A Big Ol Heart

Phil face paintingIt’s 7 o’clock , one evening in July, and Phil Hildebrand is working up a good sweat over the grill at a Western Catholic Union swim party.   He’ll cook up over 300 hot dogs for the party.

And he’s never been happier.

This is a labor of love for Phil.   As he looks out across the swimming pool area and he sees old friends, new friends, clients and even his grandkids.   He sees one big WCU family.

“You can never have enough friends,” he says.

As president of the Quincy branch, Hildebrand often calls on his WCU family to help raise money for area causes.  Now, with the Quincy branches coming together, the future is very bright for Quincy fraternalism.  “This is exciting,” Phil says.  “Now we will be pulling from a stronger workforce, and all pulling for the same things.”

Phil doesn’t like to take credit for the branch’s success.   The quickly passes any compliment to all of his members that make the activities run smoothly.  On this night, while grilling the hot dogs, as he serves one of his members he asks her to head up his kitchen staff for the big pancake breakfast seven months in the future.  “I just want to carry on the traditions that Gene Grawe established,” Phil says.  “The key is having plenty of people involved to help.”

After a number of years in the business, he was encouraged to reject an offer from a much larger company to start his own company by his wife, Jeannie.   “That isn’t your dream” is what Jeannie told Phil.  “You wanted to be independent.”   Hildebrand Insurance was started in 1989.

“I’m not a smart person, but I did MARRY smart,” Phil chuckles.

Through the years business has grown and so has the Hildebrand family.  Phil and Jeannie have three children and nine grandchildren, and all live nearby.  “I always tell my kids that if I would have known that having grandkids was this much fun I would’ve skipped right to this part.”

And now Phil understands his clients needs better than ever.   He can relate to the young family, and he can understand what the grandparents might need.  “I thoroughly enjoy working with the senior market.   Many want to be able to pass their money on to their kids.” Phil says.   “They’ve paid taxes all their lives, and they sure don’t want to pay 42 cents on the dollar to Uncle Sam after they’re gone.  I love to help them work this out, and that’s when the WCU products shine!”

In his free time Phil loves to work in the yard.   His green grass and beautiful flowers are a testimony to his gentle touch.  It’s the same gentle touch that helps his family, business, and branch grow.

“I love having our family WCU activities.  It’s what is lacking in our country today,”  Phil says.    “Forget the “me” and the “I” and focus on the “we.”   Our activities aren’t work, they’re fun.   That’s what we are here for.”