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Lehigh Carbon Community College

A communications tool created by a Reinhardt alumnus helps thousands of people daily. Josh Bagby (RU-2014) initiated the Cherokee Connect Facebook group in 2019 to help clients of his insurance agency obtain business recommendations in the area. He explains, “When people moved to Cherokee County, I was one of the first people they met, and they would ask for advice. Connecting them to my local network quickly became one of the best ways I could make their new hometown feel like home.”

In just four years, the social media group surpassed 100 thousand members and has over 400 daily posts, and it is on pace for over 2 million comments in 2024. Bagby, president of Providence Insurance Advisors, says his primary goals are to keep the posts positive, help grow local businesses, and give non-profit organizations in the area a free and efficient avenue to get the word out about their needs. “There’s some really cool stuff that happens in there,” Bagby says, “With that many people, you are connected to just about anyone you need to know.”

Bagby, who opened his first insurance agency in 2010, decided two years later to seek a Master of Business Administration at Reinhardt. He says learning business plans, human resources, marketing, and statistics provided much-needed knowledge and led to the launch of a successful brokerage in 2021.

Bagby maintains ties to the University including sponsoring the Eagles football team. This spring, he spoke at a luncheon for Reinhardt donors and scholars and recalled, “I was impressed hearing their stories. There’s a lot of history there, and the future is bright for Reinhardt.”