What Plays in Peoria Doesn’t Shine in Hollywood, Take 2

Jul 2, 2012

The world-famous Hollywood sign that sits on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains overlooks the historical center of American cinema. While today it spells “HOLLYWOOD” in 45-foot-tall and 350-foot-long white letters, the original sign in 1923 spelled “HOLLYWOODLAND” and was an advertisement for a new housing development.

Hollywood isn’t screening any ads for the insurance business, though. Nor are screenwriters and producers doing us any favors.

I got several responses to my Insurance Views column in Insurance News and Views. Below is another comment about the good things that independent agents do in the community. What I especially like is the fact that it shows that independent agents anticipate needs of their clients, not just as businesspeople but as human beings:

Sherri Fleming of Gerald Boswell, Inc. and Boswell Insurance Agency in Elba, Alabama wrote about her boss:

“I, for one, am with you on being fed up with how insurance agents are perceived. I have been an insurance agent for nearly 10 years. My boss has been an independent agent for over 30 years. He has a wonderful reputation as being an honest and dependable agent. We don’t advertise, at all. Word of mouth has been his main way of getting customers for the expanse of his career.

There are many stories that I could share about more than one agent that I am acquainted with that would exemplify the good qualities of a dedicated agent. But the one that keeps sticking out in my mind is that of my boss on the day of and the days following the Enterprise, Alabama tornado that killed eight high school students and destroyed over 200 homes.

We are located in the neighboring town of Elba, Alabama. And immediately after hearing about the tornado, Mr. Gerald Boswell went and got his truck and went around to all of the stores and began to buy ice. He took the ice to a staging area in Enterprise and handed out the truckload of ice to those in need of it. He then returned and loaded up his chainsaw to go help the “old people” clear downed trees from their yards. He returned many times over the next few days to do this. Mr. Gerald was 73 years old at this time.

But this is not the first time he has helped people in need. Elba flooded in 1990 and in 1994. And although his office was flooded and he had losses of his own, he handed out bed sheets and food and other supplies to people in need. I have heard so many stories since I started working here in 2006 of how he has helped people throughout the years. And at 79 he is still an active agent that customers trust and depend upon.”

Charity and community volunteerism are common among insurance agencies. What are you and your agency doing? I invite you to post a comment on this blog or send me an email at Sharon.Emek@WAHVE.com.

— Sharon Emek, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO


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