Community success sparks success for Bluebonnet Pride
By SEAN SHAPIRO
By nature and business mission statements, insurance agencies are supposed to support and protect their clients.
At Bluebonnet Pride Insurance Agency, the staff takes that a couple steps further and has become part of the Liberty Hill community since it first opened in 1996.
“The citizens here pay for the rent, the salaries, and everything else,” said John B. Morelock, the agency principal and manager. “If we weren’t giving back it would seem extremely selfish.”
Through either donations or time, Morelock and his staff have helped with various projects in the community, including the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce, Liberty Hill All Sports Booster Club, and Project Graduation at Liberty Hill High School.
Morelock said giving back to the community isn’t difficult. In fact, it’s probably ingrained right into his genetics.
His grandfather, Edward Rowley, who Morelock calls “Pops” and has a picture of hanging in his office, was the first person to raise $1 million for the United Way as the chairman of the campaign in 1961.
“His full life was philanthropy, community involvement, and civil rights,” Morelock said. “That’s something I take away from him … I don’t see how any business can succeed if they’re not helping their employees and the community.”
“Pops” would be proud of the work his grandson has done in Liberty Hill.
In 2010, Morelock was part of the group that purchased the agency, and the new ownership started making tweaks to fit the growing community.
In addition to updating some of the technology, Morelock and his team also started working hard to bring more insurance companies to Liberty Hill and the surrounding area.
“We just kind of wanted to refresh it while continuing the legacy,” Ken Davidson, co-owner of the agency, said in a phone interview from Dallas. “We’re an advocate for the consumer, not the companies.”
That continues to be a key goal as new homes and developments are seemingly popping up every day.
“We need to keep bringing in products that this community needs,” Morelock said. “For example, I met with a representative from Kemper Insurance yesterday. We talked about the area that’s going to get annexed in and the population growth. We were working with them to get an override so we have more available for those moving in.”
Morelock said it’s important that the agency continues to grow and adapt to Liberty Hill’s explosive growth — a move that will serve both current and future residents of the community.
“We want to keep as much business in this community, and hire as much people as I can as we continue to grow,” he said. “I want to continue to grow this business with the city, so when new people come in they aren’t reaching out to Austin or another big city for (insurance needs). We want to keep the money right here in Liberty Hill.”
Bluebonnet Pride is also bringing outside, and sometime international dollars, into the community as well. While much of the clientele is local, the agency has clients across the United States and even as far as Spain, that consult with Bluebonnet Pride’s staff for their insurance needs.
That’s all contributed to the growth of the business, which is moving to a new location at the end of the month.
The agency is moving about a mile south from its current location at 13563 State Highway 29, right across the street from Liberty Hill Junior High School.
“The new space just gives us a more functional work space, there is less wasted area,” Morelock said. “It also gives us room to bring in more people down the road. This move will get us ready for the 35,000 homes that are plotted in this region and the growth that will come with it.”