About Us

Our Executive Team

Brent Messmer

Brent Messmer, President/CEO

Brent spent six years at the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation as a claims adjuster and advanced to the Supervisor of Investigations.  He founded Ascent in 2000 and continues to lead the company with a clear vision and strategy.  His people first philosophy sets the tone for our culture.

Brent graduated from Thomas More College and serves on TMC’s Board of Trustees. He has been recognized for the Professional Achievement Award from Thomas More College Alumni Association, Forty Under 40 award from the Business Courier and a Larry Albice Entrepreneurship Award from Hamilton County Development. Brent is a former board member of Big Brother Big Sister of Cincinnati and a BIG brother for nine years. 

Fun fact: Brent loves to travel and when he does, he enjoys indulging in Doritos and Hot Tamales. 

Dave Kiley

Dave Kiley, Executive Vice President

Dave brings more than 25 years of risk management experience to Ascent.  He joined our Executive Team in 2007 after starting his career with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and progressing to senior management positions within the Bureau and later at two National Risk Management Companies.

Dave oversees our Return-to-Work Service Division and remains active with numerous Employer Educational Associations.

Fun Fact: Dave is number eight of sixteen children in his family.  The ultimate 'middle child'!

Jessica Esterkamp

Jessica Esterkamp, Vice President of Corporate Development

Jessica began her career in the staffing industry before joining Ascent in 2004 as a Business Development Manager. Over the past 15 years she has driven growth and fulfills her current role on the Executive Team as VP of Corporate Development; overseeing Client Relations, Sales & Marketing and Safety Services.

Jessica's Company SAFESTAFF, under Ascent Risk Management, is a certified Women's Business Enterprise providing safety staffing and tailored training.

Jessica received her bachelor’s degree in Business from University of Cincinnati. She was recently recognized as a Business Courier's Forty under 40 recipient, a 2013 honoree of the Greater Cincinnati Cystic Fibrosis Association’s Cincinnati’s Finest program and is a graduate of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Women Excel Program. She currently serves as a board member of the Greater Cincinnati Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and is a Big Sister. 

Fun Fact: Catch Jessica jumping Double Dutch while spouting the words to any 90's rap song.

Jim Esposito

Jim Esposito, Chief Financial Officer

Jim joined the Ascent team in 2010. He began his career in 1990 at Deloitte where he held roles of increasing responsibility including Audit Manager.  In 1997, he began his consulting practice in which he has performed project management, as well as interim or advisory Controller and CFO duties for a variety of companies, including three years as the Corporate Controller for General Cable Corporation, a $5 billion publicly traded company.

Jim graduated from Xavier University and maintains his designation as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He is also president of the board of directors for the Athletes United Foundation.

Fun Fact: Jim Esposito has seen Bruce Springsteen in concert over 50 times and he's not done!

Stephanie Armbruster

Stephanie Armbruster, Vice President of Claims Operations

Stephanie got her start in the industry in 1996 and began her employment with Ascent in 2004. She was promoted to Director of Claims in early 2012 before being named Vice President of Claims Operations in 2014.

Stephanie attended the University of Cincinnati and holds multi-state certifications to adjust workers’ compensation claims. 

Random Fact: Stephanie has her own dirt bike and loves to ride on the weekends. 


Don't be fooled by our glamour shots above, this is the unfiltered version of us. 

We believe in the concept of work hard, play hard. 

team silly