2017 Business Leaders of the Year | Simpkins Entrepreneurial Award
Tom Wienckoski has been in Brevard for almost 40 years. Born and raised in New Jersey, he came to attend Florida Tech for a degree in electrical engineering and never left. A serial entrepreneur, he started his first company, MC Assembly, in 1986. When he sold it in 2008, he diversified.
“We (with wife Charlotte) have since done a lot of different things, from a rose company, an insurance company and a staffing company,” he said. “Typical entrepreneurial
His passion, however, is NuVantage Insurance, which he started in 2009.
NuVantage Insurance initially featured personal lines of insurance, including home, auto, boat, jewelry, wine, art and other valuable personal assets, but it has recently expanded its commercial offerings. “We provide everything for our business clients – general liability, product liability, facilities, buildings, equipment and workers compensation,” Wienckoski said. “We service a wide variety of industries. From doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, retail, manufacturing companies and restaurants. You start a company specializing in one thing, and as the company grows, opportunities present themselves.”
According to Wienckoski, NuVantage Insurance was founded with one main principal in mind – outstanding customer service. Insurance coverage is a very detailed and dynamic business, and to do a great job for your clients, you need to take the time to understand their needs to be sure the coverage provided is optimized and at a competitive price. In this business, proper coverage is vital. Either too much or too little is not a good thing.
“Our business model is to take the time to educate our clients so they’re confident in our recommendations and feel secure in their decisions,” he explained. “We research and then offer the best possible carriers to ensure our clients have access to the best products and services available anywhere.”
With Florida insurance rates at an all-time high, everyone needs to take advantage of available discounts. Wienckoski makes certain his agents have the experience and education to source the best solutions available.
“You wear multiple hats and then as you grow, you delegate and bring people in or you promote people to fill specific positions,” he said. “We started small, but now we’re one of the fastest-growing insurance agencies in Brevard.”
Wienckoski is also a proponent of marketing, spending about 10 percent of NuVantage’s annual revenue on everything from print, radio, television and a lot of social media. The company’s latest opportunity for expansion is in life insurance. The goal is to market and allocate resources, as well as probably hiring someone to specifically run that division. The company insures about 6,000 people in Brevard County, so it has built a healthy client database. When it grows into a new market like life insurance, it can immediately reach out to those people.
“Service is always first, and price is kind of a no-brainer, but you must also have access to the right carriers,” he said. “This industry is kind of apples and apples when it comes to coverages and pricing, so the only differentiator is the service, though we typically have more carriers for specific niches a client may require.”
Outstanding customer service, blended with Wienckoski’s entrepreneurial spirit, is why you will find his companies are always changing to meet not just market demand, but individual client needs.