Our Leadership Team

Peter Abitanto, RHU, Executive Vice President:

Photo of Peter Abitanto

Peter began his insurance career in 1996 with Oxford Health Plans. He also served as a Vice President of the Northeast for United Healthcare’s Public Sector division. Prior to joining the team in Albany, he was Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Brown & Brown Benefit Advisors for ten years. As an officer of Brown & Brown of New York Inc., he is Executive Vice President and leads the local agency. Peter is also a Registered Health Underwriter and serves as a charter member of Brown & Brown’s National Employee Benefits Leadership Council.

Sandy DenBesten, Vice President of Sales:

Photo of Sandy DenBesten

With over 20 years of employee benefits experience, Sandy began her career in 1995 with Blue Shield of Northeastern New York and joined Rowlands+Barranca in 2000, which became part of Brown & Brown in 2012.  Licensed in life, accident and health, Sandy is a member of PIA, the Capital Region Human Resource Association and the New York State Society for Human Resource Management.

Judi Burkhard, Vice President of Account Management:

Photo of Judi Burkhard

Judi brings more than 30 years of experience in call center management and customer service to Brown & Brown. Prior to joining our Rowlands & Barranca team in 2005, Judi was the Assistant Vice President of Customer Service for Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield overseeing a staff of 400. Judi oversees our Client Services and Account Management departments to make sure the members we serve receive a prompt, accurate and courteous service experience.

Patrick Markiewicz, Director of Marketing:

Photo of Patrick Markiewicz

Patrick joined our team in 2011 and oversees the marketing department, which is responsible for monitoring monthly utilization data, performing in-depth underwriting analysis, identifying cost savings strategies, obtaining competitive proposals, and negotiating renewals with our carrier partners.


Steve Piccolino, Vice President of Benefits Technology

Photo of Steve Piccolino

Steve blends over 20 years of experience in design, development and implementation of Human Resource/Benefits Software with extensive experience in the benefits arena to provide innovative technology solutions to Brown & Brown clients. His main responsibilities include:

– Management of the Technology Department
– Project management for large scale technology implementation projects
– Researching and implementing new software and information systems

Catherine Hobbs, Director of Software Implementation

Catherine Hobbs photo

Catherine’s career at Brown & Brown has covered several key areas since her 2012 start with the company. She now combines her benefits knowledge with her management skills as one of the leaders in our Technology Department. As Director of Software Implementation, she is in charge of all aspects of our BeST (benefits administration software) implementation projects, leading the team in meeting important deadlines with high-quality outcomes.