Darren Yancy has always been a self-starter and hard-working individual. He knows the value of a dollar and through diligent perseverance has achieved the American Dream. He was raised with the conservative principles of self-reliance and responsibility and he has engaged those values each and every day throughout his life.
Darren’s sales and marketing career began in Texas at the young age of 16 when he began selling fire safety systems with MasterGuard Corporation. From the beginning, Darren pioneered new ways to reach prospective customers and within only a year he became the youngest National Sales Champion in the history of the company.
After moving to Arlington in 1984, Darren worked fulltime while also earning a degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington in only three and a half years. Following college, Darren was recruited by a number of local businesses and he spent the next six years working for two area companies – The Freeman Auto Group and the Mortiz Group where he worked his way up through various sales, finance and leadership positions in the company.
In the early nineties, he was recruited by Brinks Home Security and became the first National Sales Trainer for the company. Darren revised the corporation’s sales and training programs and increased sales revenue by over 50% in less than 2 quarters. Following this impressive achievement, Darren was offered a promotion to Regional Manager to oversee operations in four states. However, Darren declined this position and accepted an offer from Nationwide Insurance in early 1994 to begin a new field operation in North Arlington Texas. After three years as an employee, Darren became an independent contractor representing Nationwide in the office he started from scratch. Knowing the Nationwide relationship would terminate from an employee status to an independent contractor, Darren formed a partnership with his wife Carol to cover products and services not afforded by the Nationwide Insurance contract. Yancy Insurance & Consulting Group, LP is the holding company for the various internal corporations Darren & Carol have formed to accommodate the needs of their clients. It is the parent company for the organization today.
In the first 15 years of the operation, Darren grew it substantially by expanding the products and services the agency offered to include commercial insurance, pensions, and benefits. Several commercial products have become agency specialties – distinguishing the operation from competitors. Darren, Carol, and the agency are licensed in multiple states to accommodate clients with multi-state and regional needs. His continued commitment to provide the highest quality services possible for his clients led Darren to create a business brokerage and real estate division for the company in 2005. This new division focused on the commercial insurance specialties creating a unique synergy for growth and profitability to the operation. In 2007, as energy prices began to soar to unseen levels, Darren began to search into alternative and renewable energy projects and how the company could develop products from these up and coming sectors. In 2008, Darren began coordinating venture capital for a group, Unified Energies International, Inc (UEI), with revolutionary applications in solar, wind, and bio fuel technology. The technologies the company possesses have the ability to transform the renewable energy sectors within the next few years. In 2009, Darren was offered an ownership stake with UEI that he accepted. These duties, in addition to Darren’s duties as Managing Partner, keep him busy.
However, Barack Obama’s new economy and assault on capitalism took a significant toll on the Yancy’s business interests in 2009 and 2010. They lost many of their clients in those years when people lost jobs and closed businesses. Funding for their business brokerage division dried up; never to return. Other interests the Yancy’s had were also impacted from the economy and they were now faced with rebuilding their organization. Tough decisions had to be made to rebuild. In October of 2010, after nearly 17 years of representation, Darren terminated the relationship with Nationwide Insurance. In addition to the decimation of client losses from the economy, the contractual restrictions and the attitude the carrier had developed towards its agency force did not meet the high standards that Carol & Darren had set for client relations. Several changes were made operationally to achieve growth and diversification. Those changes included formation of an international company for consulting, capitalizing on the organizations experience in the transportation industry, as well entering small manufacturing of firearms and other accessories. The companies were recently granted their Federal Firearms License as both as manufacture and dealer.
Rebuilding the insurance operation was a daunting task. Having 15 years of work eliminated in less than a year meant analyzing what lines the operation could and should stay in. Several lines that were part of the foundation of services had to be changed. By 2014, Darren had rebuilt the retail insurance operation to where it had been prior to the economic collapse of 2009. However, process of rebuilding had been stressful and Carol & Darren had to reexamine the long term commitment to retail insurance in light of new opportunities with other divisions in the organization. They also had to look at whether any of their children would be willing to take over the division. Once all of the information was evaluated, a decision was made to sell off the retail insurance division in 2014. This would free them up to build other divisions that their children would take over in time.
Prior to his professional achievements, Darren’s personal character was formed through conservative values passed down from his parents. His father was a native Texan from Brownwood and his family worked on many construction projects throughout Texas. Darren’s mother was a Dallas native coming from a broken home and stepped into the adult world at the age of 14. She was able to work in several Dallas retail stores to earn a living. It was while she worked in retail that she would meet Darren’s father. The two married very young and had Darren in the first year of marriage. Asthma problems with Darren led his father in taking a position with United States Gypsum and a move to Lubbock in the late 1960’s. Active in his community growing up, Darren’s father joined the YMCA Father-Child Program in Lubbock. This experience would later shape Darren’s involvement with his children and the YMCA Father-Child Program in Arlington, Texas.
Darren’s family moved back to Euless, Texas in 1977 due to his father’s job. Unfortunately, his parent’s marriage had issues and the two separated in 1978. The divorce would have a profound impact on Darren. He chose to stay with his father and go to school in Euless. The poor economy of the late 1970’s hit Darren’s father very hard and it was during this time that Darren began to seek out work to help shoulder the financial burden his father was under. This desire to improve his family’s situation would begin to shape his future professional career.
While living in Euless, Darren attended Trinity High School. He was in band and was a National Honor Society student. He would graduate there in 1984. That same year, Darren’s father moved them to Arlington for a change in their life. Darren was ready to continue work and forego a college education, but his father refused to let him bypass college. The two battled over where Darren would attend and ended up agreeing on the University of Texas at Arlington. In addition to being close to home, it had one of the best business schools in the nation at the time. Darren made many mistakes in his first year of college and tried dropping out on several occasions. His father kept him on course and in school. By his second year, the importance of college finally took hold of Darren and he would end up finishing a 4 year degree in 3 and one half years. His degree is in Finance with a minor in Accounting.
Darren continued to reside in Arlington after college. Two years after he graduated college, he met the love of his life – Carol Gomez. They shared an apartment in Arlington near Ranger Stadium before Darren asked Carol to marry him. Darren and Carol’s first home was in North Arlington and was a “fixer upper”. The couple learned the hard way of maintaining and improving a home. They discovered redoing something for the lowest price was not always the best solution. When Darren began the insurance agency in 1994, Carol informed him that it was time to start a family. Never daunted by multi-tasking, Darren decided that it was time to make the house “right’ for his wife and new family to be and began planning a complete remodel. Working nights and weekends after working at the agency, Darren completely remodeled the home in 6 months. New floors, moving of walls, adding more bathroom square footage – the works. Carol would have been happy with new paint and wallpaper, as she was nesting. They made the most of the times and their first 3 children were born calling Arlington home.
As a young father, Darren followed his father’s lead and entered the Arlington YMCA Father-Child Program in 2000. The program centers on fathers spending time with their children (sorry – no mom’s allowed) learning the history of Native Americans and their culture, appreciation of nature, love of state and country, as well as teaching responsibility of being a Christian. Meetings, activities, and campouts keeping the father spending time with their children help foster memories that the children take well into adulthood. Darren has held several leadership positions in this program, aided in numerous canned food drives for the less fortunate, and has worked hard to expand the program in Arlington well past its borders.
Family is a very important part of Darren’s life. Darren is very close to his father to this day and is grateful for the relationship he has with him. His mother was called home by the Lord in 2014 after many years of struggling with cancer. He is part of a very large immediate and extended family with 2 younger sisters and a younger brother, many aunts and uncles, and more cousins than he can keep up with. When the time came to raise a family with his wife Carol, there was no question that it would be more than the typical 2 child family. Darren and Carol had their first 3 children in a 3 and a half-year span. While the number was planned, the timing was not. Suddenly their young family had outgrown their home.
Be careful what you promise – you will have to make good on it one day. Carol’s father had been a professional jockey and has always been a fan of horses. She had told Darren that if they ever moved, she wanted a place where she could have a horse and Darren promised he would. Since their family was in need of more space, Darren and Carol began to look for a place where they could build a home and have land for animals. After a year of searching, Burleson, Texas was where they decided to call home. Burleson was reasonably close to Arlington for the business, had loads of land for building and animals, and had a stellar reputation for schools. They purchased 11 acres and built their new home. Once in their new home, Carol informed Darren that she wanted another child, but was not sure when. Darren put his foot down and insisted either they have one now to keep the child close in age to the other kids or have 2 later. The Yancy’s have 4 children. They purchased another 6 acres in 2006 from a neighbor, totally 17 acres. In addition to the kids, they have 3 horses, numerous chicken, 2 dogs, and 2 cats.
Darren has always been concerned about the direction of Texas and America, but after the election of Barack Obama to the Whitehouse in 2008, Darren felt it was time to lend his talents to the political arena. He initially campaigned in the Congressional District 17 Republican Primary from February to September 2009. However, Darren withdrew from the race after a loss in an eminent domain lawsuit with energy producer XTO left his home unsellable. Not being daunted by a challenge, Darren switched to state level and campaigned for the Texas Senate in District 22.
The campaign was a tumultuous one, as Darren was taking on a 16 year incumbent in the Texas Legislature in Kip Averitt. Darren uncovered a scandal involving Averitt and the dogs of war were unleashed on Darren. As mentioned earlier, the Yancy’s businesses were taking a beating when Darren decided to run for office. Money he planned to use for campaigning was no longer available and Darren is not fond of having to ask others to fund his efforts. Underfunded to combat the onslaught, Darren did not win the primary. He did, however, establish himself as a viable conservative candidate for public service while building a solid foundation of support to build on for a future campaign. However, with Darren taking on incumbent Averitt and exposing him, it led to Averitt resigning from the Texas Senate. Brian Birdwell won the Special Election to replace Averitt and would have never had the opportunity had Darren not stepped up to make a difference.
Darren and Carol celebrate 26 fantastic years of marriage this year. They live on their 17 acre ranchette in Burleson with their 4 children Dane, Zach, Brenna, and Gene. Each child has a direction of their own, although Darren has made it no secret he hopes they all become involved in the new ventures he is forming. As a family they stay quite involved in the arts, agriculture groups, and youth sports.
And, of course, politics.