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Schaumburg, IL (November 12, 2013) - Assurance, an independent insurance brokerage with offices near St. Louis and Chicago, has been named second for mid-sized companies on the list of Top Workplaces” by The Chicago Tribune. Results were printed in a 40-page magazine insert in the Tribune's Nov. 12 issue, and Assurance was profiled in detail as the cover story by Rex W. Huppke, workplace columnist.

"We are thrilled to be named to the #2 spot,” said Jackie Gould, chief operating officer. "Last year, we were evaluated in the category of small sized companies. This year, for the first time, we graduated into the medium category and improved our ranking from #4 to #2. We thank The Chicago Tribune for featuring our programs, perks and benefits in the cover story.”

The Top Workplaces are determined based solely on employee feedback. The employee survey is conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, LLP, a leading research firm on organizational health and employee engagement. In total, more than 70,000 employees, across the U.S., took the survey and the top statement was: "I feel genuinely appreciated at this company.”

At Assurance, employees are not only appreciated, they are recognized as rock stars. The internal culture is centered on happiness, education, wellness and social responsibility. A frequent saying at Assurance is: Happy employees = happy clients = happy bottom line.

The company's passion for health and fitness and the employees' extraordinary willingness to engage, participate and have fun provided a solid foundation for implementing a successful wellness program. Over five years, Assurance saved nearly $1.7 million while spending only $180,000.

"As an insurance broker, we understand the value of wellness,” said Lisa Pinion, senior vice president, human resources. "In 2013, we challenged all 300 of our employees to complete a 5K walk or run aiming for 85 percent participation. Not all of our employees are seasoned runners, but each and every one knows and values the importance of a healthy lifestyle.”

Assurance was also recognized for its employee-driven charity initiative called Assurance Caring Together (ACT). Each employee is given a paid day off to contribute to the community. Recently more than 50 employees cleared brush and buckthorn at a 3,558 acre preserve called Busse Woods in Schaumburg. Assurance worked in tandem with Friends of Busse Woods, a regional stewardship group that promotes and supports restoration activities.

A favorite perk for employees is the quarterly casino day with a wheel that gives employees opportunities to spin and win cash prizes. Gift cards are also given for good ideas and helpful suggestions.

"Being named #2 by the Tribune is indeed an honor, and it's recognition of our hard-working employees,” said Tony Chimino, chief executive officer of Assurance. "It's through their collective ideas, we're able to propel Assurance forward while offering employees a chance to get involved in their community, take fitness classes on-site and enjoy a free cup of Starbucks every day.”

During the last five years, Assurance has received more than 60 awards for client service and being a best place to work. In addition to the Tribune accolade, the independent insurance brokerage has also experienced an average organic growth rate of 14 percent over the last 10 years. More than 90 percent of Assurance's staff says that not only is Assurance a fun place to work, but managers have a clear vision of the organization's future.

Steven Handmaker, Assurance's chief marketing officer, accepted the award at a banquet for honorees held Monday, Nov. 11, in Chicago and hosted by the publication.