Featured agent stories

Not only do independent insurance agents offers expert advice, guidance and peace of mind to their clients, but they also play an integral part in their communities. From sponsering the local baseball team to helping with donations for the food bank, they are passionate about giving back.

Independent agents also aren't the type of people to give themselves a pat on the back for their accomplishments. That's why we want to share the stories of agents who are making a difference--both inside and outside their agency.

Community Service Award
Chris D. Callen

For Chris Callen, president of Chris D. Callen Insurance Agent in Westerville, giving back to military families is a true calling. A Vietnam War veteran, Callen has personally walked in the shoes of those he helps with his nonprofit. 

The Callen Foundation provides short-term financial support to Ohio military families with urgent needs, such as food and basic living necessities, late bill payments, baby care items and emergency household repairs. Because of his work with the Foundation, Callen is the recipient of the 2016 Community Service Award. 

Lifetime Achievement Award
Rick Spreng

According to Rick Spreng, owner of Ashland-based Spreng-Smith Insurance Agency, “my business is a ministry to members of my community.” Ohio Insurance Agents Association presented Spreng with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime of leadership to the association, insurance industry and local community. “There is no better business than the agency business to know people and work with them in the best and worst times in their lives,” Spreng says. 

Community Service Award
Stolly Insurance Group

With a history of giving back to the local community dating back to 1904, the family-owned Stolly Insurance Group received the OIA Community Service Award for its Operation Giveback and SUCCEED scholarship programs. “We have never lost our giving spirit, even five generations and 112 years after opening our doors,” says Peter Stolly, CIC, independent insurance agent at Stolly Insurance Group.

Excellence in Leadership Award
Perk Reichley

Perk Reichley, our 2016 Excellence in Leadership Award, embodies everything an independent agent should aspire to be. He is an exceptional insurance professional, mentor, teacher and colleague. He is also dedicated to giving back to his local community, including past president of the Greene County YMCA and past Board Chair of the YMCA of Greater Dayton. OIA is lucky to have him serve as our Board Chair.

Industry Person of the Year Independence Bell Award
Barbara Sears

Barbara Sears, Assistant Director for the Office of Health Transformation, is a leading advocate for important insurance issues impacting Ohio consumers. OIA has awarded Sears the 2016 Independence Bell Award for her positive contributions to the insurance industry. 

Prior to her current role with the Office of Health Transformation, Sears was the Majority Floor Leader for the past three legislative sessions and a long-time independent insurance agent focused on employee health benefits.

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