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TrueNorth Among Best of the Eastern Iowa Corridor

posted by TrueNorth Companies on Thursday, July 19, 2018

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At TrueNorth, we believe success is the result of great leadership, and feel privileged that our CEO, Duane Smith, has been voted as the Corridor's Best Business Leader. As a result of his thoughtful vision, we're also incredibly proud to be voted Best Business Insurance by readers of the Corridor Business Journal. 

This year, TrueNorth has been named "best in the Corridor" in two categories: 


Attracting high-performing talent and developing a self-perpetuating, entrepreneurial culture have helped TrueNorth Companies win the Best Business Insurance category for another year. These two elements "help them get better and focus on the needs of their clients, and really stay close to those clients and understand how to help them protect and maximize their resources, assets and opportunities," said longtime CEO Duane Smith, also the winner of this year's Best Business Leader. 

Since its founding in 2001, TrueNorth has grown its sales more than six-fold and acquired a long string of insurance agencies, including recent additions in Pella, Ames, Mason City and Denver, Colorado. Based in Cedar Rapids, TrueNorth has a large risk management practice in addition to selling insurance, and continues to add new insurance lines - a "function of listening to clients," Mr. Smith said.

- Dave DeWitte, Corridor Business Journal 

TrueNorth would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to runners-up, AW Welt Ambrisco in Iowa City and the Accel Group in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 


Duane Smith, TrueNorth CEO

TrueNorth Companies CEO Duane Smith takes the first title as Best Business Leader since 2011 with a track record that includes not only successful acquisitions and profit growth, but the building of a legacy business that will continue long after his planned retirement in 2020. 

Mr. Smith said he has employed the many lessons he learned as an entrepreneur to grow TrueNorth Companies, which was founded in the 2001 merger of three insurance agencies. It now counts more than 60 business units and limited liability corporations, and revenues have grown more than six-fold to over $100 million. "My personal mission statement is 'providing vision and instilling confidence in others,'" Mr. Smith said. "When I'm doing that, I'm up before the alarm clock - I'm energized. It's my highest return on investment personally, and to the group that I'm engaged with."

TrueNorth's entrepreneurial platform is based on four balanced goals: Profitable operations, dynamic culture, client experience and business development. They are measured regularly on both a corporate and individual employee basis. "My whole focus since 2008 goes back to our company's vision statement - to spearhead the effort to build a legacy company with structured entrepreneurial focus to attract, coordinate and develop high-performing talent," Mr. Smith said. 

- Dave DeWitte, Corridor Business Journal 

TrueNorth CEO Duane Smith is proud to be mentioned alongside community leaders, Randy Ramlo of UFG Insurance and Kelly Ortberg of Rockwell Collins. Read more about the organizations and professionals recognized in the Best in the Corridor 2018 list

 Downloadable versions of these articles are available here.


In addition to this recognition, we are also thrilled to share that the CBJ has also deemed TrueNorth one of the Coolest Places to Work within its distribution area. "Coolest Places to Work" identifies and honors local companies that have created the most engaging and rewarding work environments. Self-nominated companies in Kirkwood’s seven-county region are selected based on a Worker Satisfaction Survey. The top 24 companies' respective rankings will be announced August 23rd at the Coralville Marriott. 

Ultimately, we couldn't be portrayed as the "Best" or the "Coolest" without the help and support of all the amazing people that make up TrueNorth Companies - this is a regional award, but we're grateful for a strong culture and talented individuals across all of our locations!  This wouldn't be possible without you!

For additional information about these prestigious honors, please contact Kirsten Eddins, Vice President of Marketing and Brand Strategy at TrueNorth Companies.

About Author


TrueNorth is the largest insurance and financial services firm of its kind based in Eastern Iowa. Today, our dedicated staff consists of over 350 colleagues and is organized so each becomes a specialist in their respective practice areas. This collaboration offers our clients a coordinated approach to risk management, insurance services and financial strategies. 

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