When I started in the insurance business, I knew nothing about insurance. But gradually, through the help and guidance of many mentors, I got some traction and was doing pretty well, eventually becoming the top guy in our agency.
Then we received a visit from a new VP from the home office, who was sent out specifically to close our agency. I was sorely disappointed. All of the agents and staff were to merge into an agency over the hill and far away.
The guy who closed our agency met with me and told me he would make it up to me. I had never met him before and remember thinking, "Yeah, right," but didn't say so.
As it turned out, I did see him again on company sponsored trips that I qualified for as I progressed in the business. His name was Jim Vervack. He was from Oklahoma and had been an agent like me before he went to work for the home office in Hartford. And I found out that closing our agency was his first assignment. That softened my view of him a bit, and Jim and I became friends. (That's Jim on the left in the photo above.)
One day, he called me and asked if I would like to be in a study group with agents Matt Davis, Kevin Mullane and Marc Byrnes. I jumped at it because I knew Matt and Marc, had heard good things about Kevin and that this opportunity could advance my career. That was twenty-four years ago.
Little did I know that these three guys would become like brothers to me. My career skyrocketed, and my clients, partners and family still benefit greatly because of my friendship with these three guys.
Jim Vervack had been true to his word. He made it up to me way beyond what I could possibly imagine. Thank you, Jim. I owe you so much, not the least of which is the example you set, for a young agent, as a man of your word.