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Member Spotlight: Steve Aherns, Aon Risk Solutions Transportation and Logistics Practice


CLIENTS AND HELPING THEM WITH THEIR INSURANCE NEEDS.”


BY TODD TRAUB Contributering Writer Steve Aherns seems to have always had a


passion for things on wheels. An avid, vintage car collector for fun,


Aherns makes his living as executive director of Aon Risk Solutions Transportation and Logistics Practice, meeting clients’ insurance needs and ensuring they receive the best coverage for the lowest expense. “After 30 years in the business, I still enjoy


meeting with our clients and helping them with their insurance needs,” said Aherns, 63, who has lived in Elkhorn, part of west Omaha, the past 12 years. Te AON office in Omaha, with a home


office for trucking in Little Rock, has always had a separate truck unit and maintains a staff of four “totally dedicated” to the trucking industry, which means servicing clients and developing new ones, Aherns said. “Te challenges are still to find alternatives


[and] options for our clients to make sure they are receiving the best coverage for the lowest total cost of risk,” he said. “Tat really has not changed over the years.” A native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Aherns graduated Tomas Jefferson High School in


10


Council Bluffs in 1970 and began working in the mailroom of the Hartford Insurance Company that summer. He continued to work for Hartford while attending night school at nearby Iowa Western Community College, and ended up logging a total of 15 years with the company in different underwriting and marketing positions. His work at Hartford led Aherns to serve


stints with the company in Kansas City and Omaha before he left Hatford in 1985 to join Omaha-based Alexander & Alexander, working under truck insurance specialist Jim Jacoby. “Tat’s how I got started in the trucking


industry,” Aherns said. “At that time, Jim was well known for his expertise in the trucking industry. I trained under Jim for several years before he retired. It was great to train and work someone who knew the trucking industry so well.” After his mentor Jacoby retired, Aherns


took over as manager of the Alexander & Alexander truck unit. Te company was then acquired by AON in in 1996, and Aherns has been an AON man ever since. Along the way AON, and Aherns, struck


up a relationship with St. Paul, Minn.-based Northland Insurance Group and company


“AFTER 30 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS, I STILL ENJOY MEETING WITH OUR


executive Brian Jermeland. “At AON, we represent several insurance


companies. However, our Omaha office has had a special relationship with Northland for 25 years,” Aherns said. “It goes back when I was getting started in the insurance business. Tey have always done an excellent job for our clients. I have known Brian Jermeland, the President of Transportation at Northland [and this edition’s cover profile, see related article on page 12], for over 20 years.” AON’s and Ahern’s relationship to


Jermeland actually dates to the days when Jermeland was in the safety department at Smith Way Motor Express, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. But then, his years in the business have allowed Aherns to make a lot of friends. “We have also had a special relationship


with Truckers Insurance Agency in Des Moines, Iowa,” Aherns said. “Truckers is the MGA [managing general agent] for Northland in Nebraska and Iowa. Tey really act as a branch of Northland. Truckers is the largest and oldest MGA for Northland. Te owners Doug Wilson and Gary Aubaugh have been good business partners and friends over our 25 year relationship. It’s been a very good relationship for all three of us over the last 25 years.” Family relationships have also been


maintained, even enhanced, during Ahern’s run at AON. In 1999 the company hired his son Shane to train and work with Steve in the truck department. A tweak to the change of command is all it


took for AON to accommodate the father-son work relationship, allowing the Ahern men to work together.


NEBRASKA TRUCKER — ISSUE 2, 2015 — www.nebtrucking.com


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