Describing Bartow as a “special place to work and raise a family,” Charlie Culverhouse is honored to be known around town as Greg and Walter’s relative.
“I’ve had the good fortune of several strong influencers in my life,” the 37-year-old Cartersville resident said. “When I meet new people I often get, ‘Are you Greg’s son?’ or ‘I knew your grandfather.’ Both of which I’m fine with. Dad practiced law here for nearly 40 years and my grandfather, Walter, was a county Extension agent for 30 years with the University of Georgia.
“His last stop in that role was Cartersville in 1970 up until his retirement in 1985. In the early ’80s, he spearheaded the beginning of the downtown Cartersville curb market that provided farmers a place to sell locally-grown produce. He loved watching things grow and always had huge vegetable and flower gardens. He was a great resource to the farming community via his role at the Extension office. Together, they helped shape my view on what being a good person looked like.”
Name: Charlie Culverhouse
Occupation (place of work and title): Client advisor for Sterling Seacrest Partners
City of residence: Cartersville
Family: Wife, Abbey; children — Anna Jo, 7, and Henry, 6
Education: The University of Georgia, 2003; Cartersville High School, 1999
The Daily Tribune News: When did you join Sterling Seacrest Partners, and how did you get into this line of work?
CC: I joined Sterling Seacrest Partners in February of 2018. However, I’ve been in insurance for the last 10 years with the majority of that being on the carrier side of the business with Travelers. I came in to insurance via the claim route. I had a construction background, so helping people rebuild their home or business after a loss was a natural fit for me. I went on to lead claim teams across Georgia and Alabama. My time in claims provided me with a great foundation in terms of how insurance works, how to read a policy, and what can happen when there are gaps or lack of coverage. While I was fortunate to experience a fair amount of success in corporate America, I had an entrepreneurial desire that needed to be fulfilled, which [led] me to the agency side.
DTN: Describe what your job entails, and how moving to the broker side of the insurance business has enabled you to be more local with your professional efforts.
CC: In my job, I wear a lot of hats — consultant, risk manager, advocate, mediator, but the term I like best to describe what I do is partner. We’re invested in our clients. To do my job well, I need to understand their business, goals, fears, history, etc. Ultimately, we find insurance products that protect the businesses they have spent their lives building, and we do that through subject matter expertise and strong market relationships, but we get there as a partner first. We’re able to do that because of our model. Sterling Seacrest Partners is a producer-owned business, so as business owners we face a lot of the same challenges that our clients face, such as finding top talent, perpetuation, incentivizing smart/healthy growth, etc. Moving to the broker side has provided me with a platform to grow a business anywhere I choose, and I like to say I didn’t end up in Cartersville by accident.
DTN: What do you enjoy most about your job?
CC: I innately enjoy problem-solving, so that aspect is a part I really enjoy. I also enjoy establishing new relationships, and I’m in the perfect business for that.
DTN: List the various civic organizations you are involved in, and why do you feel it is important to be involved in your community?
CC: I’m a member of the Bartow Rotary Club, [participant] in Leadership Bartow with the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, and am on the board of directors for Advocates for Children. We’re also active in our church at Sam Jones [Memorial] United Methodist. It’s important for me to be involved because this community has provided so much for myself and my family that it only seems right to try and be a good steward of the blessings that have been bestowed upon us.
DTN: When and how did you join Advocates for Children’s board of directors?
CC: Advocates for Children is an organization my wife, Abbey, and I have supported for a number of years and, of course, being a parent has certainly heightened our awareness of the importance of this organization. We are committed to seeing that Rachel Castillo and her team can continue serving the children of Bartow County for many years. So when an opportunity came in 2018 to serve with Advocates in a more formal role via the board, I was honored to do so.
DTN: What is your greatest professional and/or personal achievement?
CC: Professionally, the work we did at Travelers in terms of responding to catastrophic events was pretty remarkable. I had the opportunity to be — in a lot of cases — first in to help during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Hurricane Irene in 2011 and the tornados that affected Georgia/Alabama in April of 2011. Simply put, we were able to help a lot of people that really needed it in a short amount of time.
Personally, I would say that being a parent definitely lives up to the hype. While they are not necessarily an achievement, I’m proud of them in every way.
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
CC: I have many useless talents, one of which being that if I spend enough time with someone, I can usually put together a pretty good impersonation of them.
DTN: What is the best advice you have ever received?
CC: The best advice I’ve ever received was to challenge assumptions. Just because something has historically been done or thought of in a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s necessarily the way things should continue to be done. I think being able to articulate that in an appropriate and tactful way has led to personal and professional growth.
DTN: What do you like to do in your spare time?
CC: It might be cliché to say, but I love spending time with my family in my spare time. My kids are at an age where they both still like mom and dad, so I try to soak that up. I coach both of my children in their sports endeavors and love to get away with just Abbey. Outside of that, you can probably find me on a golf course somewhere.
DTN: Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
CC: Tough one! Growing up here, I have so many. We love to eat downtown at all our favorite spots. Then recreationally, you have the Etowah River, Pine Mountain, Barnsley Gardens, Tellus, Booth museum and on and on. It’s really a special place to work and raise a family.