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Joseph Deacon

Deacon & Deacon Insurance Agency 
Charleston, 32

Taking dad's advice isn't always easy for some kids, but it led Joseph Deacon to a successful career.

Deacon, who formed Deacon and Deacon Insurance Agency with his father, said following his parents' example taught him how to work with people.

"My father has been in the insurance business for a long time, since 1975," Deacon said. "My mother taught school. Being around people, mom being an educator, there's a lot of education that goes into what we do in terms of giving people advice about insurance and financial situations. It seemed like it would be something I could be successful in and enjoy."

Deacon, originally from Winfield, graduated from Hampden-Sydney University in 2003 and began working for John Hancock in Roanoke before moving back to the Charleston area in 2004. He was working for New York Life when he began talking with his father about combining forces.

"He basically said, ‘Son, if you're going to stay in this long term, you might consider being an independent broker or independent agent,'" Deacon said. "He was working some areas I wanted to get involved in, and I was doing things he wasn't doing and wanted to learn more about."

Father and son combined in 2005 and represent different insurance carriers. About half of their work is spent working with employer groups and employee benefit packages. The other half is working with people, families, business professionals such as doctors and attorneys and service-related business regarding personal insurance.

Deacon serves as president for the West Virginia Association of Health Underwriters and has been involved in Generation Charleston. But he says his biggest accomplishment is helping to run a business.

"A lot of people in my family through the generations have owned businesses," Deacon said. "I don't want to say it's something instinctive or inherently in me, but when your name is on the business and you have skin in the game, it keeps you motivated."