The Rowley Agency Is the Place to Be
One employee of The Rowley Agency, an independent insurance agency headquartered in Concord, New Hampshire, said that joining the agency was the best decision they made as a recent college graduate.
“Five years ago, I walked into this office not knowing anything about insurance,” the employee said. “I didn’t know what I was getting into, but after meeting with our then-controller and my boss, I knew this place was where I needed to be.”
That feeling seems to echo throughout the agency among new employees and 20-year veterans alike, according to employee responses to an anonymous Insurance Journal survey.
Employees filled out the survey to nominate the agency for Insurance Journal’s Best Agency to Work For awards, and it won Gold this year in the East region.
“As a person in leadership, you always hope that you are doing right by your employees,” Christine Holman, executive vice president at The Rowley Agency, told Insurance Journal. “As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. Being nominated for The Best Agency to Work For is testament to our leadership team that we have gotten a few things right since the agency was founded in 1966.”
Indeed, The Rowley Agency was established by Joseph Rowley in 1966 from a single office in Concord, New Hampshire.
Majority ownership transitioned to CEO Dan Church and President Gary Stevens in 1991, and the agency now has offices in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.
It provides risk management consulting, business and personal insurance, surety bonds and employee benefits to its clients across the Northeast.
“Despite having more than 60 employees, we treat each other as family,” Holman said. “Respect is such an integral part of our success. We have our employees’ respect, and they have ours. It is a team effort all the way around.”
Employees pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic as one example that demonstrates this mutual respect.
“The flexibility throughout COVID and the support that all members of the team receive is unlike any other,” one employee wrote in the survey.
“I truly appreciate all of the opportunities that I’ve received in my short (less than three) years at this agency, and I plan to be here for the long run.”
Holman said that as an essential employer during the pandemic, the agency knew remote work would not be in its clients’ best interest and may place undue hardship on employees, especially those with young children.
Instead, the agency developed a plan of offering flexible shifts to employees while continuing to pay full wage.
“We kept all our employees on staff and actually added to staff in 2020,” she said. “We did not have to close our doors for even one day since COVID hit our state in March of 2020.”
Outside of the office, the agency works hard for the community it serves as well, according to its employees. It works to show support for growing businesses and opportunities for youth advancement, and during the pandemic, it continued this commitment.
“For example, Rowley is a sponsor of The Capitol Center of the Arts here in Concord,” one employee wrote. “Unfortunately last year, they were not able to hold the majority of their productions. However, Rowley still contributed a significant amount to the organization to help keep it running.”
Another employee said they take pride in knowing their workplace involves itself in community action.
“We are entrenched in not only our clients’ needs, but those around us that need our help within our communities,” this employee said. “Rowley is a fantastic place to work and call home.”
That feeling seems to be mutual among all of the Rowley employees that filled out Insurance Journal’s survey.
“I couldn’t have found a better place to work and feel connected as one unit for the common good of our agency,” said one employee.
“When I do a good job it is always acknowledged,” added another. “I have a long career ahead of me, and I’m excited about all of the growth opportunities that I know Rowley will provide me.”
Holman said that her best advice for other agencies seeking to become a Best Agency to Work For is to remember that working in insurance is all about the people.
“Don’t just hear, but listen. Be compassionate. Be fair,” she said. “Focus on your employees’ strengths and help them with their weaknesses.”
As for Holman, how does she feel about The Rowley Agency being nominated by its own employees?
“Humbled,” she said. “I am very proud to say I am a Rowley Agency employee.”