Riverhead Allstate agent Beth Hanlon had just graduated from St. Joseph’s College in 1987 with a degree in social science and English when her friend and classmate Elizabeth Burt became a manager trainee for Allstate insurance.
At the time, Allstate had just issued a task to managers to hire more female agents.
Ms. Burt immediately thought of her friend.
“She sold me on becoming an Allstate agent…and I’m glad I listened to her,” said Ms. Hanlon, who later became an independent contractor for Allstate.
Ms. Hanlon was recognized at her Riverhead offices Friday by her friends and co-workers.
Local elected leaders also showed up, including Legislator Ed Romaine, who issued her a proclamation.
“I wanted to honor her for doing what people seldom do- staying around in business for 25 years,” Mr. Romaine said. “You get great service from a great rep.”
Recalling the year she got started, Ms. Hanlon said, “In 1987 things were so different than now. We didn’t even have a fax machine. Everything was done manually. You had to believe people when they told you they didn’t have any accidents or tickets.”
She started out working in a booth in an East Northport Sears store. And when she got the chance in 1989 to become an independent contractor with Ms. Burt, she jumped at it.
She liked the idea in part because it gave her an opportunity to live and work farther east. The pair established a business in Riverhead. At the time, Ms. Hanlon’s father was a car salesman for Herb Obser Motors (now Eagle Auto) on Route 58, so she opened her office across the street from the car dealership.
And when her father sold a car, he would tell them to “go across the street and see my daughter to get insurance.”
Today, she has 13 staff members of which the majority are licensed sales producers. Her friend Ms. Burt sold her share of the business to Ms. Hanlon in 2003 and still works in the office as senior sales producer.
Ms. Hanlon and her husband, Owen Hanlon, also an agent, merged the Wading River Allstate and Riverhead Allstate last year.