Monday, January 16, 2017

Vann Enjoys the Quality of Life in Sallisaw

Shannon and Cheryl Vann’s State Farm Insurance in Sallisaw was the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce Member of the Month for December.

Shannon Vann joined his father in the State Farm Insurance Agency on March 1, 1997. On March 1 of this year, he will celebrate 20 years in business in Sallisaw.

Vann was born into the insurance business as his late father, Ken Vann, was a State Farm Insurance agent for 30 years.

Vann was born to Ken and Joy Vann in Fort Smith, Ark., and grew up in Sallisaw. He was a member of the Sallisaw High School Class of 1986. During those years he helped his parents with another Sallisaw business venture, the Shadow Creek Country Club.

The family no longer owns the golf course, but Vann still plays golf “on occasion,” he said. “I don’t play as much as I should or want to.”

After high school Vann continued his education at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business science and business administration in 1990.

He went to work for State Farm Insurance in 1991 as a claims representative in Lawton.

But Ken Vann was thinking about retirement, and Shannon Vann came home to join the Vann agency on March 1, 1997, after completing the agent training program. He turned down a job offer in Kansas to do so.

“I wanted to stay in Oklahoma,” Vann said, “and dad had made the decision to retire.”

Along the way home, Shannon met and married his wife, Cheryl. The couple has been married 28 years. They have three children, Nathan, 27, of New York City, Riley, 22, of Boise, Idaho, and Marissa, 21, who is in her final year at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga. The Vann parents have no grandchildren, yet. But they do have two weddings coming up as Nathan and Riley are both engaged.

“I’m glad they are pursuing their careers and seeing the world,” Vann said of his children.

Vann also thought it important that he serve his community. He is a member of the Sallisaw Lions Club and the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce, for which he served as president for one term. He also served as Sallisaw mayor from April 2002 to April 2014.

The most important achievements during his tenure as mayor, Vann said, were improvements to the city water system including the water treatment plant, the water supply line and water intake. During his time as mayor the city also began work on DiamondNet, which provides television, internet and telephone services to residents. The new Sallisaw Sports Complex was also a project begun during Vann’s tenure as mayor.

“That’s something I hope the city will continue and expand,” Vann said.

Vann said he hopes to see the quality of life in the City of Sallisaw continue to improve.

“We’ve had tremendous growth in our business over the years,” Vann said. “And the city still has tremendous opportunity for growth. We need to keep investing in education in the area, investing in things that bring a good quality of life here, so people want to live here.”

Now that the Vann children are grown and gone, Vann said he likes watching Razorback sports, traveling and seeing his children.

“And following my wife around,” Vann quipped with his usual humor. “I work for her most days.”

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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