Corporate Culture

Care Code Personified: Meet the 2023 Game Changers

Dan Keough
Dan Keough
Chairman & CEO

The first blog of the new year is always special because I get to introduce our newest Game Changers! I truly believe the best in the business work with us at Holmes Murphy, and it’s an honor to acknowledge their accomplishments and impact.

Each of our Game Changers brings a unique perspective and skillset to their role, but one thing they all have in common is the embodiment of our Care Code. The SOUL of our purpose and mission, the Care Code inspires our interactions with each other and our clients and communities at Holmes Murphy.


Photo of Holmes Murphy Care Code

This year’s Game Changers put the “Care” in Care Code with their dedication to building strong relationships with clients, supporting their colleagues, and striving for the collective success of their team and the company.

We created the Game Changer award in 2015 to recognize employees whose actions and presence personify the Care Code every day, and selecting the winners each year is no easy feat with more than 1,100 excellent employees to choose from. Employees are nominated by Holmes Murphy leaders, and honorees are chosen from our client experience areas of the business. It’s a prestigious award that highlights employees at any stage of their career who have made an indelible impression on their teammates and clients.

Before the blog goes live, we announce our Game Changers at our Holmes Murphy Year-End meeting. I love seeing the smiles and hearing the applause and cheers as the names of the winners are revealed, perfectly illustrating how the words of our Care Code are so much more than just words. It’s our commitment to a culture of connection and celebration.

The 2023 Game Changers are Tyler Brick, Mike Flynn, Kristin Geppert, Ruthie Sparks, and Nicole Stillings. I’m proud to share a glimpse into what makes each of them outstanding employees at Holmes Murphy. If you see or work with any of them, I encourage you to share your congratulations and help us celebrate their efforts!

Tyler Brick

Tyler is our Director of Tax & Finance in the Waukee office. His attention to detail and commitment to his work has led to vast improvements that bring structure to our tax handling and ensure compliance with regulations as we navigate ever-changing guidelines with our clients’ best interests in mind. From helping establish the department and successfully implementing new budgeting software to dedicating countless hours to research and going the extra mile for his team, Tyler’s tenacity has made him a Game Changer with an impact that can be felt throughout his department and the organization. Anyone who’s worked with taxes knows there’s always some “gray” area, and Tyler always takes time to fully understand key topics and tax matters so our clients and shareholders can trust the integrity of our partnership and know that he and the team are there to answer any questions. With a relentless work ethic and a passion for learning and mastery, we are so thankful for Tyler’s contributions and care for what we do here at Holmes Murphy.

Mike Flynn

Mike is a Senior Client Service Consultant on our Employee Benefits team in Denver. His ability to build authentic relationships creates valuable opportunities with clients and fosters true connections with coworkers. A generous mentor and teacher, Mike embodies the Care Code as an attentive and supportive leader who actively uplifts those around him and strives to see the team succeed. His commitment to care extends to his clients as evidenced by this story shared by his nominator: After a client’s husband was diagnosed with cancer, Mike put together several care packages for her, including a cookbook he created with recipes crafted specifically for her husband who struggled to swallow and enjoy food due to his illness. She expressed her gratitude for Mike’s support and friendship then and after her husband passed, and shared that Mike was an amazing reflection of who we are at Holmes Murphy. This is just one example of Mike’s influence as a Game Changer. I’m sure his team and clients could go on about the positivity he’s brought to their work and lives.

Kristin Geppert

Kristin is a Business Development Manager for Innovative Captive Strategies (ICS), one of our Holmes Murphy companies. A beloved boomerang (she left then came back!) with more than 20 years of experience at ICS and Holmes Murphy, Kristin is a go-to resource for all things ICS. Her return to ICS prompted the creation of the Business Development position for the Property Casualty group captives, and her insight and leadership have led to significant growth in new business in the last decade. That growth wouldn’t have been possible without her passion for developing relationships with brokers, carriers, and partners to ensure a positive onboarding experience that goes beyond the expectations of her role. Her impact on the business extends beyond clients to her relationships with coworkers as a mentor and coach for new salespeople. Her caring attitude and willingness to take the time to answer questions has benefited the Sales team and served as an example of the culture we celebrate at Holmes Murphy. Kristin is a Game Changer who consistently goes above and beyond for ICS, and we are thankful for her care and commitment.

Ruthie Sparks

Ruthie is an Operations Specialist for our Construction team and is based in our Minneapolis office. She has been instrumental in aligning processes with the carrier mail project team and a third-party vendor, an undertaking that has been critical as we brought together all of our Construction professionals into one Holmes Murphy Construction team to better serve our clients. Just as important as our external impact, our internal processes make a huge difference at every level of the organization, and Ruthie’s ability to help find solutions to challenges along the way can be measured in time saved by our service teams. A quiet and humble leader committed to learning what it takes to do the job right without worrying about who gets the credit, Ruthie embraces the perspectives of those around her before moving forward to ensure the job isn’t just done — it’s done right. Always willing to lend a helping hand, Ruthie’s considerate and thoughtful approach brings our Care Code to life and makes this Game Changer a valued member of the Holmes Murphy family.

Nicole Stillings

Nicole is a Surety Service Advisor based in our Madison office. There are many moments in Nicole’s career worthy of the Game Changer moniker, but her leadership during the five-year process of integrating the Minneapolis Surety team with Holmes Murphy will forever rank among the most impressive in her legacy. During a time of uncertainty and change, Nicole maintained a positive attitude and helped team members navigate the transition with patience and care. She demonstrated her thoughtfulness and insight yet again during an important platform integration, attending additional meetings and training coworkers while handling her own considerable client portfolio. The respect and appreciation she’s earned from her team is also felt by her clients. Confident in her ability to deliver even in demanding situations, testimonials for Nicole illustrate the depth of relationships she’s built with clients who see her as a valued business partner and trusted friend. Leading through change can be a career-defining challenge, and I’m proud of the example set by Nicole as a trailblazer for our company.

Care.Fully. in the New Year

I am always thankful for the culture we’ve created at Holmes Murphy because I know how much of a difference it makes for our employees, clients, and communities. I hope everyone who interacts with us can feel the Holmes Murphy difference, and I encourage anyone interested in learning more to reach out to us!

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