You can count on the highest level of service from North Star's experienced team of professionals. With over 120 years of combined insurance experience handling all types of coverage, we work closely with our clients to provide the best insurance program for their needs.

Our Team: Seattle

John Walsh, President

John Walsh founded North Star Insurance Services in 2001. John has an extensive background in commercial insurance. With his in-depth expertise in the areas of Marine and Property and Casualty markets, John works with his assureds to create a comprehensive insurance program. John worked with a group of independent vessel owners to establish the North Pacific Fishing Association. The NPFA is an association of Bering Sea fishing vessel owners who work together to create and implement Safety and Human Resources Programs which programs would be extremely time consuming for a small company to accomplish.

John began his insurance career in 1989 and left a larger national insurance brokerage house to start North Star Insurance Services, LLC. Prior to becoming an insurance broker, John was a commercial fisherman in Alaska.

John is dedicated to working with business owners, public entities and individuals to provide insurance coverage that fit the needs of each client. John is an active member of many professional organizations including the Marine Insurance Association of Seattle, Surplus Lines Association, and the North Pacific Longliners Association. He is licensed in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Georgia, Idaho, Virginia and Florida, with Surplus Lines licenses in multiple states.



Ian Blackburn, Senior Vice President

Ian Blackburn has been involved in the marine insurance market for over 35 years. Ian started his career in Scotland where he trained as an average adjuster. He moved to London where he managed the claims department of an international brokerage house, specializing in handling commercial marine claims, both blue and brown water hull, P&I and cargo policies. After 20 years in the London Market, Ian was recruited by a US-based international brokerage to handle complex marine claims for a client base of Fortune 500 companies. In 2002, Ian transitioned over to the production side where his experience in the international marketplace and his extensive knowledge of marine policy terms and conditions make him an invaluable resource to his clients.

With access to dozens of markets, Ian ensures that NSIS clients are provided with the most comprehensive coverage and the most competitive pricing suited for each client. Ian is familiar with each client’s business and continually seeks the broadest and most innovative coverage available to serve each client’s distinctive needs.

Ian has been on the Board of Directors of the Marine Insurance Association of Seattle since 2007, serving as President in 2012. He is an Associate Member of the Association of United States Average Adjusters, as well as the Association of Average Adjusters. Ian is licensed in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, as well as other Western and Eastern Seaboard States.



Kathryn Noonan, Broker

Kathryn (“Katey”) Noonan joined North Star as a Broker in 2017. Specializing in both marine and property/casualty, Katey brings 15 years of experience developing and maintaining insurance programs for commercial entities, with a specific focus on clients in the maritime trades. Katey’s clients have ranged from commercial fishing vessel owners to marine contractors, terminal operators, and freight forwarders, as well as tug and barge and seafood processing companies.

As a long-standing professional within the marine industry, Katey is an active member of the Marine Insurance Association of Seattle (MIAS), the secretary for the Pacific NW chapter of the Women’s International Shipping & Transportation Association (WISTA), and is an alternate board member for the Washington Assigned Risk Plan for USL&H. Katey is licensed in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and other states on the East and West Coast.

For over five generations, Katey’s family has been involved in the Great Lakes tug and barge industry. Both her grandfather and father were tug boat captains, and innumerable family members have earned their living on the water. Katey proudly continues her family tradition in the maritime industry as she works with maritime clients assisting them to solve their insurance needs and managing their risk with NSIS.



Kirk Johanson, Associate Broker

Licensed in Washington, Alaska and Oregon, Kirk Johanson joined North Star as a Commercial Marine Insurance Broker in 2013. Kirk proactively assists fishing vessel owners with all their insurance needs from covering the vessel’s hull, liability, freight and any other exposure the vessel owner may face. As the third generation of a local commercial fishing family, Kirk appreciates that the marine risks faced by each vessel owner are unique. He is committed to taking the time to understand each business and its unique risks. Prior to joining North Star, Kirk has extensive sales experience in the technology and professional golf sectors. Kirk is an active member of the Marine Insurance Association of Seattle and the North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owner’s Association.



Kelly Lubkowski, Controller

Kelly Lubkowski is responsible for the financial and risk management operations of North Star. Kelly has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. Before joining North Star, Kelly served as controller for a Seattle-based fishing company where she was responsible for the overall financial management of a fleet of longliners and crab vessels. In her role as controller, she was responsible for obtaining appropriate insurance coverages and managed the claims for this fleet of vessels. She also provided training to the vessel captains to ensure compliance with the myriad of safety and employment-related rules and regulations affecting the fishing industry. Kelly’s business background, extensive fishing company experience and savvy good sense ensure the financial strength and stability of North Star to the benefit of its clients. Kelly has been with North Star since 2002 and is licensed in the states of Washington and Alaska, and holds a Surplus Lines license in Washington.




Nancy Harriss, Claims Manager

An experienced maritime lawyer, Nancy joined North Star in 2014 as Claims Manager. She is responsible for overall management of all North Star claims. Prior to joining North Star, Nancy’s legal practice focused on maritime defense and employment-related advice for maritime employers. Thanks to that depth of experience, Nancy is skilled at providing solutions that aid in and facilitate the resolution of insured losses and claims disputes of all kinds. Nancy is proactive in her approach to claims management which ensures that North Star clients receive quality service from the insurance carrier as well as adjusters and third party administrators. She advocates for North Star clients from the first report of loss through to the final settlement.

Nancy is a Proctor in the Maritime Law Association, and is a member of the Women’s International Shipping and Transportation Association. She has been an active member of the Washington State Bar Association since 1991. She has served on numerous boards and committees over the years. When not managing claims, she volunteers as a mediator and arbitrator.



Nadia Lorenson, Senior Account Administrator

As Senior Account Administrator, Nadia Lorenson is responsible for documentation of the insurance policies brokered by North Star, including the production and review of application forms, the reconciliation and auditing of policies, and ensuring accuracy.

Professional and extremely well-informed regarding the policies she administers, Nadia is committed to providing a seamless and worry-free process for North Star clients. She is often the first point of contact for North Star clients; reliably, she responds promptly to every inquiry and concern. Nadia is a member of the Marine Insurance Association of Seattle and the North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owner’s Association.

Nadia’s knowledge of the marine industry is practical as well as professional. Her family has fished for generations in Norway and commercially in Alaska since the 1970s. Licensed in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Maine and Massachusetts, Nadia has been with North Star Insurance Services since 2002.



Patti Ball, Account Administrator

Joining NSIS in 2012, Patti brings years of professional Property & Casualty experience, having been actively involved in the commercial insurance industry since 1988. Patti’s extensive Property and Casualty expertise supports NSIS’s expanded offerings in this area. Patti actively pursues continuing education in specialized areas of commercial insurance. Since joining NSIS, she has continued her insurance education attending specialized courses focusing on marine and cargo coverages.

As a primary contact point for many NSIS clients, Patti responds promptly to all client inquiries and concerns. Patti is instrumental in NSIS’s documentation process. She is responsible for producing and reviewing application forms, ensuring the accuracy of specifications, handling requests for certificates, and reconciling policy audits. Patti’s extensive skill and knowledge guarantees a seamless and worry-free renewal process for NSIS clients.

Over the years, Patti has received numerous professional designations including Certified Professional Insurance Women (CPIW), Certificate of General Insurance (INS) and Accredited Insurance Professionals. Patti is a member of the Marine Insurance Association of Seattle. Patti has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Washington and an MBA from City University. Patti is licensed in multiple states including Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California and Massachusetts.



Robert Stomp, Account Administrator

Robert Stomp has been an insurance professional since 1993, starting his career with a Northwest-based insurance brokerage. In 1996, he joined an international brokerage firm specializing in the adjustment of marine cargo claims for a US-based client which traded within the US and worldwide. Robert was quickly promoted to the brokerage side of the Marine Department where he handled accounts for marine clients including terminal operators, stevedores, cargo owners and cargo handlers. Robert joined NSIS in 2011.

Robert maintains a detailed knowledge of the portfolio of products available to NSIS clients utilizing his Property & Casualty and Marine background to provide combined services to NSIS clients. With his extensive background and knowledge of the commercial marine insurance industry, Robert supplies each client with policies which are most suited to their specific needs. He is proactive and thorough, ensuring that each renewal is streamlined and efficient. Robert holds licenses in the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California. Robert has a Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Office Management.



Kelsey Gustafson, Administrative Assistant

Kelsey joined NSIS as an Administrative Assistant/Receptionist in 2016. Kelsey brings to NSIS fresh energy and years of experience in Office Management and Administrative Assistance, having honed her professional skills over the past few years in the fields of environmental engineering and technology.

In addition to being the first point of contact for NSIS clients, responding to clients’ inquiries and ensuring that each client’s questions are answered or directed to the appropriate person, Kelsey assists with all aspects of the production and claims departments. She maintains client insurance and claim files, fields telephone inquiries, maintains the office database systems, and prepares presentation materials. Kelsey is licensed in the State of Washington.

Kelsey holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Literature and Cultures, with a Minor in Writing, receiving honors as a consistent member of the Dean’s and the Chancellor’s Honor Lists. Kelsey is also a certified first aid responder with expertise in CPR, AED, and blood-borne pathogens.


North Star Insurance Svcs.
1801 Fairview Ave E, #200
Seattle, WA 98102

North Star Marine Ins. Svcs.
59 Main St, #1
Fairhaven, MA 02719