In 2009, Brian Bradley made the decision to leave the nonprofit world and began working for a captive insurer. Seven years later, he founded Covenant Insurance Services in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Founder and Co-Owner
Covenant Insurance Services
The challenges of life as both a father and working in the community with a nonprofit presented Bradley with a dilemma. He loved giving back to the community, working with people and making a difference, “but if you can't take care of yourself, obviously something had to break," Bradley says.
In 2009, Bradley made the decision to leave the nonprofit world and began working for a captive insurer. Seven years later, Bradley founded Covenant Insurance Services with Stan Gatchenko, his co-worker and “work wife."
Today, along with his duties as an independent agent, Bradley remains very active in his church, his community and particularly in the foster care and adoption community. He and his wife are currently the proud parents of 8 children.
Moving From the Nonprofit Arena to Insurance?
It was like looking over the edge and trying to see what this looks like on the other side. I knew what grant work was like, being involved in my church and going to a small college where I volunteered, but crossing that threshold into the for-profit world—it was pretty scary.
Your Approach to Service?
We provide a more advisory service to our clients. We’re more solutions-based and less like the old adage, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” We’re not just running around hitting things, hoping it fits. It’s more about talking your clients through the pros and cons and advising them on what questions they should ask.
Where Do You Hope to See Yourself in 10 Years?
I currently still do some of the sales in our agency, and I think it’s probably fair to hope that in 10 years I won’t be doing that. It would be good to feel like more of my time is spent building the agency from a strategy standpoint and less spent doing the day-to-day work.
Biggest Challenges Your Agency Faces?
The insurance space has changed a lot since I've been in the industry. I believe it's going to continue to change, not just with technology but with customer expectations. That may be part of what is the most difficult piece—keeping up with that.
Involvement with the Big 'I'?
I was the chair of Big I Nebraska and just rotated out. I've also been involved in various capacities with the Young Agents of Nebraska (NExtgen). I'm currently a member of the board of directors, which is a new role for me, but I have had some experience with leadership here.
How Do You Keep Up to Speed with Everything?
There is no magic bullet. The Big 'I' provides a lot for its members. By being on the board of the Big I Nebraska state association, I may be a little more plugged in than some other members but there isn't just one easy solution.
I think some of it also has to do with where you're located, your geography and your client base. Some of it is knowing your people, knowing who your magnet is attracting and some of that is knowing what people need. Some of the work is just being honest and maybe keeping your finger on the pulse and not just taking it for granted that you just always know.
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.