In 1977, upon his graduation from the University of Mississippi, David Shepherd returned to Carmel, Indiana and started his insurance agency. Nearly four decades later, Shepherd Insurance has grown into the largest personal line insurer in Indiana, with over 200 employees and 11 offices across Indiana, Kentucky, and Florida. Dave’s simple vision has also remained the same: to be a trusted advisor who helps people protect their families and property, and give them over-attentive service while doing it. Shepherd Insurance specializes in personal and commercial insurance, employee benefits and financial products. As a true independent agency, we represent nearly 200 carriers, including 14 of the nation's top 15 independent carriers.
We are independent advocates for our clients, which means we recommend the best product from whichever carrier offers the best option. Currently, the agency handles the insurance needs of over 15,000 companies and individuals across the United States, and coordinates nearly $300 million in premiums. Dave Shepherd also reveals another secret to the company’s success − “We’ve been successful because we have people who simply work harder. There’s no better way to succeed.”
Your insurance authority since 1977
An Agency is Born Fresh out of Ole Miss University, Carmel High School grad and former Indiana Mr. Basketball, Dave Shepherd teams up with his father William “Coach Bill” and launches Shepherd Insurance from Dave's basement. The duo's first sales strategy: Knock on as many doors as possible.
They got their start selling life and disability insurance for Franklin Life. Every family member and friend was a potential prospect.
Movin' on Up...to the Garage After five years of steady success, Shepherd Insurance was contracted by the Erie Insurance Exchange to begin offering auto, home, and small business insurance options in addition to their ongoing life insurance business. Dave seized the opportunity to relocate, moving out of the basement and into...a garage.
A renovated one-car garage attached to a small, standalone house was now the new headquarters of Shepherd Insurance. Being the only house amongst a growing number of high-rises lining Meridian Street, the staff affectionately referred to the office as "Shepherd Tower."
Jeff Kweder Arrives Foregoing qualifications for a PGA Tour card, Jeff Kweder joins Dave as a sales agent. Jeff's ability to forecast industry trends and capture opportunities quickly earns him the distinction as the company's numbers guy. His nickname, Q-Man, was coined as a result of people mistaking the spelling of his last name.
A beat-up, '77 Chevy with a touch of rust was his signing bonus.
Commercial Insurance Impressed with Shepherd's growth, Erie Insurance entrusts the agency with access to commercial products, which subsequently enables the Shepherd team to begin negotiating and writing business accounts.
The Corner Office A decade of hard work and success finally lands Dave every business person's dream: the corner office. With great enthusiasm and pride, the Shepherd team relocates a few blocks away from their garage on Meridian Street. The modest corporate complex just north of 116th and Meridian gave the agency plenty of room to grow.
At last Dave had earned his corner office from where he would formulate his strategy to launch Shepherd Insurance into the major leagues of the insurance business.
The Shelby Howard Connection In 1991, Shepherd Insurance was given the opportunity to write its first truck dealership. Shelby Howard, an unknown visionary from Paducah, KY purchased a local Mack Truck dealership and took a chance on Shepherd Insurance.
Over the following 20 years, the two men would mutually inspire one another, in particular, by taking smart business risks, innovating their respective industries, and growing their businesses exponentially.
Innovative Milestone: Employee Benefits Shepherd's forward-thinking approaches lead to an unprecedented evolution of the independent insurance agency model: the selling of not one, but three insurance products under the same roof.
Up until that point, independent agents across the country had been selling only one of the three major products: Life, Commercial, or Employee Benefits. Shepherd reasoned that clients would appreciate a "one-stop shop" which serviced all their insureds' needs. With the addition of the Employee Benefits division, clients were now able to package multiple insurance lines at substantial discounts.
With the success of the new Shepherd Insurance model, other independent insurance agencies across the country would follow suit, making the "single-point of contact" business model standard practice in the industry.
Breaking Ground Requiring more room and anticipating further growth, Dave buys land and builds a 10,000 square foot office building located at 1200 W Carmel Drive. At the time of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the 10-person staff occupied only half of the space. However nearly five years later, Shepherd Insurance would grow to inhabit the entire building.
Photo: 1995 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony (left to right): Sally Shepherd, Jeff Kweder, Carmel Mayor Ted Johnson, David Shepherd, Steve Shepherd, "Coach Bill" Shepherd, and Kelly Shepherd Purmort.
Growth Spurt Five years in their new home, and once again, the company had run out of space to accommodate the staff. The sudden growth spurt was a direct result of the overwhelming success of the Benefits Division as well as the Financial Services division.
Financial Products Added In response to more client requests, Shepherd expands their expertise and starts offering financial products to offer more solutions to current clients. Jeff Kweder enthusiastically spearheads the efforts, securing all the required permits, licenses, etc.
Agency of the Year Shepherd Insurance wins its first Agency of the Year award, from the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana, based on Trusted Choice® advisors criteria. By now, many of the Shepherd Insurance innovations had been replicated by independent insurance agencies across the nation. This distinction was given to Shepherd in recognition of its ability to deliver value to customers through strong insurance product expertise and its responsive service culture.
First National Recognition National Underwriter magazine recognizes Shepherd Insurance as one of the five best independent agencies in the United States. This distinction was given in recognition of our teamwork and client-focused philosophy. Receiving this honor marks the agency's first national recognition.
Shepherd Insurance in Evansville The successful Volkman Insurance becomes part of the Shepherd team, and consolidates their two Evansville locations into one office on the east side of town. Quinn Shepherd, served a successful tenure heading branch operations in Evansville before becoming Partner and Executive Vice President of the company. Today, the Evansville branch is led by former Big "I" President Doug Annakin.
MarshBerry Welcomes Shepherd Under the leadership of Kelly Shepherd Purmort, Shepherd Insurance is invited by MarshBerry, a renowned consulting firm, into the APPEX agency forum – a think tank for elite companies to network and build better businesses.
Moore & Shepherd Insurance in Seymour The family-owned and operated John Moore Agency in Seymour, Indiana merges with the Shepherd team resulting in the creation of Moore & Shepherd Insurance and is led by David Moore.
Rough Notes Magazine Cover The agency's strong growth and crowd appeal catch the interest of nationally recognized magazine Rough Notes. Featured in the August 2007 cover story "Insurance," Dave Shepherd, Jeff Kweder, Kelly Shepherd Purmort, and Quinn Shepherd take the readers on a journey inside the operations of Shepherd Insurance. The recognition by Rough Notes would catapult Shepherd Insurance as regionally-recognized agency.
Truck Dealer Niche Shepherd begins working in the truck dealership niche market, and sponsors the 2008 American Truck Dealers Convention. Within a five-year period, the agency has become a recognized expert in the truck dealership industry, insuring over 400 dealerships in 39 states across the country.
The success of this niche market would propel Shepherd into the national spotlight as well as inspire the agency to further offer a variety of niche market insurance to clients throughout the U.S.
DeTrude & Co. Joins Shepherd To solidify benefits offerings, Shepherd Insurance and DeTrude & Company join forces to launch a new employee benefits division, led by Keith DeTrude and Steve Gregory.
Shepherd Insurance in Columbus The expansion of Shepherd Insurance continues with the acquisitions. Drew Denny, Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified 401k Professional, joins the team along with the highly respected Dirk James Agency. The two offices merge and become the fourth Shepherd Insurance location. A sentimental accomplishment indeed, as Dave Shepherd's family roots trace back to Columbus, Indiana. Click here for full story.
Pence Brooks & Shepherd Insurance in Greenfield Attaining its fourth branch office, Shepherd acquires Hancock county’s largest agency in Greenfield. Dating back to the early 1900s, the agency was once known as "Wood Brothers Insurance." With the birth of Pence Brooks & Shepherd Insurance, a tidal wave of expertise boosts the company's value. Click here for full story.
Home Sweet Home Twenty-five years after Dave and his dad William "Coach Bill" Shepherd had sold their first life insurance policy, the agency had grown to over 100 employees. Requiring yet again more space, Shepherd Insurance moves into its new headquarters at 111 Congressional Boulevard in Carmel. The office more than doubles the space of the prior location to over 30,000 square feet.
A crowning achievement for Dave, who from his garage office in the early 80s, had promised his young daughter Kelly that one day they would move into the "big building" across the street. Click here for full story.
Team Johnson Races Through Expanding into the niche market of racing risk, Shepherd Insurance waves the checkered flag, welcoming father-and-son team Tom and Jeff Johnson. Tom and Jeff bring their vast wealth of expertise to lead the company's motorsports division. In addition to being licensed and well-known producers in their field, Tom and Jeff are successful racing team owners themselves. Click here for full story.
Chappell Joins Forces Chappell Insurance becomes part of the Shepherd team, with Ray Chappell moving into the Carmel headquarters to help lead the Personal Lines department.Click here for full story.
Even More Benefits Expertise AscendUSA, led by Steve Goodin and Joe Guzman, brings its vast benefits experience and expertise to the Shepherd Insurance team. Click here for full story.
Nation's Top 100 Award Insurance Journal publishes its annual who's who list of independent agencies, and Shepherd Insurance is recognized as one of the best in the nation. Click here for full story.
Shepherd Insurance in Noblesville Led by Deirdre Fisher, family-owned Fisher & Associates agency of Noblesville joins the Shepherd team. Marking our sixth branch expansion, the December 2013 merger moves the company's midwest reach into the heart of Hamilton County. Click here for full story.
Financial Expertise Drew Denny CFP® is recognized by RegisteredRep.com and WealthManagement.com as #44 on the list of Top Next Generation Independent Broker Dealer Advisors nationwide. Drew was the only Indiana resident to make the 70-person list. Click here for full story.
First Out-of-State Office Shepherd opens a Louisville office in May 2014, our eighth location. The office, located at 8213 Shelbyville Road, is led by Louisville's Operations Director, Josh Tucker. The growth is part of Shepherd's strategic plan. As four of our partner carriers (Erie Insurance, Allied Insurance, United Fire Insurance and Central Insurance) are growing in Kentucky, Shepherd takes the opportunity to open an office in Louisville. Click here for news article.
Tucker Shepherd Insurance F.C. Tucker Company, the largest independent real estate firm in Indiana, and Shepherd Insurance enter into an exclusive relationship and begin doing business as Tucker Shepherd Insurance. Two of the oldest and most reputable family-owned companies in Indiana both strengthen their client service even further by offering their services to each other’s clients and employees. Click here for full story.
A Fast-Growing Company Shepherd Insurance is named one of the Top 25 Fastest Growing Companies in Indianapolis by Indianapolis Business Journal. Shepherd Insurance comes in at #23 and is the only insurance agency to make the cut. Click here for full story.
Two Indiana Legends Unite David Shepherd and Rex Early join forces when Shepherd brings on Consolidated Insurance Services, one of Indiana’s largest independent insurance agencies. By teaming with Consolidated, Shepherd adds extensive experience in motorsports, residential property, and hospitality risks. The latest addition to the Shepherd group of companies operates as Consolidated Shepherd Insurance. Click here for full story.
Repeat: Nation's Top 100 Honors For the second year in a row, Shepherd Insurance is honored to be recognized as one of the Top 100 U.S. Insurance Agencies in 2014 by Insurance Journal. Shepherd is the only Indiana agency to be named on the list. Click here for full story.
Shepherd Makes Inc. 5000 List Shepherd Insurance is named to Inc. magazine's prestigious Inc. 5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the America's fastest-growing private companies. Click here for full story.
Agency of the Year Award For the second time, the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana (or Big "I") has selected Shepherd Insurance as the 2014 Agency of the Year, an award presented to an agency that exemplifies leadership and innovation in the insurance industry. Shepherd also earned the Agency of the Year Award in 2003. Click here for full story.
Expanding in Indianapolis The personal lines team outgrows the Carmel office and heads down the street to open up shop in Indianapolis. Led by Ray Chappell, this established team is eager to continue to grow in our ninth branch office.
Pence Brooks Bolander & Shepherd in Greenwood Bill Bolander and his team from Bolander Ianni Insurance joins Shepherd's Greenfield team in April 2015. One of nine locations, the Greenfield office will be known as Pence Brooks Bolander & Shepherd Insurance. Click here for story.
Shepherd Makes Inc. 5000 List Again For the second year in a row, Shepherd Insurance is named to Inc. magazine's prestigious Inc. 5000 list, an annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America. We moved up the rankings from #4111 in 2014 to #3959 in 2015.
Office Now Open in Sarasota, FL Al Purmort, Jr. Patrick Del Medico, and their team of 25 at Al Purmort Insurance joins the Shepherd team. Marking our eleventh branch expansion, the January 2016 merger moves the company's reach into southern Florida. Click here for story.