About the Insurance Center of Durham Offering Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, Commercial Insurance and more
Here at the Insurance Center of Durham, we believe that every customer needs to feel secure in our abilities and have trust that we will work to find you the best insurance. We are always pleased to work with you to review your insurance needs and offer you the best insurance options available. Our goal is to provide you with insurance that protects your home, your life, your health, auto and business. Providing the right insurance for you and your family is our goal. We provide you with personal attention from our very first phone call or meeting, and you will find that we are always attentive to all your insurance needs.
Our Family Owned and Operated Business is Built on Providing Top Tier Service
and which we truly live by our mission statement.
“The Insurance Center of Durham is dedicated to providing professional insurance services to our current and future clients. Our combined expertise, knowledge, superior work ethic, and flexibility, places us in the top tier of our trade. As your insurance advisor, our growth is closely tied to your satisfaction and success; our vision is to be an integrator and a resource for community members and businesses, in their quest for success. ”
We Are Here for All Your Insurance Needs
Whether you need car insurance, health insurance, home insurance or business insurance, we at the Insurance Center of Durham are here to answer all your questions, discuss each policy and benefits, in order to provide you with the best insurance policy for your needs. For more than 30 years, we have been working to help you, our friends in the Triangle and Durham area, find the best insurance for your needs. Reach out to us with all your insurance questions. We want to get to know you and determine precisely what type of insurance you require.
Give us a call at 919-471-2541 and we will help you secure the right insurance. We are also available by email and through our contact form. Feel free to reach out to any of us to discuss your insurance needs.
Meet the Staff
(click photos to read bios below)
Brett Roberts is a born and raised Durhamite, where he is now raising his two daughters, Ruthie and Stela. Throughout his time in Durham, he has been involved in numerous groups and organizations such as the Jim Valvano Kids Klassic and Durham Rotary Club. Brett attended Northern Durham High School and spent much of his time at Hillandale Golf Course while growing up. He then went to the University of North Carolina - Greensboro and graduated with a BS in Finance. His career in the insurance business began in April of 1988 and he has never looked back since. Brett and Codruta bought The Insurance Center of Durham in January of 2014. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing golf, and admiring classic cars.
Heather Salas is a Hillsborough native and a Cedar Ridge High Hillsborough graduate. Her experience with commercial insurance clients makes her a perfect fit for our team, as she enjoys direct interaction with clients and has a happy and professional demeanor. She lives in Hillsborough with her son Jaxen, her Dachshund Ollie, and her two cats Jasper and Jynx. Her free time is spent in the company of family and friends, and taking trips to the beach when possible.
Manny Vejar joined our team as the Account Manager in Personal Lines, after acquiring experience in a couple of agencies and states. He is bilingual, passionate about skateboarding, and enjoys virtual reality, photography, editing, and NFTs. As an “only male” in the family, he enjoys that attention- he has four sisters and seven female cousins. His happy demeanor makes him a great addition to our agency.
Camelia Pop was born in Romania, and now lives here in Durham with her husband and two children. She has over 20 years of experience in client relations and sales. Camelia joined The Insurance Center of Durham in 2013 and now oversees our accounting department. She has a case of wanderlust and loves traveling to amazing places and meeting wonderful people. Camelia is a wonderful part of our team and we would not be complete without her.
Claudia Chicinas is a native of Romania, like Camelia and Codruta. She joined our company in 2014 as administrative support. She's perfect for her role, because she is a very upbeat person, who will always welcome you with a smiling face. Claudia is always in a good mood. She bakes goodies for the staff and occasionally works as a volunteer at Durham Technical Community College. Claudia is in love with flowers and cooking, which she says is a great combination. You can find her tending to all of the plants in our office. She also loves to travel whenever she gets the chance.
Codruta Roberts is a Romanian native, and moved to Durham in 2002, where she is raising her daughter, leading a Girls Scouts troop, is a member of the Junior League of Durham and Orange County, and is very involved in the local Romanian community. She is managing the business along with her husband, and always strives to serve the customer’s needs. Codruta enjoys the fine arts, the outdoors, dogs and classical music, and she spends her time with her family, tending to her vegetable garden, or participating in local community events. She has been in the risk management and insurance industry since 2003, and her broad view and multi-cultural experience is a great fit for our team.
Darnelle Averre has been in the insurance industry since 1973 and joined The Insurance Center of Durham in March of 1998. She is married with 2 children and 3 grandchildren. She serves as the Chairperson for the Pastor Parish Relations Committee at Banks United Methodist Church, and is a member of the Church Council, and is President of the United Methodist Women. She loves spending time with her family and helping those around her. Darnelle has enjoyed the opportunity to help our customers with their insurance needs, and she looks forward to continuing to do so.
Jenny Brann was born and raised in Roxboro, NC, where she currently lives. Her mild and pleasing demeanor and her signature smile would not let you know that she is tough; after all, she has three older brothers. Jenny enjoys spending time with her family, and she is the youngest and newest member of The Insurance Center of Durham. She joined our team in 2021 and she is already part of the work-family.
Lynn Crayton is the former owner and President of The Insurance Center of Durham, and he is one of the founders of the company. He gave the reigns of the business to Brett and Codruta in 2014, and enjoys being at client’s service, without the hustle of running the company. He is vey much involved in everyday responsibilities, and a very valuable member for our team. He is a world traveler and a great father to his three children, but even more an excellent grandfather. Lynn is everyone’s friend, with his upbeat attitude and always helping demeanor.
Melissa Parker was born and raised in Hurdle Mills, NC. She graduated from Orange High School in 2007. In 2018 she moved to Lexington, where she is now living with her fiancé, her son, his daughter, and their 3 fur babies, Mason, Loki & Gracie. She loves spending time in the mountains and enjoys quality time with her family. Melissa has been working in the insurance industry since 2013. She joined The Insurance Center of Durham in September 2016 and we are so glad to have her expertise on our side.
Phil Wolf attended North Central Michigan College and served in the Michigan National Guard. He has over twenty years of experience in the insurance industry. Phil joined the Insurance Center of Durham in 2006 and is a vital member of our team. His specialty is protecting the assets of seniors who want to live a longer, healthier life. Phil is the past president of the Board of Directors for Triangle Day School. He is currently a member of the Judea Reform Congregation and the Durham Community Land Trust. Phil is married and has three wonderful children.
Ruthie Roberts is a North Carolina native, born in Greensboro, and has spent most of her life in Durham. She graduated from Voyager Academy and now attends Appalachian State University where she is majoring in Child Development. Due to the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic Ruthie has been able to attend classes virtually and live at home. She assists us in the office wherever is needed. Ruthie enjoys the opportunity to work alongside her dad, Brett.
Personal Insight: The owners about each other
CODRUTA ON BRETT
I’d like you to know a little about my business partner, who also happens to be my husband.
Trying to talk about Brett as a professional, I only have good things that come to mind. He is the most reliable person I have ever met, and he’s always looking out for a person’s best interest. I’ve learned a lot from him, when it comes to working with people. The words “in time” and “proactive” were truly demonstrated to me by his attitude toward his work. He will always get over the small differences and see the big picture, when it comes to dealing with people.
One of his best traits is his constant positive, happy attitude. It’s almost annoying sometimes, but it’s usually contagious. Before I met Brett, I thought that workaholics were only in the movies, but he has not taken more than a straight week off in over 20 years! That’s just hard for me to understand, but he loves his work.
Brett is someone that you would immediately trust and like. He can talk to anyone and start a conversation out of nowhere.
Brett was my best friend even before I married him. I can always open up, and never feel judged with him. He can listen to my long tirades about girlfriends, family or work and never lose interest. And most of all, he can always show me another point of view and help me make good decisions.
I am more confident, more successful as a professional and as a parent because of him.
During the most difficult time of my life, when my mother was taken by cancer, I chose to go back to Romania and be with her and my family for over five months. Brett was my rock! He stayed here, took care of the household, my life here, the bills and never made me feel like that was a burden. I am sure he missed me. All the time I was there, he supported me and my family, and he sent me cards to cheer me up, and remembered all the anniversaries and celebrations and tried to make me feel better by sending me little thoughtful gifts. Being so long apart with me going through a very difficult time only got us closer together.
I tend to get focused on small stuff, and Brett is the best about taking me out of that zone. He is a great father for his daughter, Ruthie, and our daughter, Stela and I am glad that we are on this journey together. He always jokes about being the “nice parent”, but it is true.
We are different in many ways, but share the same values and have the same thoughts. The two of us together combine our skills, knowledge and experiences, along with our passionate personalities, and we make a powerful couple!
BRETT ON CODRUTA
There are a few things I’d like to share with you about my wife, Stela’s mom and my business partner.
Codruta is fun-loving, intelligent, ideological, strong-willed, quick-witted and occasionally sarcastic. She makes friends easily, and from my perspective, they trust her, as many of them call for advice. Codruta is outgoing but not overbearing, genuinely friendly and not fake. She will not sacrifice her values to get along with others.
In a work environment, she strives for excellence — good enough will not do. She holds herself and others to this standard. She relates well with customers and enjoys being a trusted advisor.
In our personal lives, these same traits can be a blessing and a burden. As a mother and wife, she is not quite a “Tiger Mom,” but she bears most of the burden for raising Stela. And me. With Stela she is patient, caring and nurturing, which isn’t always easy, as Stela shares some of the same traits with her mother. Codruta is always willing to get down on Stela’s level to play with dolls or imaginary creatures, paint or dance. She’ll often say, “We can’t let her just grow like a weed.”
Living with a perfectionist can be a challenge, and sometimes I don’t always feel up to the challenge. As a person, I have grown a tremendous amount during our marriage. I know it sounds like a cliché, but I am a better person having Codruta in my life.