ABOUT ASCENSION

THIS IS WHERE AGENTS GO TO GROW

Ascension is a leading provider of strategic business solutions and support services for Insurance Agencies. With years of industry experience and a proven track record of success, we specialize in helping our Agents achieve their full potential and grow their businesses.

Joseph Rusella

Founder & CEO
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Joseph Russella

Founder & CEO

Greg Holton

Sr. Vice President, Head of Sales
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Greg Holton

Sr. Vice President, Head of Sales

Marcus Dade

Vice President, Head of Recruiting
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Marcus Dade

Vice President, Head of Recruiting

Rachele Stephenson

Vice President, Head of Operations
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Rachele Stephenson

Vice President, Head of Operations

Scott Cohen

Vice President, Sales
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Scott Cohen

Vice President, Sales

Kim

Vice President, Sales
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Kim Dansby-Berry

Vice President, Sales

Kyle Donavan

Systems Training Manager
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Kyle Donavan

Systems Training Manager

Bob Horrocks

  Internal Sales Manager
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Bob Horrocks

Internal Sales Manager

Joseph Russella

Founder & CEO

Joe’s mission in founding Ascension is to help Agents get from where they are to where they want to be. His passion is growing revenue for Agents so they realize their dreams for their Agencies and their families. Joe’s career has included State Farm Agency and territory management w/ Farmers and MassMutual, winning several industry awards along the way. He enjoys giving back to his community via speaking engagements that focus on finding success after graduation and how to create and sustain great company cultures. Most recently, he returned to his high school alma mater and delivered Perkiomen School’s Commencement Address to the Class of 2023. He currently resides in the Philadelphia suburbs with his family.

Greg Holton

Sr. Vice President, Head of Sales

Greg began his insurance journey in 2006 in the marketing department of a large, national insurance company. After gaining tremendous experience within marketing, Greg switched positions within the company to a field sales consulting role. Greg has since worked in all aspects of the insurance industry from marketing, sales, and service, to Agency ownership as both, a captive, and as an Independent Agent.

Throughout his career, Greg has found a passion for supporting and developing the growth of others. In 2019, Greg left his insurance Agency in Pennsylvania and joined Ascension to help expand the company footprint and develop relationships with other independent Agencies. His primary responsibility is to
help Agents and Advisors grow their business through the Ascension channel. Greg has the pleasure of working with over 300 fantastic insurance Agents and Agencies across many states as well as working with over 30 carrier partners supporting our group.

Marcus Dade

Vice President, Head of Recruiting

Marcus joined the team in 2019 after graduating from Temple University. Initially he was on Joe’s team of advisors at MassMutual Greater Philadelphia. Joe presented Marcus with a vision of what Ascension could be and he ran with. Since then he’s been pivotal in guiding the company’s continued ascent. He brings on new members and assists current members with case and carrier questions. He loves his family, music, philly sports, and spending time with friends. Since joining Ascension he has acquired a trove of random US historical and geographic fun facts, ask him for some of his favorites!

Rachele Stephenson

Vice President, Head of Operations

Rachele is the Vice President and Head of Operations at Ascension Agent Group, where she plays a pivotal role in steering the operational strategies that drive the company’s growth and success.  Prior to joining Ascension Agent Group, Rachele served as the Investor Relations Manager at NewSpring Capital, a renowned investment firm specializing in partnering with high-performing companies in the lower-middle market.  Before NewSpring, Rachele gained valuable experience as a Recruiting Specialist at Farmers Insurance, where she played a key role in talent acquisition and fostering a culture of growth within the organization.  Rachele’s journey in the professional world began as an Administrative Assistant at Allied Building Corporation, where she developed a strong foundation in administrative operations and organizational management.  Rachele graduated from Lehigh University with a B.A. in International Relations, with minors in Asian Studies and Chinese.

Scott Cohen

Vice President, Sales

Scott started in the sports industry before moving into insurance and financial services in 2004. After working with State Farm for a number of years Scott decided to start his own insurance practice after realizing multiple carriers and products was better for his clients than one in 2016. He was rookie of the year (2017) for the local firm he partnered with in the Philadelphia region. In 2018 he took one more step in his career deciding to take a Vice President role at Atlantic agent group. He continues to manage his clients while also assisting other agencies for Ascension Agent group with a hands on approach. Scott’s current clients have over $100 million of life insurance coverage, along with their property, casualty and commercial insurance.

Kim Dansby-Berry

Vice President, Sales

Kimyra (Kim) Dansby-Berry, is a former independent agency owner where she specialized in helping small business owners procure all their insurance needs from P&C to medical & disability. Kim held pivotal roles at Lincoln Financial, where she rapidly moved up the ranks, transitioning to external sales and then leading the Bank Internal Sales desk. Under her guidance, her team contributed to the achievement of $1 Billion in variable annuity sales. As a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley, Kim completed her Rookie Year in the top quartile of her class with $18 Million in Assets Under Management (AUM). Building on this success, Kim continued to excel, growing her AUM to $42 Million in just her second year. She began her career with investment banks Alex Brown & Sons before moving to Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (now Credit Suisse First Boston).  With a proven track record of delivering exceptional results, Kim Dansby-Berry joined the Ascension team to help agents grow their agencies. Kim Dansby-Berry is a highly accomplished professional with diverse expertise in the financial industry. She attended Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, and holds Life, Health, Property & Casualty insurance licenses in 28 states. She has previously held FINRA certifications including 7, 63, 65, and 24. 

Kyle Donovan

Systems Training Manager

Kyle joined the team as in intern in 2021. After graduating from Temple’s Fox Business School in 2022 he joined the team full time and has been the glue holding our back office together since then. Kyle loves to golf and is currently the only golfer on the team with a hole in one, but the rest are due!

Bob Horrocks

 Internal Sales Manager

Bob began his career in Insurance as a captive agent for AAA in 2020. After working for 2 years as a captive agent, he felt that having the ability to offer multiple carriers for his clients was the most effective way to ensure that they were receiving the best possible coverage, for the best possible price. He worked as an independent agent for one year before joining the Ascension team in early 2024. Bob offers extensive knowledge in the Personal Lines Insurance Industry and takes pride in helping other agents succeed.

Bob and his girlfriend, Hayley, currently reside in Royersford Pennsylvania with his 8-year-old son Ryan. He enjoys golfing, fishing, and attending Phillies games. 

WHAT IS ASCENSION?

Ascension is a leading provider of the best property and casualty carriers in the business. With years of industry experience and a proven track record of success, we specialize in helping our Members achieve their full potential and grow their businesses. This is where agents go to grow.

Ascension is perfect for you if you’re: Considering opening an agency, you’re a new agency in growth mode, or you’re an established Agency looking to expand.

WHAT'S THE ASCENSION MISSION?

At Ascension, we’re dedicated to fostering life-changing growth for Insurance Agents. Imagine instantly excelling in areas where you currently face challenges. Our mission is to empower Agents to unlock their full potential through comprehensive tools, targeted training, and unwavering support. Life-changing growth is at the heart of Ascension’s commitment, guiding Agents to expand their businesses, increase revenue, and cultivate enduring customer relationships. As the premier provider of innovative solutions and expert guidance, our goal is to make the journey of life-changing growth not just impactful but truly transformative.

One of the key ways that we help agents “Ascend” to new heights is through our emphasis on personal development. We recognize that success in the insurance industry is not just about mastering technical skills, but also about developing the mindset and habits that lead to success. We provide coaching and mentoring services to help agents identify their strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and develop strategies for achieving success. At Ascension, we also offer tools and resources to help agents build resilience, stay motivated, and maintain a positive outlook in the face of challenges.

Ascension is where agents go to grow.

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