G. Janelle Frost has served as president and chief executive officer of AMERISAFE Inc. in DeRidder, Louisiana, since 2015. AMERISAFE Inc. is a specialty provider of workers’ compensation insurance focused on small to mid-sized employers engaged in hazardous industries, principally construction, trucking, and agriculture. AMERISAFE actively markets workers’ compensation insurance in 27 states. The company’s financial strength rating is “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company.
Other positions she has held with AMERISAFE Inc. include president and chief operating officer from 2013 to 2015, executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2008 to 2013, and various other positions from 1992 to 2008.
Ms. Frost is chair of the board of directors of the New Orleans Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and a member of the board of directors of AMERISAFE Inc. She is also a board member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Louisiana Gold Chapter.
She received a BS degree from McNeese State University in 1992 and is a 75th Anniversary Notable Alumna of McNeese State University and a Hall of Fame member of their College of Business. In 2016, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by McNeese State University.
Kudos aside, Ms. Frost’s most proud distinction is her family. She has been happily married to Bill Frost for 32 years. They have three daughters, one son-in-law, and five grand dogs. Thrive magazine caught up with this accomplished businesswoman and she shared her insights on career success, workers’ compensation, and the importance of faith and family.
Tell us about your early years.
I was born and raised in Oberlin, Louisiana, the only daughter of the four children of Leonard and Gerry Beaubouef. Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was to live in a small community that valued family and being a good neighbor. My parents knew that if I was in need, someone would help me. And if I was doing something I was not supposed to, my parents probably knew before I got home.
My parents taught me to keep my faith center in all things and that hard work bears fruit, both expected and unexpected. I’ll use my education as an example.
I worked hard as a student, and the result was graduating high school with a 4.0. The expectation was work hard, get “A’s”. The unexpected was work hard, build confidence. Both served me well. The “A’s” brought scholarships to pay for furthering my education, and the confidence, along with other blessings, led to a little girl from Oberlin becoming the CEO of a publicly traded company.
Describe the career path that led you to your current role.
I was an accounting major at McNeese and started at AMERISAFE with a freshly printed diploma in hand. Other than a summer intern job between semesters, AMERISAFE has been my career. AMERISAFE has been nothing but opportunity for me. I am so grateful for the leaders before me who not only created a tremendously successful company, but also created professional career opportunities in Southwest Louisiana.
I started as a staff accountant in 1992. As the accounting department grew along with the company, I served various roles with the finance area, eventually becoming Controller in 2004. In 2008, I was promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and that changed the trajectory of my career. As CFO, I worked alongside our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), meeting with potential and existing shareholders, telling the AMERISAFE story. Through that experience, I more fully understood the operations of AMERISAFE and grew in my appreciation for the services provided by the AMERISAFE employees. Opportunity continued to find me five years later, and I became Chief Operating Officer and President. In 2015, it was my great honor to become CEO.
How has your career at AMERISAFE benefitted you?
Family is a priority for me and AMERSIAFE, from the very beginning, allowed me to nurture and provide for my family and have a rewarding career. All three of my girls were born and raised in DeRidder during a time when my career was expanding. I am grateful for my supportive husband, and I am appreciative of the familial culture AMERISAFE promotes. The level of care my co-workers show to one another and those we serve is inspiring. I have met, worked with, and formed lasting friendships with some remarkable people through my career.
What do you want our readers to know about workers’ compensation insurance?
Workers’ compensation is a required insurance coverage for nearly all employers in order to provide for the medical needs and lost wages of employees when they are injured during the course and scope of their work. Workers’ compensation is state-regulated, and benefits vary by state. AMERISAFE actively markets in 27 states and is licensed in 47 states. We specialize in workers’ compensation for small to mid-sized employers that work in hazardous industries. Our policies protect small businesses in the event one of their employees is injured. Through our safety services, we work with employers to promote safe workplaces, and through our claim services we work with injured workers and their families to reach maximum medical improvement and when possible, return to work.
What do you do in your free time?
My family and my faith are my priorities. My children are now adults living in different cities, so Bill and I relish any visits we can have with them. I am also an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in DeRidder. In addition, I am a member of YPO-Gold which promotes lifelong learning for corporate leaders. As for personal hobbies, I am a reader. I love reading fiction and substitute in good business books if they come highly recommended by someone I respect. Last year, I read the entire bible and found a new curiosity for holy scripture.