As an employer, making sure employees are covered under the right insurance can be daunting, but Jeff Kennedy’s job is to help protect clients and their employees.
In 2018, Kennedy, an employee benefits specialist at Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance, grew his client base to 60, representing individual annual premiums of $1.5 million.
“My clients need me most when things in their lives are at the lowest: medical issues, loss of a loved one, financial burdens, etc.,” he says. “To be able to provide service beyond the sale is part of what sets trusted advisers apart from the rest.”
Saving money on policies can go a long way for clients, Kennedy says. He has helped large clients save as much as six figures on their annual employee-benefit expenses, but it’s more than just the employer savings for Kennedy.
He says he has a client who recently doubted their need for a long-term disability policy on their employees. But sure enough, it was needed for two young employees, unexpectedly.
“The disability coverage that the client had kept in place allowed these employees to be paid a benefit until they reached retirement age,” he says. “The employees were so thankful that their employer valued them enough to put these coverages in place. The impact this had on the company, the employees and their families is immeasurable and one of the reasons I love my job.”
As an employee-benefits specialist, Kennedy has grown the book of business by nearly $3 million in the three years he has worked there.
Prior to Nixon & Lindstrom, Kennedy worked as an account executive at Cox HealthPlans, where he worked on a pilot program for an outcomes-based payment model. He says it’s currently saving members and the health system over $6 million since its rollout.
Kennedy is the president of the board of directors for the Springfield Association of Health Underwriters and a board member of the Missouri Association of Health Underwriters. Additionally, he is a delegate for the National Association of Health Underwriters.
Outside of his industry, Kennedy is on the board of directors for the Ozarks Neurological Foundation.
“We are a nonprofit organization that provides resources to fund patient care for those suffering from neurological diseases,” he says. “Last year, our organization was able to grant CoxHealth Foundation $25,000 to allocate to patient care.”
Kennedy, along with his fellow employees at Nixon & Lindstrom, participate year-round with fundraising for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, he says.
“The yearlong campaign culminates with the Bowl For Kids Sake event,” he says. “We have a great time and have found unique ways throughout the year to keep the donations coming in.”
He says fundraising techniques have included raffling off parking spaces, a “kiss-the-pig” event and a dunk tank for co-workers.
“The work this organization does for the youth of our community is truly amazing,” he says.
Adrianna Norris became a first-time business owner with the opening of Finley River Chiropractic; PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub launched its newest location; and Huey Magoo’s opened its second store in the Ozarks.