Business Q & A

August 1, 2013

5 questions with John Buselt

At 59, John Buselt is taking on a new career challenge.

At 59, John Buselt is taking on a new career challenge.

He has signed on with CIG Insurance to create a new safety and human resource consulting service for the commercial insurance brokerage at 9435 E. Central.

Less than a month into the job, the former director of safety for Via Christi Health is halfway through developing a preliminary business plan for the new service that he said will essentially be a business that stands on its own.

Barney Barnhard, CIG’s operations manager, said creating a safety and HR consulting practice was part of CIG’s business plan. It just needed to get to a certain size before that was something it could add in-house.

“And we found the right person,” Barnhard said of hiring Buselt.

Buselt spent 10 years at Via Christi. Before that he worked for a variety of companies — including Cessna Aircraft Co., Frito-Lay and Berry Cos. — in roles ranging from safety director to employment manager and trainer.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Emporia State University, a master’s in business from Wichita State University, and a master’s in public health administration from Wichita State and University of Kansas.

Q. How did you end up at CIG?

A. Kim Martens at Hite, Fanning & Honeyman said he had heard about the opportunity at CIG. I contacted Chock Chapple (CIG founder) and inquired (about the job). That’s kind of how it all started. Timing wise, it was just perfect for me.

Q. What sorts of things will the practice do?

A. As clients and organizations have needs to address, deficiencies or risks that they have, we can step in and help them. We can address those areas, be that safety compliance, lack of a policy, lack of a program. It’s going to be quite varied in terms of what we can do.

Q. What do you do to keep yourself interested in safety and HR?

A. I have taught and teach business and health care and human resources (classes) at local universities — KU School of Medicine, Webster University out at McConnell, Pittsburg State University. It keeps me current. It keeps me fresh. … The experience I mentioned and the teaching gives me the interest in wanting to do this.

Q. Any hesitation working for an insurance brokerage since you spent most of your career working for manufacturing and health care firms?

A. I like insurance. I thought I could plug myself into this kind of culture and be able to contribute pretty quickly.

Q. This new role means you’ll be wearing two different hats, that of a human resource expert and a safety expert. Are you nervous about that?

A. I think just having the breadth of experience I have, having seen a lot of things in several kinds of industries helps when you get to this point as an in-house resource. And I feel like if I don’t know something, I know where to go to get it.

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