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We recently sat down with John for a Q&A about insurance, family, what drives him and our Chester County Community.
How did you start your business and why?
Being downsized during the latest economic recession caused me to start my business. Prior to my second career as an insurance agent, I had worked at various levels of management for quick-service restaurant chains. Most recently, I was a multi-unit manager for Arby’s. I very much enjoyed keeping many balls in the air, working with customers and employees, and operating a string of restaurants that emphasized high quality and positive customer satisfaction. When I left the restaurant business, I knew I wanted to operate a business that would give me daily interaction with lots of people. I also wanted to be involved in a business that helped people. I chose insurance sales because of the opportunity to succeed or fail on my own merits and to provide my clients with protection that preserves their family’s future.
Where did you go to school? Did you grow up in Chester County?
I grew up on the south side of Chicago. I was fortunate that my parents stressed the importance of education and afforded me many opportunities to enjoy the cultural institutions of this great city, particularly the Bears, Cubs, Bulls, and Blackhawks. I have two brothers. My brothers and I enjoyed Boy Scouts, sports, and typical “boy stuff” growing up in the late 60’s and 70’s. My favorite sport was football. I was a member of the school football team throughout high school and college.
I graduated from Wabash College, a small, all male, Liberal Arts school in Crawfordsville, Indiana. I have many fond memories of my time at Wabash and am still close friends with many of the men I went to college with. I moved to this area in 1983 when I was given an opportunity to move ahead in my profession. I loved the area, in particular all the waterways and rich history, and raised my children here.
My wife, Susan, and I have 4 children between us, 2 of hers and 2 of mine. Our children Kelly, Megan, Casey, and David all live in the Philadelphia area. In addition to the natural beauty of this area, I am fascinated by the rich history of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
What makes your business or services unique? What sets you apart from your competitors?
In a nutshell, the difference between myself and my competitors is me. A person who calls the Beardsley Agency has me looking out for their best interests. I have the insurance knowledge and life experience to listen to the client and tailor an insurance program that is right for their particular situation. If you buy insurance over the telephone by calling an 800 number, your agent is whoever answers the phone. They have no relationship whatsoever with you. In this day and age, with call centers overseas, staffed by people who speak English, is the person you’re speaking to even cognizant of American culture?
I prefer to do business face to face and develop a relationship with my clients. It may be the “Internet Age”, but “face-to-face” is still the best way to do business.
Are you involved in the community? For example, do you attend or support fundraisers, charities, or general causes?
My wife and I are involved in the community through our careers and interests. Susan has been involved in many fundraisers for the local school district where she worked for 25 years and in our community. I have served on the Board of the North East River Yacht Club for several years and currently am Secretary for the Main Line Power Squadron.