2020 Women to Watch: Johnte’ ArcherPosted On: Dec. 2, 2020 12:00 AM CST
President and CEO
Archer Commercial Insurance Group
Johnte’ Archer began her career representing children in foster care. The Pepperdine Law School graduate knew the challenges these children face firsthand, having grown up in a tumultuous household in Houston.
But after seeing the heartbreaking situations every day, she chose to concentrate on creating a successful business to enable her to help these children in a different way. After looking over contracts for a friend who was considering going into insurance, she “fell in love with the business model” and started an agency in 2009.
Ms. Archer built her business from a one-woman shop into an agency of about 25 people, drawing on the advice and experience of successful businessmen and women in her community.
“Through those mentor relationships in other businesses, I was able to learn how to partner strategically very early on,” she said. “We didn’t have the luxury of taking a client for granted. We had to provide service at the highest level every
Client Michelle Garrison, chief financial officer of medical billing company GetixHealth LLC, said Ms. Archer’s responsiveness to her clients is part of what makes her so successful.
“She’s also very innovative,” she said. “She’s very personable and willing to help.”
The trek hasn’t been easy, Ms. Archer said, describing situations where business associates at larger brokerage firms failed to take her seriously because she is a woman of color.
“It took a long time for me to be welcomed at some of the tables, and I had to prove myself over and over again that I was capable, that our team had the experience,” she said.
Ms. Archer now helps young girls prove themselves through her charity, She Is A CEO. The nonprofit is dedicated to helping middle school-aged girls in underserved areas build self-esteem and learn about entrepreneurship. She also holds quarterly seminars to help empower women in business.
“That’s a huge part of who I am,” she said.