WOOD RIVER — A new year brings new opportunities for Bethalto’s Trisha Martin.
On Jan. 1 the doors opened for Trisha Martin State Farm in Wood River. The new agency is at 305 S. 6th St. in Wood River, next to King Louie’s Drive-In. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Martin’s career with State Farm began in 2008 in licensed sales. She’s worked in Bethalto, Belleville, Wood River and briefly as a corporate employee in Highland prior to taking the step to open her own agency. She’s eager to serve the surrounding communities.
“I was already working in the industry and it was really the next logical step for me to open my own agency,” Martin said.
“I think the agency is a really good way for me to be able to help my community. I want to help clients better protect their today so they can invest in their tomorrow, and protect them against things that go wrong, so I can help them invest in things that go right.”
Martin, 37, began the agent internship program in May 2015 and has dedicated tireless hours to get prepared to open her agency. She admitted it’s been a ton of work, but it’s well worth it in her opinion.
The circumstances surrounding her opportunity to open her own agency came about suddenly and unexpectedly. Martin had been the office manager for Andrew Gobczynski State Farm in Wood River until his shocking and tragic death from cardiac arrest on Dec. 8, 2014. Gobczynski was only 33.
“It’s been a lot of work,” she said. “The agency opening was an unexpected opportunity. A lot of people have a lot of time to prepare for an opening, but with Andrew’s passing unexpectedly at 33 years old — he was so young — it didn’t necessarily give me much time to prepare fiscally to be able to invest into a business, so it’s been a lot of work. But I made it, we’re here and I’m really ready to get involved in the community and help the local people out.”
It’s a small enterprise now. The office is just a three-person staff with Martin and two employees.
“There is myself and two employees, Amie Jo Sudbring and Jared Engelke,” Martin said. “Jared comes to State Farm with prior insurance sales experience with another company, so he’s not green. Amie comes to us with prior experience in working with the community. She worked at SIUE prior at the early childhood development center, but prior to that she did have previous experience with another insurance company.”
At this juncture, Martin has not had any open houses, ribbon-cuttings or special events for the public. She wants to wait until the weather warms up so she can do something nicer for her clients and potential clients.
Martin has goals to be around indefinitely. As a Bethalto resident, a 1997 graduate of Civic Memorial High School and a 2002 grad of SIUE, she’s very entrenched in the area — a lifelong resident.
“Obviously I want to accomplish longevity within the company,” Martin said. “I don’t plan on going anywhere any time soon. I’m a local person, part of the community, so my goals are really to be a presence within the community and help people protect their assets.”
For inquiries about Trisha Martin State Farm, call (618) 251-8777. Information also can be found on the agency’s Facebook page.