By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
A self-proclaimed lifelong “Belleville girl,” Jill Yaekel has spent the last 21 years building up business alongside her father and her brother in the family’s well-established insurance firm, with an eye on ownership one day. When her father retired in 2007, Yaekel and her brother, Jerry Jr., purchased the agency, and her dream was now her reality.
Yaekel is a graduate of Althoff Catholic High School, obtaining a bachelor of science degree in accounting in 1997 from nearby Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She completed her MBA at Lindenwood University’s Belleville campus in 2005. A graduate of the Belleville Leadership program, she is the St. Clair County Rotary Club’s secretary and a member of the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois.
“I believe women have always been the strong ones. In the business world, you must be confident in your abilities and tough enough to follow through,” said Yaekel. “It takes hard work, courage and determination. It isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.”
Yaekel & Associates Insurance Services, Inc. is an independent insurance agency, originally founded as The Niemeyer Agency in 1897. They offer personal and commercial policies, bonds, life insurance, employee benefits, individual health coverage and more.