Lowery celebrates golden anniversary as a GEICO associate
CHEVY CHASE, MD., April 18, 2019 – Growing up in her native South Carolina, Juanita Lowery never dreamed she'd have a career in the insurance industry. Fifty years later, she can't imagine doing anything else.
"I love what I do. I would not trade it," said Lowery, a beloved sales and service associate who has worked at GEICO since April 14, 1969.
Lowery had just finished high school when her grandparents sent her to Washington, D.C., to attend college. Her studies were disrupted when her grandfather passed away and she had to figure out how to make ends meet for herself. A friend suggested GEICO, a rapidly growing insurance company headquartered in the D.C. suburb of Chevy Chase, Maryland.
"I decided to come on over to GEICO, and I haven't left," Lowery said with grin.
Lowery has served in various capacities at GEICO over the years -- including occasionally dressing as a crash test dummy for promotional events in the days before the Gecko became the company's mascot of choice. She has spent the bulk of her career in sales and service, where she has been an eyewitness to the company's growth and the technology revolution.
On her first day at GEICO, the company had roughly 1.5 million policyholders and fewer than 3,500 associates. Today, there are over 40,000 associates around the country to handle the more than 17 million policies GEICO services. There was a time when customers would come see sales associates like Lowery to get quotes, buy policies and make payments. These days, most customers use the internet and mobile devices for such transactions.
Lowery, a mother of four and grandmother of six, is now one of three sales and service associates stationed in the lobby at GEICO headquarters to assist walk-in customers.
"Believe or not, many people still like the human interaction," Lowery said. "I have regular customers who come in. They know about my family; I know about theirs. It's just nice to be able to talk to people."
Colleagues like Terri Davis, a sales and service associate who has worked with Lowery for the past 30 years, admire Lowery's customer service acumen, sharp wit and abundant energy.
"She is really dedicated to her customers, her co-workers and to GEICO," said Davis, whom Lowery calls her "best friend."
Lowery's work ethic is also something to marvel.
"Juanita is one of the most dependable people I have ever worked with," Service Manager Anna Rall said. "She is so positive during every interaction, and you see that when she is with customers and with her co-workers."
For Lowery, retirement is not yet in the cards.
"I think about retirement sometimes, but I don't think about it for long," said Lowery, who says her GEICO family and customers keep her centered and give her peace of mind.
From her vantage point in the lobby, Lowery sees new associates as they come in for orientation. Her advice to them is simple and delivered in her signature down-home manner.
"Come to work and work hard!" she said. "That's what I have done for all these years."
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 28 million vehicles.
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