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Raised in a family of successful international entrepreneurs, Sergio Torres has watched thriving businesses grow with his own eyes. However, for the 31-year-old Santa Clarita man who is launching Brightway, The Torres Agency insurance office next week, it’s not just about dollars and cents. It’s about a family who has paid a price. From their freedom to their very own lives, Torres’ family knows the true cost of success.
Torres’ new Brightway franchise opening Monday is a long way from where he was just two decades ago. The new Southern California business owner is more than 3,000 miles away from where his family fled in 2006. A teenage boy at the time, Torres and his family were among the thousands fleeing the Central American nation of El Salvador. More than 200,000 Salvadorans flee their homes each year in fear of violence and crime. More than six million people still live within the borders of El Salvador.
“My grandparents owned and operated a chain of grocery stores there. However, with the success they enjoyed came tragedy, as well,” Torres said. “Being associated with a successful business, my grandmother was taken hostage for ransom when I was just nine years old.” Torres’ grandmother would become one of the unthinkable statistics that take place all too regularly in the small nation ravaged by a civil war that has raged on for decades. Kidnappers eventually took his grandmother’s life. Just a few months later, his grandfather would pass away, as well. “He truly died of a broken heart. When we later moved to the states, it was to give our family hope for the future. It changed us forever.”
As his father still owns a plastics manufacturer back in El Salvador, Torres has had opportunities to join the family business. However, after his childhood in Central America, he felt a calling to help others in distress. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from California Lutheran University, Torres would find himself across the country serving and protecting a Midwest town. “I was attracted to the crime shows on television. I wanted to be an FBI agent,” Torres said of his time with the Bloomington (MN) Police Department. “However, after a few years on the force, I really had the desire to go into business back home and build on the family legacy.”
Like more than 43 percent of Californians, Torres is bilingual. His passion to run his own business and directly serve the Hispanic community in Northern Los Angeles County helped give birth to this new venture.
“I’ve had opportunities to return to El Salvador and run a business,” Torres said. “But this American dream is something my family hoped for when it came to the kids. And with so many moving here from Central and South America, I am excited to find ways to directly help protect them and their families.”
Torres is just beginning a family of his own with the recent engagement to his fiancé, Karly. They are expecting their daughter, Sofia Grace, in February.
Brightway, The Torres 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 25350 Magic Mountain Parkway, Suite 365, in Valencia, online at BrightwayTorres.com or call 661-406-2426.
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 Sergio, 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.