When his Woodland Hills company, SGB-NIA Insurance Brokers, was acquired for $33 million last year, chief executive Jim Scanlon decided to splurge: He and his wife finally replaced the bedroom set they got as a wedding gift in 1981. This summer, they’re planning their first European vacation.

The down-to-earth reaction is typical for Scanlon, 56, whose life story reads like, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Instead of following his dream to attend law school, he stepped in to rescue his family’s failing Calabasas insurance agency after his father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. And while he’s financed his children’s study-abroad trips to Spain, Ecuador and Belize, his most memorable travel was to an insurance conference in South Carolina.

But Scanlon isn’t going to take the money and run. The sale came with a potential earn-out of $5.2 million over five years if the unit’s operations meet certain benchmarks. And Scanlon plans to stay at his desk for at least eight years.

By that time, his youngest son – one of 11 children he has with his wife, Maureen – will be 18. Their oldest, 31-year-old Brenna, graduated from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula and became principal of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School in Oxnard. She recently gave birth to the Scanlons’ first grandchild.

Besides, he said, “I’m excited to help execute the strategy we’ve mapped out. And I don’t know what else I’d do with myself.”

Read the full story in the March 23 edition of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.