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Three generations of McIlroys have served and supported the Huntsville community through their insurance brokerage. So when, after 25 years in the business, Sean McIlroy decided it was time to sell, it was important to him to maintain that local connection for his clients and staff.
“I never took for granted when a client did business with us. I always felt it was a huge obligation to take care of them and service them. They came to us for a reason and we always wanted to honour that,” says McIlroy. “Selling to a big unknown company, I didn’t know what they’d do with the business or our clients. People have been loyal to me for a long, long time and I wanted them to deal with the same style they were used to: a small town guy who lives in town and knows the town. I still feel really good that we’ve passed it along to the right guy.”
That guy is Tim Withey.
“We are very excited,” says Withey. “I really like that Sean didn’t sell to a big company. That’s what is happening in our industry, but (Withey Insurance Brokers) is locally owned with local employees so the money stays in town. I feel very grateful to Sean for choosing to do the deal with us.”
Withey notes that thanks to the merger which has combined the two company’s markets, they’ve already been able to help some clients save money on their insurance quotes.
Staff at the former McIlroy lnsurance Brokers location on Main Street will be moving to the Withey Insurance Brokers office in Commerce Park in February.
As for McIlroy, he’s excited for the next chapter, which he’s “affectionately calling Sean 2.0,” he says. “This has all been a leap of faith. I have no concrete plans.” He jokes that he both shampooed and conditioned his hair in the shower the other day because he had extra time. And he plans to spend more time with his family, and catching up with friends and relatives he hasn’t seen in a while.
Regardless of what the future holds, McIlroy says he will always be proud of keeping the business local. “It would have been easy for me to take a cheque from a big company and walk out the door. But that just didn’t feel right. It took a lot more time with Tim and I, and I think we are both very proud that we made it happen.”