We help you grow.
Through access to knowledge, experience and diverse networks.
Kuzneski Insurance Group is a long-established, family-owned firm, but that doesn't mean we aren’t a nimble organization of forward-thinking entrepreneurs...we pride ourselves in being just that! We have had the good fortune to work with many different kinds of companies in Pennsylvania, as well as other parts of the USA, from San Francisco to Boston. From the century-old, established company to the startup armed with only a pitch deck, we have found that their primary goal is pretty much the same: to grow; to eventually make money; and then to eventually exit.
We also want to help you grow. Beyond insurance and HR solutions, our team has a wide breadth of knowledge, experience and diverse networks in many different areas that we will utilize for your benefit (if and when appropriate), including:
Our team is the key to supporting your growth.
Our unique culture is the key to having the right team.
The 31 Fundamentals that follow describe the behaviors that define our unique culture. We use them during our hiring process as a way to attract the right people, and to repel the wrong ones. We use them to train our current team and to reinforce the behaviors that we value and expect. Unfortunately, we sometimes have to use them when we "help someone find their next career."
They’re what set us apart.
We call them "The Kuzneski Way."
1. Do the right thing, always.
Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one’s looking. Always tell the truth, no matter the consequences. If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize, and make it right.
2. Create win/win solutions.Learn to think from others’ perspective. Discover what others need and find solutions that meet their needs while still fulfilling our own. Win/win solutions are always longer lasting and more satisfying than win/lose solutions.
3. Do what's best for the client.In all situations, do what’s best for the client, even if it’s to our own short-term detriment. Put their needs ahead of our own. There’s no greater way to build long-term relationships than to steadfastly do what’s right for others.
4. Find a way.
5. Show gratitude.
6. Get clear on expectations.
Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Set expectations for others and ask when you’re not clear on what they expect of you. We can’t exceed our clients’ expectations, if we don’t know what they are.
7. Honor commitments.
8. Practice blameless problem-solving.
9. Practice A+ness as a way of life.
10. Make healthy choices.
11. Work on yourself.
12. Be curious.
13. Embrace change and growth.
14. Be relentless about improvement.
15. Pay attention to the details.
Missing just one detail can have an enormous impact on a job. Be a fanatic about accuracy and precision. The goal is to get things right, not simply to get them done. Double-check your work. Get the details right the first time.
16. Check your ego at the door.
17. Listen generously.
18. Speak straight.
19. Look ahead and anticipate.
20. Be process-driven.
21. Be obsessive about organization.
22. “Bring it” every day.
23. Be a fanatic about response time.
24. Be mindful of appearance.
25. Deliver results.
26. Document everything.
27. Protect our clients' data.
28. Create a tone of friendliness and warmth.
29. Follow up everything.
30. Invest in relationships.
31. Keep things fun.
Andy Kuzneski is President of Kuzneski Insurance Group, and is also Founder and President of Greyhawk Capital, a provider of equity capital and advice to seed and early stage growth companies. He has served on numerous boards of directors of both publicly-traded and privately-held companies, and his committee work has included audit, executive compensation, governance, IT, and executive committees. He has served on many non-profits, and currently focuses his energy on the Los Angeles based International Myeloma Foundation, where he has been a board member since 2011.
Andy is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Management & Technology Program, simultaneously earning a finance degree from Wharton and a computer science degree from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
After graduation, he was a software developer for a Philadelphia-based startup, Reality Technologies/Online. He then formed his own startup, ArtWatch International, which grew to become one of the largest manufacturers of character watches in the U.S.A., with popular lines such as Dr. Seuss, The Simpsons, Rugrats, and Marvel Comics. Later in his career he co-founded FastFreight Express (FFX), a specialty trucking and logistics firm which he exited in 2018.
As a current or former member of 99 Tartans, Angel Capital Association, Life Science Angels, Inc. (LSA), Keiretsu Forum, BlueTree Allied Angels, Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association (PVCA), and TiE Pittsburgh, Andy not only enjoys looking for investment opportunities but acting as a connector of promising entrepreneurs and business ideas with sources of capital or industry thought leaders.
In his spare time (what little there is) you can find him biking or skiing with his family, enjoying great food & drink, attending Artificial Intelligence or Angel Investing conferences, and reading (and someday writing) science fiction.
Connect to Andy on LinkedIn and Twitter to learn more about him.
Director of Client Development
Laurie Kuzneski is Director of Client Development, and is the resident Culture Guru, funny girl, and often the voice of KIG. Laurie loves drinking wine, public speaking (preferably at the same time), talking about corporate culture, riding her bike, mentoring women-led companies (guy-led companies, too), and supporting many philanthropic endeavors.
Often referred to as Andy Kuzneski’s better half, Laurie is a proud alumna of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), and a member of the IUP Board of Trustees where she currently holds the seat of Treasurer.
Before joining the KIG team full-time in 2013, she started and ran her own business – Miss Laurie’s Gourmet Kitchen – out of her home, making and shipping a variety of peanut brittles (her nana’s recipe) all over the United States and the world. As Miss Laurie, she also shared her passion for food by teaching cooking classes to children and adults until she hung up her apron in 2018.
Today, Laurie also serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Mountains Care Network (PMCN), Indiana Regional Medical Center (IRMC), and Punxsutawney Area Hospital Boards of Directors. On top of that, she is on the board of the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce and is an Officer of the Chamber’s Executive Committee.
And on top of that, she is an advisor and mentor to startup companies throughout Western Pennsylvania, and can often be heard speaking about entrepreneurship, culture, insurance and HR for startups, and storytelling at Pitt, CMU, and incubators around the region. A long-time Angel Investor, Laurie is a member of The Next Act Fund, The Rising Tide Fund, and The Fem Tech Fund – all of which invest in women-led/founded companies and women’s health care. Oh, and she’s also a mom of three.
Connect to Laurie on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to learn more about her.
Our past experiences can help shape your future.
10 or more Kuzneski family businesses and thousands of lessons learned .
"Our family started, ran, and sold many businesses over the years. Most turned out well. A few turned out great. And unfortunately, a few not so well. Throughout it all, we have learned many valuable lessons that we incorporate into how we do things "the next time." Sometimes the "pendulum swings too far in the other direction," an expression we use when we overreact to the first situation, and then we have to adjust again toward a less extreme approach, eventually getting it just right.
One of the ways we can help you is by sharing what we learned from our prior business experiences, with the hope that you won't make the same (sometimes dumb in hindsight) mistakes we made along the way.
Below is a brief history of many of the businesses we ran over the years, to give you a better sense of where we started as a family in 1914, and the journey we took to get to where we are today. If we could do it, so can you...but hopefully it won't take a 100 years like it did for us!"
- Andy Kuzneski, III
Kuzneski Family first and second generation: 1940's - 1980's
Andrew Kuzneski, Sr. was born in 1914, orphaned during the Spanish Influenza of 1918 at the age of 4, and was raised by an unrelated family in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh. Not a great start to our family story.
After driving a delivery truck for a few years, he started a potato brokerage in Pittsburgh, PA's Strip District during the 1940's (on the current site of Primanti Brothers parking lot). This led to a potato farming business owned and operated by him and his wife Virginia in Indiana County, PA in the 1950's through the early 1970's.
Farm work and potato eating built big, strong children, and all 5 sons of Andrew and Virginia got football scholarships that enabled them to attend college.
After graduating from Pitt in 1962, Andy Kuzneski, Jr. started his insurance career at Penn Mutual Life Insurance's Eckenrode Agency in downtown Pittsburgh. In 1966 he purchased the Pesarchick Agency in Blairsville, PA (a combined insurance/real estate/travel agency), relocated the insurance and real estate agencies to 19 North 6th Street in Indiana, PA, and renamed it Kuzneski Agency.
Eventually the other 4 Kuzneski brothers returned to Indiana, PA. Joe, Bill and Tony joined Andy Jr. at Kuzneski Agency, while Chuck started an unrelated and successful printing company called Superior Printing Company.
Kuzneski Agency thrived during the 1970's and 1980's, and at one point was known by the name "The Performers," which led to a few (many), good-natured (border-line bullying) jokes aimed at the third generation Kuzneski children, who were in local K-12 schools at the time.
Berkshire Securities Corporation was started in 1976 to "invest in the securities of financial institutions." Essentially it was a small angel investor group composed of good friends investing in community banks in Pennsylvania. Andy Jr took over as its President soon after its founding, and it grew quickly during the 1980's during a wave of M&A activity involving community banks in Pennsylvania. He ran it until his death in 2007, when his son Andy III took on the role of President.
Kuzneski Family third generation: 1980's - Present
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989, Andy Kuzneski, III was a software developer for a Philadelphia-based startup, Reality Technologies/Online. Simultaneously, he and a friend formed their own startup, ArtWatch International, which grew to $10+ million in revenue and become one of the largest manufacturers of character watches in the U.S.A., with popular lines such as Dr. Seuss, The Simpsons, Rugrats, and Marvel Comics.
After successfully exiting ArtWatch International, Andy III moved back to Indiana, PA and joined Kuzneski Agency. He bought in as a Partner in 1997, bought out his dad Andy Jr in 2005, and his Uncle Tony in 2013.
In 1999, Andy III launched Greyhawk Capital, a provider of equity capital and advice to seed and early stage growth companies. Since its inception, he and his wife Laurie have provided equity capital and/or consulting services to 60+ early-stage companies.
In 2000, Laurie Kuzneski left her marketing role at First Commonwealth Bank/Insurance to be a stay-at-home mom - which lasted for about 20 minutes. In 2002, she announced that she was starting her own business and shortly after having her second child, Miss Laurie’s Gourmet Kitchen was born. Miss Laurie’s started with a family recipe for peanut brittle and transitioned into a cooking school for adults and kids that focused on healthy cooking and eating.
In 2006, Andy III co-founded FastFreight Express (FFX), a specialty trucking and logistics firm, and joined the board of directors. FFX grew to 50+ employees and trucks by the time it was acquired in a management-led buyout in 2017.
What our clients say about us:
Kuzneski Insurance Group is an awesome full-service insurance and HR consulting firm. They have been with our company from the beginning in 2009, guiding us through our insurance, benefits and HR needs. Through all of our ups and downs they have been kind, loyal and always provided the best care for our company. They are now my great friends and JazzHR's. I ❤️ them.
What is TRUE Network of Advisors?
Local presence with national scale.
TRUE is an exclusive nationwide group of independent benefit consulting firms. Our membership in TRUE enables Kuzneski Insurance Group and our clients to collaborate with the best minds in the industry to solve the most challenging problems we encounter. TRUE members maintain deep roots in the local community, but have access to all the tools, resources, technology and negotiating strength of a national organization - a win/win!
Member Firm Offices Coast to Coast
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