Dedication, family and community are values at the center of our company. We want to treat our clients the way we’d want to be treated in every one of our interactions. While the owners are members of the Smith family, we are proud that the average tenure of our 30+ employees is over 10 years.
Our commitment to our customers breeds the vitality, innovation, and accountability that are the cornerstones of our business. We hold ourselves to a high standard of quality and technical competence, which means we view continuing education as an integral part of each team member’s role. This dedication to continuing education is evident in the number of team members currently holding or pursuing professional designations. We are proud to say that a number of our employees currently hold the following designations: CPCU, CIC, and ARM, as well as other designations.
The Principals of this multi-generation firm are all members of the Smith family. In addition to their duties as officers of the company, they each continue to service customers as active members of the sales team.
John joined the firm in 1957 after 2 years of military service. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School with a BS in Economics majoring in Insurance. John currently serves as the Treasurer of the Anne F. Bourne Memorial Fund, is a Member of the New York Military Academy Board of Trustees. John’s past associations include: Past Chairman of the Board for St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital Foundation, former member of the Board of Trustees for the Hudson Vista Corp., former President of the Orange Area United Fund, former President of the Board of Trustees for the Union Presbyterian Church, former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Cornwall Hospital, and former Member of the Board of Trustees for St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. To get in touch with John, send him an email here.
Cathy Smith McCarty
In 1985, Cathy Smith McCarty joined the firm, making it a third generation organization. Cathy is a graduate of Cornwall Central High School as well as Colgate University and received her Master’s Degree in Insurance from the University of Hartford. As Executive Vice-President of the firm she holds the CIC and CPCU professional designations.
Cathy currently serves as Secretary of the Johnes-Holden Home, is a Member of the Education Foundation of Orange County Community College Board, and is the Secretary for the Newburgh Rotary Club, as well as being a past president. Cathy was a graduate of the Leadership Orange Class of 2000. To get in touch with Cathy, send her an email here.
In 2003, John H. Smith, Jr. (Jack) joined the firm, continuing the tradition of a third generation organization. Jack is a graduate of Cornwall Central High School, and Wake Forest University. He then spent 10 years with Kemper Insurance as a commercial Underwriter and 5 years with Computer Sciences Corporation selling software, outsourced services and consulting to the insurance industry. As Executive Vice-President of the firm, he holds the CPCU, CIC and ARM professional designations.
Over the years, Jack has been involved with coaching a number of youth sports including: CYO Basketball, Youth Soccer, and Little League Baseball in the Town of Poughkeepsie and Travel Baseball. He also served as an assistant coach for both Modified Football and Varsity Basketball at Cornwall High School after his college graduation.
He sits on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Dutchess and Eastern Orange County, including having been a past Chairman. He also sits on the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of NY board of directors as the Secretary/Treasurer and is the Past President of the Town of Poughkeepsie Little League. Jack is a 2008 Leadership Orange Graduate. Jack has also served on the Family Services board and the Poughkeepsie Tennis Club board.
Jack and his wife have 2 children and he resides in Dutchess County where he also serves as the Managing Director of the Ralph V. Ellis Insurance Agency which was purchased by our firm in late 2009. To get in touch with Jack, send him an email here.
Debra Lynn (Smith) Johnson
In 2005, Debra Lynn Johnson, joined the firm, continuing the tradition of a third generation organization. Debra is a graduate of Cornwall Central High School and Springfield College and is an Executive Vice-President of the firm, as well as Managing Director of Orange Benefits Partners.
Debra currently serves as the First Chair for The Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center. She is a past president of the Newburgh Rotary Club, and is also actively involved in the NFA Interact Club. To get in touch with Debra, send her an email here.
Additional Sales Contacts:
DeForest Howland joined the firm in 2014. He is a graduate of Baruch college in the City University of NY, where he received a BS in Finance. With over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, DeForest began his career in the health insurance business at MetLife. He transitioned to Property and Casualty at Marsh where he handled a book of Financial Services and Real Estate clients. In 2001, he moved to the Hudson Valley full-time, where he ran the Millbrook branch for Marshall and Sterling, and also established their Group Benefits Division.DeForest currently serves on the board of the Duchess County SPCA and is a past president of the Rotary Club of Millbrook. To get in touch with DeForest, send him an email here.
In 1991, Ellen was asked by Bob Collins to join the Robert B. Collins Agency in Pine Bush to learn the insurance business, and she went on to become a Licensed Insurance Agent in 1993. Although Bob Collins sold the business, Ellen remained with the agency until June 14, 2014. On June 16, 2014, Ellen joined William A. Smith & Son as an Affiliated Producer.
Ellen is a founding member of the Pine Bush Area Chamber of Commerce, and has served as Secretary, Vice-President, and currently holding the office of Presidency. She has also served as Secretary to the Wallkill East Rotary from 2012-2013, and currently serves as President. Ellen also serves on the Advisory Board for the Pine Bush High School Academy of Finance.
Having grown up on a small family farm in Walker Valley, NY, Ellen graduated from the Pine Bush Central School system. She still resides in Pine Bush, enjoying all the area has to offer. She is the mother of four daughters, and now the grandmother of Selena & Christopher. When she is not working or serving the community, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, cycling, skiing, painting, and cooking with her girls.
To get in touch with Ellen, send her an email here.
Patricia Spaulding joined the firm in 2016. She is a graduate of Cornwall High School, Orange County Community College and Pace University.
Patricia began her systems/group benefits career at PepsiCo’s world headquarters in Purchase, New York. She transitioned to Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) in Somers, New York as a group benefits consultant. Most recently, Patricia was a financial professional with New York Life. She belongs to the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) as well as the Orange County Chamber of Commerce.
Over the years, Patricia has been involved with youth activities including: St. Mary’s CYO basketball coach, New Windsor baseball coach and director, and Little Britain Elementary PTO past president. She also volunteers with the Washingtonville Touchdown Club. Patricia served as past vice president for the Cornwall Historical Society.
Patricia and her husband have three children and reside in Orange County, New York.
Please contact Patricia here to discuss individual/business: life/health/extended care insurance, fixed annuities, and disability/accident/dental/vision insurance as well as well business voluntary benefits.
Our customer service staff is trained and ready to serve the needs of our clients in a courteous and timely manner. We are proud to say our team is knowledgeable about current insurance trends due to the training they receive. In fact, many of our customer service representatives are licensed in their field of focus. Our staff, whose average tenure with William A. Smith & Son is 10 years, is made up of individuals eager to aid clients with questions regarding Business Insurance, Cyber Insurance, Surety Bonds, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Car Insurance, Home Owners Insurance as well as Life & Health Insurance.