Dennis entered the life insurance business in 1975 with The Prudential Insurance Company. He joined the business to learn sales and skills that college didn’t teach. It was also a way to help people and get paid to do so.
A couple of years into his career he was recruited by a small regional company in Fort Wayne, IN, his home area, as Assistant to the Director of Training. He spent six years learning and teaching that company’s new agents how to survive in the business and how to help people protect their families. A key thing that he did for that company and it’s agents is bring Capital Needs Analysis, a planning tool, and teaching how to use the disability income product the company offered in it’s portfolio.
When he left that position, he joined the local career agency as the agency trainer. His job was to train the new recruits. Eventually, he was recruited to a Property Casualty Agency across the Ohio border where he grew up. This move gave him the opportunity to be closer to his family. As the life and health producer of that agency, he became a dominant force in that marketplace. Due to the poor handling of an a PC claim involving a key client, Dennis left that agency and moved down the street to set up his own agency.
During the transition and dealing with the start up, a major property casualty company offered him a position as a Life Sales Manager in their St Louis, MO, territory. It was one of those difficult to refuse offers. Dennis and his wife relocated to St Louis where Dennis worked with PC agents in MO, IL and IA. The second year he was with American States, the company merged with Western Casualty and his support team moved to Lexington, KY. To stay with that team, he relocated to Lexington giving him Kentucky and Tennessee as his new territory. This moved Dennis much closer to his Father, Paul, who had retired back to his childhood area in Eastern KY.
After six years of working for this company, CNA recruited Dennis to be a sales rep in central Kentucky. This allowed Dennis to get more involved with direct selling and working with the CNA agencies in his territory. He was the expert/consultant for his product lines for PC agents who do not offer such services or products. After a couple of years of trying to survive in the CNA distribution system, Dennis had the opportunity to relocate to Minneapolis, MN.
In Minnesota he specialized in doing the same thing for PC agents that he had been doing with his CNA agents. During his initial years in MN, he was often asked if he provided group medical and benefits. He eventually said yes and began to be a specialist in putting together Employee Benefit plans for small and medium size employers. Today we work with about 45 small employers.
Dennis has a number of degrees in and outside the business.
- Graduate of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.
- Received his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) in 1982 – not unlike the CPA in accounting
- Received his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) in 1984 – financial planning designation
- Earned his Life Underwriter’s Training Council Fellowship (LUTCF) in 1991 from teaching the classes to agents
- Earned Certified Benefit Counselor (CBC) in 2010 – a designation focused totally on Employee Benefits and self insured medical plans
Dennis is married and lives in St Louis Park, near the offices. He is an avid car enthusiast and owns a couple of Ford Mustangs including a rare 1968 Shelby Cobra GT 350. His latest acquisition was a 2017 Ford Mustang GT.