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If You Build It, They Will Come

For Local Insurance Agent Wilber-Price, It’s All About Community 

Article by Elizabeth A. Lowry

Photography by Elizabeth A. Lowry

Originally published in Loveland Lifestyle

How do you describe a company whose owner doesn’t solicit publicity, least of all in a public forum like this? 

You could go the business-like route, describing Wilber-Price Insurance Group by its textbook (well, Google) definition: “An insurance agency that provides homeowners’ insurance, auto, life and many other policies at extremely low prices, while ensuring you’re properly covered.”

Or you could explain it the way managing member John Wilber does, which is to say basically all of the above plus their motto: “We exist to improve the communities that we operate in for the people who live there and pay our bills. They pay us, so rather than paying for advertising, we put the money back into the community.” 

Or you could talk about the company and its owner the way Ellen Flannery, founder and board chair of CancerFree KIDS, does. 

“John has been a very generous supporter of CFK for more than 11 years,” she says, referring in part to their offices in the WP building. “He offered us discounted space when we were just a small, two-person office … and has supported several of our fundraising events over the years through his donations and attendance. It is a very rare thing to have a small nonprofit with a small budget remain in the same office building for more than 10 years—we are very grateful to John for generously supporting CancerFree KIDS in this way.” 

No matter the descriptor, none are incorrect—Wilber-Price has been quietly serving the insurance and community needs of Loveland and beyond since 2007. 

Though John says their charity efforts started the same time the company did, their aid has grown throughout the years. They prefer to keep a low profile—helping those in need when they can, and never really discussing those efforts except to raise awareness by featuring the charity in question on their website. 

They’re more of a show-and-not-tell organization. 

For example, John says they’ll run a “rally day” for a charity, wherein a donation is made for every quote they give out (regardless of whether or not they get the business). They’ll haul food from area food banks and bring it to LIFE Food Pantry. They’ll promote a charity on their website. They’ll create a GoFundMe page for an organization if it doesn’t already have one. Sometimes they’ll pay off local children’s lunch fees if they have an outstanding balance their families are having trouble paying. They rally for the community—and volley for them, too.

Though groups are welcome to ask for help, Wilber-Price is astute at identifying needs and diving right in. 

Case in point, recently troubled by the lack of indoor sports courts available for area school athletes and clubs, they decided to tackle opening one—to the tune of 40,000 square feet of indoor court space over 6.75 acres in Goshen. John says it will eventually (hopefully in 2020) house four full-size basketball courts that can be run sideways for eight volleyball courts, plus a full-size turf field outside for soccer, football and lacrosse.

“The idea is that there’s simply not enough space for our kids to practice on,” John says. “It matters … it’ll make a difference.”  

As for the future of Wilber-Price themselves? Turns out they just completed a consolidation of their offices and are now housed entirely within their Loveland Avenue building. They are working on crafting a new entity called WP Farm Solutions—focusing on agriculture transition plans for farm insurance, crop insurance and things of that nature, in addition to continuing to serve the 30,000 other people they insure in several states. 

420 W. Loveland Ave., Loveland | | 513.239.8610 

WP Charities  

Though this list is by no means exhaustive, the following are several nonprofits Wilber-Price works with—those always in need of help throughout the holiday season and beyond. “Existing for the purpose of improving where you live is a very noble way to operate,” John says.  

CancerFree KIDS
CancerFree KIDS is an organization whose mission is “to eradicate cancer as a life-threatening disease in children by funding promising research in its early stages that might otherwise go unfunded.” They operate with the knowledge that seed money for new ideas is critical—it’s also the most difficult type of funding to get. Therefore, CFK raises funds all year, through initiatives they promote themselves or that others host for their benefit. At the end of each year, they give all the funds away in the form of research grants—and then they begin the process again. | 513.575.KIDS

Big Brothers Big Sisters 
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a national organization with several Cincinnati-area chapters. Their goal is to make meaningful matches between adult volunteers and children ages 6 through 18 throughout our area. The “bigs” mentor “littles” by developing a positive relationship that aims to have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people facing adversity. | 513.421.4120

4-H Club
4-H Club is a nationwide organization empowering young people with hands-on learning experiences and skills for a lifetime of leadership. The research-based experience includes a mentor, a hands-on project and a meaningful leadership opportunity. Using a community of 100 public universities, professionals and volunteers, 4-H is able to reach nearly 6 million young people throughout the United States. | 513.946.8989 

LIFE Food Pantry
The LIFE Food Pantry is a faith-based organization that provides food, financial assistance and services to needy residents within the Loveland School District, as well as members of supporting congregations who qualify under federal guidelines for persons in need. They encourage self-sufficiency in individuals and families. | 513.583.8222 

Horses on the Hill
Horses on the Hill, a program from BLOC Ministries, provides a unique learning environment that incorporates equine-assisted activities, therapeutic activities, a riding program, and urban farming and horticulture into Cincinnati’s west side communities of Price Hill. HOTH serves economically disadvantaged youth and their families, and individuals in recovery. Participants interact with horses, are responsible for barn management chores and get to experience nature—all activities that promote physical, spiritual and emotional growth. | 859.466.5467

St. Jude
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s mission is “to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.” The majority of funding for St. Jude comes from individual contributions. | 614.947.3900

Shriners Hospitals
Since 1968, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati has been delivering life-changing care to children and families with pediatric burns, plastic surgery needs and complex wound and skin conditions. They endeavor to meet the physical, functional, cosmetic and social needs of their patients and families with a family-centered approach. | 513.872.6000