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Effingham Magazine

Courtney Stephens: More Than Just Insurance at Brad I. Cherney State Farm

Courtney Stephens:

More Than Just Insurance at Brad I. Cherney State Farm

“I love helping my customers—helping make things go right for them and seeing the smiles on their faces. I love it and can’t see myself doing anything else at this point,” Courtney Stephens says.

Career and Relationships

Courtney, a wife and mother of four from Montgomery, Alabama, began her career at State Farm as a customer service representative in 2013 under the leadership of the previous branch president Ronnie Brooks, who had been a committed agent in Effingham for over 42 years. Courtney was promoted to office manager in 2018. The team is now led by Brad Cherney, who came in as president of the agency a year ago.

Courtney has been a tremendous asset to the agency. She attained years of invaluable experience on the underwriting side of the business prior to joining her current team. She never had plans of a career in the insurance industry, although her dad Bruce Pruitt was an agent in Montgomery for 30 years.

Courtney feels privileged to have a job that she loves, building relationships that will last a lifetime. Both she and the entire Brad I. Cherney State Farm team consider their customers as family.

“I have grown relationships with customers over the past nine years. When Ronnie passed away, they were my concern. I didn’t want them to go to an agent outside of our Effingham State Farm family,” she says.

A Focus on Customer Service

The team prides itself on helping customers with an array of concerns. Courtney feels that a superior standard of excellence in customer service is always necessary. Whether helping with life, health, home or vehicle insurance needs, the agency has it all covered.

“We do it all—whatever they need. We try to help them with anything. We truly think of them as an extension of our family,” she says.

Extraordinary customer service is a priority for the team, and Courtney knows it makes a real diffference. Their customers know that they have their backs, striving to do what is in their best interest in every unique circumstance.

“We try to take a hands-on approach to everything. If someone doesn’t know how to respond to a claim, we can walk them through the process. We try to be there any time they need us,” she says.

There is No “I” in Team

Courtney is proud to be a part of such a solid team of dedicated professionals, and she appreciates the value that each individual adds to the business.

“We laugh. We play. We have fun. They’re wonderful, and I could not do what I do without them. We get along great and work together well. The leadership is cohesive. It’s like a small family,” she says.

Looking ahead, Courtney anticipates a lot of positive growth and business expansion for the company. She is happy that it will afford the team even more opportunities to further service the community.

As a thriving woman in business, Courtney encourages other women who are striving to attain their own professional goals to “believe in themselves, never being afraid to take a step out there.”

Company, Customers & Community

Brad, a third-generation insurance agent, has 24 years of professional experience in the insurance industry. The Illinois native feels that the organization has “a different caliber of agent”—those given the flexibility and empowerment to help customers in the best ways possible.

Brad, like Courtney, feels it to be a privilege and reward to help his family of customers. Whether helping with specific insurance needs or merely taking time to join in having a hot cup of coffee, Brad is grateful for it all, and he is proud to call Effingham his home.

“Effingham is amazing—so warm and welcoming. I’m blessed to have the customers that I have. We’re relationship-based here. You have to treat everybody with respect and give them what they deserve. We go above and beyond to help our customers. I try to find added value in every policy as much as I can without increasing prices. It’s not all about sales; it’s about relationships,” he says.


Brad knows that Courtney is an asset to his team and appreciates her diligence, drive, commitment and kindness.

“I have a wonderful team with Courtney at the head. I think the world of her. She’s a powerhouse and someone I really respect. In essence, she represents me, and I’m proud that she does so with the kind of integrity and personality that she has. She’s truly somebody that is a force for women in business, and she’s a huge force behind the agency.”

Brad I. Cherney State Farm
(912) 754-6051
1451 GA Highway 21 N, Unit L
Springfield, GA 31329