In 1981, Doug McKinney and his wife, Sandy, moved to Asheville to start a business in an industry they knew well: insurance. They’d been living in Atlanta by way of Greenville, South Carolina, and worked for Nationwide until they realized they wanted to start their own branch. The McKinneys took over an existing property and casualty agency and expanded it to commercial and life insurance as well. Once they did this, their business expanded, and it became a treasured part of the family.
Sandy is now retired, and Doug is looking forward to semi-retirement as his son, Chad, takes over the company. Chad followed his father’s footsteps at a young age, acquiring his property and casualty insurance license at the age of 16. He earned a degree in risk management from Ohio State University. For the past 38 years, McKinney insurance has run on family fumes.
While it may not be the most glamorous industry, it’s admirable how they built it as a family. And now, after 15 years of working with his dad, Chad is ready to step up to the plate.
“It’s something he wanted to do, and it’s worked out really well for him and for us,” Doug says.
Keeping work in the family isn’t always roses, though. Issues would arise when family vacations were planned, causing a lack of presence in the office or someone being left out. Doug also says they were always sure to assign separate duties and responsibilities so they could keep their family time sacred and out of a sometimes stressful work environment. It’s all about finding that balance, and for the McKinney family, it’s been a wild ride together.
When they’re not in the office, they enjoy spending time with Chad's sons, Bryce, 5, and Ford, 3, and the rest of the family. The boys love playing baseball and fishing, and now that the weather is warm again, the McKinneys will be spending more time doing what they love while maintaining their strong, ongoing relationship with the Asheville community. They know what it’s like to work together to achieve something great, and it’s endearing how close they’ve remained through the thick and thin of owning and operating a small business. The love for their work and their city is strong.
“We’ve been in business for 38 years, and we’re looking forward to our 40th anniversary and how we’ll continue on from there,” Doug says.