Putting our clients’ needs first.

With over 35 years of combined insurance experience, our staff strives to deliver access to personalized and tailored health insurance and employee benefit options with special emphasis on prompt and lasting customer service.  

Our warm, friendly, organized and thoughtful team handles customer service the old-fashioned way—by putting our clients’ needs first and being thorough.

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cathy merz
owner/president

Cathy began her career in insurance at Great West Life Insurance in 1991, selling self-funded and partially self-funded programs to employer groups, and 401(k) retirement plans. Upon moving to the Pacific Northwest, she became a large-group sales executive at Kaiser Permanente, selling plans direct and through the brokerage community. She implemented meet and greets between the public and the insurance community, where they learned about Kaiser’s staff model HMO and the advantages to their delivery system.

 In 1998, she was hired by Campbell Galt and Newlands (now USI Northwest) to spearhead their retirement plan division. She sold and managed 401(k) and other defined contribution plans, and assisted with 403(b) programs for corporate and nonprofit customers. 

 In 2010 she purchased Donna M. Carlson Insurance and partnered with Donna to expand the agency with an office in Oregon. She now owns and operates the agency and is responsible for day to day operations.

In her spare time, Cathy enjoys playing volleyball, reading and spending time with her husband and three children.

CATHY’S CREDENTIALS & LICENSES:

  • Life and health insurance licenses in Oregon, Washington and Idaho

  • Certified to sell long-term care and Medicare under various company appointments

    Member of the National Association of Health Underwriters as well as Portland and Tri-County Washington chapters

 
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Ina Wilborn
Group Health Insurance Account manager

Ina has lived in the Pacific Northwest her entire life, except for her college years spent in Southern California. She joined Cathy Merz Insurance, Inc. in 2016 and is a licensed account manager in both Oregon and Washington.

Ina graduated from Whittier College in 1996 and started her career in human resources. When she and her husband started a family a few years later, she chose to stay home with her three small children until 2013.  During her time home with kids, Ina was involved in her children’s school—chairing the auction, running fundraisers and working part-time at the school. 

Ina returned to the workforce full time in 2015 and decided that the challenge of the Insurance world excited her.

 In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, kids and her mom. She enjoys sports—especially when her kids are playing—and reading and relaxing with family.

INA’S CREDENTIALS AND LICENSES:

  • Life and health insurance licenses in Oregon and Washington

  • Member of the National Association of Health Underwriters as well as Portland and Tri-County Washington chapters

 
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lindy magee
administrative manager

Lindy joined Cathy Merz Insurance in 2016 and handles our renewals, enrollments and office administration. Previously she worked for Sony Corporation as a logistics manager and trade show coordinator. She then took time off to raise her two daughters, and is now glad to be back in the work force. 

Originally from Iowa, Lindy has lived on the west coast most of her adult life. Life in Oregon has brought out her love of hiking, sports and music.

 
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Katie Efstathiou
Individual Health Insurance Account Manager

Katie has lived in Oregon most of her life. After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in mathematics, she moved to Connecticut with her husband for about three years.  After they had their first child, they returned to Oregon to be close to family. She joined Cathy Merz Insurance in May 2018 and obtained her health insurance license for both Oregon and Washington in September 2018. Katie now manages Cathy Merz’s individual and Medicare clients.

Katie’s son and daughter keep her busy outside of work. She also enjoys exploring the great Northwest with her family and friends.

KATIE’S LICENSES:

  • Health insurance licenses in Oregon and Washington

 
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BECKA LAVIER
Group Health Insurance Account manager

Becka has lived in the Northwest her whole life. She began working at Dutch Bros and fell in love with the culture! After 2 years, she was promoted to Store manager of the busiest 24-hour stand in Oregon. She is excited to begin a new career in the Insurance Industry and will be getting licensed in Oregon and Washington.

She currently lives in a cabin in Banks, surrounded by family. When she isn’t at work, she loves hiking, camping and spending time with her fiance and her chocolate lab.