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Meet The Team


Ozzie Toste
Chief Executive Officer

Ozzie was born in Portugal. The Oldest of 5 siblings, he was 12 years old when we came to the United States for a brighter future. After 3 years in Rhode Island his family made their way to California where we settled and continued to work hard. As a young Adult, he played semi-pro soccer. Throughout his life he coached several soccer teams in the Central Valley, both Youth and Adult. Even taking his 2008 AJAX team to the National Championship where they WON! Although his insurance career began in 1989, he did not open his own insurance agency until 2008. We have since opened two more offices in Rhode Island and Sonora, CA and secured licenses to sell insurance in 44+ states across the US. Our insurance agencies are very family oriented, as we employ and insure many family members as well as their businesses. He speaks 3 different languages and enjoys traveling, especially back to Rhode Island and Portugal. As a Widower, he continues to raise and love his beautiful daughter, Briana and son, Trenton. The core principal we built our business on is Trust. Believing that “Good Friends and a Lifetime of Trust” will ensure a successful business and lasting relationships.


Kara Keene
Chief Financial Officer


Kara is our CFO and VP of Human Resources, planning, analyzing, and managing our finances as well as staff. She is also a certified workers' compensation adjuster. She specializes in mod reduction and low mod retention. Kara has worked for Toste Insurance since it opened in 2008. She also handles licensing and secures our markets. Kara is certified in several OSHA topics and has an array of knowledge in claims and safety management. 

As it goes with Toste employees she is also a former soccer player. She grew up playing for AJAX (the championship winning Rebels), Olympic Development, State Team, college ball, and semi-pro in the bay area as a top ranked goalkeeper. 


Sam Bell
Chief Operating Officer


Deidre Hernandez
Personal Lines - CSR

Dede is new to Modesto area as she grew up in the L.A. and O.C. areas. She has been in the insurance industry for the last 13 years and enjoys servicing her customers. She has experience in the mobile home and personal lines areas. She has been married for 26+ years and they have a 14 year old son, Julian. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and dog Bella.


Angi Palleschi
Commercial Lines

Angi was born and raised in Oakdale and has resided in Modesto for the last 25 years. She has been in the insurance industry for 15 years with experience in personal lines insurance as well as commercial lines. Currently, as a licensed account manager she enjoys the fast-paced environment and the opportunity to work with clients on a daily basis helping them with many aspects of their insurance needs.

She spends her free time with family and friends, with a love for animals that allows her to enjoy horseback riding with her daughter, wine tasting with friends and much family time spent enjoying great food and good times.


Lucy Shumate
Personal Lines Manager

Servicing Staff

Lucy was born and raised in Terceira Azores and came to the US in 1977 with her family.  She is a mother of 2 great young adults, whom she treasures.  In her spare time she loves to do anything that involves being near a beach. She has been in the insurance business for over 25 years and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Insurance wasn’t her childhood dream but after helping her brother study for his insurance license test, she took a liking to it.  The first 10 years of her career was focused exclusively on Health Insurance, where she worked not only as a broker, but also on the company side.  The last 15 years she focused more on property and casualty and recently has included Health back in the mix.  She always tells her clients who have followed her around for over 25 years; what makes her different is her willingness to explain what a coverage type is and why they do or do not need it. 


Briana Toste
Customer Relations

Briana was born in Modesto California. She Is the oldest child in her family. Briana graduated from Beyer high school with two school awards in 2017. Before working at Toste she worked in retail for several years. Briana has been working for Toste Insurance since January 2019. She likes to cook and likes to explore new places on her free time. She also coaches soccer for MYSA.


Edison Guerrero
Customer Relations

Born and raised in Modesto, California, Edison started working in the Insurance Industry during 2011. He had the privilege to provide many different lines of insurance for many different types of people, personal lines is his passion. This industry has taken him in many different places in the past several years. Currently, he specializes in Customer Relations. He is able to make the most of his knowledge by empowering our Customers and Prospects. No matter what kind of situation you may be in or what type of obstacle we may face, he is able to connect you with the right type of Specialist and Insurance Professional to meet your needs. 



Troy Galloway
Vice President

Troy was born and raised here in Modesto and attended Modesto Christian for elementary, Somerset Junior High, Grace Davis High School, and MJC. He played baseball for MJC and was fortunate enough to be drafted by the Minnesota Twins and played 5-years in the minor league system reaching the AAA roster. He enjoys coaching and developing players that love the game. On a personal level he is a father to 3 children and has been in the insurance for over 20 years. He specializes in risk transfer management and specifically the commercial insurance and workers compensation areas. He looks forward to partnering with you for your insurance needs.


Justin Barrera
Vice President - RI

​Born and raised in Turlock and attended Pitman High when it first opened in 2002. When he's not out running around making friends and growing his business he is outdoors wake boarding, snow boarding, bike riding, hiking, attending sporting events or enjoying some great food. He has worked in the insurance industry since 2011. He always places his client’s needs first, going above and beyond for his clients is what he strives for every day. He prides himself in treating you like family and that is what drives him to make sure you are treated correctly when it comes to the Insurance world. He  specializes in auto, home, life, supplementary benefits, business, and workers comp. 


Tara Tesik Odem
Vice President


Tara’s passion for insurance started from her own claim experience several years ago. She was the victim of an accident involving an uninsured driver. Trying to navigate the process through her insurance agent was a complete nightmare. All she wanted was to be treated fairly for her loss and injury, but the friendly and responsive insurance “salesman” was not helpful and avoided her calls. It was at that moment Tara realized the service gap in the insurance industry. It seemed simple to her. Care about your clients by personally consulting them to protect their assets and loved ones. Especially when they need it most.


A couple weeks later, Tara changed her career and began the journey educating herself to become a licensed insurance agent. For over 20 years, Tara has continued demonstrating her values and passion for helping her clients. She is licensed in PC & Auto and Life & Health. Tara focuses on commercial insurance and helping business owners assess their exposures.


A native of the Bay Area, Tara is a proud wife and mother of 5 beautiful adult children. In her free time, she enjoys boating with her family and friends, working out, and visiting the many local wineries in the area.


Diego Contreras

Diego was born in Sonora, Ca  He has been in the insurance industry since 2014. He opened up his first business when he was just 16 years old. Currently, his parents  operate that business as Diego continues to pursue his career in insurance. Diego always says "Teamwork makes the Dream Work", and he stands very strongly behind those words because he believes that together anything is possible. Also, apart from insurance, Diego likes to spend time with his fiancé as well as both of their families. Ultimately, one of Diego's main goals is to not only sell insurance, but help educate customers to make sure that they are always getting the correct type of insurance and amount of coverage necessary.


Roger Mangat
Vice President

Roger ( Rupinder ) Mangat graduated Ceres High School in 1996 and went to DeVry University thereafter. He has been a production planner for Belden and Tyco Electronics before coming into the Insurance Industry.  He had a change to become partners with the Insurance Firm with over 30 years of experience and access to over 300+ Insurance Carriers. His hobbies are singing, horseback riding, socializing and hosting cultural events. He is people-oriented and loves to spend time with kids and family. Roger is also passionate about riding motorcycles and enjoying nature and taking long drives and hiking. He is very enthusiastic when it comes to educating the client of their insurance needs.  He speaks Hindi and Punjabi also.


Brad Peterson

Brad was born and raised in Modesto, CA and now resides in the Oakdale/Waterford area. He has been married to his wife for over eighteen years and they have three children. Brad started working in agricultural and construction trades around the age of eleven. He graduated from Central Catholic High School and always worked in the fields and orchards or at his father’s roofing company as much as possible during his teenage and young adult years. He also attended Modesto Junior College and played soccer there after high school. Brad entered into law enforcement in 2006 until 2020 when he was subject to an early retirement. After retiring from law enforcement, Brad graduated from Union Institute & University and entered into the insurance industry. He specializes in personal lines, commercial, life, accident and health sales. Brad is also a group health customer service representative for the agency. In his spare time, Brad enjoys spending time with family, coaching his daughter’s competitive soccer team and watching the San Francisco Giants with his son. Brad looks forward to helping you with any of your insurance needs.

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Moises Pereira

Moises has been working in the insurance industry since 1997.  He worked as an independent adjuster and in quality control for 22 years. He believes in putting his clients first and maintaining a high level of professionalism. Moises brings a level of expertise to his clients and works diligently with them to find a plan that meets their concerns and price point.

Moises was born and raised in the Warren Rhode Island area and spent many years in Portugal with his family as a child. When he’s not working in insurance he spends time as a football referee for youth games, and enjoys spending time with his friends and family.

Moises is fluent in Portuguese and English.

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Ismael Contreras

Ismael was born and raised in Sonora, CA. He then joined the US Army from June 2018 to November 2022. He completed Basic Training and AIT in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Next, he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas as a HR Specialist. During his time stationed in Texas he went on mission to New York where he provided HR services and personnel tracking for every single unit that was there which included every branch of the US Military. After completing his time at Fort Hood he was then sent to Camp Humphrey’s, South Korea where he spent the remainder of his time as an enlisted soldier. During his time in the military the biggest assets he learned were how to lead, work under pressure, and learned how to create efficient work systems in order to complete work in a shortened amount of time. He prides himself with being able to provide the best customer service and looks to become a professional in any area he works in. Ismael’s competitive drive keeps him going and continuing to challenge himself to improve. Aside from insurance, Ismael also loves to spend time with his family, friends, and girlfriend.  Ismael’s goals are to sell insurance, inform customers, and to provide exceptional customer service. Ismael looks forward to becoming your “go to guy.”

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