Jerry Yaekel - Principal/President

Jerry began his insurance career in 1987 with United Life Insurance Company of America, quickly transitioning from sales to management. In 1991, Jerry joined Yaekel & Associates as a producer for both Personal and Commercial lines. Jerry manages the sales/marketing aspects of the agency as well as producing. He is a past Erie Insurance Commercial Task Force member. Jerry is a member of the Belleville Rotary Club and an officer of the Home Builders Association of Greater Southwest IL. Jerry has two children, Georgi and Luke, and lives in Freeburg with his companion, Dori.

Licensed in Property/Casualty and Life/Health


Jill YaekelPrincipal/Vice President

Jill has been in the insurance industry since joining Yaekel & Associates in January, 1994, where she manages the daily operations, oversees large Commercial Accounts, and handles all accounting functions. Jill earned a B.S. – Accounting from Southern IL University-Edwardsville in 1988 and an M.B.A. in 2005 from Lindenwood University – Belleville. From 1988-1994, she was the Cost Accountant/Inventory Manager at a Belleville manufacturer. She serves on the Erie Insurance Marketing Task Force, the board of IIA of IL Agent’s Insurance Services, is Secretary of the St Clair County West Rotary Club and is a 2006 Graduate of the Leadership Belleville Program. Jill lives in Belleville with her companion, Mike, and Labrador, Mia.

Licensed in Property/Casualty and Life/Health.


Jeff BiermannProducer, Trucking

Jeff Biermann has been with Yaekel & Associates since 2004, when he started their Truck/Transportation department. He has worked in the commercial insurance industry for nearly the past twenty years. Jeff is responsible for developing new clientele, servicing existing clients and monitoring industry trends for new products and competitive coverage. In 2015, Jeff was named Midwest Truckers Association “Outstanding Member of the Year”.

Licensed in Property/Casualty and Life/Health.


Brent PieperProducer, Employee Benefits, Health

A graduate of Truman State University, Brent’s career began with General American Life, handling special employer risks such as Phillips Petroleum, Anhueser-Busch and McDonnell Douglas. He held positions with two G.A. subsidiaries designing health care software systems. Following General American, Brent was CFO for an engineering and software firm and a Bankruptcy court- appointed CFO for several Transportation & Warehouse companies. Returning to the insurance industry, he joined Yaekel & Associates in 2005 as an Employee Benefits consultant. Brent sits on a local hospital Patient Advisory Board and the United Way of Greater St Louis (IL Division) Board.

Licensed in Property/Casualty and Life/Health.


Kaye Tuttle – Account Manager, Personal Lines

Kaye has been in the insurance industry since 1997 in Fargo, ND. She joined Yaekel & Associates in 2005, specializing in personal insurance. Kaye has an Associates degree in Sales, Marketing and Management.

In 2012, she was elected to represent Illinois at the Erie Insurance Elite Customer Service Representative Forum. Kaye grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota. She moved to the Belleville area in 2004 and lives locally with her two sons.

Licensed in Property/Casualty and Life/Health.


Peggy StrongSmall Account Manager, Commercial Lines

Peggy has been in the insurance business since 1982, both in the brokerage and agency side, with emphasis on commercial. She came to Yaekel & Associates in 2006 as a Commercial CSR. Peggy is a local native, living in Belleville most of her life. Recently married to her long-time companion Brian, together they have four boys, two grand children and two “four- legged children”.

Licensed in Property /Casualty.


Kevin BensonProducer, Commercial Lines

Kevin began his insurance career when joining Yaekel & Associates in 2007. He works with clients both personally and professionally on asset protection. Kevin is very active in Business Network International and the Home Builders Association of Greater Southwest IL. He lives in Maryville with his wife Susie and three sons; Cole, Jack and Grant.

Licensed in Property/Casualty and Life/Health.


Lori Pirson – Account Manager, Personal Lines

Lori has worked in Personal insurance since 1991, joining Yaekel & Associates in 2007. Lori is a Belleville native, spending 6 years in Arizona before moving back to Belleville in 1997. She lives with her husband of 34 years, Michael. They have one daughter and grandson who are currently stationed with their son-in-law at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA.

Licensed in Property/Casualty.


Bryan DoddProducer, Commercial Lines

After graduating from Western Illinois University, Bryan taught school for 2 years. He left teaching to enter the sales field, working for a debit insurance company, Rockford Life, for almost 3 years. Afterwards, he entered the commercial insurance field with Federated Insurance, where he worked for 30 years before retiring in 2009. In 2012 he joined Yaekel & Associates part-time in the Commercial team. Bryan currently lives in O’Fallon, Illinois, with his wife, Patti. They enjoy traveling, motorcycling, Cardinal baseball, music of all types, dining out, and spending time with his 2 sons, and 4 grandchildren.

Licensed in Property/Casualty and Life/Health.


Sharon Castillo, CISR, CIC – Large Account Manager, Commercial Lines

Sharon began her insurance career in 2000. She has been with Yaekel & Associates since 2013. She earned her Certified Insurance Counselor designation, CIC, in 2009. Sharon has been married 5 years to her husband, Jason, and they have a 2 year old son, Cayden. She enjoys spending time with her family, playing volleyball and boating in her free time.

Licensed in Property/Casualty and Life/Health.


Jim Lynch – Producer, Commercial Lines

Jim earned a B.S. in Business from Eastern Illinois University in 1979 and began his insurance career in March, 1983, with Federated Mutual Insurance. He retired from Federated in November, 2013 after 30 years of service, and joined Yaekel & Associates in January of 2014. Jim focuses on commercial property and casualty. He lives in O’Fallon Illinois with his wife Kathy and his hobbies include hunting, fishing, and golf.

Licensed in Property/Casualty and Life/Health.


Diane Betz, CISR - Small Account Manager, Commercial Lines

Diane joined the commercial team at Yaekel & Associates in 2015 with 18 years experience in the commercial insurance industry. In 2005 she earned the Certified Insurance Services Representative designation. Diane grew up in the Belleville area and now resides in Swansea. She has 2 children, Michael and Kristen (married to Jake). She has a Jack Russell / Lab dog named Jack, 2 cats named Rufus & Bacardi and enjoys spending time with family and friends at her cabin on the Meramec River in Missouri.

Licensed in Property/Casualty

Sharon Ellsworth – Customer Service Representative, Employee Benefits/Life

Sharon joined Yaekel & Associates in September 2016. Sharon began her insurance career in 1999 and earned her CISR and CIC designations while gaining experience through various positions in both agencies and companies. She transitioned to the banking industry in 2012 where she continued to enhance her life insurance knowledge. She recently moved to Mascoutah, IL from the Peoria area with her husband Keith.

Licensed in Life/Health