Aug. 9, 2011
Contact: Tom Tozer, 615-898-2919
Knoxville Insurance veteran earns industry hall of fame induction
MURFREESBORO—Alexander A. “Bo” Shafer, founder of the Shafer Insurance Agency in Knoxville, was recently inducted into the Robert E. Musto Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame at Middle Tennessee State University.
The Hall of Fame, established in 1997, now comprises 48 honorees, including Shafer and three other insurance professionals who were recognized during the ceremony at the Doubletree Hotel in Murfreesboro.
Shafer earned a degree in business from the University of Tennessee, where he also played tackle on the football team from 1955 to 1959. Following graduation, he was a military policeman in the U.S. Army in Metz, France, until 1960.
In 1963, he opened his insurance agency with five employees, including two family members, and a starting salary of $3,000 a year. In 1969, Shafer sold his agency to Expedior Systems, Inc.
For the next few years, he was active in politics on behalf of the insurance industry. He served as president of the Knoxville Chapter of the Insurors of Tennessee and also was on the advisory council of the Great American Insurance Company.
In 1971, Shafer purchased his agency back from Expedior and four years later employed nine people. In 1995, his son, Andy, joined the company, representing the third generation to work in the family agency. Later, the company acquired Broome, Broome & Guthe Insurance Agency and grew to 26 employees. In 2008, Shafer purchased Insurance Services in the Tri-Cities area.
Shafer has volunteered his time and service to the local Salvation Army (board chair, 2005-‘06), Kiwanis International, United Way (chairman 1983 and 1995), Big Brothers/Big Sisters-Knoxville (co-founder), Ft. Sanders Foundation, Boy Scout Troop 701 (co-founder), and the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce. He has assisted in the capital campaigns for United Way, Salvation Army, McNabb Children and Youth Center, Children’s Hospital Emergency Room, Knoxville Harvest and Ronald McDonald House.
His numerous awards include the Kiwanis International Foundation Tablet of Honor, Rotary Business Person of the Year, Distinguished American Award, Outstanding Civic Leader, the 2011 Spirit Award (with his wife, the late Mary Shafer), and the Dr. Stanley Erwin Memorial Leadership Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
Shafer attends Second Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, where he has served as an elder and Bible teacher for 45 years.
Founded in 1911, Middle Tennessee State University is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution located in Murfreesboro and is the state’s largest public undergraduate institution. In September 2011, MTSU will celebrate its 100th year anniversary with special events and activities throughout the year—kicked off by a Blue-Tie Centennial Gala on Friday, Sept. 9.