CLI Founder, Dawnyel Smink, launched AZ Insurance Agents in 2003. Her drive and love of the industry propelled her to acquire CLI in 2008 and grow it to 40 franchise locations strong in 11 years. From her original career path of elementary school teacher, Dawnyel soon chose to help even more people by becoming licensed in property, casualty, life and health. Her passion for education has continued as she now helps clients understand the impact the right insurance choices can make in life. A Mom to three, Dawnyel enjoys traveling, playing golf with her husband, Jason, and giving back. As part of Make-A-Wish Arizona’s Charitable Planned Giving Council, she helps others to know the sheer joy of helping brighten others’ lives when a crisis such as a deadly disease rocks a family. When CLI welcomes a new client, a donation is made to Make-A-Wish Arizona in their honor.
Since 2003 Dustin Lester has been in the insurance and investment business. He is married with two kids. He also is a third generation ASU graduate in Finance. Dustin also is a Partner at Progressive Financial Concepts in Scottsdale, AZ
Ricardo is Agency Director bringing 15 years of insurance experience and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. It was during his schooling toward getting his undergrad degree from University of Arizona that Ricardo became an avid fan of Arizona athletics It is common for him to switch out the U of A battle cry “Bear Down” for “Hello” at any given time.
Licensed in Property, Casualty, Life and Health Insurance, Ricardo’s leadership and strengths have positioned him as a great company culture builder. He also is savvy at evaluating and transforming everyday tasks into more efficient practices that better align with the Agency’s strategic objectives. Ricardo is passionate and consistent in his fervor to continuously improve personally and professionally.
David joined Canyon Lands in April 2018 and has a total of 25 years of experience in the industry. He brings a unique perspective since he has served as a carrier and program underwriter for over 15 years and has now been on the agency side for the past 10 years. He handles the Commercial Placement for CLI as well as all referring/referral agents in the CLI Family. When he is not working, he is an avid softball player along with enjoying life with friends and family.
J-M recently celebrated her 32nd year in the insurance industry. Throughout her career, J-M has helped clients of all types and sizes protect what matters most – from mom & pop businesses to corporations with multiple locations worldwide. A frequent volunteer and avid animal lover, J-M finds working with nonprofits and animal-related businesses especially rewarding. She has been a licensed P&C agent for the past 16 years and sees her clients as more than a transaction. Her specialty is applying her passion of helping clients understand and meet their insurance needs, while also building a relationship with them.
Originally from Connecticut, she likes to return to the East coast each year to enjoy time with her nieces and nephews.
Kelsey joined the CLI team in 2014. Prior to that she was working in customer service for 8 years helping people with their fashion woes. She is our rock star personal lines service and retention specialist here at CLI. In her spare time, she chases around 5 little but oh-so fluffy Pomeranians and will be adding a husky to the pack soon. She hopes one day to own a Roush Mustang.
Ryan joined 1st Choice insurance on November 2018. He has over 6 years of experience in the insurance industry and is an insurance moderator for a major public insurance forum. Ryan’s primary responsibilities include servicing and maintenance of client accounts with a strong focus on client retention.
Outside of work, Ryan is a devoted softball and Soccer player. He is also a tech junkie and will admit to being addicted to video games. Ryan and his wife Cassie have a beautiful little boy; little future insurance professional, Rory.
Lola is CLI’s newest team member. As she works toward her license in property and casualty, she brings top notch service as CSR for personal lines. An adventurer, her curiosity manifests in her love of trying new foods and dipping her toes into new experiences of all kinds. The creative arts call to her and she answers by attending live performances, concerts, open mic nights and poetry slams at least a few times a month.
A Mom who loves to take her kids hiking and exposing them to all that she loves, Lola feeds her passions of painting and writing. A born performer, she offers her talents to the world at open mike nights, and displays her artwork in Jarred’s coffee and tea gallery in Mesa. A person who cares for the world around her, Lola offers her support to early childhood education, autism awareness, LGBTQIA+ communities, and Human Borders whenever possible. She is a Harry Potter enthusiast and is a proud member of Team Slytherin. Vintage dresses are her chosen style and in her free time, she indulges in reading, planning her next travel excursion, or journaling for posterity sake.