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For 50-year-old Gwinnett County business pro Francis Rodriguez, Metro Atlanta wasn’t on her radar when it came to her career. However, a family vacation from their Venezuelan hometown in 2020 ended up landing the insurance ace in Lawrenceville where she will be opening her own business next week.
COVID restrictions kept Rodriguez from returning home from a trip to Argentina three years ago. Stuck in a Cuban airport along her route, she learned she couldn’t return to her South American hometown. But, her family was able to go to Atlanta where one of her sons already resided. Next week, an unplanned move across the globe turns into an American Dream come true.
With more than half of a century of insurance industry experience combined, Rodriguez, her husband, Mario and her son, Julio, will open Brightway, The Safe Territory Agency insurance office Monday. The Sugar Hill entrepreneur has been an insurance agent for more than three decades in Venezuela, and now the United States.
Fifteen years ago, her son moved from South America to the states to work as a mechanical engineer. It just so happened that it was that same year (2008) that the controversial former President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, expelled the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela from their country. “There was a lot of turmoil then. The economy was taking a huge hit and no one knew what to expect,” Rodriguez shared. “However, we had so many people moving to Venezuela to work in oil at that time that I was able to focus on those people who needed coverage. At a time when inflation was at an all-time high, I was able to find a way to grow.”
Already providing services nationwide at the time, Rodriguez opened her first of two insurance businesses in 1990. Her husband, Mario, and son, Julio, have sold insurance for 20 and five years, respectively. The parents of four children, the family chalks up their new venture to simply being in the right place at the right time.
“As a little girl in Venezuela, I would sell ice cream to help my mom,” Rodriguez said in regard to the tropical temperatures in her South American hometown. Finding ways to help others, while using her decades of experience in insurance, led to the launch of the new Brightway agency. Rodriguez currently holds a bachelor’s degree and certification in business administration and technical insurance administration from the Universidad de Venezuela.
Brightway, The Safe Territory Agency offers customized Home, Flood, Auto, Boat, Condo, Renters, Personal Articles, RV, Motorcycle, Umbrella, Commercial and Life insurance policies from numerous insurance companies. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EDT) and Saturday/Sunday by appointment. Visit them at their office at 1585 Old Norcross Road, Suite 204-B in Lawrenceville, online at BrightwaySafeTerritory.com or call 470-906-0040.
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 Francis, 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 37 states and more than $1 billion 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.