The history behind the railroads in Southern Oregon has strong ties to America’s past. But for one Medford businessman, it’s also deeply rooted in his American Dream launching in Jackson County next week.
Chris Patterson’s father spent forty years as a brakeman and a conductor for Southern Pacific Railroad, a transportation giant that first ran rails through the Beaver State more than 150 years ago. And now, just four miles down the track from the century-old Medford Southern Pacific Railroad Passenger Depot, the 57-year-old Talent resident will grow on that family legacy with the opening of his Brightway, The Patterson Family Agency insurance office Monday.
“When I was a young kid in Northern California, I thought about working in the railroad industry, too,” Patterson said. “But the tradition my family has is in service, in general. Dad, my sister, myself and now my son, Taylor, have served in the military. And today, we all are dedicated to our chosen fields.” Taylor works with the U.S. Air National Guard at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls. Patterson’s other son, Ryan, is training for his P&C (property and casualty) Insurance license so he can join Brightway, The Patterson Family Agency, as well. “Tradition is what it’s all about.”
And now, just over a century since the Southern Pacific railroad station first opened in Medford, Patterson has built his own business right at the center of it all. The new rails in Southern Oregon in the late 1800s gave the farmers in Pear Country the ability to market its fruit production to the entire West Coast. Making Medford a major shipping hub was a plan that changed the town forever, keeping its strong tradition of growing American business right on track.
Patterson helped first helped build on his family’s legacy by working in civil engineering roles at Eglin Air Force Base near Fort Walton Beach, Florida and Norton Air Force Base just east of Los Angeles, California from 1980-88. After 15 years of working with the State of California, Patterson and his family made the decision to head north in 2003. “My wife, Heidi, wanted to continue her education career in Oregon and that play a part in our decision.” Married for 23 years, Chris and Heidi have six children and four grandchildren.
Brightway, The Patterson 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. (PST) and Saturday/Sunday by appointment. Visit them at their office at 4451 Brownridge Terrace, Suite 205, in Medford, online at BrightwayPattersonFamily.com or call 541-702-1122.
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 Chris, 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 30 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.