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Employee ownership is key to setting the IMA Financial Group Inc. apart as a high-quality workplace.

“The biggest thing for us is what we like to refer to as our business model,” said Kyle Orndorff, senior vp, human resources at IMA Financial. “We are an employee-owned company.”

“People get it. They sort of see and feel the difference of being employee-owned,” Mr. Orndorff said. “I hear that from our associates a lot. Many of them have worked for other companies, and they come here and it just feels different.”

The top-ranked medium-size agent/broker in this year's Business Insurance Best Places to Work in Insurance, IMA Financial Group is a diversified financial services organization that does business in areas including property/casualty insurance, personal lines, risk management, employee benefits, investment management and wholesale insurance operations.

The company offers a competitive employee benefit package, including health club memberships and free health screenings for employees and spouses.


2

EDGEWOOD PARTNERS INSURANCE CENTER
SAN MATEO, CALIF.
EMPLOYEES: 262

EPIC's product offerings include construction/real estate, employee benefits, emerging growth/select business, private equity, personal lines, captives/program group, national specialty programs, renewable wind/energy, retail/manufacturing, technology/life science, transportation and warehousing, and logistics.

What makes the company a great place to work? “Our employees speak: "EPIC truly invests time and resources into their team of employees. Their philosophy of excellence in team development and communication doesn't stop with their mission statement; it is carried into every plan, decision and action. It's not just a feeling; it's an experience.'”


3

MESIROW INSURANCE SERVICES INC.
CHICAGO
EMPLOYEES: 315

Mesirow Insurance Services is a full-service insurance brokerage and consultant specializing in property/ casualty, surety, employee benefits, life and disability, private-client insurance and structured settlement services.

What makes the company a great place to work? “Mesirow Financial culture and its highly regarded reputation, Mesirow Financial's dedication to customer service, positive client and co-worker relationships (and a) rewarding team environment, variety and challenge in job tasks.”


4

J. SMITH LANIER & CO.
WEST POINT, GA.
EMPLOYEES: 558

Founded in 1868, employee-owned J. Smith Lanier & Co. has become one of the largest privately owned insurance brokers in the United States.

What makes the company a great place to work? “Our mission at J. Smith Lanier & Co. is to glorify God by providing exceptional value, absolute integrity, and excellence to our customers through innovative leadership in providing products and services, while establishing our value to them in a long-term relationship; our employees/ shareholders through opportunities for every individual to set and achieve goals that fulfill their unique purpose while they contribute to the long-term financial stability of J. Smith Lanier & Co.; our suppliers through access to our customers and information in the development and marketing of their products and service; our community through...participation in each of the communities we serve.”


5

HYLANT GROUP INC.
TOLEDO, OHIO
EMPLOYEES: 608

Celebrating 75 years in business, Hylant Group is a full-service insurance brokerage with 12 offices in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. Hylant offers complete risk management services, employee benefits consultation, loss control, 401(k) and financial services, health care management and insurance solutions for businesses and individuals.

What makes the company a great place to work? “Hylant's employees are the most valuable asset in the organization and they feel it. It is evidenced by the firm's commitment to training and personal and professional development goals for each employee, and they are empowered to make decisions that are in the best interest of their clients.”


6

INSURANCE OFFICE OF AMERICA
LONGWOOD, FLA.
EMPLOYEES: 335

Insurance Office of America is a full-service agency handling all lines of insurance including commercial and personal lines, bonds, life and health.

What makes the company a great place to work? “It boils down to the culture of the organization...It is family, faith and IOA in that order of importance. Within this culture, there is also a strong desire to reach beyond our company's ordinary business goals to meet the needs of the community...”