Paul Gaarenstroom

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.