Selected as one of our “Best In The Biz” in the Insurance category by our Saline County readers, Laryssa Calley remains humble and ready to do what she does best every day: work hard for her customers. While her business specializes in auto, home, life and commercial insurance, she views Saline County as her adopted home and the residents—her customers—as the focus of her business.
While Laryssa has earned a name for herself that is synonymous with excellent customer service, it is her husband, Coach Paul Calley, whose career brought them to Saline County. In her words, “thankfully Saline County embraced us quickly, and we have made this our home.” She shares that it is her passion for people that launched her into the insurance business, despite her early career aspirations of becoming a registered nurse.
Shares Laryssa, “I started out as a receptionist for an independent agency in south Arkansas. My enthusiasm for the business and the need to take care of people, quickly ushered me into a sales/producer position. I obtained my insurance license and my family moved to Bryant. Shortly after our move, I was hired to work for Leonard Towell, a State Farm Agent in Benton. He was a wonderful boss that really took me under his wing and taught me valuable sales tools as well as management skills. In 1997, I was given the opportunity to start a scratch agency in Bryant for Shelter Insurance. So, on June 1, 1997, I opened the doors of my very own agency. The people of Saline County have been absolutely wonderful in their support of my business! My agency has quickly grown into one of the largest in my district and region. I have been blessed beyond measure!”
Laryssa and her team have worked hard over the years, and have received accolades in the insurance industry. Laryssa shares, “Every year, agents are rewarded with an incentive trip based on sales, growth and profitability. I have been fortunate enough to qualify numerous times and am now considered to be in the Shelter Hall of Fame.”
When asked what sets her team apart from others in the industry, Laryssa is very quick to credit her team of agents as the key difference-makers. “We have a team of specialized agents and employees that focus on different areas of importance in the field of insurance and customer service. My team consists of Benton native, Jason White, who manages our day-to-day operations and focuses on commercial lines of business. He is a perfectionist and keeps the staff goal-oriented and on-pace. We also have Jason Kindrix, who has many years of sales experience and does a tremendous job keeping us all motivated to consistently review current client files to offer additional discounts and in turn, lower premiums.”
She continues, “Shelby Barnes is a key employee who works diligently to make certain there is no lapse in coverage or communication gaps. Lexie Broderick has been interning with us for quite some time, and her focus is claims communication. Both ladies have a passion for people and their work displays our dedication to the customer. And last but not least, we have recently added my son, Kurt Calley to our staff. He is currently studying to pass his insurance exam, and our plans for him consist of taking after-hours calls and weekend appointments for sales and service.”
Laryssa constantly stresses how much emphasis they place on customer service, and she feels like that is what her agency specializes in, and is what sets them apart from competitors. “We strive to offer the very best customer service possible! We are in the process of expanding our office and opening up a satellite location in Haskell. We will be extending our office hours, giving our clients the ability to call the office and speak with a local staff member after business hours and on weekends. We not only sell a product, we deliver a promise! My staff works tirelessly to make good on those promises.”
With her passion for people leading the way, Laryssa has well earned her spot as one of the “Best In The Biz,” and will likely remain at the top of the list for many years to come.
“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” Sound familiar? The ever-familiar jingle rings true in Saline County with Brooke Andrews, the local State Farm Agent. Clad in khaki and a red polo (or is that just in the commercials?), Brooke and her team provide all lines of insurance to protect their clients.
The apple didn’t fall from the tree in Brooke’s case. Her mother, Vikki Hudson, has been a State Farm agent for the past 30 years. “At no point did I ever think I would end up doing the same thing she did! I was actually a sales rep with FedEx in Dallas, TX when I decided to give State Farm a try. I loved the idea of owning my own business, building a team, and putting roots down in a community like ours.”
Brooke is not a locally grown Saline County resident. As a result of internal research, State Farm determined that Saline County would be a prime spot for potential grown and revenue, so in 2007, Brooke moved to the area without knowing a soul to embark on a new journey. “I started my agency from scratch on January 1st, 2007. My team and I have built our agency from the ground up,” Brooke stated.
Throughout her career in Saline County, Brooke has been recognized as one of the top producing agents earning accolades such as Select Agent, Legion of Honor, Ambassador Qualifier, Grow Game Qualifier, and Bronze Tablet.
Brooke credits her team of employees as her greatest asset. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to take care of our clients the way we do. I tell them that we aren’t in the insurance business; we are in the hospitality business. We specialize in finding the right product for our clients. A person’s greatest asset is their ability to provide an income for their family. That’s what we want to protect.”
After losing loved ones in 2015 and 2016, Brooke notes these tragedies with her changed outlook on life. “We can’t grow if we only have good things happen to us. It’s in the darkest times where we find strength and renewed faith that God will never give us more than we can handle,” Brooke concluded.
By Jamie Miller
Jamey South | Agent, State Farm
Nick Gann | Partner, The Gann Agency
Rick Spivey | Agent, Allstate Insurance