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A Chesterfield County businesswoman with her eyes always on the stars is launching her latest mission in a galaxy not so far away. Ginny Schwank opens Brightway, The Ginny Schwank Agency insurance office in Chester Monday.
Opening her new Harrowgate Road location next week has the 54-year-old Chester native looking forward to putting her passions to work. “Working behind the scenes and helping my neighbors has always been my forte,” Schwank said.
Part of the long-time Greater Richmond real estate family, Harris and Associates, Schwank is known for playing several supporting roles through the years. “When I was a little girl, I dreamt of being an archeologist,” Schwank said. “Many years later, I began working in realty and management. That’s when I learned how important the insurance piece can be when buying a home. The new agency was a perfect way to help.”
Although her childhood dreams of becoming the next Indiana Jones never came true, she would find another way to serve with the help of another blockbuster from her childhood. “My husband and I are huge Star Wars fans. That passion allows me to help out behind the scenes,” Schwank said.
Ginny and her husband, Robert, are members of the 501st Garrison Tyranus and Rebel Legion. They are charitable organizations that find ways to give to those in need through their passion for designing costuming connected to the classic Star Wars movie saga.
From benefits for the Boys and Girls Club to the annual ASK Walks in Central Virginia, Schwank joins the members of both groups in dressing in the costuming of characters from the sci-fi series and making appearances throughout the year. “Finding ways to make children happy and support their families means so much to me,” Schwank added. “It’s great getting to do something I enjoy and knowing it will truly make someone else smile.”
Just 10 years old at the time, Ginny recalls her grandfather taking her and others in her family to see “Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope” when it was released in 1977. This past May marked the 45th anniversary of the historic premier.
Forty-five years and 12 Star Wars movies later, Ginny and her siblings still work in real estate at the family firm. However, her new Brightway agency was something she wanted to do on her own. “I wanted this for myself,” the 1986 Thomas Dale High School alum added. “This is a new day, a new beginning.”
Schwank will celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary this November. They have two children, Haley, 27, and Jacob, 21, as well as five-month-old grandson, Percy. “They are my driving force.”
Brightway, The Ginny Schwank 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. (EDT) and Saturday/Sunday by appointment. Visit them online at BrightwaySchwank.com, at their office at 16401 Harrowgate Road in Chester or call 804-554-3030.
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 Ginny, 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 over 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.