Ron Repp’s career in risk management began in 1964 in a Liberty Mutual mail room.
Ron, then 19, was hired to collect and deliver mail, but in the process, he realized he was interested in insurance and trusted in the products Liberty Mutual offered. So he borrowed a briefcase he found in the mailroom and began selling auto and homeowner’s insurance to anyone who walked in – mostly, mailmen and Railway Express Agency workers.
“I insured them all,” Ron said.
Since then, Ron’s insurance career has included numerous sales, supervisory, management and training roles in both personal and commercial insurance. This month, he is celebrating 45 years with Schauer Group.
“It is a wonderful, wonderful place to carve out a career,” he said.
At Schauer Group
Ron was working as the Akron and East Cleveland sales manager for Liberty Mutual when he saw a classified ad in the Akron Beacon Journal that simply read: “Looking for a CPCU. Inquire Post Office Box.”
Ron was the youngest person in Liberty Mutual’s history to have earned his CPCU credential – the industry’s premiere property and casualty designation – and so he sent a response to the ad: “My name’s Ron Repp. Who are you?”
He got a phone call from Tom Schauer, the second-generation leader of Schauer Group, and accepted a job overseeing commercial insurance accounts.
Ron hadn’t worked in the commercial insurance business before, so he didn’t have any clients. He started reading the labels on products at the grocery store and was surprised how much was manufactured in Ohio. Over time, he developed expertise in risk management for the food and the heavy manufacturing industries and built his book of business insuring many regional food producers.
To him, finding new clients never has been hard.
“Everybody is a prospect,” he said. “Open the door and look outside.”
The insurance industry
Ron’s advice for young professionals beginning their careers in the industry is to remember that insurance is a relationship business – and to never let a computer replace regular face-to-face communication with a client.
His other piece of advice? “Work hard and learn.”
“It’s easy to say,” he said. “Not many people do it.”
Ron initially was drawn to the industry because he saw insurance sales as the perfect crossroads between the sciences and the humanities. And still, after 45 years, he is “delighted” when he walks into the Schauer Group office every Monday morning – because of his “wonderful clients” and the camaraderie he enjoys with “quality professional people” who, in his estimation, are among the very best he’s been associated with in the industry.
“I am so proud of working here,” he said.