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Our Shining Stars at Indiana Farmers

April 22, 2016
by Buren Jones, General Counsel
Each year Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company asks our associates to nominate their peers for our Shining Star awards.

This year, we honored six associates who made extraordinary contributions to the success and progress of our company.

Pictured (left to right) with our President and CEO Kim Smith (Center) are Carla Arney, Jeanna Lemaster, Daniel Matthews, Derek Cooley, Trish Stanley, and Gary Smith.

Shining Stars

And here’s a little more about each outstanding individual:

Carla Arney: Carla is a source of knowledge based off of experience. She leaves no stone unturned when dealing with agents, policyholders, or fellow associates. Her commitment to excellence is demonstrated daily. She truly loves this company and her attitude is infectious.

Not a day goes by that Carla doesn’t give someone an extra push of motivation, encourage them to try a little harder to succeed. She is consistently upbeat when it comes to changes and embraces the opportunity to make things better. She truly lives by our company’s mantra of kicking status quo to the curb.

Jeanna Lemaster: There isn’t a person at Indiana Farmers who hasn’t heard about VelociRater for Farm and the resurgence of the Farm team and our Farm program.

Jeanna spearheaded the introduction of VelociRater for Farm to our agents and our agents have responded. Additionally, she serves as a mentor, leader, trainer, and at times, an underwriter on the Farm team. She has served as the face of the company on many occasions including giving a presentation at CIS, conducting town hall meetings and embarking on several agency road trips to provide that personal touch to the agents when it was needed to teach and spur new business growth.

Daniel Matthews: Daniel was asked to fill in for a fellow associate who was away on leave. In addition to continuing his regular underwriting duties, he assumed the duties of a field commercial lines underwriter. Daniel kept the growth momentum that had been established by keying in on several meaningful agents.

These efforts were instrumental in helping commercial lines grow policy count and premium. He also helped to strengthen existing agency relationships and forge new relationships with high-profile agencies.

Derek Cooley: In addition to handling his own tasks professionally and with courtesy, he demonstrates teamwork through consistently assisting other associates. Our policyholders are the best testimonial for Derek:
  • You have been pleasant to work with, quick to respond, organized and more than patient and fair.
  • I will pass my experience with you on to my family and friends so that they can be with Indiana Farmers too.
  • Thank you so much for everything you did for us. You really went above and beyond to help us.

Derek takes the initiative to further his knowledge by attending industry seminars and he has started the path toward an industry designation.

Trish Stanley: We have many committed associates at Indiana Farmers but one would be hard pressed to find one more committed than Trish. In addition to performing her job exceptionally well, she is a participant in our leadership training program and exhibits the desire to constantly improve her skills and effectiveness. While she regularly puts in hours above and beyond what would be anticipated or expected, it is more than that. It is the quality of work and the personal ownership of the success, well-being, and contentment of every associate at the company that she exhibits that make her a Shining Star.

Trish is constantly looking for ways to expand or offer associate engagement programs which require enormous planning and organization. All of this is done so that associates feel that they have a welcoming, pleasant and professional environment in which they can perform their best for our customers.
Gary Smith: Gary reflects all of the best qualities we demand of all our associates. We talk about “being the smart insurance choice for our customer” and listening to the voice of our customer. Here is what some of our customers have said about Gary:
  • First time using our insurance. We are very pleased. Thank you so very much!
  • Gary was very helpful through the whole claim. You should be proud to have him as part of your team!
  • Thank you for your top quality service. We’ve been with your company for years and plan to stay.

On Christmas Eve, Gary received a call from a manager asking him to drive to the southern edge of his territory to get some documents executed on a complex claim. He never complained.

Again, congratulations to each of our Shining Stars who truly help make Indiana Farmers the smart insurance choice for our customers.