CEO Conversations: David Dennis

David Dennis believes in hustling, from selling drinks to golfers through the course fence in his hometown of Dothan at age 12 to soon celebrating 30 years at Harmon Dennis Bradshaw, Inc. and five as the insurance company’s president.

But he knows it’s not just about hard work; it’s about smart work and sticking to the work. It’s his definition of leadership, and put in action, it’s proven the solution to overcoming challenges HDB has faced. 

What are the main responsibilities of your role at HDB? 

Production, management and company oversight.

What first drew you to a career in insurance?

The commission compensation, but also the demand for client problem solving. 

What’s the No. 1 challenge HDB faced last year, and how did you and your team deal with it? 

Labor, labor, labor. Underqualified candidates with unrealistic salary expectations, plus good historical staff members facing pressure to go elsewhere because other desperate employers are poaching them due to similar labor shortage issues. Pay raises, work-from home options, summertime free days and the creation of work teams are a few of the solutions we’ve implemented that were well received. 

What’s currently trending in the insurance industry? 

Pricing is soaring; insurance carriers are very difficult currently and not much help if you are in a “rush” predicament. 

What does leadership look like to you? 

Do it by example: Out hustle, out work, don’t complain and get it done. 

What’s the most fulfilling aspect of your work? 

Helping staff and clients find solutions. 

What accomplishment are you most proud of? 

Twenty-seven years of marriage to my one and only, Kim. She’s very patient! 

Personal Matters: 

  • Best business book: “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson 
  • Alternate career path: I really enjoy the outdoors, so probably working with my hands, maybe in landscaping or as a hunting or fishing guide. 
  • If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? That is easy, Jesus. 
  • Favorite quote: “Never quit. Win or lose, always finish.”
  • Out of Office: I enjoy competitive exercise like tennis, pickleball, bike riding and turkey hunting with my boys. I also enjoy a cooler of beer with music and a book, either over a lake or beach view if possible.

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