By
Dan Keough, Holmes Murphy Chairman and CEO

Have you ever looked around your company and thought, “Wow, there are a lot of people here who truly care about our clients and only want what’s best for them”? I’ll admit…I do this a lot. In fact, there isn’t a day that goes by I don’t think about how lucky Holmes Murphy is to have such amazing employees taking care of our No. 1 priority…our clients. It’s inspiring, really. So inspiring, in fact, that five years ago, we developed what we call the “Game Changer” award.

Without getting into all the specifics, our Game Changer award is a service award that annually honors employees who live our aspirations each day. There’s a nomination process by Holmes Murphy leaders, and an award winner is chosen from our different service areas of the business. With more than 1,000 employees, winning the award (let alone being nominated for it) is incredibly prestigious.

I bring this up, as it’s fresh on my mind. Each year at an offsite meeting, we celebrate the employees who went above and beyond the year prior and who rank among the best in the company for their impacts on customers. With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, we had to switch gears this year and do a virtual celebration. At that event, we awarded six very deserving individuals with this award —Aaron Gould, Jeanna Gutierrez, Lisa Parrish, Kari Sampson-Berry, Scott Staffon, and Morgan Young.

If you’ve had the pleasure of working with or meeting any or all of these individuals, you know they epitomize what it means to be Game Changers. They’re the best of the best from within our client service teams, and work tirelessly to ensure you have what you need, when you need it. Allow me to give you a little insight into each.

Aaron Gould

Aaron is the Office Services and Facilities Manager based in our Waukee office, but his customer service reaches beyond Waukee. Aaron works tirelessly to maintain each of our office buildings and ensures any and all office moves/transitions go seamlessly. He helps every individual, whether it’s by hanging their pictures, picking up items for their gatherings, hauling beverages and the like to holiday parties and department gatherings, and so much more! Additionally, he’s in charge of the mailroom and receptionists. A lot of things get thrown at Aaron every day, oftentimes last minute, and he never says no, rather “how can we make this work?” He’s the stable guy in the orange shirt we always look to for support.

Jeanna Gutierrez

Jeanna is an Assistant Vice President of Employee Benefits, located in our Waukee office. Jeanna is a great role model to all our Service team members as to how to treat all of our clients. She never takes the easy way out of a situation and always goes above and beyond for you. The only time Jeanna gets upset is if decisions are made that are not in the best interest of you, our clients. Jeanna will go to bat for you every hour of every day! All decisions she makes have your interests in mind. Simply put, she gives 110% all the time!

Lisa Parrish

Lisa is our Human Resources Business Partner for our Property Casualty Line of Business, as well as Creative Risk Solutions (CRS), Innovative Captive Strategies (ICS), and our Fraternal Services team, and is located in our Waukee office. Lisa works to hire and retain top talent and has gone above and beyond to ensure we have the best service team in place to take care of you, our clients! She’s also one of the most professional individuals I know. She’s trustworthy, always positive (even in tough situations), and can juggle numerous projects while still acting like you’re the only person she’s working with. If Lisa doesn’t have the answer to something, she will find it out. She is truly amazing at her job.

Kari Sampson-Berry

Kari is a Sr. Placement Consultant for our Property Casualty team, located in our Sioux Falls office. To Kari, understanding your needs first as the customer is the key to being able to deliver results and an insurance program that fits your needs. Kari has consistently helped her teammates grow, has been a staple for Property Casualty, is a regular go-to person you always can count on to give honest feedback and direction. Kari is a tremendous negotiator with carriers, always looking to find the best for our clients. Kari goes above and beyond her processes and workflow to deliver the best service not only to clients, but to her team. I can’t say enough about her dedication to those all around her.

Scott Staffon

Scott is the Director of Risk Management on our CSDZ team. He’s based in Minneapolis. Scott started working in construction at 14 and spent his early years as a builder and safety professional for some the largest contractors in the U.S. Scott has been on the brokerage side for the past 25 years helping contractors operate safely and more profitably and has done an amazing job. He’s developed our peer groups, round tables, and safety academy in an effort to ensure safety within the industry. Scott is now leading out mental health and wellness initiatives with his teammate Cal Beyer to improve the lives of construction workers. We are so fortunate to have him on our team!

Morgan Young

Morgan is a Vice President of Client Services for Employee Benefits, located in our Dallas office. Morgan is revitalizing our Texas Public Entity practice. She is focused on attracting top talent for that practice. In fact, as part of her commitment to our Public Entity clients, in 2019, Morgan saw an opportunity to bring enhanced EAP services to address the lacking mental health resources for fire/police officers. As a result, she helped start Responder Health through ACAP HealthWorks. Morgan is consistently a pillar of strength and confidence for her team and embraces all challenges thrown her way. We’re lucky to have her!

Living Out Our Aspirations

I love the Holmes Murphy culture, our employees’ engagement with clients, and their willingness to live out our aspirations of Count on Me, Courageous Influence, Leave Good Footprints, Share Abundantly, and Better Tomorrow Than Yesterday. I hope you see this same level of service each day you work with us!

P.S. If you see or work with Aaron, Jeanna, Lisa, Kari, Scott, or Morgan, I encourage you to congratulate them. We are proud of their efforts, and we hope you are, too!