About Us

Our Mission

At Fortress Insurance, our mission is to protect the people and things that are most important to you as you build your life and construct your dreams.

In order to fulfill our mission, we believe in doing things a little differently:

  1. We’ve hand-picked a select group of insurance companies that provide only the best coverage and claims service.
  2. You deserve to know what you’re getting – and why. We’re happy to go over your risk assessment and explain the coverage we’ve recommended.
  3. Your life is constantly changing – your insurance needs to change too. We strive to create personal relationships with our clients so we can adjust their protection plan as needed.
  4. Finally, we promise to recommend an insurance plan equal to or better than one we’d recommend to our own family.

Get To Know Fortress

Our Team

Mark WestermanMark Westerman / Owner

Mark was born in Green Bay, WI, and relocated to St Paul to obtain his BA in Accounting at the University of St. Thomas. Mark and his wife, Carrie, have three children — Andrew, Alex and Kayla. As a family man, Mark understands the importance of protecting his assets, and is committed to helping others do so by providing comprehensive, customized insurance solutions for their home, auto and family. Mark also understands what it’s like to be on the other side of the insurance equation. Click here to listen to the story of the tornado.

Email: mark@buildmyfortress.com

Shawn SparksShawn Sparks / Partner

Shawn Sparks joined the Fortress team in 2016, following a five year career in business insurance. Prior to entering the world of insurance, Shawn worked as a Senior Trader at Geneva Trading in the Chicago area. Originally from Hayfield, MN, Shawn felt the pull of small town Minnesota. A member of the Rochester, Minnesota community for over 5 years, Shawn is married to Denel, a Realtor in Rochester. He enjoys golfing, skiing, and is an active supporter of many charities, including Tee It up for the Troops.

Email: shawn@buildmyfortress.com

Carrie WestermanCarrie Westerman / Accounts

Carrie was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Bethel College in psychology, Carrie worked at Wells Fargo as a credit manager. Married to business founder Mark Westerman, Carrie and Mark have three children. In addition to full time duties as a mom, Carrie also works at Fortress, handling the books. The job at Fortress interested her, Carrie says, because it’s an opportunity to work closely with Mark, and it plays to her strengths in handling detail-oriented tasks. Movies and family time (including the occasional family Dance-a-thon) are some of Carrie’s favorite ways to spend her hours away from the office.

Email: carrie@buildmyfortress.com

Kim BanfieldKim Banfield / Customer Care

Kim Banfield is a Rochester native. She earned her Associates Administrative Assistant Degree from Rochester Community and Technical College. Before joining her long time acquaintances Mark and Shawn at Fortress Insurance, she worked at Advanced Financial Consultants. Kim takes pride in her customer service role and enjoys interacting with our clients. Outside of work, her interests include exercising, spending time with her family and interior design.

Email: kim@buildmyfortress.com

An Insurance Plan Designed Around You