Van is a 1971 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and a 1987 graduate of the Young Executive Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. In December of 1993, he completed the five part Certified Insurance Counselor program and received his CIC designation.
Van started his insurance career as a personal lines automobile underwriter with Great American Insurance Company. He also was an underwriter in personal property and commercial property and casualty when he accepted employment with Chubb & Son as a commercial casualty underwriter. In 1980 he joined Dupree & Webb and in 1986 succeeded his father as President of the agency. He has chaired the Group Insurance Committee for the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina and has served on the Board for several local charities.
After 36 years with Dupree & Webb, he decided it made sense to combine forces with Highsmith Insurance. Van has stayed on as a Consultant.