State Farm Insurance - Deana Ackerman Agency Receives Small Business Award
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Deana Ackerman was hired by John O’Day in January of 1990, and was set up in an 800 s.f. incubator space in the Larkland Shopping Center. She participated in a very extensive agent training program provided by State Farm, in addition to having meet the monthly quotas. Deana continued to meet the monthly quotas and eventually outgrew that space and moved the office in 2000 to her current location at 2721 N Main St. Her agency originally started out providing property, casualty, life and health insurance; approximately 20 years ago they added additional life insurance options, annuities, and other products to meet the requests of their customers.
Her agency is in the service industry; service to others to help them recover from the unexpected. It’s not uncommon for her and her staff to help people with things that have no bearing on their insurance at all. They provide reviews of insurance to people and they don’t always write policies for them; their goal is to make sure people are insured in the best way possible, even if it means encouraging the customer to stay with a policy they currently have that’s not with State Farm. Every person that comes in the Ackerman office is greeted and made to feel welcome. They opt in to the 24-hour service available through State Farm so that someone is always available 24 hours a day in the Customer Service Center; this is not an automatic thing for all State Farm Offices.
Their biggest challenge has been retaining quality trained staff. They want their staff to be very knowledgeable and put them through the State Farm Training Program. Other challenges have been keeping up with social media, computers, and technology. A State Farm agent wears many hats and needs to understand each day is a new day, and each day provides a new challenge. It can also be challenging to be a part of a larger, national corporation, such as State Farm. They sometimes make corporate decisions that have repercussions locally. We strive to keep our customers involved and informed.
Being flexible and respectful to their staff has helped them keep employees for 22 years, 17 years and 6 years and still counting. They have recently hired another agent as their 22 years employee has retired.
Deana and her office are very involved in many aspects of the community and have been over the years. They have served on various Boards and Committees, including PEO, Chamber Ambassadors, Church activities and Rotary, to name a few. They are 32-year members of the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce. They have supported the after-prom parties for all of the area high schools. They want to encourage constructive activities to keep kids safe on and off the road. Their policy is to support any young man or woman that comes through the door requesting assistance for their program.
When asked what makes her business most deserving of this award, Deana replies, “It’s the people that trust us to take care of them.” We go to where the clients are if they’re unable to come to the office. We’ve been to the hospital, out in the field, and had the honor of being invited into their homes. We see very personal information regarding our clients and they have to know that we will honor and protect their confidences, in addition to doing only those things that are best for them.