Our Team of Insurance Experts


Bill Abee

Bill AbeePresident / Owner

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Bill is a Burke County native and graduate of  East Burke High School, Class of ’78. He’s been with Nationwide since 1996. Six years prior to Nationwide, Bill was in Sales Management with Nissan Motor Corporation. He’s married to wife Deanna, and they have 3 children. Bill’s a member of Mt. Hebron Baptist Church, and his hobbies include spending time with family, cars, tractor work, golf, fishing, backpacking, open fire cast iron cooking, Dollywood, Oak Island and traveling to other cool places. Bill is licensed in Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee with Property / Casualty, Life, Health, Medicare Supplement and Long Term Care.

Read Bill’s article in Always East Burke

Fun Fact: A long time ago in a land far away Bill had a pony tail and won an air guitar contest.

Deanna Abee

Deanna AbeeBusiness Manager / Agent

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Deanna is a Burke County native and graduate of East Burke High School, Class of ’82. She’s been with Nationwide since 1998. Her husband is Bill, and they have 3 children. She is a member Mt. Hebron Baptist Church, and her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, hanging by the pool, cooking, going to the beach, scrap booking, crafting, gardening, antique shopping and keeping up with Bill. Deanna is licensed in Property and Casualty.

Fun Fact: Deanna has equal driving experience with both muscle cars and hay trucks.

Melissa Webb

Melissa WebbLicensed Sales and Service Representative

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Melissa is originally from Colorado, but recently moved to Cherryville to be close to her family in North Carolina. She and her husband, David, have two children. She has an extensive background in human services and banking. In her spare time Melissa enjoys raising chickens and pheasants, skydiving, rock climbing and kayaking.

Fun Fact: Melissa has her own Zombie Response Team fleet including Jeeps, Tahoes and kayaks.

Hickory Location

David Lackey

David LackeyOffice Manager / Agent

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David is a graduate of UNC-Charlotte, where he received a BS in Business Administration and a BA in History. Sales Agent with Nationwide Insurance since 1996. Licensed in Property and Casualty, Life, Health and Medicare Supplement. In June 2006, he married the love of his life, Julianne. His hobbies include: computers, reading, and learning to play Bridge with his wife. He loves classic rock music, with his favorite band being Led Zeppelin. He hopes to one day learn Spanish and to play the electric guitar.

Fun Fact: Due to circumstances beyond his control, David missed out on his dream of being a horse jockey.

Shannon Fleming

Shannon FlemingLicensed Sales and Service Representative

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Shannon grew up in the Hickory area and is current ly living in Mooresville NC. She does enjoy the “lake life” and outdoor activities the Lake Norman area has to offer. She started her insurance career with Lloyds of London, in 2014 then spent some time with State Farm before joining Nationwide. She is the mom to two lovely teenage boys. Shannon frequently visits Virginia Beach, VA where her family lives. She is licensed in Property and Casualty, Life and Health in NC and SC. Shannon enjoys spending time at the pool and the lake with fruity drinks, friends and music to get groovy with.

Fun Fact: Shannon’s love of food requires her to spend a great deal of time at the gym.

Maiden Location

Alisha Self

Alisha SelfOffice Manager / Agent

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Alisha grew up and lives in the eastern Burke County area with her husband, Eli. She’s a member of Bible Gospel Baptist Church in Connelly Springs, NC, and began her insurance career in March of 2016. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and going to the beach. Alisha is licensed in Property and Casualty and Life.

Fun Fact: Alisha raises chickens and is a Master Chicken Diva.

Marli Howell

Marli HowellLicensed Sales and Service Representative

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Marli is from Florida, where she managed an agency for 17 years. She moved to North Carolina in 2009 with her husband, Glenn, and worked as a pharmacy department manager for Walmart for 6 years before becoming a Commercial Lines Specialist with Nationwide in 2015. Marli is licensed in Property and Casualty.

Fun Fact: Marli has a need for speed and in her spare time enjoys drag racing and fast cars.

Shelby Location

Karen Stroud

Karen StroudOffice Manager / Agent

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Karen is a graduate of Caldwell Community College with a degree in Office Administration. With 23 years experience in the insurance industry she began her career in 1996 with an independent agency, but has worked for Nationwide for the past 18 years. In her spare time she loves spending time with her family and two granddaughters Sydney and Penelope. She is an active member in her church, an avid fan of Carolina Basketball and loves listening to Christian and 80’s music. Licensed in Property and Casualty, Life and Health.

Fun Fact: Sometimes when listening to the Bee Gees, Karen morphs into a Martha Stewart / Paula Deen hybrid.

Tracy Forrest

Tracy ForrestLicensed Sales and Service Representative

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Tracy started her insurance career in 1993 with NC Farm Bureau as a CSR. She’s licensed in Property and Casualty, Life and Health. She worked in an independent agency thru 2008 when she began working with State Farm until joining BAI Group in March, 2019. Tracy has a daughter, Alexis, who her world revolves around.  Alexis recently graduated AB Technical Community College and works as a Dental Assistant. Tracy enjoys spending time with her daughter and friends, going to concerts, going to the beach or the lake and cooking.

Fun Fact: Tracy was 20 before she got her driver’s license and during the “road test” part of the exam, the car ran out of gas. The examiner was not amused as much as Tracy.