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Making his first claim to fame as a student in the Big Easy, 53-year-old Wilson Smith has always had a heart for doing business. This Monday, this native son of Louisiana will wear his on his sleeve as he launches Brightway, The Smith Family Agency insurance office in Tangipahoa Parish.
Smith first made headlines as a high school student at New Orleans’ De La Salle High School in the 1980’s, putting his early passion for medicine on display. “It was one of those science fairs that schools hold each year. Well, I was all about medicine at a younger age and managed to arrange to have an actual human heart as part of my exhibition,” Smith recalled. “One of the New Orleans’ newspapers had a photo of me with my exhibit. I wanted to be a doctor and care about people. Well, things changed over the years. But, I still get to look out for people.”
Four decades later, the 1992 University of Mississippi alum will continue to provide specialized care to his neighbors when he opens the doors to his new agency on Pine Street in Ponchatoula. Just a 45-minute drive around Lake Ponchatrain takes you to where Smith’s father managed a bank and his mother worked in real estate in New Orleans.
“Makes sense that I’d be in a field like insurance,” Smith added. “I’ve also been in the mortgage business myself for more than 30 years, too. I guess my parents really played a role in my future.” The career-long associate with Power Mortgage is also licensed to close mortgages in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
This new addition to the Ponchatoula business scene is a true reflection of ‘America’s Antique City.’ “No matter where you look here, everything just has a way of showcasing those who came before us and what is yet to come,” Smith said. “Just glad to have the opportunity to put this passion to work where my heart has always been.”
Smith and his wife, Michelle, reside in Destrehan in St. Charles Parish. The couple raised their three daughters in LaPlace before moving from St. John the Baptist Parish six years ago.
Brightway, The Smith Family Agency offers customized Home, Flood, Auto, Boat, Condo, Renters, Personal Articles, RV, Motorcycle, Umbrella, and Life insurance policies from numerous insurance companies. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST) and Saturday/Sunday by appointment. Visit them at their office at 122 W. Pine Street, Suite G in Ponchatoula, online at BrightwaySmithFamily.com or call 985-322-1177.
Brightway’s corporate office staff provides expertise and support in areas including customer service, technology, accounting, marketing, distribution and business analytics. In addition, Brightway handles carrier relations and appointments, as well as support with personnel hiring, licensing, onboarding, training and retention. The company’s signature after-the-sale service empowers Agency Owners, like Wilson, to focus on new business sales and provide customers the personalized service they deserve.
About Brightway Insurance
Established in 2008, Brightway grew to become one of the largest privately-owned property/casualty insurance distribution companies in the U.S. with more than 300 franchises in 34 states and over $900 million in annual premiums. Recently, Brightway’s success led to a private equity investment that has infused the company with financial and human capital, and data and analytics access, to accelerate growth and deliver new and exciting market opportunities.
Brightway produces winning outcomes for franchisees and their customers by offering access to customized coverage solutions from a range of insurers paired with full back office and marketing support. This winning model allows agents and producers to focus on addressing the needs of their customers to become trusted advisors and grow their businesses.