Representatives of Lewer Canada Ltd. and Lewer U.S.A. were honored to participate in a number of conferences recently hosted by sponsoring companies. The Shell, Shaw, 7-Eleven, and BP conferences were the largest conferences on the Fall/Winter conference agenda.
Kicking off the conference season was the National Association of Shell Marketers (NASM) conference, held the first week in October in Houston, Texas. Vice President, Special Markets John Owens enjoyed participating in a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament which resulted in a $1,010 donation to the Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation, established 20 years ago, is an A+ rated military charity that helps service members, Veterans, and their families. While at the conference, Owens also appreciated an opportunity to present on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
A Lewer Canada team attended the Winter Markets for Shaw Flooring Conference held in Niagara Falls, Canada, January 21 – 23. Director, Business Development Craig Griffith gave a presentation to a number of territory managers, regional managers, and vice presidents who attended the conference. “Approximately 95 percent of the TMs stopped by the Lewer booth,” said Griffith. “Some wanted to discuss my presentation. Others just dropped by for some social time. The conference was an excellent experience.”
In late January, a Lewer U.S.A. team attended the 2014 7-Eleven Experience Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to 7-Eleven Account Manager Tom Kohl, the team enjoyed visiting with the approximately 150 franchisees who stopped by the Lewer booth.
Wrapping up the exciting Fall/Winter 2014 large conference agenda for Lewer U.S.A. was the BPAMA Convention and Business Expo in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event, also attended by BPAMA, BP and fellow BP branded marketers, was held February 3 – 5 in Scottsdale, Arizona. President Mike Lewer and Vice President, Special Markets John Owens represented Lewer at the conference. Owens presented The Affordable Care Act: Time for Action, which drew approximately 40 BPAMA members. “Based on the audience engagement and the individuals interested in visiting after the meeting, John’s message resonated with this audience,” said Lewer. “We received excellent feedback from several attendees and look forward to following up on new opportunities.”(229)
The 2014 NACS Human Resources (HR) Forum was held March 4 – 6 in Tampa, Florida. Vice President, Special Markets John Owens, who represented Lewer at the forum, said he has enjoyed attending the forum every year for almost a decade.
Unlike generic HR-related events, the NACS HR Forum provides attendees with actionable 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. The forum was organized by Terry McKenna of C-Store Coaches.
Owens presented on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) while at the conference. “The PPACA is a timely topic for HR managers,” said Owens. “In fact, learning more about health care reform is so important to this group, one of its members, Director of Personnel at Country Fair, Inc. Steve Seymour, conducted a health care survey at the forum.”
“The great news,” Seymour wrote in his email to members outlining the results of the survey, “is that most all companies represented had a good understanding of PPACA and felt they had a good strategy in place. It is far from a ‘one size fits all’ strategy. Companies are looking at it from many different perspectives.”
The seventh question on Seymour’s survey was as follows: Does your company have a good understanding of their responsibilities under PPACA? A significant number of members surveyed – 92 percent – indicated that their company did have a good understanding of their responsibilities. Owens has presented on health care reform and the PPACA at a number of NACS meetings in recent years.
Lewer Life Insurance Company is pleased to announce that Lipper, a leading provider of mutual fund information, analytical tools and commentary, has given Commerce Investment Advisors, Inc. its highest rating in the Best Fixed Income Small Fund Group. Commerce Investment Advisors took the top spot out of 67 qualified companies in this category receiving an asset class group award1. Scott Colbert, Director of Fixed Income Management, The Commerce Trust Company and Commerce Investment Advisors, Inc., accepted the honor March 20, 2014 at an awards ceremony in New York.
According to a news release dated March 21, 2014, Fund groups with at least five equity, five bond, or three mixed-asset portfolios in the respective asset classes are eligible for a group award. The lowest average decile rank of the three years’ Consistent Return measure of the eligible funds per asset class and group determines the asset class group award winner of the three-year period. The small fund group category must have at least three distinct portfolios in one of the asset classes – equity, bond, or mixed-asset. The threshold for determining large and small companies is $50.7 billion as of 11/30/13.
“This recognition provides further evidence that Commerce Investment Advisors and its Fixed Income group continue to deliver strong nominal and relative performance,” Colbert said upon accepting the award. “I attribute our success over time to our focus on maximizing risk-adjusted return and our position as a money management arm within a high-quality bank. I believe it’s our credit work and the ability to identify value in various fixed income sectors that really distinguishes us on a relative basis over this time period and that has allowed us to work our way into the top percentile rankings.”
“Scott and his team have managed LLIC’s fixed income bond portfolio since December 2006,” said Mike Lewer. “The LLIC board of directors have enjoyed working with Scott and his team through the years and fully understand how deserving they are of receiving this prestigious award for the second consecutive year.”
The Lewer Companies are pleased to announce that Diane Jimenez joined the team as an administrative assistant, July 8, 2013, and now serves the companies as a customer service representative.
Jimenez is a volunteer at El Centro, Inc. in Kansas City, Kansas, where she has donated her time for the cause of the ¡Sí, Se Puede! Program since 2009. She is also a Peer Leader at Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods (MCC), in Kansas City, Missouri. Originally from Laredo, Texas, Jimenez graduated from Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Missouri in 2011. At Park Hill, she served as Spanish Club President, was Consular of the Youth Leadership and Diversity Training Program, and Founder of HALO (Hispanic American Leadership Organization).
In 2009, Jimenez was recognized by the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute at an annual conference for her leadership in the Hispanic community. She plans to continue her undergraduate studies in business administration and marketing at the University of Missouri – Kansas City in May 2014.
Katelyn Bidondo assumed the role of receptionist at The Lewer Companies, September 3, 2013. Prior to joining Lewer, Bidondo worked as a teller and customer service representative at U.S. Bank and the Bank of America in the Westport and Brookside areas of Kansas City, Missouri. She also worked as a student assistant at the Women’s Center at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC).
Following her graduation from Raymore Peculiar High School in Peculiar, Missouri in 2007, she received an Associate of Arts degree from Longview Community College and went on to continue her studies at UMKC, where she received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Spanish in May 2012. At this time, she is working toward a Masters degree in Romance Languages with an emphasis on Spanish studies at UMKC.
The Lewer Companies are pleased to announce that Lewer U.S.A. is purchasing the outstanding shares of its affiliate, The Lewer Insurance Agency Ltd. in Mississauga, Ontario. In addition, Craig Griffith has been appointed to the position of Director, Business Development and is assuming a leading role in the business development and management operations of the company.
The Lewer Insurance Agency Ltd., and its affiliate Sainte-Marie, Lewer Inc., have been in operation in Canada for nearly three decades, providing companies affiliated with the petroleum and automotive industries in Canada with comprehensive and competitive health benefits programs.
“In recent years, an important area of growth for Lewer Canada has come from partnering with select broker partners who are able to create value for their clients by bringing the unique value proposition available through Lewer Insurance Agency Ltd. and Sainte-Marie Lewer, which propels Lewer’s Canadian clients’ ROI and increases the satisfaction for all stakeholders in a company’s benefit program,” said Griffith.
“Helping businesses and insurance planners across Canada, we are able to bring the knowledge and experience of fellow specialists in securing their Benefit and Compensation programs. Our biggest strength is our understanding of their plan,” he said. “We use our knowledge to provide a professional and experienced review of the administration and funding of our clients’ benefits programs and we focus on finding and improving efficiencies. Our prominence in the marketplace allows us to customize our programs to achieve our clients’ specific goals.”
Griffith has 17 years of experience in group insurance, savings and voluntary benefits, with 12 of those years working inside a Property and Casualty (P&C) brokerage. He began his career with the life insurance division of a major Canadian insurance company and quickly moved into consulting on employee health and dental care plans for small and medium size companies. The role expanded to consulting for brokers, providing them with service and advice for their client’s group benefits needs. While serving in a consulting role, he saw the opportunity to provide clients with advice and service on their P&C insurance and also began serving businesses with their commercial insurance needs.
In 2001, Griffith joined a P&C brokerage integrating group benefits and group retirement savings into their product portfolio, working with small and medium companies to analyze their employer and shareholder needs, and implementing successful and sustainable benefit programs. Now at The Lewer Insurance Agency Ltd., he is working with clients to offer a complete suite of services to improve their ROI and to increase their employee’s engagement through benefit plans and compensation planning.
Prior to Lewer, Griffith worked as a benefit consultant for Healthsource Plus in Toronto, Canada. Healthsource Plus is a People Corporation Company that focuses on Group Benefits, Benefits Administration, Claims Management, Wellness, Group Retirement Solutions and Human Resource Solutions. He also worked as a Sales Consultant, Insurance Solutions for ADP Insurance Canada, in Mississauga, Ontario, focusing on companies with 100 to 250 plan members throughout Ontario.
In addition, and for over a decade, he worked as Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Caponi McLean Group Benefits, a Canadian company. While serving in this position, he was committed to delivering sustainable and progressive employee benefit strategies to Canadian and international employers. His career path also includes nearly a decade of group benefits sales experience with Dale & Morrow Insurance and Financial Services.
Griffith says he is looking forward to a challenging and rewarding career with Lewer Canada. “I look forward to developing new distribution channels; capitalizing and expanding our reach within the existing affinity markets, creating new affinity markets, and working with suppliers and Lewer U.S.A. to expand our products and markets.”