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Member Spotlight—Adam Risman: Running a 100-Year-Old Insurance Company

Updated: May 17

Adam Risman

It's one thing to own a business, but it's another thing to run a profitable business for almost 100 years across different generations. Yes, this is the story of Risman Insurance Agencies, a 100-year-old family business that has defied all odds to remain successful and relevant. Since its launch in 1925, Risman has been a force to reckon with in the commercial and personal insurance spaces.

We interviewed Adam Risman, the brand's commercial risk advisor. He shared his entrepreneurial journey with us and exclusives about the Risman brand. Read on to also find out how EO Boston fits into the puzzle.

Tell Us About Your Business and What You Do

My name is Adam Risman, and I joined Henry, my father, at the family agency a little over four years ago. We are a family company coming up on our 100th year in business, and it has been so exciting being the next generation getting involved and continuing the growth and success we have seen. We are a property and casualty insurance firm that has grown through acquisition over the last two decades.

We are a firm of about 50 people and pride ourselves on maintaining our culture and identity through organic growth and acquisition. With a healthy split of personal and commercial insurance, I have taken on a role to help our commercial side grow through sales, networking, and branding throughout the state and all over New England.

My drive to be an entrepreneur and to put my own spin on the success my family has had in the industry for a century came early on. I was always driven by getting creative and trying to find more efficient ways to solve problems and grow. I am a results-driven person and have been a highly motivated salesperson for the last eight years since graduating from Roger Williams University.

When the opportunity came to join the family business, I immediately ran with it by getting involved in different organizations throughout the local community, making a name for myself within a few industries, including contractors and real estate, and continuing to build this brand side by side with the agency. What excites me is the opportunity to work with my father, who has had incredible success in the last 40 or so years in the business, and be able to inject new energy and vision into the business for the next few decades and beyond.

What Have Been Your Greatest Challenges and Successes in Business?

My biggest business challenge came about four weeks after I joined the family agency. COVID began a month after I started, and all the planning I had on sales tactics, etc. got thrown out the door. I had to regroup and throw out that plan to begin a new way of networking, selling, and branding myself in a world that was now 100% virtual and saw more brands go out of business than ever before.

My biggest success in this business is my education in the niche industries I have chosen for myself. Between a few trade groups and industry groups, I have made myself a resource to the thousands involved. I have had the opportunity for speaking engagements and presentations to share not only the history and story we have built as Risman Insurance but also as a resource to those involved. It has given me a huge appreciation for those we work with and what they go through to have success in their business.

I am an avid networker and have been involved in dozens of groups and organizations over the last few years. I love to find new areas where entrepreneurs and business owners of all types share ideas and create and build together. By doing this, not only do I get a deeper understanding of the clients I work with on what they are doing in their business, but I also have creative ideas I develop for our business and how we can continue to maximize our growth.

My father has been my strongest mentor thus far. Growing up and watching him run and grow the business was always something that motivated me to be creative and drew me to the business. Now, being in it for almost five years with him and working closely with him and the leadership team, it has been a great way to jump head-first into this industry and share my experiences and direction with the rest of the team.

Why Did You Choose EO Boston?

It's all about being in a room with people of different backgrounds and ideas sharing the entrepreneurial spirit. Learning from people from completely different places in life and business enhances our view of what we are doing and sometimes gives us clear direction on what we should be doing. By widening the lens of how we see business and growth, EO is a great opportunity to enhance our creativity by sharing ideas and brainstorming with one another.

What’s on the Horizon for You?

Continuing to grow! We have grown through acquisition over the last 20 years, and we’ll continue to build our team through strategic hiring and acquisitions of other great local companies. As I continue to grow myself, I want to add to our sales team, build a name in more communities around New England, and provide top-notch service to quality companies and individuals.

What’s the Best Piece of Advice You Can Give to Up-And-Coming Entrepreneurs?

Go for it. No idea is a bad idea. As you continue to come up with ideas and take them step by step, you quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. As you learn through failure, you will become more efficient in what you do, and your process will evolve. When you combine that with a group like EO, you will become stronger and be able to put the right resources in the right places quickly.

Join EO Boston to Network With Adam Risman and Others

EO Boston is way beyond an entrepreneur network; it is also an avenue to make life-changing relationships. If you want to network with seasoned professionals like Adam Risman and a host of other business owners across different industries and learn from their wealth of experience, you should join EO Boston. Check if you qualify for our membership.

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