Our History

Today, Northwest Group Services has offices across the country. We are among the top ten providers of multiple employee financial, health, benefits, and insurance products, proudly serving America's workforce, but our story of identifying the needs of and providing support to employers around the country began nearly 30 years ago in Toledo, Ohio.

In 1988, Phillip Roeder, Jeff Smelcer, and David Smelcer started the Colonial Life office in Toledo. Seeing the growing need for Voluntary Insurance in the Ohio business area, Philip Roeder and Jeff Smelcer formed a partnership to sell these products, which are the basis of most company benefits packages today.

Northwest Group Services was formed as a Third-Party Administrator in 1991, and in 1993, the leadership team formed Tri-State Benefits to market products offered by multiple insurance carriers.

By 1995, NWGS had a contract with its first Fortune 500 Company, and the Toledo office represented over 30 insurance producers. The company experienced continued growth and surpassed 100 million dollars in voluntary insurance lifetime sales in 2000. The company headquarters moved to its current location in Maumee, Ohio in 2003.

Over the next five years, we saw rapid growth as other groups partnered with NWGS, including Smelcer and Associates in 2008 and Peterson Financial in 2009, which brought NWGS to Pennsylvania, Southeast Ohio, and West Virginia. NWGS of New Mexico was formed in 2011 with Santa Fe Insurance. A Mid-Atlantic office opened in Washington D.C. in 2012, and in 2013, Mountain State Employee Benefits joined us to become the local NWGS office in Charleston, West Virginia.