An Apartment Building

Our Shining Stars at Indiana Farmers

April 28, 2017
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 eight associates who made extraordinary contributions to the success and progress of our company.

Matt Dickerson

Matt Dickerson: Matt is a key cog in the Indiana Farmers machine. He makes sure that our home office facilities and grounds are always in top notch shape. His knowledge of our building and grounds and the respective inner mechanical workings are unmatched and they would be incredibly difficult to replace. Additionally, his responsiveness to any request is always prompt and professional. Matt also manages our facilities vendors and helps to assure that our facilities are not only beautiful, but also safe and secure. By way of example, he led and oversaw the repair and renovation of our elevator last year.

In addition to his individual accomplishments, he is an unselfish teammate who constantly seeks to assure that others are recognized for their contributions. In addition to his facilities work, he is also a valued member of the Corporate Social Responsibility committee. In fact, he was the sponsoring member of our bingo event that supported Mission 22, an organization that helps to assist veterans who have returned from combat. Matt is a patriotic American and an even better person.

Katie McQueen

Katie McQueen: Some of the characteristics that define top talent include (1) going above and beyond your normal job duties and seeking to expand your responsibilities and develop your skill set; (2) being a go to person because of your technical knowledge, abilities and insights; and (3) being self-motivated and taking initiative. Katie is all of those and more. In support of our vision she works tirelessly to ensure that our members receive the best claims service in the industry. There are countless examples of Katie working nights, days off, and vacation to review files and extend authority so that payments can be made expeditiously. She also is constantly monitoring the weather so that we are prepared to respond quickly in the event of a CAT. Katie received multiple nominations and I think that is reflective of her willingness to go outside of her area of expertise and assume responsibility for the Customer Communication team as well as the Client Data Center. One of the nominations expressed that she is the most organized person I know.

Katie also plays an important role on the LIFT steering committee. Additionally, she has been working as a member of the Customer Experience team to generate ideas and solutions to resolve customer-facing issues in order to help the organization become more customer centric. She is described as a mentor, someone who is willing to help at any time regardless of how busy she is and that she truly cares about the success of the company and the members and it shows in her attitude every day.

Jun Fu

Jun Fu: Jun is proof that you do not have to be with an organization long to make a dramatic impact. A major reason for focusing on hiring top talent is to take advantage of the knowledge and skills that a person has gained throughout their career. Jun, our resident rocket scientist, has been developing smart and innovative tools designed to improve our customer experience by assuring that our members receive correct and accurate policy forms. One of the tools implemented by Jun has become instrumental in recognizing critical print differences in our test environments. This allows our IT and QA teams to fix issues before they move to production as well as prepare the company for questions we may receive from our members. Jun has not been satisfied with the initial version of this tool and he has been working to make continuous improvements resulting in quicker and easier detection of errors.

Jun has also been deeply involved in our co-development efforts with our policy administration system. His work in this space results in more efficient and speedy correction of items. He is willing to take on any task, communicates his thoughts well and is always looking for ways to make behind the scenes IT improvements that will have a positive impact on the customer experience as well as the entire company.

Jackie Green

Jackie Green: In many ways, Jackie was the face of the company during the past year without actually being the face of the company. We have engaged in a multi-pronged effort to increase our brand awareness over the past few years. This includes the naming rights to the Indiana Farmers Coliseum (including our partnership with the Indy Fuel) and our partnership with PAWS, Inc. and Garfield. We continued that in 2016 when we accepted the invitation to be one of the title sponsors of the Bicentennial Torch Relay. Jackie spearheaded our efforts with regard to the relay ensuring that we had a visible presence, with the requisite publicity, at most of the major stops of the relay. From Corydon to Terre Haute to Fort Wayne to Hamilton County and ultimately to the statehouse finale, Indiana Farmers was there.

In addition, Jackie is the behind the scenes face of the company on social media including our outward-facing messages as well as monitoring for member concerns and the occasional troll. She also is our internal news source. Jackie is primarily, if not solely responsible for the production and publishing of Indiana Farmers News. It is a great tool for keeping up with what is going on in the company. The multiple nominations that she received were uniform in their praise of her positive attitude, ability to capture and tell a story through words and photos, and living our vision by going above and beyond for the member daily. She has a passion for doing the right thing the right way.​​

Tim Genge

Tim Genge: Tim is a perfect example of doing whatever it takes to service our members. I know this because of the direct feedback we have received from our members. Here is some of that feedback:

- "He did an awesome job – Super friendly and very quick to handle our claim."
- "Very helpful and courteous."
- "Adjuster very experienced in restoration work. He understood very well what needed to be done."
- "He is the best! You are lucky to have him on your team!"
- "Our representative was great. We enjoyed his being prompt and honest with us."
On many occasions, Tim has spent multiple nights, including weekends, away from his home so that we could respond to our members in their time of need, for example when we have a CAT event. He has rescheduled planned PTO in order to assist fellow claims adjusters if their territory was experiencing high volume. The most recent example of this (though certainly not the only one) occurred this year when we experienced the high wind CAT event. His actions and selfless attitude are a living manifestation of our vision. He is a true team player. 

Subrogation Team

Subrogation Team: 
We hear about Sandy Wyrick, Gayle Sprinkle, and Cindy Yates regularly in the Indiana Farmers News. We hear about them because they keep setting new records. Allow me share with you some statistics about this team:

- During the last 4 years they have recovered more than $16M for the company and our members.
- They have increased their annual recoveries 56% since the inception of this team.
- Last year, they increased their recoveries 28% over the previous year.

Their recoveries were responsible for more than a 2% benefit to our overall combined ratio in 2016. To put that in perspective, we finished at a 99.6. Without their efforts, we would have finished with a combined ratio over 100.

Of course, they do not operate in a vacuum. Like every high-performing team, their success depends on their ability to work with their fellow associates and provide support to them in order to achieve these results. This support comes from being a SME and coaching colleagues to think outside the box, utilizing new tools such as taking payments via credit card and providing support, clarification of facts and the use of tools such as arbitration to negotiate a more favorable recovery. While their efforts have a very direct and discernable effect on our bottom line, what you may not know is that their success often results in money being paid back to our members. It is not unusual for our members to be refunded for their deductible that they previously paid once we are successful in our subrogation efforts.

Congratulations to all of our Shining Stars.​