South Point insurance agent reaches retirementPublished 12:25am Sunday, November 3, 2013
SOUTH POINT — The average State Farm agent insures roughly 1,800 cars at any given time. Jim Weber, in South Point, however, isn’t your average agent.
At the height of his agency, Weber insured more than 4,700 cars and often joked with management in Newark that he did it in a town with no traffic lights. Now Weber is telling them goodbye.
“Yeah that was a joke I used to tell the guys in the central office all the time,” Weber said. “I also used to tell them we only had first names in our phone book. When I announced my retirement I finally told them I was kidding about that.”
Weber has insured cars, lives and homes in South Point for 35 years, but says the decision to get into the insurance business didn’t always seem like the right one. Initially, Weber was an educator, and boys’ basketball coach at Ironton St. Joseph High School.
A job for more than twice the money at the Semet Solvay plant then came available and Weber took it. That job was lucrative, but Weber says it just wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
“Coke paid good money, but I just couldn’t see myself working there until I retired,” Weber said. “So I decided to get into insurance and that first year I thought I had made a mistake. I was making way less money then I was at Coke and some nights I’d just sit down, cry and ask myself what did I do to my family.”
Those hard times slowly turned around for Weber and his agency, as he built up one of southeastern Ohio’s more successful insurance branches.
“It took about five years before the choice started paying off,” he said. “But once it did, it was a great feeling. I started this up from scratch with no clients. It was hard, but it was worth it.”
As Weber’s last workday crept toward an end, he recalled memories of his time in the business and his life that have lead him to this point. He also saw several former clients come in to wish him well and congratulate him on his retirement.
“I always say I was blessed with a good staff, a good company in State Farm, and great clients to serve,” Weber said. “That’s the thing. I’ve worked hard to accomplish what I have but I’ve also had wonderful people pushing me and helping me. People don’t say thank you enough anymore, but I want to thank all of those people.”
Now Weber’s days as a working man are over and he plans to take a very simple and relaxing approach to retirement.
“I look forward to playing some golf,” Weber said. “But, most importantly I look forward to spoiling my grandchildren even more than I do now.”