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Anderson Becomes Third Generation in Family Business

Marketing and Management Major Part of Strong Husker Legacy
Anderson Becomes Third Generation in Family Business
Grant Anderson, '18, became the third generation in his family's business, Anderson & Anderson Insurance in Concord, Nebraska.

Two-time Husker All-American Grant Anderson, ’18, recently jumped at the chance to become the third generation involved in his family business, Anderson & Anderson Insurance, in Concord, Nebraska. Raised on the family farm just south of town, he also joined the Anderson legacy when he attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in marketing and management at the College of Business.

"Both my parents, six of my aunts and uncles and my older brother all attended Nebraska before me. I grew up very familiar with all the great things the university had to offer and was also excited about the College of Business. My track scholarship helped solidify my decision, and my younger brother attended, so my immediate family all has business degrees," Anderson said.

Knowing he would eventually head back home, he first honed his management skills at LRS Healthcare and his sales skills at Dex Media in Omaha, Nebraska. After six years, he decided it was time to join Anderson & Anderson.

Grant stands with his parents outside their business.
Anderson works with his father, Steve, '83, and mother, Peg, '88.

"I wanted to get back to my roots and give back to the community where I was raised," Anderson said. "I always knew the important role farmers have in society by growing food for the entire world. Insurance helps play a major part in that process by helping those farmers manage risks," he said.

His grandfather became owner of the business in Hartington, Nebraska, in 1973 after his farming career and his mother, Peg, joined the business in 1990. Soon after, they opened an office in Laurel, Nebraska. His father joined in 2011 after a lifetime of farming and banking, and they opened a third office in Allen, Nebraska.

"We have clients all over the state and in parts of South Dakota. In addition to the agricultural aspect of insurance, I wanted to take that next step of being involved firsthand with the sales and management side of running a business," Grant said.

He noted how Identifying and Exploring Entrepreneurial Opportunities (ENTR 421) taught by Samantha Fairclough, associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and associate professor of practice in management, made a lasting impression on him. The course introduces students to methods for analyzing the feasibility of their own business ideas.

"The class was very creative, promoted responsible risk-taking and explained how to start a business from the ground up," Anderson said. "I really enjoyed the course."

He also worked with fellow students on a unique hands-on learning experience called Strive to Thrive Lincoln in the Philanthropy and Leadership (MNGT 411) course. They awarded $10,000 in grants to Lincoln and Lancaster County nonprofits after a semester of learning how to manage all aspects of a grant application process including reviewing proposals, visiting the nonprofits, selecting the winners and awarding the funds.

"I learned in that course how important nonprofit organizations and volunteering are to a community. Sometimes as a society, we are programmed to prioritize profits over everything, but especially in smaller towns, it takes everyone to pitch in a little. Whether that is volunteering at the fair, picking up trash or donating to the local nonprofit organization. You may not immediately benefit, but in the long run you will benefit by having a nice place to call home. Plus, it is always fulfilling helping others in need," he said.

He also shared it's especially important in smaller towns to give back.

"The strong family values, educational system and comradery are unique in small communities. With the ever-changing economy and society becoming more modernized, I can see the lure of wanting to take a job in a bigger city. However, it is important to keep young talent in these rural communities so businesses and agriculture can continue to thrive. It is important to be involved in the Chamber of Commerce, buy local and volunteer any way you can to make sure this way of life is preserved."

While at Nebraska, Anderson won three Big Ten team championships (indoor 2015 and 2016 and outdoor 2016), and had a personal best jump of 7'3". He also competed individually at nationals twice.

"I enjoy being around high-functioning and competitive people. Competing in track kept me resilient when facing adversity," he said. "Much like sales, you must continue to get up even after you have been knocked down."

He also shared some college advice for future and current Huskers.

"Stay focused on your studies, especially the first couple years of college. It is a difficult adjustment period that can be discouraging at times, but once you finally cross the stage at graduation, I promise it will be worth it," Anderson said. "Obtaining a degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has opened so many doors for me that I could have never imagined. I am truly grateful for my time spent as a Husker. Go Big Red!"

Published: July 10, 2024