Unique ID: 6c86d46e-4388-40fb-9a1d-383f58a51c40

Schaumburg, IL (January 21, 2013) - Liz Smith (nee Renius) has been promoted to president, employee  benefits, at Assurance headquartered in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago, IL. Her former title was executive vice president, employee benefits.

"What Liz has accomplished in a short amount of time is remarkable," said Tony Chimino, CEO of Assurance. "The growth of our benefits practice and expansion of our service platform accelerated under her stewardship. Her industry involvement and knowledge combined with her carrier relationships has greatly positioned Assurance to help clients through health care reform.”

Assurance is one of the nation's largest and most awarded independent insurance brokerages. The company provides thousands of businesses and individuals across the country with all things insurance.

Smith is a member of Assurance's executive management team and is responsible for overseeing the employee benefits practice. As Assurance's top employee benefits professional, she's responsible for the overall vision and strategy of the benefits department, including the areas of health care reform, consumer-driven health plans, compliance and wellness.

She serves a key role in advising the company's benefits consultants and creating and maintaining strategic relationships with carriers and other vendor partners.

"We seek to understand a client's benefit challenges,” Smith said, "and we work together to create a solution that benefits both the company and its employees. This, to me, defines a true partnership.”

Smith belongs to the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Producer Advisory Council, Humana Advisory Council, Northwestern University's NClub and the Northwestern University Volleyball Board.

She's a frequently requested speaker on the following topics: How to Create a Best Place to Work; Using Benefits to Engage Employees and Drive Value Back to the Bottom Line; and Health Care Reform Options and Solutions.

"An exciting challenge for me and my team is maintaining the level of growth over the past two years while still providing the high level of service for which Assurance is known,” she said. "I enjoy working with some of the most talented individuals in the insurance industry who are great friends and people.”

Prior to joining Assurance, Smith served as senior vice president, practice leader of employee benefits for a national insurance brokerage. Before becoming a practice leader, she held various roles in employee benefits including that of producer, account executive and account manager.

A graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, she has a bachelor of science degree in Communications. She was a member of the Northwestern Women's Volleyball Team, serving as captain her junior and senior years.

Smith lives with her husband Neal and two daughters in Hinsdale.