Young Professional of the Month: Jason Buchanan

Santa Maria Connect Young Professionals is a Young Professionals program run by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber. Each month, the program will showcase a local young professional. This month's showcase is Jason Buchanan, commercial insurance and employee benefit advisor for HUB International.

Talk a bit about yourself. What do you do professionally and what are your hobbies?

As a commercial insurance and employee benefit advisor at HUB International Insurance Services here in Santa Maria, I work with local business owners to protect their two most important assets, their company and their employees. I advise business owners on the proper coverage to protect against the exposures that they face on a daily basis, and I also advise them on how to provide an employee benefit package that will truly show the employees how much they are appreciated.

Business owners come to me when they are looking for a long term strategy, and a long-term relationship. I put forth tremendous effort to become more than just an advisor, but to become a close personal friend and also an essential part of their business.

My hobbies involve playing golf, going on runs with my golden retriever Hank, playing volleyball with my in-laws, playing softball, and spending time with my wife Carly and our on-the-way daughter!

How has working with HUB International allowed you to get more involved in your community?

Working with HUB International has allowed me to get more involved in my community by giving me the opportunity to work DIRECTLY with the community. By being the insurance advisor for so many local businesses, it allows me the chance to see first hand how these businesses operate, what they provide for our community, and the best part is I get to know the people that make it all happen. I love being able to walk through a clients facility and see their day to day operations. It gives you such a better idea of how great of a community we live in when you can see how others spend their time contributing to it.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is building relationships with my clients and becoming an important part of their business. I love seeing the passion that my clients have for their company, and the people they employ. I strive to be the person that they call as soon as they need any advice, and it fills me up with pride to know that they can trust in me to steer them in the right direction. I love when I get to visit my clients and see how things are going. Sometimes it does not have to be business related, I purely just enjoy popping by and catching up with them.

How are you involved in the community outside of your job?

I am involved in the community in a variety of ways. Currently I am on the board of directors for the Santa Maria YMCA, and will be taking on the role of Secretary in April. I am the President of the Santa Maria Human Resources Association, which provides monthly luncheons to local human resources professionals. I enjoy coaching local sports as well, and always attend a variety of local fundraisers.

Why do you enjoy giving back to the community?

I enjoy giving back to my community because my community has given so much to me. I was born and raised in Santa Maria, my wife is from Santa Maria, and now my children will grow up in Santa Maria. I was blessed to be born in a town like Santa Maria, with such a great sense of community, and I have grown up watching and getting to know leaders in the community and now it is my time to give back. Being involved in the community is also something that was instilled in me from my parents, who were, and still are heavily involved around town. “Leave something better than you found it” was a common saying around the house, and I strive to live by those words and build an even better community than the one that I was fortunate enough to grow up in.

Why would you encourage other young professionals to get involved/give back to their local community?

I would encourage other young professionals to involved and give back to their local community for a few reasons. You cannot beat the feeling of knowing that you are actively contributing the making your community a better place. The people that you will meet from getting involved will be some of the nicest, most caring, and hardworking people around town. The experiences that you will have will fill you with a sense of accomplishment and pride, and the relationships that you build will be priceless. I think everyone has a duty to try and make the world a better place, and it starts in your own backyard. If everyone spent time contributing to their local community in some way, shape, or form, the world would be a better place.

What is your favorite thing about Santa Maria?

My favorite thing about Santa Maria are the connections and relationships you build. There are not many other places that have such a strong feeling of togetherness quite like Santa Maria. It is not that people here know each other, it is that people here CARE for each other. I am a small town guy through and through, and after settling down and starting a family here myself, you begin to see why it is such a wonderful place to live. I look forward to further planting my roots here, watching my children grow up here, and becoming even closer with the people that make this place what it is.

Any additional thoughts?

You are a product of your environment, and we all need to make sure our environment is surrounded by good people and strong relationships.

If you are interested in Santa Maria Connect or have a suggestion for a Young Professional of the Month feature, email Alex Castillo at alex@santamaria.com.