The Wood Office has been meeting the insurance needs of satisfied clients since April of 1853 when Percy W. Wood opened the doors of P.W. Wood & Son in Ithaca, New York with the sale of his first insurance policy. Percy continued to operate the agency on the principal of providing the right coverage for each of his clients. Perhaps his most famous local account was the first insurance policy that he wrote for his friend Ezra Cornell on the new college Ezra was founding, Cornell University.
The original Percy was later joined by his son Percy O. Wood who ran the insurance agency until 1956 when he sold the company to Richard Hughes.
In 1977, J. David Ferris made a “cold call” on Hughes, using an editorial that Hughes had written for Independent Agent’s Magazine about the lack of younger people in the business as his means for securing the interview. The meeting was successful and Dave came to work at P.W. Wood on a hand shake. Two years later he purchased the agency from Hughes.
In 1992, P.W. Woods became a family insurance business once again when Dave’s youngest son Jamie joined the agency as a full-time account executive. In 2001 Jamie became Vice President and a partial owner of the Wood Office.
In 2003 P. W. Wood & Son, Inc. celebrated its 150th Anniversary along with the fact that, over time, the agency has grown into a multi-million dollar business with personal and commercial clients in over thirty states and Canada.
The Wood Office strives to be your one source for ALL your personal insurance policy and risk management needs. Our risk management philosophy is applied to each client uniquely. We understand that strong and vibrant clients do not flourish under the burden of unnecessary insurance premiums and we encourage you to work with us to develop a prioritized insurance program which spends your insurance dollars wisely rather than frivolously.
As with any business the most important asset we have is our people. We strive to maintain a staff that is highly trained, motivated by our philosophy, and ethical in their practices. Some of the people we are proud to have in our office to help you are:
J. David Ferris Ph.D., CPCU, ARM, AAI- Chief Executive Officer
Dave is a 40+ year veteran of the insurance industry, licensed for Property & Casualty and Life & Health. He has been at The Wood Office since 1977, purchasing the agency from Richard Hughes in 1979 to become only the 4th owner in the company’s 150 year history. He teaches and lectures on the topics of risk management and insurance for over 30 years for groups such as the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, New York Insurance Association, Professional Insurance Agents, Club Managers Association of America, is a visiting lecturer for Cornell University for 25 years and taught in the MBA program at Ithaca College. He has provided risk management consulting to educational institutions, governmental agencies and law firms engaged in insurance matters for over 30 years.
Dave has served on more than a dozen community boards including several Foundations, United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Tompkins County Area Development and was a Founding member of the Tompkins County Community Arts Partnership. Most recently he has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Tompkins Cortland Community College. He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of the New York State 4-H Foundation.
He enjoys his family, is an avid outdoorsman and loves golfing with his wife and friends.
Jamie A. Ferris CIC, CPIA, AAI – President
Jamie is licensed for both Property & Casualty and Life & Health insurance from New York State.
He has earned the following designations: Accredited Advisor in Insurance from The Institutes; Certified Insurance Counselor from The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research; and the Certified Professional Insurance Agent from the American Insurance Marketing and Sales Society. He is a member of the Ithaca Thumbs Up Chapter of Business Networking International.
Jamie volunteers his time for many organizations. He currently is on the boards of the Professional Insurance Agents of NY, Community Arts Partnership, the Corporate Development Committee of Lansing Central School District, and the Youth Ministries Committee of the Lansing United Methodist Church.
Jamie spends his leisure time with his wife Melissa and their three daughters.
Karen Supek-Ferris, AAI – Vice President
Karen is the longest active employee of The Wood Office. Starting with the agency in 1976, she is licensed for Property & Casualty and has been managing the Commercial Lines Department for over 20 years. Her primary focus has been large or complex commercial lines accounts.
Karen is a lifetime resident of Tompkins County. She enjoys spending time with her two sons, travel, golf, and boating.
Jolene Brooker – Commercial Lines Account Executive
Jolene has been in the insurance industry since 1984 and The Wood Office since 1997. She is licensed for Property & Casualty insurance with a focus on small and mid-sized commercial lines accounts.
When she is not working for The Wood Office, she helps run her husband Gary’s plumbing and heating business. She also enjoys camping, boating, and wine-making. Jolene and her family live in Lansing.
Sara Rose, PLCS, CPIA – Personal Lines Account Executive
Sara joined The Wood Office in 2003 and in 2004 became licensed for Property & Casualty Insurance. She has earned the following designations: Personal Lines Coverage Specialist through the Hartford School of Insurance’s Personal Lines Training Program and the Certified Professional Insurance Agents designation from the AIMS Society, and is currently working toward her Accredited Advisor in Insurance Designation.
Sara spends her free time with her husband & two sons in Freeville where they enjoy many outdoor activities together.