Our Leadership

Mike Heagerty

800-437-6616   Ext. 130

Mike has been part of the insurance industry since 1972. In 1992, Mike and Jane Heagerty purchased The Gorst Company and Compass Insurance. In 1996 under their leadership, Compass Insurance became the wholesale brokerage division while The Harry W. Gorst Company continued to serve as the underwriting authority. In 2016 both companies were combined and rebranded as Gorst & Compass Insurance. Today Mike continues to serve as the company’s Chairman and CEO.

Mike is a past president of the California Insurance Wholesalers Association (CIWA) and earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University Northridge.

Bryan Clark

800-437-6616   Ext. 148

Bryan joined Gorst & Compass in 1997 as an underwriter trainee and embarked on a path to learn wholesale insurance business from the ground up. He served as Executive Vice President prior to becoming President of Gorst & Compass in 2015. Bryan’s leadership approach is all about empowering others to build their own success. He is genuinely enthusiastic about the insurance industry and has a passion for developing new industry talent.

Bryan is a Board Member and past president of the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA). He is a past president of the California Insurance Wholesale Association (CIWA) and former AAMGA Board member.  Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from San Diego State University.

Paul Laufer

Chief Operating Officer 


800-437-6616   Ext. 165

Paul joined Gorst & Compass in 2007 and became Executive Vice President in 2017. He was named Chief Operating Officer in 2022.  From the beginning Paul consistently demonstrated his commitment to building a great and successful company. His contributions expand to all departments, and his efforts have been crucial to multiple operational areas and important strategic initiatives. 

Paul is a Board Member and a past president of the California Insurance Wholesalers Association (CIWA) and Surplus Lines Association of California Legislative Committee Member. Paul earned a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from California State University Northridge and a Professional Designation in Personal Financial Planning from the University of California Los Angeles.

Jennifer Clark

Vice President of Human Resources 



Jennifer joined Gorst & Compass in 1997. She started as a commercial underwriter for the company, and for the past 10 years has served as Vice President of Human Resources overseeing all human resources functions within the organization. As a member of executive leadership, she plays a key role for aligning HR strategies with the company’s vision. Jennifer is passionate about philanthropy and strongly believes in the importance of giving back and supporting the community.

Prior to joining Gorst & Compass, Jennifer worked for Scottsdale Insurance. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from San Diego State University and master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix.

Chip Polhill

Chief Underwriting Officer


800-437-6616   Ext. 128

Chip joined Gorst & Compass in 1993 and became the company’s Chief Underwriting Officer in 2018.  Chip began his insurance career in 1986 as an underwriter for Marine Office of America Corp./Continental Insurance Co. Chip later served as a Risk Management Consultant for KPMG and as Regional Manager for Excess Property, Transamerica Insurance Co.

Chip earned a B.A. Degree from The University of Alabama and earned a master’s degree in international business administration from the American Graduate School, Arizona State University.