08 Aug Honesty, Integrity, Trust: What It Means to Be a Family Business
August 8, 2018
Post by Byars|Wright
The history of Byars|Wright dates all the way back to 1946 when G.L Byars and Jean Byars started Byars Insurance Agency in the small town of Jasper, AL. With a business built on honesty, integrity and trust, G.L. would sell insurance door-to-door while his wife Jean ran the office, and even typed the policies to be delivered to customers.
After decades of building relationships and becoming a trusted partner to countless families and businesses in the area, the Byars Insurance Agency merged with their friendly competitors down the street, the Primm-Wright Agency in 1990. Later in 2014, Byars & Associates rebranded to the name we all know today – Byars|Wright, Inc. – where the company has now grown into three generations of two families.
“Being a third generation, I can sit here and look at the values my grandparents lived and worked by when they first started the business, and they’re still prevalent today,” said Andy Byars, Vice-President. “It’s a business that’s built off of trust and relationships, which will always be the heart of our business.”
Agency President, Haig Wright II, goes on to add, “We’re a close family, and there’s trust and loyalty ingrained in who we are. We’re families that want to build on that legacy and see one another succeed. There’s some satisfaction of seeing your son follow in your own footsteps. We began and still are a small town, family agency.”
Oliver Wright remembers how he discovered that the family business was the right path for him. “I’ve watched my dad work hard and relate to people, building relationships in our community for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I used to walk up the hill from Maddox after school and sit in his office. You could say I’ve known I wanted to be a part of our insurance business since then,” said Oliver Wright. “I’ve been in the industry a little more than three years now and am happy to say I have a career that I enjoy, not just a job. Working in our family business has given me an incredible opportunity to succeed in life. It is a blessing to get to work with friends and family every day. Our culture is what allows our agency to thrive.”
While we continually strive to build a cohesive culture, we’re not just a team at Byars|Wright, we’re a family.
Through this emphasis on family, we’re able to identify those that share the same values that are at the heart of our business. The success of any company is defined by the quality of the people who work there. Byars|Wright aims to find, and keep quality talent that holds the same core values.
“As our agency continues to grow, recruiting and developing young producers is of highest priority. But understand, it’s not all about professional development and growing a customer base. We get to watch these young people walk through all the different seasons of life – seasons of joy and also the tough stuff,” said John Byars, Vice-President. “Therefore, if our leaders don’t invest in their personal growth as much as their professional, we have failed them. You’ve got to love your people – know them, invest in them, encourage them, believe in them, and then we get to watch them do big things. That’s been our model for over 70 years. It’s how we win and it’s the real deal. It’s family.”
“What this agency means to me is difficult to put into words. We are as close to family as you can get. ByarsIWright has given me every opportunity in the world to succeed, not only in our industry but to succeed in life. In this day and age where agencies all across the United States are selling out to banks or global sized brokerage firms – it sets us apart knowing we are not going anywhere,” said Gabe Clement, Commercial Insurance & Bonding. “Since 1946, we’ve been an Agency built on relationships, and our core values and culture will never change. Our clients can feel that as well – they love the small town, local feel, but know at the end of the day, our programs, knowledge, and resources are second to none. I am truly blessed to wake up every single morning and it does not feel like I am going to my job.”
At the end of the day, the culture we create bleeds over into the customers we serve.
We truly believe that each of our clients feels the cohesiveness of our agency, and through this ability to relate with us, our customers know that we value relationships above all else. As they get to know more about our agency, they also trust that we have the knowledge to protect them and their business during even the worst of events.
“We’ve been able to blend that special combination of family environment and community with top-level resources and company lineup strength. Our world is changing so fast, especially our industry, so we are intentional about reinvesting in the company. Being proactive is essential. Whether it be hiring a new team member, providing ongoing training for our current team or improving technology, we are committed to providing our clients with an elite customer experience”, states John Byars, Vice-President. “We don’t always get it right, but we are committed to excellence and will never be content with lowering our standards. I can promise you that.”
Since the beginning, Byars|Wright has been an agency “Where Relationships Matter.” It’s our motto, and it drives everything we do. We strive to treat others the way we want to be treated, and this seeps into every relationship we build, whether it’s a customer, prospect, employee, or friend. Selling insurance is not our mission. It’s all about building and protecting relationships – that’s the mission. With every relationship, we seek to understand, we earn trust and then we deliver on our promises – no exceptions.
“Byars|Wright focuses on building relationships with everyone they come in contact with – both their staff and their clients. The agency does a great job of promoting a welcoming, family-oriented environment for all of their employees, as opposed to just being a place to work. The staff then naturally relays that same approach to our customers to make them feel a part of something greater than just a business transaction,” explains Mitchell Garnett, Director of Operations.
As an agency, we’ve found that being a family business not only benefits our company culture but our clients as well. Byars|Wright is a family business, and no matter how you look at it, it all goes back to relationships. We truly believe that when you’re family-oriented, your team tends to be family-focused as well, and these family values built on loyalty and trust are exactly what we want our clients to feel each and every time they do business with us.
Byars|Wright is a locally owned and operated independent insurance agency with five offices in the greater Birmingham area – including Jasper, Gardendale, Homewood, Alabaster, and Cullman – that has developed into a major provider of commercial and personal insurance. Since 1946, the agency has expanded its scope of business and delivers a wide-range of insurance products with quality coverage at competitive prices. Byars|Wright has been designated a Best Practices Agency by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and was also named “Best Companies to Work For in Alabama” by Business Alabama in 2016, 2017, 2018. 2019. We Build People, Protect Relationships. Byars|Wright is Where Relationships Matter.