Five-Oh-Ones to Watch 2024: Cole Schanandore, Ott Insurance

At only 30 years old, Cole Schanandore has been plugged into Conway for years. Born in Chicago, his family moved to Conway when he was 2 years old. He tells people, “I got here as quick as I could.”

Schanandore graduated from Conway High School in 2011. He enrolled at the University of Central Arkansas, unsure of where his career path might lead. An introductory class in insurance led him to obtain a bachelor’s degree in insurance and risk management in 2014.

After several years working as an underwriter for a national insurance company, Schanandore accepted a sales position at Ott Insurance in Conway in 2017. With his knowledge of both personal lines and commercial lines coverages, he can help his clients with any risk mitigation needs they might have for their family and/or their business.

“Working at Ott Insurance is rewarding because we are there to help our clients on their worst day,” he said. “One of the benefits of my job is that I get to meet lots of people and learn about all different types of businesses. I also get to develop deep personal relationships with the clients I work with.”

He is active in several trade organizations, including the Professional Insurance Agents of Arkansas (PIA) and the Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas (the Big I).

He said his mother was one of his role models. He grew up admiring her work ethic and heart for others, and like his mother, he too finds time to help others.

Schanandore has been very involved in the Kiwanis Club of Conway since joining in 2017. The club has been a long-time sponsor of the annual Toad Suck Daze 10k/5k, and Schanandore became immersed with this event early on. He currently serves as the committee chair of this event that attracts hundreds of runners each year from all over the state and beyond.

The Kiwanis Club of Conway is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2024. Cole is currently serving as vice president and is slated to become the club’s 101st president in October, leading the club into its second century.

His wife, Sally, works part-time as a speech therapist at Milestones in Conway. They welcomed their first child in 2023 with the birth of their son, James.

He enjoys hunting and fishing, especially fly fishing on the Norfork River. He also loves to cook, saying his favorite dishes are the ones that use the most pots and make the biggest mess.

Despite the demands of his career and fatherhood, Schanandore expects to remain active in his hometown. “Conway is a community that I’ve gotten so much out of, so it’s important for me to give back,” he said. “Helping out is a small way to improve the community we live in. My professional goal is to be an expert in my field and help take Ott Insurance to the next level. And personally, I want to be the best husband and dad that I can be.”