Portland Office

Portland Address
Get Directions
4412 S.W. Barbur Blvd., Suite 240
Portland, OR 97239-4004
Local Phone: (503) 228-9595 | Toll-Free Phone: (800) 326-9595 | Fax: (503) 273-8530



Kevin Merz, CLU, ChFC – President [email protected]

Upon joining the Merz Agency in 1978, Kevin immediately immersed himself in education. He achieved the Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow, Charter Life Underwriter and Charter Financial Consultant designations. Kevin has served on numerous industry platforms, including roles as past president of the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agency and past president of the Portland Life Underwriters Association.
With 35+ years of field and back room experience, Kevin is a solid resource when looking for creative planning solutions. He relishes working with advisors and their clients in plan design and implementation.
Outside of work, Kevin enjoys time with family and friends, golf, gardening, travel, and sunshine.

Steve Santos, LTCP – COO & Executive VP of Sales [email protected]

Steve joined the Merz Agency in 2001 and functions as a Life, Long-Term Care, and Disability Insurance Sales Consultant. His focus and goal is to earn the opportunity to work with successful insurance specialists and financial advisors. He partners with advisors to help identify, evaluate, and implement insurance strategies to help their individual and business clients meet or exceed their financial goals. He has also been charged to create and implement the vision and culture of the Merz Agency.
Outside of his time with the Merz Agency, he enjoys spending time with his family, outdoor activities including golfing and hiking, and watching his kids compete in sports.

Doug Cashman, FALU, FLMI, ACS – Underwriting Consultant

With 27 plus years of underwriting experience, Doug is our resource to proactively position your impaired risk client in the most favorable light. Having worked with multiple top tier companies his reputation for extensive knowledge of financial and medical underwriting give him credibility when negotiating on your client’s behalf. When Doug is not underwriting, you will find him outdoors enjoying camping, water skiing and snowboarding with his wife Stacy and three sons.

Korin Johnson – Executive VP of administration & Life Underwriting [email protected]

Korin has been part of the Merz Agency since March 1987. She is the new business Life Case Manager and oversees all administrative aspects of the business. Korin strives to get policies issued as applied for in a timely fashion. She is also responsible for life-prequalification requests (informal inquiry).
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband and twins.

Cathy Kim – Case Manager & Administration [email protected]

BT8A7478PRcVCCathy joined the Merz Agency in July 2013. Previously, she worked in the auto finance industry after obtaining a finance degree from Portland State University. She is a new business life and long term care case manager, along with several other administrative duties. She is very efficient, organized and quick to respond to all requests. She is very good at following through and making sure things are accomplished in a timely manner. She is an Oregon native who enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.

Sara Batiz – Licensing, LTC, Commissions & Policy Service [email protected]

Sara joined the Merz Agency in May 2017. She is responsible for licensing, commissions, and inforce policy service. Sara is new to insurance but is committed to delivering great service and strives to have client needs met promptly. In her spare time, Sara enjoys watching soccer games, exercising, karaoke, cooking meals with her friends, dogs, and family, and hiking in the Columbia River Gorge.

Aaron Hutchinson, CLU – Sales [email protected]

Aaron joined the Merz Agency in April 2015 after 16 years with Comprehensive Insurance Services. He has experience in new business case management, underwriting, life and Long Term Care. He can run illustrations and provide assistance in case design for Life, Long Term Care and Disability insurance. Aaron graduated from Portland State University in 2001 and earned his Chartered Life Underwriter designation in 2011. Aaron loves spending the weekends camping, kayaking and fishing with his wife and watching sports.

Robert Hutchinson, CLU, ChFC – Sales Consultant [email protected]

Bob started his insurance career in 1970 as an agent for Manulife Financial in Spokane WA. Prior to that he attended the University of Idaho and completed active duty with the National Guard. In 1972 Bob was transferred with the company to Milwaukee WI. There he learned the brokerage side of the insurance industry. Relocating again to Portland OR in 1975, Bob ran Manulife’s brokerage operation (now John Hancock) until 1997. As the marketing of insurance was changing, Bob left to form Comprehensive Insurance Services, LLC. The company’s mission was to offer brokers multiple products from many carriers. After 18 years, Bob is very pleased to be joining with the Merz Agency to further expand the opportunities for his brokers. Today Bob’s predominate areas of expertise are in estate and business planning. He excels at case design and has the ability to get tough cases through underwriting. Bob and his wife Chris enjoy tennis, golf, travel and gardening.

Jason Byers – Sales Marketing Consultant [email protected]

Jason came on board with the Merz Agency in Febuary 2016, bringing over 20 years of insurance sales and marketing experience. By using his many years of expertise in life, long term care, disability and annuities, this allows him to guide advisors in identifying potential solutions for their client’s needs. His goal is to offer a hands on approach explaining the benefits and products that each carrier partner offers, allowing for several solutions. He is excited to move from a large brokerage to the more personal atmosphere that the Merz Agency offers. In his down time, Jason enjoys riding his Ducati motorcycle and spending time outdoors. He also enjoys spending time with his cats and watching his wife ride her horse.

Valerie Byers – Senior Case manager & Marketing Internal [email protected]

Valerie joined the Merz Agency in February 2016. She brings 10 years of case management and new business processing experience for long term care, life insurance, annuities and brokerage business. She is very excited to bring her skills and expertise to a concierge setting with a strong emphasis on relationship building and customized individual attention for each case. With an eye for detail and focus on efficiency, her goal is to help producers place more business in a seamless fashion. Outside of work, Valerie enjoys exploring nature, writing, designing jewelry and spending time with her family (which includes her horse Sprocket and cats Jinx and Ruby Soho).

Suzi Merz – Policy Correspondence & Event Coordinator [email protected]

BT8A7494RcVC2Suzi joined the Merz Agency part-time in 2010. She is responsible for sending out policy service correspondence to our agents and is our staff event planner.
She is the wife of Kevin Merz and stays busy with their four children and two grandchildren. She loves to cook, entertain, garden, and golf.




Securities offered through The Leaders Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC 26 W. Dry Creek Circle, Suite 575, Littleton, CO 80120, 303-797-9080. Merz Agency is not affiliated with The Leaders Group, Inc.



Here is a link to BrokerCheck.