Connell Insurance Inc. hired Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau leader Jeff Seifried as its president and CEO.
Seifried is scheduled to start at Connell Insurance in mid-July, he told Springfield Business Journal this morning. He said the firm's primary shareholders, Tim Connell and Randall Gammill, are looking to step back from their day-to-day roles and focus on board oversight.
"The goal is between now and the next 12 months or less to have Tim and Randall on a different path with the company, which allows me to focus on growth strategy," Seifried said.
Connell Insurance has offices in Branson, Springfield and Joplin, with customers statewide, Seifried said, noting acquisitions and other growth strategies are on the table for the company.
Seifried comes to the insurance firm after working as president and CEO of the Branson chamber since 2015.
His hiring at Connell Insurance came after Connell and Gammill, as well as other firm partners Casey Chastain, Jay Hickman and Tom Jensen, entertained possible purchase offers. Letters of intent from regional and national insurance groups valued the company at more than $25 million, according to a news release.
The selection of Seifried was made in lieu of accepting an acquisition. Prior to joining the Branson chamber, Seifried worked for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce as manager of regional development and served as a member of Springfield City Council. He’s also a nine-year member of the Rural Missouri Inc. loan review committee, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“He has a proven skillset that will lead Connell Insurance into the next 50 years as we continue to strategically grow throughout Missouri,” Gammill said in the release.
Seifried tomorrow is slated to participate in Springfield Business Journal's 12 People You Need to Know live interview series. The event will be livestreamed via Facebook.
At the Branson chamber, Seifried helped to lead the town's tourism-heavy economy to record an all-time high of 9.1 million visitors in 2019. The chamber and other organizations are now betting on regional travel and pent-up demand to draw in visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic put the tourism industry to a near halt, according to past SBJ reporting.
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