Wayne Kesterson has been serving the people of Howard County at Farm Bureau Insurance since January of 1978. Over the course of his career he has won countless awards and received numerous amounts of recognition to the extent that the agency now gives out an award in his name.
He has received 35 Round Table awards and was named number one agent out of a group of nearly 4,000 involved with southern Farm Bureau in 1997. In 1999, he held the second place title and in 2001 he was number five. He has been named as one of the top 20 agents five times.
Kesterson was hired as a Farm Bureau agent by James Chandler, whom he became familiar with while being a member of the Howard County Young Farmers group.He had previously been pursuing a career as a math teacher at his alma matter, Dierks High School, for six and half years. Before that, he took part in a two-year stint in the army then finished college at Henderson Sate University before being hired as a coach and math teacher at Gilliam.
Kesterson explained he chose to take a different direction with his career after Chandler began telling him what it was like to be an insurance agent, which, according to Kesterson, sounded like “an attractive job.” He worked under Chandler for 26 years until Chandler retired and named him manager in 2004. It was then that Kesterson relocated from his Dierks office to the Nashville one where he currently resides.
While he enjoyed teaching and coaching, Kesterson expressed that he is glad he went on to work for Farm Bureau.
“I just love my job. I’ve never dreaded coming to work. I like dealing with people and getting to know them.”
He went on to say that the people he works with significantly help his job go smoothly.
“I’ve got wonderful people to work with here –four great agents, two great secretaries, and a good adjuster. They’re what makes my job so much easier. We’ve also got a good board of directors here in Howard County and I sure do appreciate them.”
The hardest part about his occupation, Kesterson later noted, feeling unable to help someone.
“I just hate it when I can’t help. Insurance is about helping people. They don’t just pay premiums for no reason- they pay so we can help.
It also bothers me when I see someone who’s passed away, and I know they’re leaving behind a family and I never encouraged them to buy life insurance. It’s a bad feeling. I don’t think there’s any insurance as important as life.”
While there are times like those that put a slight damper on what he does, Kesterson said he generally has more good feelings than bad.
Outside of work, Kesterson puts emphasis on spending time with his family and loved ones. Many of the awards he wins due to his hard work includes trips, and because of this, he has traveled all over the world with his family in tow. Now, however, he is satisfied staying home and doting on his seven grandchildren.
“I’m so old I’m about through going on trips,” Kesterson quipped. “I like staying around the house. I still want to win them, though, just as bad as I did in 1978.”
When Kesterson is not at one sporting event or another cheering on his grandchildren, he is usually hunting or fishing.
Despite these hobbies, Kesterson does not plan to retire from Farm Bureau any time soon.
“I imagine one day, if I get to where I’m not able to handle my job well enough or if my health goes downhill, I’ll retire, but I don’t see it anywhere in the next two or three years. I love my job too much,” he explained.
Kesterson gives his customers the credit for the love of his career and the notoriety he has obtained.
“I give my customers all the credit in the world. I love the ones who started out with me in 1978 in Dierks. I’ll never forget them, and I’m thankful for the others who have come along the way. They are all good people who have helped me from building up my career to putting my kids through college. The customers are what makes Farm Bureau.”