Gayle McCann Named Overall Employee Benefit Adviser of Year by EBA Magazine

St. Paul, Minn. (August 31, 2016) – Employee Benefit Adviser Magazine recently named Gayle McCann, partner, president, and risk advisor at North Risk Partners – Johnson McCann Division insurance agency in St. Paul, The Employee Benefit Adviser of the Year 2016 (overall winner).  McCann was chosen for this national award by the editorial team at Employee Benefit Adviser Magazine after a month-long online nomination process.

McCann’s award was announced last week on Employee Benefit Adviser Magazine’s website. McCann will appear on the cover of the national magazine’s September edition and will receive her award in Nashville at the end of September. According to the online article: “In her [more than 30] years in the business, McCann believes that what employees want is based on the unique demographics of the company. ‘For the very first time we have employees from three different generations, if not more, because the employees are working longer and the younger ones are changing jobs more frequently,’ she observes. This makes serving these different demographics a challenge, to say the least.

Private marketplace becoming extremely popular

“What I have found [to be] really taking on steam is the private marketplace,” says McCann. “The employee who is different from their next door neighbor can take the proceeds of the defined contribution from their employer and purchase what they personally need and they personally believe in and no longer does the employer have to struggle with how to make everybody happy.”

Gayle and her husband Patrick McCann, who is also a healthcare insurance advisor, started Johnson McCann in 1984 and built the company to $3.7 million in revenue by 2011. In 2013, the McCann’s merged agencies with St. Cloud-based Apollo and Rochester-based C.O. Brown as divisions of North Risk Partners, the parent brand created as a result of the new partnership. Later on in 2014, North Risk Partners added a fourth division, Thune Insurance, located in Northwestern Minnesota.

The other divisions concentrate primarily on commercial property and casualty insurance and personal lines. Combining these businesses allows North Risk Partners to offer a full-service agency to its clients.

The agency has 160 employees statewide and $27 million in annual revenue. Gayle is president of North Risk Partners – Johnson McCann Division, the company’s large group healthcare benefits hub in St. Paul. The McCanns live in Dellwood, Minn., near White Bear Lake, Minn.

About Employee Benefit Adviser of the Year Award

According to Employee Benefit Adviser Magazine, being an outstanding broker means more than simply meeting client expectations about products and services.  It’s about growing the firm while simultaneously helping employers take their own businesses to the next level.  EBA’s 2016 Employee Benefit Advisers of the Year awards were given in five categories: Overall Winner, Retirement, Technology, Voluntary and Wellness.  Chosen by the magazine’s editorial team after a month-long online nomination process, the website says “these winners from across the United States epitomize a job done right”.

North Risk Partners is a top ten Minnesota independent insurance agency with 14 locations statewide, including Albany, Baudette, Hastings, Lake City, Mankato, Melrose, Monticello, Red Wing, Rochester, Roseau, St. Cloud, St. Paul, Thief River Falls, and Willmar. North Risk’s advisors deliver customized insurance solutions to businesses and individuals, and act as each client’s strategic partner for reducing risk. For more information, visit

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Media Contact: Kate Burnevik, Marketing Communications Manager – North Risk Partners
Phone: (651)486-2192 Email: