Alumni in 5

Justin Ruehs '00

Justin Ruehs '00

Interest Area(s)
Health Communication, Adv Public Relations

Employer
Liberty Mutual Insurance / Large Property Underwriting Consultant

1. Tell us about your journey since graduation.
I worked locally in the Grand Rapids insurance market for a little over a decade beginning and ending my time in Grand Rapids at Foremost Insurance (Farmers Insurance Group) with a wonderful 5-year stop at HUB International in the middle. Since moving to Chicago I transitioned to Large Commercial Property Underwriting and have been privileged to hold positions at Affiliated FM (FM Global), AIG, and now Liberty Mutual Insurance.

2. Share a favorite Grand Valley memory.
As a transfer student from Grand Rapids Community College and a commuter, I was so proud to have been elected to lead as the President of GVSU's chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

3. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
A quote attributed to Maggie Kuhn has been guiding me for many years, especially when I am aware I have a seat at the table and need to advocate for those who do not. "Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes"

4. List three words you would use to describe your Grand Valley experience.
Transforming Affirming Accessible

5. What difference would you like to make in the world?
In addition to being a mentor for younger professionals, and advocate for continuing education within the insurance industry as an avenue to open doors, I hope my greatest difference will be direct as a father to my triplets. I feel so lucky in the past 20 years to see how far LGBTQ+ rights and opportunities have come, to have the opportunity to get married to my husband. We now have three amazing children, but I also recognize that it is also my job to now to help advocate for the rights of underserved populations and to also be a visual representation in my community of what an LGBTQ+ family could look like as I have found my family is often the first gay family some people have come into personal contact with.

February 2021

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Page last modified February 23, 2021