Article By: M.T. Decker
Photo By: Josh Triggs
In today’s hectic world, its easy to forget that there are people looking out for you, that you are part of something bigger. That’s what being part of a community is all about, and it’s something Kay Lewis believes in and is an important part of everything she does.
Kay grew up in Berkeley County and is proud to call it home. It is where she works, and where she has raised her family. It is part of who she is.
She has never lost sight of the fact that the people she works with, her clients and the people whose lives she touches, are her neighbors.
Kay is proud of the fact that she is a third generation insurance agent with State Farm, and she works hard to take care of her clients and stay abreast of the latest developments.
She has watched the insurance business mature, building on what she learned while watching her grandfather and her father as they worked. She continues to attend seminars and learn the latest facets of the business to make sure she gives her customers the best care possible.
The office wasn’t simply turned over to her either. No, she had to put in the hours and after college, worked a regional office that spanned from Oakland, Maryland to Franklin County, West Virginia. There she continued to learn, and train.
When the Martinsburg office began looking for an agent, State Farm interviewed potential agents. Kay had to interview for the position and proved that she was the right fit for the community.
“Insurance regulations have made it so that the differences between insurance companies and policies aren’t all that different,” Kay explains.
The difference comes down to service. You have to do right by your clients.
You have to be what the customer needs and you have to be there for them. And when some of those clients first started with your grandfather, it’s something you have to do every day.
“It’s all about follow-up and the personal touch,” Kay adds.
You have to make sure your clients are happy, that their questions are answered, and that they feel special.
Service and caring isn’t something you turn on and off, its simply how you live.
Kay knows that clients aren’t just people you sell insurance to: they’re your friends and neighbors, and you do what you can to help them.
If you don’t, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
The simple touches aren’t something you plan, they’re something you do. When a neighbor is sick, you check up on them, you send them flowers. If a friend is stranded somewhere, you go and pick them up. What’s true for friends and neighbors is true for your clients.
If you take care of them, they take care of you. It seems a simple thing and it is.
It’s why Kay believes in community service and involvement. Being part of a community means working and helping out whenever and wherever you can.
It is something she believes in and she has gotten her team involved in as well.
‘Her team.’ That’s another important difference. Whenever Kay refers to her staff, she refers to them as her team. Again, it’s one of those simple things, but it’s a way to build that sense of community.
It’s easy to see that she is extremely proud of her team and the job they do. They are a reflection of State Farm and the backbone of the office.“If you want to be successful,” Kay explains. “You can’t ‘do’ just business.
”You have to work to make your community something worth being proud of, and Kay is more than willing to work.
Some of the volunteer work Kay and her team have been responsible for are as simple as watering the flowers on main street in Martinsburg.
One of the things that Kay loves is practicing random acts of kindness. A small thing is something everybody can do and by doing something nice for a complete stranger, it seems to spread. If someone does something for you, it makes you happier, and it tends to effect how you interact with the next person you meet. One small act can effect so many people, like ripples from a stone thrown into a pond.
She loves to see the joy her team gets from doing things like randomly paying for the car behind them at the drive through.
It’s all part of being part of that community she and her team strive for.
Between work and family its hard to find time for community service, but Kay has found a balance that works for her and her family. The community is a richer place for it.
She’s worked with Habitat for Humanity, where communities come together to help low income families find affordable housing. Neighbors offer services and labor, and the new homeowners pay in sweat equity, building not only a house, but a neighborhood (and yes) a community.
Kay is also on the board for Main Street Martinsburg, whose goal it is to help revitalize the downtown area of Martinsburg.
She is also a part of the Berkeley County BackPack Program which provides backpacks, school supplies, and food to families in Berkeley County, WV.
She volunteers at Faith Christian Academy where she is also a booster.
But, if you ask her what her favorite community project is, she’ll tell you its reading Dr. Seuss to children at the Burke Street School in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
While the other projects are worthwhile, there is something special when you interact with the children of the community and watch them grow.
It is all a piece of a greater puzzle and by working together, the community grows stronger and prospers.
Being part of a community means being part of something greater than yourself, and that can give life meaning.
To learn more about the Eastern Panhandle Habitat for Humanity please visit: www.habitatep.org
For information or to donate to the Berkeley BackPack Project please visit: feedbcwvkids.org/friends
To Contact Kay Lewis at State Farm please visit: statefarm.com/agent/US/WV/Martinsburg/Kay-Lewis
You can also find her on Facebook at: facebook.com/SFAGENTKAYLEWIS