Why We’re Unique
At Continental Underwriters, Inc., we could serve the insurance needs of any business, but we choose to serve the needs of your business.
The fundamentals of our company are centered around providing the coverage you need and the service you deserve so you can focus on your business. Whether you’re a logger, a hauler, a manufacturer, or a distributor, we can put together a competitive and comprehensive insurance program so you can get back to business.
Our mission is to bring quality, passion, and expertise back to the insurance industry.
We believe in the relentless pursuit of excellence and in challenging the status quo. We believe in doing things the right way, not the easy way. We are fierce advocates of our customers and partners, and are not afraid to stand out from the crowd. We will seize those opportunities which will allow us to live these qualities to their fullest.
We care about our employees and their families.
We are committed to our clients.
We are passionate about the industry.
We value relationships.
We serve our community.
We embrace professionalism, honesty, and integrity.
We celebrate success and winning.
We constantly strive to improve.
Production Underwriting Team Lead
Prior to joining our team, Andrew worked through high school and college at his family’s trophy business. Under the guidance of his father and grandmother, he “cut his teeth” on business 101, but decided in the end to pursue a career in insurance and build his own name. Upon receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Risk Management from Virginia Commonwealth University, Andrew joined Continental Underwriters, Inc. as an Assistant Underwriter. Andrew has quickly become one of the best underwriters out there and has been promoted several times, now holding a role as Production Underwriting Team Leader. Andrew sees an insured’s risk and their exposures as more than what is submitted on a piece of paper. He sees how a company runs, how it grows, and what it needs to be properly protected. He learns each business and works hard to build an insurance program around the specific needs of that business and those it employs. Andrew brings a young, fresh mind to our underwriting team and an eagerness to win that we all feed off of on a daily basis! He challenges us all to work harder and smarter to ensure we are the best in the industry. Andrew is currently pursuing his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, and continues to learn hands-on as every day and every account we see is unique!
In his spare time, Andrew lives for anything to do with sports, competition, being outdoors, and traveling with his wife and young daughter.
Melissa grew up in Rockingham County, VA and moved to Richmond, VA with $20 in her pocket and a dream of success. In 2007, she started her insurance career at a local insurance agency where she held the roles of Technical Assistant and Assistant Underwriter. As most in the industry know, when the Insurance bug bites, it doesn’t let go! In 2011, she received the offer of a lifetime – a chance to work for a company with an amazing culture and mentors to help guide her to achieve that dream she moved to the big city for! Melissa’s new role ended up transitioning away from underwriting and toward an administrative and support role, which she came to realize was her area of excellence. She continued this role through the creation of Continental Underwriters, Inc. in early 2013. Melissa was, and continues to be, a cheerleader for every member of the Continental Underwriters team. She is passionate about what we do and the industry we serve, and has played an integral role in the growth and success of Continental Underwriters over the years. With the growth of the company, new opportunities have emerged and Melissa has taken over a new role of Marketing Coordinator. Her passion, caring, strong work ethic, and constant desire to improve make her the perfect fit for the role of leading our marketing, social media, events and design. Afterall, who better to promote our business than someone who jokes that she bleeds Continental green?!
Melissa now resides in Mechanicsville, Virginia, with her husband and daughter. Her daughter loves to visit the office from time to time to say hi and make everyone smile with the electric personality she gets from her mom. In their free time, Melissa and her family often visit her family in Harrisonburg, and cheer on their local college team, the James Madison University Dukes! Go Dukes!
Risk Assessment Director
Corey grew up working in his family farm supply business where he learned that hard work is a way of life. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, and started his career in the insurance industry. Since then, the entirety of Corey’s experience has been dedicated to risk assessment and loss prevention specific to the forest products industry, starting at Lumbermen’s Underwriting Alliance in 2002 where he was a Loss Prevention Representative. Five years later, Corey was promoted to Loss Prevention Manager and four years after that to Regional Loss Prevention Manager for the Eastern United States. Corey’s fast rise is a reflection of his strong work ethic, his desire for success, and his dedication to his team and his customers. Corey has visited hundreds of mills across the United States since starting his career, and has seen first-hand the risks inherently present in the forest products industry. He has developed a natural ability to analyze and understand risk and risk exposures for small milling operations all the way up to large, complex milling facilities. Not only does Corey work with and assist our insureds to help them run a safe and profitable business, but he also trains and educates our underwriters to ensure they understand the unique aspects of each operation we work with. Corey is indispensable to both the Continental Underwriters team and to our customers!
Corey resides in Mississippi with his wife and three children, where they enjoy spending time together camping, canoeing, playing baseball and softball, and showing livestock. Corey is also actively involved in his community and church.
Olivia Guthrow, CPCU
Olivia Guthrow, CPCU
Olivia recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a degree in Risk Management and Insurance. She served as President of the VCU chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, the International Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science fraternity. She joined the Continental Underwriters team in September 2016 as a Risk Assessment Assistant. Olivia immediately impressed us with her desire to learn, her strong work ethic, and her attention to detail. Upon graduation, she joined the CU team full-time as an Underwriting Analyst. We work hard to keep up with her appetite to learn and her desire to expand her knowledge of the insurance industry! She is up for any task and always works hard to get it done quickly and accurately. In her free time, Olivia is an active hiker and kayaker, and enjoys being outdoors. Olivia’s opportunities within the industry and at Continental Underwriters are endless. She will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years!
Chief Operating Officer
The entirety of Amanda Huang’s experience in the insurance industry has been spent serving the forest products niche. After graduating from James Madison University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, Amanda started her insurance career at a Managing General Agency and Wholesaler specializing in the forest products industry. Amanda held various positions starting as a front desk assistant, moving to underwriting, and eventually taking on a dual underwriting and operations role. With the formation of Continental Underwriters, Inc. in early 2013, Amanda’s career continued to shift toward operations. Since that time, Amanda has worked tirelessly to build a strong foundation for the company to grow. From building agency management systems, to developing our internal goals and initiatives, to assembling a dream team of individuals to make it all work, Amanda’s main focus is on the achievement of Continental Underwriters’ short and long-term growth strategies. Even with that broad focus, you can still find Amanda involved in much of the day to day underwriting. Her experience and attention to detail make her a key resource for all of our underwriters, and staying involved in the day-to-day underwriting helps her to make informed decisions for the company as a whole.
When away from the office, you can find Amanda spending time with her husband and chasing around her young son and daughter. In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, watching movies, cooking, and traveling with her family. Nothing beats cheering on her James Madison University Dukes, though. Go Dukes!
E. Taylor Overton, III
Risk Assessment Representative
E. Taylor Overton, III
Before joining Continental Underwriters, Inc., Taylor spent four years as a Remodeling Carpenter, using the very products we support. From kitchen remodels to additions, and everything in between, Taylor developed an eye for detail, and an appreciation for a hard day’s work. In 2017, Taylor returned to Virginia Commonwealth University to obtain his Bachelors of Finance: Risk Management and Insurance Degree. His love for the outdoors and working with his hands makes him an outstanding fit for Continental Underwriters Loss Control Department. As a Risk Assessment Representative, Taylor works directly with our customers to build strong Property Conservation Programs and strives to maintain quality relationships around the country.
Taylor grew up in Tidewater Virginia and is very familiar with the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the forests that make them so wonderful. He is an Eagle Scout, and enjoys traveling. As an adult, he has traded his backpack for a motorcycle, and travels the country each summer. Taylor married his college sweetheart of 8 years in 2018. The two of them enjoy live music, cooking out, and spending time with family. They have two giant dogs, Slingshot and Layla.
C. Preston Herrington, III
President & CEO
C. Preston Herrington, III
Preston has over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry and over 20 years specific to the forest products insurance segment. By building and maintaining relationships with industry leaders and mentoring future leaders, Preston has enjoyed a successful career.
The cornerstone of his success, competitive nature and ability to get the job done, regardless of the circumstances, comes from the 5 years he spent in the Navy, 3 of which as a U.S. Navy SEAL. After defending his country, Preston worked for various insurance companies in an underwriting capacity. In 1996, he decided to leave the large company arena and join a small agency where he spent 17 years as a Managing General Agent and Wholesaler specializing in forest products insurance. In 2013, Preston and his team created Continental Underwriters, Inc. and as they say, the rest is history!
Preston’s experience in the forest products insurance industry and his focus on his employees and customers has created a winning team with passion and commitment to be “The National Solution to Your Local Risk.” While much of his time is now dedicated to the strategy and growth of Continental Underwriters, Inc., he still thrives on getting involved with underwriters, agents, and insureds to provide the best products and services possible. It is not uncommon to find him involved in the insurance placement of a complex risk, working with adjusters on a large claim, or even sitting at the desk with a young underwriter sharing his knowledge and expertise. Preston’s passion is helping people and solving problems, and that is exactly what he does every day!
As a native of Louisiana, Preston is interested in all things associated with the outdoors. When not at his second home on the Chesapeake Bay, or chasing around his three children and spending time with his wife of over 15 years, he can be found in a deer stand, duck blind, on a golf course, in a boat, or behind the wheel of an antique car. Preston also has a passion for cooking and is known to cook a mean pot of gumbo! Having lived in Richmond, Virginia for over 20 years, Preston is also active in various social and civic organizations, and enjoys staying connected to the local community.
Carmen recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a degree in Risk Management and Insurance. While at VCU, Carmen was an active member of Gamma Iota Sigma, the International Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science Fraternity. In addition to a full course load and GIS activities, she worked full-time as a restaurant manager and interned at a local insurance agency that specialized in insurance for tow-truck operations. It’s easy to see why her peers describe her as being a highly motivated person who is determined to achieve her goals no matter what it takes! Carmen enjoyed learning about the transportation industry and the risks associated with it so when she joined the Transportation Team at Continental Underwriters, she felt right at home! We are lucky to have such a self-motivated and hard working person on our team!
Glen Allen, VA is home to Carmen as she has lived there all of her life. During her free time, you can catch her spending time with her family and friends. Carmen enjoys playing basketball, longboarding, drawing, and going to the beach when she is not working.
Barbara grew up just outside of Washington, D.C., but moved to Colorado to study Business Administration at Colorado Mountain College and enjoy a few years in The Mile High City. It was a great adventure, but she is happy to be back in her beloved home state of Virginia, living in Richmond since 2014 with her husband, two dogs and horse. She came to Continental Underwriters after several years in the consulting and luxury hospitality industries. She knew that with her experience and passion with customer service, administration and eagerness for learning she could take on a new challenge and jump right into the specialty insurance market at Continental Underwriters supporting her teammates. She is excited to learn about the industry and provide excellent service to colleagues and clients alike.
When not working you will usually find her at the barn with her dogs, riding her horse, climbing on the rock wall or tackling the endless list of projects on her historic home in the city. The best days are always spent outdoors in her book! She loves traveling and exploring with her treasured family and friends. With all her family scattered across the globe, she has accumulated a lot of stamps in her passport over the years!
Bernie is a 30 year veteran of the Property/Casualty Insurance industry. He is a Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and has earned his Associate in Risk Management and Associate in Reinsurance designations, along with the Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt certification. Throughout his career, Bernie has worked at several top-notch insurance companies and managing general agencies. Bernie has experience underwriting diverse lines of coverage and even led the implementation and launch of the first ever Cyber Liability product! His insurance career brought him to forest products in the early 2000’s when he became the Program Manager for one of the leading providers of insurance for the forest products industry. Of course, Bernie’s hands-on experience in the industry came much earlier. Bernie’s first exposure to forest products came at age 7 when he began working with his father’s logging operation in Wisconsin. He continued this for 16 years until he earned degrees in Finance and Economics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Bernie’s combination of real world and insurance experience is rare and offers the foundation for bringing together practical solutions for complex problems. His perspective allows us to see the big picture and the smallest of details when creating comprehensive asset protection strategies for our customers. At Continental Underwriters, Bernie enjoys being able to share his knowledge and experience in finding new opportunities, solving challenges, and making the full circle back to the wood products industry that began for him over 46 years ago.
His wife of over 20 years and two daughters spend as much time outdoors as possible. If not at their mountain retreat, you can find them at home in Ashland, VA.
Stacy McPherson graduated from Virginia Tech (Go HOKIES!) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Information Systems. After graduating, Stacy started her career as a staff accountant with HHHunt before moving in to public accounting with a local regional firm here in Richmond, specializing in construction and retirement plans. Prior to joining Continental Underwriters, Inc., Stacy spent time as a Working Capital Manager and Senior Accounting Manager at two local Fortune 500 companies. Stacy is excited to be adding the insurance business to her professional experience and couldn’t have asked for a better company to start her insurance career. She looks forward to learning the business and being part of the amazing opportunity and growth that Continental Underwriters, Inc. has to offer.
When Stacy is not counting beans, she loves spending time with her husband, Logan, enjoys watching her boys, Cooper and Holden play sports, hanging with friends and family, cheering on the Hokies and the Atlanta Braves and vacationing…anywhere!
Dinelle Mieses began her career in finance and accounting during her college years, where she worked as an accounts payable clerk. She graduated from Florida Southern College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. From there, she continued her career in finance and accounting and now has over 7 years of experience managing client financial accounts. In 2015, Dinelle decided to take on the role of entrepreneur. She started a bookkeeping company that initially serviced her husband’s company, but then quickly expanded to service various clients in various occupational fields. During this time, she became familiar with the ins and outs of business to business accounting. Dinelle began her career with Continental Underwriters, Inc. in the summer of 2019 as a Staff Accountant. When it comes down to the service exhibited in her work, she is thorough and detailed. She focuses on the big picture all the way down to the minute detail. Dinelle exhibits a can-do attitude and a willingness to help and assist others.
Dinelle is originally from Chicago, IL where she spent her childhood years. She met her husband while studying in Florida and at the time began a family. In 2019, Dinelle and her family relocated to the Richmond area. When she is not at work, Dinelle can be found with her husband, son, and two daughters enjoying museums or playing board games. She loves reading, playing her flute, and dancing!
Will graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in May 2018 with a degree in Economics in Business. While at H-SC, he was a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society for economics. Will joined Continental Underwriters as an Underwriting Analyst in May 2019 and is excited about the challenge of learning everything he can about the industry. In his free time, Will can be found with his family and friends, likely enjoying being outdoors.
Claims and Risk Assessment Coordinator
Andrea came to Continental Underwriters, Inc. with over 9 years of experience in the insurance industry, most of which were spent handling claims. She joined our team in February of 2019 and has been a great addition already! She is passionate about helping others, eager to develop her career and expand her knowledge of our forest products niche, and excited to provide superior service to our clients, agents, and carrier partners.
Andrea recently relocated to Richmond, VA and in her spare time enjoys exploring all that the Richmond area has to offer. When she’s not at the office, you will find her spending time with her family, visiting local wineries, or traveling. She loves relaxing by the water and takes any opportunity she can to make a trip to the beach with her family and her silver Labrador Retriever, Beck.
Alex graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in December of 2017. While in school, Alex became a member of the VCU chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, the International Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science fraternity, eventually becoming President. During the summers of his college years, Alex interned at the Virginia Bureau of Insurance, a part of the State Corporation Commission. This internship was excellent experience that taught Alex extensively about the inner workings of the regulatory side of the property and casualty insurance industry. Alex joined the Continental Underwriters team in May of 2019. Currently working as an Underwriting Analyst, Alex will continue to learn and grow within the company and the industry.
Born at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, Alex’s family moved to Richmond, VA when he was about two years old. He has lived in the area ever since. Due to his interest in a myriad of outdoor activities, Alex joined the Cub Scouts as a boy. He would go on to receive the rank of Eagle Scout shortly before his eighteenth birthday. In addition to the outdoors, Alex’s interests include: learning about history, reading literature, sports, watching movies/TV programs, and playing video games. Alex has traveled to Argentina, Uruguay, and Costa Rica. On future travels, he would like to venture to the British Isles and Continental Europe.
Dale graduated from Radford University in 1995 with a Business Degree in Operations Management. Shortly after graduation, he began his career in his hometown of Forest, Virginia working for a direct marketing company. Within a few years, Dale was eager to accept an opportunity to move to Richmond, and expand his career working for a young and exciting marketing agency. For the next 7 years, Dale worked with companies to grow their customer base through the successful development & implementation of direct marketing campaigns. In 2006, Dale helped start Venture Specialty Insurance (VSI), and used his marketing experience to target specialty niche markets within the insurance industry. Within a few years, VSI grew into a top retail agency in the commercial auto industry, and Dale came to love the insurance industry, the competitive nature involved in the development and selling of new products, and the joy of building partnerships he formed with insurance carriers. In 2014, a unique opportunity to create a Transportation division with a focus on the specialty niche of wood haulers and logging companies emerged. Dale joined the Continental Underwriters team and has managed the development and steady growth of these two product lines ever since. Dale knows the industry and, most importantly, knows the people within the industry. He knows and understands what business and agency owners are experiencing and makes it a priority to work with them and our carrier partners to put together comprehensive and competitive insurance programs for our customers. Dale will bend over backwards for our customers to make sure they get what they need each and every time in order to run a successful and profitable business.
When not at work, you will find Dale with his wife and daughter. Whether coaching soccer, visiting family and friends at Smith Mountain Lake during the summers, or skiing during the winters; the weekends are spent with his two favorite girls.
Underwriting Analyst Team Lead
Kristie Smith graduated from Old Dominion University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. After beginning her insurance career in Worker’s Compensation claims, she decided to make a change and pursue a career in underwriting. Kristie joined Continental Underwriters as an Assistant Underwriter in 2014 and was quickly promoted to Underwriting Analyst Team Lead in 2016. Kristie is a quiet leader who showcases her skills in her work product and challenges her team to always provide superior service to their customers. Kristie is a master organizer and uses these skills to help her team stay on top of their daily tasks and long-term goals. Kristie takes every challenge head-on and will not stop until she finds the most comprehensive and competitive insurance solutions for her customers. Kristie continues to expand her knowledge and further her education by learning hands-on from her Continental Underwriter’s teammates, and by going back to the classroom to obtain insurance industry designations. Kristie is currently working toward her Associate in General Insurance (AINS) and Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) designations, and looks forward to continuing to sharpen her underwriting skills as her career progresses
In her spare time, Kristie enjoys going to the beach as much as possible, spending time with her Chihuahua Jaxon, and hanging out with friends and family.
Woody graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in December 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Risk Management and Insurance. During his time at VCU, Woody was involved in Gamma Iota Sigma, the International Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science fraternity, and was elected Vice President of the fraternity his senior year. Woody joined the Continental Underwriters team in 2015 as a Risk Assessment Intern while he was still a student at VCU. His strong work ethic and drive for success fit right in with our team and made it an easy decision for him to join the Forest Products/Manufacturing team as a Production Underwriter upon graduation. Woody continues to drive for success and push us all to be better every day. He is eager to learn and build relationships throughout the industry, and is always up for the next challenge! Woody is a great advocate for his customers and is always willing to take the time to get the job done right. He is a rising star at Continental Underwriters and within the insurance industry. We are lucky to have him on board and look forward to watching him achieve great success!
Woody has lived in Richmond, VA his entire life. When not at work, Woody loves sports and the outdoors. He can typically be found in the mountains fly-fishing or skiing, in a duck blind, on the golf course, or watching his beloved Alabama Crimson Tide on the football field. When it comes down to it, the most important things to him are spending time with his friends and family.
Callie joined Continental Underwriters, Inc. in February of 2020. She brings with her 3 years of experience in the industry, primarily in claims handling. Callie brings a positive attitude to the office, works well under pressure, and is a quick learner. She strives to provide the best customer service to our clients, and is always willing to help out wherever she is needed. Callie is eager to learn as much as possible in her role as an Underwriting Technician, and hopes to grow within the company.
When not in the office, she can be found at her home in Goochland, VA spending time with her husband, Alex, and beloved dog, Kimber. She aspires to have her own little farm in the near future. She also enjoys visiting wineries, spending time with family and friends, and watching hockey. GO CANES!
The Continental Underwriters, Inc. Endowed Scholarship at the VCU School of Business Foundation supports future industry leaders following in Mr. Herrington's footsteps at his alma mater.
As a well-recognized leader in the forest products industry, I have the utmost respect for Continental and am comfortable knowing that my company is dealing with an organization which holds itself to a higher standard of knowledge and integrity.-Insurance Carrier Representative