Meet Our Great Staff!

Andy P. Stepka, President and CEO, licensed agent (NPN #1666124)

Andy graduated from Arkansas State University with B.S. in Finance before opening a successful financial planning business in 1991.  Andy opened Stepka and Associates, Inc. in 1999, after recognizing the opportunity for his existing clients and new ones to experience quality employee benefits, both as individuals and as employers. The agency has grown both in client-base and in workforce continually since 1999 by making Service the number one priority.

Working with clients and individuals on a one-on-one basis has helped Andy recognize his goal to continue working with a wonderful team of like-minded professionals.  Team spirit keeps this agency energetic and successful.  Andy likes to say that every 2-person client gets the same level of service as a 200-person client.  That philosophy and dedication to ALL our clients has kept Stepka and Associates, Inc. at the top of the industry in Arkansas.

Andy currently serves on numerous industry advisory boards, both nationally and on the state level.  He has been a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters and attends conferences whenever possible.


Chris W. Foster, Vice President, licensed agent (NPN #7720411)

Chris joined the Stepka team in May of 2003.  Chris' attention to detail and his customer-focused attitude at his previous job gained Andy's immediate respect.  He recruited Chris to help grow the agency into what it is today.  Chris received his Finance degree in 1998 from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.  He enjoys the personal relationships and friendships he has with our clients and enjoys helping employers find innovative solutions for their healthcare needs.  The industry is constantly changing and Chris considers that evolution a learning opportunity at every turn. 



Dottie Shaffer, Senior Account Manager, licensed agent (NPN #9694309)

Dottie has been in the health insurance industry for many years.  She has worked on both the agent/broker and carrier sides of insurance.   She has a well-rounded knowledge of all aspects of our industry and will be key to our agency as the go-to person for quoting, eligibility updates and customer service issues.  Dottie was in accounting and office management for 20 years prior to her insurance career; obvious by her organizational skills and efficient work flow processes.  Dottie has a love for family, dogs and photography.

Adam Ritchie, Account Manager, licensed agent (NPN #17987067)

Adam Ritchie graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2015 with a B.S. in Geology. After graduating, Adam came to work for Stepka and Associates and worked his way up to Account Manager. He prides himself on his ability to simplify insurance language into terms that are easily understandable, which puts employees at ease when calling about personal issues, or during open enrollment meetings. Aside from being an account manager, Adam provides support on a variety of tasks related to organization and communication. His organizational skills and proficiency in a multitude of technical/computer programs ensures the efficient operation of the office. In his personal life, Adam enjoys basketball and tennis, as well as any outdoor activity. 



Melissa Emmerton, Executive Assistant

Melissa is an Accounting/Human Resource professional with more than 15 years of experience.  She possesses multiple skills which include accounting and human resource management, compilation and analysis of financial information, accurate and timely reporting, internal auditing, continuous employee growth, and two successful accounting software conversions.  Melissa has assisted in managing financial and human resource departments for multiple companies with 150+ employees at multiple branch locations.  In addition, Melissa’s core beliefs are integrity and professional excellence, as well as, she firmly believes in making every client and team member feel valued.



Michelle Pettit, Senior Data Specialist

With over fifteen years’ experience in customer relations, Michelle shares the Stepka dedication to customer satisfaction. Currently pursuing a master’s degree in statistics and data analytics, she has an eye for numbers; and as Stepka and Associates’ Data Specialist, Michelle brings quick, accurate, and meticulous attention to detail that aids in the team’s ability to deliver the best service.  Outside of the office and the library, she loves to be active, so Michelle can be found exploring nature or spending time with friends and family.




Hayley Carlisle, Data Specialist


Hayley graduated from Texas A&M in 2015 with a degree in political science; she decided to continue her studies in 2019 and is currently pursuing a graduate certification in data science. With her five year experience in customer service, Hayley has a dedication to making the clients of Stepka and Associates feel welcome and appreciated. Her background in research and data also give her a keen eye for detail and accuracy in her work. While she exercises her knowledge in the office, she equally enjoys exercising her creativity in her spare time, especially through writing and drawing.