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By Austin Andre
The Heneghan, White, Cutting, and Roentz Insurance agency has been operating in Jerseyville since 1862, but while the agency has changed hands several times throughout its history, its dedication to service and honesty has not. The qualities of the agency did not go unrecognized this year either; as the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois (IIA) awarded the Agency of the Year Award to staff members; and the Agent of the Year Award to agency president, Ray Roentz.
The Agent of the Year Award is given to honor the performances and achievements of agents connected to the IIA. Roentz was announced as the recipient of this year’s award at the association’s annual convention last month; for his contributions related to the agency’s production performance, technological advancement, and civic duties.
“I feel humbled,” said Roetz. “It’s chosen by your peers which means a lot.”
With 12 years of industry experience under his belt, Roentz has been associated with the agency for 10 years. Purchasing it from current Vice President, Joe Henneghan, Roentz took heavy initiative when it came to technological integration, working with staff to make communication more convenient and accessible to the agency’s clients.
“We’ve been able to take the technology out there and use it in our systems,” said Roentz. “It allows clients to work with us in the way they want to work with us.”
Examples of this include a direct text line for clients, integrated emails, and the use of an agency management system. When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, it only accelerated the agency’s uses of online and digital services which had already been in development beforehand.
“That whole situation gave us no other choice to use these technologies we had been hearing about,” said Roentz. “But we were able to take lessons learned from that acceleration to figure out what works and what doesn’t.”
Roentz looks to improve much more in the agency however, such as hiring more young individuals into the industry, expanding the agency’s infrastructure, and continuing its growth pace. They have also added offices in four states, including Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, and most recently, Florida.
“We’ve had a good year,” said Roentz. “We’ve worked hard to do it though, and I’d like to see the agency grow in terms of staff, we built this building to house growth.”
While Roentz discussed his own personal successes in the industry, he spoke enthusiastically about his staff, community, and the clientele he is grateful to serve. The agency received its Agency of the Year Award for its community involvement, employee education, and employee development. The agency encourages its employees to obtain insurance designations as well; and is deeply committed to local outreach.
Each year, staff members come together to decide which charity they will support for that year and how they can make an impact in the local area. Methods of aiding charity are varied, ranging from financial sponsorship, filling sandbags, painting, and replacing doors for charity buildings. Employees are also given the chance to take time off to work to help out around the community.
These are exactly the kind of things Roentz expects out of not just his agency, but himself as well. Roentz remains adamant about serving the residents of Jerseyville; and plans on continuing its reach, growth, and involvement for years to come.