Ensuring a Better Community.
POWERS® Insurance & Risk Management | St. Louis, Missouri
In 2021, POWERS Insurance & Risk Management celebrates its 30th year in business as a family-owned, multi-generation independent insurance agency. The business began when, due to an accident, Pierce Powers, Jr. was unable to follow his father’s medical career path. His father encouraged him to seek a business that could be perpetuated if one day he had children who were capable and interested.
That dream of a family business stuck with Pierce. Three of his six children are his partners at POWERS Insurance and sister company Valley Insurance Agency Alliance (VIAA).
Pierce’s daughter, Elizabeth Powers comments, “My dad had the foresight to leave a brokerage insurance and start his own independent insurance agency,” Elizabeth says, “I’m thankful every day he did and excited to be able to work with my dad. My two brothers feel the same way. It’s an honor to be partners contributing to the success of our companies and our wonderful associates.” Sons Henry Powers and JD Powers are invaluable partners in the business as well.
Besides beginning a family business, Pierce dreamed of impacting the community he loves. “We very much wanted to have our primary office location in St. Louis City,” Pierce shares. “Now, we have that.” With a fantastic office at the southwest gate to Forest Park, Pierce and his team have a spectacular vista of the Arch to the east, Forest Park to the north and Clayton to the west. So dynamic that Fox 2 KTVI/KPLR St. Louis has established a West Bureau on site and mounted rooftop cameras in order to share the views with the community.
Not everyone shared the Powers family vision of a location in the city. “When I went to my previous bank, we were excited about this building site,” Pierce remembers. “The bank was not.”
“We wanted to be in a prominent spot in the city to make the statement about our commitment to the region,” Pierce shares. Enter Commerce Bank. “Commerce Bank came along and said, ‘It’s a great spot and this is a great family.’ They took that risk, and the Commerce team was great. That’s how we started working with Commerce.”
As the Powers family worked toward their dreams, their business grew. “Valley Insurance Agency Alliance will be 15 years old in June,” Elizabeth says. “Now, we have 135 member agencies.”
For Pierce, VIAA brought his journey full circle. “It is not easy to start an independent agency,” Pierce notes. “Now, we enable others to start an independent agency and enhance their ability to grow.”
With many clients in the hospitality and restaurant business, the Powers family saw first-hand Commerce’s work through the COVID-19 pandemic. “Commerce has kept on top of the PPP loan process,” Pierce says. “We’re even getting those resources to our restaurant clientele.”
Over the years, POWERS Insurance and Commerce Bank have come together numerous times to support each other and the community. “We have a program that specializes in cyber security insurance that we developed early on with a simplified application process,” Elizabeth shares.
“We're always trying to be forward-thinking in educating businesses and individuals on their vulnerabilities, then figuring out a way to help them be secure,” Elizabeth notes. Because the Powers family values educating businesses and individuals on how to protect themselves, they wanted to bring this knowledge to the St. Louis community. And Commerce became an ideal partner for sharing this crucial information. POWERS hosted a cybersecurity seminar for Commerce Bank clients. The joint cyber security seminar was so well received, Commerce held a second seminar at their location.
The Powers family has also become a part of Commerce Bank as Elizabeth has joined the Commerce Bank Advisory Board. “Being part of the board has been a great experience,” Elizabeth says. “I look forward to meetings and the forward thinking in the Commerce culture. Commerce creates an ease of doing business with customers, whether it’s business or personal. They differentiate in all the things they do, and I learn a lot.”
“This is more than a banking relationship,” Pierce concludes. “It’s truly a warm and friendly human relationship. That’s the strongest part of the whole deal. It’s the heart.” Aligned with a focus on relationships and community, POWERS Insurance and Commerce Bank continue their relationship in this new age of expansion and growth.