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Betty Vann: 40 years in business

John Willoughby

As she prepares to retire, lifelong Madison resident Betty Vann looks back on the past 40 years that Vann Insurance has served Madison County, and her role in bringing the company forward, toward success.

Vann grew up in Madison and graduated from Madison High School in 1964. Her start in insurance came as a senior in high school, when she began working part-time with Morrow Insurance, in Madison. She worked for the company until 1977, when she obtained her insurance license in 1977. She soon became employed with Williams Insurance Agency as a full-time agent and office manager until opening Vann Insurance in 1979.

Vann was one of few women who ran businesses in Madison County at the time, but the business prospered and remains open today, writing home, auto, motorcycle, boat, property and other types of insurance for seven to eight companies, including Progressive. Throughout her career Vann has worked as an agent and office manager, selling and writing insurance and completing a majority of the office work.

Vann is now part-time, as she prepares to transition into retirement within the next year. She states that a legal agreement stands now, but remains to go into effect, that will land the business in the hands of her colleague, Brooke Schaefer, whom Vann praises. "She kind of did what I did," Vann stated. "Learning the business as she goes."

From one business woman to another, Vann advises that the customer always comes first in a business like Vann Insurance. She states that, though some days are down, treating others kindly can always have a positive effect. "Treat them kind," said Vann. "They're giving you a living. If you do it right, it will come back."

Though Vann will be retired, she looks forward to watching Vann Insurance grow "as she [Brooke] grows." Vann is a mother of two, grandmother to five and great-grandmother to three.

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