By Jeff Gullickson, President, WGIS
Western Growers Insurance Services (WGIS) is more than a broker. We are family.
There is little doubt that our competitors are driven by profits and shareholder expectations. One U.S. healthcare and insurance company (that shall remain nameless) earned $24 billion in profits in 2021. They are making even more money this year, recently reporting profits of over $5 billion during the second quarter of 2022, up more than 20 percent from the same period last year.
We, on the other hand, are family.
WGIS exists for one reason: To serve you, our member businesses, and enhance your competitiveness and profitability, not our own. Any profits derived from WGIS services are poured back into the association activities of Western Growers, helping to strengthen our position as the leading voice of fresh produce growers in the country.
Over the years, WGIS has evolved to meet the changing needs of our members and the insurance marketplace. Today, we are a full-service brokerage dedicated to providing customized, personal service to the agriculture and food industry. We understand the unique challenges your business faces because we live it alongside you every day.
Because we are family.
In addition to our deep knowledge of agriculture and the insurance landscape, we have something our competitors do not: access to the skills and expertise of the most talented association staff in the business. This allows us to stay ahead of the curve, to leverage the collective resources of our entire organization to create truly innovative and leading-edge risk management solutions for our members.
WGIS perpetually works to connect the dots between our association and insurance capabilities. We previously achieved this objective with our property and casualty lines of business. Now, we are extending this effort to our employee benefits program with the addition of Ed McClements to the WGIS family.
Ed is well-known in our industry and has helped food and agriculture companies navigate the costs and complexities of health care benefits programs for over three decades. He has been involved with many industry organizations, including the Agricultural Personnel Management Association, Ventura County Agricultural Association, and the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California.
He joins our current employee benefits broker team of Darcie Floyd, Carlos Camarena, Jason Verhoef, Rick Rendon and Peter Mehta, each with many years of experience and member relationships.
As a group, they are tasked with identifying the critical links between our association experts, Western Growers Assurance Trust*, Pinnacle Claims Management and our own internal WGIS capabilities. Combined with our benefits service team of over 25 professionals located throughout Arizona and California, the access to expertise and solutions will set a new standard in the industry.
We understand that people are our members’ most important asset, and we are concentrating our efforts on helping you recruit and retain your employees through enhanced worker safety and welfare. All with a focus on your bottom line. We will communicate our expanded offerings in the very near future.
It is important to note that nearly every Western Growers executive from President & CEO Dave Puglia on down is involved in this effort. You have our promise that we will continue to unite to provide you with the highest level of support and service, doing everything in our power to help your business thrive into the future.
Because that is what family does. Can you say that about your broker?
*The Western Growers Assurance Trust (WGAT) is a not-for-profit entity run by a board of directors comprised of participating employers. It is truly “by the farmer for the farmer.” Instead of maximizing returns for shareholders, WGAT aims to break even and returns all profits to participating employers in the form of more competitive rates and expanded service capabilities.