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J. Smith Lanier & Co. http://www.jsmithlanier.com a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company Fri, 05 Apr 2019 19:26:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 142036557 MMA Southeast Promotes Kenneth Grace to Managing Director in Newnan, Georgia http://www.jsmithlanier.com/mma-southeast-promotes-kenneth-grace-to-managing-director-in-newnan-georgia/ Fri, 05 Apr 2019 19:26:41 +0000 http://www.jsmithlanier.com/?p=3257

In this role, Mr. Grace is responsible for leading all aspects of the Newnan office including delivering MMA’s wide range of services and solutions to clients in the area. He succeeds Rick Tamplin who retired after 35 years of service with the firm.

Mr. Grace brings over 25 years of experience in the property and casualty insurance industry most recently serving as a vice president for the company. He joined J. Smith Lanier & Co. in 2002 as a commercial property and casualty account executive, having begun his career in 1992 as an underwriter with The St. Paul Company. Mr. Grace worked in various underwriting roles, compassing domestic, middle market and international underwriting responsibilities, including managing the worldwide insurance programs of US multinationals.

West Point, GA - April 5, 2019- J. Smith Lanier & Co., a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, today announced that it had promoted Kenneth Grace to be Managing Director for its Newnan, Georgia office effective April 1, 2019.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Georgia and was designated a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU).

Commenting on Mr. Grace’s appointment MMA Southeast CEO, Gary Ivey, said: “Ken is a skilled and proven leader with a broad range of experience. I am confident he and the team in Newnan will deliver an outstanding service for our clients.”

“I am excited for the opportunity to lead the Newnan office. Rick Tamplin is a true professional who built a strong culture and an exceptional team. I am thankful to live in a great community and serve in a leadership role for such an outstanding organization,” added Mr. Grace.

About Marsh & McLennan Agency

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC is a subsidiary of Marsh established in 2008 to serve as a platform for the middle market. . MMA offers commercial property, casualty, personal lines, and employee benefits to midsize businesses and individuals across North America.

J. Smith Lanier & Co. Recognized as a Partner in Excellence for CompTrustAGC http://www.jsmithlanier.com/j-smith-lanier-co-recognized-as-a-partner-in-excellence-for-comptrustagc/ Mon, 05 Nov 2018 22:42:41 +0000 http://www.jsmithlanier.com/?p=3196 BIRMINGHAM, AL – CompTrustAGC is proud to recognize J. Smith Lanier & Co., a Marsh McLennan Agency LLC company as its top producing agency. As the top producing agency, J Smith Lanier was responsible for generating $3,061,679 in premium for 2017.

CompTrustAGC presented the Platinum Level Partners in Excellence Award to the agency at its annual sales meeting on October 25th, 2018.

CompTrustAGC is the self-insurers workers compensation fund sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of Alabama with over 335 members, $90 million in assets and $43 million in members’ equity and is the only self-insurance fund in Alabama to have an AM best rating.

Maggie Herman Appointed as New Human Resources Director http://www.jsmithlanier.com/maggie-herman-appointed-as-new-human-resources-director/ Mon, 01 Oct 2018 18:19:51 +0000 http://www.jsmithlanier.com/?p=3184 We are excited to introduce Maggie Herman as the new Human Resources Director at J. Smith Lanier & Co. effective October 1, 2018.

In this role, Ms. Herman will report to Gary Ivey, J. Smith Lanier & Co., CEO, and be based out of the Johns Creek, Georgia office. She brings nearly 20 years of Human Resource experience to the role, most recently serving as Human Resource Director at LANDIS+GYR.  She has also held human resource management positions at the Southern Company and Mississippi Power.

Ms. Herman is responsible for leading all aspects of the human resource function for J. Smith Lanier & Co., including acquiring, developing, rewarding, and retaining the best employees; executing the strategic initiatives surrounding diversity and inclusion; and creating an effective producer recruitment plan.

Ms. Herman succeeds Lorie Yauney who was promoted to Chief Operating Officer for J. Smith Lanier & Co. last March.

“Maggie is a proven leader with many years of experience in a variety of Human Resource Management areas.  Engaging and developing our employees at J. Smith Lanier & Co. has always been a vital component to our success, and I am confident that Maggie will bring her expertise to this role,” said J. Smith Lanier & Co. CEO, Gary Ivey.

Ms. Herman has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Georgia State University and a Masters of Business Administration degree in Management from Kennesaw State University. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management and holds the certification of Senior Certified Professional.  Ms. Herman also serves on the Advisory Board for Outstanding Women Leaders for Kennesaw State University.

J. Smith Lanier & Co. Appoints Amanda Vail as Chief Financial Officer http://www.jsmithlanier.com/j-smith-lanier-co-appoints-amanda-vail-as-chief-financial-officer/ Tue, 24 Jul 2018 17:58:11 +0000 http://www.jsmithlanier.com/?p=3152 West Point, GA - July 23, 2018 - J. Smith Lanier & Co., a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company (JSL), today announced that Amanda Vail has been appointed Chief Financial Officer of the firm.

In this role, Ms. Vail reports to Gary Ivey, J. Smith Lanier & Co. CEO, and is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She brings nearly 15 years of public and private accounting experience to the role, most recently serving as global controller for eVestment, Inc., an international technology firm, that was recently acquired by NASDAQ.

Commenting on Ms. Vail’s appointment, Mr. Ivey said, “Amanda is a proven leader with world-class financial acumen and strategic business capabilities. Coupled with her familiarity with JSL having previously performed the annual financial statement audit of JSL and its ESOP, she is the perfect fit for our team.”

Ms. Vail has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from College of Charleston. She is a member of the Georgia Society of CPAs and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Ms. Vail succeeds Frank Plan, who continues as an advisor to Ms. Vail, to the JSL finance team, and to the JSL Executive Advisory Committee.  He also remains President of JSL Securities, Inc.

About Marsh & McLennan Agency

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC is a subsidiary of Marsh established in 2008 to serve as a platform for the middle market. In 2015, it expanded its national footprint into Canada. MMA offers commercial property, casualty, personal lines, and employee benefits to midsize businesses and individuals across North America.

JSL/MMA’s Ashley Van Ryn to Represent the USA in the World Championships for Beach Handball http://www.jsmithlanier.com/3147-2/ Fri, 20 Jul 2018 18:37:48 +0000 http://www.jsmithlanier.com/?p=3147 JSL/MMA's Strategic Account Executive in Employee Benefits, Ashley Van Ryn, is off to Russia to represent the United States in the World Championships for Beach Handball (please see below).  If you haven’t ever seen a game, check it out and cheer on Ashley and Team USA!

The games are taking place July 24 – 29 in Russia. This is the first time ever that the USA Women's Beach Handball Team has qualified, so it's very exciting.

Will we be able to watch the games?
Yes, click here for the livestream broadcast. And check out the schedule below.

Pool Play Schedule: USA Women – Group C (USA, Thailand, Russia, Brazil)

  • USA vs Thailand (Tuesday, July 24 @ 3:40 a.m. ET – Court 3)
  • USA vs Brazil (Tuesday, July 24 @ 8:40 a.m. ET – Court 2)
  • Opening Ceremonies – Tuesday, July 24 @ 10:30 a.m.
  • USA vs Russia (Wednesday, July 25 @ 10:30 a.m. ET – Central Court)

Q: How have you been training for it?

Ashley: Lots of early mornings and late evenings. Since I'm not a full-time athlete, the majority of the time I train on my own. I've also been flying out to California most weekends over the past few months to play with my team.

Q. How did you get started playing handball?

Ashley: Watching the 2012 London Olympics while out with friends, I saw handball on TV and was intrigued. I grew up playing a lot of sports and was interested in this sport that looked like a mix of volleyball, basketball, softball/baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and hockey all in one. We all started googling it to learn more, and I discovered there was a local handball club in Atlanta.

I ended up joining the team and was told I had the potential to be really good. So after some practice and local competitions, I tried out for the Women's National Team (for indoor handball) at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center in January 2013 and made it. Although we did not end up qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil (only 12 countries can make it), it was a great experience leading up to the games. With the team, I've traveled to and competed against many countries in Europe, Asia, Central America, and South America as well as Puerto Rico and Canada. In many European countries and elsewhere around the world, handball is the second most popular sport next to soccer.

Q. What has the opportunity to play on the Women's National Handball Team meant to you?

Ashley: It's a blessing to represent my country and experience different cultures throughout the world. These experiences have helped shape my perspective, challenged me, and ultimately grown me as a person in all areas of life. It is truly a gift from God, and I am beyond grateful for the team of people who surround me and make this possible! Thank you to my family, colleagues, friends, and church community who continue to encourage and support me in this journey.

To learn more about handball, click here. Or to support Ashley and Team USA, click here
Note: USA Team Handball is a 501(c) (3) with no financial support from the government. All national teams rely solely on sponsorships and donations from their generous friends, families, and fans around the globe.

Ryan McClendon has been selected as an honoree in Business Alabama and Alabama AGC’s Top 40 Under 40 in Commercial Construction http://www.jsmithlanier.com/ryan-mcclendon-has-been-selected-as-an-honoree-in-business-alabama-and-alabama-agcs-top-40-under-40-in-commercial-construction/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 16:34:30 +0000 http://www.jsmithlanier.com/?p=3135

This award recognizes outstanding up-and-coming individuals in commercial construction throughout the state of Alabama who demonstrate a high level of leadership, professional excellence and commitment to the construction industry.

As an honoree, Ryan will be featured in the September issue of Business Alabama Magazine, which will include his headshot and a brief summary of his achievements.

He will also be invited to the Top 40 Under 40 event at Cahaba Brewing Co. in Birmingham on August 23rd where he will be recognized for his accomplishment and mingle with the other honorees.

Congratulations, Ryan!

Lorie Yauney Elected Chairwoman of Professional Insurance Agents Southern Alliance (PIA South) http://www.jsmithlanier.com/lorie-yauney-elected-chairwoman/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 21:09:42 +0000 http://www.jsmithlanier.com/?p=3125 Lorie Yauney, SPHR, was elected by members of the Professional Insurance Agents Southern Alliance to serve as their Chair Person at their recent Annual Meeting. The PIA Southern Alliance is the nation’s sixth largest PIA affiliate, serving agents in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.

Ms. Yauney currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of J. Smith Lanier & Co., and is based in West Point, Georgia.  Lorie is a graduate of Chadron State College, Chadron, Nebraska, where she earned a BA degree in Business Administration with a minor in Psychology.  Recently, Lorie has been nominated to serve on the Marsh & McLennan Agency Strategic IT Council.

Lorie has been an active volunteer with PIA for the past fourteen-years, serving as CIC, CISR, and Education Committee Chair before being elected to PIA’s Executive Board in 2009.

In her acceptance speech Lorie said, “I appreciate the support and confidence of my colleagues in electing me to this leadership position. I look forward to working collaboratively with agents in all three states served by PIA South.”

Jerry Duke, PIA CEO stated, “I have been fortunate to work with many talented men and women, each possessing unique characteristics of leadership and management skills. Lorie has always been an active supporter of not only J. Smith Lanier employees, she has taken a proactive role in advocating for the America Agency System. She has never turned down a request to help all our members, regardless of agency affiliation. PIA is very fortunate to have Lorie as our 2018-2019 Chair.”

Originally founded in 1937 as the Mutual Insurance Agents of Georgia, PIA has operated continuously for the past 80 years. Today, PIA South, three-state alliance, was launched in March 2017 and is an organization dedicated to effectively preserving and advocating the independent agency system as a value-added distribution method, and to the development and availability of programs, products, and services that partner with our members and customers in sustaining and advancing their operations in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.


PIA Southern Alliance
3805 Crestwood Parkway, NE
Suite 140
Duluth, GA 30096

Annual J. Smith Lanier & Co. Charity Golf Classic Raises More Than $200,000 to Benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation http://www.jsmithlanier.com/annual-j-smith-lanier-co-charity-golf-classic-raises-more-than-200000/ Mon, 14 May 2018 19:10:56 +0000 http://www.jsmithlanier.com/?p=3111 J. Smith Lanier & Co., a Marsh & McLennan LLC company (JSL), announced today that its 2018 Charity Golf Classic to benefit the Georgia Chapter of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) raised more than $200,000. The annual event is now in its 14th year and has raised more than $3 million since 2004.The Charity Classic was held at Chateau Elan Golf Club on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. More than 350 golfers and six PBTF children and their families were on hand to play golf and meet the sponsors.

Richard Bradley, Jennifer Williams, Maddie Williams, Wes Williams and PGA pro Scott Wilson

“JSL has been honored over the last 14 years to be the title corporate sponsor of the Annual J. Smith Lanier & Co. Charity Golf Classic to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Since 2004, our organization has been blessed to help support this outstanding foundation. We would like to extend a special thank you to the many sponsors and volunteers who have been able to help bring financial and emotional support to the families who are facing some of the most challenging moments in their lives,” said J. Smith Lanier & Co. CEO Gary Ivey.

Tammy Bates, Managing Director of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation-GA Chapter said: “We are tremendously grateful to J. Smith Lanier & Co. and the many sponsors who participate year after year in this exciting event. Without them, we would not have the capacity to truly impact the families we serve in such meaningful ways.”

Chance Berry, Connor Bridges, Joonseo Choi and PGA pro Will Taylor

Proceeds from this year’s event will help hundreds of children and their families, both locally and nationally. Family support programs include the Butterfly Fund, the financial assistance program, support groups, scholarships, educational materials and other resources, hospital support to families, and more. These programs further PBTF’s mission to care for families along their entire journey, find a cure for the deadliest form of childhood cancer, and help survivors thrive.

To learn more about the Georgia Chapter of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation or to make a donation please visit www.curethekids.org/ga or call 404-252-4107.

Janiya Alexander, Lilia Sullivan, Courtney Hicks, Taylor Hicks and PGA pro Sina Turner

About Marsh & McLennan Agency

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC is a subsidiary of Marsh established in 2008 to serve as a platform for the middle market. In 2015, it expanded its national footprint into Canada. MMA offers commercial property, casualty, personal lines, and employee benefits to midsize businesses and individuals across North America.

Marsh & McLennan Agency Launches Human Resources and Benefits Administration Digital Platform for Small Employers http://www.jsmithlanier.com/marsh-mclennan-agency-launches-human-resources-and-benefits-administration-digital-platform-for-small-employers/ Thu, 03 May 2018 19:21:31 +0000 http://www.jsmithlanier.com/?p=3106 White Plains, New York, May 3, 2018 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, announced today the launch of MMA HRLink, a new digital platform designed to automate human resources (HR) management and benefits administration for clients with less than 100 employees.

Developed in collaboration with Flock, a leading HR software provider, MMA HRLink consolidates and streamlines the day-to-day HR and benefits functions with one digital platform. Through the system, employers can:

  • Automate the onboarding process including electronic, signature-ready forms and tasks assigned to new hires and internal employees.
  • Establish time-off policies and manage employee time off requests.
  • Access reporting tools to maintain compliance based on state and federal regulations.
  • Experience seamless payroll integration.
  • Manage all the benefits administration process from initial enrollments to annual open enrollment.

“MMA HR Link was developed to serve the growing demands of our smaller clients that are in need of technology to solve their HR challenges more efficiently,” said Sally Prather, MMA’s National Employee Benefits Business Leader. “With MMA HRLink, employers will have one place to manage all of their HR and benefits functions with ease.”

About Marsh & McLennan Agency

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC is a subsidiary of Marsh established in 2008 to serve as a platform for the middle market. In 2015, it expanded its national footprint into Canada. MMA offers commercial property, casualty, personal lines, and employee benefits to midsize businesses and individuals across North America.

About Marsh

A global leader in insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions, Marsh’s 30,000 colleagues advise individual and commercial clients of all sizes in over 130 countries. Marsh is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue over US$14 billion and nearly 65,000 colleagues worldwide, MMC helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment through four market-leading firms. In addition to Marsh, MMC is the parent company of Guy Carpenter, Mercer, and Oliver Wyman. Follow Marsh on Twitter @MarshGlobal; LinkedIn; Facebook; and YouTube, or subscribe to BRINK.




Smartphones: The distraction is killing us http://www.jsmithlanier.com/smartphones-the-distraction-is-killing-us/ Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:00:18 +0000 http://www.jsmithlanier.com/?p=3094 Re-posted from The Cincinnati Insurance Companies blog
by Michael Harrold

The advent of the smartphone has brought with it a deluge of texting and other distractive behavior while driving a vehicle. Distraction is not confined to the young and restless – we see people of all ages, genders and backgrounds using phones when they should be driving.


Some startling figures:

These numbers are most likely higher as drivers involved in accidents may be reluctant to admit to driving distracted.


While all of the following are common distractions behind the wheel, text messaging is by far the most alarming. It requires significant visual, manual and cognitive focus from the driver — three key things a driver needs to drive safely.

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Reaching for something
  • Daydreaming
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps and navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player or other controls in a vehicle

As important as it is for us to make an effort not to drive distracted, we also need to be aware that others around us — drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians – may be distracted. While you may be able to quickly discern when pedestrians or cyclists are focused on their phones, some behaviors that may tip you off to a distracted driver include:

  • Drifting around in the lane or not staying within lane lines
  • Changing lanes without signaling
  • Braking abruptly
  • Going slower than surrounding traffic
  • Driving faster, then slower again in an erratic pattern
  • Failing to respond to street directional signs and signal lights
  • Following too closely

Finally, distracted driving issues can be compounded by fatigue. More and more our daily demands seem to be impinging on our ability to get required sleep. Sleepiness, without fail, results in cognitive and behavioral changes that can contribute to vehicle crashes, poor work performance, accidents and other long-term physical and mental health consequences. Precise counts of crashes caused by drowsy driving are not yet possible.

Be aware of your own distractions, those who are distracted around you and the impact of driving while fatigued.

This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local, independent agent for insurance coverage information.


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