The West Virginia Roundtable welcomes two new members

Jan 21, 2022

The West Virginia Roundtable welcomes two new members, Tom Susman and Ross Johnson.

Tom Susman is President of TSG Consulting, a governmental affairs and public relations firm located in Charleston, West Virginia, as well as managing member of Vandalia Media Partners, which operates radio stations.

He was appointed by Governor Bob Wise as Director of the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) on January 16, 2001, Director of West Virginia Insurance and Retirement Services (IRS) on June 1, 2002, and Acting Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Administration in April 2003.

Tom was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1987 to 1992 and served as Chair of the House of Delegates Insurance Committee. Tom is the former President of Mountaineer Outdoor Sign Company and the former managing editor for The Gulf Times.

He also has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Beckley and was Chair of the Board of Governors for West Virginia State University. He is currently a member of the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority.

He resides in Charleston with his wife Carol, and he has four grown children.

Ross Johnson is the president and owner of Mountain State Insurance Agency (MSIA). He is a 1985 graduate of Marshall University with a degree in Finance and Business Law. He attended the National Association of Surety Bond Producers William J. Angel Surety School in 1990 and earned the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation from the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors in 2013. Ross specializes in construction related risks with emphasis on contract surety and workers comp.

Ross entered the insurance industry upon graduation from Marshall as a sales executive for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and entered the ranks of independent insurance agents in 1986 with the Robert F. Silverstein Agency in Charleston. He then moved to the Carson Insurance Agency in 1988 specializing in Contract Surety and Construction Insurance. In 2000, he bought a controlling interest in Mountain State Insurance Agency when the agency had 2.5 FTE employees and less than $1,500,000 in annual premiums. MSIA now has 20+ FTE’s and ~$32,000,000 in annual P&C premiums. MSIA is a 12-time Best Practices Study qualifier.

In 2014 and 2015 Ross served as the president of the Independent Insurance Agents of WV. During Ross’s service to the IIAWV, the association was completely reinvented and stabilized. At the conclusion of his presidency, the IIAWV board named Ross the 2015 Earle S. Dillard Agent of the Year, an honor that was also received in 2002. Ross is the only two-time recipient of this award. Also, Ross serves as an independent director of J.F. Allen Company, a Buckhannon based contracting firm and limestone producer, and on the advisory board of the Lewis College of Business of Marshall University.

Ross and his wife, Dee, have two sons, Taylor and Will, and reside in Charleston, WV and Bradenton, FL. Ross welcomed Taylor to the agency as Corporate Treasurer and Account Executive in 2014 after graduation from WVU Law School, and in 2016, Taylor accepted the role of agency Vice President. Will is an actuary for Encova Insurance.

We thank you both for your membership and look forward to your work with the West Virginia Roundtable during this new year.

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