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On the Job with Rick Muggridge

Rick Muggridge loves collecting favorite quotes which he has used in both his professional and personal life.

Rick Muggridge loves collecting favorite quotes which he has used in both his professional and personal life.

Insurance executive Rick Muggridge of Lee County doesn’t suffer from stage fright.

He’s been on stage dozens of times in school and community productions in Lee County. Also, at least two times a month and often more, he’s on a stage of a different type serving as chairman of the Lee County Commission.

The husband and father of three is a huge believer in motivational authors and speakers and collects quotes which he uses in his daily life.

To find out more about Muggridge, read the question-and-answer session he recently shared with Danny Carter of The Herald.

Q. What was your first job?

A. The first time I remember getting paid was when I was maybe seven. I had spent two weeks with my Aunt Velma and Uncle Thomas on their farm in Omega. While I did pull a few weeds in the peanut fields and did a few other chores, it didn’t warrant the $12 Uncle Thomas paid me at the end of the two weeks. At the time it was the most money I had ever had. After that I mowed some neighbor’s yards. My first real job was bagging groceries at Winn Dixie on Dawson Road. Mr. Brannon was the manager.

Q. What was the first thing you spent money on when you received your first ever paycheck?

A. I can’t remember. That $12 probably got spent on candy at the Jot-em-Down store on Slappey. I do remember using my job at Winn Dixie as collateral to borrow $300 from C&S Bank at the corner of Whispering Pines and Slappey to buy a stereo when I was still in high school. I am sure my mom co-signed, but I thought I had arrived when I got a loan from the bank.

Q. What’s the single most effective technique you found over the past two years for keeping employees motivated?

A. Saying thank you out loud. Making sure they know they are appreciated and important, that they are an integral part of the business.

NAME: Charles Rick Muggridge

AGE: 53

FAMILY: Married to Terry Turnipseed Muggridge for 26 years. Three children — Josh, 23, graduated from UGA (English) and currently manages The Catch restaurant in Albany; Julianna, 20, student at VSU, chemistry major; Bailey, 7, rising second grader at Kinchafoonee Primary.

EDUCATION: Westover High School, 1977; attended University of Georgia.

POSITION: CEO, DWB Insurance Agency Inc., a personal lines insurance agency at 1148 Dawson Road. Terry Muggridge owns the agency.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Chairman, Lee County Board of Commissioners; board member, Georgia Department of Community Affairs; chairman, board of trustees for defined contribution, Gebcorp; member, Staff Parrish Relations Committee and children’s ministry volunteer at Leesburg United Methodist Church; volunteer, Paladium Foundation.

ACTING: Muggridge has been in many productions done by the Paladium Players, possibly the

only person who has appeared in every chamber/Paladium Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre. This year will be No. 10. His most memorable role was Bill Sykes in “Oliver.” “I got to hit a girl on stage, then kill her, then get shot off the roof and die on stage,” he said. “What fun.”

BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: He loves quotes and has them written on scraps of paper, index cards and notebooks all over the place. His favorites:

“You are exactly who you want to be, if you were not, you would already be in the process of changing.” I first heard Zig Ziglar say this but he attributed it to Fred Smith. That was probably 35 or more years ago. I still love it and it encourages me every day.

The second is “Love each other as I have loved you” — Jesus.

Q. What led you to your current position?

A. I had worked 20 years, selling insurance and managing an agency for a single company. I became unhappy when some of my customers needed solutions that the single company could not provide. I knew in an independent agency I could serve the client instead of the company.

Q. Do you have a role model or mentor in your career?

A. In business, insurance, politics and faith there certainly have been folks in my life I have admired and tried to emulate. I am a huge fan of self-help, how to and motivational books. I would say my role models are Jesus, Zig Ziglar and Andy Andrews.

Q. What is the biggest lesson you as a business leader learned from the recent recession?

A. Live within your means. The borrower is slave to the lender.

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. If you want customer service press 3.

Q. What is your favorite work-related gadget?

A. A to-do list, made with pen and paper. Favorites are the ones with lots of check marks in the done column.

Q. What is your favorite tradition?

A. Halloween trick or treating, Christmas morning, Sunday afternoons watching NASCAR with my eyes closed, coffee in the morning. Big or little, whichever one is next.

Q. What was the last book you read?

A. “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon

Q. Do you have things you read daily or regularly?

A. I am a terribly slow reader and a bit ADD when it comes to reading, I always have four or five books I am working through. I read almost all non-fiction. Right now I am reading “Does this Clutter Make my Butt look Big?,” “Lifelong Love Affair,” “Getting Things Done” and “Switch, How to Change Things When Change is Hard.” Daily, I read my Bible, Sunday School Content (most days) and The Herald. My favorite book is a little book by Andy Andrews called “The Butterfly Effect.” I would suggest everyone read it twice.

Q. What time are you up and going, and what is your morning routine?

A. I’m up and going by 6 during the school year and 6:30 in the summer. I put coffee on, walk 30 minutes, wake Bailey, make breakfast for us.

Q. What famous person would you like to meet, and Why?

A. Andy Andrews. He is my favorite author. He certainly seems like he is pretty down to earth guy and I believe I would learn something from him, no matter how short the meeting.

Q. Favorite hobbies or activity outside work?

A. Anything that involves my family, friends or church. We love the water and being outdoors.

Q. If you could take back one business decision you made in your career, what would it be?

A. Waiting as long as I did to go into business for myself.

Q. Best thing about your job?

A. I help people, everyday.

Q. Worst thing about your job?

A. I can’t help everyone.

Q. The most beneficial course I took in school was?

A. The most beneficial educational experience is the many mistakes I have made over the years, especially the ones that have cost me. Those are lessons not easily forgotten.

Q. What would be your dream job if you had to pick a position outside your current career path?

A. Psychologist or Christian marriage counselor. I like helping folks. I think marriage is under attack from the culture and I wish I could do something to strengthen the institution.

Q. Finish this thought: “On the first anniversary of my retirement, I see myself …

A. That would be the year after I died. I don’t plan on retiring.

Q. What is the one trait a strong business leader cannot afford to be without?

A. Business leader: integrity. Human being: Faith.

Q. What kind of music might I find on your list of most played on your iPod or radio?

A. Sermons from Tim Keller, Audiobooks and podcasts from Andy Andrews and Jimmy Evans. Plenty of music too, but it’s all 30 years old or older.

Q. What do you think is the biggest change the metro area will see in the next 10 years?

A. My prayer is Democrats and Republicans, Lee and Dougherty, haves and have-nots will all come together to work for all of Southwest Georgia and we will begin to change the culture. We will see changes in the way our region values education and marriage and parenthood and responsibility. That would be followed closely by businesses that can’t wait to employ folks that have those values.

Q. What was the best vacation you’ve ever taken?

A. The next one.

Q. What are the biggest changes you have seen in your specific line of business over the past few years?

A. The cost of claims has skyrocketed and companies have found it harder and harder to remain profitable. A few years ago companies wanted to grow and would insure most folks. Now days I have more trouble getting a company to take the person than the person buy the policy.