Bill McGee will be closing his State Farm office on Oct. 31, nearly 37 years to the day since he started his business. However, becoming an insurance agent was a career change for him.
McGee spent 14 years as a teacher before an ongoing teacher’s strike made him reconsider his chosen profession. “I spent a day on the picket line in the cold and wind, and thought, ‘This is not what I got into teaching for.’ I had grown frustrated by the way negotiations were progressing.” When he got home that evening, a manager from State Farm called to ask if he might be interested in learning more about a career with the company. “I really enjoyed my teaching experience and had no plans to leave, but he caught me at just the right moment,” said McGee. At the time, he was also working evenings and weekends at a hardware store to support his family but realized a career in insurance might allow him to “stop burning the candle at both ends.”
His very first client when he started out on Nov. 1, 1984, was his teaching colleague Ceci Maloney, who remain a client to this day. For the past 32 years, McGee has had an office at 201 North Grand Ave. West. “It’s been a good location, and I know the company will be bringing another agent into this space,” he said.
Despite a change in careers, McGee said, “I realized after being in the business a few years, even though I left the field of teaching, I hadn’t stopped teaching,” noting that he continues to educate people in a different way.
“I think the key to my success has been plugging into the strengths and talents that made me a good teacher and realizing that I didn’t need to reinvent myself.”
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