Wilks Insurance Agency was founded in 1981 and currently operates in Hamilton and West Chester.
Bill Wilks was born and raised in Hamilton. He graduated from the Ohio State University, where he played basketball and football. He served two years of military duty in Europe, and then returned to Hamilton where he founded Wilks Insurance Agency in 1955. Bill has served on numerous committees and boards throughout the community including: the Hamilton Community Foundation, Historic Hamilton, the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Hamilton Board of Education, and the Hamilton German Village Association. Bill has been recognized as the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year, and the City of Hamilton Citizen of the Year.
Craig Wilks was also born and raised in Hamilton. He graduated from the University of Tennessee, and returned to Hamilton to join Wilks Insurance agency in 1981. Craig has been involved with many community organizations such as: the Hamilton CORE board, the Hamilton Community Foundation, Vision2020, the Hamilton German Village Association, the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Fort Hamilton Hospital, and Historic Hamilton. Craig has been inducted into Junior Achievement’s Business Hall of Fame and was named Businessman of the Year by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.
Which three words would you use to describe Hamilton?
BW: My. Home. Town. CW: Historic. Energetic. Competitive.
QWhy did you choose Hamilton as the location of your business and to raise your families?
ABW: I was born and raised in Hamilton, and I knew that I wanted to stay here.
CW: I never had any intent to live anywhere else. Rather than choosing Hamilton, I feel as though Hamilton chose me. I am the third generation in my family to reside in Hamilton, and I always knew that I would come back here after graduating from college.
QWhat sets Hamilton apart from other cities?
ABW: Hamilton is such a friendly city, and it has everything that you need. It’s a great place to live and work, and the commutes around town are easy. Hamilton has plenty of activities and big city conveniences, but also feels secluded from the hustle and bustle of larger cities. Living here is stress-free, and I like knowing so many people in the community.
CW: The people of Hamilton are truly unique. Citizens are willing to give up time and energy for volunteer efforts, and are extremely generous with monetary contributions for community causes. Residents are loyal and committed to our city. The Hamilton Community Foundation also sets us apart from other cities with its leadership and financial support. The Hamilton Community Foundation has played a huge role in redeveloping and transforming the city.
QWhat project, business, or person do you think has made the biggest impact on the growth of the community?
ABW: Joshua Smith has really organized and put the city together. He has thought about every aspect to make Hamilton a better place. Once he sets out on a project, he sees it through to completion. He is a versatile leader, and has also brought many jobs into our city.
CW: Hamilton is exceptional in that so many people and groups are willing to work together for a common cause. The CORE Fund, the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the City of Hamilton, Hamilton City Schools, and the Hamilton Community Foundation have all substantially contributed to the growth of our city. The Courtyard hotel was a major milestone and shows how much can be achieved by coming together. As a community, we raised $6 million for the renovation of the old Hamiltonian hotel. The Courtyard is now a fixture in our city, and we should all be proud of its story.
"Bill and Craig Wilks are lifelong Hamiltonians who are deeply committed to making the city a better place. They are always positive and encouraging about our neighborhood and the future of all of Hamilton. Bill and Craig are involved in countless community organizations and continue to uplift our spirits and impact our city in so many good ways.”
QWhat is your favorite place to eat or favorite thing to do in Hamilton?
ABW: There are too many places to choose just one. I previously worked with the Hamilton Parks Commission, so I enjoy visiting our many parks around town.
CW: I enjoy eating at local favorites such as Ryan’s Tavern, J Austin’s Riverbank Café, and True West Coffee. For activities, I enjoy visiting Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum and the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, attending events at Miami University Hamilton, and playing tennis at New London Hills Club and Riverside Athletic Club.