About Us

Our History


Serving Individuals,
Families & Businesses
Since 1853


Percy W. Wood


Percy O. Wood


Richard Hughes


J. David Ferris


Jamie A. Ferris, Pres.

The Wood Office has been meeting the insurance needs of satisfied clients since 1853, when Percy W. Wood opened the doors of P.W. Wood & Son in Ithaca. Percy operated 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 he wrote for his friend Ezra Cornell on the new college Ezra was founding, Cornell University.

The agency was operated by the Wood family until 1956, when it was sold to Richard Hughes. In 1977, J. David Ferris, a Binghamton insurance agent, made a cold call on Hughes at his downtown Ithaca office, using an editorial Hughes had written for Independent Agent's Magazine about the lack of younger people in the business as a means of securing an interview. The meeting was a success, and Ferris came to work at P.W. Wood on a handshake. Two years later, Ferris purchased the agency from Hughes.

In 1992, P.W. Wood & Son became a family insurance business once again when Ferris's youngest son, Jamie, joined the agency as a full-time account executive. Jamie became president of the company in 2010 and became sole owner when his father passed away in 2014. Today, The Wood Office is a multi-million dollar company with personal and commercial clients in more than 30 states and Canada. We strive to be our clients' one source for all their personal insurance policy and risk management needs. We understand that our clients cannot thrive under the burden of unnecessary insurance premiums, and we invite you to work with us to develop a prioritized insurance program that spends your insurance dollars wisely.

Our People

Jamie A. Ferris
Jamie A. Ferris, CIC, CPIA, AAI, became president of The Wood Office in 2010. He had previously worked for the company as an account executive since 1992. Jamie is licensed for both Property & Casualty and Life & Health Insurance from New York State. He has earned the following designations: Certified Insurance Counselor, Certified Professional Insurance Agent, and Accredited Advisor in Insurance. Jamie earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from State University of New York at Oswego. He is a board member of the Professional Insurance Agents of NY as well as a member of the Operations Committee of the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County. He has also served on the boards of The Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County as Chairman, the Corporate Development Committee of Lansing Central School District, the Youth Ministries Committee and SPRC of the Lansing United Methodist Church. Jamie, who lives in Lansing, enjoys spending his leisure time with his wife Melissa and their three daughters.


Karen J. Supek
Karen J. Supek, AAI, vice president and account representative, is the longest serving employee at The Wood Office. Joining the agency in 1976, Karen is licensed for Property and Casualty and has managed the Commercial Lines Department for more than 20 years. She has earned the designation of Accredited Adviser in Insurance. Karen lives in Lansing and enjoys spending her time crocheting, reading, and walking.


Jeffrey Dende
Jeffrey Dende has been an account executive at The Wood Office since 2015. Dende, who focuses on personal and commercial insurance, graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in business administration. A Groton resident, Jeffrey is the treasurer of the Owasco Lake Chapter of Ducks Unlimited. He is a volunteer fly fishing guide for the Brattleboro Retreat Uniformed Services Program and enjoys fly fishing and wood working in his spare time.


Sara Rose
Sara Rose, PLCS, CPIA, is a personal lines account executive and has worked at The Wood Office since 2003. She has earned the following designations: Personal Lines Coverage Specialist and Certified Professional Insurance Agent. She studied at The Hartford School of Insurance. Sara, who lives in Freeville, volunteers with the Off-Track Thoroughbred Rescue. She enjoys horseback riding, recreational vehicles, hunting, and camping.


Jolene Brooker
Jolene Brooker, CPIA, CISR, ACSR, is a commercial account executive and has been working at The Wood Office since 1997. She has earned the following designations: Certified Professional Insurance Agent, Certified Insurance Service Representative, and Accredited Customer Service Representative. Jolene, who lives in Lansing, enjoys spending her time sewing, quilting, camping, hiking, kayaking, riding motorcycles with her husband and friends, and spending time with her grandchildren.


Lisa Knapp
Lisa Knapp has been a contracts and agreements coordinator for The Wood Office since 2014. Lisa lives in Groton and enjoys yoga, hiking, music, small engine and appliance repair, and advocating for pit bulls.


A Tribute to J. David Ferris

J. David Ferris was a veteran of the insurance industry who brought a new approach to protecting businesses from risk in the Ithaca area. Not only did he help his clients find the insurance that would meet their needs, but he also worked with them to change their business procedures to mitigate their risk.

"He brought in this concept when it wasn't apparent to the industry," said Jamie Ferris, Dave's youngest son and president of The Wood Office. "He was kind of ahead of the curve."

Dave learned the insurance business through years of working with clients and through a high level of education in the field. After earning his master's degree from Goddard College in Vermont, he created his own distance learning program with Greenwich University in Hawaii to earn his PhD in risk management.

The oldest of five children, Dave grew up on a dairy farm in Otego, New York, and ran the operation from the age of 14. After enlisting in the Army and being stationed in Fort Sam Houston, Dave entered the insurance business with New York Life in New York City and later transferred to Liberty Mutual.

Hoping to return to Upstate New York, Dave was then hired at Cooper, Ackerman & Sampson Insurance Agency in Binghamton. Looking to make another career change, Dave applied for a job at an insurance agency in downtown Ithaca in 1977.

During the interview, Dave was told that he would be trained to sell insurance, a skill he already knew. So immediately headed to the office of Richard Hughes, who owned P.W. Wood & Son in downtown Ithaca. Hughes had written an article in Independent Agent's Magazine about the lack of young people in the industry, and Dave walked into his office with the magazine article and asked to see him. Dave was hired at P.W. Wood on a handshake, and two years later, he bought the agency from Hughes.

Because of his strong interest in education, Dave taught risk management at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell and in the MBA program at Ithaca College. At the same time, he began working as a risk management consultant for educational institutions, law firms, and government agencies across the country. Among his clients was the Port of Pascagoula in Biloxi, Miss., which needed help filing claims after it sustained damage during Hurricane Katrina.

Since taking over The Wood Office, Dave expanded its clientele, and the company became the agency of record for several Canadian firms launching operations in the United States. The Wood Office now has commercial clients in more than 30 states and Canada.

Dave, who passed away in 2014, not only dedicated his time to his business, but also served on more than a dozen community boards, including the United Way of Tompkins County, the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and the Tompkins Cortland Community College Board of Trustees. An avid hunter, he also taught hunting safety classes, served as a Boy Scout Leader, and was chair of the New York State 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees.

Our Partners

Along with the many insurance products and services listed you can also expect The Wood Office to be committed to a high standard of excellence in all that we do and to establish a firm relationship of mutual trust and service with each of our clients.

We expect the same from the carriers we trust with your coverage.

Some of the strong carriers we work with include the following:

 

Adirondack Insurance Exchange
www.aie-ny.com
P.O. Box 50
Buffalo, NY 14240-0050
Billing & Claims 877-248-0555

AmTrust North America
www.amstrustgroup.com
800 Superior Avenue E., 21st Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
Billing & Claims 877.528.7878

Chautauqua Patrons Insurance Company
www.chautauquapatrons.com
529 W. Third Street
Jamestown, NY 14702
Billing & Claims
716-664-5813

Dryden Mutual Insurance Company
www.drydenmutual.com
12 Ellis Drive
Dryden, New York 13053
Billing: 800-694-8271
Claims: 800-724-0560

Encompass Insurance
www.encompassinsurance.com
Encompass Insurance
3100 Sanders Road, Suite K4
Northbrook, IL 60062
Billing: 866-430-2916
Claims: 800-588-7400

Erie and Niagara Insurance Association
www.enia.com
8800 Sheridan Drive
Box 9062
Williamsville, New York 14231-9062
Billing & Claims: 716-632-5433

Farmers Insurance
www.farmers.com
P.O. Box 2478, Terminal Annex
Los Angeles, CA 90051
Billing: 800-327-6377
Claims: 800-435-7764

Finger Lakes Fire and Casualty Company
www.flfcc.com
6905 Route 227
P.O. Box 550
Trumansburg, New York 14886
Billing & Claims: 607-387-6800

Foremost Insurance Group
www.foremost.com
P.O. Box 2450
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Billing & Claims: 800-527-3907

Hanover Insurance
www.hanover.com
440 Lincoln Street
Worcester, MA 01653-0002
Billing: 800-853-0456
Claims: 800-628-0250

The Hartford
www.thehartford.com
One Hartford Plaza
Hartford, CT 06155
Billing/Service: 800-624-5578
Claims: 800-243-5860

National Grange Mutual Insurance Company
a member of The Main Street America Group

www.msagroup.com
4601 Touchton Road East, Suite 3400
Jacksonville, FL 32246
Billing/Service: 800-611-0958
Claims: 877-425-2467

Peerless Insurance,
Member of Liberty Mutual Group

www.peerless-ins.com
62 Maple Ave.
Keene, NH 03431
Billing/Service: 800-228-7830
Claims: 800-522-7152

Philadelphia Insurance Companies
www.phly.com
231 St. Asaph's Rd., Suite 100
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-0950
Billing/Service: 800-873-4552
Claims: 800-873-4552

Preferred Mutual Insurance Company
www.preferredmutual.com
1 Preferred Way
New Berlin, NY 13441
Billing/Service: 888-511-2455
Claims: 800-333-7642

Progressive
www.progressiveagent.com
6300 Wilson Mills Road, W33
Mayfield Village, OH 44123-2182
Billing 800-876-5581
Claims 800-274-4641

Safeco Insurance, Member of Liberty Mutual Group
www.safeco.com/
Safeco Plaza, 1001 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98154
Billing/Service: 800-332-3226
Claims: 800-332-3226

Security Mutual
www.securitymutual.com
2417 N. Triphammer Road
PO Box 4620
Ithaca, New York 14852-4620
607-257-5000

Selective Insurance
www.selective.com
40 Wantage Avenue
Branchville, NJ 07890
Billing & Claims: 800-777-9656

Tower Group Companies
www.twrgrp.com
120 Broadway, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10271
Billing/Service: 877-883-6599
Claims: 888-856-5522

Travelers
www.travelers.com
One Tower Square
Hartford, CT 06183-1001
Billing/Service:
Claims: 800-252-4633

Utica National Insurance Group
www.uticanational.com
180 Genesee Street
New Hartford, NY 13413-2299
Billing/Service:
Claims 800-216-1420

Zurich
www.zurichna.com
1400 American Lane
Schaumburg, IL 60196-1056
Billing/Service: 800-382-2150
Claims: 800-987-3373

Associations & Links


3S Agencies
3sagencies.com

Business Networking International
bni.com

Business Networking International
Thumbs Up Chapter
ithacathumbsup.com

Independent Insurance Agent of New York
iiaba.net
iiabny.org


New York State Insurance Department
www.dfs.ny.gov

Professional Insurance Association
piaonline.org

Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce
tompkinschamber.org