Glenn Sinquefield is an insurance representative with the Farm Bureau of Georgia.
NAME: Glenn Sinquefield
POSITION: Agent, Georgia Farm Bureau, Albany office
FAMILY: Married to Katy, with children Allison, 29, and Taylor 26
EDUCATION: Westover High School and Darton State College
Glenn Sinquefield has devoted his professional life to the insurance business, but much of his free time is spent hunting and fishing.
The Farm Bureau of Georgia representative recently completed a question-and-answer session with reporter Jim West.
Q. What was your first job?
A. My first job was delivering newspapers for the Albany Herald when I was 15 years old. I guess I kind of got a taste for the business world at that time and learned some basics.
Q. What was the first thing you spent money on when you received your first ever paycheck?
A. I don’t exactly remember but I’m sure I probably saved some of it and spent the rest on clothes or something like that.
Q. What led you to your current position? Why did you want to operate your own business?
A. I’ve been in the insurance business for 36 years and I was with a company for 22 years when it was bought out by another company. I didn’t really want to work for that company. A friend of mine had gone to work for Farm Bureau a few years earlier and he recommended I look into going to work for them as well. He put me in touch with the people and it all worked out. I’ve been with them now for 15 years.
Q. Do you have a role model or mentor in your career?
A. When I first started in the insurance business I had a manager by the name of Joedy Putnal and he was a good teacher. I learned a lot of valuable lessons I can look back on still. I still use those lessons today.
Q. What is the biggest lesson you as a business leader learned from the recent recession?
A. I think the main thing is that everything can change. Nothing is guaranteed. Especially the way the economy is today, anything can change and probably will.
Q. If you could turn the clock back on one aspect of technology – examples email, automated phone systems, cell phones, PDAs, etc. – what would you most like to see go away?
A. That’s an easy one to answer. The automated phone systems. To me they just seem so impersonal. I’d definitely like to see those go. We all need that personal service.
Q. What is your favorite work-related gadget?
A. It’s not necessarily my favorite gadget, but the computer is a necessity here in my office. This day and time there’s just no way to do business without it.
Q. What is your favorite tradition?
A. Of course I like all the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, spending them with family and so forth, but especially the time with my hunting buddies in the fall. I look forward to that.
Q. What was the last book you read? Do you have things you read daily or regularly?
A. Of course I read The Albany Herald daily. I have several magazine subscriptions. I don’t do too much book reading but the last one had to do with history, War Between the States type stuff. That’s the extent of my reading.
Q. I’m up and going by? And what is your morning routine?
A. I’m usually up by 6 and get going and get to the office between 7:30 and 8 in the morning.
Q. What famous person would you like to meet, and Why?
A. I think I’d like to meet Thomas Jefferson. I think some of our leaders in government in this day and time could use a good dose of his wisdom. It would be interesting to see what he thought about the job our government leaders are doing today.
Q. Favorite hobbies or activity outside work?
A. I do like to hunt, fish, target shoot. I spend a lot of time boating on the Flint River.
Q. If you could take back one business decision you made in your career, what would it be?
A. I think it would be trying to handle too many lines of business at one time. It just runs you and your time pretty thin.
Q. Best thing about your job?
A. I’d say it’s meeting with a lot of different types of people and working with them. Taking care of their business.
Q. Worst thing about your job?
A. We have a lot of paperwork we have to do and it gets to be a burden sometimes. That’s the worst part.
Q. The most beneficial course I took in school was?
A. I’d have to say it was history. I like to read and study history. It makes you aware of things that are happening in today’s world and that will become history tomorrow.
Q. What would be your dream job if you were able to pick a position outside your current career path?
A. I might be dreaming a little bit but I always thought I’d enjoy something in the agricultural field — some kind of farming. I had grandparents and uncles that were farmers so I had a little bit of experience.
Q. Finish this thought: “On the first anniversary of my retirement, I see myself…
A. Being perfectly content or maybe bored enough to be looking for another job.
Q. What is the one trait a strong business leader cannot afford to be without?
A. I would say integrity. A leader today has to have strong character and be honest.
Q. Crystal ball time: What’s your call on when the economic recovery for our area will be in full swing?
A. That’s a hard question, but I don’t believe we’ll see any significant change until good companies start hiring and make good jobs available for people.
Q. What kind of music might I find on your list of most played on your iPod?
A. I listen to the radio — mostly country, but I like just about any type music — classical, bluegrass, a little rock.
Q. What was the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Why?
A. When the kids were smaller we took a family vacation on Sapelo Island, which is off the Georgia coast, and spent a few days exploring the island on bicycles and had good time learning about the local history and seeing the wildlife and the nature.
Q. What are the biggest changes you have seen in your specific line of business over the past few years?
A. Most insurance companies aren’t making the profits they did years ago. They’ve had to make changes to the lines of business we sell, especially in the property and casualty field. They’ve made changes in the products and in the way they market the products.