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Bryant Young, 25
Account Executive at Insurors of the Ozarks
What would you do if you could go back and re-live your mid-20s as a single professional? You could do worse than to use Bryant Young as your role model.
Insurors of the Ozarks is an independent agency started by Young’s father and grandfather, with Young joining the fold a couple of years ago after he graduated from the University of Arkansas. Young will admit his love for the insurance business stems from his loves of meeting people and of talking. “There was a minute there where I wanted to go to law school, but the courtroom isn’t always about the conversation,” Young says. “In sales I get to talk to people all day, and I love that.”
Apparently, the only thing Young likes more than talking (besides maybe his dog, Faye) is giving back. He is social co-chair and serves on the Rock’n Ribs committee for Rotaract of Springfield. He is also a young ambassador for Ozarks Counseling Center, coordinating a Tour de Springfield scavenger hunt that raised $4,000 as a first-time event. Finally, Young is a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a role he loves in part because he gets to be a kid again, too. “Give me a chance to give back to Springfield by hanging out with a cool kid, and I’ll do it all day,” he says.
Occupation: Account Executive, Insurors of the Ozarks
Bachelor of science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas
Major: Marketing (Emphasis: Sales Management)
Minor: Finance (Emphasis: Insurance and Real Estate)
1. How did you end up at your current job/profession?
Studying sales management and insurance in college, I found my transition into the insurance industry a natural one. I spent my last semester of college finishing my degree and selling insurance full time for State Farm as a licensed personal lines agent. After graduation, I stayed on with State Farm in Fayetteville, Arkansas for a year and a half. In 2012, after some changes to our family business, my father offered me the opportunity to come work with Insurors of the Ozarks.
2. Where do you find passion to do what you do?
For my career, my passion comes from a look back at the previous generations of my family. I want to continue our tradition of running a locally owned and operated family business, serving the Ozarks for more than three decades. In my community involvement, I want make an impact on the community that I grew up in. Springfield and its people have given so much to me; I want to return the favor in every way I can.
3. Tell us about your family.
I do not have a wife, any kids, or a girlfriend yet. I do have a Boxer/Lab/Heinz57 mix adopted dog, Faye. She’s named after my second favorite town and the home of my alma mater, Fayetteville, Arkansas. I spend my time keeping her from chewing on my shoes!
4. What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
I enjoy playing golf with my father and friends, although some would probably consider that work! I also love to cook, especially barbecuing. I developed a love for barbecue while cooking for Rotaract’s Rock’n Ribs team. Lastly, I like getting involved in my community, doing DIY projects around my house, and spending time with friends.
5. Are you involved in any charitable organizations? (If so, what are they, and what is your role? Why is it important to you?)
I’ve gotten myself involved with several organizations here in 417-land. As I explained earlier, I want to give back to give back to community that has given so much to me over the years. I co-chair both the Social and Rock’n Ribs Committees in the Springfield Rotaract Club. I also serve on the Ambassadors Board for the Ozarks Counseling Center, the group that organized the Tour de Springfield scavenger hunt fundraiser. I have been a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks for over a year; my Little, Korei, is the coolest 10-year-old you will ever meet.
6. Are you a member of any professional organizations? (If so, what are they, and what is your role?)
I am a member of the Partners in Prosperity BNI Chapter. Our agency is a member of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA). I am also currently seeking my Certified Insurance Counselor designation.
7. How would you define the secret to success?
I think the secret to success is being driven and genuine. Driven people are motivated by a sense of purpose, knowing their goals and striving to meet them. Genuine people are easily recognizable. They don’t pull any punches, are extremely trustworthy, and are interested in success through being themselves. All of those traits lend themselves to success of the individual and those around them.
8. What's your favorite thing about your career?
Anyone that has spent more than 60 seconds with me knows, I love to talk and I love to help people. My job allows me to do both things. I get the opportunity to help families and business owners protect themselves from the biggest risks they face every day. I do this by advising my clients on the best insurance program for their individual situations.
9. What's your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
Being a fifth-generation Greene County resident, I am most fond of the people. This is a very cohesive community full of people that genuinely care about the area and those around them. Additionally, I work less than a mile from my favorite Springfield-style Chinese place, runner-up for the Best Cashew Chicken (per 417 Magazine’s 2013 “Best Of 417”), Hong Kong Inn.
10. If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
“Don’t quit working out when you graduate. The fraternity house you’re going to live in has a cook that only cooks with lard, white bread, and red meat.” Okay maybe not. But seriously, I would tell me to “stay the course.” I’ve been very satisfied with my life after high school, the ups and the downs.
11. What was your “dream job” at age 5?
At 5 years old, I don’t think I had a specific dream job. I was an incredibly imaginative kid, so I’m sure I wanted to be a Lego Master Builder, or something along those lines.
12. List three traits that define a successful career:
As I mentioned above, I think the traits that define a success are being driven and genuine. I think the only additional trait that will help a successful person achieve a successful career is having a solid support system. When a group of people striving to meet the same goal are working together in a workplace, success should follow soon thereafter.
13. Why are you a 20 under 30?
I was surprised when I found myself on this list; some great friends honored me with nominations. My determination to succeed in my career and to make an impact on my hometown allowed me to be selected.
14. What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
I am very excited to continue our success within 417-land by helping local business owners and families protect some of the things that matter most. With the constant changes in our industry, our team is dedicated to doing everything to make sure our current, and future, clients are getting the most coverage for the best premium.
15. What completed project are you most proud of?
I must say I am most proud of our work on the 2013 Tour de Springfield scavenger hunt fundraiser for the Ozark Counseling Center. Being the inaugural event, we were very happy to raise more than $4,000 for the OCC. Teams spent a fun Saturday evening exploring downtown Springfield while attempting to complete a list of unusual tasks, such as convincing a Scotch & Soda bartender to let a team member borrow his super-plaid, skinny tie for a picture or “Tebowing” on a bar. Everyone had a blast, and we raised money for a good cause. Plans are already in the works to run the Tour de Springfield again in 2014, with a new location and new list of tasks, to benefit the same important organization.
Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:
Family, my dog, and sweet and spicy barbecue sauce make life worth living.
A day at work wouldn't be complete without a big cup of coffee and the dedicated staff at Insurors of the Ozarks.
Ten years from now, I hope I'm married with a couple Bryant Jr.’s running around.
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would buy my father out of Insurors of the Ozarks, allowing my parents to retire.
The best part about being a 20 under 30 is the fact that I was even nominated for an honor such as this.