Our Team

Meet your insurance experts.

Outstanding service starts with an outstanding team. Meet the professionals behind The Armstrong Company.


Desmond (Des) Armstrong: President and CEO

Des Armstrong founded the Armstrong Company in Pasadena, California in 1972 and has been the driving force behind the company’s substantial growth. He is currently responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization.

Des began his career in insurance in London, England where he continues to have considerable business relationships with Lloyds of London and affiliated syndicates. He came to the United States in 1961 and joined a major National Insurance Company where his responsibilities were as a Casualty Underwriter.

His vast experience including Loss Control, Claims handling, administration and Risk management techniques have allowed him to act as a consultant to several large clients over the years. He has created and designed programs for his commercial business clients based on their specific needs. Over the many years of his experience in the industry, Des has built strong and lasting relationships with members of the insurance industry and his clients both in California and nationwide.


Linda LaFourcade: Director of Benefits

As the Medical Benefits Coordinator for The Armstrong Company, Linda has a long and extensive history in the employee benefits industry. Her vast experience provides a strong foundation for superior customer relations. Linda specializes in plan design, funding method education and claims analysis for group programs. Her clients include medium and large group plans utilizing various funding options and coverages. Linda has a solid reputation with carriers which enables her to effectively manage client programs.

Linda is a graduate of University of La Verne with a degree in Business Management.  Her education and past business experience provides a consumer’s perspective relative to risk management and employee benefits. This viewpoint provides an invaluable edge as she develops program designs. With more than 25 years of employee benefits experience, Linda oversees both local and national client accounts.

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Diane Carmain, CISR: Senior Account Executive

Diane has been in the Insurance Industry for more than 25 years, working for major Insurance companies and for the past 13 years with The Armstrong Company. She supports Des in the administration and development of major clients. Diane holds a CISR designation and has been involved in every aspect of the management, service and development of large accounts which includes a Timeshare resort management giant with business across the USA, Canada, Hawaii and Mexico.


Michele Baldo: Account Executive

Michele has serviced Commercial and Personal clients at The Armstrong Company for more than 17 years. She holds a Property and Casualty License and continues to further her education with a view to getting her CISR designation. Michele supports Des and Diane internally on the management and development of client accounts.


Laura Valencia, CISR: Commercial Lines Manager, Account Executive

The Armstrong Company Insurance Consultants has been Laura’s first employment since she graduated in 2001 from Long Beach State College with a degree in Criminology. She has continued her education in the Insurance Industry earning a CISR designation. Laura is our Commercial Lines Manager, holds a Property and Casualty License, and manages both Commercial and Personal accounts.


Julie Garcia, CPCU, AU, AINS:  Commercial Lines Account Executive

Julie is a licensed insurance professional with over 20 years of experience.  She attended California State University, Long Beach with a major in Finance, Real Estate & Law.  Julie has extensive public relations experience and has earned several insurance professional designations as well as received multiple awards recognizing her educational and processional achievements.


Criselda Escano:  Commercial Lines Account Manager

Cris offers solid Commercial Lines experience, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and holds an active P&C license. Cris has worked in the insurance industry since 2001 as a Commercial Lines Account Manager as well as a Quality Control Representative for accounts with premiums ranging from $1mm – $5mm per policy.

Cris is friendly, upbeat, and enjoys interacting with clients.


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