River City Six – Dan Headlee
Meet Dan Headlee, the president of Universal Group (universalinsgroup.com).
Tell us a little about your business.
We are an independent insurance agency serving our customers’ insurance and risk management needs. We offer business, personal, workman’s comp, and health and life insurance. Our roots are in Omaha, but we now have offices in Arizona, Atlanta, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Wyoming.
How did you get started in the business?
I went to work for my dad, Mike Headlee, in 1996, selling life insurance with Northwestern Mutual. I quickly realized that selling just life and health insurance was not for me as I wanted to branch out into property and casualty insurance which is what lead me to where I am today.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Learning how to run a business and not let the business run me.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
When I purchased Loring & Company in 2013 with $3 million in sales and grew that to over $40 million within the seven states that we serve today.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am married to my best friend Jess, and we share five adult kids together and a new grandson, plus four furry kids.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
When I realized that owning a business included responsibilities outside of the day-to-day tasks, meaning I am now responsible for the livelihood and success of our employees. Being in this position has given me a platform to help shape our employees and motivate them to further their careers and succeed.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I save my days off to take trips—whether it be within the U.S. or out of the country, I love experiencing new cultures, food, and seeing new things.
Who inspires you?
My dad. He taught me a lot about selling and being a leader and a positive influence to those around me.
What is your favorite quote?
“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” – John Maxwell
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
I want to absorb everyone else’s talents/superpowers.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Fly a plane.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
Being a venture capitalist.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
We give to a variety of nonprofits throughout the year, including but not limited to: Together, Ronald McDonald House, Masonic-Eastern Star Home for Children in Fremont, Habitat for Humanity, and, most recently, we raised donations for Moving Veterans Forward.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
The Bible. It’s the last book I read and a great book—if more people would read it, front to back more than once, this world would be a better place.
What is your favorite TV show?
Curb Your Enthusiasm.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Rivera’s for Mexican, La Casa for pizza, and Mediterranean Bistro.