The Lewer Companies have marked a significant milestone – the 60th anniversary of the start of the first Lewer Company, The Lewer Agency, Inc., by founder, D. C. “Chuck” Lewer.
A cake cutting ceremony was held on Lewer Block on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, Friday, October 7. Special guests Chuck and Mary Lewer were present for the celebration which included speeches, cake, and champagne toasts. It was the first time for many newer staff members to meet Mr. Lewer, and Mary, his wife of 69 years.
“I’m especially happy that my mother and father could join us this afternoon – to be here for this important occasion,” commented President Mike Lewer.
A highlight at the celebration was the presentation of the Lewer Companies’ new Mission and Vision Statement, which was read by a team of management staff, including two of the Lewers’ grandsons, Nik Lewer and Matt Lewer.
In addition to the cake cutting and celebration, the Lewer Companies installed a second conference room during the anniversary month. The original conference room was named “The Chuck Lewer Room.” The new conference room was named “The Summit”, in honor of Mike Lewer and his passion for “climbing mountains,” in and out of the office. (In October, Mike celebrated his 39th year with the companies.)
Chuck Lewer, at the age of 88, currently serves the Lewer Companies as Chairman of the Board, while continuing to build a “bridge” for what is now a third-generation operation doing business in the United States and Canada. (49)
The Lewer Companies are pleased to announce the addition of Joe Valentine to the team, effective August 20, 2015. Valentine, in his Marketing Director role, is charged with integrating the digital and print efforts of all the Lewer brands.
Lewer’s new Marketing Director received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Louis University, where he was a member of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. He went on to DePaul University, where he received a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing.
Following his graduation, he went to work as a copywriter for Goedeker’s in St. Louis, Missouri. He moved to Chicago in 2012, where he was raised, and worked as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist for eTechnologies Inc.. He also worked as a Social Strategist for Sync360, Inc., a large advertising agency in Chicago, and as a Content Marketing Manager at TMP Worldwide, also in Chicago.
Valentine felt he was a good fit for the position at Lewer because of his desire to work for a smaller company and because he is a strategist. “I see the big picture and work hard to gain a deep understanding of the brands I work with, from values and voice to business objectives and media plan,” he said. “I study target audiences, so I am confident in my ability to collaborate with a team to executive measurable integrated digital and traditional marketing campaigns to meet those needs.”
Valentine says his goal as Lewer’s new Marketing Director is to “grow the Lewer brand to help gain recognition and share in new spaces.” (678)
Lewer Canada is pleased to announce that Customer Service Representative Andrée Gauthier will mark her 15th anniversary with the company on September 28, 2015.
Gauthier’s job responsibilities include providing service to clients in all matters regarding billings and claims and, most recently, the implementation of e-services. She also assists in the preparation of sales proposals to clients and supports the marketing environment at Lewer Canada.
“I like being part of a team and I enjoy the variety of the tasks that I perform and providing customer service to our clients,” said Gauthier. “I also enjoy our office atmosphere and the respectful environment which we work.”
Lewer Canada was recently included in the Employee Anniversary Program at Lewer. As a result, Andrée will receive a $150 bonus – $10 for each year of service – in appreciation of her hard work and customer service. (604)
The Lewer Companies is pleased to announce the promotion of Robert Stompoly to the position of Vice President, effective September 1, 2015. Robert has served the companies as General Counsel, a position he’s performed in an exemplary manner since joining the team in August 2007.
Prior to joining Lewer eight years ago, Stompoly served as General Counsel and Vice President of Product Development for Selling LTC.com, LLC, a Georgia-based company that supports long-term care insurance sales. Prior to assuming his role at Selling LTC.com, Stompoly spent five years with Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company in Kansas City, Missouri, supporting Transamerica’s national worksite long-term care insurance sales efforts in terms of sales and product training, regulatory compliance, product development, marketing materials, and the administration of a class action lawsuit settlement.
Throughout his career, Stompoly has served as an insurance industry consultant business interests for various long-term care insurance sales organizations and in the development and promotion of innovative business practices, and as an editor and ghost writer for insurance carriers including Prudential and MetLife. At the time of his hiring at Lewer, he commented that what he loved about his positions in the insurance industry was the variety of responsibilities. “Every day brings something new and challenging,” he said.
Stompoly received a BA in English, with a minor in Administration of Justice from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1990 and received his Juris Doctorate degree from the university’s School of Law in 1993. That year, he founded Stompoly Law Offices in Kansas City, specializing in domestic law, estate planning, municipal law, and personal injury law.
Following news of his promotion, Stompoly commented that he hasn’t just enjoyed the challenges, he has enjoyed being a part of the team. “I’m just grateful for the opportunities that working at The Lewer Companies has provided me – both in terms of professional development as well as everyday camaraderie,” he said. (727)
Lewer Canada sponsored the 15th hole at the Annual Uni-Select Charity Golf Tournament July 21, 2015 at the Lionhead Golf and Country Club in Brampton.
The real winner of the tournament was the Canadian Spinal Research Organization (CSRO) who was awarded the prize of the day — $13,000.000. Barry Marsden of CSRO attended the dinner along with some staff from CSRO and thanked all those present for their involvement in raising such a significant sum of money.
Marsden had suffered a spinal injury many years ago and spoke of his years of support from family and friends whom he thanked profusely. Much research is needed in these types of injuries and Marsden works continuously for that stating, “We will get it done together!” Uni-Select has been helping CRSO for 30 years.”
“The day was a huge success,” according to Account Manager Group Benefits Beth Loch at Lewer. “We were situated up on a hill looking out over the course with an amazing view and a lot of wind and sunshine – not a bad way to spend the day! We had a lot of laughs with each of the groups while instilling Lewer Canada as a choice to be considered in the Group Benefits industry. We look forward to attending the tournament again next year.” (536)
The Lewer Agency is honored to recognize John Owens for marking 35 successful and eventful years with the company on August 11, 2015. This milestone for Owens falls on the heels of his recent appointment to Vice President, ACA Regulated Business Markets, a position that was created to utilize his expertise in selling qualified health plans to Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulated markets.
Prior to his most recent appointment, Owens served the company as Vice President, Commercial Sales. The Lewer markets recognize Owens as an expert, especially when it comes to ACA employer requirements effecting the convenience store industry. In the last several years, he has presented Now That Obama Care is Here, What Does It Mean For My Business at corporate and association meetings throughout the country, helping c-store business owners of all sizes transition to the post-ACA environment as cost effectively as possible.
A graduate of the University of Kansas, Owens began his career at Lewer in the Policy Issue Department. He received a license to sell insurance in Missouri in 1981 and was named Marketing Representative of the Month in February 1982. That year, he received a promotion to Director of Marketing Services and, in 1984, was promoted to the position of Regional Marketing Director for the Mid-Central Region. He was promoted again, to the position of Division Manager in 1984, the same year he earned his Series 26, 6 and 63 securities licenses. One pinnacle of his long career was his 1998 election to the Board of Directors for Lewer Life Insurance Company.
Recent ACA-related engagements include the 2011 Benefits Selling Expo in Tennessee. Owens was also a guest speaker at the 2013 National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) HR Forum in North Carolina and at the 2013 Tennessee Fuel and Convenience Store Association (TFCSA) conference. In addition to individual consulting projects, he has been invited to conduct workshops for members of the National Association of Shell Marketers (NASM) as well as members of the British Petroleum Association of Marketers (BPAMA). (549)
Through the years, Lewer has participated in charitable works within its community. It has also come to the aid of natural disaster victims throughout the world. Nearly a decade ago, President Mike Lewer and Vice President, Communications Lori Lewer Kaylor developed the Lewer Charitable Fund (LCF) which created a consistency in the company’s giving and enabled employees to select and support their own causes. The LCF has now been expanded to support the Mid-America Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through the new Lewer Corporate Outreach Program (LCOP), a new arm, or “helping hand,” of the LCF.
Managers and past LCF captains at Lewer recently met HR Manager Susan Steiner, President Mike Lewer and LLS representatives to finalize plans for the LCOP’s first fundraising event for the LLS. The event is the Light The Night Walk which will be held Friday night, September 18, at the Cleveland Chiropractic College in Overland Park, Kansas.
The Lewer team’s participation in Light The Night Walk will help fund life-saving research and support for people battling cancer. According to the LLS website, friends, families, and co-workers will help by donating money at selected retail locations. These efforts will culminate in three inspirational, memorable evening walks – in Wichita, Kansas, Overland Park, Kansas, and Lawrence, Kansas – during which participants will carry illuminated lanterns: white for survivors, red in support and gold in memory of a lost loved one. For the first time this year, Lewer team members will be there to carry the light and symbolize hope by way of their lanterns.
According to Lewer, the LLS was chosen as the LCOP’s first benefactor at the suggestion of an associate at its accounting firm BKD who has a family member with cancer. “After attending a recent LLS breakfast, I felt that the Light The Night event would be an opportunity for the Lewer Companies to take the LCF to another level,” he said. “Our company will be one of the primary sponsors of the annual Light The Night event. The event is a walk and not a run which means more families will be able to participate. We have all known victims and we have all known survivors. This is another reason to participate in the walk where we can ‘Support. Celebrate. Remember.’ Susan Steiner was very instrumental in the development of the LCOP; selecting folks for the planning committee. They looked at alternatives and made the decision to work with the LLS organization and now we are all looking forward to our first Light The Night event.”
The NACS Human Resources Forum, organized by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), was held March 3 – 5, 2015 at the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel in Louisiana. John Owens and Tom Kohl, two representatives from Lewer’s Commercial Lines division, attended the forum.
Each year, the forum provides attendees with information on topics specific to their job – in their industry. National-caliber speakers and industry peers provide in-depth insight and knowledge about new laws and regulations that impact the convenience industry, best practices and how to find and keep the right talent, and ways to manage rising labor and benefit costs.
This year’s theme was Preparing Your Organization for the Future. It was Kohl’s first NACS forum since his promotion to Director of the Commercial Lines division last spring. “NACS is a great organization for us to be involved with as it helps us gain insight into the day-to-day world of the c-store business,” he said. “The forum was great for putting faces with voices of current clients and prospects we’ve spoken with in the past year.”
Owens, who has attended the annual meeting for almost a decade advised that the forum was another success for The Lewer Agency. “It was a great meeting with some of the industry’s biggest marketers,” he said. “More than 70 convenience and fuel retailing human resources professionals attended the forum this year.”
The Lewer Agency is pleased to announce the recent appointment of John Owens to the position of Vice President, ACA Regulated Business. He is now responsible for selling qualified health plans to Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulated markets, generally defined as employers subject to ACA penalties – those with at least 50 employees. His new role also involves identifying appropriate partners for core health care products.
Prior to this appointment, Owens served the company as Vice President, Commercial Sales. He is a recognized expert in ACA employer requirements effecting the convenience store industry. In the last several years, he has presented Now That Obama Care is Here, What Does It Mean For My Business at corporate and association meetings throughout the country, helping c-store business owners of all sizes transition to the post-ACA environment as cost effectively as possible.
Owens, a graduate of the University of Kansas, began his career at Lewer in the Policy Issue department in 1980. He received a license to sell insurance in Missouri in 1981 and was named Marketing Representative of the Month in February 1982. That year, he received a promotion to Director of Marketing Services and, in 1984, was promoted to the position of Regional Marketing Director for the Mid-Central Region. He was promoted again, this time to the position of Division Manager in 1984, the same year he earned his Series 26, 6 and 63 securities licenses. One pinnacle of his long career was his 1998 election to the Board of Directors for Lewer Life Insurance Company.
Recent ACA-related engagements include the 2011 Benefits Selling Expo in Tennessee. Owens was also a guest speaker at the 2013 National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) HR Forum in North Carolina and at the 2013 Tennessee Fuel and Convenience Store Association (TFCSA) conference. In addition to individual consulting projects, he has been involved in conducting workshops for members of the National Association of Shell Marketers (NASM) as well as members of the British Petroleum Association of Marketers (BPAMA).
“John has a real passion for helping businesses deal with the complexities of the ACA”, according to President Mike Lewer. “He has immersed himself in understanding the intricacies of this federal statute signed into law in March, 2010 and following its evolution over the past five years, which we believe has great value to businesses with large populations of employees that have often not been covered under traditional health insurance programs. John and his team are highly focused on this very effected and specialized market segment.”
Commercial Lines’ representatives Tom Kohl and Matt Lewer attended the Clipper Petroleum Dealers Convention, March 18, in Duluth, Georgia. “The convention went well,” said Kohl. “This was only the second Clipper show they’ve had and I have been to both. Over 150-plus dealers attended the show.”
“The event was very well organized and showcased over 50 vendors,” said Lewer, who recently joined the company that was founded by his grandfather, D. C. “Chuck” Lewer in 1956. “It was a great opportunity for me to get out of the office to meet business owners and employees that LewerBenefits can help.”
Clipper Petroleum has been a Lewer client for over a year. The company, which is based in Flowery Branch, Georgia, has been a Petroleum Marketer operating as a convenience store retailer, fast food retailer, and wholesale fuel distributor for over 70 years. The company operates 28 convenience stores in Georgia and South Carolina under the On the Run, Circle M, and Subway brands. Clipper also distributes fuel to independent dealers under the major oil brands of BP, Exxon, Shell, Chevron and Citgo in Georgia and South Carolina.