March 27, 2018

Folks turn to Volk for employee benefits

Clair Volk, Volk and Associates • 2018 Boulder County Business Hall of Fame

As he ascended through the rigors and rewards of entrepreneurship, Clair Volk learned a lesson that has guided him ever since.

“To serve comes before anything else,” he said. “If I could help enough people get what they needed, eventually I would get what I needed.”

Interviewed by phone while lounging on the ocean-view deck of a vacation home on Maui, it’s obvious Volk is getting what he needs — and so are his clients and their employees.

Volk is owner and founder of Longmont-based Volk and Associates and Volk and Bell Benefits, doing business as Volk GBS and marking their 31st year.

He and his partners have built the companies into one of the largest employee benefits and human-resources companies in Northern Colorado. Last year, Volk and Associates was purchased by Levitt Group/GBS Benefits, and Volk still retains partial ownership as well as the title of partner/owner. With the acquisition, his company now is part of the 20th largest insurance sales organization in the United States.

Working in employee benefits wasn’t Volk’s original plan. With a degree in agriculture from North Dakota State University in Fargo, he worked for nine years at farm equipment manufacturer John Deere, “but I was looking for an opportunity to be in my own business,” he said. “I had an entrepreneurial streak.”

 

He opened his company in Longmont in 1987, and built a culture of serving others, both at work and in the community. His firms adopted the St. Vrain Greenway for monthly cleanup, provided Christmas for a family through The Pearl Group, supported various community golf tournaments and provided his staff with paid monthly volunteer hours. He and his companies have provided financial and labor support to Life Choices Pregnancy Center and OUR Center in Longmont.

Volk also serves on the board of Longmont United Hospital and the Elder Board at Lifebridge Christian Church.

“I believe in integrity, honesty and biblical principles as long as we’re on this journey,” Volk said, and backed up those words by founding Leadership By the Book, which provides encouragement, resources and leadership for business leaders to steer their ventures with a biblical perspective.

A member of the Longmont Chamber of Commerce for the past 28 years, Volk also has been a part of BizWest’s Pulse event panel. He recently launched a local chapter of Venture Academy, a 12-month business and entrepreneurship training program for business leaders that covers most of the topics one would find in a master’s in business administration program, at an affordable cost.

The company was one of the first in the region to offer a compliance officer and a human-resources outsourcing team working in-house, side-by-side with the benefits consultant.
In 2015 and 2016, BizWest recognized Volk and Bell as a Mercury 100 Fastest Growing Company in Colorado.

In his spare time, he said, Volk enjoys playing golf, traveling, snow skiing — and definitely relaxing on that deck on Maui.

View 2018 Boulder County Business Hall of Fame publication.

As he ascended through the rigors and rewards of entrepreneurship, Clair Volk learned a lesson that has guided him ever since.

“To serve comes before anything else,” he said. “If I could help enough people get what they needed, eventually I would get what I needed.”

Interviewed by phone while lounging on the ocean-view deck of a vacation home on Maui, it’s obvious Volk is getting what he needs — and so are his clients and their employees.

Volk is owner and founder of Longmont-based…

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