Employee Spotlight: Dian Lewis


At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know our Vice President and Commercial Operations Manager in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

I will have been at R&Y for 25 years this August. I started as an account representative, then moved to a small commercial account manager, then a large commercial account manager, then small commercial/personal lines team leader, then commercial operations manager.

Where did you grow up? I was a navy brat, so I moved a lot. I was born in Meridian, then moved to Oxford, Memphis, Jacksonville and then Mandeville, LA. That is where I still call my hometown.

What do you like to do outside of work? Spend time with my family and watching my children’s different sporting activities.

What is your favorite TV show/movie? The Middle.

What is your favorite sports team? Ole Miss.

What is your favorite food? Red Beans & Rice.

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? Pretty much all music.

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? People pulling out in front of me while driving.

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? My most interesting memory at R&Y was funny, but not all that fun. I was on the way back from a business trip in Alabama with the commercial lines manager at the time, and the vehicle we were in broke down. We had to drive all the way back to Jackson in a cramped, very hot tow truck. Most people didn’t have a cell phone at that time, so I didn’t get to speak to anyone at the office. The next day, I found out that the manager told everyone (as a joke) a crazy story about how I broke the car.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. I have a degree in Accounting and my MBA.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Being a wife and a mom.

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Dian!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

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Employee Spotlight: Bailey Menetre


At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know one of our Vice Presidents/Producers in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

After spending several years at another agency, I joined Ross & Yerger in 2008 with a focus in insurance and surety for the construction industry. Ten years later, I lead the Construction Practice Group and serve the agency as a Vice President and Board Member.

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Aberdeen and West Point, MS. I graduated from Oak Hill Academy and Mississippi State University before beginning my career in the insurance and surety industry.

What do you like to do outside of work? I love spending time with my family and friends. I grew up in a close-knit family, and I enjoy continuing that tradition with my children. My personal life revolves around George and Pate’s (my sons) busy sports and social schedules! Gracie and I love listening to good music while we cook, and I persistently try to improve my very mediocre golf game when I can.

What is your favorite TV show/movie? Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Bloodline and Ozark.

What is your favorite sports team? Mississippi State, St. Louis Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys (yes, I’m a bandwagon fan) and any team on which George and Pate are playing.

What is your favorite food? My wife would say all that I want is Asian cuisine, which is often true; however, my favorite is a ribeye from my grill.

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? Wow. This one is tough to answer, because it changes often. I like a variety of different music from all genres. Umphrey’s McGee, The Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, My Morning Jacket, The Allman Brothers, Greensky Bluegrass, The Revivalists, The Police and Kamasi Washington to name a few…

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? People chewing ice!!!

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? There are too many to name! The family environment, the Tupelo office (should be a reality TV show), becoming a Shareholder and Vice President, Producer Retreats, Markow “replying to all”…

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. I have an extensive vinyl record collection. My collection is currently in excess of 800 albums.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Being married to Gracie and raising our two boys together.

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Bailey!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

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Employee Spotlight: Kelsey Purvis


At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know our Marketing Specialist in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

I started fresh out of college as an Account Representative on both the new business/marketing and small commercial teams. In 2016, Ross & Yerger created a position for me on the new business/marketing team as a Commercial Lines Marketing Specialist. I work with new business prospects and I am responsible for placement of coverage and a seamless transition to R&Y. Once coverage has been bound and policies checked, the account is moved to its permanent home in one of our commercial lines practice groups where the renewals will be handled each year.

Where did you grow up? Rankin.

What are three words that describe you best? Shy, introvert, recluse. Totally kidding!

What motto do you live by? Know the Possibilities.

What do you like to do outside of work? Travel- favorite place: Singapore.

What is your favorite TV show/movie? Friends, Gilmore Girls, The Office, Friends, This Is Us, Friends, Game of Thrones.

What is your favorite sports team? College: MSU Professional: Dallas Cowboys #dak4ever #HailState

What is your favorite food? Anything Debbie (mi madre) cooks.

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? I have been known to frequent the dance floor of any live music/band at weddings. Although, I do love a good Avett Brothers sing-along every now and then.

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? Chipped fingernail polish.

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? Amy Smith calling me into her office to explain that we had to have a meeting RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT in the conference room about a situation concerning a new business client. I followed her to the conference room (low key freaking out) to realize it was a surprise party with cake to celebrate earning my CPCU designation. I actually already knew about the “surprise” but after the show Amy put on, I was 100% surprised.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. Though I love international traveling, my goal is to visit all 50 states by the age of 50.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Not calling an Uber during the St. Jude Half Marathon (the only time I’d ever be proud of doing half of something).

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Kelsey!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

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Employee Spotlight: Christina Dunn


At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know our Accounts Payable Specialist in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

I have been employed at Ross & Yerger for a little over 3 years. I am in charge of accounts payable, from taking care of our carriers, brokers and vendors to our employees.

Where did you grow up? I was born in Birmingham, AL. I moved to MS when I was 2 and grew up in Pearl, MS.

What are three words that describe you best? Dedicated, Loyal and Hardworking.

What motto do you live by? ‘No one can make you successful; the will to succeed comes from within.’ I’ve made this my motto. I’ve internalized it to the point of understanding that the success of my actions and/or endeavors doesn’t depend on anyone else, and that includes a possible failure.

What do you like to do outside of work? I love to watch my youngest son play soccer. I also love to listen to music and I am an avid reader.

What is your favorite TV show/movie? Big Brother.

What is your favorite sports team? Alabama. ROLL TIDE!

What is your favorite food? Pasta.

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? I love all music.

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? Lying.

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? This might be the funniest and scariest thing that has ever happened to me. Now in order for this to make sense, you have to know that in my interview I told Vivian I DO NOT do public speaking, and so did all my references. Then, in less than two months after I started I was told I would have to do a project called “get to know your neighbor” where we would have to go up on stage at the Annual Meeting and tell everyone what we had learned about each other. I went to Vivian and told her I just couldn’t do it. She volunteered to be my “neighbor” and said she would do all the talking. Then, the plans changed and she wanted us to be funny and do a skit. I got up on that stage and could not face the crowd. I was terrified, but somehow we made it through. Thank goodness Amy and Amanda went after us and performed their epic rap and all was forgotten!

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. I got emancipated at the age of 18 and became a cocktail waitress at a casino.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Definitely my family. It is not picture perfect. We have our good days and our bad days; however, they are truly my greatest accomplishment!

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Christina!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

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Employee Spotlight: Michael Addison


At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know one of our Producers/Shareholders in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

I started at Ross & Yerger January of 2014 as a producer in the Future Partner Group. I did not come from an insurance background so had to learn quickly. Fortunately, we have great teachers. I have a tendency to ask a lot of questions, so I feel a need to recognize the patience of my co-workers. Nobody enjoys an insurance claim, but it is a proud moment to see your clients taken care of when they happen. I can’t say a claim is my favorite thing, but knowing your clients’ assets have been protected when bad things happen is very rewarding.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Jackson, MS, just around the corner from our new office. I went to St. Richards Elementary and St. Joe Junior High. In my elementary days, I took lessons to learn several instruments but none of them stuck…violin, piano, drums, guitar….In fact, my piano teacher told my mom that she could not take her money anymore. She felt bad that I had not improved at all and basically fired me as a student. That said, at least I developed an appreciation for music. In 9th grade, I moved to Jackson Prep for high school. My senior year, I led the Jackson Prep Patriots to a state football championship…from the sidelines as a male cheerleader.

What are three words that describe you best? Entertaining, Genuine, Determined.

What motto do you live by? Live each day to the fullest.

What do you like to do outside of work? I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I like golf, tennis, the outdoors, hunting, fishing, snow skiing and being on the water. I enjoy cooking, especially if it involves a grill or smoker. I like a good story and learning about random topics. I believe everything is better with music, and can be found listening to various genres most all the time. Also, I try to make sure my 8 year old little girl is well-rounded, so I attempt to immerse her in many of the activities I enjoy.

What is your favorite TV show/movie? I like watching sports. Currently, I’m enjoying lots of winter Olympics. It’s tough to pick a favorite movie, but I’ll go with Office Space – it picks up on so many different comical topics of working with others.

What is your favorite sports team? College – Ole Miss. I also like LSU as both my parents went there. NFL – New Orleans Saints. NBA – Memphis Grizzlies. MLB – Atlanta Braves. NHL – Nashville Predators (I’ve only watched a couple games but like that they throw catfish on the ice). OLYMPICS – USA

What is your favorite food? Sushi

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? Band - Phish. Song – Ripple by the Grateful Dead. The 23rd Psalm was part of the inspiration for this song. My favorite lyric is “reach out your hand if your cup be empty, If your cup is full may it be again”. I like the positivity and generosity of that thought.

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? Inefficiency

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? I can’t name a specific one, but the time we spend around the lunch table in Tupelo is special. I have heard many tall tales and hilarious stories, and laughed until I cried!

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. I’m a pretty open book, but I will admit that I thought about getting into falconry once. I researched it heavily and ultimately decided I should not pursue it. One source stated that you would lose your job, family, belongings etc. if you became a falconer – those didn’t sound like good outcomes.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Personally – My daughter is my proudest accomplishment. My wife and I made the decision to only have one child and we are committed to developing her into a good person who will make a positive impact on the world. Professionally – I’m very proud of the work I have done at Ross & Yerger and proud to be a shareholder in the agency. I know it could not have been done without the team surrounding and supporting me. I am optimistic about the future and hope to continue sharing in success with Ross & Yerger.

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Michael!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

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Employee Spotlight: Amy Ross


At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know one of our Employee Benefits Account Managers in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

I have been a proud team member of the Employee Benefits division at Ross & Yerger Insurance. I began this journey 4 years and 9 months ago as an Account Manager Assistant and I currently am an Account Manager with big dreams.

Where did you grow up? A two stop light town called Meadville, MS… But that was the big city. I lived on the outskirts of Meadville on a gravel road—Rural Route 3 was my address and the community is called Yap. We had three television channels until I was 13 because the satellite dishes could not pick up a signal. I moved to Clinton to attend Mississippi College and have lived in the metro Jackson area ever since.

What are three words that describe you best? Kind, Sarcastic and Hungry.

What motto do you live by? “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” Just kidding, I wanted to say something other than the Golden Rule. I truly try to put myself in others shoes before making a decision. It’s hard to help someone when you are only viewing the situation from one angle.

What do you like to do outside of work? I have three dogs: Hank, Jack and Lilly. Their Instagram is @twodogsandaprincess if you want to be overwhelmed with adorableness.

What is your favorite TV show/movie? I like anything on Bravo to be on TV in the background when I am doing something and don’t have to pay attention. I love love love Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Intent though… every time I watch and rewatch those, I feel accomplished because I catch a “bad guy”.

What is your favorite sports team? My parents graduated from Ole Miss, so I will always be a Rebel. As far as professional, I’m always happy for the Saints when they win.

What is your favorite food? Pasta.

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? The Revivalists… and pretty much anything that band does. The different members collaborate on different projects and they are all extremely talented musicians.

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? When someone’s lack of planning is suddenly MY emergency. I am a planner… not an organized one, but a planner nonetheless. I like to know what’s going to happen. It’s so bad that I will GPS my entire trip to New Orleans or Memphis even though I’ve been there a million times because I like to know exactly when I’ll get there and exactly how far I am from everything.

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? Working in the Benefits department involves too many favorite/funny memories to type up. I do have a favorite memory from a quarterly meeting that involved me and a co-worker producing/performing a “get to know your neighbor” rap and a selfie stick. Oh, AND that time I won the “Champagne Award” for most sparkling personality—one of the proudest moments in my career thus far.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. I was trained in classical vocals and in high school sang the solo in “O, Thou that Tellest Good Tidings to Zion” at Jefferson Street United Methodist Church from Handel’s “Messiah”. I am definitely not normally a soloist because I don’t have a strong voice, but I sound pretty awesome in a choir! I love all music.

What is your proudest accomplishment? My parents are older—I was a midlife crisis for them—and my proudest accomplishment happens every time I make them proud.

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Amy!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

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Employee Spotlight: Marilyn Jones

At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know our Personal Lines Vice President & Team Leader/Account Manager in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

I have been a part of Ross & Yerger for 31 years. I began as a Personal Lines Account Manager and some years later became the Personal Lines Team Leader. In 2011, I was named a Vice President with Ross & Yerger.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Union County, MS in a community known as Graham. Our nearest town was about 12 miles from my house, so I am a true country girl.

What are three words that describe you best? This is a hard question. Three words describing me that immediately come to mind are hard-working, kind, and happy. I try to do my best at whatever I am doing, and I try to be kind and friendly to others. I have a wonderful family, a great job, wonderful friends, and everything I really need, so I consider myself very fortunate and happy.

What motto do you live by? I treat other people as I would want them to treat me. So, I guess that is the “Golden Rule”!

What do you like to do outside of work? My favorite thing to do outside of work is love on and play with my one-year-old grandson. He is the joy of my life! I also love to relax while reading, and, of course, I like to shop!

What is your favorite TV show/movie? I like TV shows and movies with a little mystery and drama. I can’t say I really have a favorite, but I enjoy watching something that can keep me guessing and hold my interest.

What is your favorite sports team? My favorite sports team would be the Olive Branch Conquistadors! My son is a coach, and I am a big fan.

What is your favorite food? It would be a toss-up between fried chicken and barbecue. I never tire of either of these foods.

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? I don’t really have a favorite band or song. I do enjoy the oldies (70’s), though. Guess that makes me old, too, doesn’t it?

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? People who are constantly whining and complaining about something really grinds my gears!

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? I guess the funniest memory I have while working at R&Y would be the day a co-worker and I were leaving work late, and just as we locked the front door, a spider fell from the ceiling down the front of my shirt. Our office is on Broadway Street, and I’m afraid I gave a new meaning to the words “Broadway Show”! It wasn’t so funny to me at the time, but I’m sure I gave everyone a good laugh if they looked at the camera footage from the bank across the street!

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. I enjoy playing the piano and organ. I have been the pianist or organist at my church since I was 15 years old.

What is your proudest accomplishment? I am most thankful for my family. My husband and I have one son, and he and his wife have given us a wonderful, sweet grandson who we absolutely adore.

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Marilyn!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

CONTACT AN advisor TO LEARN HOW WE CAN CREATE VALUE FOR YOU TODAY

Employee Spotlight: Rena Jamison

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At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know one of our Account Managers in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

I have worked at Ross and Yerger for right at 6 years. I interviewed with Ross and Yerger twice for different positions before I accepted the position of Account Manager on the Oil & Gas Team in December 2011.

Where did you grow up? Well this question can be difficult since I was a military dependent. When people ask, you wonder how you should respond – do you tell them where you were born, the base you lived at the longest, where your parents were originally from, where most of your family lives, where you graduated high school, etc? I was born in Germany. I have lived in several different states. My Dad was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base (HAFB) in New Mexico the longest and I graduated from Alamogordo Senior High School in New Mexico. Both my father and mother are originally from Chattanooga, TN. So to answer the question, I grew up in Germany, England, Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, Missouri, and Tennessee.

What are three words that describe you best? I really had to think hard on this because picking three was difficult, but I believe serious, tenacious and well-rounded sums it up. Serious because, well I believe that is self-explanatory. Tenacious because I like to think I am pretty tough. Well-rounded because I am able to see different perspectives in most situations.

What motto do you live by? The Golden Rule-Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

What do you like to do outside of work? I enjoy traveling, reading, watching TV and just relaxing. I also love spending time with my grandson, Denim aka “Itty Bug.”

What is your favorite TV show/movie? “Power” hands down is my favorite TV Show – it is not a PG show but definitely good!!!!

What is your favorite sports team? I like several but don’t have a favorite.

What is your favorite food? My favorite food is food. The better question should have been what food don’t you like? I am not overly picky however I love shrimp any way you can cook them. Also, I love potatoes any way you cook them.

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? I like a mixture of different music. Right now I would say one of my favorite songs is “Made a Way” by Travis Greene.

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? When a person doesn’t do what they said they were going to do.

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? One of the best memories, even though it wasn’t a happy time, was when my mother passed away in April 2013. At that time, I had not been with Ross and Yerger very long at all, but I will never forget the cards, notes, words of encouragement, sympathy, thoughts for my family and I and most importantly prayers I received from so many.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. I think I am actually a pretty funny person, however most people wouldn’t guess that since I am so serious.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Motherhood would be my proudest accomplishment. I believe that my children Shayla (26) and Zaveon (20) are two of the most respectful, loving, giving, amazing and gifted treasures God has given me. I am loving watching them come into their own individual selves.

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Rena!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

CONTACT AN advisor TO LEARN HOW WE CAN CREATE VALUE FOR YOU TODAY

Ross & Yerger Included in IIABA’s Best Practices Study

Ross & Yerger Insurance, Inc. retains its Best Practices status, once again becoming a part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States. This status comes by participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) Best Practices Study group. The annual survey and Study of leading independent insurance agencies documents the business practices of the “best” agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices.

Since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, have joined forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories. The agencies comprising the study groups are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation. The agency was nominated by either an IIABA affiliated state association or an insurance company and qualified based on its operational excellence.

The selected Best Practices agencies retain their status during the three-year cycle by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year. This is the second year of the current three-year study cycle, where over 1500 independent agencies throughout the U.S. were nominated to take part in the annual study in 2016, but only 262 agencies qualified for the honor. To be chosen, the agency had to be among the 35-45 top-performing agencies in one of six revenue categories.

Dudley Wooley, Ross & Yerger’s CEO, stated “Ross & Yerger is proud to again be included in this group of high-performing organizations. The Best Practices designation distinguishes our firm and helps elevate the level of service and expertise we provide our clients.”

Ross & Yerger – one of the largest independent, privately-held insurance agencies in the Southeast – was established in 1860 and is headquartered in Jackson, MS. Our firm is 100 percent employee-owned, which allows all employees to participate in the profits of the agency and creates a family environment where we all have one unified goal. Currently, the agency employs 116 dedicated professionals in four locations including Jackson, Mississippi; Tupelo, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and New Orleans, Louisiana. As a niche-focused agency, the business acumen is unrivaled with industry expertise in the areas of Financial Institutions, Oil & Gas Services, Healthcare, Nonprofits, Property Management, Construction, Manufacturing, Personal Lines and Employee Benefits. The firm helps clients know the possibilities, and is committed to the communities it serves, cultivating a future of hope, prosperity and security. For more about Ross & Yerger, visit www.rossandyerger.com

Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance – property, casualty, life and health – as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. For more about IIABA, visit www.independentagent.com

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

CONTACT AN advisor TO LEARN HOW WE CAN CREATE VALUE FOR YOU TODAY

Employee Spotlight: Niki Mitchell


​At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know one of our Account Managers in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

I have been with Ross & Yerger for about 9 ½ years. I started as an Assistant Account Manager in the Employee Benefits department and worked my way up to an Account Manager position in 2011. I work closely with our producers and our clients to help with claims, enrollment meetings, renewals and the list just goes on and on!

Where did you grow up? I was born and bred in Tupelo, MS – the fabulous birthplace of Elvis Presley ( you just can’t leave that part out)

What are three words that describe you best? Well I’m sure there are several that many would describe me as, but I would like to think the best ones are loyal, hard worker and a good sense of humor. Yes, that is more than three words, I know, but that’s a hard one. Some may even add clumsy to that!

What motto do you live by? Treat others how you would like to be treated and never settle!

What do you like to do outside of work? There are so many things – catch up on all of my very bad TV shows, being outside, reading (in the rain but the porch needs to be covered), spending time with my family and friends.

What is your favorite TV show/movie? I am a fan of all the mafia movies….Goodfellas, The Godfather, Scarface, The Untouchables…and this list too could go on forever!

What is your favorite sports team? Alabama – Roll Tide! – no negative comments please!

What is your favorite food? Wow, there are so many to choose from. I love Italian so anything related to that and has marinara sauce and pasta.

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? There are too many songs to name so let’s go with Curtis Mayfield and Al Green.

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? When people use the word irregardless. It is not a word!!

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? Oh goodness gracious there are so many. If I have to choose one, it would be the musical chairs game at the Annual Outing a couple of years ago. For those of you who saw it – you know what I’m talking about!!

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. I’m pretty much an open book and can talk quite a bit so this is hard. The only thing I can think of is that I was a Marine Biology major at Alabama for two years. Originally I had wanted to be a talk show host or like Siskel & Ebert, but when that didn’t pan out I took to Marine Biology. Shark Week on Discovery was my favorite growing up and I really wanted to get in the cages and go under water and take pictures of all the different animals in the ocean. Yes, even sharks.

What is your proudest accomplishment? That is an easy one. Becoming a mother to my precious 10 year old, Ansley. She is fabulous and definitely one of a kind. I think I’ll keep her.

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Niki!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

CONTACT AN advisor TO LEARN HOW WE CAN CREATE VALUE FOR YOU TODAY

Employee Spotlight: Patrick Pierce


At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know one of our Resource Specialists in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

I started at Ross & Yerger in July of 2012 as a Marketing Specialist, which meant I spent time doing both small business marketing and small business account management. In December of 2013, I moved into my current Resource Specialist position and have been helping clients with their HR, safety, and compliance efforts for almost four years now.

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised right down the road in Clinton, MS and a graduate of Clinton High School.

What are three words that describe you best? Man I’ve never liked this question, even though it should be an easy answer. Once in college, when interviewing to become an MSU Alumni Delegate, I answered “tall, pale, and sweet – you know, like a banana”. Funny, right? No one laughed, it was awkward.

What motto do you live by? I try to be realistic and remember that nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems. With that said, my wife will tell you that I’m pretty over dramatic when it comes to Mississippi State sports.

What do you like to do outside of work? We have a very beautiful and sassy fifteen month old daughter named Kennedy, so a large portion of my time outside of work revolves around her. Other than that, I love to be outdoors – preferably in the mountains somewhere, riding my road bike, or kayaking – and never turn down an opportunity to be in Starkville. Spending time with family is also important to us.

What is your favorite TV show/movie? Game of Thrones. Shocker, right? I’ve been an avid fan of the show since it started. I also have a Word document of my top 20 all-time favorite shows – along with the top 5 shows I still want to watch. Yeah, I’m a nerd. What are some of my other favorite shows, you ask? Well I’ll tell you – Breaking Bad, Westworld, The Wire, Parenthood, True Detective (excluding season 2, which was terrible), Spartacus, and Band of Brothers to name a few.

What is your favorite sports team? If you’ve known me for more than 30 seconds, you know the answer to that question. I’m a die-hard Mississippi State supporter – which means I’ve seen a lot of losses in my 28 years.

What is your favorite food? I’m a steak and potatoes kind of guy, but I also love pasta. All the carbs, basically.

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? I really don’t have a favorite band or song, but I do love music. As long as it’s not whiny country music or heavy metal rock I’m probably fine with it.

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? Bad drivers, no doubt. And we have some really, really bad ones here in Jackson. I also can’t stand when people misuse (or simply don’t use) commas. It’s not that hard, people!

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? Too many to list, but some of my favorite memories are our kickball team winning the Jackson State intramural league, co-hosting the annual outing last year, and of course the long and always funny conversations with Mary Kirk. This month marks three years since her passing and I know we all miss her quick wit and big personality.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. Better yet, I’ll give you two. When I was a baby I couldn’t keep any food down, so my mom took me to the hospital to figure out what was wrong. Turns out I had pyloric stenosis which means my muscles were blocking normal passage of food and causing me to vomit. The surgery to fix it was fairly simple but it left a pretty big scar on my stomach that’s been with me ever since. The other thing, which most people already know, is that I lived in London for nearly a year when I was 6 and 7 years old. I wasn’t old enough to fully appreciate it at the time but as I got older I realized how fortunate I was to experience living abroad.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Allow me to change the question slightly to: “What is your proudest moment?” First, becoming a dad for the first time has been incredible. Challenging at times, for sure, and undoubtedly the biggest responsibility of my life, but more and more rewarding every day. The second is when I watched my wife, Erin, graduate from medical school this year. We’ve been together since freshman year of college so that moment was ten years in the making for us, and getting to that point wasn’t without its struggles. I was proud that day and I’ve been proud every day since.

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Patrick!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

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Employee Spotlight: Becky Smith


At Ross & Yerger, we believe our employees are a vital part of our company’s continued success and advancement. Get to know our Commercial Lines Senior Vice President & Team Leader/Account Manager in this month’s Employee Spotlight.

I was nineteen and fresh out of secretarial college at Hinds Jr. College when God put Ross & Yerger in my path. I had two great job offers and thankfully, I made the right choice. That was March, 1967. When I joined the firm, we were located on the 5th floor of the First National Bank building (now Trustmark in downtown Jackson). There were 6 employees on my first day at work – Mr. Yerger, Sr., Mr. Yerger, Jr., another young man who left that first week I was there, a bookkeeper/office manager, one account manager who handled both personal and commercial lines, and me. I was the secretary, the claims person, the mail room person, the supply person, the errand person, and anything else that the other two ladies didn’t do. There was no sick time or vacation time really, but even then, we were heads above everyone else with regard to technology. I had an IBM Selectric “top of the line” ELECTRIC typewriter and actual carbon copy sets (for you young ones under the age of 50, that’s paper with the carbon actually attached)! We wore only dresses and panty hose, and the men wore suits. Every day! Thank you, Lord, for some changes!

I left to have a baby, with no plans to come back – going to be a stay at home Mom, but that just wasn’t meant to be. After being off six weeks with a new baby, I came back helping out weekly in some form or fashion and then agreed to a full time, part time basis, working in bonds and claims and as the receptionist. Then, I agreed to work full time, and that really started the roller coaster ride. After a few more years, I changed roles again. We had an account manager who left and she was very behind in her renewals and it was December. Commercial Lines Account Managers, you know what that means, and I could barely spell commercial lines insurance…..but, I managed and made it through without a mental breakdown, and I’m still here. I’ve worn a lot of hats in my 50 plus years at Ross & Yerger, including Assistant Office Manager under Thetis Meagher, who was such a wonderful person and taught me so much; heading up small commercial lines; heading up personal lines; a team leader, and more. I think I’ve been a part of every department here except Employee Benefits. I have so many stories, some of which probably need to remain untold and some that keep a smile on my face. The journey has been wonderful. I love what I do, my clients and my co-workers. I see retirement on the horizon, and that’s something to look forward to. But, today, I’m still here and going strong.

Where did you grow up? I was born in Natchez, Mississippi, but moved to Jackson shortly thereafter. When I was four, we moved to Byram to a working farm on a gravel road. Yes, I am such a country girl. I have lived for the last 28 years less than a mile from that farm where I grew up.

What are three words that describe you best? A Christian, Strong, Outspoken

What motto do you live by? “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

What do you like to do outside of work? I stay busy. I love to cook, fish, watch football, travel, read good mysteries, garden, entertain with small, casual get-togethers in my home, and watch Mother Nature from my deck swing with a glass of tea or Diet Coke. Early weekend mornings are the best for this when the world is waking up. Every day is another blessed opportunity.

What is your favorite TV show/movie? The Blacklist, old classic John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies (Yes, I am any old man’s dream!!) Gone with the Wind, Silence of the Lambs, A Few Good Men, Sixth Sense, Gran Torino and this list could go on and on!

What is your favorite sports team? It was the Colts and then Denver, but now I guess I have to go with the Cowboys. I do like Dak!!

What is your favorite food? Okay, Wellness Committee and Blue Cross, read no further or skip NOW to the next question. What about food is there not to love? I love Mexican food, ham, homemade mac and cheese – no box stuff please, round steak smothered in gravy with rice and biscuits…..Yes, broccoli and green beans are on the list, but not at the top….sorry.

What or who is your favorite band/singer/song? Anything by George Straight, The Eagles, Elvis, and Classic Country Music.

What is one of your biggest pet peeves? You just want one? How about people who don’t know about RSVP, a “Not my Job” attitude and people who don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re”. Those little things just push me over the edge sometimes……

What has been your best memory while working at R&Y? With 50 plus years under my belt, I just need to write a book because there are so many worthwhile memories. I remember Magenta hair, an employee with panty hose trailing down the street and into the elevator for the entire world to see, a belly dancer for the Boss’ birthday, 1991-when we went live electronically, growth and lots of changes, good hires, and not so good hires.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you. Do we really want to go there? Well, here it goes…. 1) I am very shy and an introvert…I hate speaking in public. 2) I have a passion for girls’ softball and played shortstop and pitcher on several independent Jackson teams well into my thirties….love it still and would love to play now; my mind says I should still play and my body says “Are you NUTS???” Of course, I’d have to find a geriatric team….3) In my younger and thinner life, I did a little belly dancing and was pretty good at it!! (and, no, I did not dance for the Boss on his birthday.)

What is your proudest accomplishment? Other than the fact I have accepted Christ as my Savior and am a Believer and a Christian, it would be my son. He is an amazing young man.

Thanks for being such a great part of the R&Y family, Becky!

Leighton Hill

Media & Marketing Coordinator

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Job Opening - Employee Benefits Account Manager Assistant

Summary

The Employee Benefits Account Manager Assistant acts as support within the Employee Benefits Department. The major duties and responsibilities of the position include assisting the Account Manager in the service to the group client at the time of new business placement or at renewal and as required throughout the year. Specific service responsibilities are to develop an ongoing relationship with clients, oversee their coverage program, fulfilling client requests and assisting Account Managers and Producers as needed in disseminating benefit information to potential and existing group clients. The Employee Benefits Account Manager Assistant will train to serve as liaison between the insurance carriers and group clients to ensure timeliness of claim payments, overall benefit plan implementation under the leadership of the Department Manager and Producer.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Receive phone calls and office visitors with requests for assistance on existing coverage and/or new policies. Obtain and process enrollment forms, change forms or benefit summaries as determined by client need.
  • Review existing benefits to determine best coverage alternatives when necessary. Maintain open lines of communication with the Account Manager and Producer regarding alternatives for the group.
  • Communicate renewal terms to client and work with the Account Manager to negotiate the renewal terms with carriers when necessary. Maintain open lines of communication with the Account Manager and Producer during this time.
  • Obtain group premium, enrollment contracts and group coverage agreements when necessary and submit timely to insurance carrier for processing.
  • Maintain own follow-up and suspense file within the Agency Management System on outstanding activity and correspondence. Follow up on all items thoroughly and timely.
  • Maintain group account files in an orderly, up-to-date manner.
  • Facilitate renewals and new business as directed by Department Manager.
  • Maintain group account information in Agency Management System by documenting conversations regarding benefit problems, claim difficulties or carrier options to be evaluated at the time of group renewal.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in rating applications and procedures for all types of group policies. Use web sites to obtain information as necessary to assist clients.
  • Explain coverage and exclusions to clients as necessary.
  • Keep Account Managers and Producers fully informed of important activities or challenges on their accounts.
  • Obtain proposals and generate coverage comparisons for renewal business as required.
  • Perform all actions relating to the public, customers and companies in a manner that will avoid issues involving potential errors and omissions or loss of business.
  • Participate in seminars and other training opportunities for knowledge and skill development, and maintain required licenses for current position.
  • Share knowledge that is useful to the department.
  • Perform other duties as requested by Department Manager.
  • Demonstrate understanding of employee benefit programs and coverage and ability to communicate effectively with potential and existing clients (and their employees) regarding these benefit programs.

Requirements

  • 4 year College degree preferred. Life & Health License required within 6 months of employment and satisfactory employment record.
  • Minimum two years’ experience in employee benefits, customer service or similar position with underwriting and/or health insurance background
  • Must be a self-starter, able to self-manage workload to ensure group accounts are satisfied with Ross & Yerger and their insurance carrier(s).
  • Must be detail oriented, charismatic, professional, and eager to learn and become an Account Manager. Ability to work in a fast-paced, multiple tasking and deadline sensitive environment.
  • Proficiency in both verbal and written forms of communication. Basic computer/data entry skills (agency management, word processing, and spreadsheet analysis) preferred and above average mathematical skills also required.
  • Maintain and provide excellent customer service to new and existing groups / clients at all times.

Please email resume to syates@rossandyerger.com.

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Job Opening - Employee Benefits Account Manager

Summary

The Employee Benefits Account Manager performs the major duties and responsibilities of the position which includes service to the group client at the time of new business placement or at renewal and as required throughout the year. Specific service responsibilities are fulfilling the group / client requests and assisting producers as needed in disseminating benefit information to potential and existing group clients. The Employee Benefits Account Manager will serve as liaison between the insurance carriers and group clients to ensure timeliness of claim payments, overall benefit plan implementation under the leadership of the Department Manager and Producer.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Receive phone calls and office visitors with requests for assistance on existing coverage and/or new policies. Obtain and process enrollment forms, change forms or benefit summaries as determined by client need.
  • Review existing benefits to determine best coverage alternatives when necessary. Maintain open lines of communication with Producer regarding alternatives for the group.
  • Communicate renewal terms to client and negotiate the renewal terms with carrier when necessary. Maintain open lines of communication with Producer during this time.
  • Obtain group premium, enrollment contracts and group coverage agreements when necessary and submit timely to insurance carrier for processing.
  • Maintain own follow-up and suspense file within the Agency Management System on outstanding activity and correspondence. Follow up on all items thoroughly and timely.
  • Maintain group account files in an orderly, up-to-date manner.
  • Facilitate renewals and new business as directed by Department Manager.
  • Maintain group account information in Agency Management System by documenting conversations regarding benefit problems, claim difficulties or carrier options to be evaluated at the time of group renewal.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in rating applications and procedures for all types of group policies. Use web sites to obtain information as necessary to assist clients.
  • Explain coverage and exclusions to clients as necessary.
  • Keep producers fully informed of important activities or challenges on their accounts.
  • Obtain proposals and generate coverage comparisons for renewal business as required.
  • Perform all actions relating to the public, customers and companies in a manner that will avoid issues involving potential errors and omissions or loss of business.
  • Participate in seminars and other training opportunities for knowledge and skill development, and maintain required licenses for current position.
  • Provide training to others as requested. Share knowledge that is useful to the department.
  • Perform other duties as requested by Department Manager.

Requirements

  • Must be a self-starter, able to self-manage workload to ensure group accounts are satisfied with Ross & Yerger and their insurance carrier(s).
  • Proficiency in both verbal and written forms of communication. Basic computer/data entry skills (agency management, word processing, and spreadsheet analysis) preferred and above average mathematical skills also required.
  • Demonstrate understanding of employee benefit programs and coverage and ability to communicate effectively with potential and existing clients (and their employees) regarding these benefit programs.
  • Minimum two years experience in employee benefits, customer service or similar position with underwriting and/or health insurance background.
  • 4 year College degree preferred. Life & Health License required within 6 months of employment and satisfactory employment record.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, multiple tasking and deadline sensitive environment.
  • Maintain and provide excellent customer service to new and existing groups / clients at all times.

Please email resume to syates@rossandyerger.com.

CONTACT AN advisor TO LEARN HOW WE CAN CREATE VALUE FOR YOU TODAY