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Born and raised in Mandan, Ryan Schnell has no intentions of leaving. For him, it’s home.

“This is where I wanted to stay — I wasn’t really interested in moving somewhere else,” he said.

Outside of a few years at North Dakota State University and a junior college in Kansas where he played baseball, Schnell has anchored himself to the area with a bright future.

The Farmers Union Insurance agent from Bismarck receives no shortage of awards at the statewide meeting every May. In 2017, he was named FUMIC Producer of the Year. He’s also been Rookie of the year and has garnered a Summit Sales Honor Award from FUI for the third year in a row.

“Ryan has had a tremendous impact on the success of (his) agency and Farmers Union Insurance,” said Kevin Ressler, Chief Sales, Marketing and Brand Officer. “His service and dedication to his clients truly sets him apart from others in the industry.”

Schnell has an accounting degree with a Master’s in business from the University of Mary. He worked for a national insurance company before climbing aboard with Farmers Union.

“I knew I wanted to have my own agency,” Schnell said. “That was a big deal.”

However, Schnell said the experience he had gained in his short time in the insurance industry influenced where he wanted to work.

“Just the fact that (FUI) is a local company was important to me,” he said. “I liked the whole aspect of Farmers Union. It’s more of a family with Farmers Union. The home office being in North Dakota, the agents — it’s more of a tight-knit group, instead of working for a national corporation and you’re basically just a number to them.

“I landed with the right company for my personality.”

Schnell said he owes much of his success to customer service. Being friendly and timely is a big part of the business.

“Every person is different — you work with all types of customers,” Schnell said. “And getting back to people is one of the biggest things, too. Even if you can’t get it done right away, you need to at least make contact with them and tell them you got it and we’re working on it, so they know somebody got the message. We try to return a call that same day.”

Schnell said that philosophy applies to potential customers as well.

“For new business, it’s about getting quotes out to people,” he said. “The quicker I can get them out, the better chance I have of getting their business, because I don’t think they get that service a lot of places.

“Caring about your customers, instead of just trying to sell them something is important.”

A big outdoorsman, Schnell said he loves to fish and hunt, particularly bowhunting. He also enjoys softball and golf in his free time. Schnell resides in Bismarck with his wife Callie.

Whether it’s at work or play, success is what drives Schnell.

“Anything I do, I want to be the best at,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to be in sales. I make my own choices on how hard I want to work, and I’ll be rewarded (accordingly). It’s a great job if you have a good work ethic.”

— Chris Aarhus, NDFU