Higginbotham Promotes Mary Russell to President, Private Client Services

Higginbotham, the largest independent insurance, financial and HR services firm headquartered in Texas and one of the top firms in the country, announced the promotion of long-time executive team member and former Chief Operating Officer, Personal Insurance Mary Russell to the position of President, Private Client Services.

This move marks the final division of the president title that Higginbotham Chairman and CEO Rusty Reid has held since 1989 into three separate division titles, with Chris Rooker as President, Business Insurance; Michael Parks as President, Financial Services and Employee Benefits; and Mary Russell as President, Private Client Services.

“These are the three big umbrellas in our industry — business insurance, personal or private client insurance, and financial services and benefits,” said Reid. “Higginbotham is proud to provide service in each area. But we also provide service across areas for clients with complex needs. That’s a big part of our culture — that we’ll take care of you across any lines. To expand on that culture as we grow, we needed top people to take the lead on each vertical while also working together as a team across divisions. Chris, Michael, and Mary already work together as Higginbotham board members, and I couldn’t have asked for better people to lead each division.”

Reid first met Russell when they were early-career employees at American General Fire & Casualty Company. After Reid moved to Higginbotham and took over management of the fledgling firm, he pursued Russell for two years before she agreed to join him.

“I was Higginbotham employee number 12 and Mary was number 15,” Reid reminisced. “When there are only 15 of you, and you’re building a company from the ground up, you wear a lot of hats. We got to know each other’s abilities, qualities, and values thoroughly — and Mary’s qualities are outstanding. Under her leadership, our personal insurance department has grown tenfold, and many of the clients she engaged in 1992 remain with us to this day.”

In her new role as president, Russell will provide top executive coordination while overseeing operations throughout the division, leading a dedicated team that serves more than 44,000 individual clients across the 17-state Higginbotham footprint.

“People ask me why I chose personal insurance over commercial or benefits,” Russell said. “I tell them it’s because I love the relationships we form with our clients. Some of my earliest clients have children, and those children are now clients with children of their own. We’ve been their trusted advisors this whole time, walking side-by-side through life with them. It’s a tremendous responsibility, but it’s also an amazing feeling.”

Russell went on to explain that the same feeling of continuity and renewal runs through her interactions with peers and teammates at Higginbotham.

“It’s a blessing to work with people like Rusty, Chris, and Michael that I’ve known for so many years, but it’s the new generation coming up that energizes us. I’ve talked to young people here who are already planning full careers at Higginbotham. That’s a testament to the culture we built. We’re the largest independent agency in Texas with partnerships around the country, but we’ve retained that small-town, personal agency feel. We truly are like a family here.”

In 2013, Russell received Safeco’s Personal Achievement Award and was named Travelers’ Personal Insurance Agent of the Year. In 2016, the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA) honored her with the JoAnn Heltibridle Award, which annually recognizes one insurance professional who stands for passionate industry support and client service excellence. In 2019, Russell was named a Great Woman of Texas by the Fort Worth Business Press.

Russell holds Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR), Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), and Certified Private Risk and Insurance Advisor (CPRIA) designations. In 2022, Russell earned a Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance (CAPI) designation through Chubb Personal Risk Services in partnership with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Higginbotham is a single source solution for insurance, financial and HR/employee benefits services. The employee-owned firm was established in 1948 and ranks by revenue today as the nation’s 21st largest independent insurance brokerage. Based in Fort Worth, TexasHigginbotham serves businesses and individuals through locations across the nation. The firm specializes in tailoring programs to meet each client’s unique needs, and in standing by those programs with their Day Two Services®, which provide proactive customer support through the life of each policy.

Higginbotham is a values-driven firm that strives to be family to employees, accountable to clients, teammates to carriers, and generous to communities.

Visit higginbotham.com for more information.