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McKenzie Robinson | SBJ

2021 Trusted Advisers Insurance Professional: Hunter Johnson

Connell Insurance Inc.

Posted online

Time zones are irrelevant in Hunter Johnson’s work. If a client needs help, he’s awake and ready.

Case in point was a few years ago, when Johnson was in Australia and received a call at 3 a.m. from a potential client whose insurance carrier was dropping her in 12 hours.

“I was able to work with an insurance carrier, revive a quote that we had issued earlier in the month, fix a few small details and bind coverage for her that day from half a world away,” says Johnson, an insurance consultant and producer for Connell Insurance Inc.

It is that kind of initiative and follow-through that impressed Casey Chastain when he met Johnson five years ago, when Johnson was a senior at Drury University.

“I was impressed with Hunter’s acumen and poignant questions as a 22-year-old young professional,” says Chastain, a partner at Connell Insurance.

After graduation, Johnson spent three years in outside sales for Minnesota-based Federated Insurance Cos. He joined Connell Insurance in 2019.

“I’ve had the unique pleasure of working directly with Hunter over the past two years,” Chastain says, “and have been reassured of his acumen and ability to create creative solutions to employers’ unique and complex problems. He truly is a special insurance professional and has been a key component of our firm’s success in his time here. Hunter is an intuitive technician that understands insurance and where an organization’s needs are going. He has the unique ability to forecast into the future – that only comes along every so often.”

A result for Johnson was being named Connell Insurance’s 2020 Producer of the Year, selling $4.8 million in annual premiums – almost double the previous year’s tally – and managing 40 clients.

Johnson says his clients count on him to help navigate constantly changing external factors and deal with complex internal challenges, from the intricacies of insurance programs to human resources issues.

“I have affected my clients’ businesses by bringing them a local, trusted adviser that is capable of solving complex problems generally perceived to be handled only by large national brokers,” Johnson says. “There is often a connotation at mid- to large-sized organizations that firms the size of Connell are not capable of handling their insurance and consulting services. Our goal is to deliver on the technical and problem-solving side of the business while also delivering boutique, white-glove-level service to our clients.”

Johnson stays on top of the many changes that occur regularly in his industry, with COVID-19 forcing the issue of assessing and covering potential business risks. Additionally, the labor shortage remains a pressing issue for his clients.

“Organizations within the construction, hospitality, manufacturing and professional services industries all need people in order to grow,” Johnson says. “How to tackle this is a conversation that we are having with almost every single client at the moment.”

He serves on the membership committee for the Ozarks chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association and is chair of Rotaract Club of Springfield’s volunteer committee.

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