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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Jan. 20, 2017) — Brightway Insurance, the nation’s seventh largest privately held Personal Lines insurance agency, named Chris Cole, Owner of Brightway, The Cole Agency, as its 2016 Agency Owner of the Year. Cole opened his first Brightway store in Palm Springs in 2010 and his second location in Boynton Beach in 2014.

The award recognizes the top-producing Agency Owner among the 134 offices in 12 states; production is measured in commissions and policies sold, and Cole’s Agency led in both categories. During the year, he and his 30-person team added another 4,645 policies, driving his agency’s commissions to nearly $2.4 million and annualized written premium to nearly $23 million by year-end 2016, making his the largest agency in the Brightway system. Brightway’s leadership team presented the award to Cole during the company’s annual Awards Celebration held Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Fla.

“Chris is not only a great example of how you can fulfill your dream of becoming a successful business owner as a franchise owner with Brightway Insurance. As a Multi-unit owner with a sizable staff, he demonstrates how you can realize phenomenal results in the Brightway model,” said Brightway Founder and Chairman, David Miller.

“Consumers shopping for insurance want more choice and expert counsel and as a Brightway Agency Owner, you and your team have the support of more than 220 insurance professionals so you can focus on the individual needs of your customers. Also, Brightway Agency Owners have access to more than twice as many insurance companies than other independent agencies do,” Miller added. 

Not only did Cole earn the top award of the night, but also he received awards for selling the most Home and Flood policies in 2016. A complete list of outstanding performers in 2016 who received awards at Brightway’s annual awards ceremony is provided below.

Agency Owner of the Year, Revenue

Chris Cole, Owner of Brightway, The Cole Agency (Palm Springs and Boynton Beach, Fla.)

Agency Owner of the Year, Units

Chris Cole, Owner of Brightway, The Cole Agency (Palm Springs and Boynton Beach, Fla.)

$2 Million Producers

Chris Huebener, Brightway, Ponte Vedra Beach (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)

Jason Elsner, Brightway, The Cole Agency (Boynton Beach, Fla.)

$1 Million Producers

Vincent Zanfini, Brightway, The Barletta Agency (Stuart, Fla.)

Jose Friman, Brightway, The Cole Agency (Palm Springs, Fla.)

Timothy Yarbrough, Brightway, Fernandina Beach (Fernandina Beach, Fla.)

Ben Barnes, Brightway, The Cole Agency (Palm Springs, Fla.)

New Agency Owner of the Year

Ben Rodriguez, Owner of Brightway, The Rodriguez Agency (New Orleans, La.)

Rookie of the Year

Kandie Landers, Owner of Brightway, The Landers Agency (Glendale, Colo.)

Mover and Shaker

Dimitri Apostle, Owner of Brightway, The Dimitri J. Apostle Agency (Charlotte, N.C.) and Brightway, The Kacprzyk-Apostle Agency (Rockford, Mich.)

Multi-Line Award

Billy Wagner, Owner of Brightway, Ponte Vedra Beach (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)

and Brightway, Deland (Deland, Fla.)

90-day Retention Award

Kevin Feuser, Owner of Brightway, Englewood(Englewood, Fla.)

Homes Sales Award

Chris Cole, Owner of Brightway, The Cole Agency (Palm Springs and Boynton Beach, Fla.)

Auto Sales Award

Ben Rodriguez, Owner of Brightway, The Rodriguez Agency (New Orleans, La.)

Flood Sales Award

Chris Cole, Owner of Brightway, The Cole Agency (Palm Springs and Boynton Beach, Fla.)

Commercial Sales Award

Billy Wagner, Owner of Brightway, Ponte Vedra Beach (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)and Brightway, Deland (Deland, Fla.)

Life Sales Award

Danny Sands, Co-Owner of Brightway, The Rhodes-Sands Agency (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Employees of the Year

Frezel DuRant II, Corporate Sales Agent, Brightway Home Office (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Kayla Marlow, Commercial Lines Customer Service Representative, Brightway Home Office (Jacksonville, Fla.)

“Congratulations to all of our award winners on their 2016 achievements,” said Brightway President, Talman Howard. “Brightway exists to help everyone associated with the business achieve their personal potential, and we’re thrilled to see our Agency Owners and Producers leverage the system.”

Brightway Agency Owners enjoy support from a team of insurance professionals in customer service, carrier relationships, marketing, accounting and technology, which frees up their time to focus on leveraging the broadest possible selection of insurance companies to meet each customer’s unique needs. As a result, Brightway agencies consistently outsell other agencies two to one.

About Brightway Insurance

Brightway Insurance is a national property/casualty insurance retailer selling through a network of franchised independent agencies throughout the country. With more than $437 million in annualized premium written, the company is the nation’s seventh largest privately held Personal Lines independent insurance agency.

Brightway began franchising operations in 2008 and has since grown to more than 700 people in 12 states serving customers in all 50 states. Forbes has recognized the company as America’s No. 1 Franchise to Buy. Additionally, the company was named a top franchise three years in a row by Entrepreneur magazine and one of the fastest-growing private companies in America nine consecutive years by Inc. 5000. People wishing to learn more about Agency Ownership with Brightway may visit BrightwayDifference.com and find us on Linkedin. Consumers seeking a better insurance buying experience may visit Brightway.com, and find us on Facebook.