Member Spotlight by Chris Godley, President of Hylant Columbus
Tell us about your company’s mission and values.
Hylant is dedicated to providing quality insurance, risk management and employee benefit solutions. The key to our success is the selection, professional development and retention of our people. We surround our clients with a team of trusted business advisors, who find meaning in providing clear solutions to complex problems.
What are the services you use (or are looking forward to using) from the Columbus Chamber?
Business Connections, Networking, Events, Government Relations, Market Research
How do you stay engaged with trends that you see in your industry?
Members of Hylant’s Senior Management Team meet regularly with insurance company senior management to discuss market conditions, strategic planning, and industry trends. Each member is responsible for facilitating relationships with specific carriers. Due to our “flat” business model and low degree of bureaucracy, information flows quickly and efficiently to individual client teams.
Hylant team members are actively engaged in a multitude of risk management and industry organizations that facilitate access to the latest trends and innovations affecting our clients. Some of these organizations include The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB), The Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA), Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and Association of Government Risk Pools (AGRiP).
Hylant Account Executives typically specialize within a few industry practices. Some of these include automotive, construction, financial services, food and beverage and agriculture, healthcare, hospitality and franchise, life science, private equity, real estate, retail and transportation. Each industry practice has their own member organizations and associations of which our client executives are members.
What do you think differentiates you from your competitors?
- Privately held; greater flexibility in decision making
- Over 95% personnel and client retention
- Risk & Industry Specialists fully integrated into your local team
- Direct placement responsibilities, no brokerage service centers or service center management.
- Deep global expertise, with customized local service
- Strong market relationships from underwriting desk to senior management
- Tools and technology for our clients
- Our people and their team attitude
- Superior workload ratios; time to focus on your account
Our Operating Principals are a true representation of our company and each day Hylant employees strive to demonstrate Excellence, Integrity, Respect, Team and Responsibility with pride.
What is your company culture like?
Being a privately held, family owned and operated business that has been voted one of the best places to work for 6 years in a row is a testament to our culture. Employees are the most important assets to our company and are the backbone to our success. In Columbus we have built a culture that believes in “individual excellence…better as a team”.
Hylant is hugely supportive of the communities in which we live and work. In addition to financial support for Central Ohio charitable organizations, each employee is given 20 hours per year to volunteer with an organization of their choice (during business hours).
We understand the importance of hard work but also enjoy plenty of fun!
What advice would you have appreciated hearing when first starting your career?
I was very lucky. When I started at Hylant 18 years ago, I was given great advice by many of the senior management team. I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into. If I was giving anyone advice now, it would be “become and expert” “have patience” “be humble and kind daily”.
How do you achieve work/life balance?
I love what I do, so I don’t think of work as “work”. I try to find balance by having dinner with my family at least 4 out of 5 nights a week, I have lunch with my wife once a week and try not to work on the weekend (unless a client needs me too – which sometimes happens).
What business leader do you admire the most and why?
There is no one specific that comes to mind. I have learned a little from a lot of great leaders and hope that in the future, will be able to pass on some of that knowledge.
Where is your favorite place to have a meeting outside of the office?
Wherever it’s convenient for our clients or prospects. Any place that allows us to get engaged.
Why do you think Columbus is a great place to do business?
There are plenty of businesses that need our expertise and talents.
Columbus has many great academic institutions graduating a population of talented individuals for the future growth of our company.
Since 1935, Hylant has delivered a full range of customized, cost-effective insurance brokerage and risk management solutions that fit a wide variety of client needs. Understanding that every business has a unique organizational blueprint, Hylant has developed a number of dedicated practice groups to offer specialized service in a variety of industries and needs, such as executive risk, property and marine, aviation, medical risk, and international coverage.
Whether you are a Fortune 1,000 company or a small, family-owned business, Hylant has professionals committed to your specific needs who proactively approach a myriad of issues to minimize the overall cost of risk. Hylant also offers a wide array of personal insurance solutions to protect families and their assets from the unexpected.
Among the largest privately held insurance brokerage firms in the United States, Hylant maintains strong international brokerage relationships. The firm is a member of the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), the industry’s largest international group of independent brokers. This allows Hylant to provide industry-leading service anywhere in the world.