Insurance Producer, Garcia Insurance Partner
Giovani, Insurance Producer, supervises operations at our Metairie location and serves clients at both Garcia Insurance offices. A spanish speaker, Giovani writes new business and services existing clients. As many of Gio’s clients are small business owners, he is able to help them with both their business and personal insurance needs.
Gio originally started his career in insurance after Hurricane Katrina in 2007. Originally from Guatemala, he finds it gratifying to do business with the local hispanic community and help those where language may be a barrier to understanding much about insurance. He enjoys spending time with each client explaining the insurance process and policies and finding a combination of coverage that is right for them. Gio admits that insurance can be frustrating in the greater New Orleans area as insurance carriers tend to be picky, but he works extremely hard to find the best insurance coverage he can for each client.
When Gio moved to New Orleans 25 years ago from Guatemala, he immediately fell in love with the community. He loves that everything is so close and accessible, and of course he loves the food!
Life Insurance, Garcia Insurance Partner.
Erik began his career in the insurance industry back in 2001 working for a company that provided home, auto and life insurance. In 2004, he joined his father’s insurance practice and began specializing in life insurance and investments. After four years, Erik decided to pursue his passion of financial advising and began his own independent firm, Garcia Financial Group.
The post-Katrina home insurance market posed many challenges to homeowners in the greater New Orleans region and in order to preserve relationships with long-time clients and to continue to serve the families of existing clients home insurance needs, Erik co-founded Garcia Insurance Services with his brother. Erik brings his business development background, financial planning and investment experience to the Garcia Insurance Team. He views working in the insurance industry as one of his advantages as a financial advisor, as it has helped him truly understand the full spectrum of the financial services industry.
Erik can often relate to his client frustrations regarding the high cost of insurance in Southeast Louisiana; the feeling of “I am paying all this money for insurance and I will probably never need it”. However, He has seen houses rebuilt after flood and fire, lawsuits paid and life insurance proceeds providing for widows and children all because of insurance. Erik has lived in New Orleans his entire life and loves that New Orleans is one of the few cities that has a soul. He is married and has 3 children.
With over ten years in the insurance industry, Nicole “Nikki” Brooks brings lots of personal lines experience to the Garcia Insurance team. Over a decade ago, while working as a temp, a friend thought she’d be perfect for a position in the insurance industry, quickly moving up to a Customer Service Rep and then a full-fledged, licensed agent, she has a passion for helping people. Specializing in writing insurance on older homes that are prevalent in the local market, Nikki loves finding ways to assist people in affording the insurance they need. She knows that, for clients, dealing with insurance can be challenging at times, but it’s during these times that her people-person personality, positive attitude and professionalism shines through.
Growing up in the New Orleans area, and now residing in Algiers, Nikki spends time with her family enjoying the culture, “gumbo-pot” mixture of people and festivals of the Crescent City.
Commercial Producer, Workers Comp Genius
Prior to joining Garcia Insurance Services, Joel Lookingbill was employed as a Workers Compensation Underwriter and Manager over the past decade. His experience consists of writing policies for customers in many states. After graduating from LSU, Joel got his feet wet in the insurance world and learned to underwrite when he joined a Harahan based commercial transportation insurance broker where he worked with tow truck companies and auto repair shops.
As a Commercial/Business Insurance producer, Joel works with a variety of businesses and with his background in Workers Compensation he is a valuable resource for both his clients and others in the insurance industry. Joel earned his Certified Workers Compensation Professional Designation in 2015. Joel loves the insurance industry because of the fact that his job allows him to get out and meet different people each day. His most frustrating moments came when he worked as an underwriter and would receive incomplete submissions from agents he worked with. Joel brings his underwriting background to his client relationships by being comprehensive, thorough, and responsive to those he works with.
Joel has lived in New Orleans for nearly his entire life; he chooses to call New Orleans home because of the amazing music, delicious food and rich culture. He attended Jesuit High School and loves classic rock and coaching baseball.
Brenda Arenas is our administrator in the Metairie office. She assists clients with flood, car and home insurance. While she does admit to feeling frustrated with the amount of paperwork and details needed in order to keep her clients policies active, she appreciates the fact that insurance provides protection and support if there is an emergency that isn’t predicted. Brenda believes insurance is there to get clients back on their feet and give them comfort knowing they are protected financially.
Originally from Guatemala, Brenda moved to New Orleans 16 years ago. Her favorite thing about living here, along with all the other Garcia Insurance employees, is the food! Another fun fact: Brenda is also a nail technician on the side.
Tammy Contreras, Administrative Assistant,helps with many of the behind the scenes processes at the Garcia office including processing commissions, reconciling accounts, contracting , and other special projects.. She enjoys working in insurance because it makes people whole financially and helps people get back on their feet no matter how big or small the incident is–from a leak in the house to a full-blown disaster. Although Tammy does find it can be frustrating dealing with the various insurance carriers, she believes that insurance in Louisiana is a necessity.
Tammy has been living in New Orleans for 13 years and loves the rich culture and of course, the food.