- August 22, 2012
After formerly commuting through the bustling streets of downtown Sarasota, staff at insurance company Brown & Brown are looking forward to a change of scene on Cooper Creek Boulevard in University Park, just beside some of the area’s neighborhoods.
The new location just held its grand opening and ribbon-cutting on June 22.
“We realize it's a booming, booming economy out here, and we partnered with vendors in finding the right place and building out the right space that identifies our culture and who we are,” said Executive Vice President Tyler McCallister.
“We are doubled down on investing in Sarasota,” said Regional President Michael Keeby. “We believe this is a growth market. We provide national products at the local level, in property and casualty insurance, employee benefits and personal insurance.”
McCallister said he believes the company offers services that will be well suited to the Lakewood Ranch area, adding that the company has services for all, and that Lakewood Ranch, which contains many affluent residents, will likely find something at the company.
“They have a lot of choice,” he said of these clients. “They want to make sure they're insured properly.”
He said those people might be looking for a personal consultant who can attend to their needs without them having to contact that staff member through the company.
Keeby said that logistically, the new location simply made the most sense for the company because previously it was difficult for staff to drive through the streets of downtown Sarasota. The company typically operates in a way that its staff travel to visit their clients, and the clients do not come to them, so it had been difficult for staff to travel to work.
Staff members, whom the company call “teammates,” reside in Parrish, Bradenton, Venice and Sarasota, both east and west of Interstate 75.
“In terms of commuting, this location couldn't be any better,” Keeby said.
He also said that the widely accessible location had the potential to attract talent in its expansion of the company’s geographical territory. “This space created an opportunity to open up, to have more of a community,” he said.
The company’s office, created in partnership with Benderson Development, is different in its design from the previous office by featuring a more open plan with fewer walls. McCallister said that in the previous office, the rooms tended to be congregated around the edge of the building, while this office provides a central area in which staff can gather.
“It makes people feel like they’re more connected,” he said.
The office also better reflects Brown & Brown’s branding and colors, with shades of blue featured on the walls.
However, he said the space exemplifies not only a new building but also a change of leadership in the company; McCallister and Zachary Schumacher, a sales leader and the executive vice president, both joined the branch in 2020.
“I think the new office location and new leadership are going hand in hand,” he said.
Thus far, the response from the community has been positive.
“I think there's already been a buzz about our new office location," McCallister said. "Before we even announced the ribbon-cuttin, or before we even announced the location to all of our clients, colleagues and business partners, word had already gotten out. I think it's been a very positive response.”
“Brown & Brown coming to the greater Lakewood Ranch region is exciting,” said Dan Sidler, the vice president of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance. “It’s another pillar of our community bringing their corporate office to Lakewood Ranch.”