Grads garner insurance and risk management industry honors

October 10, 2013

An insurance industry publication has named two Indiana State University graduates as among the Midwest's top insurance broker leaders.

Business Insurance magazine named Maureen Biehl, senior vice president at Marsh, Inc., in Indianapolis; and Tim Leman, CEO of South Bend-based Gibson as honorees for its 40 Under 40 awards. Biehl, who graduated from Indiana State in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in insurance and risk management; and Leman, who graduated in 1997 from the same program, were two of the magazine's eight honorees from the Midwest.

"It's just a tremendous honor. I think it really reflects on the group of people that Tim and I work with too, because it takes a team to build a successful business," Biehl said. "We're both surrounded by talented people that it makes our job easy, but it is still a tremendous honor."

Biehl and Leman first met while students at Indiana State. Leman worked in the insurance and risk management department's office, and recruited Biehl to the program. She was uncertain about her initial major - accounting - and after learning more from Leman, decided to switch.

"There are so many things you can do with a foundation in risk management," Biehl said. "That was what really interested me. I decided to change my career path, and a lot of it was due to Tim's introduction."

Leman and Biehl credit the insurance and risk management program for providing them with the experiences and network needed to be successful in the industry. The program helps students organize internships to provide them with real-world experience, they said, along with bringing in industry executives to provide insights on how classroom lessons are implemented in the workplace.

"Getting the jumpstart and boost from ISU is a big part of this as well," Leman said. "Having people like that looking out for you and helping make steps along the way is a huge, huge deal."

They both have volunteered to serve Indiana State in a variety of capacities, from membership on alumni and advisory councils to participating on panels to provide current students insights about the insurance and risk management industry. Leman's company, Gibson, has made it a regular practice to hire graduates from Indiana State.

"Maureen and Tim have been very generous with giving their time and energy to the university, including helping to improve the quality of our insurance and risk management program, along with the Scott College of Business in general," said Scott College Dean Brien Smith. "The insurance and risk management program is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and it is because of the commitment of alums like Tim and Maureen that our program is able to prepare our students to have a tremendous impact on the industry from the moment they graduate."

The insurance and risk management program's visibility has been increasing in the industry, Leman said. He initially did not want to go into the field, as his father had been in the insurance business for decades. But he was recruited by faculty members in the program, and he started to realize the opportunities that existed in the field.

"Having a couple of Sycamores in the rankings is great for the university, too," Leman said of the honor from Business Insurance. "In the IRM programs around the country, ISU's reputation has been growing. The program is highly regarded."

Biehl, who received her first job at Marsh through an initial contact from insurance and risk management professor Peter Mikolaj, is part of a mentoring program that connects professionals with current students to help them learn more about how current experiences and opportunities in the industry.

"It's fun to build relationships like that and to help the university, because I really want to give back the way that Dr. Mikolaj helped me," Biehl said. "There's no better way than to help someone find a job because you believe in them and you want to help their career."

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Events-by-Year/2009/IRM-Alumni-Panel/i-BfgBwPh/0/L/03_19_09_IRM_alumni_panel%20%28233%20of%20239%29-L.jpgIndiana State University graduates Maureen Biehl (far left) and Tim Leman (second from left) participate in a Scott College of Business panel event in 2009. Biehl and Leman, who each graduated with bachelor's degree in insurance and risk management, were recognized by Business Insurance magazine as two of the top insurance broker leaders in the Midwest.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Events-by-Year/2009/IRM-Alumni-Panel/i-NcgNcQM/0/L/03_19_09_IRM_alumni_panel%20%28223%20of%20239%29-L.jpg Maureen Biehl

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/News-release-for-Austin/i-BHTnfFt/0/L/photo-L.jpg Tim Leman

Media contact and writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or austin.arceo-negrich@indstate.edu