The Lewer Companies

Lewer Celebrates 60 Years

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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. (437)

Lewer Opens Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fundraiser to the Public

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) fundraising team held a lemonade stand fundraiser at Lewer headquarters on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, August 12, 2016. Though the weather was damp, spirits were high, and the team was able to raise $226.59 in just three hours.

“I want to give a shout out to the following associates who helped out by setting-up, tearing down, and serving,” commented Human Resources Manager and project lead Sue Steiner. “I also want to thank Lewer for providing the supplies – lemonade, cups, water and ice, and all Lewer associates who made a visit and contributed to the fundraiser.”
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Prior to the event, team members invited neighbors and family to come buy a glass of lemonade at Lewer to support a good cause. According to veterans on staff, the LLS lemonade stand was Lewer’s first community outreach event to be held on Lewer block. All were hopeful that Lewer neighbors and area businesses would support the cause. Steiner said she had just opened the lemonade stand when a neighbor from Parkway Towers’ condominiums across the street “swooped” into the parking lot.

“He arrived in a burgundy SUV immediately after we opened the stand at 11 o’clock that morning,” said Steiner. “He jumped out and excitedly approached the stand. He handed me $15 and said he had been waiting for us to open the lemonade stand because he didn’t want to miss it. He didn’t have time for lemonade, just jumped back in his car and off he went, with his smile.”

The visit from the mysterious Parkway Towers resident was the first of many visits from supporters on the Plaza that day. Over 50 glasses of lemonade were served by members of the Lewer team. According to Lewer Financial Advisors’ volunteer Jeremy Wassmer, the current “Pokémon Go craze” worked to the team’s advantage. “The lemonade stand was well attended by Pokémon Go enthusiasts,’ he said.

Perhaps one of the top highlights was Lewer Financial Advisors account manager Kaitlyn Abel’s six year old son, Gavyn – a member of the “welcoming committee” who stood on the sidewalk waving an American flag.

“It was a great opportunity to talk with Gavyn about charity and helping others,” said his mom. “He put forth his best efforts by dancing, waving a flag, and passing out flyers to attract people to the stand.”

“The LLS team is working hard to achieve its goal of $2,500 by October,” said Steiner. “I want to thank all for their effort in the team’s 2016 Light The Night campaign and support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”
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Lewer Canada Attends Uni-Select Golf Tournament

uni-select-golfThe 14th Annual Uni-Select Charity Golf Tournament was held July 19, 2016 at Lionhead Golf & Country Club in Brampton, Ontario. Lewer Canada’s Director JJ Atkinson, Regional Benefits Advisor Bob Mathur and Account Manager, Group Benefits Beth Loch attended the event to help raise funds for the Canadian Spinal Research Organization.

Erin Fordham, who works with one of Lewer’s partners, was invited to round out the Lewer foursome. “Erin had a great time and said it was great to meet the Lewer ‘family’,” said Atkinson.

“I also had an opportunity to help out a few teams with their drives, setting them up for some nice approach shots, as I was jonesing to hit a ball most of the day,” he joked.

“On a more serious note,” said Atkinson, “we always enjoy attending Uni-Select events and getting the Lewer name out there, while supporting a great cause.”
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Lewer Moves Forward with Digital Marketing Firm

In July 2016, Lewer formed a partnership with SalesHub, a digital marketing firm based in Canada. The new digital marketing effort includes Lewer US, Lewer Financial Advisors and Lewer Canada.

LinkedIn is a great example of a social media channel that social sellers utilize to get their brand out there – no postage and less phone tag – and marketing experts are seeing the results. In fact, digital marketing firms such as SalesHub, take care of 60 percent of the sales process, according to Vice President Nik Lewer, who helped evaluate the advantages of working with the Canadian firm with his dad, President Mike Lewer.

“Digital marketing is the cutting edge way to do marketing now,” said Nik Lewer. “Companies are working in a social media business environment. It’s a different model and this development represents a drastic overhaul in how we market ourselves and our products.”

“Though the advent of social media brings more moving parts to marketing, it also brings new opportunities for developing the solid business relationships that open exciting new chapters,” he continued. “We will still use traditional methods of marketing, however, in this digital age, it’s important for companies to utilize the talents of companies like SalesHub, who are trained to handle all of the different channels companies now use to market their products.”

In the coming months, the new relationship with SalesHub will result in the creation of four new websites for Lewer. Through its partnership with HubSpot, SalesHub will also be helping Lewer replace its current Microsoft Dynamics CRM program.
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Lewer Attends SCACS Meeting in South Carolina

Vice President, ACA Regulated Business Markets, John Owens, represented Lewer Benefits at the South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores (SCACS) convention held at the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, July 17 – 18, 2016.
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“The convention was attended by many of the largest, multi-location marketers in the state,” said Owens. “It was a business session for the association members, mixed with some entertainment. This is a group of multi-generational business owners. There were a lot of families in attendance. They organized a breakfast and business session. I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of the marketers who came to the events.”

“We are increasing our involvement with the state convenience store marketer associations and are receiving good results,” said Owens. “The associations provide great opportunities for us to match our products with needs in these geographic areas.”
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Family Day and 60th Anniversary Kick-Off Held at T-Bones Stadium

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Lewer US team members enjoyed gathering at Community America Ballpark, July 23, 2016, to watch the T-Bones vs. the Winnipeg Goldeyes game and to officially kick-off The Lewer Agency’s 60th year in business.

Guests enjoyed the air-conditioned “Mega Suite” and a birds-eye view of the first base line. The event, organized by HR Manager Sue Steiner, drew a significant crowd of Lewer team members, families and friends. The T-Bones lost the game but, according to Receptionist Cory Seekings, who attended her first Lewer Family Day, it was “a great time.”

“I left at the 7th inning after the condiments race, which was hysterical,” said Seekings, referring to the Lucky 7 Race on the field during which Vice President Nik Lewer, Account Manager Matt Lewer, and a guest attending the event, wore large foam “Lucky 7″ costumes.

“One thing’s for sure, the Lucky 7 Race runners were absolutely captivating entertainment for the T-Bones crowd that made it to the seventh inning. The Lewer box went wild,” according to Nik Lewer, who said he won’t soon forget his “Walk of Shame” wearing a foam number 7 costume and floppy shoes around the stadium (and neither will his coworkers.)
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“It was very nice to see people I see every day interact with their families and finally be able to put names to faces,” said Customer Service Coordinator Britney Fogo. “I look forward to next year’s event.”
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Lewer Canada Joins HMA to Support GCC

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Vice President Nik Lewer and Director John Atkinson joined forces with benefits provider Hardiman, Mount & Associates (HMA) at a recent golf tournament in Toronto to raise money for Grandview Children’s Centre (GCC).

“HMA is a company that I have worked with for 18 years now,” said Atkinson. “They work tirelessly through their local Rotary Club, along with biking from Vancouver to Calgary, to raise money for a school in the Dominican Republic. Barry Mount and his team have run this annual golf tournament for the last 24 years.”

According to the Grandview Children’s Centre website, the pediatric experts at Grandview Children’s Centre provide life-changing outpatient treatment, rehabilitation services and more to 5,000 children and youth with special needs and their families in Durham Region every year. Grandview’s main site in Oshawa was built in 1983.

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Youngstown State University Student Wins First Place in LewerMark Scholarship Contest

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Spring is always a very exciting time of the year at Lewer. It is the time of the year when the company awards scholarships to three very deserving international students who have dreams of “making the world a better place.”

The LewerMark scholarship contest, now in its 11th year, attracted entries from nearly 100 international students throughout the United States. Students submitted an essay explaining how they hope to make the world a better place.

Opoku Minta-Afari, who earned first place in the contest, is a student at Youngstown State University in Ohio, where he studies math and statistics in pursuit of an actuarial career. He has also been involved at Youngstown State as Organizing Secretary of the African Students Union.

During his undergraduate studies at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, he served as President of the Physically Challenged Students Association, which led to his creation of the Students with Disability Unit at the Office of the Dean of Students. The unit helps students with disabilities obtain help from the school administration in support of their education.

In the letter of recommendation, Minta-Afari’s Statistical Data Mining professor G. Andy Chang, Ph.D. stated that he nominated Minta-Afari because “Lewer would be proud to name him as an example of a LewerMark scholarship winner.”

In his award winning essay, Minta-Afari, who is from “one of the poorest regions in Ghana,” wrote about how he is managing to achieve goals despite the odds of success being against him. “I consider myself fortunate though I have had my fair share of hardships in life,” he wrote. “My chances of doing anything positive in my life was negatively affected when I was struck by polio at a tender age of 3 and became paralyzed in my left leg.”

“I overcame various financial and health related challenges to obtain an honorary degree in Actuarial Science in 2010 and worked as an actuarial analyst with a consultancy firm in Ghana,” he continued. “I aspire to be a distinguished health actuary, a decision I took after experiencing the challenges low income earners encounter in accessing and paying for quality health services. This can be solved with affordable yet cost effective health insurance products. I wish to apply my love for mathematics to help in the development of these health insurance products.”

Lewer awarded a total of $3,000 in scholarships again this year and is honored to play a small role in helping its LewerMark 2016 first-place scholarship winner achieve his dream to make a difference in the world or, in his words, “make a positive difference in society, one day at a time.”

Click here to read the Minta-Afari’s winning essay in its entirety.

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Laura Caferro Earns Promotion

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The Lewer Agency is pleased to announce the promotion of Laura Caferro to Regional Sales Director, effective June 1, 2016. Caferro joined the company as a LewerMark Account Manager in 2014, following a successful career in academic counseling at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Washington. Her focus is serving the international student insurance needs of schools in Oregon and Washington.

She is a 1997 Cum Laude graduate from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where she earned a Bachelor of Education in Special Education. Her career path includes work as a substitute teacher specializing in Spanish and Special Education for the Marysville School District in Marysville, Washington.

Following her graduation from Gonzaga, Caferro worked as an assistant director and Spanish teacher for the Bridge Across World Language Center where she developed and implemented curriculum for foreign language programs and training workshops.

Since joining Lewer, she has become involved with The Association of Washington International Student Affairs (AWISA) organization. Other highlights of her career include her expert and compassionate handling of the Aurora Bridge bus accident in September 2015, a tragedy that impacted LewerMark students attending North Seattle College.

“She is a tremendous asset and has rapidly gained the trust and confidence of our schools in the Northwest,” said her manager, Vice President, LewerMark Student Insurance Plans Jeff Crawford. “We are excited about Laura’s new role with the company.”

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Lewer Wraps Up another Annual NAFSA Conference

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The National NAFSA: Association for International Educators Conference was recently held at the Denver Convention Center. The Lewer Agency has attended the conference for over two decades.

LewerMark Regional Sales Director and conference coordinator Erin Caswell did another outstanding job organizing the Lewer reception held this year at the Denver Zoo. A total of 153 guests enjoyed the exhibits, as well as a taco buffet that was co-hosted by Lewer, Sprintax, and Gasparian Immigration.

Vice President Nik Lewer and LewerMark Regional Sales Director Laura Caferro joined Caswell, and Vice President, Student Insurance Plans Jeff Crawford and President Mike Lewer for what was their first national NAFSA conference. Though it wasn’t Jane Clarke’s first conference, it was Lewer’s new Texas Regional Sales Director’s first time to attend the conference as a representative of LewerMark. Clarke served as a co-trainer at a Health, Safety and Risk Management workshop that was held during the conference.

“I think my first NAFSA conference was in the late 90s,” said Clarke. “It certainly has changed over the years. In my mind the most significant change is the number of providers and options for international educators. As the field grows so do the opportunities for students and educators.

“NAFSA has always offered wonderful sessions and workshops designed to educate and inspire IE professionals,” Clarke continued. “I am delighted to be a part of the LewerMark family. My past experiences in IE allows me a fuller understanding of the needs of our clients and their students.”

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