Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Giving Back Brightway Insurance; Take-Charge Companies Can Volunteer as Mentors, Too

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Giving Back Brightway Insurance; Take-Charge Companies Can Volunteer as Mentors, Too

Article excerpt

Byline: Aaron Badida

When people volunteer, they can change lives - including their own. Each week in Reason, we will highlight a volunteer's story of giving back and how that selfless act was a true revelation. The volunteer project is a collaboration among the Times-Union, the University of North Florida, the United Way of Northeast Florida and HandsOn Jacksonville.

Since its inception, Brightway Insurance has been about increasing access and choices in providing storefronts for insurance options.

This philosophy has been a successful one, making Brightway one of the fastest growing companies in the nation and one of the 200 largest privately held businesses in Florida.

But when it comes to success, chairman David Miller notes, "It's about how we succeed."

Brightway has been a shining example of how corporate culture and support from top leadership can yield big results in socially responsible practices.

United Way of Northeast Florida recently recognized Brightway as a recipient of the Summit Award.

The award is given to companies of various sizes that demonstrate an outstanding year-long commitment to volunteerism, an increase in employee engagement, and a dedication to increased philanthropic support of community impact initiatives led by the United Way and its partner agencies.

Miller currently serves as the chair of United Way's Stein Fellowship, connecting business leaders with philanthropic young professionals who serve as mentors for local middle school students in the Achievers For Life program.

"Achievers For Life is one of the first program of its kind in the country, and now it's serving as a benchmark and model to other communities," Miller said.

Brightway reflects the chairman's enthusiasm for supporting education. The innovative insurance company partnered with Wolfson High School's insurance program as a sponsor to give students a ground-floor perspective on entering the industry.

Miller grew up in a family dedicated to community support. His mother worked for United Way, and the organization has remained close to home.

"It was never a question that whatever I did, I wanted to do it a certain way. …

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