For Barry Walker, the insurance business is deeply personal. He leads the agency his father started in 1974, J Barry Walker Insurance Group LLC. “My dad started this business as a second career when he retired from General Motors’ finance division. I was in college and didn’t really have an interest. It wasn’t until he had a heart attack that I stepped in to help. I began as a producer, Dad recovered, and we worked together for 10 more years. My son, Josh, now works with me and is carrying on the tradition.”
J Barry Walker Insurance Group recently became an Oakbridge partner. Located in Central Georgia, the agency has offices in Dublin and Milledgeville. “When Dad retired from GM, he bought a car dealership, then the gas crisis hit and the Pontiacs weren’t selling, so he switched to insurance,” Walker says with a chuckle. “He told me, ‘Don’t look at the amount of money you’ll make off an account, look at how you’re going to help the client; if you take care of other people then your livelihood will take care of itself.’ Of course, he was right and that’s how we’ve approached business all these years.”
As principal of the newest Oakbridge partner agency, Walker is excited to be able to expand coverage options for his clients. “We have an excellent book of agriculture business as well as personal and business lines and this will allow us to strengthen our offerings in other areas like employee benefits and risk management.” J Barry Walker’s location in Central Georgia expands Oakbridge’s footprint in that quickly growing part of the state.
But what’s most important for Walker is being able to better support his employees. “There are 10 of us. With this partnership, we’ll have access to employee benefits that we’ve not been able to offer before. My team will be taken care of.”
Barry Walker’s approach to protecting his business and his family mirrors the Oakbridge philosophy of caring for our neighbors and our colleagues. For over 100 years, we’ve been deeply rooted in communities across the Southeast.