Top Woman adviser inspires others with her strength in the face of tragedy
Three years ago, only two weeks after her son celebrated his twenty-second birthday, Jannette L’Heureux, a managing adviser with the firm Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners, got the call every parent is terrified to receive.
Her son had been killed in a gruesome highway accident while out riding his motorcycle not far from L’Heureux’s home. The strength she showed in the wake of this tragedy would inspire the people around her, and give her a new found respect for her company and business.
“Janette embodied our core values and demonstrated the amount of grit and resilience no one could even imagine,”says Elizabeth Krystyn, co-founder of BKS, who nominated L’Heureux. “The struggles and her success in working through it have been an inspiration for our entire community.”
L’Heureux wasn’t dreaming of becoming a benefits adviser when she was deciding on a career. Indeed, she felt she had a much different calling in law enforcement — she wanted to join the FBI and work as a forensic investigator.
But her father and uncle — who were both in law enforcement — didn’t think it would be the right career for her because it seemed less lucrative than other professions, L’Heureux says. So she was talked into earning a business degree. She may have begrudgingly agreed to walk down that road, but this 2019 Top Women in Benefit Advising winner hasn’t looked back.
L’Heureux leads the employee benefits group at BKS. She specializes in the protection of employees’ health and financial welfare by working closely with employers to create a robust benefit program that meets their culture, budget and at the same time is compliant.
“We make [clients’] lives simpler from an administrative standpoint,” L’Heureux says. “The sad thing is they didn’t even know that some of [our offerings] existed and that it could be this easy. They thought it had to be as difficult as it was.”
One experience L’Heureux says she’s particularly proud of was working with a nonprofit botanical garden. The organization was paying for benefit administration through their payroll vender, but they weren’t utilizing it.
“We encouraged them to deploy that piece that they were already paying for and we would help them set it up,” she says. “So we got them completely automated, we streamlined their benefits and got them compliant.”
When all was said and done L’Heureux and her team saved the botanical garden a significant amount of money, which the organization could then reinvest in its cause.
L’Heureux has a natural passion for helping people as evident by her community work and her desire to be a mentor to women new to the industry. She is currently mentoring a new protégé at her firm. While her career in the F.B.I was not meant to be, L’Heureux says she is having a positive impact on people’s lives in a way she hadn’t expected.
“Janette has made a career out of finding solutions for HR professionals regardless of whether that meant that she was going to benefit from it or not,” says Krystyn. “She’s an exceptionally giving professional.”