Unsung Hero — Betty Skinner

Owner, Betty Skinner Insurance Agency
Betty Skinner — Resident of Brownsville/Keyport
Betty Skinner — Resident of Brownsville/Keyport

Betty Skinner has been volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club’s Bremerton Teen Center for about five years. She felt compelled to get involved with the organization due to the support and esteem-building it provides for youth.

When the teen center was built in East Bremerton, where her insurance agency is located, it was natural for her to become involved. “All the right people and opportunities were placed in my path for me to jump on board with volunteering and financial assistance to promote the work they do for our teens,” she says.

Skinner joined the insurance industry when she got her first job out of high school. Her best friend’s father worked for the state employment office and found her a job as a policy typist. Over the years, throughout her moves as a military wife, she stayed in insurance jobs.

Years later, she launched her own agency, which she’s now owned for 18 years. Skinner says that this has given her the opportunity to give back to her community through volunteering and charity work.

Skinner learned about the importance of giving back while growing up. Her father was a colonel in the Army and Skinner recalls her mother frequently bringing plates of goodies to families new to the neighborhood.

“I think this is what started me off young with ‘wanting to do for others.’ My mom would always bring me along when we would offer assistance to new families, so I grew up in the atmosphere of morals and ethics from my dad and charity giving and helping from my mom,” she says.

“It’s part of my inner core,” she adds. “Being able to give back or help is a true passion. When you can see the smiles on people’s faces or see the opportunity others may not usually get, it makes my heart swell with happiness.”

In addition to supporting the Boys & Girls Club, Skinner is member of East Bremerton Rotary and serves on the board of the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce. She has been recognized with several professional and service awards, including YWCA’s Woman of Achievement and Kitsap Community Foundation’s Business Making a Difference Award.

Skinner is also a 20-year volunteer with the Washington office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. She is the original co-creator of bringing the “Every 15 Minutes” program to high schools in Kitsap County. The program educates teens about the dangers of drunken driving and impaired driving.

Why Become Involved

I believe every kid should have the opportunity to become whatever they want to be, and the Boys & Girls Club instills that belief.

Why This Work is Important

The youth is the future of our country and they deserve the chance to grow and develop skills to make this world a better place.

Best Part of the ‘Job’

Seeing the kids succeed in school or in a project. To see their success as they use their skills and talents to make a mark in their school or community is what makes me proud. There are a lot of hidden skills and talents that are developed because of the Boys & Girls Club.

Biggest Challenge

Having enough time or money. If I could, I would give a hundred percent of my time and money but I am limited to time challenges with running a business. Sometimes feeling like you can’t do enough makes me sad.

Unsung Heroes

WestSound Magazine would like to recognize our local unsung heroes who go above and beyond in their daily jobs. Do you know a first responder, teacher, public servant, assistant or any other professional who deserves to be in the spotlight? Email a nomination to rtollefson [at] wetapple [dot] com with a short statement why this person is an unsung hero. Please include your contact information.

Best Compliment

Knowing that I made a difference for a kid when they needed it the most. A lot of the times, it’s not about a handout — it’s about a “hand-up.”

Things I Can’t Live Without

Overall, my passion is connecting and influencing in the community. Partnering and bringing people together with helping each other. Of course, I can’t live without time at the ocean, too!

Best Way to Relax

Trips to the ocean. Spa trips, reading and self-development.

Hobbies Outside of ‘Work’

There is time outside of work? As a business owner, it’s a challenge to take tame off outside of “work.”