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International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. The theme for 2023 is Embrace Equity, which Brightway proudly accomplishes by continuously supporting and recognizing our women agents.
Our agents shared some thoughts about what inspired them to open their own businesses and what it means to them to support their communities.
Sabrina Lee, owner of Brightway, The Lee Agency, recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with Brightway. She shared, “It has been fulfilling to be able to help my community by giving them the right coverage, offering various options and providing excellent service. I have never been so active in my community. It is amazing to connect with people and help them while growing my business.”
Andrea Dodson opened Brightway, The Andrea Dodson Agency nearly 4 months ago, and prides herself on being involved in her community in multiple ways, including as a realtor and serving on the local school board. “Being involved takes real effort every day,” she shared. “It comes down to doing what you can to help others. Doing business here requires being able to create real, trusting relationships. I’m proud to call our customers our family.”
Thy Phan, who opened Brightway, The Thy Phan Agency five years ago, is proud of her agency’s commitment to promoting inclusion and supporting important causes. She shared, “Reflecting on the past five years, we are most proud of all the philanthropic and educational efforts our agency has participated in and supported, including various AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) charities.”
Inspired by her father’s passion for serving his country, Ann Miller opened Brightway, The Ann Miller Agency in October 2022. “After serving in the Navy, my dad continued to serve as civilian support for Jacksonville NAS working in their wastewater division,” she shared. “He stayed on until he retired just a few years ago. My parents raised their family doing work they were passionate about in the neighborhood they loved. I really feel like this new business is a tribute to them.”
Jasmine Walker, who opened Brightway, The Walker Agency more than two years ago, stays inspired by believing in her abilities. “I hope to impact my community by setting an example that ‘If you believe, you can achieve,’” she shared. “Always believe in yourself, your skills and abilities to achieve your goals. Dare to take the leap of faith to create your own destiny and to aim high! I started my agency from scratch and it continues to grow today because of my strong work ethic and believing in myself. In this world, you must be your biggest fan!”
Ginny Schwank, who opened Brightway, The Ginny Schwank Agency in September 2022, has always been passionate about her community, supporting and participating in various efforts and charity work. Along with providing customized insurance solutions for her customers, she and her husband also participate in various efforts with the Boys and Girls Club and ASK Walks in Central Virginia. “Working behind the scenes and helping my neighbors has always been my forte,” she shared. “Finding ways to make children happy and support their families means so much to me. It’s great getting to do something I enjoy and knowing it will truly make someone else smile.”
As a first-generation Mexican-American, Leticia Marino strived to bridge a common business gap when she opened Brightway, The Marino Agency in September 2022. Due to language barriers and lack of available information, many small business owners in areas dominated by immigrants are dependent on the honesty of professional specialists like Leticia. “My mom and dad came to the U.S. hoping for a better life; for them, me and my siblings,” she shared. “They have always believed that doing good work and helping others would eventually lead to the right things happening. I believe in that, too. So, I’m going to do my part and strive to be a pillar of our community, like my parents.”
Michele Robicheaux celebrated the five-year anniversary of Brightway, The Michele Robicheaux Agency this past December. “We love our community and the people therein,” she shared. “The ‘people’ part is the BEST part of what we do. We are grateful for our partnerships, our clients, our neighbors and our friends. Cheers to many more years of growth!”
Kandie Landers, owner of Brightway, The Landers Agency since 2017, reflected on why she decided to open a franchise. “I became an agency owner with Brightway because it was a great opportunity to build a future for myself and my family,” she shared. “In insurance, you’re becoming a staple in your community with your referral partners and your clients, which allows you to give back while giving back to yourself, your future and the future of your staff.”
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If you’re interested in building your own business while supporting your community, complete this form to request more information about starting a Brightway agency.