If there’s one thing John W. Meyers III ’12, CPCU, ARe, AU, AIS, has learned from his career, it’s that success doesn’t come without hard work and dedication. He has a storied 30-year insurance career, with nearly 20 years specializing in reinsurance, insurance purchased by insurance companies as a means of risk management. Now, John is taking on a new role, a first for him, as president and chief executive officer of the Mutual Reinsurance Bureau.
“My best advice is to be patient in this era of instant gratification, a trait that is sometimes lost,” John said. “It took me 30 years to get here. Short cuts are not worth it. Putting your time in for each stage of your development allows you to have the life and business experiences that will shape your leadership style. Work hard, be an engaged employee, and be patient. Good things will come.”
John lives by a philosophy to strive for continuous improvement. While he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1987 and began a successful career in underwriting before specializing in reinsurance, even serving in the United States Army Reserve for eight years as well, he still wanted more. As a full time vice president for treaty underwriting at Maiden Reinsurance and frequently traveling, John could not commit to returning to a brick and mortar college locale, but worried earning a degree online would be too detached from classroom relationships. In 2010, John discovered OC’s Master of Business Administration in Insurance program, and finally found the approach to education he was seeking.
Olivet College’s premiere graduate program is a unique online, instructor-led course that allows virtual classroom collaboration with industry leaders and classmates from around the country. The program is flexible and convenient for working professionals, but also provides opportunities to network and build relationships with fellow students and professors, regardless of their location. John completed the course in 2012, and is extremely proud to be one of the first graduates of the program.
John continued his career and transitioned to a role as vice president for treaty reinsurance at Safety National, but stayed connected to Olivet College. In 2014, he noticed OC was offering an elective in reinsurance that piqued his curiosity. John contacted the college and learned there was a professor opening for the course. He didn’t hesitate to take on the adjunct instructor role.
“As a full-time traveling professional and a student, I needed the flexibility to be able to attend class from anywhere in the country,” John explained. “I also recognized that the professors could be remote and not necessarily located on Olivet’s campus. This meant that Olivet could tap specialized talent from anywhere to be their professors. The combination was unique and drew me to Olivet College as both a student and a faculty member.”
John thrived as a professor, finding a special niche connecting with young insurance professionals and sharing his passion for reinsurance. While he enjoyed his role and his continued connection to OC, John saw new opportunities on his horizon in 2016 and couldn’t ignore his drive to grow. Just over a year later, John earned his new role with Mutual Reinsurance Bureau, but was sure to stay in contact with his Comet network.
“My prescription for attaining success is to accumulate knowledge, be personable, and stay positive. You need all three,” John stressed. “They combine to form a powerful business presence. Our industry has done a great job providing pathways to acquiring technical knowledge. Take advantage of them. Staying positive is very important. Naysayers and complainers are abundant and contagious. They infect an organization and bring the performance level down. Avoid these people and stay positive. It worked for me.”
While John has found tremendous career success, he has never forgotten his roots and has a second passion for serving his community. He subscribes to OC’s Be MORE Do GOOD motto, and has served the Berlin Community School Home Association, volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and Burlington County Social Services, and is a past member of the Berlin Community School Board.
“I grew up in a small town and my family was on a strict budget. I watched both of my parents work very hard to provide for my sister and me,” John explained. “I learned the lesson of reaping what you sow and I worked very hard to get where I am. However, I also recognize that there is an element of luck – being in the right place at the right time. Some folks work very hard, but lack the good fortune that comes to others. These are the people to which I enjoy providing community service. Giving back to the community is an important part of maturity and self-awareness.”