BEING THE OWNER OF A BUSINESS IS A lot like being the quarterback on a football team. That’s how Doug Johnson, owner and CEO of Johnson Group, sees it. Johnson, our former Gator quarterback and seven-year NFL veteran, played for the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals.’
Johnson & Fletcher Insurance, established in 1976, has grown to be a prominent and respected insurance agency in Gainesville for over four decades. Doug joined the team in 2009 after retiring from the NFL in 2008 with the ultimate goal of purchasing the agency and starting his new chapter in life as a business owner. This was ultimately realized in 2013 and coincidently his name was already on the sign. The business has now changed locations, and has adopted a new name, Johnson Group, which formally kicks off the company’s expanded services of offering more than just insurance.
“I had been kicking around the name change for a while,” Johnson said. “I wanted to implement our new name once we relocated in our new location.”
“When Johnson bought the company in May of 2013, he enlisted the help of Hanan Nemeth, who is now the Chief Operating Officer for Johnson Group. Nemeth knew business, and she knew how to stand out.
“I told him he should put a component in to help businesses,” Nemeth said. “So, businesses that don’t have full time Human Resources employees or a robust HR department could have enough experience to handle all the many factors.”
Nemeth then became the COO for Johnson Group, and she manages the HR, Compliance and Talent Management consultation services the group provides. She said the new name and location helped the company promote its multi-faceted resources.
“People had primarily associated it with insurance,” Nemeth said. “When Doug and I sat down to talk about it, Doug said he wanted the agency to be a full-service boutique.”
Johnson Group provides commercial and individual insurance, risk management solutions, Group Benefits, in-house payroll and in-house HR consulting. Everything a business would need in these areas are provided under one roof at Johnson Group.
“When we talk about HR, we are not talking about a hotline,” Johnson said. “We tailor our services to fit the client’s needs and this can range from weekly visits to annual audits and everything in-between.”
The onsite HR component allows Johnson Group to train employees in their HR role, perform HR audits or fulfill a business’s entire HR needs. The all-in-one concept of Johnson Group is nothing new, and the services have always been available since 2013. However, the relocation and name change opened an opportunity to rebrand and promote the original intent for the business.
Johnson Group provides HR consulting for businesses that may not have been able to afford the cost of hiring its own HR representative, as well as high-level consulting for businesses with already established HR departments. With 25 years of HR and executive level experience, the in-house aspect significantly cuts costs, which is very attractive for companies.
“We’ve evolved from the idea of what I was trying to capture, and we have really evolved into trying to do it well,” Johnson said.
“It’s not a one- size-fits-all for every company. We are more of a hands-on boutique agency that tailors our products and services to work together for our clients.”
Johnson’s experience as a quarterback allows him to take a strategic approach to business. He can see things early on that a teammate may not see at the time. All of the services provided by Johnson Group are relatively new to Gainesville. “Having more value-adds to offer clients than just insurance is important and sets us apart.”
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all for every company,” Johnson said. “We are more of a hands-on boutique agency that tailors our products and services to work together for our clients.”
By doing so, there’s a huge cost advantage for businesses seeking complete consultation for all risk management, Group Benefits and HR needs under
one roof. Everything is provided under one house, and it allows Johnson Group to streamline profits for their clients. Johnson is the quarterback of Johnson Group. He works to get business owners headed in the right direction while coming up with cost effective ways to mitigate risk.
“In my previous life, I was constantly getting into the huddle and trying to lead 10 other people to reach a common goal,” Johnson said. “And now I’m getting involved with other business owners to provide solutions that help them reach their goals.”
In addition to Johnson Group, Doug is an active member of the Gainesville community. In 2003, he started his own 501(c)(3) non-profit, Reeling for Kids, a saltwater fishing tournament and fundraiser benefitting Boys & Girls club that has raised over $1,000,000 over the past 15 years for the Club.
“My previous life was all about stepping into a huddle and leading,” Johnson said. “That’s been my personality. I now find it very rewarding being involved with business owners and strategizing ways to mitigate risk and streamline processes that ultimately increases profits, which is the ultimate goal.”