Provide us with a brief summary of your business’ services
The Sylvia A. Garrett & Associates Agency, LLC is a premier, award winning, independent, full-service insurance and wealth accumulation agency. Our business model is holistic, providing a myriad of solutions for risk mitigation for businesses. Personal Insurance products/policies consist of auto, home, boat, motorcycle, rental etc. Commercial/business insurance products consist of general liability, business owner’s policy, bonds, business property, etc. Wealth accumulation products consist of mutual funds, fixed and variable annuities and life insurance policies.
Tell us about your company’s mission and values
Our company’s mission is to protect and build wealth for families and businesses by providing exceptional customer service while empowering our team, our customers and our community. We are passionate about serving families and businesses in the Ohio area by providing insurance policies that fit the needs of our clients as well as their budget. We care about our customers. Our customers feedback and reviews indicate that they appreciate our continuous improvement goal to be “exceptional”!
We have a team of over 10 insurance professionals licensed and experienced in all lines of insurance and financial services. Our agency has been servicing central Ohio for over 55 years. We are blessed to be able to say, some of our customers have been with us for 30+ years. As a result of pivoting during the pandemic, we have forged strategic partnerships with AFLAC and Mutual of Omaha. Therefore, we are able to offer expanded service offerings small businesses and corporation looking to enhance employees service offerings with supplemental medical benefits, medical consultation and individual retirement accounts.
What are the services you use the most (or are looking forward to using) from the Columbus Chamber?
Making authentic and genuine connections with likeminded businesses is very important and crucial to a growing business. The small business support has resources our company utilizes and of course the Clambake & Lobster Feast and all the fun events.
How do you stay engaged with trends that you see in your industry?
I am a lifelong learner, so I am always reading and strongly espouse continuing education. I attend industry meetings, seminars and conferences often. Our industry requires continuing education to maintain our licenses. We have a social media manager who handles trends online but the best way to stay engaged is to ask questions and listen. We ask our customers and provide ways for them to give us feedback based on what they’re looking for. My business strategy and analytical background lends itself to staying abreast of trends. I am constantly looking for ways that our agency can add value to our customers and our community.
We have a culture of excellence and caring for our community. Our agency has been recognized for providing exceptional customer service and giving back/investing our time and funds into the economic development of our community. We demand a high level of customer service and professionalism, but we honor the work ethic with a lot of fun!
The SAGA agency sponsors many great causes and events in the city and as an employee, many take advantage of these opportunities. Our core values are embraced by our Team!
What does it take to be a successful employee at your company?
We want employees to possess exceptional customer service skills, have an aptitude for providing value-based conversation, appreciates working in a continual improvement environment (a passion for learning) and employees should care about their community, their neighbors and friends. All of that coupled with good work ethic models a successful employee.
What makes Columbus such a great place to do business?
Besides being highly ranked for startups, technology and having profitable businesses, the culture is vibrant. It is a perfect city to raise a family, as my husband and I have done. We have an intense artistic and creative environment: music, theatre, dance, comedy, museums, and craft breweries all in Columbus. We have many of the best restaurants. We have wonderful parks and a great focus on wellness. We have wonderful sports teams and Churches!!! Our city is super diverse, and all reasons make Columbus a great place to do business. From our philanthropy history, it is apparent Columbus residents care about each other and our environment.
What has been the impact of the continuing covid pandemic?
Last year, businesses had to pivot, we had to move from in-person meeting and conferences to virtual, we had to move from static phone systems to wifi/cloud based phone systems that can operate anywhere in the world, we moved from physical technical environments to secure cloud environments. The buzz word was “pivot”. I believe this year businesses are focusing on continuing to “evolve”, we are asking ourselves, how we can continue to meet and exceed our customer expectations, how can we create warm, inspiring spaces for our employees to continue to thrive? How can we serve our community in the wake of so many natural disasters and social injustice?
I believe due to our business adeptness, we have been able to pivot and evolve. I am proud of how hard my Team works to be exceptional and constantly meet our service metrics and sales goals.
We recently permanently transitioned our business operational model to a hybrid operational model. Our physical main address will remain in downtown Columbus (20 S. 3d St., Suite 210); however we have partnered with Regus to now have access to offices all over Columbus, the country and the world. We will meet to meet with clients virtually, however now clients who request in-person meetings may meet with in a location convenient to their home office. Currently, 60% of our client households are working virtual/remote.
What are you proud of concerning your business?
You know recently, my oldest daughter Kendra made a profound statement. She was actually talking about the insignificance of material wealth, if that wealth has not added to society or been invested in some way to help others and/or make positive change in our world. I am happy about the awesome relationship that we have with our insurance carriers (Nationwide, Grange, State Auto, Travelers, Progressive, USLI and many others); that they value the relationships we bring to the table and join us in our pursuit in making this world better to live in. We were blessed to be recognized (Pillar Award 2020) for the many thousands of dollars and resources we have contributed “back to our community”, investing in the economic development of organizations and communities of need.