Life along the Gulf of Mexico for one Treasure Coast businessman has truly played out like a movie script. The son of parents who made a career working hand-in-hand with the shrimping industry in Bayou La Batre, Alabama has now set the stage for his own major production in Navarre next week.
Although his name is not “Forrest Gump,” Pensacola’s Eric Sewell is a “smart man” who will draw the curtains on his own adventure when he opens the doors to Brightway, The Eric Sewell Agency insurance office in Santa Rosa County this Monday.
While the 51-year-old business owner has spent the last decade working in a very active insurance industry along the Gulf, his roots have been deeply planted in one of the region’s major revenue sources for more than 150 years.
“My first job taught me to knit nets used on shrimping boats,” Sewell recalled. “Turtles and other wildlife would tear holes in the nets after being cast out into the gulf to pull in shrimp.” From learning how to ice down shrimp and deliver them to those placing orders up and down the coastline, it was hard work at a young age that helped carve out his career in the panhandle. Bayou La Batre is home to dozens of commercial fishing and seafood processing plants.
From shrimping to restaurant management, Sewell spent the better part of two decades in the restaurant industry. “However, working the hours of a restaurant manager can be very taxing on young parents and their children,” Sewell added.
“With a young son to spend time with at home, I needed another option. It would be my work serving the community that eventually led me to insurance.”
What started with the darning of fishing nets has led to an American Dream of business ownership here at home for Sewell.
In quoting Forrest Gump, I guess “Momma” was right when it comes to Sewell’s entrepreneurial path. “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.”
Today, Sewell resides in Pensacola, just a half-hour drive away from his Navarre storefront. Born and raised in Mobile, Sewell is a 1994 graduate of the Mobile, Alabama HBCU Bishop State College.
Brightway, The Eric Sewell Agency offers customized Home, Flood, Auto, Boat, Condo, Renters, Personal Articles, RV, Motorcycle, Umbrella, Commercial and Life insurance policies from numerous insurance companies. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and Saturday/Sunday by appointment. Visit them at their office at 7552 Navarre Parkway, Unit 25, Office 2 in Navarre, online at BrightwayEricSewell.com or call 850-634-0545.
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 Eric, 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 340 agencies in 35 states and more than $1 billion 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 agency owners 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.
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