“Customers know we will help them put the right coverage in place, and if they have a claim or any issue, our people will be there to help them and hold their hand through what can be a difficult process,” says Katie Scheuer, ATI’s Director of Sales and Risk Placement.
“We are known for doing the right things for the right reasons and for being there when customers need us most,” says Rebecca Steele, Director of Advertising. “That’s important no matter where an agency does business, and it’s particularly important in the rural areas and small communities that have been a predominant part of our history.”
Growth in the Great Plains
ATI’s history dates to 2004 when it was founded in Huron, South Dakota. Over the years ATI has acquired nearly a dozen agencies and expanded to ten locations across the eastern part of the state, serving clients throughout South Dakota as well as Minnesota and Iowa.
Although acquisitions have played an important role in the agency’s history, Rebecca stresses that organic growth has been the primary driver of ATI’s continued expansion, along with a customer-focused strategy led by the agency’s CEO, Preston Steele.
“Preston has put together a phenomenal team of people who provide the products customers need and understand the importance of having relationships with customers built on trust,” she says.
The agency’s producers and service staff are known for experience, expertise, and a commitment to continued education. “Everybody here wants to continue to learn and grow, to earn designations, and to be very involved in what’s happening in the industry. We simply have a great group of people with amazingly positive attitudes,” Katie says.
The agency’s focus on building relationships also extends to its carriers. “We strive to be true partners with our carriers—we respect them and they respect us,” says Katie. “When situations arise, either in the underwriting or claims process, that partnership is tremendously important to working through those situations to achieve the best outcome for everyone.”
In addition to managing a strong book of farm and crop business, ATI writes a broad mix of commercial business and has capitalized on construction activity taking place in the state. “Businesses are popping up everywhere and the housing market across the state is booming—we’ve never seen anything like it,” Rebecca says.
ATI also emphasizes giving back to the communities where its people live and work. “Our team is very passionate about serving our communities. They are involved in numerous local events; they are active in chambers and associations; they sit on boards; they volunteer in schools and churches. We encourage that involvement and, as an agency, support whatever is near and dear to their hearts,” says Katie.
Activity in both the commercial and residential markets across ATI’s operating territory presents opportunity for continued organic growth. The agency is also on the lookout for acquisitions and expects to expand both its geographic footprint and staff size in the years ahead.
“We will continue to add A+ players to our team,” Katie says. “We are also exploring new markets and are open to venturing out onto different paths that our producers want to pursue.”
“We have a solid foundation, built on trust, that will support our continued expansion,” Rebecca says. “It’s all about working together to grow together.”