ALUMNI UPDATE: Doug Bishop, 40 Under 40 class of 2010

0 Posted by - October 17, 2014 - Where are they now?

Next Generation

Doug Bishop is riding the wave of the recovery and his investment in Bouchard Insurance’s potential.

Doug Bishop is working on the next generation of Bouchard Insurance.

The 66-year-old company was built on a solid foundation, so Bishop’s role is to continue the vision and “maximize the ride,” he says. But that ride hasn’t always been easy.

The insurance business typically follows the economy, so in 2009 and 2010, Bishop’s first year as chief executive officer, Bouchard was feeling the pinch. But Bishop made it his mission to not have any layoffs. “We were careful of financial decisions, not knowing what the next month would bring in terms of revenue,” he says.

In addition to keeping his word for no layoffs, Bishop hired a recruiter to bring on new talent as soon as the recovery started. The 215-employee company is one of the largest independent insurance agencies nationwide. Under Bishop’s leadership, the company’s revenues are up $7 million since 2010, while maintaining pre-tax margins. This year the company is expected to bring in more than $35 million in revenue.

The Business Observer named Bishop a 40 under 40 winner in 2010, shortly after he was promoted to CEO.

Over the next 12 months, Bishop expects to see above-average growth. Looking forward to the next five years, he thinks revenue growth will be substantial. Bishop says the hardest part of his job is moving from cautious to aggressive, so he doesn’t miss opportunities and can keep up with the growth.

Bishop says he remains focused on building the next generation of Bouchard Insurance, investing heavily in recruiting, hiring and training programs. With the full-time recruiter, he says the company has a continuous pipeline of talent, and it averages 22 applicants for every position.

Atypical for the insurance agency, Bishop likes hiring young adults right out of college. He evaluates candidates based on whether they are a culture match, not based on experience. “We can teach them the insurance part,” he says.

Bouchard has been named a “Best Place to Work” by several publications. But Bishop says its not just about having a cool office or free T-shirts. “Perks have a shelf life,” he says. It’s more about treating employees like a team, giving them autonomy to make decisions and giving them outlets to develop professionally and personally, he adds.

The company is growing with help from the recovery, but the money it has invested in people and resources is really what’s paying off, according to Bishop. “We’re just scratching the surface of our potential,” Bishop says. “All these fields we’ve been planting are starting to grow.”

– Traci McMillan Beach, Tampa Correspondent

OrrBlastFromPast

A glimpse back at Bishop’s answers from the 2010 40 under 40 issue.

Business person you admire most: I have two that I equally admire. My mentors, Rick and Tim Bouchard, built Bouchard Insurance into the agency it is today. Their ability to create an organization that is recognized as a leader in our industry, while maintaining a strong employee value proposition founded on integrity is something I admire and strive to emulate.

How many friends do you have on Facebook: None. I am officially the last person not on Facebook.

If I had a magic wand I’d: Clean up the oil spill in the Gulf. I’m afraid this is what it would take for the state to not feel any effect. The environmental and economic impact may be felt for a very long time.

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