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3,500 Hours of Volunteer Work and $2.36 Million in Safety Grants: Missouri Employers Mutual’s Community-Focused Mission

06-Jun 07, 2023

Over the course of its 30-year history, REDI investor Missouri Employers Mutual (MEM) has become a pillar in the community. According to Revee White, MEM’s Director of Marketing and Communications, “We’re proud of our culture, people, and success, and it is our mission to extend that success to the communities we call home. Each year, we are grateful for the opportunity to invest locally in organizations that create healthier, safer, and more confident communities.” The relationship isn’t only transactional; as an employer, MEM focuses on its role in Missouri beyond the services it offers. “MEM employees gave more than 3,500 hours to the community in 2022, impacting more than 125 organizations. In fact, 72% of MEM employees chose to volunteer their time last year. Immeasurable is the value our nonprofit partners gave to us as we learned more about their missions and community impacts.”

This focus on community members is clear in MEM’s Safety Grant program, which is intended to prioritize a “safety-first culture.” White said, “The Safety Grant program is a solution that helps our policyholders by offering a 1-to-1 match of up to $10,000 for MEM policyholders to invest in innovative safety solutions. All MEM policyholders are eligible for a safety grant, regardless of premium size or claims history. Policyholders are required to monitor any claims data and report on the success of the safety grant so MEM can help other businesses learn from their success.” This program has materialized in safer workplaces, as well as clear economic benefits for participating businesses: “Since introducing the program in 2016, MEM has funded $2.36 million in safety grants, impacting more than 10,000 employees. Data from the first five years of the program showed us the economic impact on businesses,” White said. “In the two years before receiving their grants, the 275 recipients experienced 339 claims totaling more than $8.5 million. Since implementing the safety equipment purchased with their grants, those recipients have only experienced 14 claims in the areas addressed by their grant equipment totaling only $49,000. That is a 96% reduction in claim counts and a 99% reduction in claims costs. This is a perfect example of MEM working with policyholders to send far more workers home safely!”

On May 9th, the Missouri legislature passed SB 101, which led to the privatization of MEM.  According to White, “MEM’s time connected to the state served a great purpose, but it was an antiquated model after 30 years. This change is in the best interests of all Missourians: lower rates, attract and retain more businesses to Missouri, and increased safety in more workplaces.” This change represents one of the reasons MEM has had such staying power: it is a business that has adapted to changes in the insurance industry to better serve all stakeholders.

The passage of this bill represents MEM’s focus on being a growth organization. White said, “‘Stagnant’ or ‘status quo’ isn’t a sign that organizations hang proudly. At MEM, our mission is to bring employees home safe and sound to their families every day. For MEM, growth allows us to bring our safety mission to far more employees’ lives and that’s our ultimate goal.”

For MEM President and CEO Jim Owen, seeing enthusiasm for workplace safety among the company’s staff is what has kept him excited about his job. “My time at MEM has been the most rewarding of my career because of our safety mission and focus on improving workplaces and communities. Seeing that shared passion from our employees energizes me every day.”

REDI is thankful for investors like MEM, which views itself as one node in a larger network of businesses and organizations. White said, “Supporting economic development activities not only promotes the health of our economy, it also generates more opportunities to increase our skilled workforce: and a skilled worker is far more likely to be a safer worker.”

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