RALEIGH, N.C. — Don Mills, president of SIA Group (http://www.siagroup.net), a full-service insurance agency with seven offices throughout North Carolina, has announced that it is opening its newest office in Blacksburg, Va., led by Wallace ("Wally") J. Nelson Jr., an industry expert with 24 years of experience specializing in health care, defense contracting and manufacturing insurance. As a vice president at SIA Group, he will lead the company's overall direction in the state of Virginia, as well as the areas of health care for hospitals, doctors, individuals, for-profit and nonprofit operations, and long-term living care facilities. With this opening, SIA Group plans to expand its Virginia presence with multiple locations throughout the state the same way the agency has grown in North Carolina, as well as continue and build upon the SIA Group model of emphasizing customer service and bringing value-added products to clients.
Nelson joins SIA Group from his previous position as executive vice president and sales manager for 18 years with Chas Lunsford Sons and Associates, where he was one of eight founding partners. Prior to that role, he served as an account producer for McDonough Caperton Insurance and Chaney Thomas Stephenson & Hill Inc., entering the insurance industry with the latter firm. Nelson quickly became the largest new business producer at Chaney Thomas Stephenson & Hill. The company recruited him from Precision Fabrics Group, where he was an industrial sales manager, as part of a program to develop the next generation of its sales force from successful young professionals. Nelson spent one year at Precision Fabrics after it spun off from Burlington Industries. He spent seven years in various positions at Burlington Industries, including representing its industrial fabrics group in Switzerland and Germany.
A graduate of Emory & Henry College in Emory, Va., with a Bachelor of Arts in economics, Nelson successfully completed the Young Managers Program through the University of Virginia's Colgate Darden School of Business while at Burlington Industries. He became a certified insurance counselor in 1997 and earned his professional affiliation with the American College of Healthcare Executives the following year. His professional memberships include the Blacksburg Partnership, a nonprofit, independent economic development organization formed by the town and its business and university communities. He is also a member of the Roanoke Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he was president of the Backbone Club, the group's recruitment arm. Nelson's community activities include serving as a past board member and mentor with Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia. He has been a youth sports coach for the Salem Recreational League and has served as president of the Blacksburg Country Club for the last two years, having been a board member three years prior to that. As a member of the First United Methodist Church of Salem, he recently served as chair for the pastor-parishioner relations committee.
SIA Group's Blacksburg office is located at 907 S. Main St. Nelson can be reached toll-free at (800) 682-7741 or via cell phone at (540) 353-2446.
"When I first learned about SIA Group its track record and growth objective impressed me. But what really won me over was meeting its leaders and learning of its distinctive management style and strong engagement with employees," said Nelson. "We all share a common appreciation for putting customer service first, and that has been a hallmark of our successes. I look forward to working many years with the agency."
"SIA Group is excited to open its first office in Virginia with Wally joining our team," said Mills. "His record of achievements is impressive, and his vision of where to take our agency in the future meshes perfectly with ours. We are glad to have Wally on board and eagerly await his help in widening our insurance reach in the health care, defense contracting and manufacturing industries."
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ABOUT SIA GROUP:
SIA Group is a full-service insurance agency with locations throughout North Carolina and in Blacksburg, Va. Founded in 1975, the firm offers a complete range of insurance products including risk management consultation, loss control, surety bonds programs, life insurance and employee benefit packages. SIA Group is one of North Carolina's fastest growing insurance organizations with more than 110 employees. The firm was listed as a Top 100 Privately Held Property Casualty Agency by the Insurance Journal in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. For more information, visit http://www.siagroup.net.