What truly differentiates J.S. Held is our people — world-class talent driven by a common set of core values. Together, these shared values inspire a culture of integrity, excellence, teamwork, and service.
For Jeremy G. Rose, his service in the Marine Corps gave him discipline, direction, and leadership skills. As a Sergeant, he served in a mechanized infantry unit in the Iraq War and engaged in disaster relief efforts. After his service, he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil engineering, both of which he puts into practice today as a builder’s risk expert.
Read more of Jeremy’s story below.
During my senior year in high school, I was on the more typical path to college – taking standardized tests and submitting applications. A phone call from the local Marine Corps recruiter in January 2003 changed all that.
Back then, high schools would provide military recruiters with the contact information of all the seniors. So, one day, unexpectedly, I got a call from the Marine Corps recruiter, and he asked, “Have you ever considered the Marines?” I had never actually considered joining the military before that call, but he convinced me to take a trip to the recruiting office to speak with him. Fast forward two weeks, my right hand was raised, and I was reciting the Oath of Enlistment.
I have family members that served in the military – my grandfather served in World War II in the Navy and my uncle and cousin both graduated from the Air Force Academy – but that’s not what drew me to the Marines. I liked the notion of challenging myself and overcoming something exceedingly difficult. I remember a fellow Marine once joking: “You don't find the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps finds you.” And no doubt, the Marine Corps found me.
After graduating high school and at the ripe old age of 18, I shipped off to San Diego for boot camp and my adventures began. In the early part of my enlistment, I was attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) out of Okinawa, Japan. While with the 31st MEU, I took part in rescue and relief missions following massive mudslides in the Philippines, including mobilization of heavy equipment, delivery of emergency supplies via helicopter, and disaster cleanup.
When I returned stateside in 2006, my unit was slotted for a combat tour in Iraq. And so, in 2007, I deployed to Iraq as a vehicle commander with the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. My tour in Iraq was difficult and unbelievably stressful, and I was glad when it ended. Shortly after returning, I was honorably discharged and went home to my family and friends a transformed individual.
After I was honorably discharged from the Marines, I decided that college was my best route to a better life. I was considering either mechanical engineering or civil engineering. My brother Robert is eight years older than me and had already established himself as a civil engineer. I was always close with him and looked up to him. Although I was torn between the two fields, I believed civil engineering made the most sense.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Once I graduated and began working, I decided to get my master’s degree in civil engineering as well. My career has covered a wide swath of the construction industry. I have worked in a variety of roles ranging from design engineering, to project manager with a general contractor, to the construction claims role that I currently hold at J.S. Held.
Five years ago, I stumbled upon the construction insurance world and realized this is what I want to do for the rest of my career. I like to be challenged and the forensic analysis involved in this line of work is a great fit for that. I’m able to help our clients resolve these large, sophisticated, complex losses by delivering the news – the truth – on the technical aspects of the matter.
I reflect daily on my Marine Corps service and what I went through as a young man, even though I’ve been out of the military for 16 years. I live my life by the Marine Corps core values of honor, courage, and commitment. Those values are reflected in my work at J.S. Held.
The Marine Corps holds itself to an extremely high standard, and that's been ingrained in me. You’ll hear that often from Marines. I hold myself to a very high standard and a very high ethical standard as well, which is very important for the work I do.
I often analyze the impact of natural disasters on projects. The rescue and relief missions I was part of in the Philippines help me to better understand the challenges individuals, communities, and construction projects face after a natural disaster.
Additionally, I was placed into a leadership role at such an early age and in such difficult circumstances. This taught me that leaders are not born, but rather develop over time and with experience. I strive to be a leader at work and in our industry and am fortunate to have many leaders at J.S. Held to emulate.
I am based in Chicago, Illinois. There are many different industries in the Midwest, which makes for an interesting mix of projects. But I don't only work regionally - I work across the entire U.S., and I have experience outside of the U.S., as well, including Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Guatemala.
I specialize in large, complex construction claims across several industries, including heavy civil, industrial and large residential developments. My field of expertise is referred to as forensic schedule analysis.
Prior to starting a construction project, the contractor will develop a construction schedule. The construction schedule details and organizes all the work that must be done. That way the owner and contractor can plan when things must happen throughout the project lifecycle.
When buildings or infrastructure are damaged during the course of construction, like from a hurricane or other natural disaster, insurance companies need an understanding of how these events impacted or delayed the construction schedule. Insurance companies retain a specialist like me to analyze the project schedules and advise on the situation.
Since most of my projects are large and complex, I would not necessarily be retained right after an event. Across all the practice lines here at J.S. Held, there are a number of experts who are retained right away and are on site within two or three days. I might not be brought on until they have a better understanding of what the claim is and what the impact of the loss might be.
When I first get on a project, I try to establish a relationship with both my client [usually the insurance company] as well as the insured. I work to build some level of trust with them.
Then, I'm requesting specific project documentation that will allow me to conduct my analysis. Once I’ve received and analyzed the project documentation, I will issue my findings in a report. I take pride in my reports. I take time to consider how to best present my findings in a way that is understandable for non-technical stakeholders.
I may work on 10 or so projects in a year and the vast majority of these matters settle amicably. In rare instances, the insured may file a lawsuit or file for arbitration but may settle even after that step. In the matters that do not settle, I will provide expert witness testimony.
My top priority is to provide reasonable, well-evidenced expert opinions. The people and companies we deal with have business relationships, and we want to help them maintain those business relationships. I never want anybody to feel as though they were treated unfairly, especially because I understand how difficult construction is and how hard those people work. I take that very seriously when I approach these engagements.
Most of the insured parties are owners, developers, or general contractors. Their business is building. They want to get back to managing construction projects, not insurance claims, and we want to facilitate that.
I am married with two kids and two tiny dogs. My life now revolves around the kids. My daughter is a toddler and I have a baby boy. I love being a husband and dad. It means a lot to me to be a dad. I sing the Marine Corps hymn at least two or three times a day to my children. Between my wife and the kids, work, and exercise, I don’t have time for much else these days. Being a parent is an awesome responsibility – very rewarding and very exhausting! Sleep is hard to come by in the Rose household these days.
Visit the Culture & Careers page on our website to learn more about J.S. Held, including our Military Hiring Program. There you can also find additional stories about team members from across the firm.