Vice Presidents & Directors

Ascend Insurance Brokerage is the entertainment industry’s premier broker of insurance and risk management services. We’re a team of brokers who are not only coverage experts, but who come to the business with strong prior entertainment industry experience – with extensive artist management, concert promotion, film production, touring and venue management backgrounds. We understand your business through hands-on, real-world experience.

Our customer service and integrity is unparalleled in the industry. We provide and thoroughly understand every coverage you might need and how to best protect your assets. And with direct access to the world’s leading insurers, Ascend can provide the best coverage and pricing available.

Our Vice Presidents & Directors all come from different insurance and entertainment backgrounds.

David Shotts // Security Service

David Shotts, brought on as Vice President of Ascend Insurance Brokerage, was formerly an executive at USI, serving as a risk management consultant, spent year’s prior at Investigation Technologies as VP, Operations and Sales, and earlier as Director of Sales at Baldwin-Cox Agency. 

His expertise is in the security world, and his focus at Ascend will be event security and staffing, alongside traditional security officer firms and electronic monitoring services.  Shotts offers, “The opportunity to build something with a firm that is squarely focused in the entertainment realm is very attractive.  CEO Paul Bassman’s expertise is second to none, and I believe that our collaboration will yield great dividends for Ascend, our current clients, and those that come to the company for their needs in the future.” 

Keith Lebowitz // Film & Production

Keith Lebowitz comes to Ascend Insurance Brokerage via an impressive Entertainment background.  He is a two-time Emmy Award winner in the field of broadcasting, and has received numerous other awards including a Golden Mike and Katie Award for best in his field of Sports Broadcasting and Television Production.

Keith’s background lends to the growing need for insurance coverage in the Television and Film Industries.  Additionally, his passion for music of all genres make him an ideal fit for the niche that Ascend Insurance Brokerage has firmly established for itself.

Keith attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunications at Arizona State University, and continued his education at Cal State Northridge University in their Radio-TV and Film program.

He hails from Los Angeles, but has called Dallas home now for nearly 17 years, and resides with his two children, Jordan and Gillian.

Michelle Carroll // Advocacy & Claims

Based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Michelle Carroll is Ascend’s Vice President of Insured Advocacy and Claims.  She brings a uniquely well-rounded perspective to client advocacy, having worked on the carrier side of the insurance business as an Entertainment Claims Adjuster and Litigation Specialist, and then on the broker side of the business as an Account Manager and Claims Advocate. 

Michelle’s expertise is in understanding and analyzing complex policy language and coverage issues, making her an incomparable resource for Ascend’s staff and clients alike. 

Dealing with an insurance claim can be difficult and overwhelming.  At Ascend, no client will navigate that tricky course alone.  Michelle provides support and expert guidance for our clients while working with the insurance companies to help facilitate claim resolutions as quickly and satisfactorily as possible.

A colleague recently had this to say about Michelle, “I work with all of the brokers in the country and can tell you that no other brokerage firm has someone like Michelle that works with adjusters as professionally as she does and at the same time exhibits a high level of advocacy for the insured / Ascend client.”  


Holly Black // Service

Holly Black // Service

Holly Black is the VP of Service and Senior Account Manager.  She is responsible for the day to day management of Ascend’s Service Team to ensure service levels provided to our clients are superior. In addition, she works alongside CEO, Paul Bassman in the marketing and placement of insurance for our new business and festival clients.

With 20 years of insurance experience, Holly brings a wealth of knowledge to our team.  She holds two professional designations as an Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR) in both Personal Lines and Commercial Lines Insurance.