Authors: Rodney Johnson, Larry Phillips
May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month—a time to celebrate and honor the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who were instrumental contributors to America's history and remain critical to its future success.
This year, we celebrate AAPI heritage and history in a different context. In recent months, our nation's attention has turned to escalating racism and violence targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Now more than ever, we must highlight and celebrate the many contributions of our AAPI communities—from art and culture to research and technology. And, most critical to this industry, we must elevate our AAPI business partners.
At Gallagher, we are proud to recognize our diverse partners this month and every month through Gallagher Connect Partners: an inclusive network of minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran-owned, and other diverse, certified insurance firms that have been strategically selected based upon their unique specializations, shared values and proven ability to best address our clients' risk management, insurance and supplier diversity needs.
In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, we are highlighting one of our AAPI partners and the rich expertise and experience this team brings to our shared clients and communities. Together, we are supporting the growth and success of Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) in insurance to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive industry.
AAPI partner spotlight
Hinkai "Heinz" Yee is the owner of Pathfinder Solutions LLC. After earning his MBA in Human Resources from John Carroll University and running several service-based operations, Heinz started Pathfinder Solutions with a focus on delivering creative insurance solutions for municipalities, public transit authorities, unions, and other nonprofit organizations.
We asked Heinz about his experiences as a minority business owner in insurance, and how he feels his involvement with Gallagher Connect Partners is contributing to a more diverse industry.
As a diverse broker, what has been your biggest challenge?
I felt that our biggest initial challenge was a lack of social capital. We did not know the "right people" or have a connection to business owners and decision-makers when we started. It took a long time and consistent attempts in order to build our network. Having the opportunity to be in the room with decision-makers gives us an opportunity to present our capabilities and the dedication we have to our customers.
How can the insurance industry do a better job of elevating or supporting the AAPI community?
As a whole, the insurance industry could do a better job of building a stronger network of minority agents and creating more engagement opportunities for these agents to support each other. It is imperative that insurance leaders invest in recruiting minority agents and building real partnerships, like we've seen with Gallagher.
How does your partnership with Gallagher Connect Partners address the challenge of supplier diversity?
Gallagher is the first partner I've worked with that has a dedicated diversity partnership program. They've brought a strong group of MWBEs together, and have given us the resources and opportunities to meet purchasing managers, COOs and other top decision-makers. Operating in the Gallagher Connect Partner network allows us—as MWBEs—to share our stories, struggles and successes so we all can learn from shared knowledge and experience.
About Gallagher Connect Partners
Gallagher Connect Partners cultivates relationships with certified diverse insurance firms, combining our partners' thought-leadership and expertise with Gallagher's global resources. The outcome is twofold: our diverse insurance suppliers are empowered to tackle a larger scope of business, while our clients improve their insurance and risk management program and create a new vertical to increase their supplier diversity spend.
As a team, we support the growth of minority-owned businesses in insurance, attract more diverse talent to the industry, and promote diversity as a business imperative all year round.
Connect with our team to learn how you can partner with a local, diverse-certified insurance and risk management firm.
- A growing network of 60+ diverse-certified partners in 40+ states
- Providing tailored risk management programs to clients through partners' local expertise and Gallagher's global reach
- Empowering clients to meet or exceed their supplier diversity goals through their risk management spend.