Local agent earns a service award

ELKINS – A local insurance agent’s knack for customer service has garnered statewide recognition.

Michelle “Shelly” Kerns, of Pioneer Insurance Agency Inc., has received Erie Insurance’s 2015 West Virginia Quality Customer Service Agent Award.

Kerns accepted the surprise award at the Erie Insurance West Virginia Branch Recognition Meeting May 19 at the Bridgeport Conference Center from Tim NeCastro, senior regional officer and Erie Insurance Group’s next president and CEO.

“I was shocked,” Kerns said. “I never dreamed of receiving something like that.” Ellen Streets, president of Pioneer Insurance Agency Inc., commented that she was not shocked at all. Shelly started in an entry level position and has excelled in each job she was assigned throughout her career. I’m excited and happy for her, Ellen continued.

She was nominated by Benjamin Rucker, West Virginia district sales manager for Erie Insurance. The award is presented to one customer service agent in each branch who best personifies ERIE’s Above all in SERVICE standards.

Kerns was selected for the award for best exemplifying the attributes that Erie Insurance leadership appreciates in customer service representatives working for its independent insurance agencies. Those attributes include attitude, tenure, continuing education efforts and overall impact on the business.

Each recipient has represented ERIE for at least three years and is known for his or her positive attitude as well as positive impact on the agency’s business in terms of account rounding, cross-selling and retention. ERIE will host a CSA Forum this summer in Erie, Pa., in which all of the Quality CSA of the Year Award recipients will attend and share valuable ideas and feedback.

Kerns joined the staff of Pioneer Insurance Agency Inc., in 2007. She has a diploma from Lincoln High School, attended Insurance Schools of West Virginia Inc. and has completed classes in all phases of insurance through Erie Agents College. She is a licensed agent for personal and commercial lines as well as life insurance. Through Pioneer Insurance Agency Inc., she serves customers primarily in Randolph, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Tucker, and Upshur counties in West Virginia.

Prior to beginning her career in the insurance industry, Kerns had more than 10 years of experience in management with Burger King in Elkins. She resides in Barbour County with her husband, Tim. They have three sons and one granddaughter.