Native American Business Garners Number One Spot;
For Immediate Release: October 27, 2009
For Information, contact:
Nancy Harjo (Muscogee Creek), (505) 404-5000
Native American Business Garners Number One Spot; Accolades Among Top
Insurance Companies World-wide; A First for Indian Country
For AMERIND Risk Management Corp., "family-friendly" is a natural extension
of the company's basic business mission.
The Pueblo of Santa Ana, N.M.-based AMERIND was established by more than 165
Native American housing authorities in 1986 and has grown to protect the
housing, families and employees of more than 450 Tribes. This year's
top-ranked company among small insurers in the Business Insurance Best
Places to Work in Insurance ranking is a multi-tribal federal corporation
formed to protect those tribes, their treasuries and their enrolled members
from unforeseen or catastrophic financial loss using self-insurance and
other risk-sharing strategies.
"As a company that protects tribes across the United States, and tribes
having a rich history of caring for and protecting its' extended family, we
conduct our daily business life and responsibility for our employees at
AMERIND in the same context that represents extended family," said Kent
Paul, AMERIND's chief executive officer.
"Following Native American culture and traditions, we pride ourselves on
the fact that families come first here," said Rod Crawley, AMERIND's chief
Among other things, Paul cited the AMERIND "85-15 rule." Employees are
accountable for their work and spend 85% of their work time devoted to
customer service and job performance, but are also expected to spend the
other 15% of their time in non-business activities such as socializing with
their co-workers. "If we are to operate like an extended family and develop
family bonds, employees need time to interact with each other. "We want to
encourage the art of personal communication other than texting and emailing"
says Mr. Paul. "This philosophy has proven to be very fruitful as
productivity, customer relationships and camaraderie among employees
continues to improve and prosper," cites Crawley.
"We really promote small gatherings, potlucks, committee work together,
getting away from your desk 15 percent of the time to socialize, really get
to know your neighbor," said Stefanie Suazo, Director of Human Resources.
"It's a proven fact that satisfied employees produce better results and care
more about the company and its vision and mission," Suazo further stated.
Utilizing risk management principles, AMERIND protects life and property of
participating tribes from fire, natural disasters and other unforeseen
events. The company operates exclusively within Native American reservations
domiciled in 32 states.
Paul noted that with each tribe having its own traditions, "cultural
sensitivity" is more of a challenge for AMERIND than for many companies, but
one we take very seriously. "We don't have to keep up with just four or five
minorities; we potentially have to keep up with the customs and traditions
of more than 500 independent, sovereign communities," he said.
As a multi-generational company, with an age span of probably 50 years
between the oldest and youngest employees, AMERIND also recognizes the value
of what its employees of various generations can learn from one another,
Overall, AMERIND recognizes that a high-quality workplace means better
"When Kent came aboard, one of the things he wanted to promote is that happy
employees are more productive," Crawley said.
"As a chief executive officer, my role isn't any more important than anyone
else's role in the company," Paul said. "We all have very important business
responsibilities and if one of us fails, the whole organization fails and
failure is not an option. At AMERIND, we value our diversity and embrace the
ideas that are shared from the diversity. It is the key ingredient that
makes AMERIND strong and the best place to work."
Meanwhile, the board chairman spent some time with staff and remarked about
the accomplishments of the current staff of 41 employees.
"Being number one, you are observed. They ask businesses just who AMERIND is
and they've answered talking about your enthusiasm, dedication to the
company and it has paid off," said Joel M. Frank, Sr., AMERIND Board of
Chairman Frank is an enrolled member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and
serves his people as director of Inter-governmental Affairs.
AMERIND Risk Management Corporation celebrated its 23rd Anniversary this
month and looks forward to assisting in keeping your neighborhood and
community safe from fire danger and other disasters. For more information
about this first multi-regional, multi-tribal federal corporation, visit
their website at: http://www.amerindrisk.org/.