Broker Words—May 2023

Congratulations to good friend Jeff Mohr, recipient of the 2023 Billy Vogel Award, TMA’s highest honor. The Marketing Alliance is honored to present the Billy Vogel award each year. The criteria for this award are business acumen, sense of innovation, and above all, integrity. This year is the 17th time TMA has recognized someone with this award.

Jeffrey D. Mohr, RHU, CLTC, is president and owner of Diversified Brokerage Specialists, Cincinnati, OH, originally founded by Jeff’s grandfather, Bill Dignan, as W.R. Dignan Associates Inc. in 1946. Jeff’s father, John “Jack” Mohr, now retired, spent more than 30 years in the business. Diversified took its current name in 1981 to reflect changes in the industry at the time. The company celebrated its 75th year in business in 2021.

Jeff Mohr

Mohr Mohr received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati in 1982, double major in Insurance and Information Systems. In 1985 Jeff was called into the insurance business and rose to become a third generation business owner. He has been joined in the agency by his son Shaun Mohr for the past eight years, securing a fourth generation of family ownership.

Jeff is the exceptional caretaker of an agency with a rich history in the brokerage business. In 1947 the agency was the first to offer lifetime sickness benefits following the great depression, was the first to program disability coverage by combining non-cancelable short term benefits with yearly renewable long term benefits, and in 1954 introduced the concept of “Key Man Disability” coverage. In 1955 the agency founded the “Business Overhead Expense” policy first recognized under the Internal Revenue Code and wrote the first association group plan offering business overhead expense protection to professionals in 1956. The agency was also the first to offer a lifetime specialty “Own Occupation” definition to professionals.

Jeff initially used his computer skills to automate the agency, developing an agency management system that is still used today. When the disability insurance market fluctuated in the 90s, Jeff spearheaded a successful effort to expand into the life insurance business but never left his passion for the disability business, saying, “Life insurance producers are plentiful. If you want to set yourself apart, sell a product that actually pays your client in their greatest time of need as opposed to paying their beneficiaries. For this reason I assure you that if you sell a client DI or LTC insurance, you can get the life insurance next.” Under Jeff’s watch the agency has grown from a disability specialty agency into a full-service life, disability, long term care and annuity insurance brokerage agency assisting brokers across the United States.

TMA President Tim Klusas explained, “Jeff is one of the unsung heroes in our business. Imagine the complexity and skill required to expand into life insurance from disability insurance in the 90’s and also move the business into new territory as a third generation business owner. The thunderous applause when the group figured out it was Jeff who was going to be recognized…it confirmed the committee made the right choice.”

In addition to TMA, Jeff is a member of The Plus Group, the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA), has served as president of the Cincinnati-NAIFA chapter, been nominated to the Ohio State Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors board, served as president of the Greater Cincinnati Association of Health Underwriters, and has served on agent councils for several leading life and disability insurance carriers. He is a certified CE instructor for OH, KY and FL.

Perhaps the best indicator of Jeff’s character and success is his wholehearted embrace of the business motto of the agency’s founder: “Do the right thing for the client and the money will follow.”[SPH]