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Why You Should Care About Walt Shannon

December 14, 2009

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

This past week Walt Shannon celebrated his fiftieth and final year in the insurance industry. Walt spent the vast majority of his life dedicated to protecting others. Over the past month I have thought a lot about guys like Walt and today’s insurance industry. Walt always felt that right was right and wrong was wrong. He believed that to his core. He fought for his clients even when it wasn’t always in his own best interest to do so.

Walt could be found battling at the state insurance department or an insurance company. He could be found on top of a client’s roof cutting down a dangerous tree limb, or even helping a hard working immigrant obtain her green card. To Walt, the insurance business was more than selling policies, it was about helping people. Walt accumulated a vast network of friends and as principled people often do, he even accumulated a few enemies.

Without going into further details, I am sure you can relate to a person that fills the role of Walt in your own life. The independent agency system is littered with men and woman like Walt Shannon. The reason why I care about Walt is because he is a beacon of integrity that reminds me of the standards that I need to uphold as an independent agent. The reason why you as a consumer should care about Walt is because in a world that offers us almost unlimited ways to purchase insurance, an advocate with your best interests in mind is always a better choice.

Walt Shannon (Center Front) and his family accepting a proclamation from the State of Connecticut. Seated next to Walt on the right is State Representative Roberta Willis. Back row far right is Founders owner and managing partner Bill Willis.

Some say that in an era of record setting advertising budgets, internet sales and the unprecedented need for instant gratification, that the independent agent is no longer of value. When I see Walt Shannon, I am reminded that in this era, we need folks like him more than ever.

If the choice that I am offered comes down to a reptile, a cartoon or Walt, I pick Walt every time.

Congratulations Walt on fifty great years!

Chris Garlasco

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2009 11:35 am

    Chris, thanks for this great post. I was so fortunate many years ago to work for Russell Grace. He was an agency owner and so very much as you describe Walt. I also consider him the best and most valuable mentor I have ever had. He taught me so many values. I am saddened when I encounter people in our industry that don’t match up to this standard or are not working on achieving this standard.

    • Chris permalink
      December 14, 2009 12:30 pm

      The standards that are being set by some of the direct carriers is a reminder of why we must bring our value proposition to the public and the great opportunity that it creates for us. Our business is a noble one and it pains me to see customer survey’s that place us with car salemen for trustworthiness.

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