Worker at major Springfield employer to appear on Weather Channel


A Springfield meteorologist specializing in predicting how catastrophic storms will affect insurance clients will appear on a national Weather Channel show on Sunday.

Bryan Wood started his career at Assurant’s Global Housing Division as a call center representative but worked his way into an unusual job predicting how weather patterns might impact the company’s clients. Now Wood is scheduled to appear on the show “Weather Geeks” at noon Sunday on the Weather Channel.

RELATED: Springfield employer sees slight increase in second-quarter earnings

Assurant didn’t have a meteorologist when he arrived but Wood said they soon saw value in what he could offer.

The business, one of Springfield’s biggest employers, now uses weather forecasts to predict what resources might be needed to provide insurance services more quickly in case of severe weather damage. The company’s Global Housing Division provides insurance and related services in partnership with financial institutions and other major clients. It has more than 1,800 workers.

“Having been on site after some of these disasters, it’s important to take what I know and work with that information to enable our clients to make sure our customers are taken care of,” Wood said. “When you get down to these places you see the amount of stress and fatigue on people’s faces. They’re not living in their house. They might be living in a hotel or an apartment. Homes are your place of comfort and safety and suddenly that’s been taken away from you.”

MORE: Clark County company, Assurant, hiring for 100 jobs

Wood, an Akron native, was about 5 years old when he began watching Cleveland Meteorologist Dick Goddard. Those broadcasts sparked a lifelong interest in weather, he said.

“I just started asking questions and my parents got me books from the library,” Wood said. “I’ve never stopped asking questions I guess. They’ve just become a lot more complex and difficult questions.”

Wood’s career took an unusual path. He initially studied his craft at Ohio State University, but dropped out and eventually moved to Fairborn. His career at Assurant started as a call center representative, but he spoke up when a manager began asking questions about why the company was fielding more calls from storm damage, he said.

The company paid for him to complete an online meteorology degree at Mississippi State University and he became its first meteorologist.

READ MORE: Hospital top Clark County employer, reflects statewide trend

Most newscasts about the weather focus on what viewers can expect for the days ahead. Wood said his job demands that he look further ahead.

“I’m more in the forecasting side looking at whether there could be a severe weather outbreak,” Wood said. “This time of year it’s a lot of watching the Atlantic Ocean if we see a potential threat down the road for a hurricane. We have plans already in place, but do we need to start activating those plans as soon as something happens so we’re there and ready to help people?”

DETAILS: Assurant reports $100M in income, a drop from last year

Mike Chesterfield, executive producer at “Weather Geeks,” said they initially discovered Wood through social media. The show, now in its fourth season, lasts a half-hour. It’s hosted by Marshall Shepherd, former president of the American Meteorological Society.

Past guests on the show have included everyone from Environmental Protection Agency staff to tornado chasers. On the show, Wood provides advice to viewers on how to prepare for a weather disaster.

“Think about ‘Meet the Press’ except it’s for weather geeks,” Chesterfield joked.

RELATED: Solar Eclipse 2017: What you need to know

Wood’s idol Goddard was on television for more than 50 years. But Wood said he’s satisfied with his brief time on the Weather Channel.

“I always had a dream of being on the Weather Channel just because it was an outlet for my nerddom from a young age,” Wood said. “I kind of walked away from the TV side of that dream a while back. I had no idea that insurance hired meteorologists. It was kind of surreal last week walking into that studio and taping that show.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Tips for buying items at local festivals
Tips for buying items at local festivals

Late summer and fall is the prime time for festivals in the Miami Valley. Many of these offer bourbon chicken, lemon shake-ups, Ferris wheels and an overwhelming number of vendors. If you’d like to purchase beautiful handcrafted goods and other items at these events, Better Business Bureau wants you to consider these tips: ...
Quality available at thrift stores and community colleges
Quality available at thrift stores and community colleges

Don’t let your love of fashionable footwear break the bank! Here’s how to get gently used Michael Kors, Casadei and Burberry for outrageously low prices. Next time you need a pair of shoes for a night out on the town, you’d be wise to visit your local thrift store. At a recent check to a metro Atlanta area thrift store, we found some...
Moraine-based wholesaler celebrates growth, new office
Moraine-based wholesaler celebrates growth, new office

Moraine-based Winsupply Inc., one of the largest distributors in the nation, has opened a new Winsupply company in Franklin, Tenn., its fifth new company of 2017. Winsupply of Franklin will serve plumbing contractors in one of the fastest growing markets in the United States, and throughout greater Nashville, the company said Friday. RELATED: ...
Dozens of Joe's Crab Shack restaurants abruptly close
Dozens of Joe's Crab Shack restaurants abruptly close

Dozens of Joe’s Crab Shack locations across the United States abruptly closed without warning amidst its parent company’s bankruptcy proceedings. Calls to a location in Duluth, Georgia, went unanswered Thursday afternoon, and restaurant review site Yelp deemed it closed based on user feedback. The Gwinnett site is also not listed on...
Wright State gets grant for opioid addiction training
Wright State gets grant for opioid addiction training

An $80,000 federal grant will help train local phyisicians on medically assisted treatment of opioid addiction. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was awarded it to the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, along with a $499,095 grant toward the school’s primary care curriculum. The one-year supplemental grant toward...
More Stories