About Educational Concepts Unlimited, Inc.

Educational Concepts Unlimited, Inc. is an Illinois-based company, and a leader in providing continuing education courses for insurance professionals and other professionals including funeral directors, and those involved in banking and securities.  In addition, we offer insurance  pre-licensing and Series 6 & 63 continuing education classes. On-site training is available, tailored to meet the needs of an agency or company.

We have been providing pre-licensing training and continuing education classes to insurance professionals in many states for over 25 years. Our mission is to provide quality instruction, materials and study aids for those using our services. Our qualified staff will assist you with your needs for training at our location or yours. We can tailor the training to fit your needs.

Our Founders were insurance and educational professionals who understood the principles of insurance and sound training. From the beginning, we’ve provided pre-licensing education to insurance industry candidates, thus allowing them to meet Illinois state requirements.  In addition, we provide continuing education courses as well as classroom instruction.  Our most poplar classroom course is ethics.

Company History

In 1987, our company was started in Belleville, IL by Dr. Kenneth and Shirley Holmes. Our current office is located at 3301 West Main, Belleville, IL 62226.

tom 2010

Thomas H. Ripperda is our Training Director.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from SIUE, Edwardsville, Illinois.  Tom entered the insurance industry in 1971. His designations include Charter Life Underwriter (CLU), Charter Financial Consultant (ChFC) from the American College and the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation.   Today, Tom conducts continuing education seminars for various professionals around the country.  He authored books on Long Term Care, National Flood Insurance, Index Products, Life Insurance, Disability, Viatical Settlements, Annuity Suitability, Ethics and Affordable Care Act. Tom is a past president of NAIFA- East Side in Illinois and NAIFA-Sikeston in Missouri and is a past Member of the Board of Directors for  NAIFA-Illinois. His outside activities include Rotary where he has served as District 6510 Governor in 2012-13 and as Zone 31 Visioning Coordinator.


Our instructors average over 30 years in the industry.

Thomas Guebert came aboard in 2015 after serving his clients for over 35 years.  He is our primary instructor for Property & Casualty classes. Thomas has served as Past President of NAIFA-Eastside and as a member of the Board of Directors for NAIFA Illinois.  Tom currently serves on the NAIFA Illinois Budget Committee.

Shelley Romanik has been teaching Life Accident & Health pre-licensing classes for us since November 2016. She is a licensed producer in Life, Accident & Health Insurance.

Bruce Knopp conduct classroom ethics seminars throughout the State since 2010.  Bruce is the Past President of NAIFA-Illinois and currently serves as National Committeeman for NAIFA Illinois. He has over 40 years in the business.

Dennis Lingley joined us in 2011. Dennis is a 25-year veteran and teaches Property and Casualty Pre-Licensing.

Our Administrative Staff

Patricia Sturgis

Patricia Sturgis joined ECU in April 2016 as a Customer Service Representative. She was promoted to Office Manager in August 2017. To schedule on-site training, give her a call and she will be happy to assist you.

Seth Combs

Seth joined us in June 2016 as a welcomed addition to our office staff.   Seth can assist you with registrations for classes.  He can also assist you in meeting your C.E. requirements.

Karen Shackelford

Karen joined us in August 2017 as a Customer Service Representative. She is a licensed Producer in Life, Accident & Health and Property & Casualty. Karen can assist you with registrations for classes.  She can also assist you in meeting your C.E. requirements.



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