COLUMBUS, OH – “This business allows you to help people. Whether answering a client’s questions, stepping in to help when times are bad, or taking time to research and make a case for someone who had an insurance claim denied, that’s what gives me a sense of purpose. That’s why I love what I do,” said independent insurance agent Jeffrey T. Lewis, CIC, president of Putnam White Lewis Insurance Agency in Columbus.
Lewis was recently awarded the 2015 Excellence in Leadership Award for years of work helping independent agents support consumers at the 2015 Professional Independent Agents Association of Ohio, Inc. (PIAA) Conference on Oct. 9 in Dublin. The event celebrates the vital role independent agents play in their communities.
In accepting his award, Lewis recalled the words of a previous PIAA president, who said no matter how much work he put into the association, he got back so much more. Lewis heartily agrees.
“Jeff is not in it for himself. Even when things are difficult, he is going to do the right thing. Jeff is going to help people whether it benefits him or not,” stated Lewis’ wife, Dawn, who said the extent of her husband’s integrity and professionalism is boundless.
When Lewis began his career at age 24, working in claims, he quickly realized he was positioned to help friends, business owners in his community and consumers, to make a difference right in his own town. Thirty years later, Lewis is still helping consumers, now as co-owner of the agency he joined as an independent agent 24 years ago.
In the 1990s, Lewis began volunteering his time to help other independent agents. “There is no question that Jeff is dedicated to this association and our goals of helping people achieve peace of mind. His loyalty and dedication are tremendous, and his commitment has never wavered,” said PIAA Director of Member Services Mike Grushon.
Jeff demonstrated that commitment by serving on numerous committees, in different board officer positions and then as president, all with the goal of doing the right thing for Ohio consumers. Then, instead of retiring after his term ended, Lewis stepped up again to represent Ohio agents and their clients at the national level. Lewis currently serves on the PIA National Executive Committee and as chair of the PIA National Presidents’ Advisory Board.
When not working at the agency or performing PIA National duties, Lewis spends time with his wife and three sons.
Ohio Insurance Agents Association
Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of nearly 1,400 independent agencies that employ nearly 10,000 Ohioans. We promote, progress and protect the professional advice and guidance only independent insurance agents provide. OIA members write 82 percent of the commercial insurance policies and 44 percent of personal insurance policies in Ohio. Our purpose is to help our member agents thrive in a modern insurance marketplace by offering them resources and content in four areas critical for success: digital marketing, recruiting and training, perpetuation and improving the customer experience.