Our Mission

Our knowledgeable health and welfare benefit professionals strive to provide our clients caring guidance through the complicated world of insurance and compliance. 


Our History


It was 1987, and Tom Garnett was fed up with traditional insurance agencies and their lackadaisical attitudes. Rather than settling for the status quo, he decided to create his own agency, dedicated to putting the client first by providing stellar products and services. Tom worked tirelessly to build the business from his dining room table, his sole office space, proving that commitment to client service is paramount. 

The business grew rapidly, and within a year Tom recruited his wife, Joan, to assist him. At the time, Joan was an Area Manager for a large commercial furniture distributor, and her expertise in managing customer service and Human Resources was a perfect fit for Tom’s client-centered service model. Within five years, what was then known as Benefits by Design grew to be an established employee benefits provider, focusing on offering core benefits and unparalleled service to the business community. In 1996, Tom and Joan changed the company’s name to Garnett-Powers & Associates (GPA), combining the Garnett name with Joan’s maiden name.

1997 saw the next significant change for GPA, taking them in a new and exciting direction. During a sales trip to UCI, Tom had a chance encounter with Steve Johnson, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies for the University. Steve showed an interest in the insurance industry, and Tom saw the value in his knowledge of what University students and administration find most important in health insurance plans. The rest was history, as they say, and Steve’s 12 years of experience in higher education has been instrumental in creating and administering GPA student, postdoc and visiting scholar benefit plans ever since.

Our rich, storied past has served as a rock-solid foundation for building an agency unlike any other. We are excited to share our bright future with organizations all over the country looking for a broker that knows the value of expertise, solutions, and service beyond expectation.