For John Starling, watching team members grow to their potential is the most gratifying aspect of business life.

“We pride ourselves in taking the time to continually refine job positions and responsibilities to maximize individuals’ strengths,” said Starling, a Pine Bluff native who graduated from the University of Arkansas and its law school. A 23-year veteran in business and a specialist in health insurance, Starling said the decision to bring technology in-house six years ago had the biggest impact on his firm, JTS Financial. “We have learned the pitfalls awaiting other brokers,” he said. “We know that any benefit administration system can look pretty, but they are only as good as the team building it.”

"We know the system is useless without working EDI connections," said Starling. "Along that vein, we are also the only broker/technology company that doesn’t have to test anymore with Arkansas Blue Cross. This is a true testament to our technology team and this decision.”

Starling, who has two children with his wife, Vicky, says his late father was the mentor who had the biggest impact on his life. “He taught me how to be a man with integrity.”

What is something that you are most proud of that people wouldn’t think of?
I was born and raised in Arkansas. JTS is an Arkansas-based and owned company. We are the largest (by employee size) employee benefits broker in the state of Arkansas. JTS has strategically flown under the radar as we have developed and implemented services that other brokers in Arkansas don’t offer in-house. This means our clients and their employees are dealing directly with a JTS employee for all of their employee benefit and HR needs.

The feedback we have received from our clients about this personal and specialized service has been extremely positive. Just 6 years ago we had 15 employees; we recognized that there were services our clients were needing. Instead of outsourcing or selling out to a larger national broker, we invested in JTS and hired the most talented employees to develop and implement these services. We now employ 75 employees in Arkansas with another 35 in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

What separates JTS from the other brokers / insurance agencies?
We are an in-house, single-source solution for all aspects of employee benefits. We have two salaried former practicing employment and labor attorneys in house for HR consulting. We have an in-house technology company to build and maintain HRIS systems. We have a HCR company to manage all aspects of the ACA compliance, including, but not limited to, filing of the 1095 and 1094 with our TCC code and compliance team.

We own a health TPA. We are an enrollment firm with salaried benefit counselors. We own a billing reconciliation software company. In summary, we are able to provide comprehensive services to our valued clients without the need of outsourcing anything.

What makes your customer service outstanding?
We have a very experienced and dedicated team of customer service specialists at JTS. In many cases our customer service team members are the same benefit counselors that enroll our clients’ employees in their benefits.

This educates our customer service team in the custom benefits package developed for our client. Our technology platforms allows us to further streamline our customer service experience.

Mini Quiz

Neighborhood: Heights
Favorite app: The Hustle – actually an e-newsletter
Favorite food: Cheese dip    
Go-to lunch spot: Taziki’s
Two things you like to do outside the office: Spending time with my family and hunting
Last good read: Living with a SEAL: "31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet" by Jesse Itzler
Favorite genre of music: Anything but heavy metal

415 N McKinley, Suite 305 | Little Rock | 501. 227.0194

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