Celebrating 60 Years

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Insurance Associates 60 Year Anniversary Video
Insurance Associates 60 Year Anniversary Photo Gallery

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Hall of Fame

One of the things we are most proud of at IA is the loyalty our employees have to the agency. From dedicated service to P&C insurance or specializing in employee benefits our team is second to none. Take a look at the Hall of Fame chart below to view retiree tenure. Also note Dave Manning, listed third, who was the agencies second President for 36 Years.

Click the name below to learn more about each of our hall of fame employees.

Ron Skinner - Senior Vice President - 45 Years

When I reflect back on my 45 year career at Insurance Associates I think of all the amazing people I had the opportunity to work with and the many loyal clients that trusted our professionalism and integrity. It was a great pleasure to have been given the chance to be an integral part of IA from it’s infancy to an industry leader. The agency’s anniversary is of importance as it indicates a great milestone has been accomplished. It also reminds us of the future and the rewards that lie ahead. The agency in my mind has always had the purpose to make anything possible and to reward those that make it happen. Congratulations to all of you who are the bright future of Insurance Associates.

Tom Schmelzer - Vice President - 38 Years

The things that strike me the most about my time, (38) years, right out of U of MD, with IA was the professionalism, teamwork, and integrity exhibited by my associates. These traits enabled us to build long term trusting relationships with our clients and our companies. It was a pleasure to work with such a wonderful group of people.

David Manning - President - 36 Years

I will always be grateful to IAI for giving me the opportunity to grow as an individual and to have a successful career in the insurance agency business.

The agency provided a supportive environment that encouraged everyone to find a job that they enjoyed doing and one at which they would do well. The agency also had a distinct identity and a clear vision as to what our objectives were and what our responsibilities were to accomplish our goals. Mutual respect and honest relationships with our employees, customers, and companies were always a hallmark of the agency.

I was very fortunate to work with so many good people and such a great organization for 36 years.

Joyce Ranck - Personal Lines Manager - 30 Years

In my early days of employment at Insurance Associates it became evident to me that I was working for a company with high priority placed on integrity, honesty and trust. As part of the “team” I endeavored to do my best to uphold these values. My wish for the future is that the agency will continue to move forward and grow with leaders who preserve these most important values and philosophy for making a company successful. There is good reason that Insurance Associates is named as one of the Top Workplaces in the Washington DC area! It was my privilege to be a part of this great company for 30 years.

Lee Homewood - Underwriter - 29 Years

In my first meeting with Mr. Barker in 1986, he told me that he wanted Insurance Associates to be a place where his sister or a daughter would feel safe and comfortable. This sounds so quaint and old-fashioned now, but it has always been true. And this applies to the men as well as the women. People at IA are treated with respect and consideration, whatever their jobs. Mr. Barker referred to us as associates rather than his employees. This attitude of being a team that cares about one another hasn’t changed over the years.

Nola Clark Brady - Vice President, Underwriting - 27 Years

When I first came to Insurance Associates, it was a very old-fashioned place. The office suite on Connecticut Ave was a hodgepodge of mismatched furniture, frayed wall to wall carpeting, and ugly drapes. Our president, Theodore Barker, was Mr. Barker to the female employees and Ted to the male employees. Casual dress Fridays were unheard of. But, underneath that behind-the-times appearance was an organization that really cared about the welfare of its employees, stood up for its customers, and had the respect of the business community. The office atmosphere was congenial and pleasant. Insurance Associates was the most ethical company that I had ever worked for. I was very proud to be an employee and I think that most of my co-workers felt the same way.

Over time, IA loosened up some. We moved to our first Rockville office and got new furniture that matched. The dress code was relaxed to business casual. Sometimes we closed the office early before a holiday weekend. All very nice changes and appreciated by the employees. But we continued to do business the way we always had, with high ethical standards and genuine concern for employee welfare.

Despite the many business innovations and challenges of the 21st century, I think that IA still maintains those core values that made me so proud to be an employee. I’m sure that is something that will never change because it’s encoded in Insurance Associates’ DNA.

Edna Montez Wade - Vice President - 26 Years

The people and the wonderful relationships that I formed at IA is what I remember the best! I loved going to work every day and I loved the people I worked with. I was very close to Mr. Barker and was able to learn a lot from him in the Chevy Chase days.

I joined the clerical unit of Insurance Associates in 1972. In 1981 I became Office Manager and also served as Executive Assistant to Mr. Barker. I retired as a Vice President in 1998, and after that I moved to Rock Point, MD to enjoy “river life” with my husband Jim. Jim and I currently reside in The Villages, FL.

Hazel Zolly - Commercial Underwriter - 24 Years

Joyce Hendrix - Underwriting Manager - 18 Years

I was hired as an underwriter at IA in May, 1981 – the 25th anniversary of the agency. In my interviews with various officers and managers they each talked of the integrity and ethics of the firm. After working there a short time, I realized how true it was, not just lip service.

This was the era when women wore skirts, not pants, and we were all treated as “family” by the founder, Mr. Theodore Rittenhouse Barker, Ted to the men and Mr. Barker or Mr. B. to the women, who in turn were all addressed as Ms. or Mrs. Last Name. We were still using typewriters and carbon paper. From carbon paper to computers, Underwriter to Underwriting Supervisor, the agency’s ethics and integrity remain as well as an emphasis on continuing education for all employees.

I enjoyed my eighteen years of work, lasting friendships, and continued education at IA. I am still enjoying being included at many agency social occasions since retirement. Thanks to IA for making me feel like I was and still am a valued employee seventeen years after retiring (a rarity today) and thanks for a lot of fond memories.

Congratulations on celebrating your 60th year!

Steven Smith - Director of Employee Benefits - 9 Years

When I came to IA I was the first manager of the Employee Benefits Department in 2005. Our three employees were tucked away in the downstairs section of the old Hardware Store at 22 Baltimore Road. In terms of employees and revenue, we were not a significant contributor to the agency but both Steve and Aldo recognized that a full-service agency needed a knowledgeable and active benefits department that provided the resources and products to attract and retain clients. Most of those resources the agency still utilizes today as valuable client retention tools. In 2016, the department now has eight employees including a Compliance Officer and over 120 Benefits Clients.

In Honor of our 60th Anniversary, IA has Generously Donated 60 Different Types of Items to a Homeless Veteran to Ease his Transition into a New Home. These items included: Food, Toiletries, Cooking Supplies, Kitchen Supplies, Linens and other Household Items, and the agency itself provided brand new furniture. Then on the move-in date, a team of six employees went out to move in Michael, a six year Navy veteran.  Michael served as a submariner working on missile guidance systems while in the Navy.  Once Michael came back from his service he dealt with an unimaginable amount of stress from being homeless and from becoming ill from cancer. He is now successfully working the 12 step program to help with achieving sobriety, and his goal is to lead a happy productive life helping others get to the same place where he is today.

November 4, 2015 Press Release:
Throughout the month of October 2015, employees of Insurance Associates donated different types of items one would need if they were moving into a new home for the first time. These items included: Food, Toiletries, Cooking Supplies, Kitchen Supplies, Linens and other Household Items. The agency itself provided brand new furniture. Then on the move-in date, October 28th, a team of six employees went out to move in Michael, a six year Navy veteran. Employees stocked his kitchen cabinets with as much food as it could hold, assembled new furniture, and moved in everything else that was needed to make Michael’s home complete. Click here to read the full press release.

Want to help? Visit the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless web site to donate.

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