Hometown Pride features a person each week who helps make the community better.
Sara Gerau is the owner of the Farmers Insurance Agency at 200 W. Main Street for the past five months.
Before owning her own business, she worked with the American Red Cross for seven years.
There are a lot of things. I really enjoy helping people, so that’s been a really big part of my career. This was a new opportunity to continue helping people and also own my own business. When the opportunity arose to be able to take over such an established business in uptown Jackson, it was like everything aligned and it was meant to be.
The majority of my past career was spent in advertising and marketing, and I did that for around 13 years. I really enjoyed the people I encountered and how I was able to help their businesses grow.
Then I did a switch over to the nonprofit world and spent eight years with the American Red Cross. It was very fulfilling to help individuals at their lowest point, during a disaster or that type of thing.
My career has always been about relationships, because everyone has a story. Whether I was helping them with a marketing plan or whether I was helping them recover from a disaster, I was building a relationship and learning their story.
Fabulously! I officially took over Oct. 1, and it’s gone really well. I’m very fortunate that we have an amazing district that we are a part of, so I had all of their staff to help with the transition.
I’m also fortunate to have Sandra [Clements], who has been a part of the agency for 25 years. With her knowledge and her relationships with our clients, it’s been a very smooth transition.
In the last six weeks to two months, we are really starting to see the growth and the referrals. The marketing aspects that we’ve been doing are starting to work, so that’s good.
The client relationships and when they say “thank you for that” after we help them make a claim. Sometimes it can be nerve-racking or they’re upset about the situation. We try to make it as painless as possible and if they need their car repaired or they need anything, we try to help them.
We’re able to help them because our claims department is top of the line. They’re very quick and a lot of our customers will thank us for making it easy — and that’s what we’re there for. We’re there to answer their questions and help them so it is a smooth process.
I would say the tradition. Joe Gohn started this agency 60 years ago in Jackson, and he stopped in the other day to visit. It’s always so great to hear his stories and see the legacy that he left. Then Stu [Garrison] took it over from him. They built the foundation, and we’re growing on that foundation and continuing to serve the clients here in Jackson and the surrounding area.
Farmers is over 90 years old as a company, and it’s a product that we’re proud of. Insurance is not a product that you can touch and feel, but it’s value is backed 100 percent. I feel very confident going out, talking about it and referring people to our product — it just speaks for itself.
I grew up in Charleston, about 40 minutes south of Jackson. Then I went to the University of Missouri in Columbia, and 13 years ago we moved to Jackson and have made it our home.
From the moment we moved here, it felt like home. When we were living in Columbia, it was a good place but I didn’t feel like that was where I wanted to be with the kids and raise our family. Jackson has that family feel, and we’ve been able to immerse ourselves in the community.