meet the team
Westwood’s team of specialists have an in-depth knowledge of the medical industry and understand the unique risks and challenges that businesses face.
Born: Cleveland, Ohio
Currently Reside: Fort Myers, Florida
Family: 3 adult children
Hobbies: Skiing, Biking, Boating
Working in the specialty chemical business supporting heavy manufacturing for 18 years before a career in insurance served as great training ground for Michael. Serving a variety of businesses and industries introduced him to creative business thinking and processes he brings to Westwood in his role as business manager.
As a result, Michael helps Westwood differentiate by listening and responding to client’s problems with a more holistic approach.
Born: Freemont Nebraska
Currently Reside: Black Mountain, North Carolina
Family: Wife Gina, son Lee Nelson and daughter-in-law Brenda
Hobbies: Wine, Golf, Travel
Dale Nelson joined Westwood in 2019 after he and his wife Gina decided to leave sunny (humid) Florida to build their dream home in Black Mountain, NC. Both Dale and Gina are wine aficionados. Gina was in the wine business for many years in Florida. You might guess their favorite travel destinations is to wine-growing regions, especially France. On weekends their other favorite pass time is golf. Dale has a son Lee in Omaha, NE and when they are together it is usually for Nebraska Cornhusker football and golf.
Dale started his insurance carrier after college with The Hartford. He also spent several years with CNA which allowed him to branch into the Medical Professional Liability area of Insurance. This has been his passion ever since, specializing in the healthcare niche. He thoroughly enjoys the long-term relationships he has developed with insurance carriers and retailers. Having worked for carriers, retail and brokerage gives Dale a great perspective of managing all relationships. Helping agents solve problems for their clients, being an extension of their agency when needed and providing responsive service feeds his enjoyment of his long-time brokerage career.
Born: Youngstown, Ohio
Currently Reside: Northfield, Ohio
Family: Husband and Daughter
Hobbies: Walking the dog, reading, crafting with my daughter, cooking/baking, spending time with family and friends
Elizabeth Cappabianca joined Westwood Insurance Group in May of 2016. Currently her role includes assisting Dale Nelson with items such as marketing new business, processing proposals, binders, policy documents, and endorsements. Maintaining agent and carrier relationships is her strong suit and what she enjoys most about her role.
Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Education from Kent State University. Previously, she taught high school then moved on to various roles at several local universities. Currently Elizabeth resides in Northfield, Ohio where she lives with her husband, daughter, and beagle named Spud.
Born: Bogotá, Colombia
Currently Reside: Clermont, Florida
Family: Wife Alejandra, Daughters Ally, Maria Paula, and Daniella
Hobbies: Family, Outdoors activities, beach, music, movies, travel
Carlos joined Westwood Insurance Group in 2022 as an Account Manager. As an Account Manager, Carlos focuses on assisting our agents by servicing current policies, market renewals, and build customized policies. As a results-oriented person, Carlos does not wait for things to happen. He sets the standard for high production, customer service and quality policies.
Carlos began his career in the Insurance industry as Customer Service Representative in 2006 and later he moved into Account Management. In 2012 Carlos started a position of Underwriter with a Florida based carrier, and quickly moved through the ranks to Underwriting Team Lead, and finally as Underwriting Supervisor. Having worked with agents and carriers gives Carlos a keen eye for operational deficiency and ability to respond with a creative and effective solution.
Carlos is happily married and has three beautiful daughters. When he is not at work, Carlos enjoys spending time with family and friends, going on Sunday drives around town, and outdoor activities.
Marite "Mari" Messina
Born: Houston, Texas
Currently Reside: Naples, Florida
Family: Daughter Maiya-Mari Messina, Son Frank Esteban Messina
Hobbies: Being with Family, Beaches and boating, cooking, travel
Marite “Mari” Messina joined Westwood in March of 2022 after a lengthy career on the Property and Casualty side of the industry. She moved to the west coast of Florida and was looking for a new adventure to widen and strengthen her insurance knowledge and operational skills. She specializes in management and building of infrastructure of businesses.
Mari started her insurance career in Florida as a file clerk at the age of 15! When her parents were getting ready to purchase her a vehicle, they wanted her to know the importance and responsibility of carrying insurance. 32 years later, she has had the opportunity to go from retail agency to MGA/brokerage and carrier sides, learning several different aspects of the industry.
She thoroughly enjoys her career and all of the relationships developed throughout the years. Mari has 2 children, Maiya who is 22 and going to med-school and Frank who is 19 and studying computer and aeronautical engineering. On her free time, she looks forward to visiting and spending time with her children.
Born: Cleveland, Ohio
Currently Reside: Cleveland, Ohio
Family: Husband, Five Children (all married), 9 Grandchildren
Hobbies: Being with family, outdoor games, drawing, travel
Mary joined Westwood Insurance Group in September of 2012. Her role at Westwood includes accounts receivable and payable, maintaining licensing, filing surplus lines taxes and general office duties.
When not working, Mary enjoys walking and family game nights and spending time with her grandchildren. She is also very involved in her church and has taught Sunday School to third grade girls for over 30 years