New member, Caitlin Ellerhorst Lawless provided the program for the November 26 meeting of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club, held in the Kennedy Center’s Elmer Jagow Room because the Hiram College Dining Hall was closed for the Thanksgiving break.
Ms. Lawless gave a brief history of the local insurance agency of which she is a recent employee…though not unacquainted with the firm. The business was established in 1915 by C (for Cassius). W. Payne, then became (grandfather) (Robert) Farley Insurance, then Farley-Ellerhorst(father) (Mark) Insurance, then Ellerhorst Insurance, now Ellerhorst-Russell(cousin)(Mark) Insurance. So there is one grandfather, one father and one cousin to serve as advisors and mentors and share the family feeling of a locally-focused enterprise which prides itself on “being there” for its customers.
Ellerhorst-Russell is an independent insurance agency which specializes in personal service in the event of claims, renewals, rate comparisons and coverage concerns, whether in regard to home, auto, business or life policies. Their newest employee is obviously enjoying her work, working at becoming more knowledgeable and growing in the business. One of her challenges, one facing all community businesses, is the competition from online insurance agencies; locals have the advantage in personalized, immediate service. Getting acquainted with clients hasn’t been an insurmountable challenge, as she grew up in Garrettsville, graduated from J.A.Garfield High School, attended Kent State University and has been a Portage County resident just about forever.
Several members in attendance voiced affirmation of the standing of Ellerhorst-Russell Insurance in the business community and in the regard of their customers for receiving “hometown” service over the years.
The business meeting involved recruiting Santa(s) for the Santa Gift Delivery coming up soon and getting the ball rolling for Family Week, which is the next big project–they just keep coming. New member kits, badges and certificates have been or will be ordered; dues and attendance records are due to the district. There was some discussion concerning old records and memorabilia belonging to the club–location and future disposition. The James A. Garfield Historical Society may be the best repository available, if it be willing. A fond farewell was offered to Merlynn Jones, a corporate member representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who will be rotating to serve in the Kirtland post. The Christmas party and exchange of exotic gifts will be held on December 17 at the home of Kim Kohli and Scott Grubbs.