Stephen McNeil of Petaluma’s Arrow Benefits Group wins an 11th annual Forty Under 40 award from North Bay Business Journal.
Responsibilities with your company: Oversee day-to-day operations, finance, and Shared Services (FSA, Dental, and COBRA department)
How do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty Under 40 professional?: I try and bring energy, fresh ideas, and innovation every day into an industry where these things have historically been deficient.
Years with company: Five
Length of time in current position: Less than a year
Number of employees who report to you: 13
Greatest professional accomplishment: Getting top marks from a client. It doesn’t matter how large or how small — it’s fulfilling and a reminder of why I do what I do.
Greatest professional challenge: Navigating our clients through a continually tumultuous time in American health care.
Best advice received: Just because you married the love of your life, doesn’t mean you should stop dating her.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Completing my Group Benefits Associate designation in 2016
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?: Our firm is working at great lengths to focus and contribute on the communities of the North Bay. In partnership with The Personnel Perspective, we’re rolling out a program called Culture Insights, aimed at helping companies become strong employers whose hiring practices, treatment of employees and environment all support a more positive and productive culture.
We have also rolled out what we call the Arrow Community Wellness Initiative, which focuses on the health and wellbeing of citizens of the North Bay through CPR training, AED deployment, and first aid. We believe that in building stronger employers, we can build a stronger community.”
Next professional goal: To earn my CEBS designation — one of the top designations in our industry.
Education: Petaluma High School and Pepperdine University (finished top 10 in my business class)
Mentor/admired businessperson: My father, Keith McNeil
Typical day at the office: Whether it’s meeting with team members or clients, each day is different but brings fulfillment in its own way.
Best place to work outside of your office: In a client meeting, consulting on what solutions are best to meet their objectives, or meeting with client employees, helping them make the most informed decision.
Hobbies: Completing and constructing crossword puzzles (I’m a hoot at parties), hiking and traveling to a place I have never been.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: Archaeologist
No. 1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: To transcend our family business to the next level, with a statewide presence.
First job: Videographer for Novato Parks, Recreation & Community Service
Favorite book: Any nonfiction featuring a time period I’m fascinated by. I'm currently reading “Age of Gold,” a book documenting the California Gold Rush.
Favorite movie: “Midnight in Paris”
Favorite after-work drink: Lagunitas IPA
Last vacation: Las Vegas, for a conference in self-funding
What does your mom or dad brag most about you?: “You are kind, positive, a good listener and have a great sense of humor,” said Mom.
Arrow Benefits Group
1 Willowbrook Ct #230, Petaluma 94954