Joey stands in front of part of a large mural by Japanese American artist  Keiko Nameth on the second floor of Central Bank’s Motor Bank.

Independent agent at Mid Rivers Insurance Group

“Some of it you learn the hard way/Some of it you read on a page/Some of it comes from heartbreak/Most of it comes with age” 

These lyrics make up part of one of Joey O’Connor’s favorite songs, and it’s easy to see how much Joey himself has learned from life thus far. An independent agent at Mid Rivers Insurance Group and proud father of two, Joey has taken every experience in his life as something to learn from. 

“Life is short,” Joey says. “Because of this, don’t miss an opportunity to tell someone you care about them, and start saving and planning for your own kids. Do your research, but take chances and say ‘yes’ as often as you can. Say ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ quickly, and don’t wonder what’s in it for you. I don’t want to waste a single day or even a single moment sweating the small stuff.”  

This big picture thinking has propelled Joey forward from an early age, and he’s not done learning yet.

“Every interaction you have with people could lead to something great for you or your business. Even grabbing your coffee each morning could lead to an opportunity you wouldn’t have otherwise,” he says. “I try to remember to slow down, enjoy the seemingly routine moments of the daily grind, and create meaningful connections with everyone I meet.”

Jumping in, Getting Involved

With this mindset at the forefront of his guiding principles, it is no wonder Joey is often seen bettering his community.  

“I believe that if you want the community where you work and live to prosper, you must support that same community,” Joey says. “One great thing about Jefferson City is that anyone has the ability to make change, there’s no need to wait until you have more age or experience or money. I’m inspired by others around my age who made a difference where we live, and I hope to do the same.” 

This year, Joey is co-chairing the Chamber of Commerce Barbecue and is excited to see the event continue to evolve for the better. He’s also on the East Side Business Association’s board of directors, and by living and working on the east side, Joey finds inspiration from the ESBA and their efforts to bring light to the east end through economic development, advocacy, education for business owners, and giving back.

Guidance from the Start

Joey credits much of his success to the strong foundation he has had since birth. 

“My dad has always been a monumental mentor and role model for me. I look up to him and I look to him for business and life guidance,” Joey says. “He gives the best advice, and his support to reach my goals means the world to me. A great mentor must be willing to say what they think is best even if it’s not what you want to hear — he does a great job of that. My dad has achieved many things in his life so far and yet always has time for me and our family.”

Professionally, Joey has learned from those who have created similar paths. “Gary Wilbers also played a huge role in my career. Having an office next to his for the first 18 months really helped my career through not only his business mastermind group, but also just casual advice as we talked about our day,” Joey says. “Not to mention, the man has energy for days! I still don’t know how he does it all.”

In a Nutshell

Joey believes everything a young professional or business owner needs to succeed can be found right here in Jefferson City — you just need to seek it out. 

“Ask for help and you will get pointed in the right direction,” Joey says. “I’ve worked hard since my teenage years to provide for myself, which set the foundation to later build a life for my wife and children, all while hopefully making a difference in Jefferson City. To me, that’s what it is all about: Creating a better world for your children and community.”


  • Chamber of Commerce
    Chamber Ambassador
    Chamber Barbecue Co-Chair
    Chamber Expo Committee
  • United Way of Central Missouri
    Campaign Leadership Team
  • East Side Business Association
  • Jefferson City Area Young Professionals
  • Big Brother Big Sisters
    Chili Cook Off

Lightning Round

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