How We Work
Patriot's executives have been investing in insurance agencies across the United States for over fifteen years. In that time, we've learned some fundamental truths that create value and form the foundation of Patriot Growth Insurance Services.
Invest for organic growth — consistently and aggressively.
A culture of collaboration fuels growth and ensures optimal client service.
Focus each day on building a great company.
Operational excellence drives employee engagement and firm value.
Founder & CEO
Mr. Gardner is Founder & CEO of Patriot Growth Insurance Services, LLC. He is a passionate student of the insurance distribution industry, having spent his entire 30-year career in the space. Prior to co-founding Patriot, he was Regional President of AssuredPartners, Inc. (AP), one of the largest and fastest-growing insurance agencies in the United States. At AP, Mr. Gardner had strategic, financial and operational responsibility for its business in the Mid-Atlantic region, including acquisition sourcing and integration. AP is one of the insurance industry’s most notable success stories, acquiring over 150 agencies in its first five years of existence. Prior to AP, Mr. Gardner was a shareholder, Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Executive Committee of Bollinger, Inc., one of the nation’s largest privately held insurance services firms prior to its sale to Arthur J. Gallagher in 2013. In addition to the above, Mr. Gardner has held executive positions at Aon Corporation and Commerce Insurance Services.
Mr. Gardner presently serves on the Board of Specified Jurisdiction of John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School in Philadelphia. He has previously served with distinction on the Board of The Philadelphia Hero Scholarship Fund, established to support the children of Philadelphia Police Officers and Firefighters disabled or killed in the line of duty; Mr. Gardner himself was a recipient of college tuition assistance from the Hero Scholarship Fund. In addition, Mr. Gardner served on the Board of the Philadelphia Children’s Advocacy Center, providing vital services to the city’s most vulnerable children. Finally, he is active with the non-profit Bridges to Community, traveling extensively in Central America leading groups that provide economic and capacity-building support to deeply impoverished areas.
Mr. Gardner holds a B.S. in Finance from Drexel University in Philadelphia, and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He resides in Erdenheim, PA and Stone Harbor, NJ with his wife Kelley and their sons Reilly and Alexander, both college students. Mr. Gardner is an ardent (and long-suffering) fan of Philadelphia’s professional sports teams and enjoys golf, travel, and belting out classic rock with his soon-to-be-famous garage band GKR.
Vice President of Human Resources
Amber Clouse is the Vice President of Human Resources for Patriot Growth Insurance Services, LLC. Amber comes to Patriot with nearly 20 years of business-focused Human Resources experience, spending most of her career in professional services. As the Vice President of Human Resources, Amber oversees Patriot’s greatest assets, our people. She is responsible for building and implementing people strategies and programs that support our ambitious growth and evolving organization while preserving and enhancing our core culture.
Prior to joining Patriot, Amber served as a Director of Human Resources at Mazars USA LLP, a leading accounting, tax and consulting firm. In this position, she was responsible for all Human Resources related functions for three locations and the consulting service line firmwide as well as a key member of the Mergers & Acquisition team. During her time with Mazars, Amber lead several highly visible HR culture initiatives that resulted in higher employee engagement and satisfaction such as flexible work schedules, a Dress for Your Day policy and an agile work force program. Amber also supported the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion program by sitting on the Women@Mazars Steering Committee and by serving as the firm’s Affirmative Action Officer.
Amber graduated from the University of Pittsburgh earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She resides in Eagleville, Pennsylvania with her husband, Brian and her children, Jenna and Bryce. She enjoys collecting wine, traveling and spending time with her family.
Senior Vice President / Mergers and Acquisitions
Mr. Carroll is Senior Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions of Patriot Growth Partners, LLC. Steve brings a unique blend of experience in sourcing, analyzing, executing and fostering a diverse set of high-profile transactions around the world.
Mr. Carroll initially joined Willis Group Holdings’ retail commercial business, specifically the P&C large account and international practices. In 2009, Steve joined Willis Capital Markets & Advisory (WCMA), a leading boutique investment banking firm focused exclusively on the insurance sector. During his time within WCMA, Mr. Carroll performed a variety of advisory and transactional services including financial analyses targeting (re)insurance underwriters, brokerage firms, managing general agents as well as service providers. Steve was a vital part of driving and managing various prospective pitching efforts and live mandate assignments.
At the end of 2012, Mr. Carroll moved back to New York from the London, U.K. office and joined Willis Group Holdings’ Global Corporate Development and Mergers and Acquisition team. In this role, Mr. Carroll assisted in the sourcing, identification and evaluation of present and future inorganic opportunities for the firm, working alongside the Company’s senior leadership team. Mr. Carroll was directly involved in making critical recommendations to key senior executives and Board members regarding various complimentary, bolt-on and transformational type of transactions. Over his tenure, Mr. Carroll was also a crucial part in the development of Company’s global inorganic business plan and coordination of this strategy.
Mr. Carroll’s notable transactions include: financial advisor on CVC Capital Partners and Apollo Management’s $1.4 billion acquisition of U.K.-based insurer Brit Insurance; Willis’ acquisition of a controlling stake in Max Matthiessen, a leading benefits adviser in Sweden that is focused on retirement savings, health plans and personal insurance, for $205 million; Willis’ acquisition of the remaining ownership stake in France’s largest insurance broker, Gras Savoye, for approximately $590 million; Willis’ acquisition of independent benefits broker Evolution Benefits Consulting, based in Pennsylvania and provides strategic health & welfare benefit advisory services; the $18 billion merger of Willis Group Holdings and Towers Watson that created a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company with approximately 39,000 employees in more than 120 countries.
Mr. Carroll holds a B.A. in Finance from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. He and his wife, Jamie, and their son, James, reside in Rockville Centre, NY. Steve is a football enthusiast and a New York Giants fanatic. He enjoys Crossfit, golfing and boxing.
President of TRUE Network Advisors
As the President of TRUE Network Advisors Scott provides in depth training, innovative ideas and concepts, a select group of preferred partners, the best learning events in the industry and most importantly an enhanced collaborative environment to a select group of Insurance Agencies around the country. His background in agency management, healthcare, benefits and employee communication make him a sought after speaker on the topics of innovations in healthcare cost management, agency growth strategies, leadership and agency succession planning. Prior to forming TRUE Network of Advisors in 2016, Scott carved a unique path in the benefits industry that leaves him well positioned for leadership within the Patriot organization. Previous roles include National Practice Leader at SS Nesbitt, President of Smith-Loggins Communications and President of Northwestern Benefits of Alabama. Each organization experienced dramatic growth and success during Scott’s tenure.
Scott grew up and resides in beautiful Lake Guntersville, Alabama. His professional career was centered in Atlanta and Birmingham but he moved home to the lake in 2013. He has two children, Madeline and Carson. Hobbies include visiting Madeline in Atlanta, traveling around the southeast watching Carson play soccer, golf, concerts, traveling with friends and the occasional University of Alabama sporting event. Roll Tide.
There is no shortage of financial players in the market today trying to “roll up” insurance agencies, and their approaches can be confusing. Our strategy is straightforward:
- Partner with a select group of well-run, forward-thinking agencies whose leaders wish to join a more robust platform for the benefit of their clients and colleagues.
- Invite those leaders to become shareholders in Patriot, and create additional ownership incentives based upon continued growth.
- Aggressively seek out and invest in Organic Growth opportunities. Thoughtfully knit our family of agencies together so that our whole is stronger than the sum of our parts.