The Brookfield Chamber’s Business Person of the Month recognizes an exceptional business member. The monthly recognition is given to a Chamber member that excels in the areas of business excellence, community engagement, and entrepreneurial spirit. The business is one of the Top 35% businesses in the greater Brookfield area. This business person is saluted by the Brookfield Chamber’s board of directors and featured on our website, Facebook page, and LinkedIn group.
Name: Robert Feest, Owner
Company Contact Information: Robert J Feest Insurance Agency, 850 Elm Grove Road, Suite 18, Elm Grove, Wisconsin 53122 | 262-641-0644 | [email protected]
Industry: Independent Insurance Agent
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
The smartest thing I did this year was to reconnect with my roots here in the Elm Grove community. I recently completed a 12 week course with the Elm Grove Police Citizens Academy, which introduced me to about 20 Elm Grove residents and the entire Elm Grove police department. I also joined the Elm Grove Business Association to augment my membership with the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce. I also now advertise in the “Elm Grove Living” magazine, which holds a social event once a month for all residents and business owners who advertise in the magazine to get together at a local restaurant so we can get to know each other better. I’ve made quite a few contacts through these local events, and it certainly has gotten my name out there in the community.
How many years have you been in business?
I have been active in the insurance business for 26 years, and opened up my own independent agency in 1995.
What advice can you give to struggling business owners?
The best advice that I can give to a business owner who is struggling is to connect with new people and get new perspectives. You are never too old to learn new ways to re-invent and market yourself. I am always looking for new ways to further my business, and provide value to my clients.
As someone doing business in the metro Milwaukee area, how does the Brookfield Chamber help you?
Joining the Brookfield Chamber has been one of the best experiences of my career. The Chamber offers so many opportunities to meet other members, including ribbon cuttings, breakfast and lunch networking meetings, and the monthly Business After 5 social event. New Members are assigned an Ambassador to help them get introduced to other members of the Chamber, and a New Member Engagement Partner to follow up with them and help them get acclimated as needed. New Members are encouraged to attend the “Maximize Your Membership” presentation as well, which is a very worthwhile program.
Do you have any advice for new business owners?
The best advice that I can give is to, first of all, learn everything you can about your chosen profession, so you can be able to answer any questions that may come up in a conversation. Once you are comfortable with that, perfect your elevator pitch, a simple 30 second glimpse into who you are and what you do. Keep it simple, and remember, the best way to get to know someone else is to ask them questions and then listen to their responses.
What would your colleagues be surprised to find out about you?
People may be surprised to learn that I get really nervous when the microphone comes to my table at the Brookfield Chamber’s ABLE (Active Business Leads Exchange) networking events. There have been times when I felt like fainting when the person next to me hands me the mic. Once I stand up, though, adrenaline takes over and I am “ABLE” to do my 30 second spot. (See what I did there?)
How long have you been a Brookfield Chamber member?
I have been a member of the Chamber for three years, and was invited to be a New Member Engagement Partner about a year ago. I get to meet so many of the new members in this role.
Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in Brookfield, and the leading business organization representing the interests of business in Brookfield and the surrounding area. GBCC recognizes the value in creating collaborative partnerships with other chambers in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties. These partnerships expand the reach, influence, and visibility of the Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce and provide additional benefits to its membership.