Burt Riles

Burt received his management degree from Georgia Tech in 1983. He began his career in banking, followed by 13 years with Life of the South Insurance Agency. Burt works with various sized groups providing a range of insurance solutions and benefits packages.

John C. Funderburk, III

Prior to Partners Benefit Group, John had worked with Life of the South Agency since 1987. Previously, he was a Commercial Loan Officer for eight years with Nations Bank. Currently, John works with large and small employers and provides employee benefits and worksite marketing to his clients.

In addition, he works with professionals in the areas of individual, life, disability and long term care. John is a Rotarian, co-chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Quail Hunt and on the Board of Trustees of Deerfield Windsor School.


Wayne Morris, CHC

Wayne, with over 33 years of experience in the group insurance industry, began his career with Blue Cross Blue Shield as a consultant for local accounts. He later worked as an account executive in the major and national accounts, as director of network marketing and as vice president of major and national accounts. Wayne has extensive experience in dealing with large and multi-state clients, in provider network development and managed care. He works directly with clients to develop benefit and financial strategies that fit client’s corporate goals. Wayne joined Life of the South in 1991 and opened that company’s Atlanta office.

Wayne graduated from Auburn University with a BS degree in business administration with a focus on marketing. Wayne has taken numerous courses in the insurance industry including the completion of the Certified Health Consultant program at Purdue University.

Ken Hamil, CLU, ChFC, RHU

Prior to the formation of Partners Benefit Group, Ken was with Life of the South Agency for 18 years. Ken received his bachelor degree in Marketing from West Georgia College in Carollton, Georgia; he currently works with employers in all areas of employee benefit planning for middle to large employers, as well as state, business and personal life insurance planning.

Ken is a Registered Health Underwriter (2000) and a Chartered Life Underwriter (2001), which is a professional designation granted by the American College. Those who earn the designation must successfully complete ten college-level courses and examinations in insurances, investments, taxation, employee benefits, estate planning, accounting, management and economics. He is also a Chartered Financial Consultant (2004). Ken holds several production rewards from Life of the South including Outstanding New Associate in 1989.

Bret Hightower

Bret is a native of Marietta, GA and received his BS in business administration from Colorado State University. After receiving his degree, he returned to Georgia and began his carrier in business development and account management. Since receiving his life and health insurance license in 2003, he has implemented and managed employee benefits plans for small to large employers and individuals.

Prior to joining PBG in 2012, Bret worked in employee benefits management and business development with an Atlanta based firm specializing with private physician practices.

Bret lives in the Brookhaven area of North Atlanta with his wife Sarah. He enjoys golf, skiing, running, biking, live music and being outdoors.


Noel Williams

Noel graduated from the University of Georgia in 1994 and was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He joined Life of the South Agency after graduation and was with the company for 12 years, receiving the Outstanding New Associate award in 1995.


Greg Moore

Greg graduated from North Georgia College in 1991.His career began with Life of the South in 1992. His credentials include over 20 years of experience in the benefits field. Greg resides in Cumming, Georgia and provides brokerage and consulting services with companies throughout the metro Atlanta area.


Jason Shaw

Jason graduated from the University of Georgia in 1996 and started working with Life of the South that same year. He has also been very active in the Property & Casualty business during that time as President of Shaw Insurance Services. Jason is involved in his community having served as President of both the Lanier County Lions Club and the Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce; he was also a member of the 2004 Class of Leadership Georgia. Jason currently works with various account sizes and he likes to partner with offices to provide a single source for all the insurance needs of his clients.


Stacy Tolbert

Stacy is a 1988/1992 graduate of Georgia College (GCSU) with a BA in Accounting & Management and a Master of Business Administration. Licensed in 1991 she became a Fellow of the Life Underwriters Training Council in 1994. Stacy has the unique ability to couple her passion for the medical insurance industry with a firm grasp of accounting principles to help business owners and individuals solve complex insurance issues. She is a member of the National Health Underwriters Associates and is involved in other community clubs. Stacy’s family consists of husband Todd and two boys, Conner & Neal.

North Atlanta/Athens

Jeff Johnson

Jeff is a 2000 graduate of the University of Georgia and a passionate “Dawgs” fan. With over 10 years experience in the employee benefits industry, Jeff works to become an extension of his clients’ HR departments, delivering personal, hands-on service and “outside the box” thinking. He has a particular interest in health insurance and enjoys helping his employer groups navigate the ever-changing health care landscape. Jeff works primarily with small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, he offers assistance with business continuation planning including Buy-Sell Funding, Key Person Insurance and Executive Disability Income coverage.

Jeff lives in Bishop, Ga, just outside his beloved Athens, with his wife, Anna, and their two boys. He enjoys golf, reading, and fall Saturdays. The Johnson family attends Athens Church and enjoy supporting local charity organizations.


Skip Hill

Skip Hill has over 17 years of experience in the group and individual benefits industry.

He attended Georgia Southern University and received his B.S. in Finance in 1989. Upon graduation, he began his career at Life of the South and remained there for 17 years, earning the honor of Outstanding Agent for the past 7 years.

Recognized as a leader in his field, Skip has acquired vast knowledge of the design, implementation and management of benefit plans for large and small employers as well as individuals. He and his staff place great emphasis on providing innovative products and a level of service unmatched in the industry.

Skip serves as a pilot for Angel Flight of Georgia and has, as of March 2007, flown over 50 missions. He sits on the board of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church as well as the Tift County Library Foundation Board.

Gary Simmons, CSA, CLTC

Gary has been in sales and marketing for 35 years. He began his insurance career in 1983 with Life of the South as a company representative specializing in marketing credit insurance products throughout Georgia. He also became an agent for Life of the South Insurance Agency marketing deferred compensation in banks and payroll deduction products in all types of industries.

In 1993, Gary was promoted to Senior Vice President of the company with responsibility of the Ordinary Division; he became president of LOTS in 1999 continuing to grow the company. He became President of Partners Benefit Group, LLC when Partners purchased Life of the South Agency, Inc. in January, 2007.

Gary received his MBA degree from Chadwick University and has been a commercial pilot for 39 years. He has also received a number of awards for his accomplishments in the insurance industry, including: CSA & CLTC Designations, the Million Dollar Round Table, National Quality Award, National Sales Achievement Award, The Excalibur Club, Outstanding New Associate Award and 30/30 Club.

Karen Willis

Karen brings a degree from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri and 10 years experience in sales/marketing to her position at Partners Benefit Group. She transitioned from the health care field to the insurance industry in 2006 when she joined Skip Hill’s office in Tifton. Karen is a licensed agent in Georgia and in North Carolina; she specializes in employee benefits for groups of all sizes an is a Chartered Benefit Consultant. In addition to her career, Karen is dedicated to improving her community via volunteer work, serving in leadership positions in multiple organizations including the Tiftarea Foundation for Women’s Health, the Organization for Professional Women, the American Cancer Society and the Tifton/Tift County Chamber of Commerce.

Josh Bean

Josh graduated in 2000 from Georgia Southern with a degree in Science and Nursing. He has practiced as an RN in the Emergency Department for the last 10 years. Josh received his insurance license in 2007 and joined Partners Benefit Group in 2008 as a Benefits Consultant, receiving the Outstanding New Associate award in 2009. He specializes in group medical, dental, vision, life, disability, and Long Term Care as well as individual products. He is located in the core office in Tifton, GA.

Kim Stokes

Kim has been in insurance business for over 20 years. She has worked with Aetna Healthcare for 4 years as a claims processor, CIGNA in the property and casualty business as a premium audit reviewer and an underwriting assistant for 11 years. Most recently, she was at Secure Health Plans for 6 years as an account manager

Courtney Howell

Courtney serves as a Benefits Consultant, specializing in group medical, dental, vision, life, disability, and Long Term Care. A native of South Georgia, he graduated from Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton and then spent six years working in the metro-Atlanta area in the turf industry. He returned to Tifton in 2009 and received his insurance license, joining Partners Benefit Group. In addition to his professional career and family life, he serves as an Ambassador for the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce.


Guy Whidby

Guy graduated from the University of Georgia in 1980 and began his career with Georgia International in Atlanta as an Employee Benefit Representative. Guy joined Life of the South in 1983 and was instrumental in the formation of the Employee Benefits Division for the agency. During his time with LOTS, he was honored with numerous production awards.

Guy is a registered Health Underwriter and a Charted Benefit Consultant. He specializes in providing employee benefits such as group medical, life, disability, and dental plans. His market also includes individual life and disability insurance.

Ronnie Blanton

Ronnie began his insurance career with Life of the South Agency in April of 1989. Soon thereafter, he completed the necessary requirements to become a Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow. In 1992 he obtained his Series 6 and 63 licenses.

Paul Watkins

Paul joined Life of the South after receiving a bachelor degree in Marketing from Valdosta State University in 2003. Paul currently works employee benefits packages as well as individual health and life insurance needs.