UNICO Group is one of the largest independent, locally owned insurance and risk management agencies in Nebraska. With locations in Lincoln, Columbus, Kearney and Papillion, UNICO represents many companies and are able to provide their clients with many choices for insurance solutions and advice in order to best protect their personal or business assets. Paul Hughes is a Risk Advisor for UNICO Group.
Tell us a little about your business. – My focus is in the property and casualty space. I work with businesses in building out their insurance programs. This involves their property, general liability, equipment, autos, professional liability, workers’ compensation and so on. We work with businesses not just in transferring risk but also in best safety and risk management practices. I work in many industries but have a strong focus in the hospitality, financial institution and construction sectors.
How did you get started in the business? – My father owned his own agency for many years, focusing more on the Life & Health side. He was good friends with Scott Nelson, the President of UNICO, and he made the introduction.
Tell us a little about your family. – My wife and I have been married almost two years now and live in Omaha. She is very active as she owns her own dance studio and also works as a fitness instructor at Pure Barre. I grew up in Norfolk where my parents still reside. I have two older brothers; one lives here in Omaha and works at Proxibid and the other lives in Overland Park, KS. He and his wife have three boys so we try to take every opportunity we get to visit them.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – A big turning point was when I started at UNICO. I experienced an amazing team atmosphere and people who truly cared and enjoyed what they did for a living. It made me realize this is not a “job” it is a “career”. It changed my perspective on how I approach my everyday life.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Spend a relaxing day on the golf course with good friends or go see a Royals game.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – Although I am vertically challenged, which I am reminded of daily, I played quarterback in high school and was named a USA Today Honorable Mention All-American.
What are you the most proud of? – My wife. She works extremely hard and gives everything she has to her students and her craft. To see her achieve success and enjoy doing it is a great feeling.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “No opportunity is ever won without enthusiasm.” -Jim Valvano
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – I work very closely with CUES serving on an advisory board for All Saints Catholic School. CUES does amazing things for inner city schools, providing support and critical education tools for those less fortunate. I also am on the Nebraska Parkinson’s board. This is a huge passion for me as my dad has lived with Parkinson’s for close to 15 years.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – I have many clients who own restaurants so I am pleading the 5th!