Not many people use Dallas as a steppingstone to get to San Angelo. But Casey Puckitt did.
Fresh out of Texas Tech University, Puckitt lit out for the bright lights to launch his career in 2007. The goal, he said, wasn’t to live large in Big D, but to gain the professional experience that would lead to success back home.
After four years, including two years of driving one hour each way between home and work, he told his wife Berkeley, “I’m done. Let’s go home.” When Trimble-Batjer Insurance recruited him to join its firm, Puckitt bit.
“I knew if I did a good job, I’d have the opportunity to be a partner,” he said.
“I also missed the ranch,” he added of the Water Valley spread that’s been in his family since 1885, “and just the people, the laid-back culture and how nice everybody is.”
Today, the Puckitts have a 1-year-old daughter, Sadie, and two dogs, Bentley and Penny.
Once home, Puckitt made an immediate impact on his firm and his community.
Peter Batjer said Puckitt, 32, has helped Trimble-Batjer contract with more insurance carriers, giving it a competitive edge in the marketplace. Additionally, he’s grown his own book of business while mentoring younger agents.
He also slipped seamlessly back into the church he grew up in – First Presbyterian. He was elected to its Board of Deacons and, two years later, was selected to serve as its chair. He also served on the Mission Service & Outreach Committee, and helped found the church’s Genesis Class for young adults.
“My family and my faith in Jesus are the most important things in my life,” Puckitt said. “The church is the medium for how you act out your faith. How you grow in your faith is by being involved in your church family.”
Puckitt has held leadership posts with Downtown San Angelo, Inc., Mosaic and the Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers Association. But his board membership with and service to the West Texas Boys Ranch feels most personal. That’s likely because of the lifestyle the ranch teaches its boys and because of Puckitt’s soft spot for underprivileged children.
“They’re in the situation they’re in not because of anything they did,” he said. “It’s just the hand dealt to them. And given the opportunity, they can pull themselves out and give themselves something better.”
The mission of the Boys Ranch – building boys from troubled homes into solid men – ties seamlessly into Puckitt’s definition of leadership: the ability to inspire others to be better than they imagined.
“One of the best qualities in the leaders I look up to is their ability to show humility and lead by serving others,” he said. “At the end of the day, I want to be remembered for my actions. Today, more so than ever, sometimes talk is cheap. When I go to sleep at night, I want to be proud of what I actually did, not of what I said I was going to do.”