We had the good fortune of connecting with Todd Dean and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Todd, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Reading and exercising are the main two habits that have contributed to my success. Both require a day-to-day commitment. Even when I don’t have time, I make time to read and work out. No excuses or exceptions. I encourage the kids I mentor to read every day until it is a habit, then be more specific and intentional about what you’re choosing to learn and watch how that can shape your future and with exercise, I always revert to Deion Sanders old saying, “If you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you play good.”

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In 2019, I joined The Lavette Group, the only black independent insurance firm in Bartow County. My mentor offered the job, and I couldn’t say no. Knowing that I would help and educate people on insurance throughout my hometown and beyond. My mentor emphasized that we were in sales, but I had to become an educator to impact our community. I was sold, and It was important to me to start at home. Due to the pandemic, things didn’t start as strong as I would’ve imagined. Future partnerships, clients, and other endeavors were put on hold. I’m happy to say in 2021, we hit the ground running and get back to where we were in 2019. I am most proud of all the small businesses & black-owned businesses that have trusted us with their business this year. It speaks to our brand’s core, which is to serve, educate, and give back.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m going to keep this Cartersville-based. The first place I would take them is Summer Hill Plaza, a plaza full of black-owned businesses and restaurants. Summer Hill is the most historic black neighborhood in Cartersville, so there is plenty to see outside of the plaza. Live music is a must. We would check out some local artists at a bar called the “Local” or attend one of Black Bartow’s events downtown.

We would cap things off with a few hours at the Noble Hill-Wheeler Center to check out the first Rosenwald School in northwest Georgia, built-in 1923, and then we would head to Big Door Vineyards to taste some of their vintage wine. That is definitely a good time in Cartersville, Ga.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I want to Shoutout my father, who passed away 10 years ago. That man instilled morals and values in me that I hold dear. His impact on my life is eternal.

Secondly, my family, especially my mom and sisters. They will tell you they won’t leave my corner because they’re stuck there. And are willing to go to war with me no matter what.

Finally, my mentor Tony Suber gave me a chance to do something impactful in my community when I was having difficulty figuring it out for myself. His direction helped me get my affairs in order, and I’m forever thankful for him.

A Huge Shoutout to Cartersville, Georgia, for allowing me to grow up in a community that refused to see me fail.

Website: www.lavettegroup.com

Instagram: TeeOne33

Twitter: Tee_One33

Facebook: Michael Todd Dean Jr.

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