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This is the Way: Jay Byrnes from Byrnes Agency

This is the Way: Jay Byrnes
Jay Byrnes was born in to the insurance industry. His grandfather James Byrnes, Sr. opened Byrnes Agency in the small town of Pomfret, Connecticut in 1932. His dad, James Byrnes, Jr., a World War II veteran, joined the agency in the early 1950s. Jay joined the agency in the 1980s after getting his degree in history from Wittenberg University in Ohio. Time will tell if the legacy will continue and whether the insurance industry will call to Jay’s son Jack.

Dedicated to this industry, Jay is more than an agency owner. He’s chairman of ACT, state national director for the IIABA and board member of the Nexsure user group. For Jay, the best thing about the insurance industry is how the core of the industry remains somewhat constant but everything else around it is in transition.

I talked with Jay about his experience and time in the industry. This is the way Jay works.



We live in the town of Woodstock, and we have three offices in Norwich, Dayville and Woodstock Connecticut.

Current gig:

The president of the Byrnes Agency, chairman of ACT, state national director of the IIABA, and board member of the Nexsure user group.

One word that describes how you like to work.


Current mobile device:

iPhone 6

Current computer:

Lenovo with two screens

Project(s) you’re currently working on:

We are always on an endless quest to enhance the client experience so all our projects are centered on that from soup to nuts.

Accomplishments you’re proud of:

Still having a passion for the business.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

Continue to leverage technology to enhance the customer experience and make our staff more efficient.

What technology, apps or tools can’t you live without?

My iPhone is never more than a reach away.

Describe your workspace.

Maintain two offices at two of our locations – both very neat!

How do you manage your to-do list?

Combo of sticky notes, calendar reminders and the notes feature on my phone.

What do you do when you finish a project?

Move onto the next one.

Jay Byrnes on the phone

What’s your best time-saving tip or hack?

I could use one! Suggestions?

What is your best everyday habit?

Try to have a positive interaction with every one of the 30 members of our staff

What do you listen to while working?

In the car CNBC during market hours, then coffee house to unwind. iPod in the background while at my desk

What are you currently reading?

I am a newspaper hound getting two paper deliveries and reading several more online. More of a periodical reader than books

How do you decompress?

Nice glass of wine out by the fire pit.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Work in progress!

Who are your business idols and why?

One person I truly admire is Jim Kennedy, past president of Ohio Mutual. Jim is truly dedicated to the independent agent channel.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

To be a person of your word. If you say it, do it. This goes for all aspects of life but particularly in an industry where we are selling an intangible product.

What’s your favorite blog?

Not a big blog person, more of Facebook and LinkedIn

What would you be doing if you weren’t working at Byrnes Agency?

I would be in trouble as it’s the only job I have had. At least my resume would be easy.

Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?

Ted Joyce

The This is the Way blog series asks ITC employees, agents, carriers and other people in the industry how they work and to share their tips. Is there someone you want to see featured or questions we should ask? Tweet us or leave it in the comments below.


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