Through our robust network of professionals we can quickly identify the right fit for your requirements.

Jessica Esterkamp, President

Jessica founded Ascent Risk Management with the goal of reducing workplace risk through a holistic approach. Her approach emphasizes preventing claims from happening and minimizing them when they do occur.

She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Cincinnati. Her career in risk management began in 2001 with The Matrix Companies as Director of Corporate Development. She contributed to the awarding of Best Places to Work by the Business Courier and 100 Top Workplaces in Greater Cincinnati by the Enquirer, 

Jessica is a 2013 honoree of the Greater Cincinnati Cystic Fibrosis Association’s Cincinnati’s Finest program and is a graduate of the Cincinnati Chamber Women’s Excel Leadership Program through the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. She is actively involved with the Greater Cincinnati Big Brothers-Big Sisters organization and is an annual volunteer and runner in the Flying Pig Marathon. 

Dave Kiley, VP National Case Management

Dave brings more than 20 years of workers’ compensation, managed care, and risk management experience to Ascent.  He came to us after previously starting his career with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and then progressing to senior management positions in the private sector with both Ohio-based and national risk management companies CompManagement and Sedgwick CMS.

Dave served as president of one of Ohio’s largest managed care organizations where he was a board member and treasurer for the MCO League of Ohio.

He is a member of various business and trade groups including the Central Ohio Self-Insurers Association, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, and the Service Association of Ohio.


Tommy Watkins, Safety Sales Director

Tommy joined Ascent in 2014 as the Safety Sales Director. He got his start in the safety industry in 2013 as a sales manager. He has over 12 year’s sales experience. Previously to entering the safety world, Tommy worked at Heidelberg Distributing as a Sales Representative.

Tommy received his Bachelor’s Degree from Capital University where he was a member of the football and baseball teams along with being on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

He is actively involved at Roger Bacon High School as a football coach and sits on the school’s Athletic Stag Committee. He is a member of the Ohio Contractors Association, Allied Construction Industry and Cincinnati Master Plumbers Association. 


Kevin Whitaker, Safety Director

Kevin Whitaker is a versatile Safety Director with vast experience in creating safety programs and specializing in helping companies build a strong safety culture. In addition, Kevin conducts numerous training and inspections for employers in construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and general industry settings. 

Over the year’s Kevin has gained many certifications including his OSHA 510 and 500. He is an accredited trainer for the OSHA 10 and 30 hour in construction. Kevin is also an accredited trainer for industrial forklifts, aerial work platforms, skid steers, EPA lead renovation, hazardous materials, and CPR / First Aid. Kevin also has knowledge of the workers compensation system and the financial impact of an improved safety culture for employers.

Kevin joined Ascent Risk Management in 2016 as Safety Director. He helps our clients achieve OSHA compliance by promoting workplace safety awareness and accountability in their daily work practices to ensure all employees get home safe. 


Christine Nickloes,  National Account Manager

Christine serves as the National Account Manager for Ascent focusing on case management and return-to-work services.  She started her career with Luxottica Retail in the Occupational Health Department and was later promoted to Occupational Health Supervisor.  After 14 years with Luxottica Retail, Christine took some time off to raise her three children.  

During this time, she remained active in the workers’ compensation arena by assisting the Ohio Self-Insurers Association and the Southwest Ohio Self-Insurers Association with annual events. As she re-entered the workforce, she drew from her health care and workers’ comp expertise to launch a successful consulting business focusing on claims management and independent medical evaluation services.  

Christine remains an active and respected member of SWOSIA, OSIA, Central Ohio Self Insurers Association and local RIMS Chapters. Christine attended Cincinnati State Community College and University of Cincinnati.  She currently resides in Cincinnati with her three children. 


Ron Taylor, Risk Management Consultant

Ron has been involved in Sales, Manufacturing and Cost control for over 35 years. He was the Vice President/General Manager of the Campbell Hausfeld Compressor Group (1990-2003). During his 13 years of Executive management he played a major role developing safety controls and risk management programs in all of his manufacturing facilities worldwide.

Ron has owned three small businesses since leaving the corporate world and has also been a financial consultant. He understands the risk management needs of family owned businesses and the responsibilities of management to establish a safety program. Ron is dedicated to his clients and will welcome fresh ideas focusing on strategic planning and revenue growth. Ron has a BS –Marketing Degree from the University of Kentucky and an Executive Finance Degree-University of Michigan.


Daniel Perlstein, Safety Coordinator 

Daniel brings more than 5 years of safety experience to Ascent Risk Management. He came to Ascent after previously starting his career as Operations Manager for a local safety firm.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from University of Cincinnati.

Daniel is responsible for recruiting and scheduling on-site trainers, development of custom safety programs based on individual client needs, customized quote development and customer satisfaction.