The deal is a win for Gallagher, downtown Visalia and Dunbar itself. Gallagher bought BMI in 2018 when the insurance giant also bought 15 other smaller brokerages across the country. In Visalia, they also acquired the Lewis & Associates Insurance activity. Gallagher retained 71 of BMI’s 80 employees after the purchase, according to an article in The Sun-Gazette.
Dunbar said Gallagher Visalia employees would move to another downtown building, which he said he was not ready to disclose, but would bring former Buckman Mitchell Insurance staff back to Main Street where it was located for much of its history in Visalia. Buckman Mitchell moved to the Santa Fe building in 2007 to support the city’s vision to develop the downtown east. This new move will help improve some of the recently vacant positions downtown by filling a prominent building on Main Street. Dunbar said his staff should complete the move by Dec. 1, 2022 if all permits remain on track for the Santa Fe building renovation.
“We’re very happy to be back on Main Street,” Dunbar said. “We’re going to fill our building with something very nice for Visalia, and veterans, we’re going to go back to our roots on Main Street.”
Dunbar said he was happy to give up Gallagher’s current home in exchange for bringing more veterans services to the city. His family’s military service history dates back to the Civil War, fighting for the Union Army in Massachusetts. Her mother’s father served in the US Army during World War I. Both of her parents were in the US Navy during World War II and met at a USO dance. His son-in-law is currently an Army Ranger who has completed eight tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It feels really good to see that this is going to be used for veterans,” Dunbar said.