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Scheppmann honored, humbled by city award

To say Doug Scheppmann was surprised by the phone call may be a bit of an understatement.

Earlier this month he received word that he was this year’s choice for the recipient of the Bill Andrews Award, as presented by the Boulder City Council. Andrews was the city’s longtime attorney and was very active within the community.

“From what I’ve heard, the city council comes forward with some names of those worthy of the award,” Scheppmann said. “They discuss that and choose someone from that list. I was told about a week before the council meeting. I received a call from a staff member, asking if I could attend the meeting and why. I was kind of shocked. I think you always are when you get into that type of recognition.”

He said what made receiving the award even more special is that he knew Andrews very well and always respected what he did within the city, both personally and professionally.

“There’s always so many other people involved in everything I do that it’s hard sometimes receiving recognition when others are equally as active and deserving,” he said.

Scheppmann and his family moved to Boulder City in 1980 from Minnesota. It was around that time that he was offered a job with State Farm but he knew if he was going to do it, he wanted the family to live in a milder climate. So, they packed up and moved to Boulder City but for the first four years he commuted to work in Las Vegas.

At that time, anyone in town who had State Farm for insurance were clients of agent Teresa Denning. In fact, she had to give permission for Scheppmann to have an agency in Boulder City. He started what’s called a scratch agency, meaning that he had no clients and while he was offered an agency in Las Vegas, he declined, wanting to work here.

“They had to ask Teresa if it was OK for me to come to town and she gave them permission,” he said. “Others had wanted to come here but she was not in favor of that. Back then you had a restriction as to how close you could have a State Farm agency to another and because the town was so small it didn’t fall into those criteria.”

Getting to work in Boulder City was one thing. Succeeding was another.

“It was a major concern, to be honest,” he said. “It was very, very lean years early on. But she (Denning) was such a wonderful person. I was her claims person early on, so she got to know me. What definitely helped is receiving permission. We’d often sit and talk and would become very good friends.”

This March will mark his 40th year as an agent in Boulder City.

“I absolutely love it,” he said of his career path. “My favorite part of every day is working with people. We have struggles now because of underwriting issues, which has made things a little more difficult. That’s tough because your name is on the building and people are doing business with you but in reality, there are so many things out of your control.”

He went on to say, “But working with the citizens of Boulder City has been a great experience. I’ve met so many amazing people in the process. It’s been very rewarding. As for how long I want to keep doing this, when people ask, I tell them, ‘They’re going to have to pull the hearse in front of the door and put me into it.’ I have no plans of retiring. I’m so fortunate to have both my sons working here and a wonderful staff.”

In his early days of being a Boulder City resident, Scheppmann spent several years on the Boulder City Parks and Recreation Commission under then-City Manager George Forbes and soon-to-retire Parks and Rec Director Roger Hall.

“It was such an active commission,” he said. “A lot of it had to do with George coming up with ideas or Roger and we helped move them through the process. We were able to get a lot done.”

He’s served more than a decade on the governing board of the Boulder Dam Credit Union, something he’s very proud of. Something else he’s proud to say is that he has been a member of the Boulder City Sunrise Rotary for 32 years. During that time, he’s been very hands-on and instrumental in the success of the Grad Night event in which Boulder City High School seniors participate in safe, all-night activities.

“I enjoy the camaraderie and the people you get to meet through Rotary,” Scheppmann said. “I’ve honestly developed the best network of friends a person could ever ask for and most of those were through Rotary. My son, Tony, is now involved and served as president, which gave me a great amount of satisfaction and pride. Our motto is that we do things for the community but we have to have fun doing it. And we truly believe that.

“If you’re going to do anything in life, you might as well enjoy it. And helping others brings me so much gratification. You look at how much volunteerism there is in town – it’s what makes Boulder City so special.”

Ron Eland is editor of the Boulder City Review. He can be reached at reland@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523.

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