During my first week at OIA, I had the chance to meet with Sean McGinnis, sales manager at Pekin Insurance, one of our Silver-level carrier partners that works exclusively with independent agents. Since I’ll be working with our partners on a daily basis as company partners manager, this was an exciting jumpstart to my new role here at OIA!
Before I get to the business side of the meeting, let me give a brief shout out to the restaurant where we met for lunch – Local Roots. This locally sourced restaurant had delicious food and a great atmosphere. I recommend checking them out if you’re in the northern Columbus, Ohio area.
Now back to business. Our meeting gave me the chance to learn about Pekin Insurance, including their history, goals for the future and partnership ideas. Check out our conversation below:
Megan Smith: What are Pekin’s main goals for the future?
Sean McGinnis: First and foremost, Pekin is focused on supporting and promoting the value of independent agents, who do so much for our communities. To make that happen, we are working to develop the future leaders in our industry by recruiting talented, young producers and providing them with the necessary education tools, perpetuation planning advice and sales training.
MS: What sets Pekin apart from other insurance carriers?
SM: We are big on relationships with our independent agents and policyholders. With our small-town roots, we are very people-focused and care about relationships we have built over the years. For instance, I once spent eight hours in a car with Jeff Williamson, owner of Williamson Insurance in Zanesville, on a company trip to Illinois. It was the perfect opportunity to learn more about his agency, listen to his challenges and concerns, as well as brainstorm ideas on how to better serve his clients. I wish we had time to do this with all of our agents.
MS: Could you share any cool new initiatives at Pekin this year?
SM: We have an awesome social media campaign underway where we share fun facts about the towns where our agents are located. Our tagline is “We know because we’re there,” and this campaign truly reinforces how Pekin thinks local and understands what makes each community unique. The local agencies benefit as we tag them and boost the post in their specific geographic area. Check out Pekin’s campaign on Facebook.
We are also excited about a commercial lines inbound marketing campaign. Our objective is to inform, educate and arm our agents with the proper resources to insure specific target markets. This initiative consists of an email marketing campaign, which provides our agents with all kinds of tools, from underwriting checklists to marketing information. Click here to visit the campaign website.
MS: How can OIA help bring value to Pekin? Feel free to share any ideas on how our association can help make a difference.
SM: I’d love to see a revamp of OIA’s annual conference with more networking opportunities, educational content outside of CIC and CE for agents, relevant industry speakers and increased carrier visibility. It’s great to see OIA’s focus on next-gen agents who are the future of our industry. We’re excited to send some of our staff to the Next-Gen Summit taking place in Cleveland this summer!
MS: Well thank you, Sean, for meeting with me and telling OIA about Pekin’s goals and initiatives. I look forward to continuing to develop our partnership and discovering ways we can join together and create great new programs and resources for Ohio’s independent agents!