Some individuals struggle to find the motivation to help others. For Pequot Lakes' Chad Nelson, it is second nature.

The Pequot Lakes graduate has spent the past 12 years running Insurance Brokers of Minnesota in downtown Pequot Lakes, where he serves clients by helping them find the best deals on insurance across several different companies alongside his wife, Lisa. Before that, the two spent a decade doing the same job in Hibbing.

"I like helping people," Nelson said. "That is just what it is. You have many different facets of the business, from figuring out people's needs and fulfilling them to being there when something tragic happens. There are not a lot of other people or businesses that do that."

Insurance Brokers of Minnesota works to help out financially, whereas with a "captive agency," there is not much one can do if the rate increases.

"We have 50 companies to look at, so we can shop it," Nelson said. "They are all A-rated, good companies that are just as strong financially."

With more than two decades of experience, Nelson has enjoyed the work he does and has found his hometown to be a great place to do it.

"People here are generally good and loyal, and when they realize they can get the same service or product in town versus perhaps someone in the Cities, I think that is good," he said.

Nelson also spends time as a newly appointed assistant coach with the Pequot Lakes trap shooting team. Prior to that, he spent roughly five years helping with the Crosslake Community School's trap team.

The reason for that? They needed some help.

"The program blew up when they took (Pequot Lakes') sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. They only had five or six kids, and then all of the sudden, they had 36."

His two children, Abigail and Cooper, are active on local trap shooting teams, but Nelson sees the benefit the sport has for all participants, from the 88 current members of the Patriot team to the younger group of shooters in Crosslake.

"It is neat to see their eyes light up ... When you have a sixth- or seventh-grader, where the vest doesn't fit and the shirt is too big, and they are up there dusting 22 (of 25) birds, the smile they have is amazing. Their pride in that is overwhelming, and it gives them confidence.

"We want every kid that wants to do it to be able to shoot and experience it," Nelson said. "We certainly want to do our little part to knock down the stigma that kids and guns are bad."

The Nelson family volunteers at church on a regular basis as well, and Nelson sets aside a bit of his time to helping out at MN Teen Challenge in Brainerd, helping in the alcohol and drug addiction program. He does this to keep himself grounded and remember that someone else is always having a harder time.

"I think it is important to lend our time and energy in places where we can affect change with other individuals, just to help in some way. A lot of those people haven't been given much opportunity or the tools they need to get through. Going and spending a couple of hours a month is big for them," Nelson said.

Work, family and trap shooting take up the majority of his routine, but if Nelson can help where help is needed, he will.