Age 38 | president, Miller, Fidler & Hinke Insurance Agency Inc.

When it comes right down to it, the insurance business is “awfully dull,” jokes Joey Hinke, who started his own insurance agency in 2009.

That’s why there are TVs on the wall throughout the office, available to watch if the workload is getting too stressful. And whenever the agency brings in a new client, everyone grabs a soft drink out of refrigerator and joins in the celebration.

“We try to perpetuate a happy work environment,” said Hinke, who now employs 15 people and hopes to double the agency’s size within the next five years. “I think we do a pretty good job of accomplishing it.” Hinke cut his teeth in the insurance business as an agent with Holmes Murphy & Associates Inc. before founding J.A. Hinke & Co. Inc. four years ago.

As an agent, Hinke enjoyed calling on small and medium-sized business owners. “Talking to them about how they got started was always a lot of fun and I thought, this is something I would like to do,” he said.

In 2011, he acquired an existing agency whose owners were retiring, which enabled him to significantly expand the business.

Creating a successful new agency is challenging, to say the least. “We operate at an incredible disadvantage,” Hinke said. “You could name a million different reasons you should buy your insurance from someone else. So we need to be more educated, more accurate, more efficient and faster.” The more hands-off he is in his management style, the harder his people seem to work, he said.

A native of Bellevue, Hinke met his wife, Angie, at the University of Northern Iowa; they’ve been married for 12 years and have three children.

“We do a lot of stuff together as a family, which I think is very important because it would be very easy for me to work 100 hours a week,” he said.


Five reasons he’s a 40:

• Launched a startup company and expanded it through an acquisition.

• Has grown his insurance agency to $1 million in annual revenues.

• Provides 100 percent company-paid health insurance to his employees.

• Assisted in connecting seven entrepreneurs with resources to launch their businesses.

• Active in a number of professional and charitable organizations, including the Young Professionals Connection, Emerging Leaders Initiative and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa.

Mentor: Dean Brooks, longtime Iowa insurance industry leader and 2007 Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame inductee

Fun fact: He has always wanted to learn how to break dance.


Presenting the 2013 winners:

Desmund Adams, Principal, AdamsDouglas
Lindsay Alderman, Client operations manager, LightEdge Solutions Inc.
Erica Axiotis, Director of development, Mercy Foundation
Kate Banasiak, President and CEO, Diversified Management Services Inc.
Erin Beamis, Senior vice president of logistics and operations, IronWorks
Jonathan Brendemuehl, Marketing events coordinator, Bankers Trust Co.
Curtis Brown, Economic development director, city of Ankeny
Matt Connolly, President, Generation Green Builders Co.
Lawrence Cunningham, Director of business development, Catchfire Media LLC
Angela Dethlefs-Trettin, Director of community investment and initiatives, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
Josh Fleming, Digital strategy director, Lessing-Flynn Advertising Co.
Felix Gallagher, Principal, PharmServ Solutions
Lori Gelhaar, Director of career services/ corporate relations, Kaplan University
Tina Gray Carstensen, Marketing coordinator, Shive-Hattery Inc.
Shane Greenleaf, Vice president/commercial banker, First American Bank
Danielle Haindfield, Shareholder attorney, Ahlers & Cooney P.C.
Emily Harris, Patent attorney and shareholder at Davis Brown Law Firm
Matthew Harris, Division administrator, Iowa Arts Council, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Angela Hilbert, Sales and marketing director, Deerfield Retirement Community
Joey Hinke, President, Miller, Fidler & Hinke Insurance Agency Inc.
Hannah Inman, Director of communications, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Keegan Kautzky, Director of national education programs, The World Food Prize Foundationn
John Lozier, Pediatric interventional cardiologist, Pediatric Cardiology P.C.
Dennis McDaniel, Police chief, Windsor Heights
Rachel McLean, Vice president/consultant, Ruan Cos
John Mickelson, Associate managing director, The PrivateBank & Trust Co.
Keith Olson, Commercial associate, NAI Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial Co.
Matt Ostanik, President, Submittal Exchange LLC
Benjamin Page, Director, Des Moines park and recreation
Dustin Peterson, Partner, McGladrey LLP
Nick Renkoski, Director of marketing and communications, Des Moines Metro Opera
Rachel Rowley, Partner, BrownWinick PLC
John Ruan IV, Vice president, financial institutions, Bankers Trust Co.
Jennifer Soma, Business lead, IDI Actuarial and Product Development Group, Principal Financial Group Inc.
Heather Starr, Real estate agent, RE/MAX Innovations
Aimee Staudt, Director of development, Knapp Properties Inc.
Courtney Strutt Todd, Shareholder attorney, Davis Brown Law Firm
Nikki Sylverson, Event Director, Des Moines Wine Festival Foundation
Howard Tempero, Experience design strategist, Spindustry Digital
Tony Timm, Executive director, Central Iowa Shelter & Services