40 Under 40 The Class of 2014

Kyle Sullivan

Business Insurance Broker, John M. Glover Agency, age 28

Kyle-Sullivan-01Kyle Sullivan’s photo shoot for 40 Under Forty includes a random assortment of props — or perhaps not so random, in the way they reflect his many priorities.

The blue stuffed bear signifies his son, expected in July. The silver clock was an award for being named ‘most valuable participant’ at the Hartford School of Insurance last year while receiving his commercial lines specialist designation. And the coffee mug is from his close friend Terra Missildine, owner of Beloved Earth, an environmentally friendly cleaning company he helped navigate the insurance landscape.

But Sullivan doesn’t like to think of himself as a salesman. “I’m someone who builds relationships with clients,” he said. “I provide business insurance, and I work with people who buy homes, rental properties, auto — any insurance besides health and life.”

He focuses mainly on commercial lines, however, and he’s working toward his certification as a construction risk insurance specialist. “That gives me more specific knowledge to work with contractors, which is something I like to do. I hit it off with them; our personalities just mesh.”

Sullivan is a third-generation member of this family business, which was started by his grandfather. But growing up, he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to follow the family path. Instead, he had a passion for entrepreneurship.

But his current role gives him a satisfying foothold in that world. “I like to learn about people’s businesses, and there aren’t many fields where you can learn about businesses in depth the way I do,” he said. “I need to understand a business to a great extent to make sure I have the right coverage for what they’ve built. I like to think, ‘they’ve put the last 10 years of their lives into this business. If they lost it all, do they have the right coverage to continue to be in business?’”

Sullivan helps people in other ways as well, through civic involvement that includes Western Mass. Junior Achievement, the Holyoke Blue Sox board, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, and Leadership Pioneer Valley — all with a focus on building the region’s economic future.

“We’re doing anything we can do,” he said, “to better to the Pioneer Valley and build leadership skills and connect people in the Valley who are emerging leaders.”

— Joseph Bednar

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