Pacific Group has been providing California Corporations with 50 to 1,000 employees with unsurpassed service since 1991. Pacific Group is a privately held, full-service Employee Benefits Brokerage Firm that designs, administers, and manages the costs of our clients’ Employee Benefits Programs.

Our hands-on philosophy as a service organization acts as a solid foundation of reliability and trust. We undertake a limited number of clients so that we are able to provide customers with experienced, continuous, and personalized service. We are committed to fulfilling our promises and sticking to our values by delivering outstanding performance to our clients.

The Pacific Group team is comprised of individuals who are highly experienced in employee benefit design and administration, consulting, and cost management.

Pacific Group has formulated programs on behalf of Aetna, AIG, Anthem of California, Blue Shield, CIGNA, Guardian, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, Principal, United Healthcare, and other prominent insurance and financial service companies.

Our results-driven approach allows us to act as an extension of our clients’ own Human Resources staff and provide value-added services with unmatched service. Contact us today and invite us to join your team.

The Laguna Hills Team

  • My professional career started early at age 13 when I debuted my entrepreneurial skills as the “owner / sales manager / marketing coordinator” for a fireworks stand in Raleigh Hills, Oregon, in order to save money to purchase my first car. Although that stand was a rousing success, I didn’t want to be a “Fireworks Extraordinaire” for the rest of my life.

    I served four years in the United States Air Force following my high school graduation from Beaverton High School as a Crew Member on a C-141 Starlifter. I returned home, following my service, to play collegiate basketball for Concordia College, located in Portland, Oregon. Soon after starting that endeavor, I tore my ACL playing basketball and my days as a college athlete were suddenly over. I left Concordia College to attend Portland State University.

    In 1985, I was recruited to MetLife as a sales associate. In March of 1987, MetLife transferred me to Seattle, Washington as the Marketing Director for Washington and Alaska. In 1988, MetLife relocated me again. This time, to Century City, California, to take over as the Manager of the Century City branch. At that time, I was the youngest Branch Manager in MetLife’s history by 11 years. We grew that location into one of MetLife’s top-performing 15 branches in the nation. In addition, we were also MetLife’s largest producing Employee Benefits office in the nation.

    I made a major decision in late 1990 to start my own insurance brokerage firm. In 1991, the Pacific Group was formed in Irvine, California. Since then, I have spent the balance of my life growing the company and raising four amazing boys with my wife of 30 years, Anne.



  • Steve was born in Tacoma Washington but grew up in Eugene and Beaverton Oregon. He graduated from Beaverton High School in 1978, and attended Oregon State on a partial baseball scholarship. After his junior year, Steve was a first-round Draft pick (19th overall) by the Boston Red Socks in 1981. Steve spent 9 years in the majors and has enjoyed a successful radio and TV broadcasting career following his baseball career.

    Steve has worked for Pacific Group for four years and enjoys the challenges of his position. Steve has also conducted many motivational seminars for Pacific Group where he is always well received by our clients. Steve has been close friends with the Founder of Pacific Group since their days in High School. In Steve’s off time from work, he enjoys playing Golf, working out and spending time with his three children.

  • Nick Quaid started with Pacific Group in 2013.  Paul Gaarenstroom and Nick met while Nick was a Regional Sales Manager for California Choice, the nation’s leading Private Exchange company.   He had spent the first 13 years of his career working there, doing everything from data entry, underwriting, renewal, and sales.  While working in sales, Nick was able to learn from a variety of brokers throughout California to see what works best.  He quickly found Pacific Group was the right fit for the next stage of his career.  “Paul has been an amazing mentor for me, and while working with what seems like every broker and agency in California for years, he stood out as someone I could grow and learn from. Joining forces was the best career decision I have made.”

    Nick’s current role is Vice President of Sales. He manages the sales and renewals for all Pacific Group clients, working hand in hand with the dedicated team of account managers.  In the past 4 years, Nick has also opened an additional office in Northwest Arkansas, one of the nation’s fastest growing areas.  He is racking up the airline miles by splitting his time between both offices.

    “I truly feel we have the best team out there.  It’s nice coming to “work” every day and enjoying what you do AND the people you work with.  We are a family through and through. Cheriss, Alanna, Ashley, and Debney are truly talented and special people. I feel lucky to get to work with each of them every day.”

    When he isn’t working, he is enjoying his time with his two daughter’s Reagan and Ellie, who are becoming quite the athletes.  Both are competitive cheerleaders and Ellie also plays travel softball…so his time is filled cheering them on.  During their off time, they all love boating, snowboarding, and golf (well, Nick loves golf, the girls haven’t quite caught the bug yet.)  They are Bulldog FANATICS and have a 3-year-old English Bulldog named Winston.  He sleeps most of the time, but with their hectic schedule, that’s exactly what they need!

  • Our relationship with the law firm of Seaton, Peters & Revnew, P.A. ensures we have access to a talented team of attorneys who specialize in representing employer’s interests, including in the area of employee benefits. We work closely with Seaton, Peters & Revnew, P.A. attorney Caitlin Gadel who practices in the areas of employee benefits and employment law. Caitlin advises employers on compliance issues relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, maintaining ERISA compliant employee benefit plans, and other employment matters, including policy development, employment agreements, and discipline and discharge issues. She represents employers throughout the litigation process and has experience defending employers against claims involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Caitlin graduated from University of St. Thomas School of Law in 2011 and “the” University of Michigan, 2008 (Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy). To learn more about Seaton, Peters and Revnew, P.A., visit their website at

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