Moore Businesswoman Carries on Parents’ Passion for Helping Others
by Roxanne Avery
At some time in life, most people face at least one major insurance claim, and many don’t have the knowledge it takes to receive a fair settlement.
Brown-O’Haver, a public insurance adjusting company, is in business to help home and business owners through the tedious documentation involved with resolving claims.
Celebrating 30 years in business this year, Alice Young is continuing her parents’ legacy, operating a full-service insurance adjusting office in Moore. The youngest of five, Young was the only one of the kids who went into the family business.
“Some people thought I was too young to own a business,” Young said. “But I actually was working in the business alongside my parents since I was 8.”
Young said she has always had an interest in the family business, paying attention as her parents talked business around the dinner table. She went to site inspections and meetings with clients and, by the age of 10, was doing physical inventories.
“I grew up in the business and people began realizing I knew what I was doing.”
She remembers her dad telling her, “you are never going to be happy unless you’re working for yourself and helping other people.”
His words turned out to be a truth she discovered after the 2013 Moore tornado.
“That’s when our business really started to grow,” Young said.
With a teenager, a 2-year-old and a 7-month-old, life was already complex, but she knew she needed to help the Moore community.
“This is my community,” she said. “My step-son was at Highland East Jr. High, which closed after the tornado. We had to walk a mile to get him. I asked God to help me through that, and I promised to always give back.”
Soon, Young began praying a new prayer, one that was for the people who needed her help, a prayer that has grown beyond that devastating disaster.
Today, Brown-O’Haver participates in many community partnerships including volunteering four times a year on special projects as well as donations to many philanthropic organizations, including a $10,000 donation to Cavett kids.
There is also a house in the Norman Food and Shelter McKowen Village with Brown-O’Haver’s name on it.
“There are 10 transitional homes that cost $25,000 each, built to help people get off the streets and successfully back out into the world,” she said.
The house was the first big donation Brown-O’Haver was able to give back after the tornado.
“It was really the beginning of our community involvement,” Young said.
Other partnerships include the South-Central Junior PGA scholarship given once a year to a male and female, a Christmas angel project with the YMCA and the Moore Police Department’s “Shop with a Cop” program.
As a way of getting clients involved and giving back to the community during Thanksgiving and Christmas, Brown-O’Haver conducts a food drive. For every five cans or $5 donated, clients get their name in a raffle to win a turkey or a ham. Last year, they donated $700 to the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank.
They also organize a school drive at the beginning of each year, with the prize of a $100 gift card for the winning client to give to any teacher they want.
“Where I feel we make the most difference is in the little things here and there,” Young said. “The second grade at Broadmoore Elementary wasn’t going to have a field trip. We donated the $800 for the whole second grade to see ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ That made a difference in those kids’ lives, some who may have never seen a play before. That’s what I get really excited about.”
Young has a similar focus with her daily work as well. The personnel at Brown-O’Haver understand the paragraphs, clauses, exclusions and exemptions – those critical details. Every day, they work on behalf of their clients.
“Because people do not work with insurance companies every single day, they’re unfamiliar with what they’re doing,” she said. “They’re not supposed to be, but that puts them at an unfair disadvantage. That’s why people usually get 60 cents on the dollar from their insurance company. We make sure they receive more.” – BSM