MARK A. BATES is a graduate of Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana and a native of New Castle, Indiana. In 1989, he joined the agency as an Account Executive, concentrating in personal and commercial lines business. Today, his focus is primarily commercial lines sales in addition to being the managing partner of the operations. The agency was founded in 1942 with offices located in Crown Point and Hobart, Indiana respectively.
Mark is past President of the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana (IIAI) in 2003. In 2005 and 2013, he received the prestigious Harry P. Cooper Public Image Industry Award from the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana. He is a past recipient of the Young Agent of the Year by the same association as well. In 1995, the agency was recognized as Agency of the Year of IIAI. This prestigious award is given to an agency that maintains high-standards of professionalism, ethics and growth within the insurance industry and for their local community involvement. Mark currently serves on the Board of Directors of Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Professional insurance knowledge is evident by his commitment to obtaining professional insurance designations over the years. Each of these designations requires multiple rigorous exams and annual continuing-education to maintain the respective designations. They include, Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC); Certified School Risk Manager (CSRM) and Accredited Advisor of Insurance (AAI).
Mark is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of the Crown Point Community Foundation. He is a past President of the Southlake YMCA and Greater Crown Point Chamber of Commerce. He has served as a member of the St. Anthony Medical Center Community Council as well. Mark is an active member of the Executive Leadership Team which is the fund-raising arm for the annual Heart Gala sponsored by the American Heart Association.
Mark resides in Crown Point with his wife Lindsay. They have two daughters. They are members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Crown Point where Mark serves as a Lector and the family is actively involved in God’s Groceries Food Pantry sponsored by the Church. Mark’s hobbies include golf, travel and an avid college basketball fan. Mark also is an annual participant of Hustle up the Hancock sponsored by the Respiratory Health Association of Chicago.
Rick Smith (third generation) served as the President of Smith Insurance Agency in Hobart, IN since 1985 and in 2011 became Chairman/CEO of Pinnacle Insurance Group of Indiana, Inc. comprising of our two locations in Crown Point and Hobart.
Since entering the insurance business in 1980, Rick has been involved in many community and professional organizations acting as either a member, officer or board member; Hobart Chamber of Commerce, Hobart Family YMCA, Hobart Jaycees, Hobart Chamber Economic Development, Independent Insurance Agents of IN, Independent Insurance Agents of Northwest IN, Keystone Insurers Group, Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, Citizens Management Insurance and Woodmere Homeowners Association.
Since graduating from Valparaiso High School in 1971, Rick completed his higher education at Vincennes University, AAS Liberal Arts and a BS Marketing Degree from Ball State University.
Furthering his professional career, Rick has obtained the following professional designations which required many hours of dedication: Accredited Advisor of Insurance (AAI), Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Certified School Risk Manager (CSRM) and Certified Workers Compensation Advisor (CWCA). In 2009 Rick was chosen by the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana, a state trade association representing over 800 Independent Agencies, as the “2009 IIAI, Agent of the Year Award Winner."
Joyce started with our agency in August 1985 and is a licensed agent in the State of Indiana. Joyce is the Personal Lines Manager over both locations and Customer Service Agent. She received the 2005 Distinguished Customer Service Representative of the year from the Independent Insurance Agency of Indiana and in 2006 was the Silver Star Award Winner from the Indiana Farmers Insurance Agency. She has received her Accredited Customer Service Representative designation in 1996. She had passed two parts of the CPCU course and is currently working on her AAI designation. Joyce is crossed trained in commercial lines to assist, as she has handled accounts in this department on and off during her time with the agency.
Joyce resides in Lowell with her husband Kip. They have a daughter and son. Joyce’s hobbies include boating with the family
Drew Halliar is a highly motivated sales executive who is ready to assess your insurance needs. His primary focus is in commercial insurance. Drew knows what it takes to provide a customer with the care to create a long lasting relationship and trust.
He is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College with a Bachelor’s degree in Business. Drew is working towards a professional insurance designation in an effort to better serve his clients.
As a Northwest Indiana native and avid outdoorsman, Drew has become involved in the community throughout his career as a volunteer for the local Ducks Unlimited chapter and Crown Point Cal Ripken baseball with his son. He and his wife are proud parents of three young children.
Mary has been a part of Pinnacle Team since 1999. Her dedication to providing outstanding service and counsel to her clients is paramount. She has attained the Indiana Accredited Customer Service Representative (IACSR) designation in 2009. Mary was a nominee for the prestigious Distinguished Customer Service Representative by the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana in 2013.
Mary is married with three grown children and one grandchild. In her spare time she enjoys spending quality time with her family, traveling, cooking and golf.
Yvette has over twenty-four years of insurance industry experience and been a part of the Pinnacle Team since 1998. She has worked in both personal and commercial lines over the years; but today her primary focus is in commercial lines insurance. Her continued commitment to professional development has earned her two designations within the insurance industry. She has the Accredited Advisor of Insurance (AAI) and Indiana Accredited Customer Service Representative (IACSR) designations respectively. She plans to pursue another professional designation in the fall of 2014.
Yvette resides in Schererville, Indiana with her husband Tom, and their two children McKenna and Ian. Also a part of the family is their beloved Golden Retriever, Bo Dudley. She is an avid sports enthusiast. She and her family enjoy watching football, baseball, golf and hockey. Her favorite of course is watching her son play baseball and basketball. She is involved in her parish St. Michael Church in Schererville with various fund-raisers and their annual festival throughout the year. In her spare time, Yvette and her family love spending time with friends at the beach.
Audrey Mikovetz is the newest addition to the Pinnacle team. Audrey is a veteran of the insurance industry with over twenty-five years of experience working in commercial lines. She will begin work towards the Certified School Risk Manager (CSRM) designation in the fall of 2014.
Audrey resides in DeMotte, Indiana with her husband and son. She enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends. She is an avid Chicago Blackhawks fan.
Taylor Helgoth is the newest addition to the Pinnacle team. She started with our office as an intern January 2015 and became our full time First Impression Director (Receptionist) and responsible for our social media.
She is a graduate of Lowell High School and will start studying for her insurance license this summer.
Taylor resides in Lowell, Indiana and enjoys spending time outdoors boating or ATV riding with her friends and family.
Julie Mikulich, our bilingual CSA, started with the agency in August of 2014, after a 15-year career as a high school Spanish teacher. She is current working on her Indiana Accredited Customer Service Representative (IACSR) designation.
She is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Secondary Education.
Julie resides in Lowell, Indiana with her two sons. In her spare time she enjoys playing the piano and cooking.
Alesha started with our agency in February 2001 and is a licensed agent in the State of Indiana. Alesha is responsible for the day to day servicing, claims, communication, quoting and correspondence of commercial accounts. She received her Indiana Accredited Customer Service Representative designation in 2011. She is currently the Customer Service Agent for several of the largest school corporations located in the State of Indiana as well as servicing the workers compensation for several of the largest Lake County employers. She is currently working toward her AAI designation.
Jennifer started with our agency in October 2006 and is a licensed agent in the State of Indiana. Jennifer is responsible for commercial lines customer service, handling all day to day activity, claims, communication and correspondence of commercial accounts. She currently handles the commercial lines marketing program within the office.
In 2005, Becky joined the Pinnacle Insurance Group team as the Accounting Manager. She has extensive experience in computer software and prior to joining Pinnacle she was 20 year employee of Applied Systems, a leader in computer software for the insurance industry. She held numerous positions with Applied Systems from Software Support Technician, Group Leader in the Accounting division and supervisor of the Software Support Team.
She has a certificate in computer programming from the Training Systems Institute in Munster, Indiana and other E-Commerce certification programs over the years. Becky is active in her community of Cedar Lake, Indiana. She is on the Redevelopment Commission for the Town of Cedar Lake and quite involved in the community branding campaign as part of the Redevelopment Commission.
In her spare time, she enjoys tennis, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, gardening and taking long walks around the lake.