What exactly is it that sets IRM apart from your average insurance company? It’s the superior customer care and service our team is willing to provide. That may sound like a cliché to some, but you won’t feel that way after working with us.
While everyone else is taking measures to streamline their internal operations to optimize their earnings, we feel that taking care of our clients is our top priority. Insurance Risk Managers has accrued over 100 years of experience proving that fact.
Our team will provide you with comprehensive insurance services. Call us at
Insurance & Risk Managers is one of the largest independently owned insurance agencies in MS.
Josh Smith attended the University of Mississippi where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Insurance and Risk Management. Josh strategically planned his career to prepare himself in all facets of the insurance business with a focus on corporate insurance. He received invaluable experience as an associate of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies in multi-line commercial underwriting including property, general liability, auto, umbrella, workers compensation, employment practices, liability, fiduciary, directors and officers, and errors and omissions. During this period of his career, he worked in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida. In 2001, he became a commercial marketing executive with McGriff, Seibels and Williams, the sixth largest public insurance firm in the country. He handled all lines of commercial insurance at McGriff, positioning him as a key player at IRM in developing corporate insurance plans for all types of businesses. Josh is chairman of The Tucker Smith Memorial Golf Tournament which benefits the Folds of Honor. He and his wife, Sloane, live in Brookhaven with their children Sara Rodgers, Hampton and Emmie.
Michael E. Smith
Mike Smith attended the University of Mississippi where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1971. Five years later, he bought his first insurance agency and merged the agency with Smith Insurance Agency, later forming a cluster of agencies known as Insurance & Risk Managers. Mike has built IRM into one of the largest agencies in south central Mississippi - providing sound insurance solutions for his clients. Mike has served as Director of the Mississippi Independent Insurance Association. He has provided leadership to many civic and charitable organizations, serving as President of the Kiwanis Club, President of the Brookhaven Country Club, Chairman of the United Givers Fund, Chairman of the Lincoln County Cancer Fund, Chairman of the local American Heart Association and President of the Lincoln County Ole Miss Alumnae Association. He and his wife, Cindy, have raised four children including their son, Josh, who serves as IRM’s President.
Secretary - Treasurer
Sandy Winborne graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1990. She has been the office manager of IRM for 20 years and is responsible for IRM’s information technology, accounting and human resources. She currently serves on the board of the Lincoln County Chapter of the Mississippi State Alumni Association and is a Life Member of Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven. Sandy and her husband, Stan, have three children, Terah, Lindsey and Dylan.
Direct Office Line: 601-823-4916
Dennis Valentine, Agent
Dennis Valentine, a native of Meridian, Mississippi, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi and an MBA from Millsaps. Dennis focuses on life, health and employee benefits at IRM. Dennis served as Past President of the Kiwanis Club, St. Francis Parish Council, Lincoln County Ole Miss Alumnae Association, Southwest Chapter of NAIFA, Krewe of Ceres, and Brookhaven Country Club. Dennis, his wife, Amy, have three children and two grandchildren and are active members of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.
Vonda Laird, Agent
Vonda Laird has been an insurance agent with Insurance & Risk Managers since 1996. She specializes in general liability, property, casualty, workers’ compensation and commercial auto for small and large corporations. Years of experience in analyzing logging or construction companies’ insurance plans have given her an edge in providing them with the best coverage for their specific needs. Clear communication and having clients understand their options is key to Vonda, as she educates her clients on short and long term planning. This is why most of her commercial clients also want Vonda to handle their personal insurance needs as well. Like all agents at IRM, she reviews her customers’ policies during the course of their term to make sure their coverage stays current with their needs. Vonda has three children and four grandchildren.
Shawn Munson, Agent
Shawn Munson grew up in Illinois and came to Mississippi on a golf scholarship at University of Southern Mississippi. He started his career as a gold pro at Fernwood Country Club and later in sales at Croft Metals in McComb. Munson recently began his career in insurance and is focusing on corporate and industrial accounts as well as personal lines to complete all of his clients’ needs. His region is south Mississippi and Louisiana. Shawn and his wife, Konya, live in Summit with their daughter, Madison.
Ben Burns, Agent
Ben Burns has lived in the Brookhaven area his entire life. He earned a BS in History and Sports Administration and Coaching in 1993 from the University of Southern Mississippi. His diverse work experience brings a unique position to the IRM team as Ben can relate to many different types of industry and business. Ben considers his clients as friends as well as business associates and treats their personal insurance portfolios as if they were his own. He has one son, Nickolas.
William D. “Bill” Garner, Agent
Bill graduated from McComb High School and attended Southwest Mississippi Community College, Co-Lin and the University of Southern Mississippi. He pursued additional studies at the University of Houston and at Notre Dame. Bill entered the insurance industry in 1981 and was an owner of Garner, Braddock, Blossman and Wild that merged with Mixon & Burt Insurance Agency, Inc. in 1991. Bill was a vice president of Mixon & Burt until the agency was sold in 2005. He is a past president of the Southwest MS Association of Insurance Agents, the Southwest MS Chapter of NAIFA, and is a past Grand Knight and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in McComb. He is on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Mississippi, a commissioner for the McComb Housing Authority, and a member of the Southwest MS Community College Foundation Board. Bill and his wife, Monica, have two children and four grandchildren.
J.W. Burt, Jr., CLU, ChFC, Agent
Mr. Burt graduated from McComb High School and attended Tulane University. He earned his Chartered Life Underwriter designation from the American College of Life Underwriters in 1975 and his Chartered Financial Consultant designation in 1987. He has been in the insurance industry since 1959 and was president of Mixon & Burt Insurance Agency, Inc. in McComb until he sold the agency in 2005. Mr. Burt is a member and past president of the McComb Rotary Club where he has been honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. He is also a member and past president of the Southwest MS Association of Insurance Agents. He is a Past President of the Pike County United Way, and is on the Executive Committee of the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America who presented him with the Silver Beaver Award. He has been appointed by Governor Haley Barbour to serve on the Mississippi Health Care Trust Fund Board. Mr. Burt is a member of J. J. White Memorial Presbyterian Church. He and his wife Dottie have four children and seven grandchildren.