Insurance and Certification Discussed at CBA Meeting
by Dwayne T. Ervin
Representatives fromCountry Insurance and Financial Services spoke about insurance and Montel Gayles, Chief Procurement Officer of Chicago Department of Procurement Services, spoke about how to become a certified minority or women-owned business in Chicago at Chatham Business Association (CBA) meeting recently.
Roger Robinson, investment representative agent with Country Financial, gave an introduction of the type of insurance Country has to offer for businesses.
“We have been referred to as the best kept secret in Chicago for doing insurance,” Robinson said. Country started to do business in Chicago last year. Previously, the company was based in the southern rural towns in Illinois and suburbs.
Country was created in 1925 in Bloomington, IL and began offering life insurance in 1929. It’s a full-service investment management and trust institution. “Our mission is to be the best financial security in America,” Robinson added.
“You have to ask yourself is that policy keeping up with the finances of your business,” Country presentative/agent Artis Simpson said. “If you don’t have proper coverage,
you will have to close your doors. In these times, we have to protect ourselves and our customers. We want to work as business partners.” gt;
Country’s target market is small to medium-sized businesses. They offer general liability, workers compensation, umbrella coverage and business owner policy. Country Insurance and Financial Services office is located at 87th Street near Cottage Grove.
Montel Gayles spoke about what’s ahead under an Obama administration. “He wants to rebuild roads, bridges and communication polls,” Gayles said. “Obama is going to give us the tools to get things done.”
Gayles stated that every Monday his office sends out an alert for procurement opportunities and target market opportunities. Minority and women-owned businesses are eligible. “The common thread is to turn in your paperwork on time. It takes 30 days to respond.”
Gayles mentioned that the most profitable are construction businesses, which make up 40 percent of all contracts awarded. What hurts African Americans is the fact that they are behind in becoming certified.
“You have to have partnerships,” Gayles continued. “You cannot isolate yourself to get your business going. We want to see each of you successful.”
To receive weekly Department of Procurement Services alerts, send an email to DPSalerts@cityofchicago.org or visit www.cityofchicago.org/procurement.
Also, Executive Director Melinda Kelly announced the new members of the CBA and other upcoming events were announced.