Ryan Kagarakis ‘10

My name is Ryan Kagarakis and I am a commercial insurance broker with Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO).  I was born in Redwood City, CA and raised in Roseville, CA but I feel like I grew up at Long Beach State.  After graduating high school I decided to take a leap of faith by moving to Long Beach to attend a university where I did not know anyone.  While at Long Beach State I played one year with the club rugby team, joined the Delta Chi Fraternity, and made many lifelong friends.  I can honestly say that being accepted and attending Long Beach State was the best decision I ever made. During my senior year at The Beach I met a fraternity alumnus who ran the Orange County Brown & Brown office.  He told me about what Brown & Brown did and how rewarding a career in insurance is.  I moved back to Roseville after graduation and researched more about Brown & Brown and what they do and found out that there was an office a few miles from where I lived. After meeting and speaking with the people in the Brown & Brown Sacramento office I began my career in insurance December of 2010.  Over the past five years I have learned and been guided by the Brown & Brown and am grateful for the connections and opportunities that I was fortunate enough to have while at Long Beach State.    

I am a commercial insurance broker specializing in providing business insurance coverage for small to medium-sized businesses.

  1. Describe a typical workday. Although a career in insurance affords me the opportunity to make my own hours and essentially “run my own business” I have found that putting in the work and staying late to accomplish a task is the most effective use of my time.  The primary task of my workday is to speak with current and prospective customers about the best way to effectively protect their business and guide them through a risk management process that makes sense financially.  During the risk management process we find out what the customer’s operations are, how much exposure they have to lose, and evaluate their current insurance program to determine areas that may be insufficient or need improvement.  The next step of the process is to find an insurance carrier that will meet the customer’s coverage and financial needs for the best value. Along with helping our customers, I am also involved in organizations and charities that support our region.  A career in insurance is more about building relationships with people and helping them achieve the best value for their insurance coverage.   


The best thing about working for Brown & Brown is that I get to work with business owners to mitigate risk and provide affordable options to protect everything they have worked so hard to build.

Do you display CSULB memorabilia at work?

Absolutely! I proudly display my diploma (in the CSULB frame), my certificate for making the President’s Honor List, and my fraternity “shingle” which commemorates the day I was initiated.

Although insurance may not sound like the most interesting career it is actually a great profession to be in if you like working with people to achieve a common goal.  Furthermore, it is never too late OR too early to start your career in insurance.  Some of the most successful producers in Brown & Brown have chosen insurance as a second career after leaving their first one.  On the flip-side, the earlier you start your career the more opportunity you will have to learn about the industry and build a book of business.  The first couple of years are challenging and you will learn a lot of lessons the hard way but if you stick with it you will become more confident and successful at a very young age.  Lastly, be yourself.  Being candid and straightforward about what you do and the company you work for goes so much further than telling people what they want to hear. 

My fondest memory of CSULB would have to be the day I was hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers to be an intern.  What started as a classroom assignment to create a cover letter and resume for a “dream job/internship” turned in to being hired by one of the largest sports organizations in the country.  The lessons I learned while working with the Dodgers have stayed with me to this day. Getting to work with and meet some of the most influential people in the city was an absolute privilege and one that I would never have had if it weren’t for CSULB.

The transition from student to graduate at first seemed like it would be daunting but fortunately Brown & Brown made the transition easier for me.  Going from a full-time student with a part-time job to 100% work with more responsibility was hard at first but once I started to learn more about the insurance profession I began to really enjoy what I did.  Taking responsibility for your career path and going “all-in” with what you do allows you to have fun and be productive.  Before I knew it, coming to the office and having the responsibility to produce became my goal and striving to achieve it all of a sudden didn’t even feel like “work” anymore.

I have a lot of pride in my university.  Long Beach State is where I found my path, learned to be a “grown-up”, made life-long friendships, and started my career.  I was very fortunate to have the experiences at CSULB that I did and want that opportunity to the next generation of graduates.

Five years from now I see myself doing what I already do now except in a larger role with the company.  My vision is to continue to help clients with their insurance needs but to also lead an office of like-minded insurance professionals.  I hope to be promoted to lead an office and help that office not only grow financially but also to serve a larger role in the community.