Advisor works to create a ‘culture of care’ for clients

| August 14, 2014 | 0 Comments
8B Cleveland_web

Leading With Faith winner John Cleveland.

John Cleveland

How do you apply your faith and Catholic values at work?

The cornerstone of our business is working diligently to create a culture of care for our clients and our staff. We do this by keeping our clients’ best interests in mind in all that we do.

We strive to become a trusted adviser for our employer and employee clients. We treat our staff members with the highest degree of respect and consideration, and whenever possible help them grow in their careers. We provide well-paying jobs in a collaborative environment where each team member is valued for their strengths, gifts and hard work, as we work toward the goal of helping our clients in an enjoyable work environment.

The result is a very loyal clientele and an office staff that considers The Cleveland Company as a part of their extended family.

Please tell a story about a time when applying your faith at work really made a difference.

We routinely deal with complicated and expensive insurance contracts in settings that are prone to misunderstanding and ambiguity. Often, scenarios arise when an easy and least expensive action to a set of circumstances is to be silent, or to allow a misstatement to go uncorrected, probably never to be uncovered, and to our benefit.

We call these scenarios “ethics testers.” When an “ethics tester” incident arises, I have been known to call an impromptu meeting to explain the scenario and to discuss with the team the easy course versus what is the right thing to do. I ask what they think we should do.

Through our “ethics tester” meetings, our staff is more comfortable in bringing these issues to light early on so that we can deal with them in a manner that is most fair to the clients. Many problems are complex, and many times the ethical solution is not the easiest solution. However, the ethical solution is always the best solution.

Who or what has been most inspirational to you in bringing your faith to the marketplace?

A few years ago, my wife and I enrolled in the [Archbishop Harry J. Flynn] Catechetical Institute, which is a two-year study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Part of this study included the moral life of Christianity through the lens of the Ten Commandments, as well as the virtues. This study influenced me to be more mindful of my responsibility to my community by conducting my business affairs with the highest degree of diligence, honesty and prudence.

What achievement at work are you most proud of?

A recent achievement I am most proud of is our rapid response to the need for a health care exchange that could meet the needs of Minnesotans. After seeing the overwhelming need last fall for education, an easy online enrollment tool for the purchase of individual health coverage,, was born in a short six weeks.

With the successful rollout of, hundreds of Minnesotans have an easy-to-use website that helps them research, shop for and purchase individual health insurance quickly, easily and securely.

If they have questions, the website is supported by experts with 125-plus years of experience collectively. We have helped hundreds and continue to help individuals navigate the complex world of health insurance, so that they can find the best plan to suit their needs and the needs of their family members, and feel confident with their choice.

In what specific ways have you experienced God’s presence in your workplace?

I experience God’s presence in my workplace by the opening of new opportunities that we are drawn to where we can fill a much needed service to families in helping them find answers to questions and affordable health insurance and other financial products for their families.

Also, it is a gift to be able to lead an organization where all members can be fulfilled in knowing that they’re providing a valuable service to their community.


Age: 59

Company: The Cleveland Company

Title: Partner

Parish: St. Therese in Deephaven

Spouse: Kathy

Children: Sam, 34; Tony, 31; and Jenny, 29

Volunteer activities: Several boards, youth sports, pre-marriage preparation, Loaves and Fishe

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Category: Leading With Faith