By Sue Moore
James McCormick, the newest agent at Ralph Hayward Agency in Vicksburg, grew up in Vicksburg, graduating in 2007 and then attending KVCC and Western Michigan University.
He joined the Ralph Hayward group recently after a college internship with the Ayres-Rice Agency in Schoolcraft.
“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” he says, “and I wanted to be local, writing my own ‘book of business,’ so this was a good spot for me to start. I got comfortable making calls with the internship, plus seeing the industry was a good experience.
“Tom Olvitt was especially helpful at Ayres-Rice and I’m happy to be working with Steve Brundige who is the Endorsed Local Provider by Dave Ramsey. This is big because Ramsey preaches living debt free and I’m a big believer in that too.”
The Hayward Agency is a member of the Ayres-Rice group, seven locally owned and operated agencies in Michigan, all of which represent ten different independent insurance companies.
“We work with many companies for our clients. We shop for the best prices as rates can differ from each company. The very same coverage can range wildly, so my job is to scout for the very best price and benefits for my clients,” he says.
“I believe you have first got to sell yourself, more than your product, to best help people out. I enjoy this community and I want to get back into it as actively as possible.”
At Vicksburg High School, McCormick played in the band and the jazz band. As a child, he loved being in Little League.
“I just couldn’t hit, so didn’t last as long there,” he says.
He has a construction background, having helped his dad with buying, renovating and then selling single family homes.
“We worked through at least 25 houses so I decided to take courses in architecture while in high school,” he says. “However, my degree is from the business school.”