Texas-based Barhorst Insurance Group Honored as Inaugural “Aggie Owned and Operated” Business

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University President, Dr. R. Bowen Loftin and Barhorst Insurance Group CEO, Warren E. Barhorst kicked off new program to connect past graduates and business owners.

The values taught at Texas A&M, and shown by fellow Aggies, are part of our everyday philosophy at BIG. We treat our customers and employees the way we want to be treated. It’s simple. It’s the A&M way, and it’s our way.

-- Warren E. Barhorst

Texas A&M University recently launched its “Aggie Owned and Operated” program, a venture to help the more than 200,000 graduates in the workforce connect and do business.

Barhorst Insurance Group (BIG), owned by Class of ‘88 Aggie Warren E. Barhorst, hosted the official unveiling of the program and was honored as the inaugural “Aggie Owned and Operated” business. Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin and University Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Jason Cook, presented Barhorst with the honor and spoke about the importance of the program.

“The Aggie Owned and Operated program allows Texas A&M to engage with businesses across the state of Texas and tap into the passion that exists through our former students,” Cook stated. “When patrons walk into an Aggie Owned and Operated business, they will know that their experience will be based on Texas A&M’s core values—that they will have an excellent experience and will be treated with the highest levels of integrity and respect.”

“This is a tremendous honor,” stated Barhorst. “The values taught at Texas A&M, and shown by fellow Aggies, are part of our everyday philosophy at BIG. We treat our customers and employees the way we want to be treated. It’s simple. It’s the A&M way, and it’s our way.”

Obviously the philosophy’s worked. Initially a Nationwide Insurance agency with only two employees, BIG today is a captive hybrid agency representing more than 50 insurance carriers.

The company boasts more than 100 employees in over 30 Texas locations, and is set to grow by 30% annually. As the largest Nationwide agency in the U.S., BIG has received hundreds of awards and accolades, including being honored in the “Aggie 100” in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. This honor identifies, recognizes and celebrates the 100 fastest growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led businesses in the world.

Barhorst graduated from Texas A&M in 1988 with a degree in industrial distribution. He was a member of the 12th Man Kickoff Team, created by then Head Coach Jackie Sherrill. In addition to the 12th Man Kickoff Team’s popularity with the student body, Barhorst managed to carve out a name for himself, pulling a stunt that cemented his name in Aggie lore. In 1985, members of the 12th Man Kickoff Team began carrying and waving towels to stir up support with A&M students in the stands, a move quickly copied by Aggie students. In the 1988 Cotton Bowl game against Notre Dame, Barhorst tackled Tim Brown, Heisman Trophy winner and, at the time, future NFL star. Following the play, Barhorst grabbed Brown’s towel and headed for the sideline. This display enraged Brown, who then tackled Barhorst and earned himself a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. The tradition of students waving white towels stands to this day.

In addition to leading BIG, Barhorst is a published author and released his first book “Game Plan… The Definitive Playbook for Starting or Growing Your Business” in 2008. To energize and inspire fellow entrepreneurs, he makes many comparisons between the athletic fields and the competitive business fields, and takes readers through a candid and colorful journey, offering proven techniques to help others start or grow their business. Passionate about creating a dynamic company, Barhorst states: “Staying ‘status quo’ makes no sense to me. If you’re not dreaming of growing the business, you should look for another job.”

Aggie businesses are listed at MaroonBook.com.

The Barhorst Insurance Group (BIG) was founded in 1993 as a Nationwide Insurance agency and today is a captive hybrid agency representing more than 50 insurance carriers. In 18 years, the company has grown to more than 100 employees and over 30 locations in Texas.

BIG provides a full range of insurance and financial services for families and businesses, including: auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, farm, flood, commercial, Texas Workers Compensation, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services.

For more information, call 713.856.5533 or visit big-usa.com.

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Angie Goings
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