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Stephen Cowherd and Lazaro Toledo expand Brightway’s presence on the First Coast

Oct 24, 2019

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**ORANGE PARK, FLA. —**Brightway Insurance is expanding its footprint in Northeast Florida. On Monday, Oct. 28, Agency Owner Stephen Cowherd, alongside Agency Principal Lazaro Toledo, will open the doors to Brightway, The Cowherd Agency.

“I’m thrilled to join a company that works hard for its franchisees,” said Cowherd. “We’re excited about the opportunities and the possibilities that lie ahead.”

Cowherd brings to Brightway several years of experience as a Mortgage Loan Originator for Absolute Home Mortgage. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama in Mobile and went on to earn his master’s degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee. Cowherd is a member of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce and the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors. In his spare time, he enjoys watching sports, reading and spending time with his family

“With Brightway’s back-end support, we’re able to offer expert counsel you won’t find with any other brand,” added Toledo. “We’re so happy to be joining a company where we will be able to leverage a comprehensive system of support that will allow us to focus on bringing more customers in Clay County and surrounding communities an excellent insurance buying experience.”

Toledo joins Brightway after previously working for an Allstate agency that ranked among the top 1% of Allstate offices in the country. Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, Toledo has lived in Florida since the age of three. He earned an associate degree from Miami Dade College and his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University before going on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Louisiana Monroe. When he’s not working, Toledo enjoys listening to music, traveling, spending time with his dog and watching sports.

Toledo and Cowherd met in 2012 at Miami Dade College where Cowherd worked as head coach of the men’s basketball team and Toledo worked on staff. The two went on to work together during the 2016-2017 basketball season at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

They will be joined by Stephen’s wife, Rafaela Cowherd, who will act as an Agent. Prior to joining Brightway, Rafaela worked as a chemical engineer in Brazil. She is excited to be a licensed agent and looks forward to working with clients to help them with their insurance needs. When she’s not in the office, Rafaela enjoys spending time with Stephen and their 14-month-old son.

“It’s always a pleasure to welcome another Agency Owner to Brightway’s home state of Florida,” said Brightway President Talman Howard. “Stephen and Lazaro’s combined business acumen will make them a great fit in our system, and we’re confident they will bring excellent service to even more customers on the First Coast. They will have hundreds of insurance professionals behind them to help provide the best customer service experience possible.”

Brightway Agency Owners enjoy comprehensive business support including customer service, carrier relationships, marketing, accounting and technology. As a result of their focus on growing new business, Brightway agencies consistently outsell other insurance agencies two-to-one.*

Brightway, The Cowherd Agency is located at 104 College Drive in Suite 4 in Orange Park, Florida (in the College Place plaza across from Orange Park Preschool). The Agency offers customized Home, Condo, Renters, Auto, Flood, Boat, RV, Motorcycle and Umbrella insurance policies from numerous insurance brands including Allied, Amelia Underwriters, Appalachian Underwriters, Burns and Wilcox, Foremost, Hagerty, Olympus, Progressive, Safeco, Universal and more. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EDT).

About Brightway Insurance
Brightway Insurance is a national property/casualty insurance distribution company with more than $625 million in annualized written premium, making it one of the largest Personal Lines agencies in the U.S.

Brightway’s focus is on producing Win, Win, Win outcomes for consumers by offering customized insurance solutions and for people wishing to sell insurance by providing business opportunities that span from single Agent to multi-unit enterprises. Regardless of the path taken, Brightway provides the support necessary to consistently outsell other insurance agents.

Brightway got its start in 2008 and has since grown to more than 900 people in 198 offices across 21 states serving customers in all 50 states.