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Dumfries agent Glen Nixon turns 60 – Part 1 of 3

Longtime Dumfries Mutual agent Glen Nixon turned 60 on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Glen has been with our company since 1979, making this his 38th year. On the occasion of his milestone birthday, we took the opportunity to interview him on a variety of interesting topics. This is the first article in a three-part series where you can learn about Glen as a person and agent, the changes he has witnessed during his career, and his thoughts on mutual insurance for today’s generation. Contact us today to learn how we can help protect what matters to you!

GLEN’S PERSONAL LIFE

Can you please tell us about your family?
My wife and I will be married 35 years this year. We have two adult sons, Tyler and Corey. Corey is a doctor in Pittsburgh and Tyler works as my assistant. My wife and I stay seven months per year at our Lake Conestoga cottage, and the other five months in a condo in Guelph.

Can you please share about your personal upbringing?
I was born in Belgrave and am the second oldest of five children. My father was a farmer and worked as a drover for 25 years. A drover is someone who picked up livestock from area farmers and delivered them to the market. My mother went back to school and became a registered nurse after having kids to help contribute financially to the household.

What do you enjoy outside the office for work-life balance?
I enjoy golfing, fishing, and spending time at our cottage. I also enjoy cutting wood in the bush for our wood stove. These activities give me opportunities to clear my thoughts.

How does it feel turning 60? How do you see your life changing or staying the same?
I’m still working diligently but enjoy a little more freedom thanks to the support of my assistant Tyler. I’ve had excellent assistants for the past 13 years, which has made a huge difference from my first 25 years working alone. I enjoy spending time at the cottage and travelling with my wife when possible.

GLEN AS AN AGENT

What jobs did you have prior to becoming an agent?
My first job out of school was working with a farmer next door who ran a large beef operation. I left that job and travelled to Northern Alberta to take off crops in the Fall. I went on to work a short stint in material control at the Douglas Point Nuclear facility, painted houses one summer, and worked in retail selling pianos and keyboards. I then moved into the insurance field.

What prompted you to get into insurance?
It’s funny, I was never interested in insurance but my father suggested getting my insurance license after I got laid off from Douglas Point Nuclear. After getting my license in Cambridge, I applied at State Farm and The Co-operators but was turned away because they didn’t think I could sell insurance (Glen smiles). My licensing instructor Mel McIntyre called me and told me Dumfries Mutual in Cambridge was looking for someone to perform property inspections, and eventually sell for the company. I was hired after my interview in November, 1979. I was 22 years old.

When did you become an agent at Dumfries Mutual?
In July, 1980, Gordon Welsh, Manager, and Ivan Kelley, Agent, both took leaves of absence due to health matters and I was suddenly asked to look after a majority of the company’s policyholders. When my predecessor Ivan Kelly passed away in December, 1980, I carried on looking after his portion of the company’s policyholders. I am now finishing my 38th year with the company and have really enjoyed my time here.

Did you ever imagine being as successful as you have become as an agent?
Not in my wildest dreams. If you were to look around my high school class, I’m sure I would be voted one of the top five least likely to succeed. To say I struggled in school would be an understatement. I feel really fortunate that this career has worked out so well!

What personal qualities and habits have helped you build a large client base?
Being on time and getting back to people reasonably quick. Early in my career, after being slightly late for an appointment, a prospective client asked me “Would you be eight minutes late for a doctor’s appointment?” It made me realize that everyone’s time is just as important as a doctor’s. Thirty years later, I still have that client. Everyone’s time is valuable.

What are a couple of the things you find most gratifying about your role as an agent?
It’s very satisfying hearing “thank you” for what I do. A lot is simply expected these days and you just don’t hear “thank you” very often. I recently received a thank you card from a young couple I visited to provide a quote. I didn’t get the policy, but they thanked me for taking the time to meet with them. I really enjoy almost all of the one-on-one interaction involved with my job.

What advice do you have for someone considering a career in insurance sales?
It’s the best career imaginable if you’re ambitious and ready to face the challenges of selling insurance to today’s generation.

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On Thursday, October 5th, Glen treated the Dumfries Mutual team to lunch. He was presented at that time with a birthday card signed by everyone.