MURRAY – Bob Cornelison, agency manager at Calloway County Farm Bureau Insurance Services, said he was “blown away” when he was inducted into the Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Agents Hall of Fame last month.
Cornelison was presented the honor by his fellow KFB insurance agents on Sept. 17 at the Marriott East Hotel in Louisville. He was also recognized for receiving his company’s highest production award, the Farm Bureau Round Table, for 30 consecutive years.
“I got blown away by this award!” Cornelison said enthusiastically. “I mean, I’m older than dirt. I’ve been around forever, and this is the greatest professional honor I’ve ever received because it was awarded by my peers from across the state.”
Cornelison is originally from the McCracken County community of Heath and graduated from Murray State University in 1976. He worked at his first agency in Paducah in 1979 and came to Calloway County as a career agent in 1985. He became the agency manager for the Calloway County Farm Bureau Insurance office in 1997.
While he was not expecting the hall of fame honor, Cornelison said he has been a lifetime member of KFB and has also been involved with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors over the years. Although he prizes his good relationships in those organizations, he said he would not have reached this point in his career without a lot of help.
“Without my local board of directors and this insurance office staff and my family, I couldn’t have spent the time in (the industry) like I did,” he said. “I don’t know if this had something to do with it, but I know in the presentation they hit on it pretty hard that I had 30 consecutive years of winning the Farm Bureau Round Table. That’s the highest production award that we have, and they award it annually. A lot of younger agents ask, ‘What’s your motivation for doing that for three decades?’ I say, ‘I’ve got to feed my family! That’s where my paycheck comes from.’
“I enjoy it and I sell home and auto and church and grocery store insurance, but I also sell a lot of life insurance and IRAs. I’ve come full circle on my products. Not only have I sold and serviced it all these years, but I’ve delivered a lot of beneficiary checks, and there’s a satisfaction in that.”
Cornelison said he spent a lot of Saturday mornings at his office catching up on work since it’s easier to get things done when the office is empty, and he appreciates his family for understanding why that time was necessary for him. He said he values communication and good customer service.
“We operate on the Golden Rule around here,” he said. “We’ve got time for everybody because if it was me on the other side of the desk, I’d want somebody to take time with me. I don’t go home before I return all my phone calls every day.”
Sharon Furches, a Calloway County resident and the second vice-president of the statewide Kentucky Farm Bureau organization, said she has known Cornelison a long time and was happy to see him inducted in the Hall of Fame.
“They only recognize two (new inductees a year), and of course, it’s the top professional organization for the agents of Kentucky Farm Bureau,” Furches said. “Bob is one of those who always believes in the value of that association with other professionals in his business and has always appreciates staying up to date on the products and the ways that we can serve our customers. He certainly, over the years, has been good for Calloway County. He’s always brought to us the latest products and good customer service, and (the Calloway Farm Bureau Board has) enjoyed a great relationship with him over the years.”
Cornelison lives in Kirksey with his wife, Jennifer, and has four grown children and six granddaughters. He said he is a longtime member of First United Methodist Church in Murray and has been involved in multiple community organizations, including as past president of the United Way of Murray-Calloway County. In addition to being an avid Murray State Racers fan, he said he enjoys boating, flying Cessna airplanes and riding his bicycle an average of 3,000 miles a year.