Barbara Wolford, an insurance agent in Great Bend’s John Jaco agency for over three decades, was named the Agent of the Year Award by the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents at its annual management conference Oct. 3-4 in Overland Park.
This is the highest honor bestowed by KAlA upon an independent agent. The award is only presented in years when an exemplary candidate is nominated.
“This year’s recipient is no doubt exemplary,” said KAIA President Bob Wood. “She is a mentor. A breast cancer survivor. And, a pillar in her local community.”
Wolford began her career in the insurance industry when she was just 18 years old. For the past 36 years, she has worked as an agent and office manager with the John Jaco Agency in Great Bend. Her colleagues at the agency commend her for her attention to detail, her commitment to serving her customers, and - most importantly - for her willingness to take new agents under her wing.
“Barbara is a true professional in the true sense of the word,” J.W. Jaco said. “Her customers are like family to her. I have seen first hand how she mentors young agents with compassion and her sense of caring, as well as sharing her wealth of knowledge.”
“I am proud to say that I have had the pleasure of working with Barbara Wolford for the past 34 years,” John Jaco said. “Every day she walks in our office door, she brings a spirit of professionalism into our office. I can speak for everyone associated with John Jaco Insurance, Financial Services and Real Estate that we all are very proud of Barbara’s recent award as Insurance Agent of the Year.”
Ronda Krier works alongside Wolford at the agency. “She contributes every day to helping new agents grow. If it weren’t for her, I would not have made it.”
Besides her commitment to the industry, Wolford is also committed to her local community where she volunteers and helps out at her church. She has dedicated her entire 52- year career to the professionalism of the independent agency system and to being an advocate for her local customers.
Founded in 1920, KAIA represents more than 500 independent insurance agencies and branches across the state with member agencies located in each of the 105 Kansas counties. They employ more than 3,000 licensed agents in communities throughout the state.