Bedford County is home to a mix of successful businesspeople. Some were born here; others came here later in life.
Nate Roadman, president and CEO of the Reed Wertz and Roadman Insurance Agency, and his wife, Katelyn Bombardiere, share both perspectives under the same roof.
“I studied finance at the University of Colorado and was drawn there with a dream of skiing and enjoying the outdoors as a mountain guide,” said Roadman. “When I decided insurance was a better fit, my father suggested I learn from the Cincinnati Insurance Company as a commercial underwriter.”
He discovered a love for the company and its people but had his eye on returning to Bedford to support the family business and the opportunity it provided.
As for Bombardiere, who hails from Denver, “I was definitely hesitant and nervous about relocating, having never lived in a small town, but I’ve really grown to love it. You can drive for five hours and still be in Colorado, but here I can be in West Virginia or Washington, DC, in half that time. It’s a different experience.”
Despite its name, RWR Insurance does a lot more than just insurance.
“The other services we offer make us a one-stop shop and a holistic solution for a lot of our commercial business customers who also need health insurance or a 401k plan for their employees,” Roadman said. “Our benefits team can advise them on those solutions. It’s also getting tougher to find affordable commercial auto coverage, so our risk management team can help clients stay compliant with the Department of Transportation and OSHA to help keep their insurance costs under control. It’s a whole picture approach.”
RWR’s history dates back to 1889, when Jacob Reed began the business.
“My grandfather entered the picture in 1968 when he bought the Homer Wertz agency and merged it with the Bill Reed agency in 1971,” Roadman said.
Bombardiere has spent her entire career in wealth management and serves as a financial advisor for Commas of Cincinnati.
“I started out in the high net wealth space working with people who had millions and realized my passion lies with working with everyday investors and retirement preppers, people who are in the accumulation phase,” she said. “It’s an underserved area, a lot of people think you have to have wealth to work with a financial advisor, but it’s the opposite. I can help them make smart decisions now to set them up for a successful future. My clients are nationwide, but I’m excited to help the Bedford Community in that way as well.”
As a remote employee who relies on referrals, online meetings and technology, Bombardier said Bedford has offered her the ability to be successful.
“I’ve had no issues with broadband here, and the coverage is getting better thanks to the Speed Zone initiative that’s extending service into underserved parts of the county,” she said.
Bedford County is hardly Colorado in terms of remote wilderness, or skiing for that matter, but Bombardiere and Roadman said that doesn’t hold them back from their enjoyment of outdoor recreational activities.
In fact, Roadman said, some of his Colorado friends who visit Bedford County leave with the feeling that they’ve been through boot camp.
“They were hiking, biking, kayaking the rivers and weren’t expecting so much outdoor opportunity here,” he said.
Some are also envious that he and Bombardiere were able to buy a house, travel, have the wedding they wanted, and talk about starting a family.
“Those are things many of them have put on the back burner because they live in a large metropolitan area and can’t afford it,” he said. “There are sacrifices and things we’d love Bedford County to have, but being able to pursue a career and explore and take advantage of so many other things is something I underestimated before coming back.”
“I can get to Pittsburgh, the District of Columbia or Baltimore in two hours, and explore other cities and small towns I never would have been exposed to,” Bombardiere said. “I love how much the Bedford County Development Association and all the other professional organizations here connect young businesspeople and are trying to get more talent into the area. It’s an exciting place to live, and an exciting time to live here.”