You are the center of our universe

Relationships Matter

Here at the OIA, the only thing we love more about what we do every day is the people we serve every day – Independent Agents. What makes these people so special? They are you! They are your neighbor, they are your kids’ coaches, they serve on local community boards and have made a career around serving and protecting what matters most!

We value the relationships we have built with these community leaders and want to showcase how they are making a difference in their industry and communities. Read on…

Mission Matters

We know what makes our members special, but now it’s time to share with you what makes Independent Agents a significant person in your community. You likely already know him or her as they are pillars in the community. Their drive comes from serving others from community involvement to ensuring you and your most precious assets are protected no matter what happens.

Steve Brown, OIA Board Chair and President of Payne & Brown Insurance

Mission Matters: A commitment to his clients, company partners, staff, community, and profession –> READ MORE

Brent Phelan, JD, CIC, CPCU, CRM, CSRM
OIA Vice Chair and Owner of Phelan Insurance Agency

Mission Matters: A family tradition, a legacy, and a landmark in his local community –> READ MORE

Katherine G. Watson, CIC
OIA Director, IIABA National Director, and independent insurance agent at Insurance Agency of Ohio

Mission Matters: The truly educated never graduate, they continue to learn, educate themselves, and expand their knowledge –> READ MORE

Tom Sarno, Vice President/Finance at Webb Insurance Agency, Inc.

Mission Matters: It’s wonderful working with your family, it comes with careful instructions that must be followed to promise growth and stability –> READ MORE


Matt Simon, CIC, CPCU, President at CoverLink 

Mission Matters: Matt is an open book, there’s nothing extra that he holds back, in fact, go ahead and judge that book by its cover because what you see is what you get. This is the quality we love about Matt Simon, it’s never about him – it’s about YOU, the client, the associate, the carrier partner, anyone but Matt –> READ MORE

Jeanie Giesler, CISR, CPIA
OIA Foundation President and Independent Insurance Professional – Operations Management 

Mission Matters: Jeanie Giesler, a female-trailblazer has always been fearless and willing to confront any challenge. She had to learn early on in her career how to balance family, illness, career, and community and her career soared as she figured it all out –> READ MORE

Luke Shipp, First Insurance Group

Mission Matters: Luke Shipp aligns his life with the values of the agency, which means placing your community and the people around you first and foremost. When you lead your life with this mindset then everything else falls into place –> READ MORE

Mike Heister, CIC, owner of Heister Insurance Agency

Mission Matters: Mike is very familiar with rallying the crowd to accomplish great things, with a small, 4-person agency, it’s all hands on deck. But that is precisely what makes this small agency such a gem –> READ MORE

Meghan Griffith Ragozzino
OIA Director and Vice President of The Griffith Agency Inc.

Mission Matters: Over 100 years, 4 generations and Meghan Griffith Ragozzino is the first female agent and owner. She has seen an evolution in the last 20 years offering so much more diversity in the industry –> READ MORE

Perk Reichley, CIC President of Reichley Insurance Agency

Mission Matters: Proudly displayed in the agency’s conference room, is a phrase Perk Reichley coined – Insurance is not a product, it is a promise and a trusted relationship. Perk tries to keep things simple, the agency does not use a lot of technology, and only uses the things that will help people. As it is the people that make the business –> READ MORE

Tim Stolly
OIA Foundation Treasurer and Principal at Stolly Insurance

Mission Matters: Family and community are at the forefront for Tim Stolly. In fact, the agency has 3 active initiatives, including Operation GivebackSucceed Scholarship, and the Stolly Hustle Award. Their awards evolve around their agency’s philosophy of always going above and beyond what is expected –> READ MORE

Diane Keil-Hipp, Chief Operations Officer at Knight Insurance Group

Mission Matters: For all those Next-Gen leaders searching for a sponsor, look no further than Diane Keil-Hipp. Diane is undoubtedly one of the most impressive individuals in the IA Channel from her upbringing as a farmer’s daughter to now as the Chief Operations Officer at Knight Insurance Group all while pursuing her Ph.D. she has many pearls of wisdom to share across the industry and to our next generation of leaders –> READ MORE

Derek Sprouse, CIC
OIA Director and President at Sprouse Insurance

Mission Matters: Client experiences are a great way for the team at Sprouse Insurance to accelerate their knowledge and gain a better understanding of the claims experience. It is an opportunity that Derek takes seriously, ensuring his team is always set up for success, whether that is through education, direct experience with the client, and/or designation programs –> READ MORE

Andy Stephey, AFIS, CIC, CRM, LUTCF
OIA Director and Senior Account Executive at UIS Insurance & Investments

Mission Matters: We always see a deep commitment with independent agents to their community, however, Andy not only serves his community but also his country. Since 1991, Andy has served with the Ohio Air National Guard at the 180th Fighter Wing, based in Toledo, Ohio. The military has instilled discipline and attention to detail that has benefited him in his insurance career –> READ MORE

Agency Spotlight

It’s not just the team at the OIA that recognizes our members. All across the industry independent agents and agencies are being recognized. Here are just a few…

SeibertKeck Makes “Easy” a Client Value Proposition

SeibertKeck is on a mission to change the insurance buying experience. The 100+-year-old, Akron-based agency offers personal and business lines, employee benefits, bonding, and professional liability coverage through 17 offices.

EVP of Sales & Operations Tim Able says: “There’s a perception that insurance is hard. We constantly look for ways to make the client experience easier. We push our team to be on the edge of what’s coming, to be subject matter leaders in our field. We offer in-house 24/7/365 claims, and we’re always looking for new technology partners.”



How the Cloud Is Changing the Game for Independent Agents

Does your agency have its head in the clouds? If so, you’re in a good and growing company. Eight in 10 agencies and brokerages choose to host their software in the cloud, according to a 2021 survey from Applied Systems. That’s a jump from 2020 when seven in 10 were in the cloud.

As more agencies ascend to the cloud, how has it impacted agencies and their profitability?


Smart forms from RiskRevu helping Independent Agents and their Clients

Kurt Thoennessen from RiskRevu sits down with independent agent, Dick Devine from Horizon Agency about how the process of using Smart Forms to gather critical information from clients. These forms are simple to use and communicate between the agency and client.

Watch now

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