GREELEY — What happens when you put a guy who sells promises together with another guy who has a vision and 700 acres burning a hole in his pocket?
For Buck Moskalski, State Farm Insurance Co. regional vice president, and his friend Craig Harrison, the result became Promontory — the massive development at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 34 and Colorado Highway 257 in west Greeley.
About 11 years ago, Moskalski and Harrison discussed Harrison’s prediction that the land he owned would eventually become the converging point for Greeley, Loveland, Milliken, Fort Collins and the surrounding communities — a doorway to Greeley. What was needed was a prominent company to commit to purchasing a piece of this “Golden Triangle” in order to provide a capital base for a major commercial/residential development to open that doorway. Moskalski caught Harrison’s dream, and State Farm committed to purchasing 65 acres for future office buildings.
Contributing to quality of life
This year’s Bravo! Entrepreneur Regional Spirit Award recipient is the regional offices of State Farm Insurance Co. in Greeley. In addition to their part in one of the region’s most important developments, the company and its employees have contributed significantly over the years to Northern Colorado’s quality of life.
“Just like our slogan says, our mission is to be like a good neighbor,´ said Moskalski. This is the core of the company’s philosophy, and it is ingrained in employees from their date of hire. State Farm’s mission is to help people manage everyday risks, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams.
“It’s simple,´ said Eric Anderson, public-affairs spokesman for State Farm. Because the people in the community entrust State Farm to manage their everyday risks, the company feels a responsibility to give back to the community.
“We are not a stock company. Our objective is not to make money for shareholders, but to serve the people who buy our product,´ said Anderson. And that product is not something you can hold in your hand and touch. “We sell promises to people,” he said.
State Farm currently ranks 21st on the Fortune 500 list and is the largest insurer of homes, boats and cars in Colorado. Anderson estimates the Greeley operation is among the top 10 employers in the area with about 1,250 employees serving the tri-state area of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
He credits their success to their commitment to community and customer service. When you take that many employees who, from orientation on, are trained to focus on being a good neighbor and provide them with a continuous list of opportunities to volunteer in the community, you have a significant force contributing to the quality of life, Anderson said.
Moskalski agrees. “Our involvement runs the gamut from the Greeley Stampede to bike rodeos for child safety. Our people sit on the Chamber of Commerce board, coach Little League and serve on school boards,” he said.
Among the avenues for community involvement encouraged by State Farm management for its employees is the United Way program. Sandy Tomasovich, division manager for State Farm, coordinates the company’s United Way campaign for the Greeley area.
“We really feel the United Way gives back to the community and that’s why we support it so heavily,” she said. “Our community gives us a lot. We try our very best to give back to it,” she said.
Other organizations and programs State Farm supports are Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement and a company-sponsored child-safety day.