Age: 37 Occupation: Insurance agent, Neis Insurance Residence: Cary Hometown: McHenry Family: Wife, Renee; Samantha, 8 and Andrew, 2 Education: Bachelor's degree, political science, University of Illinois at Chicago Favorite McHenry County restaurant? Duke's Alehouse and Kitchen in Crystal Lake Favorite movie? "Money Pit" One word that describes you? Energetic
What is your job and what makes you so good at it?
As the area vice president for Neis Insurance in Crystal Lake, I provide personal and commercial risk management coverage. Understanding the concerns of individuals and businesses allows me to customize insurance to fit each situation. Knowledge of various resources and insurance programs means my clients are always getting the best coverage for the best rate.
The unwavering support of my wife, Renee, has enabled me to be successful. She encourages me to put the hours and energy into my career to achieve sales goals and provide quality service to clients. Tom and Marilyn Neis are great people to work with and the team at Neis Insurance always put me in a position to win. Early in my career I was taught the power of referrals and what it means to be a networking partner. And, I like to talk – a lot!
What accomplishments and innovations are you most proud of this year?
Neis Insurance Agency is on pace for another year of double-digit growth. I am also proud to be on the planning team for the inaugural Santa Run/Walk for Kids to be held Dec. 2 in downtown Crystal Lake. Proceeds will support children in McHenry County through groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls on the Run of Northwest Illinois, CASA, the Light Center/Main Stay and Turning Point.
How do you give back to the community and what drives your service?
As a member of the Crystal Lake Chamber (I am currently on the board of directors), I meet people who I consider the business leaders of McHenry County. I deeply respect and admire these leaders. Each of these individuals has two things in common: They are all successful in their own right, and each gives back to the community. My wife and I try to follow in their footsteps.
What is something you have never done but want to do some day?
I would love to rent a RV with my wife and travel the country visiting every restaurant featured by Guy Fieri’s show “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” However I would settle for running a sub-18-minute 5K or qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Be nice to people.
"I wanted to nominate Chris as one of the Best Under 40 because he gives so much to the community," said client Donna Plunkett of Bruning and Associates. "I've been a client for seven years and believe Chris is always responsive – willing to get an answer for you when you need one. He has energy and knowledge, plus he is a pleasure to deal with. Not just on the job, Chris has enthusiasm and is willing to volunteer his time to the community at leadership level."