Letter to the President – December 2018

As we wind down 2018, I’d like to use this opportunity to share some of the ups and downs of the past year at Smith Brothers. I am sharing 5 memories of reflection and a 6th as appreciation for ‘The Stag’ and ‘The Umbrella’ we call our friends and neighbors.

  • To start our year we lost one of our dearest friends and team member Penny Shukes. She was a loyal 30-year employee of Smith Brothers and a “sister” to all of us here. Although she is missed every day, Penny’s Room, our dedicated conference room in her memory lights us all up every time we enter it. With Love and Gratitude we had her as part of our family for 30 years.
  • We grew for the 23rd year in a row. Our revenue was up 15% and we added 28 new employees. With all the changes in our world – successions and retirements – the Great Recession – and the continuous accelerating pace that technology/connectivity  and data brings in efficiencies and threats all in one – we find a way to keep growing – big thanks to all of our team members and clients – who make it happen – were not perfect but were doing something right!
  • We began the total rehab of our Glastonbury office external and internal – committing to another decade at this location in this wonderful town of Glastonbury. We’re committed to a fresh environment set up to grow us into the future.
  • We grew in Massachusetts this year with a P&C foothold in Central, MA. This addition, along with our well established Western, MA Employee Benefits practice, helps us diversify our regional scope of services and gives us a foundation to grow in a different economic story in New England.
  • We signed a letter of intent to merge a firm into us in Central New York – bring us yet into another territory to leverage our culture and systems and brand for continued expanded geographic reach.
  • We held several educational sessions for our clients – to help them grow, stay safer and reduce chances of harm to their families and businesses. We worked together as a group of passionate “helpers” – to raise money – give of our time – and have fun helping kids – giving back to our community – carrying on our big purpose to Help Others.

Our industry, specifically The Hartford and The Travelers, gave significant funds to the City of Hartford – the city and its citizens are in need of a rejuvenation and these funds will help invest long-term in Hartford. We sometimes forget two very large and successful leaders in our P&C industry are right here in Hartford. They have choices on where to call their “home office” and rather than flee in the wake of state and city distress – they chose to invest and help – for this we feel proud to be leading agents for both of these companies. Their leaders lead great companies– lead as good corporate citizens and – as important – are good people. What we do every day with them as partners to help our clients, also helps our community when these companies reinvest locally. For them we are grateful.

Please have a wonderful and fun Holiday season – cherish those you can call friends and your family. With appreciation.

Be Sure.

Joe

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