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2012 40 Under 40 Honoree: Nick Burlison

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Nick Burlison knows how to achieve growth in his career – and in his community.

The commercial lines producer at PJC Insurance Agency LLC is a former business owner who steered his company through tough economic times before selling it last fall, and he’s helped Springfield Sertoma Club expand its support for children.

After working in commercial banking, Burlison owned Marketing Partners Inc. in Nixa for more than five years. Working through the recession, Burlison says the company emerged in 2010 with a 117 percent increase in sales compared to the previous year, topped by 132 percent year-to-date growth by the time he sold it in September.

Burlison, who sometimes went without a paycheck, kept everyone employed without reducing benefits.

“I am proud of my efforts in navigating my company through one of the worst recessions in American history,” he says. “We faced enormous difficulties in selling promotional products to businesses that were struggling to make payroll or even keep the lights on.”

He joined PJC in 2009, and he works to help clients identify risks, exposures and liabilities to appropriately protect their assets.

“A number of my business clients ask for counsel on financial matters as well as marketing strategies to grow their businesses,” he says.

Burlison also mentors younger agents and encourages them to be involved in the community, and he has worked with former banking colleagues to grow their businesses, introducing them to small-business owners who needed help.

“Many of these situations involved business owners who were struggling financially and needed help restructuring debt that they had accumulated during the downturn in the economy, or recapitalizing their companies for growth needs,” Burlison says, noting that many of those businesses are now thriving.

But as much as Burlison enjoys challenging himself in business and using his experience to help others, he is especially proud of his involvement with the Sertoma Chili Cook-Off. The annual event is a fundraiser for the Springfield Boys & Girls Clubs, which gives kids a safe and constructive place to go after school and during the summer.

Burlison has served on the board of directors for the Springfield Sertoma Club and as co-chairman of the Sertoma Chili Cook-Off for eight years. During that time, he says the event’s revenue has doubled, hitting $172,000 in net income this year.

“It has been an honor and a humbling experience to be a leader within this group,” he says.

Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.

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