The Pearl Story

Pearl Insurance is recognized as one of the top 50 brokers in the United States and acts as an insurance broker, administrator, and marketer. We not only serve as one of the nation’s leading program administrators and managing general underwriters for specialty markets, but in union with our clients, Pearl Insurance specializes in the design and administration of direct-marketed insurance plans for affinity groups including professional and trade associations, and their members. Pearl Insurance conducts business in every state and has access to every major underwriting insurance company in the affinity marketplace.

Our Story

Pearl Insurance was established in 1954. Founder and current Chairman, Jack Pearl, loves to tell the story of his days selling insurance, when Pearl Insurance consisted of him and one part-time office assistant.

"In the winter, I’d go down the country roads in my truck, putting flyers with my face on them in every mailbox. After the first big snow, I’d retrace my path and knock on each farmhouse door. They’d be quick to invite me in and say, ‘You look familiar.’"

Pearl Insurance can trace its dedication to the association market to our beginnings. Jack developed and implemented some of the first direct-marketed insurance programs ever sponsored by and made available to members of professional associations. The idea—to help associations attract and retain members by offering high-quality insurance programs at group rates—took off and soon established Jack as a leader in the field of insurance direct marketing.

Since then, Jack and his son, Gary, have continued to build on the company's tradition of innovation, delivering new products, services, markets, and technologies year after year.

Pearl Insurance is part of the Pearl Companies, a privately held, multifaceted organization that also includes Pearl Carroll & Associates, Pearl Specialty Solutions, Pearl Benefits, W.B. Griffin & Son, Pearl Technology, and Pearl Automotive.

Our People

Jack Pearl - Chairman

Jack has been the driving force and cornerstone of the Pearl Companies since he founded the organization in 1954. He is a graduate of Bradley University, a charter member and past president of the American Institute of Professional Association Group Insurance Administrators (AIPAGIA), a charter member of the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA), an active contributor and volunteer for the Children's Miracle Network and Children's Hospital of Illinois, and a significant supporter of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. In addition, Jack has been recognized for his many outstanding achievements through various awards, including the prestigious Master of Mass Marketing award presented annually by the Mass Marketing Insurance Institute (MI2), the Sigma Chi Significant Sig Award, the second-ever recipient of PIMA's Legend award, and was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel by their Governor in 2006.

Gary Pearl

Gary joined Pearl in 1985 and has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Pearl Companies since 1998. Gary provides the Pearl team with a wealth of insurance knowledge and experience, which he developed during his years working in various sales, marketing, and operations divisions both at Pearl and with CIGNA Insurance Company, where he started his career. He remains deeply involved in every aspect of the business and is committed to continuing Pearl's tradition of innovation. Gary was the 2000 President of the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA).

Dennis Dietrich

Dennis joined the Pearl Companies in 2005 and serves as President and Chief Operating Officer. With a successful background in financial, strategic planning, direct marketing, and mergers and acquisitions, as President/COO, Dennis oversees the execution of strategy and managing the operations of the Pearl Companies. Dennis also directs the financial operations of Pearl Automotive.

Lisa Hoogerwerf

Lisa Hoogerwerf is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at the Pearl Companies. She joined our team in August of 2012. In her role, Lisa provides strategic leadership and consulting support for all HR management functions for Pearl Insurance, Pearl Technology, and Pearl Automotive. These functions include, but are not limited to, compensation, recruitment and retention, employee relations, training, performance management, succession planning and talent management/development, goal setting, policy and procedure development, benefits, wellness initiatives, and legal and regulatory compliance. Along with holding a Professional Human Resource (PHR) Designation, Lisa has spent more than 20 years working in HR, with more than half of that time in a leadership position.

Jeff Palmer

Jeff Palmer joined Pearl Companies in 2005 and is currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Enterprise Systems Solutions. With over 18 years of experience in information technology and a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, Jeff manages Pearl Insurance's information systems. Jeff is passionate about leading and growing a team of developers and serving as a member on the Pearl Strategic Leadership Team. Jeff's team of developers are at the forefront of technology, ensuring the organization's systems remain current and secure.

Shannon Warner

With more than 20 years of professional experience in insurance sales and marketing, Shannon joined the Pearl Companies team in 2013, serving as our Executive Vice President of Marketing and Affinity Programs. In this role, Shannon manages and directs the marketing initiatives of the organization, including the Life and Health Affinity and Business Insurance Divisions. He is also responsible for Client Management, working with our team of specialized professionals to exceed the needs of all clients. Shannon's career experience includes having served as Head of Sales for AIG Benefit Solutions and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Marsh, Inc.'s Affinity Group Services. Additionally, Shannon serves on the Board of Directors for the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA).

Scott Whitaker

Scott is the Executive Vice President of Business Development for the Pearl Companies. He joined the team in 2014 with 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. Scott’s responsibilities include business development initiatives of the organization, including for the Life and Health Affinity and Business Insurance Divisions. Scott most recently served as Managing Director of Marsh, Inc.’s Affinity Group Services where he had full profit and loss responsibility, including strategic planning and operations. Prior to his tenure at Marsh Affinity, Scott held the position of Senior Vice President of AON Affinity. Scott is a member of the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA).

Our Companies

Pearl Insurance

Pearl Insurance offers a comprehensive portfolio of custom-designed products and benefits to meet the needs of, and protect business professionals, individuals, association members, and their families—regardless of their age and current situation.

Pearl Benefits

Pearl Benefits provides employers, employees, and their families with custom-built programs that fit their organization's culture, needs, and budget. Whether you are in need of a complete employee benefit package or added supplemental coverage and services, Pearl can meet all of your employee benefit needs in just one place.

Pearl Technology

Pearl Technology specializes in providing network infrastructure solutions and support that are right for your business needs. Their infrastructure solution options range from strategic and tactical network design to equipment service and support. Their advanced network services offer both voice and data solutions, and some of the core service offerings include IP telephony, wireless, and other mobility and productivity solutions. In addition, Pearl Technology focuses heavily on preventative wellness solutions for both networks and desktops, and is an authorized service partner with the broadest range of technology partners in the area.

Pearl Automotive

Pearl Automotive houses several facilities: Lexus of Peoria, Autohaus of Peoria, and Peoria Toyota Scion. They carry the best selection of new and pre-owned certified Lexus and Toyota vehicles as well as the highest quality domestic and import pre-owned cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.

Lexus of Peoria

Peoria Toyota Scion

Autohaus of Peoria