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Meet Kelly Beesley of MGM Benefits Group in Richardson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Beesley.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
MGM Benefits Group was founded in 1975 when John Beesley, a retired school administrator, found himself wanting to provide employee benefit solutions to the school market. At that time, he partnered with Kent Berlin, who had years of experience in the insurance business.

At MGM’s creation, John and Kent dedicated themselves to delivering solutions to the public sector market. We began partnering with major carriers and independent brokers to offer robust products and affordable premiums. By the early ‘90s, we helped create a flexible disability product catering specifically to the needs of educators.

In 1983, I joined MGM. I worked alongside my father and Kent until Kent retired a few years later. Since then, we’ve really dedicated ourselves to becoming the broker’s friend. We see ourselves as the “broker’s broker”; an organization that is there to assist our partnered brokers in delivering the best possible products and services. You can say the broker is our customer, and we know that their primary goal is to understand the need of their customers. If MGM can meet that need, then we’re able to keep everyone happy.

As we’ve grown, so has our product offering and broker partnerships. We now offer a wide range of voluntary benefit products, and we assist more and more brokers both within and outside of the school market. We push ourselves to be innovative in technology, and was one of the first to begin offering a solution to paper enrollments with an online enrollment and administration system.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We have been very fortunate and thankful for the business relationships we’ve developed over the years. With our time in the industry, we’ve seen first-hand changes in the insurance market and have put effort into adapting quickly for the benefit of our brokers. Years ago, life and health brokers would win business by delivering the best product at the most competitive price. Today, value-added services are playing a huge role in brokers being able to close sales.

Because we’re an organization with old school, customer comes first values, we realized quickly that we needed to be able to provide these value-added services so our broker partners could continue to succeed. In the early 2000s, we saw that technology would begin playing a huge role in our industry. Enrolling via a web-based system would eventually replace labor-intensive paper enrollments. So, in 2005, we began offering the use of THEbenefitsHUB, our online enrollment and administration system, to our broker friends.

It’s a comprehensive system that capitalizes on the advancement of technology to provide more seamless enrollments. Brokers and Benefits Administrators can utilize the system to track employee information, enrollment elections and demographic changes. All information is stored and communicated securely within the system and kept organized for ease of use. THEbenefitsHUB provides a platform where important information can be shared seamlessly between our system, insurance carriers, payroll providers and other administrative partners.

Within the system, we feature educational videos that are produced in-house and aim to educate employees on the benefits they’re enrolling in. We’ve also recently launched an “express lane” to THEbenefitsHUB, which was designed for the use of small businesses and can be implemented in days rather than weeks.

While our road and technological achievements haven’t always been smooth, we’ve always kept the advancement of our partnerships in mind. For this reason, we’ve been able to continually change and evolve our capabilities so that our broker partners are always one step ahead of the rest.

Please tell us about MGM Benefits Group.
We specialize in voluntary insurance solutions for brokers and their clients. We’re a small, family-owned organization that has built a reputation on product knowledge and strong partnerships. We have brokers that we’ve worked with for 40+ years, and we continue to focus on building broker and carrier relationships to strengthen our cause.

One of MGM’s biggest accomplishments is our role in inventing a new disability product for educators. Educator Disability insurance combines both short- and long-term disability benefits, and it gives educators the power of choice. Employees choose their disability benefit rather than have that choice made for them by the employer. The flexibility in the coverage means increased affordability for everyone.

As we continue to grow, we’re constantly reinventing ways we can help our partnered brokers. To streamline and simplify their enrollments, MGM Benefits Group encourages our brokers to utilize THEbenefitsHUB.

We live in a technological world, and we strive to bring modern conveniences to our clients. At the same time, we still hold true to our old-school values. Excellent and diligent customer service is important to us. In addition to providing innovative, technological solutions for our brokers that make their enrollment easier, we continue to dedicate ourselves to providing the same mom-and-pop shop customer diligence that my father and Kent Berlin did. That, we believe, is the biggest difference between us and our competitors. We’re here to truly help our clients understand their benefit choices and empower them to make decisions that best suit their needs.

What role has luck (good luck or bad luck) played in your life and business?
I’m not sure if “luck” is the right term to be used here. I believe in business and life you are brought different opportunities and challenges. Responding positively to both opportunities and challenges and keeping the customer in the forefront of those decisions is what makes a company truly successful.

Over the years, we have had our share of both opportunities and challenges. Because of a dedicated team, we have taken advantage of many opportunities and turned challenges around quickly. We have built MGM up with a team of individuals who truly love what they do, and who want to help make positive different in our clients lives.

While some may believe luck plays a role in their success, we tend to believe that hard work and dedication will encourage positive returns in business. MGM has grown from two with a vision to an entire team of more than 100 that are just as dedicated in making a positive impact on the business. I believe that these individuals and not luck is what continually defines MGM’s success.

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MGM Benefits Group

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