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Leaders sharing their wisdom: Bill West reminisces about his nearly 50 year career in insurance in the Fayetteville area and shares some of what he’s learned

By Faith Hatton, posted 1 week ago
Bill West

A recognizable name and a long-time Fayetteville resident, Bill West is a businessman that can’t be stopped even in retirement. With a career in insurance spanning from 1970 to 2019, West has been an active member of the community serving on 28 boards, Associations, Commissions and more. 

West graduated from Stedman High school where he met his wife of 55 years, Iris West. After graduating with Methodist University in 1969, West entered the world of insurance by starting his first position at Metropolitan Life as a sales manager in 1970 and continued with the position until 1975. West went on to buy Metropolitan Life and turn it into West Insurance which expanded to three locations between 1975 and 1992. In 1992, West Insurance merged with BB&T, now Truist, and he saw another transition in his career, becoming Senior Vice President of BB&T Insurance where he remained from 1992 until he retired in 2019. 

West has helped to share his nearly 50 years of insurance experience by speaking at the National Insurance Convention, joining the National Faculty of Certified Insurance Counselors, and becoming a Continuing Education Instructor for the NC. Dept. of Insurance. 

Now after retiring, West is still an active member of the community and continues to find ways to serve and support his clients outside of the world of insurance. 

GFBJ: What are you up to these days?

WEST: I’ve been retired now for almost four years, I’m just as busy as I always was it’s just a different kind of busy. And the big difference is, now I can do it on my schedule rather than someone else’s. So that makes it good from that point of view but today I'm very involved in church work, also very involved in my family. With my three children and their spouses and eight grandchildren, there's always a birthday or a dance recital or a ball game or some event that you need to participate in. So, I've been very, very blessed to be able to do that today now at retirement when I didn’t before. I have a subsidiary business, West Rentals, we handle various residential rental properties and commercial rental properties, I’ve had that for years and basically manage residential and commercial rental property, so that has kept me busy from a business point of view. That matched up with the family life and the church life and the community life. Today, I’ve retired from most of these boards and all but I’m still active with the Methodist University Trustee Board and I’m also president of the Methodist University Development Corporation. 

GFBJ: What is one thing you’ve enjoyed most over the course of your career?

WEST: The people, absolutely the people. And the people may be clients, they may be even competitors, friends, acquaintances you come within contact with, but the people. And in retirement the thing that I miss the most is the people. I don't particularly miss the day-to-day operations, even though I enjoyed that, it was what I did all the life, but I do miss my clients. And I still got clients all over North, South Carolina I see a lot of times just drop in and say hello, you know, carrying some donuts, whatever when I'm in the areas. 

GFBJ: Any golden nuggets of wisdom you would like to share?

WEST: Whatever your vocation, whatever it is, try to educate yourself to that to where you know what you’re doing, be honest with your clients and just plain old work hard. You know, I don't have any apologies, but over my career, I've worked hard, but I enjoyed it, it’s what I wanted to do. It’s an age-old adage but, put your client first but that's the truth. Put what’s right for your client first and you get in here and you work hard, and you know what you're doing.

 

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