Every month, Schwartz Insurance Group selects a peer-nominated associate to receive a Core Value Award. The winner is chosen because they "lived" one of our agency's core values - typically an event or accomplishment above and beyond the call of duty in serving our customers. This month, Matt Schwartz has "lived" our core value of "Building on a Legacy." Here's his story:
Beyond having some competence, it often takes patience and persistence to succeed. And when it comes to negotiating a "big deal," it can be a really tall order.
Creating a business transition is just that kind of big deal ... and the relationship required can often take years to develop. Buddy Schwartz was one of the best at developing those types of trusted relationships. And it's nice to have that set of skills on the team.
The Schwartz really IS with you ... Matt Schwartz, that is! He may be the founder's son, but he is also building a great business by Building on a Legacy!
Here, in his own words, is a little more information about Matt:
You first obtained your insurance producer license when you were eighteen. Did you always know you would follow in your father's footsteps and continue building a legacy at Schwartz Insurance Group?
Dad was really proud when I earned my license that soon, and I actually helped him write a few life policies for key members of University of Louisville's 1980 Championship team shortly thereafter. But, even with that experience, I didn't consider joining the agency as a career right away. My first job after college was in sales with a benefits administrator. It was working with producers around the country that actually planted the "insurance sales" seed.
What has been the most rewarding part of your job as acting CEO of Schwartz Insurance Group? The most challenging part?
I love solving seemingly insurmountable issues - a tough renewal, service snag or even a big goal - I use a "win-win" negotiating approach to achieve results others often consider impossible, or at least unlikely. Internally, I've seen many people achieve results THEY didn't think possible, and that is awesome for both of us. Keeping a diverse team focused on our most important goals is a challenge, but our one-page-plan allows us to refresh our goals and communication regularly.
Is there any place in the world you haven't been that you would like to visit one day? Why?
I love traveling - even to places where I don't speak the language. I enjoy walking around and experiencing the local culture. So, even though I've been to a fair amount of countries, there's lots of places that remain "opportunities" for me: Australia, Japan, parts of Africa, Thailand. Plus, as a huge fan of ethnic food, there's few things I won't try to eat - and enjoy - while traveling!
If you could go back in time and give your eighteen-year-old self a bit of advice, what would it be?
Appreciate your relationships and experience NOW. They both make life meaningful and time slips away quickly and quietly.
What might we be surprised to learn about you? Any unusual hobbies or interests?
The big reveal probably happened when I turned 50 last October and got the band back together! Very few people knew - or believed - that there actually was a musical skillset behind the curtain. I love crafting a new song - not just the music, but the lyrics and the story as well.
What adjective best describes you?
Look ahead ten years. What do you see happening at Schwartz Insurance Group?
Trusted relationships are still based on good advice and advocacy. Our culture - and each of us who values what we've built - ensures the legacy of our core values. We have a diverse set of "profit center" leaders and in each area of expertise, we're well positioned to survive and thrive. I imagine the technology will have allowed (and sometimes forced) us to improve how we operate and interact with clients. It should be a lot of fun!
Congratulations on your Core Value Award, Matt - and thank you for doing such an exemplary job as CEO of Schwartz Insurance Group.