When George Martin and his business partners formed the newer, better Benefit Resources Inc., their intention was to give small companies the same opportunities that larger companies usually have.
Benefit Resources uses technology to enable small businesses to access and manage insurance benefit information online. Martin, his partners and their employees do their best to make potentially confusing insurance claims simple.
Martin recently took some time away from his downtown office, a former church at 320 S. Weber St., to tell CSBJ about himself and his company.
* Position: President
* Hometown: Key Biscayne, Fla.
* How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: 34 years
* Education: Archbishop Curley High School in Miami; associate degree from Miami-Dade Jr. College
* A few words about your company: We’re a company of 17 people whose collective goal is helping employers provide a great benefits package for their employees and helping their employees understand and maximize those benefits when they are needed.
My two partners, Jeff Ahrendsen and Bruce Helm, and I have each been helping our clients with employee benefits for more than 25 years.
Our primary product is group health insurance.
Our primary goal is to do everything in our power to “ensure that promises are kept.”
* Recent Accomplishments: Merging my company, Colorado Insurance Center, with Benefit Resources. It took seven months from the day Jeff and I first talked about the idea until the day the merger was final.
* Biggest career break: Ruby Threlkeld, a 70-year-old-lady, called me out of the blue one day back in the early 1980s. She wanted to do group insurance telemarketing for me.
I was really struggling in the insurance business, and she sounded so nice I thought I’d give her a try.
She scheduled three appointments a day every day for me for almost a year. She ran me ragged.
I still have many of those appointments as clients today.
* The toughest part of your job: Continuing to stay ahead in the industry.
Legislative changes (both state and federal), insurance company product development, new employee benefit plan strategies and the availability of newer technological capabilities force agencies to keep changing, to keep getting better.
I read dozens of magazines and periodicals each month. My partners and I travel three times a year to meet with more than a hundred peers around the country.
* About your family: I fell in love with a wonderful Minnesota girl more than 30 years ago. We’ve been married for almost 29 of those years, and we have two great children.
Jeff is 26 and lives in Detroit and Katie is 23 and lives in New York City. We certainly wish they were closer but it’s early!
* Something else you’d like to accomplish: Continue to raise the bar when it comes to customer service and value-added services and deliver above and beyond what is expected.
Take for example, our “one-hour-return-call policy”. No one else does it. If we continue to get better, it will force our competitors to get better, and that’s good for everyone.
* How your business will change in the next decade: In the next decade, health care in this country can go in a number of directions.
Where it will go I’m not sure, but I am sure the demand curve for better services will start to go straight up as baby boomers hit Medicare age.
With technological breakthroughs, genetic profiling and the exploding volume of data available, costs will continue to escalate. We will have to reduce demand.
* What is the one thing you would like to change about Colorado Springs? Well, now that I office downtown for the first time in my business career, I would really love to see a convention center and the continued development of our downtown.