Our Team

Edward K. Gerner Jr., J.D., CLU, CPCU – President
Edward K. Gerner Jr., J.D., CLU, CPCU – President

Ed Gerner, JD, CLU, CPCU, President of R.K. Tongue Co., is a second generation principal active in the business since 1966. A graduate of Loyola College and the University of Maryland School of Law, a member of the Maryland Bar, and a former US Army Reserve Officer, he brings extensive experience, a culture of caring, and the perspectives of both an insurance professional and a lawyer to the business. He is also a licensed Life and Health Insurance Advisor.

Ed has served on various insurance company advisory boards, and currently serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of Maryland Dental School, and chairs the State Administrator Advisory Board of the Professional Protector Plan for Dentists. He has authored numerous articles in various insurance publications, and often speaks on risk management to various groups of healthcare professionals. He is an honorary member of the Baltimore City Dental Society and of the Alumni Association of the University of Maryland Dental School.

In 2009, Ed was honored by the Professional Protector Plan for Dentists with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

His business/customer service philosophy is to form and nurture trusting relationships with clients, never to betray that trust, and to service clients with persistence and determination.

E. Andrew Gerner, CFP – Vice President
E. Andrew Gerner, CFP® – Vice President

E. Andrew Gerner, CFP® is Vice President and an equity member of the insurance firm R. K. Tongue Co., Inc. He is also Principal and Founder of the R. K. Tongue-affiliated investment and financial services firm Tongue | GERNER Financial Services, LLC. Mr. Gerner is a property & casualty and life & health licensed independent insurance agent and broker, a series 7 and 66 Investment Adviser, and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. He specializes in risk management, asset protection, wealth management, retirement plans, and financial planning for members of the healthcare and professional services industries. He lectures regionally to healthcare, legal, and financial professionals on various risk management, financial, and insurance-related topics.

Andrew received undergraduate degrees in Economics and Public Policy from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, graduated Cum Laude, played Varsity Lacrosse, and received academic, NCAA and Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) honors including Honorable Mention All-American, Academic All-American, CAC All Conference, and CAC Silver Anniversary Team. Mr. Gerner continues to study professionally within the insurance and financial services industry at The College for Financial Planning.

Andrew is a member of the State Administrator Advisory Board of the Professional Protector Plan® for Dentists, one of the Nation’s largest, oldest, and most respected dentist-specific professional liability and business insurance programs. His professional accomplishments and awards include State Administrator of the Year for the Professional Protector Plan® for Dentists, and membership in Guardian Life Insurance Company’s Leader’s Club and Disability Insurance Inner Circle.

In his few spare moments, Andrew enjoys chasing around his wife and kids, fishing, surfing, golfing (badly), traveling, intently following the Baltimore Ravens, and watching college lacrosse.

Timothy A. Girard, CLU® – Vice President
Timothy A. Girard, CLU® – Vice President

Tim Girard, CLU®, Vice President of R.K. Tongue Co., Inc. has been active in the insurance business since 1998. Tim graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola College in Maryland and was commissioned as an Army Officer, serving eight years in the Army Reserves. After college, Tim entered the banking industry working for NationsBank. After being exposed to the insurance industry, he joined R.K. Tongue Co. as a sales representative where he focused on working with professionals and small business owners helping them with their insurance needs.

Today, Tim is responsible for managing the sales and service of both the Maryland operations of the Professional Markets Group and Worksite Marketing Group. He is licensed in Property and Casualty and Life and Health and has lectured regionally on various risk-management and insurance related topics. His professional accomplishments include State Administrator of the Year for the Professional Protector Plan® for Dentists, and membership within the Guardian Life Insurance Company’s Disability Insurance Inner Circle.

Tim resides in Forest Hill, MD with his wife and his three sons. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer and golf.

Jasal Patel – Director of Administration
Jasal Patel – Director of Administration

Jasal Patel is the Director of Administration at R. K. Tongue Co., Inc. She possesses more than ten years of progressive Human Resources and Operations Management experience, with expertise in Employee Administration, Employee Relations, Compliance, Business and Leadership Coaching, Change Management, Performance Enhancement, Process Development, and Accounting. Prior to joining R. K. Tongue Co., Jasal worked at Catapult Learning as Director of Operations, and at Alternatives Unlimited Inc. as Vice President of HR and Business Services, where her operational responsibilities included overseeing multiple components of complex nationwide organizations that included the full scope of HR responsibilities, Facilities Management and Strategic Planning and Development.

Jasal is passionate about helping R.K. Tongue Co. make the most of its resources and talent and is committed to fostering positive business relationships.

She earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Business and Finance from the University of Salford, UK, is licensed in Property and Casualty, Life and Health and is an active member of the Society of Human Resources Management.

Caroline Kendrick Cole - Director of Employee Benefits
Caroline Kendrick Cole – Director of Employee Benefits

Caroline Kendrick started with R.K. Tongue Co., Inc. in 2007 with a primary goal of growing the Employee Benefits Division in the Professional Markets Group. Since then, she has been dedicated to offering her clients unprecedented knowledge and expertise as well as superior customer service. With the cost of medical insurance at an all-time high, she realizes that offering a quality benefits program at an affordable price is a challenge for employers. She is committed to that challenge by staying informed of all available products/plans in addition to thinking “outside the box” to find creative solutions that make sense for her clients. Caroline also attends regular training on healthcare reform to ensure that she is up to date on all the latest changes and how they affect her clients. She is an active member of the National Association of Health Underwriters.

Caroline grew up in Columbia, MD and graduated from James Madison University with a BS in Health Sciences Administration. She now lives in Odenton, MD with her husband and two sons.

Jonathan Askew – Account Executive

Born and raised in Baltimore MD, Jonathan is an alum of Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School. Starting his career in the Insurance Industry in 2008 providing life and health insurance for families and individuals in Maryland. He has an extensive background in marketing, customer service and sales. He is currently responsible for Worksite Marketing where he provides Baltimore City, and State of Maryland employees with disability, health and life insurance.

He is a proud Sports fan. He loves spending time with his family, friends and Congregation. He also loves exploring different cultures through their cuisine.

Cynthia Eckhardt – Account Manager

Cynthia Eckhardt, a licensed Life and Health insurance Agent, joined R.K. Tongue Co., Inc. in 2018 as an Employee Benefits Account Manager.   She brings with her 25 years of experience in the association space focusing on life, health, disability and long term care insurance solutions for members.  She brings vast experience and product knowledge to her customers and is passionate about finding solutions tailored to meet individual needs.

Cynthia has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University and a Masters of Association Management from George Washington University.  She lives in Crofton, MD with her husband and three children.  She is active in her community, parish and enjoys reading and tennis.

F. Michael Fitzpatrick III – Account Executive

F. Michael Fitzpatrick III – Account Executive

Michael Fitzpatrick is an Account Executive at R. K. Tongue Co., Inc. with a focus in the Delaware, DC, and Virginia region. He is both Life & Health and Property & Casualty licensed independent insurance agent and broker. His specializations include risk management and insurance education for members of the healthcare industry and other white collar professionals.

He graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where he played on the Varsity Baseball team. He now lives in downtown Baltimore and enjoys spending time with friends and playing recreational sports.

Richard Friddell – Account Executive

Richard Guy Friddell, a licensed insurance Account Executive, joined R.K. Tongue Co., Inc. at the beginning of 2018. He specializes in providing private practice physicians and surgeons with coverage for risk management, particularly through medical malpractice insurance. He also works closely with attorneys providing lawyer’s malpractice coverage. His focuses also include general liability, workers compensation, commercial auto as well as personal lines that include home and auto. Richard, who goes formally by the name Rip, is also licensed to sell life, health, disability and long term coverage.

Rip (Richard) was born in Baltimore and attended Gilman School, also in Baltimore, before heading to Richmond, Virginia to attend the University of Richmond where he attained his Bachelor of Art in Religious Studies. At Gilman he lettered in Baseball and Volleyball before going on to coach both sports while studying at the University of Richmond, and then afterwards while he was teaching English to middle and high school private school students in Richmond and Baltimore. His interests include golfing, skiing, following all local high school, collegiate, and professional sports teams, as well as enjoying and researching new local and national cuisine as both sides of his family have owned restaurants and he is a self-proclaimed “foodie”.

Kathy Goeller Shahinian – Account Executive

For Kathy Goeller Shahinian, Account Executive, “Insurance is not just a job; insurance is my career”. Kathy is proud to be an agent with R. K. Tongue Co., Inc. She joined the firm in 1998 and has served in several capacities including Sales Manager, Training Manager and Agent.

Kathy, by far, best enjoys serving as an agent. As an agent, she is able to meet with city and state employees from all walks of life. R. K. Tongue’s portfolio of products permits her to assess an employee’s needs and tailor insurance programs that provide affordable financial protection.

Kathy holds a BA and MA from the College of Notre Dame as well as being certified as a Long Term Care Consultant. In June 2013, she was ordained to the deaconate by the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

Elizabeth Holmen - Account Executive
Elizabeth Holmen – Account Executive

Elizabeth Holmen joined R. K. Tongue Co., Inc.’s Professional Markets Group team in 2007 as an Account Executive serving the Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia areas. She is adept at, and enjoys, establishing and maintaining trusting relationships with her many clients in all areas of insurance, but especially in her areas of specialized expertise, which include Professional and General Liability, Commercial Property, Worker’s Comp., individual and group Disability Income insurance, and various forms of Life insurance.

A native of South Korea, she has lived most of her life in Maryland, where she earned a degree in international business at the University of Baltimore

Steve Marcus – Account Executive

Steve came to R.K. Tongue Co., Inc. in November of 2009 after a 15-month stint as an Associate at Aflac, where he was one of the top account openers in the Maryland/D.C. territory.

Licensed in Health and Life, his main focus is the Worksite Market where he provides Baltimore City and State of Maryland employees with disability and life insurance. Slightly obsessed with food, Steve will drive anywhere in the state for an appointment…as long as he can find a good place to eat.

Insurance sales is his second career, as Steve spent 27 years in the newspaper industry, working at six papers in four states. His final 15 years were at the Baltimore Sun where he was Deputy Sports Editor.

A graduate of Syracuse University, a native New Englander and a huge Patriots fan, Steve will gladly discuss the greatest quarterback ever at any time.

Perry McCormick – Account Executive

Perry McCormick is an Account Executive with R. K. Tongue Co., Inc. serving the Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia areas. With both his Property & Casualty and Life & Health licenses, he is able to accommodate the multi-faceted lives of the medical and dental professionals, as well as any personal risk management endeavors they need facilitated.

He graduated from Salisbury University with a dual concentration in Finance and Accounting.  His passion for Risk Management was personified by his tenure as president of his fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, for 1 ½ years and his senior year internship with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Group. He aspires to procure his Series 7 and 66 in his continuing pursuit for professional growth.

Diane Willey – Account Executive
Diane Willey – Account Executive

Diane is an experienced insurance professional who began her career with R.K. Tongue Co., Inc. in 1981. Initially, she served as a Customer Service Representative, but transitioned to the sales field in 1986, concentrating in the Worksite Marketing arena. Since then, she has successfully served the insurance needs of public employees of the City of Baltimore, State of Maryland, and ultimately Federal employees. She currently works closely with the Federal Employees Activities Association, fulfilling the insurance needs of Federal employees throughout the geographical region.

Diane’s background in customer service enhances her ability to serve her clientele.

Joanne Woodcock – Account Executive

Joanne is a highly experienced insurance agent and has been with The R.K. Tongue Co., Inc. since 1988. During her tenure, she has devoted her efforts almost exclusively to the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA), where she remains on the job daily to serve the needs of VSEA members. Well known for her concern for VSEA members, Joanne has made it her mission to understand the wants and needs of her clientele, and to form trusting relationships with both the members and their leadership at VSEA. She is tenacious in her pursuit of fulfilling the insurance wants and needs of both members and leadership.