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Employee Spotlight: Sean Spencer

Employee Spotlight: Sean Spencer

How would you describe your role at K&N?

My job is to understand my clients’ business and their needs and use that knowledge to mitigate their risks.

What inspired you to start a career in insurance?

I graduated from the University of Hawaii in ’93 with a finance degree and initially was working in financial planning. At that time, cold calling was a huge part of the job, and I didn’t have a very thick skin. I hated hearing “no” over and over again. So I quit and spent six months surfing, not doing much of anything.

My college roommates were all working in insurance on the claims and risk management side, and told me to apply. I started working with them, and that’s how I got into the industry – first with claims and risk management. That background and understanding definitely help me to be proactive with my clients.

Sean Spencer with his family

What’s going on in the construction industry in Hawaii right now?

There’s a lot of luxury towers being built and private renovations going on in Hawaii’s commercial space. With interest rates so low right now, it’s easy to get financing so people are comfortable spending money.

The construction industry here has been lucky – it was deemed essential during COVID-19, so it never really slowed down. A few sites here and there would shut down due to an outbreak, but as a whole, things didn’t stop. More so, with tourism shut down, many hotels decided to do major renovations. You can’t really increase the number of rooms available in Hawaii, but if you upgrade them, you can command a higher price.

It’s hard to say what 2022 will bring, but we’re hoping that this boom will continue into the first quarter of 2023.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

When I’m not working on any DIY home renovations, I’m usually at the beach body surfing or surfing with my wife. All of my kids grew up surfing here. I used to go every week, but now that I’m busy and the beaches get so crowded, I manage to get out maybe three times a month.

We also do a lot of hiking; there’s so many beautiful hikes in Hawaii.

What is the most valuable advice you ever received? 

Be curious about what our clients do – when you walk their job sites, ask questions, and do what you can to learn about their business and their goals. It’ll be a huge asset to you down the line.

Tell me about your family?

My wife Melissa and I have four kids. Our two oldest kids, Britany and Logan, both work in the tech industry in San Francisco. My daughter Morgan also lives in San Francisco and is an accountant. My youngest, Ethan, is 17 and a senior in high school.

Sean Spencer with his family

Do you volunteer with any organizations or charities?

I sit on the board of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, which supports Native Hawaiian-owned businesses by providing educational classes, facilitating important connections, and offering other resources to help these businesses flourish. It’s a part of the larger Chamber of Commerce Hawaii.

We talk a lot about the K&N difference. How do you make a difference?

I try to present myself to my clients as a consultant for their business, rather than just their insurance guy. Most of the time when I’m getting client calls, we’re talking about their general business concerns, not their specific policies. They ask my opinion on different things, and I really enjoy being a part of their circle or a sounding board.

What is your greatest indulgence?

I really like watches, so I have a collection. I also collect silver and gold coins.


Where are you from? Waimanalo Beach, HI

Favorite vacation spot? Tokyo, Japan

Favorite college football team? University of Hawaii and University of Alabama

Honolulu favorites? Sunrise at Kailua Beach

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