce honored Tolman & Wiker as the Business of the Month. Tolman & Wiker has also been recognized in the community by being named in the Pacific Coast Business Times’ “2013 101 One Hundred” list of top businesses along the 101 corridor for the second year in a row.

Judy Diaz, an employee and member of Tolman & Wiker has also been named in the Pacific Coast Business Times’ “Top Women in Business” for the second year in a row.

Other awards include the 2009 Ventura Branch Agency of the Year and the 2009 CIG Agency of the Year.

View full article


LEFT: Jeff Lambert, Community Development Director, City of Ventura; Greg Van Ness, CEO, Tolman & Wiker Insurance Sevices, LLC; Matt Guthrie, Public Policy/Government Affairs Director, Ventura Chamber of Commerce

Editorial: Business Owners Should Deal With New Healthcare Rules Now

RELEASE DATE: August 2013


With all of the recent press on changing healthcare reform laws, many business owners are confused and uncertain about the impact of the new regulations.

To help answer some of the most commonly asked questions on Healthcare Reform, the latest edition of the Pacific Coast Business Times features an article written by Tolman & Wiker’s own CEO, Greg Van Ness.

Since 1923, Tolman & Wiker has been helping clients succeed by lowering their total cost of risk with innovative advice and specialized industry programs as part of a comprehensive Risk Management plan. Our team includes Healthcare Reform Specialists, ERISA attorneys, and Employee Benefits Consultants to help you identify and address the issues that impact your business.

To speak with a Tolman & Wiker Risk Advisor or Employee Benefit Consultant, contact us today:
Office Locations | View full article:

Tolman & Wiker Presents at the “Champions in Healthcare” Summit



LEFT: Greg Van Ness, CEO & Member of Tolman & Wiker at the podium of the Champions in Healthcare Summit. RIGHT: The 2013 Champions in Healthcare event was held at the picturesque El Encanto Resort


On Friday, June 21st the Pacific Coast Business Times hosted the Champions in Healthcare Summit event at El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.

The keynote speaker for this year’s luncheon was U.S. Health and Human Services Regional Director, Herb Schultz. Schultz and Henry Dubroff, editor of the Pacific Coast Business Times also co-moderated a panel discussion with health care executives and professionals from across the region, including a presentation by Tolman & Wiker’s CEO, Greg Van Ness.

The theme for this year’s summit is “Bending the Cost Curve: Partnerships for Affordable Care.” The event was sponsored by Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, CBIZ and Wells Fargo (Gold Sponsors), as well as Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, CSU Channel Islands, Limoneira, the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber and Venoco (Silver Sponsors).

Tolman & Wiker’s CEO Presents “Innovation in Risk Management” to Ventura Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Economic Outlook Breakfast


The Ventura Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Economic Outlook Breakfast“Into the Unknown: Predicting Future Business Opportunities” on Thursday, June 20, from 7:30am – 10:00am at the Marriott Ventura Beach. Over 180 people filled the Marriott’s Costa de Oro ballroom to hear the six speakers selected for this year’s program. The event featured presentations on various economic development topics, including:


ABOVE: A full house at the Ventura Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Economic Outlook Breakfast

  • Strategic Planning – A moving Target; New business possibilities in alternative energies, sustainability, and technology;
  • Unforeseen opportunities resulting from becoming a regional center and unmanned aviation;
  • Innovation in Business Risk Management – Addressing needs for an unknown future;
  • How do we educate and prepare the 21st Century Workforce?;
  • Unveiling the City of Ventura’s five-year Economic Development Strategy: Being ready to take advantage of unforeseen opportunity.

After opening remarks by Chamber CEO Ed Summers, Chamber Board Chairman Jim Duran and Mayor Mike Tracy, the program began with a presentation on strategic planning by William Cordeiro, Ph.D, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at CSU Channel Islands. Following Dr. Cordeiro was Bill Camarillo, Chief Executive Officer of Agromin with a presentation on new business possibilities in alternative energies, sustainability, and technology. After Camarillo was Ernie Villegas, District Director for Assemblymember Jeff Gorell with a presentation on unforeseen opportunities resulting from becoming a regional center in unmanned aviation.

Next to speak was Tolman & Wiker’s CEO and Member, Greg Van Ness with a dynamic presentation on innovations in business risk management and addressing needs for an unknown future. Van Ness discussed how risk exists in all aspects of businesses and how companies such as Tolman & Wiker work to solve these problems. After Van Ness was Velma Lomax – Board Member, Ventura Unified School District with a presentation on how to educate and prepare the 21st century workforce. The final speaker of the morning was Deputy Mayor Cheryl Heitmann, Chair of the City Council’s Economic Development Committee, who unveiled the City’s newly adopted five-year Economic Development Strategy.

Sponsors included: County Commerce Bank, Kaiser Permanente, City of Ventura, Montecito Bank & Trust, Aera Energy, Community Memorial Health Systems, Cal State University Channel Islands, Southern California Edison, Ventura County Star, Vintage Production California, Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, Pacific Western Bank, VC Reporter, Ventura Breeze, E.J. Harrison & Sons, Cypress Place Senior Living, Western States Petroleum Association, AT&T, Sheeler Moving & Storage, Barber Automotive Group, Ventura Rental Center/Ventura Rental Party Center, and CAPS TV.

Tolman & Wiker Sponsors the 2013 U.C.S.B. Economic Outlook Summit


The 32nd annual U.C.S.B. Economic Summit was held on May 2nd, 2013 at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, California. The Keynote Speaker was Neil Barofsky, author of the best-selling book Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street. From 2008 to 2011, Neil Barofsky was the first special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, tasked with protecting against abuse and fraud in the $700 billion federal bailout fund. In his book, Bailout, the former federal prosecutor and Senior Fellow at NYU gives a blistering insider’s account of what happened behind the scenes. In addition, presentations by a panel of economic experts included the Eurozone Crisis by Thomas F. Cooley, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and professor of economics at NYU; Regulation in the Financial Sector by Douglas J. Elliott, Fellow in the Initiative on Business and Public Policy at The Brookings Institution and former managing director at J.P. Morgan; and a local and regional Santa Barbara County economic forecast delivered by Peter Rupert, director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project and chair of the Department of Economics at UCSB.

The event was sponsored by Union Bank (Founding Sponsor), Montecito Bank & Trust (Platinum Sponsor), Chase Bank (Gold Sponsor), Bank of America (Keynote Sponsor), and Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services (Advisory Sponsor), in addition to a diverse list of other leading local businesses (Corporate & Advisory Sponsors). Tolman & Wiker’s sponsorship of the U.C.S.B. Economic Summit is an example of the company’s commitment to providing their clients with truly innovative, best-in-class risk management solutions for business in today’s rapidly changing world.

The USCB Economic Forecast Project was established in 1981 by the Department of Economics at UCSB to provide the community with information on economic, demographic, and regional business trends in the Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo county areas.

Tolman & Wiker Launches New WebsiteBLOGPIC_TW_NewWebsite


Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC launched a brand-new website this month, designed to help our clients stay connected and informed on the issues that matter most. The new website will serve as a central source for information on upcoming seminars, breaking news on Healthcare Reform, Workers Compensation, pending legislation, regulatory requirements and other vital topics. Clients of Tolman & Wiker receive a complimentary subscription to the Risk Advisor and/or Benefits Advisor publications, a monthly newsletter series containing only the best hand-picked articles from hundreds of news sources. To view a sample newsletter or subscribe to the mailing list, please visit our Resources page.

Tolman & Wiker Is Recognized By
The Pacific Coast Business Times “101 One Hundred”

RELEASE DATE: April 2013


TOP, LEFT: Greg Van Ness, CEO & Member of Tolman & Wiker addresses the audience. TOP, RIGHT: Greg Van Ness (2nd from right) congratulates fellow nominees. BOTTOM, LEFT: Sarah Miller McCune, 2013 “Business Hall of Fame” Inductee. BOTTOM, RIGHT: Attendees of the “101 One Hundred & Business Hall of Fame” event.


The 2013 class of “101 One Hundred & Business Hall of Fame” honorees was announced in the April 19th print edition of the Pacific Coast Business Times. An awards reception was held for the honorees on Tuesday, May 14th at the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbara, California from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC was recognized for the second year in a row by the Pacific Coast Business Times “101 One Hundred” list of top businesses along the 101 corridor. The special section ranks the top 100 private and public held companies in the Tri-Counties based on 2012 revenue, and the top companies to watch in the region, based on venture capital obtained or promising and innovative products and services.

Sara Miller McCune, Sage Publications founder and executive chairman was profiled as the 2013 Business Hall of Fame inductee. Greg Van Ness, CEO & Member of Tolman & Wiker was a featured speaker at the event along with other prominent leaders from the business community. Tolman & Wiker was a Diamond Sponsor of the “101 One Hundred” event; gold sponsors of the event included CBIZ and Wells Fargo; silver sponsors included Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, CSU Channel Islands, Limoneira, Santa Barbara Hispanic Center and Venoco, respectively.

Tolman & Wiker (Formerly TWIW) Celebrates Our 90th Anniversary With A Renewed Brand And Name

RELEASE DATE: March 2013

We are Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC and we have a lot to celebrate!

  • TWIW is changing our name back to Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC!
  • We’re the largest, privately held independent insurance brokerage on the central coast!
  • We celebrate 90 years in business in 2013!

As we reflect on our past and move forward into an even brighter future, we wish to thank our clients who have placed their trust in us, making Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services the preferred choice on the central coast. At Tolman & Wiker, we approach your business as if it were our own. We design custom risk-management and benefits programs that protect your assets, help you and your employees succeed, and preserve your way of life for generations to come. Contact us today to learn more about how we can protect your business and your family, too!


LEFT: TWIW Insurance Services, LLC was formed in 2005 from the merger of Tolman & Wiker and InWest
RIGHT: In May 2013, the firm returned to the Tolman & Wiker name and introduced a new logo and tagline that better represents their 90-year combined history as an independent firm focused on innovative solutions

Judy Diaz, Member of Tolman & Wiker Is Honored By The Pacific Coast Business Times “Top Women In Business”

RELEASE DATE: February 2013


LEFT: Judy Diaz, Member of Tolman & Wiker accepts her award. TOP, RIGHT: “Women In Business” event attendees. BOTTOM CENTER, RIGHT: Jeff Viles, Risk Advisor (Center) and Steve Carter, Chairman and Managing Member of Tolman & Wiker (Far Right) enjoying the reception at the event.


The Pacific Coast Business Times held their 7th annual “Top Women in Business” event on April 11, 2013 at the fabulous Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. The reception and award program’s Gold sponsors included Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, Business First Bank, Cox Communications, and FOOD Share sponsored by farmers. Silver sponsors of the event included Wells Fargo Bank, California Lutheran University and Bacara.

The Pacific Coast Business Times editor, Henry Dubbroff stated in their March 22-28th edition “…this year’s winners represent the most competitive group we’ve encountered since launching this special section, and we’re excited about how the process challenged us to elevate our game. The selections for 2013 came from more than 100 nominations, far more than the section can accommodate. Once again, social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn helped us draw a new audience into the nomination process, a welcome development. We’re also extremely pleased to welcome one of our own winners, Sheila Cluff, owner of The Oaks at Ojai, to be the keynote speaker at this year’s awards reception.”

As they have done for the past five years, this year’s honorees were divided into industry categories which included: Health Care, Consumer Services & Real Estate, Nonprofits, Agribusiness, Banking & Insurance Services, Professional Services and Science & Industry. Within each category they identified one Editor’s Choice winner, who received special recognition at the Top Women in Business reception.

In making their selections, the Pacific Coast Business Times continued to recognize a core group of senior-level executives or business owners. Many of these are familiar faces who were included last year such as Judy Diaz, who was honored for the second year in a row. The Pacific Coast Business times also recognized a second group of women executives or business owners who have had unique successes during the past year that made them a natural fit for the 2013 edition. Additionally, they seek out executives who played a key role within women’s organizations or large nonprofit organizations. And, as always, they looked for geographic diversity across the Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County region, diverse industry clusters and other ways to make their selections as inclusive as possible.

Please join us in congratulating Judy on her recognition at this prestigious event!

Contact Judy | View Judy’s Bio

Return to top of page