Education: Missouri State University, communications, 1997-2001
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 7 years
Do you have family? Pets? I have an amazing wife, Krystle, beautiful daughter Autumn and we have one cat and one dog.
Briefly describe your company: We offer insurance solutions for your business or personal life. We offer auto, home, life, business and farm insurance products.
How long have you worked there? I have been an agent with American Family just shy of nine years.
What word best describes you? Gregarious
Your biggest flaw? I can be a little disorganized.
Biggest pet peeve? Blatant dishonesty
Dream vacation? Greek island trip with my wife
Favorite book? Childhood: “The Outsiders” by SE Hinton. Recent: “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance
Favorite movie? “The Princess Bride”
Favorite musician? Justin Raffa
Favorite sports team? Kansas City Royals/Chiefs and Mizzou Tigers
Favorite website? The Athletic
Favorite Tri-City restaurant? Cedars Restaurant
Favorite thing to do in the Tri-Cities? Wine tasting with friends
What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? Being from Missouri, what most are surprised to learn is Missouri is not “The South”
If you could have dinner with one person (living or deceased) who would it be? Mark Twain and Michael Jordan
Describe your job: Prior to working in insurance I had a couple of different careers. First, I was in a customer service environment as a second level support manager at a call center. Then, I managed a building materials sales division. Both were with very large companies where corporate and economic changes caused large shifts in the industry. After those experiences, I decided that I wanted to be in business, for myself, where my team and I could develop long-term relationships with my clients. After researching many companies, I found American Family Insurance had the best program for starting, building and running my own business.
Mentors: Like many of us, my initial mentors were my parents. My dad was always measured (almost boring) with his decisions. He always reminded me there are always consequences with every choice. Some good, some bad. Some intentional, some unintentional. Be ready to deal with them all. My mom, on the other hand, is extremely outgoing, well networked and always smiling. Through both of them, I have been reminded to make thoughtful, wise choices while remembering to have fun, enjoy what you do but remember it is always about people.
Toughest career decision: Definitely the decision to move myself and my family to the Tri-Cities 1,600 miles away from home to start a business. We didn’t know a single person when we moved and I was starting a brand new “relationship-based” business. It was scary. Luckily, the Tri-Cities is a welcoming community. We were embraced immediately and taken in as if we were one of your own.
What do you like most/least about your job? Most: relationships. Building the relationships throughout the community with business partners, clients, cities and organizations has been, by far, the most enjoyable part of my job. We are trying to change the conversation of insurance to “protection.” We do this while there are multi-billion dollar ad campaigns telling folks to look at their “price” and not the coverage.
Least: In our business, we see what happens to families who are underinsured. The financial and emotional devastation it can bring to family is awful. Our job is to be the constant reminder of what can happen. Sometimes this means delivering that bad news is out there or asking the “what if” questions that we, as people, really don’t want to talk about.
First job: When I was in junior high, I was asked by a friend of mine to apply with him to a catering company, working events on the weekends. My first day was a luncheon at the university. Everything seem to be going well. Being young, a little immature and always looking for a laugh, a couple of us played a practical joke on a few other co-workers. No one was hurt or anything, but it was very frowned upon by my supervisor. I was fired after one day of work. I learned that in a work setting, you can have fun and enjoy yourself but you must always be professional.
Achieving work-life balance: When you build a business from scratch, everything is about the business. There were many weeks that I was working in the business from 6 to 7 a.m. to 8 to 9 p.m. Over the years, I learned about how to trust employees and building systems within the business to help ease the burden of my time. Ultimately, though, this is something that I don’t think I really achieved until our daughter was born. Now, I have become an expert in time blocking. When I go home, it’s “home time.”
Community involvement: I have been heavily involved in the community and it is a huge part of my life and business.
Association memberships: Pasco, Hispanic, Tri-City Regional and West Richland Chamber of Commerces; National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA.
Board/committee involvement: United Way Board of Directors, 2018; Pasco Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, 2015-18; Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council, 2012-14; NAIFA Tri-Cities Board president, 2015-18; NAIFA Washington State Board of Directors, 2015-18; Young Professionals of Tri-Cities Board: 2011-16; United Way Young Leaders Society, 2011-17; Habitat for Humanity Insurance House Committee, 2016; and Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame Committee 2015-18.
Financially support organizations through donations and sponsorships: United Way, Pasco High theater department, Pasco youth baseball, Chiawana High School athletics.
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