Hometown Hero: Brad Winters

Winters Financial has brought faith into the marketplace for three generations, which is a remarkable feat. Brad Winters, grandson of the founder, is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, father and uncle. Brad is a commercial insurance agent who meets with business owners to discuss their risk management and insurance programs.

When describing his role, Brad says, “I am a third generation business person. I guess you could say that I have been involved in our family business basically since I was born. I do really enjoy being a part of a family business. Even from a very young age, I knew that this would be an option for me in my vocation, my career. I had some of these conversations through high school and college around what I wanted to do when I ‘grew up’. They all had to do with coming in to work for the agency.”

Even though Brad knew that the family business was an open door: not necessarily an expectation, but a hope from his family, he didn’t go straight into the business after college. He comments “one of the things that my uncle and my father never got the opportunity to do was ever work for someone else. They left college and came immediately to work for my grandfather. I made a decision that I was not going to do that. So I spent some time in 2008 working in the subprime mortgage lending market, which was a great, great time to be in subprime mortgage lending! It was a rough year and a half, let me tell you. Then another year in outside sales for a logistics company where I did business to business sales, which taught me a lot of skills for what I do today for our agency.”

Brad’s last adventure was working at a ski resort in Salt Lake City for a season. Even though he was needed at Winters Financial, his father and uncle understood his need to work at the ski resort. Brad says, “They offered a position to me. And I said yes, but there was something that I needed to do beforehand and that was spend a winter working out west, because I knew if I didn’t do it, I would regret it for the rest of my life. And they looked at me and said, you’re right, you should do it.”

Brad has now been working in his current role with Winters Financial for eleven years. He says, “Even growing up, when I was a kid, I always knew that Winters Financial Network was a business that had God at the center and was meant to lead others towards the example of Christ. While I understood in a very general sense that my family’s business was Christ centered, I didn’t really know what that meant until I came to work for the agency itself. When I began to come and work for my family day to day, I began to see how that manifested itself every day in how we treat our clients and how we treat our employees and how we treat the vendors that that we work with every day. And as I compared that, having the deep background of working for two pretty large companies and seeing how they treated those same stakeholders, it looked very different. When I came to work for my family’s business, I came to realize what so many of our clients, vendors and stakeholders realize is that there is something different about Winters Financial Network. Christ is at the center of our business and we ask Him to lead our decision making from a strategic standpoint all the way down to just everyday decisions.”

When asked to give an example, Brad says, “One of the great ways that I have been able to see God working has been through different issues that have arisen with our employees. We’ve had two different employees over the course of the last year and a half have very, very serious family medical issues. You know, life happens. As an employer, when life happens, I think there are two different directions you can go. You can go the way that I think most secular, non Christ centered businesses would go where they would they would require you to take PTO to go to doctor’s appointments, for example.”

He continues, “For them, it’s all about the KPI: the bottom line figures that you see at the end of the day. What I would like to think is a Christ centered business looks at those employees as humans who are going through a really, really difficult time. As much understanding and as much compassion and as much ability that we have to put ourselves in that employees’ shoes to be able to give grace to those employees around some different things that they need to take care of in their life or their family’s life, I think really goes a long, long ways to creating a culture that is sticky for employees. Especially in today’s day and age, where it seems like employees are willing to jump ship for a dollar more at the insurance agency across the street, creating a culture where an employee is valued beyond the bottom line numbers that they’re able to produce, to me, sets us apart and really drives home the point of how God manifests itself in everyday business.”