William “Buddy” Sheets has worked as an operations manager since 2019. Before moving into this position at Crawford, he worked as a field adjuster and in various mobile response units responding to customer escalations. Having experienced many losses himself, Buddy offers a unique perspective and insight into what policyholders encounter during catastrophic storms. He values being effective in his work and believes that adjusters’ have the opportunity to change lives.
Buddy was living in Mississippi when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005. He lost his home and his workplace in the aftermath. Suddenly, in need of work, his friend recommended adjusting.
“I started and really enjoyed the job,” he said. “I haven’t looked back since.”
He has experienced the impact of the adjusting industry on a personal and professional level. In his lifetime, Buddy has faced two total fire losses and one total flood losses. Because of his personal experiences, he is able to understand policyholders dealing with loss and provide the support they need as they navigate the claims process.
Buddy recalls one impactful instance after a massive ice storm in Fort Smith, Arkansas. A tree fell on an insured’s mobile home and completely destroyed it. The force of the tree also killed the insured’s daughter. The insured did not know much about the claims process and feared that he would be homeless and alone after the storm. Buddy and his team were able to reassure him that he would be covered. When they confirmed that the insured would receive a new mobile home, he was grateful for the work the adjusters had done and couldn’t believe the outcome.
“We were able to help change his situation but also change his outlook on life,” he said. “We were there to help.”
Buddy enjoys helping restore lives, businesses and communities, but he recognizes that adjusting involves handling complex situations under pressure. As an operations manager, Buddy’s workday is full of calls and staffing adjusters, managers and trainers where they are needed quickly. He embraces the difficult moments because they allow him to think creatively while achieving the best possible outcome. According to Buddy, every project or call has to be taken on a case-by-case basis because there is so much situational variance that requires creative solutions.
“I enjoy the challenge of it because I feel like every day is different despite doing many of the same tasks,” he said.
Buddy is focused on process improvements. With each task, he’s asking himself how the process can be more efficient, how it can be smoother and how it can deliver better results. He sees the industry is rapidly changing and wants to be prepared for those changes.
“There’s an increased increasing interest in “on-demand” inspection services such as WeGoLook and Hover. I expect the field to change drastically within the next five years and for our reliance on technology to increase,” he commented.
Outside of the office, Buddy enjoys spending time with his family. He has four children, with the oldest in college and the youngest in 5th grade. While they take up most of his free time, he still makes time for himself in the early morning. Buddy enjoys fitness and is currently training for a 74-mile run this fall and a 100-mile run in February. Similarly to his job, he enjoys pushing himself physically.
Buddy’s ability to persevere and see challenges as opportunities has not only made him an asset to the Crawford family, but has also empowered him to help people across the country.