Since his days as a small-town high school quarterback in LaPorte, Bob Dean has believed a plan of action, preparation, the will to succeed and follow through are crucial to success.

These ingredients have helped him rise from modest beginnings to create an insurance agency that is one of Texas' largest, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency, LP, and to become one of the leaders of the state's insurance industry. From the time Bob started his business in 1980, after more than a decade as a loss control manager working for others, he has focused on acquisitions and marketing programs, consistently bringing new insurance companies to the Dean and Draper fold.

Bob Dean continually expands his business by bringing independent agents to work with him in partnership arrangements. "Dean & Draper offers a diversity and flexibility that many other insurance agencies do not. One of the benefits of an agency like ours is that we aren't limited to just one insurance company and we offer more choices, one size doesn't fit all." An independent agent represents many insurance companies. Clients benefit from choices with valued counsel to choose what is right for them.

If an individual seeks to insure his home, his jewelry, his auto, business or airplane, Dean & Draper will work with a company that can meet these specialized needs. If a client company seeks a benefit plan for hundreds of employees, Dean & Draper can search through the offerings of many firms for the best offer. Whether a customer wants flood insurance or protection on a skyscraper, Dean & Draper knows where to lead the client.

"Success isn't just about making money. It is about having ethics, building relationships, and feeling, at the end of the day, that you have done something worthwhile." - Bob Dean

Dean & Draper offer commercial and personal property and casualty Insurance and also life and group health. Dean & Draper's recent accomplishments include insuring more than $148 million in office buildings and providing health insurance to a number of companies with several thousand employees based throughout the world.

They have developed a number of distinctive plans for particular industries. Dean & Draper designs specialized insurance plans for oil and gas companies, financial institutions, restaurants, electronics firms, contractors, manufacturers, wholesale-retail distributors, law firms and many others. One special area of expertise is providing insurance for non-profit organizations.

Dean & Draper also offer a variety of personal insurance policies, ranging from life and health to auto, motorcycle, and homeowners. The company insures boats, maritime facilities and aircraft. About 40 percent of Dean & Draper's business is made up of personal policies.

Relationships are important on every level, with both clients and employees. A combination of careful hiring and employee education make for a high-level team of associates. Dean & Draper tests each associate to determine where they will best fit in the firm. Sales and service can then operate where they have the best aptitude. The clients want agents to understand their industry, translate that understanding to a tailored policy for their needs and respond immediately to their problems. Dean & Draper hires and retains individuals with strong technical backgrounds.

Dean & Draper has gone high-tech, bringing it ahead of the curve and superior to most insurance agencies in technical sophistication. Bob Dean is keenly aware of the need to successfully compete in today's high tech environment and recently spent $300,000 to revamp the company's interactive Internet customer service. Now clients can view their policies online with a special password, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They also can get quotes online, compare the services of various companies, and transact most of their insurance business by e-mail with Dean's agents.