First earning a Bachelor of Business Administration, cum laude, from St. Joseph’s College in 2002, Kelly A. Maki, MBA, began her career in education as a college recruiter and assistant director of admissions at St. Joseph’s College that same year. During this time, she completed her Master of Business Administration, cum laude, from Indiana University Northwest, graduating in 2006. In 2007, she entered the insurance field as an insurance agent with the Auto Club Group in Chicago and spent three years with the company before becoming a consumer products specialist with Sentry Insurance from 2010 to 2012. Ms. Maki established her own firm, Maki Insurance Group, in 2013.
Maki Insurance Group was founded after Ms. Maki was laid off from her position with Sentry Insurance. Encouraged by her husband, she leveraged the extensive network of mortgage companies and lenders that she had developed over the years, as well as her background in education, to build her business from the ground up. Throughout her work as an insurance agent, she has always felt that she was more of an educator than a sales professional, noting that when you put in the work to educate your clients instead of just trying to sell them something, you build a more trusting relationship. This is also the approach that Ms. Maki takes to staff training at Maki Insurance Group.
Ms. Maki specializes in a wide range of insurance options, including home, auto, life and business insurance. In addition to her work as the owner, which includes policy management and networking, she continues to work as an insurance agent alongside her team. She makes mentoring her staff members a priority since not all of her staff have a background in insurance. With a team entirely made up of women professionals, for those who aren’t already licensed, she trains them from the ground up and works with them as they move through the process of achieving their insurance licenses. As she looks toward the future, Ms. Maki has made plans to expand her business and recently bought land that she hopes to use to build a new, bigger commercial business space for Maki Insurance Group.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, Ms. Maki contributes her expertise to a number of other civic and professional endeavors. In order to remain up to date with new developments in her field, she holds membership with both the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents and the Schererville Chamber of Commerce. On a more civic level, she has partnered with the Northwest Indiana Food Truck Alliance to establish Food Truck Wednesday, an event where the proceeds go to a different charity each week. She is also a regular donor to Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids and Girls on the Run and notably donated $500 worth of McDonald’s gift cards during the holidays to help families in need. During the height of the pandemic, Ms. Maki additionally paid off all the lunch balances at a local school at the end of the year.
Attributing much of her success to dedication, hard work and the support of the people around her, Ms. Maki has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades over the course of her career. Early on, she was presented with the Founder’s Award by Erie Insurance and placed second for the Best of the Region for an Insurance Agent in 2021. Placing first with Best of the Region for an Insurance Agent the following year, Ms. Maki was also nominated among the Most Influential Women of Northwest Indiana in 2022, something she considers to be her greatest professional achievement.