Wausau Pilot & Review

Editor’s note: Business of the Week is a sponsored feature that shares the stories of locally-owned and operated businesses in the Wausau area, highlighting the products and services they offer and the ways they contribute to the metro area’s unique flavor. Learn how to feature your business by emailing christina@wausaupilotandreview.com.

This week’s featured Wausau business is Clements Insurance Agency, which is now in its second generation of owners. Rick and Debbie Clements founded the business in 1984, working tirelessly together to build the agency and strengthen their relationship with clients. Through the ups and downs of the industry and the trying times of growing a business, they always stayed true to their values, with an unmatched commitment to putting the client first. In 2018, the next generation of owners took the helm when Steve and Alison Clements assumed ownership of the agency. Both Steve and Alison are agents, and Steve now acts as president while Alison is the VP. Despite the change, Rick and Deb are still involved with the agency and in continuing to build client relationships – making sure their clients feel as though they, too, are part of this warm, caring family. “They are great mentors and have amazing relationships with clients,” Steve said. “In this business, it’s fairly common for friends to become clients, but when clients become friends it really says something. It shows genuine care and true dedication.” The group is also supported by a fantastic team of agents. Ann Tesch, Jean Abitz, Danielle Tesch and Kip Kreager, each play an integral role in the organization’s ongoing success. “The heartbeat of any organization is its people, and we have a truly wonderful team,” Alison said. “We also have a lot of longevity among our staff, which helps build confidence and trust among our clients.”

Read on to learn about the Clements Insurance Agency tradition, their unique approach to serving their clients, and their vision for the future of the company.

Steve, Alison, Debbie and Rick Clements pose for a photo outside their family business. Photo: Christina Kimball/Wausau Pilot & Review

How did you choose the name of your business? What are you trying to convey?

Clements Insurance is a local, family-owned, second generation business that aims to serve the wonderful people of our community and throughout the Midwest. I remember my parents working at the kitchen table, talking about ways to build their agency and their relationships with clients. My parents laid a great foundation, and we want to continue to build on that legacy. Our story has been about building trust, serving, and helping people.  That is something that won’t change.

Tell us about your business. What products or services do you offer?

Clements Insurance is an independent insurance agency specializing in personal, business, and life insurance.  Our mission statement is: Clements Insurance Agency is an experienced independent agency committed to the principles of integrity, client education, and personalized service to provide exceptional insurance solutions for individuals, families, and businesses.

What makes your business unique? What sets you apart?

As an independent agency, we have access to multiple top-rated insurance carriers, allowing us to find the best fit, products, and value for each client’s unique situation.  We strive to Evaluate, Educate, and Advise throughout the process rather than simply focusing on writing policies.  We want our clients to know firsthand the importance of having an agency stand by them throughout all the ups and downs of life. 

Customers are coming to us rather than logging on to a website to get the knowledge and service they can’t get online. It’s our job to educate clients, help fill in any gaps in coverage, and ensure there are no surprises.

Trust is the cornerstone of the agency’s reputation. So much of our business is based on trust and the confidence among our clients that we will be true advisors and always act in their best interests.  At all levels in the company, we will be transparent, honest, and straightforward in all of our interactions and business dealings.  Integrity must never be compromised. 

What do you love most about your job? What drew you to this work?

In everything we set out to accomplish, we aim to glorify God.  There is no higher goal.  For us it is also all about helping people.  It’s what we do. We always strive to improve the risk management picture of our clients whether through finding and solving gaps in coverage, standing alongside clients during a claim, or finding ways to reduce premium.  We will always put people before profits. 

My career journey has been a winding one. Working in professional aviation after college, I joined the agency for several years before serving for 13 years in pastoral ministry. I then rejoined the agency in 2017. Alison is a CPA and worked for a public accounting firm and in the non-profit sector before coming to the agency in 2016. 

What are you most proud of accomplishing?

We are humbled to have had our efforts be recognized for the excellence we continually strive after.  Clements Insurance was elected as the Best Insurance Agency in Marathon County for 2021 and has been nominated for Small Business of the Year on numerous occasions.  We are heavily involved in industry associations with multiple staff serving on the Wisconsin chapter of the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) board of directors.  Clements Insurance financially supports, and many of our staff serve in, various volunteer and non-profit organizations to give back to our community. 

The heartbeat of any organization is its people, and we have a truly wonderful team.  We also have a lot of longevity among our staff, which helps build confidence and trust among our clients.

How have you changed and evolved over time? What’s different now from when you first started?

Insurance is a rapidly changing industry requiring the ability of agencies to adapt and pivot often.  We have implemented a complete technology upgrade which enables us to be near-paperless, utilize multiple channels of technology-based communications with our clients, and allows clients to access policy data 24-7 through our online Client Center.  We can also search and compare quotes from many companies simultaneously to determine the best solutions for our clients’ insurance needs.  Our clients are offered the latest technology conveniences while also retaining a high level of service and personal responsiveness from their agents. 

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Where do you see your business in five years? 10?

We hope to continue building on the foundation of unmatched products and services now and into the future.  As long-time residents of Wausau, we love this community and the people who live here.  Clements Insurance is committed to taking an always-be-improving approach to how business is conducted.  We will be hard workers, learners, and at the service of our outstanding clients and community. The focus on serving people and meeting needs has resulted in a high percentage of Clements Insurance Agency’s business being concentrated in personal lines.  The firm plans to also continue growing the commercial side in coming years and has been working to build relationships with local business owners. Alison is also leading the charge to expand the company’s marketing efforts. Above all, the agency will stay focused on what has propelled its growth for nearly 35 years. 

The Clements Insurance Agency team in August 2021. Photo: Christina Kimball/Wausau Pilot & Review

Connect with Clements Insurance Agency

Clements Insurance Agency, 151577 Kingfisher Lane