Charles Witter Bates, CPCU is CEO/President of NorthStar Risk Management & Insurance Services, Inc. With over 35 years of commercial property experience, Charles has positioned NorthStar to become an industry leader in commercial & residential real estate related insurance.
Mr. Bates began his career with the brokerage firm of Johnson & Higgins in San Francisco in 1977, After receiving his BA in Business Administration from the University of the Pacific. In 1984 he joined Schroeder, White & Johnson as a partner (which was later acquired by Aon) and was instrumental in putting together an association Captive in Bermuda. Charles served as a Vice President of AON, and later assumed the position of a Limited Partner with Nationwide Insurance as a general commercial insurance agent.
In 1992 Mr. Bates co-founded NorthStar Risk Management. Furthering his interest in creating property insurance programs for niche markets, Charles was instrumental in developing the following:
• Wholesale Broker for CIBA (Commercial Industrial Building Owners Alliance)
• An exclusive Lloyd’s Homeowner’s program for High Net Worth clients
• E-Ministrate: Web-base field software solution for property managers/owners.
Mr. Bates currently serves on the boards of NorthStar Risk Management, E-Ministrate and Mountain View Cemetery.
Charles is very active in the local Bay Area communities of Piedmont and San Francisco, where he grew up. Charles comes from a family of industry leaders: his grandfather was Jean Witter of the famed Dean Witter & Company. His father was head of the prestigious law firm Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in San Francisco. He is a member of the Pacific Union Club, The Bohemian Club, The California Vintners Club, The Guardsmen and the Claremont Country Club. His hobbies include horseback riding, duck hunting, skiing, golf and traveling.
Mr. Bates enjoys spending his leisure time at his family's ranch/vineyard in Gilroy, CA, especially with his wife Diane and their three daughters, who work and live in San Francisco.
A particular source of pride is the great wines that come from the family vineyards at "Bates Ranch.” With the assistance of key wine makers, the Bates’ Family has been honored with numerous gold medals for their Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet Sauvignons.
Chris Thorndike is Executive Vice President of NorthStar Risk Management & Insurance Services, Inc.
Chris started his insurance career with Peck & Peck Insurance Brokers in San Carlos, California in 1995, focusing on both personal and commercial insurance risks. In 2001 he joined the NorthStar Team, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge, experience and professionalism.
With a strong background in insurance and sales, Chris understands the importance of helping each client find proper coverage for a competitive premium.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Art degree in Organizational Communication from California State University, Chico (1992).
Chris is a board member of an annual charity golf tournament, "Swing for Shelter", benefiting Shelter, Inc. of Contra Costa County, which assists homeless and low-income Contra Costa families in sustaining permanent housing along with economic self-sufficiency.
Active in the local community where he grew up, Chris resides in Walnut Creek CA with his wife Ally and their two young children Will & Kate. An outdoorsman at heart, Chris enjoys golfing, fishing, skiing, playing basketball, and travel.
Michael P. Martin is Executive Vice President of NorthStar Risk Management & Insurance Services, Inc.
Prior to entering the insurance business, in 1996 Mr. Martin began his career with American General Finance. Working in the capacity of financial advisor and loan underwriter, Michael was responsible for mortgage portfolios and estate planning review.
In 1999 Michael joined NEK Insurance Brokers in El Cerrito, CA to oversee their personal lines department. During his tenure at NEK he chaired the Hartford/CSR producer counsel.
In 2001 Mr. Martin joined NorthStar Risk Management as vice president of personal lines. With Michael's help, NorthStar has been recognized by Kemper Insurance and AIG Private Client Group as one of the fastest growing personal lines agencies in California.
In 2008 Michael took over as Northstar's Executive Vice President and has been focusing on property insurance for commercial buildings (apartments & complexes).
Mr. Martin is an actively involved member of the 'Investment Marketing Forum' located in Orinda CA, assisting local community executives in placing insurance.
George E. Dias, AIC ASLI is Vice President of NorthStar Risk Management & Insurance Services, Inc.
George began his insurance career as a trainee with Continental Insurance Company in 1991, where he worked as an adjuster and underwriter in New England, before coming to California to work on the brokerage side of the business.
George earned his BA in History from the University of Rochester in 1984, and two designations from the Insurance Institute of America: Associate in Claims in 2000 and Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance in 2003.
He is past president and director of the Hamilton Condominium Association, and is a past or present officer or member of several civic and political organizations in San Francisco.
George holds fire & casualty licenses in 14 U.S. states, is a licensed surplus lines broker in California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Nevada, Texas and Utah, and is licensed both as a broker and an agent in New York and Washington State. For over ten years he has worked directly with Underwriters at Lloyd's of London placing coverage on behalf of NorthStar's direct clients as well as for outside retail brokers.
The California Department of Insurance has authorized him as an Education Provider Director, and he offers Continuing Education classes to NorthStar's licensed staff. In addition to assisting clients with their insurance, George is NorthStar's Compliance Officer and Operations Manager.