At the recent PIA Washington/Alaska and Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington joint conference, the PIA awarded its highest honors to two very deserving individuals.
The awards are the Agent of the Year and the Company Person of the Year.
Karl Garringer of Garringer Insurance in Colville, Washington exemplifies the best in an independent insurance agent and was named the 2019 PIA Washington/Alaska Agent of the Year.
The award is the PIA’s way of saying thank you, and recognizing that special individual whose accomplishments exemplify the best qualities an independent insurance agent can possess: integrity, dedication and commitment to the members and goals of the PIA.
As an organization, we offer no greater recognition than the PIA Agent of the Year.
Check out these quotes about Karl from people in his community. These are people who purchase their insurance through his agency and through him.
• “Karl is the guy willing to bend over backwards to help his insured clients and his family. Real A++ kind of guy and friend.”
• “We have had all of our insurance with Karl for years. Karl is so great to work with. He is easy to talk to and always so nice! He also supports our community. He just purchased my daughter’s steer at our local fair. My whole family just loves him!!”
• “Having Karl as an insurance agent is a win win situation! Karl is caring and goes up and above the call of duty whenever needed. Within two months of each other we had lost our house to a fire and my husband got in a wreck with his log truck and Karl was there every step of the way making a hard situation as good as it could be. He’s a great man, a hard worker and beyond supportive of our community and our youth especially our kids at fair time!”
The last comment says it all. In addition to all he does for the PIA, this is why he is the PIA Washington/Alaska agent of the year. Karl is the the third generation of his family to own the agency. He worked there for several years and then purchased it in 2013.
Like many of you, Karl doesn’t just do just insurance. He lives in his community and is practically a professional volunteer. His current list of community work is impressive. Karl works as a volunteer for the local fire department and has for a decade. In the last eight years he’s been on a rescue unit the department established to extract people from serious accidents.
He is a lifelong member of Kiwanis and has worked on behalf of children in his community in that respect, and in 4H and with the Future Farmers of America and other projects benefitting children.
Karl Garringer you exemplify the very best in an independent insurance agent and this association is proud to name you the 2019 PIA Washington/Alaska Agent of the Year.
The Company Person of the Year award was given to Shelley Rogers of Progressive.
Each year PIA members benefit from the contributions of time, money and expertise that come from our insurance company partners. In recognition of those contributions, the PIA honors one individual whose active involvement with PIA helps drive their company to support our efforts with our members.
One of the most amazing statistics we learned about Shelley is that she’s been with the same company — Progressive — for almost 33 years. There have been a couple of different jobs within Progressive but always with Progressive.
That — in itself — is award worthy.
The real award though goes for this: always and without fail Shelley does the right thing for the agents from her company that work for you and with you. In other words, that’s a huge positive for the independent insurance agents of the PIA Washington/Alaska.
Best of all, we love how Shelly communicates. These days a lot of us hide behind voicemail and email and texting. We get a business call, email or text and we aren’t sure we want to work on it right now, so we ignore it. Voicemail, email and texting allow that. The excuse always goes something like, “Oh, darn, I forgot” to call you back, or I didn’t see that email, or text, and so on.
Shelly returns phone calls. All phone calls. And she returns emails and texts, and returns them promptly. It’s the 21st Century, who does that? Plus, if you’re in a meeting with her, Shelly shuts off her phone. No distractions means the work gets done.
Again, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of how much work she does behind the scenes on behalf of the independent insurance agents of the PIA. Shelley trains and manages the people from Progressive who work with you. Her vast insurance knowledge and ability to find ways to place business is a huge plus.
When her staff encounters a problem, Shelley helps them solve that problem so you can place the business and give your customers the insurance they need.
In our award ceremony, we always try to tease our award recipients. We try to ask about strange habits or odd hobbies. The person we contacted about her didn’t know of any and then laughed and said, “Yes, one. Progressive.”
At that we laughed as you might now. But it is our honor to give Shelly Rogers of Progressive the 2019 Company Person of the Year award. Thank you for all you do for the PIA.