A Letter From Howard & David: A Year In Review

 

Dear Clients and Friends,

As we look ahead to 2016, we take a moment to reflect on some important milestones that have taken place within the last 12 months and embark on our celebration of 50 years of dedicated service to you and the community.

2015 has been a strong year for Alper Services. It was our fourth consecutive year outpacing industry-average organic growth and Client retention rates. We gained momentum through the Alper Services LLCimplementation of several strategic endeavors, forging strong alliances and establishing invaluable partnerships to provide Clients access to coverage in even more markets and resources. We increased our community commitments through additional dedicated service activities and have expanded our Team of Experts—while appointing a new leader.

Over the past four years, many of you have become acquainted with our President David Macknin. We are proud to announce that David has been appointed as Alper Services’ new Chief Executive Officer. Howard Alper has transitioned to Chairman and Founder and continues to actively participate in our business.

Since starting the company in 1966, Howard has strived for Alper Services to remain an independent brokerage. This year, we provided the means to perpetuate his vision with the establishment of the Alper Trust. Howard placed his company ownership into the Trust to benefit present and future Alper Services Team Members, and to assure a strong foundation for many years to come.

With business environments constantly changing, Alper Services always strives to give our Clients the most optimal range of available solutions. Last month, we finalized an alliance with the Jun Zhou Insurance Agency, a Chicago-based risk management and financial services agency specializing in the needs of Chinese-American individuals and their growing middle-market companies. Earlier this year, we extended our global network of protection and services through an alliance with Unison Brokers, one of the largest independent brokerage networks offering access to cross-border insurance worldwide. And we will continue to seek out partnerships, alliances, acquisitions and opportunities in 2016.

The year also saw the launch of “Alper Serves,” a new volunteer initiative which pairs our Team Members with our non-profit Clients to serve the communities in which we live. During this initiative’s inaugAlperServes_LogoFINAL.RGBural year, nearly all Alper Team Members contributed to projects ranging from organizing a children’s book drive to assisting the elderly. In 2016, we’re raising the bar with a year-long “50 Acts of Charity Challenge,” challenging our Team to contribute to service projects both inside and outside of the Alper family of non-profit Clients.

We will continue our upward momentum in 2016 with an exciting celebration of our 50th anniversary. We are so proud of the journey we have made with you and thank you for being a part of it. We look forward to 50 more years working together.

 

Sincerely,

HowiesSig

DavidSignature

 

Howard Alper                                                                                David Macknin

Chairman & Founder                                                                   President & Chief Executive Officer

Alper Says Hello To Two New Team Members

 

We’re happy to announce two additions to our Team of Experts. Debra Van Winkle joins Alper as a Senior Account Manager in the Employee Benefits Division, as well as Craig Washington, AIC, a Senior Claims Administrator in the Claims Management Services Division.

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Debra will facilitate benefits enrollment, plan design, renewals, compliance and foster day-to-day Client relationships. She has ten years of experience in the industry and previously worked as a Senior Benefits Consultant for a financial services firm in Chicago. Debra can be contacted at DVanWinkle@AlperServices.com

In his role as a Senior Claims Administrator, Craig will act as liaison between insurance carriers and personal and commercial Clients on all general liability, property and other claims and provide responsive customer service. Previously, Craig worked as a Claims Representative for a large insurance carrier in Chicago, specializing in commercial automobile, environmental and pollution liability claims. Craig can be reached at CWashington@AlperServices.com

 

 

 

Alper Participates In The Partners In Giving Program

NWPC_Alper_LambsFarmWe’re proud to announce that Lambs Farm has received a $12,500 Nationwide Private Client Partners in Giving donation-$5,000 from Nationwide® Private Client and $7,500 from Alper Services. We are both companies who strongly believe in being good corporate citizens where our Team, associates and Clients live and work.

“Alper Services has a rich history of giving back. We have chosen Lambs Farm as the recipient of our donation because they are a nationally recognized advocate for people with developmental disabilities. The work they do and opportunities they create allow many to lead happy and productive lives.” — Chris Breck, Senior Vice President, Alper Services

Since 2000, the Nationwide Foundation has committed more than $345 million to charitable organizations across the U.S. with their Partners in Giving program alone contributing more than $170,000 in donations in 2015. This donation designated to Lambs Farm is just one way we, as well as Nationwide, work to make our communities a better place to live and work.

“We are honored to have been chosen by Nationwide Private Client and Alper Services for their charitable donation. This generous support will fund vital quality of life programs that help the men and women we serve.”
— Dianne Yaconetti, President and CEO, Lambs Farm

Lambs Farm is a nonprofit organization that helps adults with developmental disabilities lead productive, happy lives. Based near Libertyville, Illinois, Lambs Farm strives to maintain exemplary vocational, residential, wellness, social, and recreational programs to help people grow.

Safe-Driving Tips For The Holidays

 

Many people are hitting the roads over the course of the next few weeks to spend time with loved ones during the holidays. Terry Konell, one of Alper’s Safety & Loss Control Experts, offers holiday driving  tips to keep you and your family safe.

NightTraffic_CreditIsraelSundsethAs the holiday season is approaching, as people take to the roads, we need to be mindful of actions that will make our holiday travel safer. Drivers can protect themselves and their passengers by following these holiday travel rules.

• Before you start your trip, make sure your vehicle is tuned up and in good shape for travel. This is especially important for winter driving conditions.
• Restrain yourself and your passengers properly in seat belts and car safety seats. Remember, the rear seat is the safest place for children of any age to ride.
• Be flexible in setting your travel plans. Leave early if you can to avoid the peak traffic hours. If snow is predicted during the time you plan to travel, change your schedule. It is better to reschedule your get-together than to risk the lives of traveling family or friends.
• Stay fresh and alert when driving. Take plenty of breaks and do not push yourself to meet an unrealistic schedule. If you get tired, pull off the road into a rest area or business, get out of the car for some fresh air, buy something to refresh you, or just relax until you feel revived. If that doesn’t work, find a motel where you can spend the night. Forty-one percent of fatal traffic accidents are single vehicle crashes. These crashes most often occur during the late night/early morning hours and the late afternoon hours to drivers who are tired, have consumed alcohol, or both.
• Keep your speed down. Give yourself plenty of time and distance to react to the traffic around you. Let impatient and aggressive drivers pass you or go through the intersection ahead of you so that you control the situation.
• Do not pass if you cannot see enough clear road to pass safely.
• If there will be drinking at your holiday get-together, choose a designated driver who will remain alcohol free.
• Because driving requires your full attention, do not text and drive. pull off the road if you have to use your cel phone.

Prep Your Business For Winter

 

While we’re enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures for November, winter is coming. Many businesses find themselves unprepared when temps plummet and winter weather suddenly turns extreme. The following guidelines, provided by Liberty Mutual, will help you implement preventive measure to better protect your business from the threat of freeze-ups.

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A Voluntary Benefit Offering That Caters To Recent College Grads

 

As recent college graduates continue to enter the workforce with student loan debt, some employers are beginning to consider
providing student loan repayment assistance as an employee benefit to help attract and retain young, new employees. Employers
may choose to add student loan management services, such as matching a portion of employees’ student loan payments, to
employee benefits packages.

GraduationImage_Credithmm360Student loan assistance isn’t just the latest twist in the use of corporate perks like unlimited vacation and free food to attract top-notch employees. It’s an effort by private employers to play a larger role in one of the biggest financial hurdles facing hundreds of thousands of workers. According to a recent survey conducted by Lontuition, 49 percent of respondents indicated that they would prefer employer student loan repayment assistance over more traditional employee benefits, such as a 401(k) plan. The issue has become a major focus on the US presidential campaign trail, and the Society of Human Resource Managers this year noted student loan repayment as an increasingly popular employee benefit.

The changing workforce is requiring or even demanding benefits that are important to their individual circumstances. Are you offering the best employee benefits’ package? Voluntary benefits can offer you the edge when recruiting and retaining employees.
Contact Alper’s EB Team for everything you need to know Voluntary Benefits: EBTeam@AlperServices.com or 312-654-4269.

OSHA Inspectors On The Move. Don’t Get Caught Off Guard!


One of Alper’s Safety & Loss Control Experts, Terry Konell, offers his insight into the new OSHA reporting guidelines put in place
on January 1, 2015.

Since the new reporting guidelines came into play as of January 1, 2015, OSHA has only inspected 40% of violations reported to OSHA. Because of this, OSHA is going to conduct more “quality” inspections in 2016 and will assign priorities to the inspection. Translated, this means OSHA is going to dig even deeper into your safety policies, practices and programs. OSHAThe new priorities will be based on the nature of the inspection, and if the company has had prior OSHA activity to including repeats, willfuls, or been non-cooperative in the past.

Bottom line, if OSHA conducts an inspection at your facility, your job is to keep them focused on why they came to your establishment in the first place. You need to ensure they do not expand the inspection beyond the scope of the inspection.

Example: I had a client who reported a major accident to OSHA within the 24 hour guidelines. OSHA showed up for the accident inspection. During the employee interviews, the question of working with chemicals came up, causing the inspection to expand. On the 180th day, OSHA hand-delivered a citation not for the accident (what brought them there in the first place) but for HAZCOM. They found the one employee who was not trained on HAZCOM, which resulted in a $2,400 citation. Continue reading

We’ve Formed An Alliance With Jun Zhou Insurance Agency

Today we’re pleased to announce a new alliance with Jun Zhou Insurance Agency, a Chicago-based agency specializing in risk management and financial services for high-net-worth Chinese-American individuals and middle-market Chinese-American companies.

Jun Zhou InsuraJZIA-Alper Alliancence Agency will operate as a division of Alper Services, bringing our considerable experience in insuring multinational companies and our global network
of premier insurance providers to Jun Zhou’s leading Chinese-American Clients in the hospitality, manufacturing, and commercial real estate industries.

“Through this strategic alliance, we are excited to bring Alper’s resources to a rapidly growing business sector,” said Alper President David Macknin.

“Chinese companies looking to expand their businesses to the United States can rest-assured knowing that we will work with them to meet the coverage requirements expected by their U.S. business partners,” said Jun (Justine) Zhou, President of Jun Zhou Insurance Agency.

For more information on the Jun Zhou Insurance Agency Team, please go to www.zhouinsurance.com