Local man ranks service above awards

By Terry Harris

Waverly resident Jesse Hellyer has received a great deal of recognition throughout his career with New York Life Insurance Company.  In 2020 alone, he scored an impressive number of agency and industry awards despite the challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic. But when he recently took time out to answer questions about the recognition, the accolades apparently were far down on the list of things most important to him.

“My favorite thing about all this?” he responded.  “Every day is different, and every day I get to make a difference.”

“All this” consisted of things like having been recognized for the third consecutive year as the Agent of the year Runner-up for the Richmond General Office of New York Life, where he is one of 60 agents from Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, Williamsburg, and North Carolina to report to that office. And besides also being recognized as a Life All-Star, Annuity Elite Gold and Long-Term Care Elite Producer and a Life and Qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table, when office leaders in the categories of Life production, Life paid cases, Mutual Fund Production, Long Term Care production and well as income and deferred annuity production were honored, Hellyer was the only agent ranked in the top 10 in five of the six categories.  

When asked for details about the awards, he responded, “I love what I do and I am very proud to represent such a financially secure company, but it’s not really just about that. I love the town I live in and the area.  That’s why I do what I do because I want to make sure my friends and family and community are protected and cared for.”

“I help take the fear out of tomorrow for people,” he expanded. “I call myself a longevity planner because I help people plan and prepare for a long life by using the right tools and products.  I work with them to take away the fear of what tomorrow will hold by doing some planning – by doing three main things.  I help people protect assets, I help them grow assets, and I help them distribute assets.”

“One of the things I tell people,” he continued, “is when I knock on the door after someone passes away, I’m bringing a check to make sure the family can maintain their lifestyle. It’s like the last love letter that somebody is leaving for their family, telling them it will be ok and that they’ll be taken care of. “

“But it’s not just about life insurance,” he added. “It’s also about Long Term Care Insurance, Mutual Funds, and Deferred (Growth) and Income Annuities. For example, when somebody is nearing retirement, I can help formulate a strategy to retire comfortably without financial worries.  When they can no longer take care of themselves, if they’ve done proper planning, I’ve helped them take family members from becoming care providers to being care managers.”

He said that he enjoys working in a small community sharing these things, “because so often, as with many other things, small communities are overlooked. I like to tell people I have a small-town approach with big city knowledge.”

Hellyer said that he is very grateful for his wife, Loretta’s support as administrative assistant and credited their mutual interest in their church and in promoting good, positive growth in the community with being one of the main reasons for his being in the business he enjoys.  He spoke fondly of young people he has coached and worked with in various youth programs as his sons were growing up who now come to him for advice as they begin families of their own.  He described the joy he receives from serving in many areas of Wakefield United Methodist Church such as the regular Blood Drives, where, in addition to organization of the events, he has contributed over 20 units of blood. 

As he described upcoming projects with the Sussex Chamber of Commerce, where he serves as President, he said, “I think there’s great potential for growth in Sussex.”

“I believe that what I do helps our small community,” he added, “and that is why I’m not just in this for business.  I’m in this for them. Because I feel that there are so many people out there that receive bad advice from people just in this business for themselves, and it’s important to me to provide good, honest trustworthy service so they can sleep at night knowing that I am taking care of them.”